Autumn, September and Yoo Yeon Seok
The interview and pictorial were done in a little bit tight manner to meet the ‘@star1’ deadline. Yoo Yeon Seok (33) is a strong person even when he is confronted with such a hectic time. It might be difficult to but he grasped the concept of the photo-shoot perfectly, and he didn’t even have an inch of hesitation to do the spontaneous interview.
When thinking of Yoo Yeon Seok, thoughts that naturally follow are the smooth lines of his face, the softness of his voice, and the sincere glitter in his eyes. And now it’s the time to look at those soft images once again. While I have met well spoken people in many interviews, I’ve never met an actor who is a good listener like him. Even if the questions are trivial, he would listen with focus in his eyes. He is a deep and a firm person.
Q. How is the photo-shoot today.
▲. A loose-like feeling kind of pictorial, I enjoyed it very much. The music goes very well with the concept too. I think I’m very comfortable during the photo-shoot because it is especially my favourite kind of atmosphere.
Q. The feeling of being in front of the camera for acting and for a photo-shoot is different.
▲. It’s different. Shooting continuously for a video with a camera is a lot different than taking photos to grab a moment. For just one cut, we have to take a lot of photos. Photo-shoot is hard.
Q. Do you yourself know from which angle you would look best when it comes to taking photos.
▲. Because (my face) very asymmetrical. Haha. For me, the right side would come out well. The size of my eyes are different and my face line is different too.
Q. Now let’s talk about acting for real. The reason for your appearance in the musical ‘Hedwig’ is…?
▲. I’ve been watching the work called ‘Hedwig’ since a long time ago. I’ve watched it when it being performed in the small theater, as well as in the big theater. When I first saw it, such thought (of starring in the musical) didn’t occur to me but after seeing Jo Seung Woo sunbae-nim’s ‘Hedwig’, there was a little greed in me where I thought ‘can I also challenge myself?’. I had only thought of wanting to try challenging it then a good opportunity to star in it came up. Up until I finally decided my mind (to do the musical), I worried a lot. But then I thought that if I’m to star in ‘Hedwig’, I should do it when I’m young. So I guess that’s how I decided to do it.
Q. It is a work that demands a high level of singing ability. Don’t you feel burdened a lot in that aspect?
▲. (I feel burdened) a lot. Isn’t it a work of rock. However since it is a music to follow how I feel rather than expressing every single note accurately, I feel more comfortable that I can sing it as to how I interpreted it. At first I asked people around me. What rock singing is. They said there is no right answer to that. Just sing as how I feel like it. So I think I should pull off the singing in my own way.
Q. To the public, there is an unchanged recognition of ‘Hedwig = Jo Seung Woo’, how do you think you would surpass that?
▲. Instead of surpassing that, let’s just show Yoo Yeon Seok’s only Hedwig. I’m an audience who was swept away by Jo Seung Woo’s sunbae-nim Hedwig’s performance too. Instead of acting as Hedwig, sunbae-nim was being Hedwig himself. That form of his looked so cool. Every one of the seniors who have acted as Hedwig from generation to generation are all different. I want to express my only kind of Hedwig too.
Q. Visually, whose Hedwig is the most beautiful?
▲. Uhm. I would want Yoo Yeon Seok’s Hedwig to be the most beautiful. Puahaha.
Q. You look so good dressing up as a woman. Did you know that you would look this beautiful?
▲. I didn’t even know. I have never thought of cross-dressing so I couldn’t even imagine (how I would look like). But when full make up was put on me, the people around were telling me that I look pretty, and when the photos were released, the reactions were so good. I’m thankful. I’m also pleased to hear that I look pretty for the first time.
Q. I wonder how you feel like now that the first performance is just around the corner.
▲. I feel nervous a lot. I’m trembling. It is to the extent that I even dreamt that as soon as I get on the stage, my mind goes blank like a blank white sheet, I imagined I forgot all of my lines and stood still. Doesn’t that mean I’m nervous enough? But then again, it’s not that there is no work that didn’t turn out to be like that. I’ve heard that there are people who have experienced that in reality. So perhaps I sometimes worrying about some bad imaginations in my mind.
Q. What kind of evaluation do you want the audience to give you?
▲. It would be great if they have the thought of ‘Ah, Yoo Yeon Seok does have this side of him too’. ‘Hedwig’ is a work that has many loyal fans. I think there are many fans who have never missed out on watching every Hedwig previously played by the seniors. This is the first time for Yoo Yeon Seok’s Hedwig so I think I will be satisfied if they are to rate me as ‘fresh’. So in order to achieve that, I will do my best.
Q. When looking at your SNS, seems like there are still many travelling photos were posted. So just like how it was in tvN’s ‘Youth Over Flowers’, does your passion for travelling not changed?
▲. It’s not that I posted many travelling photos but it’s more like I don’t take photos well when I’m living my life in Seoul. When I go on a trip, the atmosphere is fresh, the place is new, and I want to show the captured moments that I took photos of. So that’s how I mainly upload my travelling photos and nowadays if there is gap in between, I’ll leave for travel.
Q. As you get older, does your travelling style change?
▲. During the time of tvN’s ‘Youth Over Flowers’ that I had a transition period on my travelling style. When I was young I was like that. When I go to a country, I must go to all of the famous tourist attractions and it seemed like it would be a big trouble if I’m to miss out even one of them. (Laughs). Nowadays as time goes by, I would look around and eat while feeling at ease. I think I have experienced and learned a lot from my past travels, so now I’m thinking of travelling to organise my thoughts, rest and heal.
Q. When looking at your photo in Maldives on your SNS, I was surprised that the background was so beautiful.
▲. The colours of the sunset, the sea and the sky are all beautiful. Don’t you think the colours in the equator are so strong? It was a place where photos would look so beautiful when captured. During the first day I saw so many couples and newlyweds around that I felt envious but later on I did nothing at all so I thought that it was a very good trip. However, I think it would be better to go there with someone you love. If it’s not for a particular reason, without a doubt it is a place to go with someone you love.
Q. You are one of the actors who did not have boundaries when it comes to appearing on big and small screens as well as musical stage. What are the reasons for musicals being so charming?
▲. It is where you can right away feel the breath of the audience on the spot? That’s the biggest point. Movies and dramas have quite a time lag between filming and until when they can be shown to the public. But that’s not only limited to musicals, as all of the performances that were shown live also give the feeling where I can breathe together with the audience. I think that’s very attractive.
Q. Is there any other roles or genre you would also like to challenge?
▲. I’d like to challenge a classical drama. Last year marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. So there were many (Shakespeare’s) related works. When watching them, I also thought that I want to try doing it once.
Q. Now it’s already the second half of the year 2017. How do you evaluate it when looking back to parts of 2017 that has passed.
▲. I finished a drama in early of the year and spent the first half of 2017 preparing for Hedwig, but I think it is still too early to evaluate it. I think it is best to look back once I’m done with ‘Hedwig’. It’s curtain will fall in November. By then it is already the end of 2017. I think I have a lot of thoughts for this year.
Q. So for the remaining four months of 2017, how would you like to spend them?
▲. I want to enjoy them. I think the audience and the fans will like it more. Rather than living while challenging things complexly and calculatingly, I would like to just enjoy the present moment and do my best in any given situation. I think I’m spending this year with that role and attitude of mine.
@star1 Magazine – September 2017 issue
Editor: Kim Doo Ri
Interview: Kim Doo Ri
Stylist: Ji Kyung Mi
Photographer: Lee Kyung Jin
Behind Photographer: Jung Yoo Jin
Hair: Hana (Culture and Nature)
Makeup: Jumi (Culture and Nature)