[HIGH CUT Vol.106 Interview] Yoo Ah In: “I’m a candid & honest person in good faith”

AINyeong SIKseekers! Finally we’re back with a veryy loong interview with Yoo Ah In on High Cut Vol 106, July 2013. Hope you’re still expecting it! 😀  Before, we’ve posted the High Cut official pictorials HERE and the High Cut Pictorial i-tunes version HERE.

Since we have extra time now that Master Sik is on the break, here we add 2 hot videos from High Cut photoshoot & iPad version. Check the SEXsi SIK out~


Yoo Ah In – HIGH CUT VOL.106 (유아인 화보 촬영) Catalog Shooting

oooh supah hawt!

Yoo Ah In – High Cut Vol.106 iPad 유아인 하이컷 106호 Slideshow

And as promised, here’s the [very long and articulate] interview of Yoo Ah In in High Cut Vol.106 with pictures from BTS photoshoot. Enjoy!



The courtiers always got tense. King Sukjong, enthroned at the age of only 14, wouldn’t listen to the opinions of old and sly courtiers. Lee Han-woo, author of  ‘King Sukjong reigns as the absolute ruler of Joseon Dynasty’, calls the King an ‘absolute monarch’ and an ‘incarnations of decisiveness’.

Young, intelligent, and highly unpredictable with his fiery temper, the King pushed forward by going his own way according to his beliefs. He did not care much about what others said. In this sense, our cover boy seems to resemble him. Here, Yoo Ah In, who just wrapped up SBS’s ‘Jang Ok Jung’, shares his story.


TV series ‘Jang Ok Jung’ finally ended 3 months after the first episode on air. You must have lots of things to tell.

I thought I had something to say when it’s over, but now nothing to mention in particular as time went by. I don’t feel I really need to explain myself on some pretext or other. I don’t want to exaggerate the fact that it’s a great achievement. It sounds like an excuse to comment on the works that wasn’t a mega hit and didn’t produce satisfactory results. ‘Fashion King’ was the same case.


Compared to ‘Fashion King’, the story of which is considered to have gone in the wrong direction,  ‘Jang Ok Jung’ is likely to be on the right track, isn’t it?

‘Jang Ok Jung’ went in the wrong direction too (laugh)! As a matter of fact, countless TV series end up being on the wrong track. Well, rather than being on the wrong track, I would say they actually wander from the original plot because pre-productions are very rare and the storylines are influenced by the comments of viewers and critics. Only the overall framework remains from the initial intentions. Of course, there are some works unaffected to the end as originally intended by the director and the writer; a considerable number of works are not. This is not surprising. It could be a great merit in Korean dramas on the other hand.



Were you anxious to know what viewers think about ‘Jang Ok Jung’?

Well, it may be limited to just my last work, but I think viewer’s likes and dislikes are quite clear due to their flexibility of interpretation or their background knowledge. Some criticize it for a ‘distortion of history’ if there is any slightest difference from what they used to know while others try to understand it saying “We are not reading a history textbook!”

Let’s take China as an example. They do a lot of dramas and movies about Qin Shi Huang. They distort their own history countless times. Most of them tend to heroize him for sure (laugh). I want you to see our historical dramas in that way. Whether the reinterpretation works or not, it depends on how entertaining and attractive it is. This is why my last work is considered a failure. I tweeted some controversial remarks on this, but I still don’t know what the real facts are.

Even though the “Annals of Joseon Dynasty’ is true record which is meant to be more objective archives than those of any other national institutions and to be written without political pressure and intervention, its texts were actually edited by humans after all. And there can be room for reinterpretation, right? My tweets might be provocative, but as you all know, I like to provoke whether I get the credit, blame or whatsoever.

(Yoo Ah In left comments on Twitter at the end of June just after ‘Jang Ok Jung’ ended. He wrote: “Fabricating facts in front of everyone, denying what really happened the day before, and keeping records in Chinese written by snobby intellectuals without people knowing about it. That is history, isn’t it? Brainwashed by historical dramas, not by cognitive filtering, we learn history from those things. It can differ with the circumstances. At one time or another, let’s have a different take on its value.” Some criticized him for undermining the values of ‘Annals of Joseon Dynasty’.)


Are you carefully reading articles or comments on your work on yourself?

I attentively read whether they are about me or others. It is another type of communication channel representing the public’s interests and views of the majority. I like to see those responses and want to exert a favorable influence on them. At times, some netizens circulate malicious gossips. I feel pity for them on one hand, and I want them to be severely punished on the other hand. As recent cases of Suzy and Song Hye Kyo have shown, I entirely agree on how Suzy reacts. I think all entertainers need to show their strong will in such a way because when one mere entertainer calls for a strict action, she or he seems to be blamed of drawing people’s attention, though.

(Suzy of MissA filed a legal action against the netizens for altering her photos and uploading them on the internet. Song Hye-kyo also sued some netizens for spreading vicious rumors about herself)



You probably know that ‘How to leave a comment like Yoo Ah In’ is circulating on Twitter. What do you think about it?

(As for my writing on twitter), I hope people have a good opinion of it and they really like it (laugh). I know my style of expression is quite emotional in an excited and fierce tone, so I can put up with those reprimands because they are addressed to me. I also know they talk about me, saying “He pretends to be smart, why does he pretend to be a good writer, or be a good actor?”

When we chat and exchange a few words on the Web, it’s not just for giving dry information. I have been writing for quite a long time and I like to twist things. This is how I live. No matter what happens or how bad it seems, I will turn them into positives with all my abilities and make them part of my life for good.


You made a promise to show us some random dance moves if the audience ratings ‘Jang Ok Jung’ reached 30%, but in fact, the ratings were unexpectedly low. One of the reasons could be your worthless promise. What the hell is that at this time? Even free hug on the streets of Myeong-dong wouldn’t be enough!

It’s because my random dance isn’t fresh to them at all. It’s time to stop making promises.



You are the 9th and youngest actor of all time who played King Sukjong in both big and small screens. Actually, the King succeeded to the throne at a young age of 14, but he had complete control of courtiers who were about the same age as his grandfather. With these scenes in mind, the director seemed to cast you as King Sukjong because you are a 20-something male actor.

To put it plainly, he wanted to cause a sensation with an older woman-younger man couple. But I really had fun playing the King. It was tough though. This is one of major reasons for me to choose ‘Jang Ok Jung’. Before, I think I used to push people away and confront them when I worked as an actor. I did so when I tweeted as well. I did so at the time of  ‘Fashion King’ too! But, this time, things were different. I was like “I want to show people what they want to see. I want to be closer to them because I want to be loved.” And that’s my ultimate goal in life.

I can do buttery roles and I can read those melodramatic lines. I’d like to test myself through this challenging role in ‘Jang Ok Jung’. I would say I’ve never ever taken a safe and easy option.


To be frank with you, when you chose ‘Kangchuli’, I thought it could remind us of your previous work ‘Wandeugi’

I had the same feeling at first. I said, “I won’t do the characters that appear to be similar!” When I got that script, I didn’t even open a first page for months just at the sight of its title. Then, someone told me, “I heard you got that script. It’s a really good script!” So I scanned it. The story touched my heart deeply. I would say it’s the first work that I chose with purest intention. I didn’t take into consideration “how much money I can earn, how many commercials I can make, and what kind of images I can build up”. Going back to being myself as an actor and human being, “I wanted to show my mother this movie.”

When I had a meeting with the director, I was moved to tears just on hearing the word Mom. I was ashamed of myself for having put that script aside by reason of its title and similarity to ‘Wandeugi’. I wouldn’t deserve to be an actor. I realized I was a real turd and hopeless asshole.  is definitely one of the least ‘hopeless’ choices that I could ever make.

 (‘Kangchuli’ is directed by Ahn Kwon-tae who made ‘Eye For An Eye’ and ‘My Brother’. Wrapped last March, the movie is slated for release in the second half of this year. It is about a young man, named Kangchul, who struggles to get money for her mother’s hospital bills and become involved with gangsters.)



Being able to choose what you want to do and being able not to choose what you don’t want to do are different. In the moment of choice as an actor, do you feel you have reached such top-star status?

These days, yes. It is not common that actors choose their works because they really liked all the aspects. In terms of my current status, rhythms and experiences, I choose what is considered the best option among those offered to me. In the past, I did choose whatsoever in urgent need of money. However, these days I am being offered some parts that I’ve really wanted to play for years. Now is a very important time to ponder over my next step. Even if I get some rest, I don’t feel relaxed. I’m worrying about maintaining my rhythms. I have feeling that I should push forward with 2 or 3 more works from now.

Actually, I used to do one work every one or two years. This is the 10th year in my acting career, and my filmography lists only 11 works, I guess. I wasn’t a prolific actor. But now I’d like to do many works and hopefully be a prolific artist.



Speculations are mounting that you are likely to be cast for a role that was originally assigned to another actor. Can you tell us what’s going on?

Well, I don’t want to take that part. It’s obvious that I was a plan-B option. As you expect, I am offered all the roles that are also offered to the other two actors. A certain role is first offered to the one or another. I wish to be a plan-A option every time. Actors can’t help being selfish and childish. Apparently, I haven’t always been a plan-A option so far. Well, I won’t take that part anyway. If I were out of work, I would take it with due “gratitude”. But, if I am offered for a role in a film whether small-scaled or attended with danger, I am willing to devote my whole energy into that role as long as I am their first option.

(3 actors mentioned above are Song Joong Ki of  ‘Innocent Man’ and ‘Werewolf Boy’, Kim Soo Hyun of ‘The Moon That Embraces the Sun’ and ‘Secretly and Greatly’, and Yoo Ah In)


You just mentioned 3 actors. Do you always care about them?

They all say they “do not care” at all (laugh). It’s because we pursue different goals and we have different colors. Well, it is true that we are different but I do care. Why not care? It’s perfectly normal to have a desire to be number one, the best actor. I do care about them. As they say we are different and each of us has our own color. I think we need to keep this group made up of young people and promising actors!

At the time of ‘Wandeugi’, I once revealed my true feelings to senior actor Kim Yoon Suk: “Even though this movie draws 5 million viewers, no other scripts would come to my hand, and no producers would decisively cast a twenty-something actor. So, the best way for me is to be with and support forty-something actors like you, who are stable and guaranteed box-office hit.” At the time, we went through a lack of male actors in their twenties. That was only 2 years ago. We couldn’t find actors in their 20s. Now that we have this specific group of actors, it seems that some new movies are being planned for them.



We now have 3 big male actors in their 20s, but you guys are going to join the military soon in one or two years. Then you return in your 30s.

Gee, I don’t think I am one of the big 3s. I’d say I am just next to the big 2s, which doesn’t seem I am inferior to them, however. From the standpoint of publicity, popularity, and commercial success, I am not up to that level for sure.


Don’t be modest.

All actors live with confidence and anxiety about their future at the same time. I thought I was lucky enough to have confidence in myself, but I’m always anxious on the other hand. One day a man has come to see me. I made the acquaintance of him in my old days as a newbie and he then worked at the production department of a broadcasting company. Now he’s become a producer. That situation was awfully uncomfortable. What am I? I proceeded step by step and everyone is supposed to change. But things are still uncomfortable. I am now in a position to refuse his offer. Sometimes, I have to say what I would prefer not to do. It is terribly uneasy, gross and even disgusting.


You are probably having more and more to refuse.

In the entertainment business, there are countless chances of taking an elevator. At some point in my life, I found myself on the right track but I think I’m still going up the stairs to my own rhythm. I just go by standard procedure. As I noted before, I sometimes have those uncomfortable feelings. However, I, as a mere mortal, often ask an actor Yoo Ah In, “Is it okay for you to do that?” On the other hand, I am eager to go up in an elevator far into space. In other words, I also have the endless human greed for success and snobbish ambitions deep in mind.


Whether taking the stairs or elevator, where do you want to go up to?

I’m not allowed to reveal it yet, I was given a book and I really liked it. So I want to join that movie. The story is so tempting for an actor like me to the extent that it feels like the movie is up on the top of the elevator. It comes to mind, “Where can I meet this kind of work again?” Frankly speaking, I feel like I already went up in an elevator to the rooftop, because my next step is likely to be near at hand.


What on earth is that?

It is a melodrama, a very erotic love story (laugh). This will be a new challenge and take a lot of nerve. I already made up my mind in my heart, but I’m still hesitating in my head.



You tried some new things and challenged yourself in ‘Jang Ok Jung’, for example, King Sukjong is your first character to play a married man and father. When a photo of yourself holding your first son with Jang Ok Jung was released to the public, you were much talked about as a big daddy who loves his boy.

I once talked to the director, “A baby boy of mine is going to appear eventually, right? Well, I don’t want to show myself being a father with a kid.” It was difficult to accept as if a young actress felt uncomfortable exposing her skin onscreen or reluctant to show herself as a mother. In fact, I don’t like kids. They are cute to see, but difficult to be with. I don’t know how to treat them. Anyway, in the drama I got married and had a child as a pledge of love. I really had fun filming those scenes.

Sang Yeob (who played Prince Dong-pyung) once complained at an interview that all his lines in the script were like, “I should keep my love a secret all the time. All I can do is to look from a distance at the woman I love. My love will never come true.” As a matter of fact, that pathetic character was what I used to play. It’s not been long since I got out of the miserable roles. I ended my secret love after getting the leading parts. I am grateful for all I have right now. I am a lucky person.

By the way, I am rather a non-mainstreamer. I want to become a top star keeping my outsider tendency intact. At the top of the tree, I want to be myself, not someone else who I am not.



You are good enough to be a mainstreamer, aren’t you?

Frankly, I wish to continue tweeting and be more aggressive and provocative. I think that is what a real artist does. An artist’s job is to provoke people and to take responsibility for its effects. Just showing off their beautiful look on the commercials or advertisements is not a true commitment. I’d very much like to twist words that would be more and more difficult to decipher. Since I am an entertainer and a pop artist in the public eye, my activities are restricted and easily downplayed in many cases.

There still remains a strong view with a critical eye, saying ‘Why is he acting like that? He’s just an entertainer!’ Take Lee Hyo-ri for example. I think better of her, but some people have a dig at her and make sarcastic remarks. It seems that all the netizens offend her, but in fact, one out of 10 people who leave those comments. I think the rest are completely indifferent or favorably impressed by her instead. We need to enhance publicity on this issue that comments themselves are nothing. Only a certain number of people who write those vicious comments disturb the pop culture, which is unpleasant. Intimidated by them and their wiring, some actors and singers avoid to raise their voice or to take more aggressive actions. It feels like losing interest in the entertainment world. No more fun.



Let me ask you a casual question. Did you get closer to Kim Tae-hee?

I got quite closer to her during the shoot. We chatted a lot and exchanged phone numbers too. Of course, she asked for my number first (laugh). Well, I thought we had nothing in common. But I liked her open-minded attitude. No matter how different our backgrounds and personalities are, unprejudiced and flexible people are easy to mingle with anytime anywhere. I was happy to play with her. She is the one I want to call personally to invite to VIP premieres for my movies if any (laugh).


There were 3 women romantically involved with King Sukjong onscreen. Did anyone win our affections during the shoot?

It’s Kim Tae-hee. Onscreen I hated and manipulated the other two actresses so much that I felt really sorry for them even in real life. However, I did gel with Tae-hee. We had particularly numerous hand-holding scenes. Holding hands just once made me feel good. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had many experiences of melodrama. The same is true for kissing scenes. I didn’t feel forced to play. It rather gave me a nice feeling (laugh).



Um, we pointed out earlier about the generation of actors. Why are the characters so limited for male actors in their 20s?

They are always well-fighting, handsome, wealthy and highly-educated person with brilliant academic and financial background. Too perfect to be real. I usually don’t play those characters.


But, so was King Sukjong.

As I said before, I wanted to show what I was able to do. I used to play poor and unhappy characters without mom or dad until then.


Most actors must be tired of playing those perfect characters, I guess.

I get tired of seeing others play those characters. That’s why I don’t play them. I was thinking I could depict those characters a little differently. Then, I realized it could happen all my works seem to look like. For instance, I said ‘Kangchuli’ and ‘Wandeugi’ are different while it’s true that they have similar atmosphere in a way. Dilemma: to show unhappy people an unhappy life because it’s real, or to show them a happy life to console them even though it’s fake. TV series are more likely to console them while big-screen movies are to uncover the truth, viewed from various angles such as director Kim Ki-duk.



Do you have anything you want to correct about yourself misunderstood by the public?

Well, could it be corrected? I want people to know I am a candid and honest person in good faith. I like to have contact with people because I’m not seeking for mysticism. I am an actor who enjoys keeping in touch with the public. Sometimes I’m on good terms with them, sometimes on bad terms. Some people even insult me. Nevertheless, I want to exchange with them what is considered good. I want them to know that we can be friends building up an ideal friendship step by step.

By the way, this is another story: I think entertainers get easily hurt by severe reprimands and malicious comments of the public. Of course, I get hurt too at times. If something is right to you and someone believes it is right too, then just go for it! You don’t need to worry ‘What if they hate me? What if I lose popularity?’ In my case, I gained some more favorable impressions and popularity for having that attitude. In fact, I kept writing on Cyworld even while I was a disfavored entertainer. When I did wrong, I wrote there I did so. When I wanted to show off something, I did so. When I had something to let them know, I did so.

I love tweeting because I’m young. To keep writing on Twitter encourages me to do it better and create a nice surprise. At the beginning, it was all about bluff. In the course of writing, I discovered my new self and became more straightforward. I ended up weeding out all the pretensions I had. How pretentious was I at such a young age! I get dressed in a striking outfit to go out. Likewise, I used to write some striking comments with little substance inside. That’s bluff. Now, my writing is getting filled with more and more substance. Through the process of revealing myself and with sincere desire to be loved, once weak and incomplete mortal turns out to be who I am today.


Photoshoot Behind The Scene Story

He’s become a master. We’ve never seen an actor who has such skillfulness at photo shooting. Between takes, he checked on the photos of himself saying, “Shall I take a look?” Or he came up with new ideas going, “How about posing like this?”

From his facial expression to props and clothes, he doesn’t treat any of them carelessly. No wonder that he is very meticulous about examining every outfit before shooting. In a scene where he had to lie down on the rug, “Why would <HIGH CUT> make me do this?” he jokingly complained and laughed.

(At the photo shoot with HyunA for the <HIGH CUT>’s 74th issue, he had to lie down on the rug too!)

When the results were satisfying, Yoo Ah In took some snapshots of his images captured on the monitor screen using his own cellphone. “What a surprise! I’ve never seen you taking your pictures during the photo shoot before!” said his stylist.

Toward the end of the shoot that took as long as 4 hours-he has a reputation for finishing the photo shoot quickly-, he exclaimed with delight, “Wow! I think I’ve never been so enthusiastic about posing!”

A ‘master of photo shoot’, Yoo Ah In admitted that he put more strenuous efforts into our shoot than ever. If his work is obvious and predictable whether it’s TV series, movies of photo shoots, that’s just not who he is.

HIGH CUT Vol.106, July 2013


Screencaps/Pictures by AdminG/Sikseekland from album ‘High Cut Vol.106’

7 Responses to “[HIGH CUT Vol.106 Interview] Yoo Ah In: “I’m a candid & honest person in good faith””
  1. Chantira Kalambasuta says:

    Thank you very much for the interview! It’s almost like having a long conversation with him personally. I’ve always been fascinated with his way of thinking and expressing himself. It’s very satisfying to have read this interview. It comfirms my belief, as all other interviews have, that YAI is not only an accomplished actor but also a very intelligent, wise, honest, and caring citizen of the world! Koreans should be proud of having such an artist in their country! ❤

    • Furbabe says:

      YAI is the most articulate thinker among actors his age. I was amazed by his interviews when I first knew him in 2010. His words were just beyond his age!

  2. Elfie says:

    One of the best interviews from Yoo Ah In. Never get tired or bored reading his. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  3. jhorai says:

    tnx a great deal for this interview..im really curious at the same amazed by this fellow..atlst i got to have a glimpse of how smart he is beside looking good at d same time…i want to know him more in d days to come! hope ha-in be succesful & famous bc he deserves it..and looking forward for more projects topbilled by him! fighting ha-inshhi!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Yoo Ah In gladly accepts our request for novel and interesting makeovers such as a hip-hop boy or a sexy vampire. In short, he is an ideal model to a fashion editor. HIGH CUT is also glad to work with […]

  2. […] Yoo Ah In gladly accepts our request for novel and interesting makeovers such as a hip-hop boy or a sexy vampire. In short, he is an ideal model to a fashion editor. HIGH CUT is also glad to work with […]

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