[PHOTOS & FULL INTERVIEW] Yoo Ah In’s Interview on High Cut Vol.121 [part 2]

So many things happened during the last 3 months, from  catching up with weekly Secret Love Affair updates, to launching Sikseekers Supporting Project for Secret Love Affair, to more updates after Secret Love Affair. Because of that, we totally forgot that we still haven’t published High Cut Interview Part 2 yet!

In case you miss it, here’s Yoo Ah In’s High Cut Photos & Interview Part I that we posted in March.

The High Cut interview was taken before Secret Love Affair aired, but Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae had shot several episodes ahead. Even though he didn’t know yet where the story led them to, Yoo Ah In already had a good feeling about it. Let’s check out High Cut interview part 2~

 

 

Prelude

He is quick on the uptake. Whatever his inspiration is, whether it’s music or clothes, it is truly amazing to see him understand and make things his own so quickly. With sharp eyes and a good memory, he is definitely one of the best to work with: he immediately recognized me and even remembered when and where we had an interview that only lasted for a short time a few years ago. This is his 5th photo shoot with HIGH CUT and 4th time to grace the cover. Each time, 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 him.

The theme for this photo shoot is a ‘pianist who has a pure soul’. In Secret Love Affair, a new TV drama set to be aired in mid-March, he plays a gifted pianist opposite Kim Hee Ae, actually 19 years older than him. Similar to the character he portrays on screen, he seemed so natural and spontaneous in front of the camera. His innate sense and delicate expressiveness were added to his wonderful poses for the sensuous black-and-white photos. As he has always shown himself at his best every time he is photographed, these photos of him are unquestionably the best so far.

 

 

Yoo Ah In’s Melodrama

Listening to Yoo Ah In’s playing the piano makes our hearts beat

“What makes two people attracted to each other is an air, I guess. Prior to the personality or appearance, it is an air they radiate around.” This is a part of conversation excerpted from Tokyo Tower by Japanese author Kaori Ekuni. Much-buzzed-about with the unconventional romance, the upcoming drama Secret Love Affair starring Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In has borrowed its motif from Tokyo Tower. Needless to say, though he is cut out for Punch‘s Wandeuk, Tough As Iron‘s Kangchul, and King Sukjong, Seon Jae is likely to be the most fit for an air Yoo Ah In radiates among all the roles he has portrayed so far, and veteran actress Kim Hee Ae have great chemistry together with an air they radiate around.

 

You’re now taking a shot at starring in the unconventional melodrama Secret Love Affair, which is about love between a 20-year-old man and a 40-something woman.

There are so many love stories about younger men and older women on TV these days, and I once made a comment jokingly, “I wanted to play with actress Lee Mi Sook for an unconventional melodramatic romance.” I encountered Secret Love Affair as my interest in this genre was constantly increasing.

 

 

I heard Japanese novel Tokyo Tower affected the drama a great deal.

I read the novel when I was 22 or 23. The story is unconventional but not contrived. What matters is how convincing and natural the main theme (love between a 20-year-old man and a 40-something woman) sounds. The way their hopeless love unfolds is quite attractive. It is not a typical love story that a pretty girl meets a handsome guy and they fall in love with each other in a way they are supposed to be. Love comes with conflict.  At times, there are some exaggerated settings like irreconcilable conflict between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law or unbridgeable gap between two families. However, conflicts in Tokyo Tower seem so natural that I feel empathy for them. This is a great story for a 20-something actor to give a try.

 

You might have had your own image of the heroine in your mind while reading the novel. Does it resemble Kim Hee Ae?

Absolutely. Kim Hee Ae is the right person. As for me, the heroine of the novel is not a woman who’s easily tempted to have an affair as a slave to her desires. Rather, she’s more similar to I Am Love‘s Tilda Swinton, a stereotype of perfect wife in the high society who finally awakens her long-dormant desires. With her neat decent appearance and clear voice, I believe Kim Hee Ae is cut out for this role. If she bares her legs, it feels much provocative and impactful to me than when other actresses habitually uncover their shapely legs and show some skin.

 

 

Kim Hee Ae made her acting début in 1983. You didn’t even exist on Earth, then.

Has she been doing this job so long? I don’t feel any generation gap, though. We have been shooting some episodes of Secret Love Affair and she is far better than any other actresses I’ve ever worked with!

 

Really? Better than Kim Tae Hee?

I’m experiencing catharsis. She (Kim Hee Ae) is skilled, accurate, undoubtedly sincere, and open-minded. It felt like we were just talking together, not speaking the lines. However, Kim Hee Ae, a seasoned actress, skillfully controls her sincerity. (When he was asked a question, ‘Don’t you think other co-star actresses find your comment disappointing?’) No one would be disappointed about that if they know they were compared with Kim Hae Ae.

 

Tough As Iron’s Kim Hae Sook acknowledged that she fell for Yoo Ah In, too. There must be something about you that appeals to older women. Has any woman older than you ever actually asked you out?

Ah, I forgot about her. I should put Kim Hae Sook first and Kim Hee Ae comes next. (Laugh) My appeal to older women? What about my attitude towards them? I usually take liberties with them or act rebelliously. Well, I have actually been asked out by a woman older than me. It didn’t work well, though. Some of my friends ask me if I can really love older women, and I say it’s possible. The age gap of 20 years cannot be an obstacle to love. Everybody has the right to have their own object of desire. It’s true that older men are dating much younger women. See what’s going on in Hollywood! (Laugh) We are applying a double standard to women in our society.

 

 

What would it be like if you are offered to star in a movie about romance with a 20-something woman when you are in your 40s?

That never sounds unconventional to me. Take the recent drama Prime Minister and I, for instance. I also have a double standard between men and women like I mentioned before. It is common for older men to date younger women. To be more common or less common, that seems to be related to novelty and unconventionality.

 

The man of the novel wished he could have spent time together with the 40-something woman when she was in her 20s. Have you ever imagined what it would be like if you were able to act with Kim Hee Ae when she was in her 20s?

I like that she is in her 40s. I feel more comfortable acting with actresses older than me, and aside from my career, I am very comfortable being with older women as well. By the way, I try to be natural when I’m acting, so I tend to be less articulate. I intentionally mumble or mispronounce the words while speaking the lines. That’s because I am one of those who believe that being accurate and looking skillful in a stable tone of voice is a fake acting. For that reason, my only worry was that Kim Hee Ae, a very accurate and skillful actress, might be too rigid, but it proved groundless. She has such a flexible attitude.

 

It seems that you are the right man for this role too.

I feel very comfortable playing this 20-year old guy. As I have been pretending to be very grown-up so far, I really like this character because he is an innocent yet no ordinary 20-year old genius.

 

 

You now turn into a gifted pianist. As you may know, your hands have been more associated with fistfight or wooden clubs than piano playing.

What I eagerly look forward to watching is my piano playing scene. As you said, I was often fighting with wooden clubs in the movies, but this time I have to deliver sensitive and delicate emotions to the audience while feeling myself the rhythm and the music, which is a quite different attempt for me. I think my thirst for various roles is now satisfied by playing this artistic character because I was boxing, digging in the dirt and delivering fish on screen before. I didn’t practice the piano a lot. I just focused on practicing how to move to the rhythm as if dancers moved according to their choreography. If you are fully aware of a piece of music, you don’t need to practice hard. You can just move your fingers to it. Since I portray a gifted pianist, I’m focusing more on expressing the delicateness of music than playing the piano.

 

The plot sounds like Mozart is having an affair with Salieri’s wife.

In karaoke, girls easily get crazy about men who sing very well. Hyewon, the character played by Kim Hee Ae, is a woman with an intense passion for music and piano. I suppose something about Sunjae would get her to fall in love with him, but he wouldn’t be a key cause. She has an inner drive to escape anytime from the world she belongs to. What a boring life she has! Sun Jae only triggers her desires to pour out.

 

 

Secret Love Affair deals with not only the romance but also the social system or political aspects.

Usually, when a melodrama deviates from the main plot of romance, the story gets boring by distracting attention. However, in our movie, an outrageously wealthy family appears as the core of conflicts in the world Hyewon belongs to. You can also find some absurdity and corruption in the music circle.

 

In addition to age gap, social class gap might be an insurmountable obstacle no matter how hard you try.

While filming the kissing scene, I found this kind of relationship very interesting. It was quite new to me. 20-year age gap doesn’t count when you are romantically involved with someone. He or she can be the object of your unconditional affections. Likewise, social class is not important no matter how huge the gap is. In common parlance, once you get laid, there’s no barrier between the two of you. This is what love is!

 

 

You seem more interested in the realistic themes than fantasies.

Basically, I seek down-to-earth approaches. I try to gratify the most realistic desires as an actor and gradually build up some fantasies. This drama has some fantasies for older women. (Laugh) It would be a lie if I didn’t think about that. I checked if this drama has some wow factors that would assure us of megahit and satisfy the fantasies of older women.

 

To satisfy their fantasies, do you have anything special you’ve prepared?

Phew, don’t expect anything from me. (Laugh) You’ll see!

 

 

As the expression ‘unconventional romance’ is always used to describe this drama, your sexiness onscreen is highly anticipated.

Haha. My sexiness? I have been told about that for some time, but I never showed so much skin and I don’t have a chiseled body. I think my sexiness comes from the way I behave, like an uncontrollable bad boy who doesn’t know what his charm is. Sounds like cocky, however, I believe that an actor should know what his charm is. An actor should know how to employ, share and control it as well. Well, what about my sexiness? (Laugh) I’m not sure if I was sexy in my previous works, but I played a ‘homme fatale’ in Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, which was fun. It was not the charm that many actors can frequently show.

 

That doesn’t have to be sexiness, I mean literally.

It is their magnetic personality or magical aura, not the sexual attractiveness. I think there are two types of appeal that can make people drawn to each other. One is sexiness and the other cuteness. Being cute is a cluster of good feelings while being sexy is something that makes your emotions get hotter. If you are ranked Korea’s number one handsome guy, that’s just enough to appeal to women. However, most actors who have average looks like me should have extra charms. Sometimes, it comes to my mind, ‘If I had been born so handsome that I don’t need anything else, how easy my life would have been?’ One of timeless trends is being beautiful and handsome, I guess. No doubt good acting is the basic quality for an actor, rather than his looks. As long as an actor acts well, he can go on forever in this business without additional qualities. By the way, it is not true that a leading actor acts better than a supporting actor. Appearance is important, but acting is another story.

 

 

Speaking of which, what is commonly said in this industry is “Your face is not cut out for a leading actor or actress”. It sounds like a terrible verbal assault.

It is really cruel and violent, but what can we do about it? I played a lot of supporting roles and I was like, ‘I could have never been cast as a leading role with my looks’. Even now I feel awkward about this current situation that I am in [that he has become an actor who always plays the lead roles].

 

You had long hair in the movie Elegant Lies. The film has a serious theme with few humors, but you make the audience beam warm smiles.

These days I’m playing more leading roles, but I really enjoy playing this kind of character. I think it fits in well with me. It was great playing that part in the film. Then I pondered about my next work and next role. I was thirsty for everything. I don’t mean that I want to show a funny side of myself. The bottom line is that I don’t want anything to be able to disturb my acting except ‘attractiveness’. If circumstances allow, I am willing to keep doing this as much as I want.

 

(Check Yoo Ah In & Kim Hee Ae in this hilarious scene from Elegant Lies, 2014)

 

 

You have recently joined Song Hye Kyo and Kang Dong Won at a new agency.

At first, I felt uneasy in the unfamiliar surroundings after moving to this agency, but now I get along with them. The only problem is that they are too pretty and too handsome that can never be touched when I see other actors and actresses. (Laugh) They are bonafide actor and actress, genuine A-list stars much more popular than me.

 

 

Don’t you think you are an A-list star?

My status used to be different. I was not a star in a general sense, and no one required me to be so. I was just an unusual 20-something guy with an air of actor. Now, my original colors have got blurred. I had aspirations to become a shining star that can be seen far in the distance, but I don’t want to end up with that kind of image. I don’t like to frame me into that stereotype defined as a star. People are easily fooled by that, but I am not that type of person because it’s ridiculous. What I really want to do is to pursue a high quality life with the finest personality, reveal my sincere desires strategically, and reinvent myself as n actor Yoo Ah In.

 

‘Reveal your sincere desires strategically’. It’s hard to understand.

In my opinion, an actor should be like a blank canvas in some way, but have his own character and personality too. I am the one who wants to reveal those personal qualities. It’s the actor’s charisma that can attract people’s attention. Instead of using it strategically, I hope I can influence them. It would be nice that people think meeting an actor like me will be an interesting experience for them. Before I became an actor, I was one of ordinary people, one of those viewers and audience. With this regard, I try to create a new form of actor that people are eager to meet. I can’t work on something that doesn’t attract my interest. Well, sometimes you are forced to do so, but only in an invertible case.

 

 

Your drama shooting schedule overlaps with that of movie Veteran directed by Ryoo Seungwan. Isn’t it backbreaking?

Veteran was set earlier than Secret Love Affair. According to my work schedule, it was almost impossible to join the cast for the drama, but I took risk because I really wanted to do it. This situation makes me work harder.

 

In Veteran, you play a business tycoon’s grandson who is a bad guy. It’s an entirely new character to you.

From my own perspective, I got tired of my characters I’ve portrayed so far. I suppose people are fed up with them, too. The same is true for Tough As Iron. My choices I’ve done so far are really valuable to me, but they might not be interesting to the audience anymore. No matter what people say, it is okay if I’m pleased with myself, however, it couldn’t even meet that minimum requirement. With various works including Secret Love Affair, I see that I am now opening a new chapter of my filmography. Being a piano genius from a poor background, and then a bad guy from a wealthy family, this image shift could be quite interesting and people might not criticize it for being too obvious. They’d rather embrace and enjoy the change.

 

 

Soon, you turn 30 and have to join the military. Do you think you’re making your way until now as you planned?

I can affirm that I am proud of what I’ve done so far. I didn’t go by standard practice. I am often told, ‘He’s a weirdo. What makes him behave that way? He really likes to stand out!’ Nevertheless, I love all of those moments when I was growing up and getting older as an actor. I’ve been really working hard. I’m not sure when I get off this track. That’s why I try to be more sincere about what I am doing now. After everything was done, it is useless to regret like, ‘I wasn’t good enough then’. I’ve been making choices that make me feel less shame, and I’ll keep doing so.

 

Behind the Scene

He won’t leave anything neglected. Looking in the monitor, he pays meticulous attention to every detail from his hair and makeup to his outfits.

 

His piano playing was captured on video by HIGH CUT for its digital edition. Since he took some private lessons from a pianist for his character in the upcoming drama, he looks like a professional pianist with an aura of dignity.

 

Yoo Ah In radiates his adorable and sheer charm.

 

More screencaps from HIGH CUT i-tune version by Admin G

More pictures and screencaps of High Cut Vol.121, March 2014 are in this album

Source: High Cut Vol.121, March 2014

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Comments
19 Responses to “[PHOTOS & FULL INTERVIEW] Yoo Ah In’s Interview on High Cut Vol.121 [part 2]”
  1. Angela says:

    hi, this is YAITW again. > <
    Last time we asked for your permission about translating the interview into Chinese and post it on our website.
    And here i am for your permission again. :p

    Hope you can reply us. Thank you.

  2. RENATA says:

    Thank you so much for your hard work! Now I can read another fabulous thought of YAI 🙂 He’s just one of a kind!!

  3. dualnon says:

    Thank you for translating and bringing us this great interview. I love YAI’s response here:

    (When he was asked a question, ‘Don’t you think other co-star actresses find your comment disappointing?’) No one would be disappointed about that if they know they were compared with Kim Hae Ae.

    May we post it complete at Piano Conversations with full credit and a link back to this post?

  4. jomo143 says:

    Thanks for this! I love how easily he changed his mind about his favorite actress to work with. Nobody would be insulted to be compared to Kim Hae Sook, either.

    “While filming the kissing scene, I found this kind of relationship very interesting. It was quite new to me. 20-year age gap doesn’t count when you are romantically involved with someone. He or she can be the object of your unconditional affections. Likewise, social class is not important no matter how huge the gap is. In common parlance, once you get laid, there’s no barrier between the two of you. This is what love is!”

    Even though it is shocking to read, I think YAI said perfectly how they managed to make the romance in SLA work. After watching the show, knowing that he had this thought in mind is impressive. My “I see it” turning point in the drama was the hand holding scene following his performance with the orchestra. They owned each other at that point and nobody could say they didn’t belong together!

    • Furbabe says:

      His statement about the common parlance could be too liberal for the conservatives 😀 I agree, though, that once someone becomes the object of your unconditional affection and you become one, all the barriers just gone.

  5. Laura says:

    “I had aspirations to become a shining star that can be seen far in the distance, but I don’t want to end up with that kind of image. I don’t like to frame me into that stereotype defined as a star. People are easily fooled by that, but I am not that type of person because it’s ridiculous. What I really want to do is to pursue a high quality life with the finest personality, reveal my sincere desires strategically, and reinvent myself as n actor Yoo Ah In.” THIS! *slow claps*

  6. Vivseeksik says:

    hi, im one of the admin at baidu yooain bar, i am wondering can i ask for permission to translate to Chinese and post there…thanks~~:p

    Hope you can reply. Thank you.

  7. primie94 says:

    Definitely!! he’s A SHINING STAR with Feet on the Ground; Yeah!! L❤️ve YOO for all that you are,,,, all that you have been,,,, and all that you’re yet to be…

    Many THANKS as always Furbabe & all admins with all your hard-work ❤️👼👼👼👼👼❤️
    Really Appreciated;p/xxx

  8. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for this heartwarming and smart interview translations!!

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  1. […] PHOTOS & FULL INTERVIEW] Yoo Ah In’s Interview on High Cut Vol.121 [part 2] – Posted by Furbabe on June 28, 2014 […]



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