[K-Style Japan Interview] Yoo Ah In: “Secret Love Affair is My Masterpiece”

Secret Love Affair Teaser Japan Version [4:30 minutes] surpassed ten thousands viewers since two weeks after its release~


“I wish Secret Love Affair will be my representative and the most memorable piece in my life” – Yoo Ah In

Korean drama Secret Love Affair has sparked a sensation and hot topic in Korea in the first half of 2014. The first episode was broadcast in Japan on Wednesday, October 15, in the satellite theater channel “Mikkai”.

In this drama Yoo Ah In plays a 20 years old passionate genius pianist who falls in love with a woman of 40.

[Gift] For the commemoration of the first broadcast, Mikkai gives away Yoo Ah In autographed Polaroids for 2 lucky people!


It’s been a long while since the last broadcast of Secret Love Affair. It was very popular in Korea, but can you tell us how you feel about it?

Yoo Ah In (YAI): Secret Love Affair will always be the most memorable work and masterpiece in my life. I’m very satisfied with the course of filming too. The shooting atmosphere was comfortable and efficient. And also, besides having an interesting story line, this drama put across a strong message on the story and has turned into a favorite piece as well.

What were the reactions from the people around you who watched Secret Love Affair?

YAI: They are very much pleased with it. The fact that my friends enjoyed it became my big support. It is embarrassing to reveal this though, but my friends told me, “this is a once in a life time drama”, “this is the most wonderful work”, “the only one drama that looks like this”. It really gave me a good feeling when I heard them saying things like that. Because these came from my friends who are honest and straightforward. They are the type of friends who criticize calmly and say it’s not good when it is not good. So, I’m happy. They told me, “I feel good since you appear in a good work”, and also, “You have been able to meet with such an amazing work, finally.”



What do you think of the reasons that Secret Love Affair was loved this much?

YAI: I think it’s the unconventional love story that draws the interest of audience. Music is also an important element, though it seems the classical music appears most of the time which delivers through the piano playing. And the viewers were pleased with it beyond anticipation. It is a drama with the nature of many fresh elements and a strong message. I think it has created the difference with the other dramas.


“To play a pure angel-like Sun Jae, I paid a lot of attention and poured my thoughts on the character’s details”


How did you play the role of pianist?

YAI: It didn’t come out easily at first, but it was not that difficult. I like music too. Perhaps it would be difficult if you had to play the piano for real. But there’s no problem as long as you’re acting in accordance to the flow of music. There were many scenes of the piano to express the feelings through the music, and I had to express the emotions of the drama a lot, but I feel very satisfied because I was able to perform well.

Can you play the piano in the first place?

YAI : No I don’t play piano at all. I practiced a lot to move naturally with the flow of music. Far from the feeling of burden, it was very fun.

It seemed that you play the piano for real.

YAI: I think it is important [to look real]. But of course, the expression of emotion is also important. I think the scenes, in which we play the piano and express our feeling, went very well.

How did you deal with the character or what was in your mind when playing Lee Seon Jae?

YAI: He is 20 years old and pure like an angel. Rather than thinking how to convey the script to the audience, I poured my thoughts on the details of how to develop this character; such as his gestures, his habits, his clothes and hairstyle, and many more~ in order to play a pure angel-like hero regardless of age.



Did you practice your acting a lot?

YAI: Rather than practicing a lot, I think promptly about my acting. I don’t worry much [about acting] or think a lot while acting. Although I’ve prepared and exercised playing the piano, I did not especially practice to hold the tone of performance on the stage. I’m the type who don’t have much worries [in acting], instead I just go instinctively acting right at the moment camera starts rolling.

Do you have a hard time shooting a certain scene? Please let me know if there’s a particular one.

YAI: I’ve said that the piano playing scene was not difficult, but when we took that scene for the first time, we repeated the rehearsal and retook the scenes many times, and it was not easy. During the first filming, we shot at various angles and it took so much time until that scene looked the most natural. It took some time to learn the ropes.


”I can relate to Lee Seon Jae, honestly and emotionally”


Please let me know if there’s a scene you want to see again, or your favorite scene.

YAI: In the second episode, there is a scene playing the piano along with Kim Hee Ae sunbae nim. The music is called Schubert’s ”Fantasy piano for four hands”, and there were many people evaluating that scene and our acting turned out very satisfying. It is an important scene in this drama, which rather than showing the piano skills, it’s simply two persons exchanging feelings and come to a compassion. The scene became famous in South Korea (laughs). Many parodies were produced based on this scene. It seems everyone enjoyed it.

Were there any common features or similarities between Lee Sun Jae and Yoo Ah In yourself?

YAI: Being straightforward, a fool and overly honest in love. I think we are similar to that extent. It was exhilarating acting as Sun Jae who expressed everything honestly and directly. Instead of pretending cool, he was a cool person for real. I don’t think I’m that cool (laughs). I can also relate with the word “it is hell anyway” [in episode 3], honestly and emotionally. So I felt even more sympathy for the straightforward and blunt Lee Sun Jae. If the drama’s environment were taken out, I would feel that I were the one who took place [in the drama].



Although your acting with Mrs. Kim Hee Ae was perfect, was there any point that you two kept in mind?

YAI: Although we both did not much discuss either performance or character analysis, we devoted and immersed ourselves to our roles moment after moment, and we had understood what kind of person our partner was. I think there were probably many compassion scenes which could make us embarrassed, and there were many intimate love scenes too. Therefore, it is important to trust our partner and let the feelings flow. And I think we made a very successful result.


I might have a regret and an obsession to revisit the 20-something character like Sun Jae”


How do you want the Japanese who will watch from now on to look at this drama?

YAI: Secret Love Affair is a novo [afresh/anew] South Korean drama. People who have watched so many dramas were taken by surprised because of it. And I think it becomes a completely new drama and deserves the word ”work”. It can also be called as an experimental drama which tells a difficult, deep and heavy narration, while hurling a powerful message and commercial elements through an interesting love story. The viewers will enjoy and feel the freshness in this love story. I consider this work as a mirror which reflects my own figure. Because Secret Love Affair is a drama with character [combination of qualities that distinguishes it from another], and I think you will see it that way too.

What kind of turning point has it made for yourself as an actor?

YAI: It is a life time drama for me, and became my masterpiece as an actor. I wish Secret Love Affair will be my representative piece and the most memorable work in my life. I thought, when would I ever meet with such a work once again? But I’m sure that I will meet and act in other wonderful works from now on.

What kind of work do you want to challenge for the next project?

YAI: In the past, I often got entertaining movie roles with a deep dark characters. I am 29 years old now [by Korean age] and I will be no longer twenties soon, but I have been charmed by character like Sun Jae. Perhaps there is a lingering affection and obsession toward the pure and healthy 20’s character, so I think I will be captivated again by the work that’s dealing with youth.


Japanese Translator: Miko

English Editor: Furbabe

© Yoo Ah In Sikseekland International Fans Community


※ 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.

Source: K-style

3 Responses to “[K-Style Japan Interview] Yoo Ah In: “Secret Love Affair is My Masterpiece””
  1. Szabó Erika says:

    Hello dear Furbabe,
    Thank you, that I read the interview, Yoo Ah In’s thoughts.
    Sincerely, Erika.

  2. MARIANA says:

    Thanks for translating this Furbabe

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