Filming a drama and promoting a movie, you’ve been really busy lately haven’t you?
Yes. Earlier today there was the filming of the “Section TV” interview in Kangwondo so I rush over immediately.
In an earlier interview, you mentioned that you cannot multitask but recently you’ve been juggling 2 or more projects at the same time. Are you able to adapt to this ?
Right now it seems like it’s second nature. It’s still tough but I’ve getting used to it. When I’m doing something else, I keep thinking to myself “I need to hurry read my script” (laughs) I still need to manage my time well.
I first saw you in the musical Spring Awakening.
Ah, really? (Short pause) You saw my butt~~ Hahah~ (there was a scene that required Joo Won to bare his butt)
Haha, yes, I am one of those women who has seen your butt. it was 2009. I remember that you were a bit round and chubby at that time.
I’m much thinner now; I lost about 20kg. I purposely put on weight for that role. The producer wanted my character to be a bit chubby so every night, I ate hamburgers and bread. i was very happy eating then (laughs). After the musical ended, I started to diet.
Isn’t it tough to be on a diet?
There is a secret to dieting. When I first started, it was difficult but it’s much easier right now.
Honestly, we were worried about your character in Spring Awakening. Kim Mu Yeol was originally acting as your character and he was outstanding. We were thinking if the new actor could deliver the same standard of performance.
There was certainly such a thinking back then. Not only me, but many others would think this way too. It was totally crazy then. Throughout the entire year, I read the script twice everyday. I would read once before going to the theater and then read it again after the performance ended. Actually, this is also a problem because you end up getting too restricted by the script. But at that point in time, I didn’t want to audience for be disappointed. There was a huge burden in take over the baton from Mu Yeol hyung.
When Kim Mu Yeol had to leave due to personal reasons, you officially took over the character after being an understudy for so long. So actually, you didn’t have the opportunity to show your talent at first.
although I couldn’t perform when Mu Yeol hyung was acting, but out of the 100 performances My Yeol hyung gave, I watched more than 80. Aside from the times were I had to go and sit for my exams and other unavoidable situations, I always went to watch the performance. Everytime Mu Yeol hyung saw me, he would always say to me “Why do you come so diligently?” (Laughs)
What were you feeling then? Was it your sincerity towards performing or competitiveness, wanting to become better?
The stage is ust too appealing. Not just Mu Yeol hyung, but every actor standing on stage was very handsome and I really wanted to stand up on the stage with them. Also, i really liked the script and because of this, my ambition grew.
Did you feel that you didn’t disappoint and you did well?
No. There were many disappointments because I was lacking but i do not regret it. I poured my heart and soul into it and that project made me who I am today. [With all the racy scenes dear Joo Wonie? ]
As I watch you in Spring Awakening, I thought to myself “Ah, this actor will be great in the future” but I never thought that it would be so quick. In a short span of 2 years, you’ve filmed a movie and a drama. Do you feel that everything has occurred at lighting speed?
Yes I do feel it. Everything is just so fast. I keeping thinking to myself that I must be very lucky. But I keep preparing myself, telling myself that right now, the viewership for the drama is very good and the movie is also doing well but come one day, the drama I act in will no longer be popular and you may not see me in movies anymore. For my own good, I have to prepare myself for that eventuality.
Are you the very conscientious type, thinking that as long as you work hard, you can achieve your goals?
I believe it is possible. On the day Special Investigation Unit premiered, my name appeared on the big screen. I thought to myself “I started acting from high school onwards and I’ve done well to be where I am now. Perseverance is a good thing.” I felt fulfilled. Starting from high school, I gave up all my holidays just to practice my acting. “If I persevere, things be good one day right?” I held this hope and so now, I think that there isn’t anything that cannot be done as long as you keep persevering.
Perhaps. Did you go through a rebellious stage when you were growing up?
Totally did not. I’ve never stayed away from home. A lot of people will say that being obedient to your parents means you are a “mama’s boy” but I really do not think this way. To me, this is being filial. Also, parents are never wrong. If you have to say that I was rebellious, then the only occasion would be when I told my parents that I wanted to attend an Arts high school. My parents were very shocked then but I understand. Parents are all the same, they want their child to just have a normal live, nothing tough, a stable job is good enough. When I said I wanted to attend an Arts high school, my parents said “we’ll ahve to think about this”. They were hesitating but I told them “I can live on ramen alone” and convinced them (laughs) [No darling, you CANNOT live on ramen alone. 1n2d has proven that lol]
Some people say that to be able to improve on your acting skills, you can get more experience if you live capriciously. you must have heard this especially from the sunbaes. Weren’t you curious? Did you think this way?
I also want to but it’s just not possible. I don’t drink. If I drink, I sleep. I become very quiet and even if I drink, I won’t get into trouble. I also don’t want this to affect my job. As a male actor, If I want to gain more experience, I will choose to travel alone. The type that drinks and sleeps by the roadside? Sometimes when I see them I feel like trying it too but in reality I can’t. You will catch a cold! (laughs) I’m a very sensitive and light sleeper so I probably can’t sleep by the roadside. [Lol Joo Won is so sensible!]
You are a very sensitive sleeper? How sensitive are you?
Even if there is just a bit of sound, I will wake up. Or if I smell something, I will also wake up. Even if it’s just a mosquito, I will not be able to sleep. that’s why when I sleep, I will switch everything off and I will put my phone on silent mode.
(laughs) So aside from sleeping, what other things are you sensitive about?
Many things, but I won’t show it. I’ll keep it in my heart. Recently, I’ve become very sensitive because of acting. Ah! I’m also very sensitive when I am disliked by others!
What are you talking about! Actors that even the promotional staff like are very rare!
It’s everyone’s nature to want to be liked. It’s especially serious for me becasue I alwasy want to be loved. I also give a lot to other so I really don’t like people who can’t return my love (laughs) [LOL!] That said, I don’t give just because I want to receive. It’s just that I’m really sensitive about this.
When you were acting as Gu Ma Jun in Baker King, you must have felt really bad right? the love you wanted from your own father was given to Tak Gu instead.
That’s right!! Hahaha. At that time, really, I cried from the heart. I really couldn’t understand why~~Tak Gu that kid appeared so suddenly and my father said he liked that kid! Although this helped me get into character, I felt really lonely then.
In Special Investigation Unit, you acted as a FBI criminal psychologist Kim Ho yong. No matter how I watched it, Kim ho Yong was the most outstanding character in the whole show but character wise, he’s hard to grasp. If not done well, he will appear as a very crude person.
That’s correct. It was very difficult to properly grasp this character and so I put in a lot of hard work. Ho Yong is a very stubborn person. He doesn’t express his feelings much. Even when he’s angry, he doesn’t shout, even when he’s upset, he doesn’t cry. I keep thinking about what ho Yong was thinking and what he wanted and it was not east for me to show these to the audience. The toughest part was when the script itself didn’t allow much expressions for the character.
Did the restrictions mean anything to you?
I’m the type that wants to learn about everything but I can’t do a lot of things. I had to put in a lot of effort to create an image for Ho yong.
The more effort you put in, the greater the expectations. When you first saw the movie, did you feel as satisfied as expected?
I felt it was a pity. Not because of the movie itself but because of me. I guess I haven’t set my sights far enough. When I first saw my name appear on the big screen, I wan happy, but only for that moment. I felt that my acting was not up to scratch and it was such a pity. “Why didn’t I think of this then?” I kept having these thoughts. Although I’ve already done my best and there are no regrets, but because I’m a very ambitious person, it’s inevitable that I would feel that it was a pity.
Eng trans: “mojobobo”
Credits for Chinese translation to Baidu.
English source: Gaksital’s Facebook