‘THINGS YOO YEON SEOK LOVED’. (Editor : Ahn Sang Ho. Photographer : Lim Han Soo)
Yoo Yeon Seok walked on the streets alone, where Seattle youths gathered up. This romantic actor seemed to be bewildered during his time alone. The bitter taste of youth came up even in the beauty of brilliant sunlight. But soon after he eventually came back to his own self.
It was quite an early morning for a tourist. It was in the afternoon of the day before when he arrived in Seattle. Yoo Yeon Seok walked into Pike Place Market, Seattle’s famous tourist attraction that was filled with the crowd. He said this was his first time visiting Seattle. “I’m really looking forward to know what kind of place this is”. Travelling has an inevitable excitement with it. The voices of the vendors settling deals could be heard. He looked around with a look full of curiosity.
Pike Place Market is the place where the movie [Late Autumn] was filmed. Even while being in solitary, Seattle in July didn’t have that lonely feeling. However in this photo-shoot, Yoo Yeon Seok was supposed to act as a man of solitude, like Hoon after meeting Anna in [Late Autumn]. It was not a deep autumn but rather, he was a man in an early autumn’s atmosphere.
Even though in America, Asian fans recognised him but they didn’t dare to come closer nor fuss over him. Then a white mother and daughter walked to talk with Yoo Yeon Seok. They like Korean dramas and are local fans of his. The mother and daughter said they would like to take a photo with him. With a mixture of surprised and delighted look, Yoo Yeon Seok talked with the mother and daughter, shared a few words and granted their request. This (kind of happening) continued on throughout the schedule.
Yoo Yeon Seok is a young man who is much more serious and honest, yet more gentle than we thought. He went around here and there while experiencing and enjoying all variety of local food rather than staying in one place. He doesn’t really talk much in usual situations; however as he let his guard(that an actor instinctively earns) down, he would approach people without hiding himself. This kind of image is what Yoo Yeon Seok has as his natural self.
Because of the role of Chilbongie in [Reply 1994], it tends to make his image firmer as an introvert to the public. But if you watch the movies that he starred in after [Reply 1994], you will realise that it was a stereotype.
He tend to take on different kind of characters and has shown solid acting – in [Whistle-blower] he played the role of Shim Min Ho, a fearful yet conscientious whistle-blower, while in [Secret Temptation] he played the role of a meticulous, cold-hearted yet ambitious Sung Yeol, and in [The Royal Tailor] he played the role of an insane, discontented and filled with hatred King.
In [Love, Lies] that was released this year, he played the role of a free spirited, frank and resentful top composer. In addition, he has starred in several other movies and dramas. He has been immersed in quite a lot of works as an actor.
“Uhm, I cannot be at ease during free times. I cannot sit still therefore I must keep having something to do. There’s a pleasure in experiencing new things that I haven’t done before and getting to know things I didn’t know. Work is like that and travel is the same as well. For a certain time I thought about how I look like as an actor, taking roles like this and that. It was sort of a question. And this is still ongoing even now.”
Such diligence and sincerity from Yoo Yeon Seok were revealed to remain intact during the trip. From early morning until the sun sets in the evening, he walked around here and there in Seattle. His manager Choo Yeon Jin, threw a joke to the team leader “That’s the way he is. He is very diligent and too sincere for no reason.”
During his interviews to promote [Love, Lies], I remembered his words in a program’s interview. “I’m a serious actor.” Trying to make the funny atmosphere several times, it was eventually swept by his seriousness. Such diligence and seriousness always led to a longing to venture on new challenges in unfamiliar things. And during his free time apart from work, he enjoys travelling from one country to another learning different cultural aspects and tasting local foods.
“Uhm… this food contains garlic. It leaves simple and refreshing aftertaste.” I cannot forget the sparkles in his eyes when he was looking at the food that were never seen before or new food. His taste as a gourmet may have come from his much experience. He often talked about good combinations of wine, beer, or whiskey with certain dishes and enjoyed the flavor that a dish itself had.
In fact, he has been operating a rooftop lounge-bar called Lua Lounge in Itaewon. He decided on the wine-list and worked on the interior design by himself. The Port Wine that he tasted in Portugal was not sold within the country so he personally brought it to introduce the wine to others. He actually started to operate the bar because he wanted to create a place where he can spend a good time with the people he likes. Happy to see the wine which was the first item he imported at the Seattle’s restaurant, he took pictures of it.
“I really love this wine. Since I had a taste of it for the first time, I yearned for importing it to Korea. But it was a hard work because everything in the process was what I had never done before. Seeing this Port Wine in Seattle really makes me happy.”
He looked like an experienced store owner when comparing the local price of one glass of port in Seattle and the price with which he sells in his shop. (The one in a restaurant in Seattle costed about 2 dollars more, which was satisfying to him).
“I supposed that’s what we called as travelling. Seeing and meeting many people in an unfamiliar place, eating the delicious local food while gradually discovering new information, I guess that’s one component and charm of travelling. And a lot of unexpected things happen during travels. I get stimulated by those freshness.”
While watching several scenes of tvN variety show program [Youth Over Flowers] Laos it is possible enough to expect it. It’s about deciding what to do on their own while spending time together with Son Ho Jun and Baro.
I guess because Yoo Yeon Seok likes travelling, besides food and wine, there are a few other things he likes in addition to it. He has affection for the Leica M series camera he always carry around as well as cars. He is pretty earnest with his photography hobby. He did not miss a moment to take photos and his photos have sensibility feelings. Not only that he is good in using professional programs, he is also good in modifying (the cameras). He recited the program tools and terms skillfully. He also held a photo exhibition with Leica.
He rides a Land Rover Defender, which is not officially imported into Korea. Like the Port Wine import procedure, he did the car’s import procedure on his own as well. The rare car is all white in colour.
“I like the sensibility that Defender has. I can always go off somewhere, wherever I want. But I seem to get photographed a lot, since this car is uncommon in this country. I get photographed right along with the car, too.” (Laughs). He purchased the internal interior goods such as the handle from the UK to replace by himself.
“I like old things. I think it still retains its original sensibility after a long time. I like that kind of value”. He likes people and thinks deeply over the value of things, so I look forward to various aspects that the young actor will present.
Despite waking up early and having a tiring schedule that was led until late in the day, Yoo Yeon Seok sent off the staffs before leaving.He did not turn away until the departed car is out of sight. I could not help but to smile widely and wave hands like Yoo Yeon Seok.
It was a few days after I returned from my trip. A photo was sent via message. It was the editor’s photo Yoo Yeon Seok took himself on the day the pictorial was taken. Yoo Yeon Seok is this kind of person.
Source : MUINE via Tapzin app