In the upcoming movie [Love, Lies] that will be released soon you played the role of Kim Yun Woo who is a composer. You also played the piano by yourself in the movie.
I could play the piano but I cannot play with a score nor play it brilliantly. I practice it two to three months before the movie filming. Because at that time the drama [Warm and Cozy] was filmed in Jeju, I played the keyboard that I bought in Seoul during breaks. I didn’t want to use a double/understudy
The background of the movie was in the 1940’s, there’s a scene where Yun Woo plays ‘Arirang’ in front of the Japanese army. I could not imagine what Yun Woo was feeling, unless I played the piano myself. I did not want to simply imitate the performance; I wanted to do the real acting.
Every time you film a new character in your work, there’s an eagerness for a new persona. How is [Love, Lies]’s Yun Woo different as a role?
First of all his occupation as a composer in itself is interesting. A creative composer like Yun Woo is a very bright and a free spirited soul. He is also an instinctive person. Unlike how I showed only clean cut looks in my previous works, this time I let myself go by growing beards for the first time.
Do actors always need to transform into a new persona every time?
They don’t need to stick to just one, but they don’t have to transform either. However, I’m just trying out various characters as I am in the process of figuring out who actor Yoo Yeon Seok is. I still want to look for the ‘Actor Yoo Yeon Seok’ a little more although I may settle on one character some day.
You said the reason for performing in the musical [The Man Who Walked Through Walls] was to feel the emotions you had when you were in school and performing plays on the stage. Why a musical, not a play?
Because I have never done it!(Laughs) I have performed in plays and music plays, but never performed in musicals. So I always have this longing to try acting in a musical. I would like try another musical sometime in the future, but I cannot see myself doing it straight after [The Man Who Walked Through Walls].
While performing in the musical, the music director and other performers said that I was expressive and good at conveying emotions. That’s probably why I like performing in musicals with dramatic stories, as I can focus more on acting and the character than showing my singing abilities.
When you choose something, do you rule out the things you’ve ‘already done’?
It’s not necessarily like that. But my interests tend to change quickly. Having a variety of experiences is good for an actor. It’s good to be good at one thing, but doesn’t one need to experience a variety of things when they are young?
But I’m not bragging or pretending that ‘I know everything because I’ve done it’. Nowadays I came across thinking that I should maybe select and focus on some activities from whole lot of things that I like to do.
Besides the musical, you made a surprising choice of appearing on a children music show [WEKID]
When the production crew were liaising with me, they described the purpose of the broadcast show as “there are not many songs for children to sing to nowadays, so we want to find and give them songs to sing to”. As I’m a kind of person who loves children and has a lot of interests in music I was thinking that I would be that person who can treat children with full-heart and sincerity.
I did not want to refrain from participating in that kind of program. I felt like I should not calculate the interests of whether appearing in the program would be beneficial or be helpful to my acting career.
In the broadcast you cry every time you hear the children sing which lead to you being called ‘Crybaby Teacher’.
When the children sing without any technique, and sing so purely and cleanly, my heart is healed. When listening to their songs I sometimes wonder ‘whether I am being too greedy in my life’, and sometimes have this guilty thought of ‘am I being too impure to listen to this clear sound’. In addition to that, I seem to feel nostalgic for my childhood too. With these complex feelings altogether, I unknowingly welled up with tears (laughs).
This year you only have two movies released. You’re one of the actors who keep on working without breaks. Maybe you’re the type of person who can’t just relax?
Maybe that’s who I am (laughs). When I receive suggestions for a role, I become more passionate. So I think that’s why I work as hard as my energy allows [s]. I am too eager to stay still. This year, I am planning to relax more. But I am not sure if I can do that (laughs).
Although you work so hard, it seems as if you’re indifferent about the box office hit or high ratings.
Of course it would be nice if the movie makes a box office hit! (laughs) Actually I wasn’t obsessed that much with the box office hits until now. I just did a work if I like the work itself or the character. Yet now, I think I’ve got to be smarter when choosing a work. Of course I cannot foresee like a crystal ball what ‘will be a hit’ and ‘will not be a hit’.
Because of my personality though, I don’t think I will make my decision on works by only focusing on the commercial success. It means that I would keep the way I’ve been dealing it, but keep the commercial success in mind.
You always look serious.
It’s only because during the interview, there are so many thoughts across my mind and I also tend to use refined language. In front of my close friends, I’m the type of person who sometimes jokes around with such playful spirit.
You likes wine so much that you established a bar, so you’re quite an alcohol lover. Usually those who love drinking are also foodie kind of person.
Right. I also love to eat. I often cook at home when there is something I want to eat, but not lately. I am busy, but I also consciously do nothing at home. Sometimes I sleep the whole day, sometimes I stay awake the whole day. I’ll try to be more free than now.
While you’re being an actor in pursuit of transformations, there is no action project in your filmography.
Yeah (laughs). I had once performed an action scenes pretty well before… I don’t know since when but I happen to be cast in strong melodramatic works these days. I wish I can perform more action scenes when I’m young enough and my body is still flexible enough…(laughs).
Do you have any specific reasons to be doing Masters in Films Art major?
I’ve yet to complete writing the thesis. It is not good to write in a rush. I wanted to learn more about movies theoretically. More than anything, I like the refresh(ing)’ feeling when going to school.
It is a good stimulant, being together with students who aspire to become actors/actresses. I sometimes give advice to such juniors. I often realise that there is a considerable gap between doing and teaching acting.
Is there any new hobby in other area of interest that you wish to try?
I’m thinking of learning surfing when the weather gets warmer. I have a scuba diving certificate but I have never learn how to surf properly. People in our country surf a lot. Going to Gangwon-do to surf during the day and having a drink while camping during the night. Sound like a lot of fun!
Just a while ago you said you should select and focus on only some from whole lot of your hobbies!
(laughing without words)
It seems like you have no time to be bored in all four seasons.
There is a season that excites me and make me not feel lethargic. It’s spring. I hope the weather gets warmer fast. So I can go and surf in Gangwon-do (laughs).
Full interview from : Singles Magazine Navercast ;
Gifs are from Singles Magazine Photoshoot behind the scene video: