September-October Interviews Part I: Yoo Ah In Looking For Love

As promised, we start translating and posting Yoo Ah In’s plentiful interview articles that he had during September-October 2013, the promotion months of his movie ‘Tough As Iron (Kangchuli)’ ^_^ Since there are helluva articles, we skipped some that sound repeating stories which are redundant, and we just translate the “new” or “unique” ones. So here we go with Part I.


Reminder: ※Any copying, republication or redistribution of Yoo Ah In Sikseekland‘s content is expressly prohibited without prior consent of Yoo Ah In Sikseekland. Copyright infringement is subject to criminal and civil penalties.

Translated by Admin007 and Jay of SIKseekland from sources [1],[2],[3],[4]

Yoo Ah In Looking For Love.

“I don’t need fantasy, but I want to be understood and loved.”


Yoo Ah In has been known with his rebel image. In ‘Tough As Iron (Kangchuli)’ he takes on the same role. In that respect, Yoo Ah In is none other than Kangchuli himself. Yoo Ah In as a professional actor has many attractive traits and yet distinctive color that make him standout among his peers. This color naturally blends with Kangchul. Let’s find out his thoughts on ‘Kangchuli’.


‘Tough As Iron’ or ‘Kangchuli’ might gain criticism as it bears the similar title with his earlier blockbuster movie ‘Wandeugi’ (2011). What do you think of this interpretation?

“It’s obvious the title sounds similar with ‘Wandeugi’, and I thought the story would have been similar. However it turned out completely different. In ‘Kangchuli’ I show the masculine Yoo Ah In. ‘Masculine’ might be an overused term but I try to show a different and fresh interpretation out of it.

‘Kangchuli’ is a film dealing with ‘maternal love’, ‘love for a mother’. Since there are already a lot of movies with the same theme out there, people might feel this is a stereotypical movie. Furthermore, other movies might have given more eye-catching [beautiful] scenes [of love for a mother].

Compare to those of other films of the same element, I think ‘Kangchuli’ is a very simple film. A good son dedicating his life to take care of his sick mother and saving her from ridiculous situations, in reality, is unrealistic and sounds like puppetry at first impressions. However, Kangchul comes to the edge and back to reality into thinking, ‘this is my limit’, ‘I wish she’d just die’. It’s very realistic when he screams at his mother, “I want to live!” That part really pulls emotions.

Rather than making a very sympathetic, so devoted, so loving human being to reality, I think a realistic drama is supposed to show [the bad side] other than the good sides. Sometimes we bicker with our mother too. In reality we don’t always call them “my mom, my mom” endearingly.

There are no other movies I’ve seen by far that pulls emotions, feelings and tears for ‘motherhood’ as much as this movie does. ‘Kangchuli’ brings mother and son relationships that put a little more honest and plain figures into the story. Therefore, I’m satisfied with the result.”


In ‘Kangchuli’ Yoo Ah In is a frustrated son trying to save his mother’s life. I suddenly became curious what Yoo Ah In was like as a real son. What about his childhood?

“Me? I was a momma boy (laughs). Of course, not anymore now.

I was a curt son. I left home when I was 17 and lived independently in a filthy and bluntly life. But I was still emotionally longing for my mother.

In ‘Kangchuli’, I have to spill the tears and laughter like every ten minutes. The mother and feelings in this movie is a person and something that I can relate to. Usually it takes one filming or two to build the emotion. However Kangchuli exceptionally rings true to my mind. I think I comprehend the meaning of Kangchul’s tears and laughter, not because I’m an actor, but I suppose people with mothers can understand the feelings.

All in all, this is the movie that I want to show to my mother. She couldn’t believe that I took consideration on this script.” (Laughs)


Yoo Ah In is known as ‘the national rebel’ and it’s getting stronger with his characters in ‘Wandeugi’ and ‘Kangchuli’. To him I ask carefully what he thinks of it. 

“Why do you think what they (Wandeugi and Kangchuli) do is considered as rebel?” (laughs). “There are many people trying to be called a rebellion icon, and trying to have a shot at it. As a matter of fact, Wandeuk or Kkangchul who stay strong and steadfast in their situation no matter how ridiculous their life is, are good kids.”


Yoo Ah In’s ‘rebel’ image perception came from his straightforward SNS/twitter posts. His posts in twitter received encouragement and criticism, but he calls his tweets as his ‘Statements of Faith’.

“They (statements) are my own belief. But I still acknowledge the criticisms addressed to me. I suppose the width, the spacious and the large of a criticism can help improve myself and my action.  It gets me to think large and sometimes helps me to get along and have a good communication with the public as well.”


But there are loads of comments defend Yoo Ah In’s opinion too. In this regard Yoo Ah In says he doesn’t take them blindly.

“I DO want to receive public’s love, and yet at the same time take criticism as a global idea. I don’t feel like seeing people thinking the same way as I do, because we need each other’s feedback and to coexist. People don’t dare to be different because they want to be loved and understood. However, I want to be loved as ‘Yoo Ah In’, as who I am, and being understood as what I want myself to be.”


Uhm Hong Sik VS Yoo Ah In

“I always attempted to strictly separate Yoo Ah In the actor and Uhm Hong Sik the ordinary man in the past, but I think now I completely narrowed them to one,” says Yoo Ah In. “I just wanted to give Hong Sik a little more comfortable life to live, not realizing that the significant impact from separating our life made our days become meaningless.”



Uhm Hong Sik is actor Yoo Ah In’s real name. Debuted as an idol in 2003, Yoo Ah In was encouraged by his manager at that time to create a stage name, and he picked ‘Ain’ (read: Ein) which means “One” in German. For ten years of his career, both names have been used interchangeably by his fans, especially with ‘Uhm Hong Sik’ that apparently has been fans’ favorite nick, that people think odd because he bears two names altogether [unlike common Korean celebrities who are just known by their stage name].


Yoo Ah In debuted as an actor in the 2003 youth drama ‘Banolim’ (Sharp) and in a span of 10 years has become one of the most successful former child actors. Yoo Ah In easily escaped the stagnant boundary of the child actor’s and crossed to the young actors’ category that not every child actor can do. He divides his time to expand between various activities off-screen and on-screen that make the colors of his own as an actor grow.


‘Tough As Iron’ is his first movie where he plays a leading role. Throughout the film Yoo Ah In shows his abilities, from action scenes to acting with Busan accent.

“Actors of my age receive a lot of action movie proposals. But personally I didn’t quite fond of it. I like the human drama better. My deep feeling for ‘Wandeugi’ (Punch) doesn’t seem to leave soon. A gangster, a mother and a child, the story may seem a little corny, but in terms of human drama ‘Kangchuli (Tough As Iron)’ is a charming work.”

In this movie Yoo Ah In shows his ability in pulling off the rough action scenes; from the car struggling to intense ice storage fighting scenes to the scene of fighting against 17 opponents alone.


With the film’s background took place in Busan, Yoo Ah In expands his acting down to the accent. As someone coming from Daegu, he still regards Gyeongsang (South) dialect as quite difficult because of considerable amount of differences in intonation and tonal between Busan’s and Daegu’s dialect.

“As you know, Busan and Daegu dialect are pretty much different. Surprisingly, it would have been rather easy if you came from Seoul. Shooting with the linguistic accuracy does take the nerves, and it’s naturally the biggest emphasis from the first take of the filming.”


The chemistry with Kim Hae Suk who plays as the mother is very impressive.

Yoo Ah In says, “It’s like a real mother with a son who takes role as her caregiver. The script could have been dull, but I and Kim Hae Suk eomma make such a great and fresh chemistry as a mother-son pairing. From our first meeting [before the shooting began], we’ve both already addressed each other ‘mother’ and ‘son’.” (Kim Hae Suk told the reporter on her own interview that Yoo Ah In was the one who called her ‘mother’ first without hesitation. That’s the way Southerners give respect to old people)


As he produced the box office movie before, Yoo Ah In felt quite a burden in Kangchuli.

“I had a good time filming ‘Wandeugi’, I wasn’t afraid of anything. But now it’s different,” he says. “’Wandeugi’ scored box office record beyond expectation. Now I have to prove my place again and show my progress too. As time passes by I feel more anxious and I guess I need bigger guts [to face the outcome],” he reveals his mental weight. “However, I’m very satisfied and happy playing in ‘Kangchuli’”.


He obviously doesn’t seem to like talking about himself. What does he think about the prejudice against him?

“I get used to it. Nowadays I just take things [prejudices] as a mere fun, I guess,” he answers. “I think my private life will always be shrouded in a veil. More than anything else, I want to show myself as an actor, who in a reality show would reveal our true selves, and who, like me, consistently share thoughts on twitter. These are just things that I’m doing now.”


The ordinary boy Uhm Hong Sik has grown up and became actor Yoo Ah In.

“At first I had to separate the two of us, because one can get addicted to celebrity way of life and I didn’t want to live that way. I was cast from earlier age, and it [showbiz/life as an artist] influenced me as I grew up. But now, I don’t bother separating Uhm Hong Sik and Yoo Ah In anymore. I think my life would have to be just that,” he says.


What are you like when you live as the ordinary Uhm Hong Sik?

“When I’m not acting [filming] I just live my life to the fullest. We act for a living, nothing so special about it. After all, acting [being an actor] is just a daily job,” he says candidly.


Throughout the interview Yoo Ah In shows his honesty and reveals the burdens of his mind. ‘Tough As Iron’ reached over 1.2 million admissions at the box office and scored a half success. At the moment we’re expecting his next move with another good work.


© yooahinsikseekland

2 Responses to “September-October Interviews Part I: Yoo Ah In Looking For Love”
  1. Laura says:

    He’s a rebellious kid with marshmallow heart. His mom must be proud of him 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] SIKseekers~ Here we are again continuing Yoo Ah In’s Interview Part I ^^ Once again, since he’s got SO many interviews and there are too many articles during […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: