Category Archives: Blog

The Story of Bookworm Yoo Yeon Seok

Recently, Yoo Yeon Seok gained attention for his habit of holding and studying the scripts religiously in many different occassions while filming Warm and Cozy. Now you may ask me why those habit made such a big deal. Of course an actor or ac
tress will carry their scripts everywhere during filming. It is just a common sense. Yep, you got it all right. But when it comes to Yoo Yeon Seok, things are just a little different.

He seems to have this habit of carrying his books everywhere. Literally, everywhere. In sunny day or rainy day. He read them all the time. Before bed or in between eating. On the flight or in the restaurant. He study them rather religiously like he is going to have the exam the day after.

You’re not serious right?

Nope, I am pretty serious. Youth Over Flower Laos series is the living documentation of it. Check the still cuts from YOF Laos Eps 1 below or go check the video HERE (start 07.52):

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That’s the story of Yoo Yeon Seok who never put his travel book down. Keeping his travel book near is his travel philosophy. In his own word, “like actors holding the scripts”. He just can’t put down the book or script when he is into it.

When the pictures of him carrying around his ‘Warm and Cozy’ scripts surfaced, I can only look with marvel.  The only thing that came into my mind is that Yoo Yeon Seok, the bookworm, is just being true to himself.

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Oh by the way, he seems to have kept all his past drama and movie scripts. Can you recognize them?

With this, the story of bookworm Yoo Yeon Seok is completed. But expect more pictures of the bookworm in him in the future.

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[YeoNiverse] Competition Winners!

Dear YeoNizens,

It is now the Lunar New Year of the Goat/Sheep, and as promised, we have drawn the winner of the signed DREAM book.

Congratulations Ratna K. Illahi!!! Please email us your mailing address to yooyeonseok.ifc@gmail.com so that we can send you this one-off prize! Thank you for your donation and support!

Also we have a runner up prize for…….

Kimberlyn Trang Cao! Thank you too for your support! Unfortunately there is only one signed copy of DREAM, but we have some other Yoo Yeon Seok goodies to send to you! Please email yooyeonseok.ifc@gmail.com with your mailing address, so that you too can receive your prize!

So YeoNizens remember that if you donate, you can be in the running for random Yoo Yeon Seok goodies, What are you waiting for? 😉

Yoo Yeon Seok & “Blood”: A Case Study

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After what had seemed like 10,000 years, Yoo Yeon Seok is purportedly in talks to star as the lead in an upcoming drama on KBS called “Blood,” a show whose main protagonist is a skilled surgeon, who also happened to be a vampire. I know… the background seems a bit sketchy and begs the question… why the hell did a vampire, with all of his vampiric abilities and no doubt immense wealth from living for so long (thanks Anne Rice!), need to work, first and foremost,  but moreover, why in a profession that ensured that he come in contact with blood on a regular basis?

The answer of course is simple… Because we would have no show otherwise.

In the wake of the news of this new drama from the screenwriter and PD team who did Good Doctor, what really got my attention was the announcement of Yoo Yeon Seok’s possible casting. As everyone who had ever been on my blog knows, my love for Yoo Yeon Seok is enormous, unconditional, everlasting… etc… etc… and to be honest, I would have supported his next small screen project, because it just is what it is. The drama could be a hot mess and I will still watch, just for Yoo Yeon Seok.  Such is the power he has over me, and not just because of his good looks either.

However, I am aware and understand that some people have reacted to this news a little less excitedly than I and my fellow YYS lovers have, citing that he has no experience, no charisma, yada yada yada.  BUT… this post is not written to reiterate what doubts other people have already expressed but to argue, instead, as to why Yoo Yeon Seok should be casted in this role, or any other lead roles in the immediate future.

Stay with me, please. And let me make my argument.

1) Chilbong who?

Before his career changing turn as the sweet lovable Chilbong in Reply 1994, YYS had actually made his career doing roles that have dabbled on the other side. The evil side. His success in his career had been hugely dependent on his antagonist roles in Hwayi, Re-Encounter and of course, Werewolf Boy. The man did not earn the title of most hated for nothing.

Exhibit A:
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Exhibit B:
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The fact that he had been depended on in the past to portray such hateful and heinous characters is not only a testament to his commitment to his craft, but also to the dedication with which he throws himself into these characters.

And then to have the same public turn around and fall in love with him as Chilbong without even realizing that it’s the same person, is a true statement as to how wide his range is as an actor. It is a rare sort of talent for someone to be so hated in one second,  then loved just as much, if not more, the next. This tells me that he would have the versatility to navigate the line between good and evil, and to do so effectively and in a believable way.

Taking on a role like this which is not defined as a straight up good guy would solidify YYS’ integrity as an actor who always chooses character rich scripts and roles that would continue to challenge his acting chops and also others’ perception of him. That he had always been this type of performer has always been part of why we, his fans, love him. In all the years he has been in the industry he had chosen projects that were mostly unknown, preferring the growth he would gain from performing the role as opposed to the certain popularity that would result from it.

2) Them shoulders though.

Exhibit C:
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He can rock suits like no one else can. With his recent CF deals with multiple clothing lines, it’s perhaps difficult to decide which one is the best. But… one look at his Trugen photo shoots had convinced me that this man is incomparable when it comes to suits, and as a surgeon/vampire,  he would have the opportunity to dress in such a sophisticated and suave manner.

Exhibit D:
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Looks wise he has enough delicacy in his features that vampires are supposed to have, and yet his face and body are masculine enough to still project strength and danger. Considering how hard he worked to attain the baseball player physique to play Chilbong, I have no doubt that he would do whatever was necessary to make himself believable in a role.

And let’s be honest, even I can admit that I would appreciate a deviation from his recent fashion disasters. Hopefully the drama stylist has a better aesthetic than his personal one. Not a criticism, but a fact.

Exhibit E:
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3) Those eyes.

No one does conflicted like YYS. His eyes speak of so much emotion, even when he’s not speaking. Chilbong was only meant to be a secondary character on Reply 1994, and yet the shipping wars that ensued indicated that he was not seen as such by at least half the viewing population. That in itself states very definitively that he did a better job than what was expected of him. What might have been a simple role was transformed into a character that people fell in love with, people wanted to get to know, and people hurt with… Despite his character being shipped off to Japan, despite the plot contrivances, and despite the character assasinations.

Exhibit F:
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Exhibit G:
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4) The charm factor.

Anyone who has seen YYS in YOF or any of the other BTS from anything he has ever done knows that this man has enough charm to sell ice to an eskimo. Did you know that the sale of sanitary pads shot up when he did the promotion with GoodFeel? That the tickets to his first ever fan meet sold out within minutes of them going on sale?

Whether people like it or not, the fact remains that YYS has a huge domestic and international fanbase, and he is marketable. He has done ads for everything, from facial cleansers to sanitary pads, to green tea drinks and clothing. And his fandom follows where he goes, myself included.

At best, those same fans will follow him to KBS, should he choose to do this project. At worst, his fans will form a group of small, but loyal, following, and with some degree of luck, the show can become a sleeper hit, the likes of which had only been seen in cable networks in the recent years.

Exhibit H:
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Exhibit I:
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5) Money matters.

Though he became popular from Reply 1994, YYS is still fairly an unknown in the drama watching universe. And though most people who have watched him love him, his work on the small screen is still fairly limited when compared to other actors in the same age range.

Right now, before he really breaks out, is the time for a major broadcast network to sign him to a project before he becomes unaffordable. Whether we like it or not there is an exodus of K-actors to the film industry… credible, serious actors. When was the last time Won Bin or Lee Jung Jae was in a drama? Hwang Jung Min? It even took Jeon Ji Hyun more than a decade to come back to the small screen.

There seems to be a well-known but unspoken belief that actors don’t gain their legitimacy until they are able to break through Chungmuro, a scene YYS has been more familiar and more prolific in since his Oldboy days. If we were to base his career projection on statements he had made in the past, we could assume that YYS always had his eyes on the bigger picture (pun completely intended).

Should his career take off in that direction before he gains any kind of measurable fame in Korean dramas, I have no doubt that he will use all of his energy in ensuring that his film career becomes successful. Which is sad for us, and even sadder for the networks. To put it bluntly, they should get him while he’s cheap. This seems like an almost obvious point, but it is worth reiterating.

6) He deserves it.

YYS has put a lot in his career. A lot. He has endured anonymity and years without recognition. I think the remembrance of this keeps him grounded and makes him more appreciative of all the good things that have come his way recently.

All of his co-stars have nothing but good things to say about him. He’s humble, persistent, hardworking and just an all around good guy. To this day he has kept in close contact with his friends in university, surrounding himself with people who knew him before he was a well known name. The entertainment industry is fickle, as are most fans, but luckily for YYS, most of the people that support him support him as himself and not as whatever role he plays.

Exhibit J:
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Exhibit K:
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Exhibit L:
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Exhibit M:
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Any news of casting in the Kdrama world brings opinions ranging from enthusiasm to disappointment. From this fan girl’s perspective, there is no one who needs to go back to the small screen other than Yoo Yeon Seok. As always, he just needs the chance. But whether or not he decides to make “Blood” his next project, one thing is for sure, and that is that whatever project it is, we can expect him to do the best he can, as he had always done, as he always does, and as he always will.

(Credit to original posters of photos. )

A call to arms for all YeoNizens

Guys we need your help to continue growing and developing our international fan club – YeoNiverse.
As you may or may not know, our star – Yoo Yeon Seok, has many events and movies coming up. So, in order for our small but growing international fan club to maintain its presence, and to avoid missing out again, we thought we’d try to continually fundraise throughout the year.

We were thinking that if we constantly leave an option for all our wonderful fellow YeoNizens to donate throughout the year, we could have an available bank of money we could use to fund rice wreaths +/- food/drink carts with a minimum of fuss.

We wish to be able to send a rice wreath to every official event that takes place from now on. We will have a link to our PayPal account in our WordPress account, and we will send gentle reminders through our social media accounts.

With the funds that you all have kindly donated previously, we used them to fund the Chilbongie book project – which consisted of the amazing book, CD, as well as birthday gifts for Yoo Yeon Seok. We also contributed in Yoo Yeon Seok’s name via the YeonLiJi Official fan café, to the families of the Sewol ferry disaster victims. Most recently, we arranged a rice wreath at Yoo Yeon Seok’s 1st Story Fan Meeting.

(This is a picture of the rice wreath that we organised and sent for Yoo Yeon Seok’s Fan Meeting in July)

YeoNiverse rice wreath

Please rest assured that we will be completely transparent in how we use the funds kindly donated by all our fellow YeoNizens, and please feel free to ask us more questions if you need to. Your suggestions on how you think we could use the donated money to best support Yoo Yeon Seok are very much welcome.

We hope for your ongoing support.^^ Click on the paypal button below.

Because of you…

Dear Yoo Yeon Seok sshi,

I’ve had many firsts because of you. Although some may not be a strictly First first, but the variations of it made it a unique first. Let me share with you how you changed my history of fangirling.

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    • Yours may not be the first fanmeeting I’ve attended, but it’s the first time I’ve attended an actor’s FIRST fanmeeting. Which gives goodie bags AND it comes with a huge poster. I mean, it’s awesome!
    • I really, really appreciate it, because YOU gave me the chance to take photo with you! My first photo with a Korean actor!

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  • I actively seek out your endorsement shots/photoshoots in magazines or in supermarkets when I was in Korea.
  • I joined a fan club, for the first time. And meet up with other fan girls. For the first time.
  • I joined your Korean fan club too, even though my Korean is half-baked. You made me learn how to type complete sentences in Hangul because I want to interact with your other fans.
  • You totally set the benchmark for my views on guys. And that, radically changes my life =)

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My donggap chinggu yah, all the best for your future endeavors, and please remember that you have a donggap fan from Singapore, okay?

Open Letter to Yoo Yeon Seok

Dear Yoo Yeon Seok,

Thanks to you, I went and bought myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 as well as 3 extra cleansing heads. This was bought despite me already having a similar product in the Olay Pro X.

This is what you have done to me. So you need to take responsibility for this behaviour. Because of you, I spend most of my free time translating articles or interviews about you, and searching for more tid-bits of information that I can share with the YeoNizen community.I’ve also learned how to use WordPress and help run a fansite!!!!

For someone who had absolutely no interest at all in baseball, I went to the opening of the Major League baseball series in Sydney. Tickets were not cheap either as I bought the platinum tickets, so as to fully immerse myself in the baseball experience, and get to see the pitcher as close as possible.

Hmmmmm, what else have you persuaded me to buy with your expressive eyes? Remember those feminine hygiene products from 좋은니낌 GOODFEEL you’ve been advertising? Yeah? Well guess what? I went and bought some just because you endorsed it. I never thought I’d see the day in which I would let a MAN persuade me to buy sanitary pads!!!

and guess what? I went and purchased the rabbit- “느낌이” that you confide into in the CF. I’m waiting for him to come, so I can also tell him all my woes. LOL

Kakaotalk stickers- yup, bought them and use them when I KKT my friends

DVD’s? Yes I’ve got those too.

  • Gu Family Book?- CHECK!
  • Late Night Hospital?- CHECK!
  • Dream?- CHECK!
  • Horror Stories?- CHECK!

Remember in <Reply 1994> how in the 2013 scenes you had a Samsung Galaxy phone? Yeah well when it came time to upgrade my phone, despite being a Apple iPhone user of many years, guess what I bought? A Samsung Galaxy Note 3!

And you can betcha bottom dollar, that I will be keeping my beady eye out for the Median toothpaste that you endorse.

What next? Will I soon find myself buying mens clothing from Trugen or Andew that I being female, do not need? Or perhaps some Arnold Palmer golf wear? Maybe the most expensive of all- a Leica camera???

You need to stop being so marketable and adorable. Stop swaying me with your cute smile and your sexiness. Stop being such a wonderful human being.

BTW I’m kidding about you stopping being yourself. Puh-lease stay as you are, if not better (if that’s possible), however something needs to be done about you persuading me to spend money on things somehow related to you, by the virtue of the persuasive energy that you give off that somehow transmits across oceans.

With lots of love and a rapidly emptying bank account,

lunagal.