Interview With the Innocent 17 Year-Old Yoo Ah In


STARVIEW Interviews Yoo Ah In, May 2004

While you’re all dying from waiting for Master Sik to come back from his long winter holidays in Los Angeles (we presumed he’s coming back today), take a moment to look back at the boy this man once was—-it’s very, very different in tone from his more recent interviews, that’s for sure. He was just 17 years old when this interview was done! Aww! However from this interview we get to see that his words and commitment have been very consistent now and then. Kudos Yoo Ah In!


The boy who completely enters my heart, Yoo Ah In

The tall boy with a small face, bright smile, and friendly voice, this unbelievably charming boy Yoo Ah In has young girls’ hearts in turmoil. If only I had a boyfriend like this…with these thoughts, girl students are picking Yoo Ah In as their ideal types. We met with Yoo Ah In, whose talents in the drama ‘Banolim (Sharp)’ are receiving enormous amounts of love. Okay~ look forward to it!


Q. Your name is unique—-what meaning does it have?
YAI: I adapted it from a German word. In German, ‘Eins’ means ‘one.’ That’s where I got it from.


Q. You are enjoying a great deal of popularity through ‘Banolim’ these days.
YAI: To be honest, when it comes to popularity I had lots of that starting way~ back in junior high. (Laugh) Kidding! The character of Yoo Ah In in ‘Banolim’ is someone whom girl students can’t help but like. He’s sweet, his personality is good, he’s good-looking, and he has top-notch fashion sense. I’m thankful to be able to receive so much love from such a great character.


Q.  What are the differences between Yoo Ah In in the drama and Yoo Ah In in real life?
YAI: Hm…I think we are very similar. But the drama’s Yoo Ah In is older than Ok Rim (Go Ara) and Jang Wook (Seo Hyun Seok). So his maturity, seriousness, and calm appearance end up being highlighted. But in reality, I’m less serious and joke around more. I think we’re a bit different on that point.


Q. How did you end up becoming an actor?
YAI: To make a long story short, I was discovered [by a casting agent] on the streets and that’s how I began acting. I’m originally from Daegu. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often in Daegu, but when I came to Seoul I realized that that kind of street casting is extremely common. Before meeting the manager hyung I have now, I had never received a casting business card before. I’m so thankful to the manager hyung who opened the road of acting to me.


Q. Isn’t acting difficult?
YAI: It’s very difficult. To be honest, even when I was starting ‘Banolim’, I suffered a lot because of my intonation and pronunciation. Growing up outside of Seoul, I guess dialect just became a part of my mouth [Note: Daegu dialect is particularly strong and can be difficult to understand for people in Seoul. If you speak in Daegu dialect, people will immediately know you come from Daegu]. I was able to fix it now because I practiced a lot, but I think acting gets harder the more you do it. Nowadays, all I can think is, ‘What can I do to become a better actor.’


Q. So you must have improved a great deal in acting by now.
YAI: Not a lot, but I am getting better bit by bit. The sunbaes on set help me a lot, and I also practice on my own a lot. To be honest, when I showed up for the first shoot of ‘Banolim’ the director was at a loss for what to do. I was also so sad that I went home and practiced hard and came to the set the next day, and he gave me a compliment. That’s when I felt it. That acting is something in which you improve according to how much work you put into it.


Q. Then are you thinking of studying acting in the future?
YAI: Of course. I want to enter a film performance major [in university] and study acting more deeply.


Q. I heard that you dropped out of high school.
YAI: I decided that my life’s path is going to be acting. When I started acting, it was unbelievably hard to leave Daegu, where my school was, and come to Seoul, where the broadcast studios are. So I transferred to a school in Seoul, but the school didn’t support my broadcast activities. That’s why I ended up dropping out of school, but I’m definitely going to take the [graduate equivalency] exam and enter a film performance major [in university].


Q. Do you regret it?
YAI: I miss the time I could have spent with friends and the things normal kids do that I can’t, but I don’t regret it because it’s a path I chose.


Q. You were popular in school, too, weren’t you?
YAI: In Daegu, I was an art major at an arts high school. There are a lot of girls at arts high schools. So I kind of naturally came to have many girlfriends. It wasn’t so much that I was popular as it was that other kids showed a lot of interest in me.


Q. Do you miss doing art at all?
YAI: Even though it’s not something I’m going to devote my life to, it’s something I will always do throughout the rest of my life. I want to succeed a bit further as an actor, and when I find stability I’m definitely going to start art again, as a hobby.


Q. What kind of actor do you want to become?
YAI: Obviously I want to become a good actor. (Laughs) I want to become an actor in whom you can believe no matter what role he takes on, and someone who receives acknowledgment for his ability.


Q. Lastly, a word to your fans?
YAI: Thank you so much to all the friends who always show me interest, send me letters, and cheer me on. Please continue to show me love in the future, and I hope you continue to watch over how I change in the future and how much I improve as an actor.


Source: InK Cho
Translated by Jaeshinah

More photos from Banolim/Sharp drama are available in our Facebook in ‘Banolim/Sharp Drama 2003-2005’ Album.


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