[INTERVIEW] Actor of The Year Yoo Ah In: “Star Power? I Still Feel Like A Stranger”
This is Yoo Ah In’s exclusive and new interview with the STAR just around December 16, 2015. The interview was conducted by phone because Yoo Ah In was still filming the series “Six Flying Dragons” and couldn’t leave the location far away from Seoul. Here, Yoo Ah In revealed his thought on being Actor of The Year and having a star power, and what he wanted to do in the future. Check it out~
[2015 Movie Year End Review] Yoo Ah In: “It feels strange having a star power”
Translated by Admin M of YAI International Fans Community
The 2015 is marked as the year where some actors have the prominent ‘ticket power’ and ‘star power’ more than anyone else did in the past years. The most striking mark is the public’s preference for the movies starring seasoned actors and the newcomers.
The most prominent one of all these actors is, undoubtedly, Yoo Ah In (29). Through the movies “Veteran” and “The Throne” (Sado) this year, Yoo Ah In has remarkably gained the public’s attention. In the 2015 Gallup survey, Yoo Ah In is chosen as the Movie Actor of The Year, beating Song Kang Ho and Hwang Jung Min. This is not a coincidence.
The final result is always be the most talk-about, but for an actor there is no easy choice from the start. Once a restless soul who stayed shy of the world, Yoo Ah In became a true icon of this year, thanks to his bold and yet uneasy choice.
We did the interview by phone because it was a very busy day for Yoo Ah In, as he was still filming the SBS series “Six Flying Dragons”. Afraid that I would disturb him, I called him cautiously, but he replied in a vibrant voice. When I met with him in the past, he shared his thoughts a lot with a powerful and unconstrained style, gorgeous idioms, and full of childlike spirit. Now, he still used beautiful words, but he sounded more dignified and imposing. “Veteran” and “The Throne” made everyone see Yoo Ah In in a new light and new respect, but to Yoo Ah In “Veteran” and “The Throne” are the blessings, not merely because they hit big at the box office.
I began by greeting him and saying, “You won over Song Kang Ho and Hwang Jung Min in the Gallup Survey as Actor of The Year.”
Yoo Ah In, “Puha ha ha, I feel embarrassed, it burdens me much. I don’t think this will happen again in the future, so it (the result) feels precious. In the Blue Dragon Film Awards (acceptance speech), I meant to say this but I didn’t~ ‘I may not be able to stand up here again in the next 10 years’.”
He is restless. Instead of enjoying what he has gained, he already moved on to the next works. Ahead of the military service enlistment, Yoo Ah In is working like a cow. He took “Secret Love Affair” while he was still filming “Veteran”, he joined “The Throne” afterwards without a break, and then jumped to the TV series “Six Flying Dragons”.
He said, “I’m happy with this working approach. I want to make an impressive filmography. I would like to show the people what kind of actor I am more explicitly.”
“I used to live the way I liked, not the way other people liked, and I still want to live according to my own thoughts. Rather than a good package of me, I would like to show you the rough side of me, and yet I would like to give you a clear sense of my own vision.”
Yoo Ah In went from “Veteran” to “The Throne” to “Six Flying Dragons”. He said, “I would like to make myself clear to everyone that I’m building my own flow in this process.”
“Why did you choose these among others?”, I asked him, “Why do you have to choose strikingly different things?”
Yoo Ah In, “Aren’t all the 20s people same like that? Although an actor’s profession is regarded as a special occupation, but I don’t feel anything special compare to others in terms of work. Maybe because I started very early as an actor, I want to find something else that is more special.”
Although “Veteran” came out with a good result, many actors were afraid of making a choice and taking on the role back then. In “Veteran”, Yoo Ah In plays a wicked young heir of chaebol, a role that the so-called “Hallyu Stars” rejected due to the script. In the story, the character beat an actress on her stomach after he found out she was pregnant and carrying his baby. All the top stars feared the negative impact this image could cause to their CF deals.
But Yoo Ah In was different, “It stimulated me.”
He laughed and continued, “I don’t care much about advertising. My only fear was that I could not do good in the filming of Veteran.”
There are different kinds of actors, and Yoo Ah In is one who stands out among others, that is, he is an excellent soloist, he climbs up alone in the most dazzling way. Case in point: his acting in “Veteran” and “The Throne”. Conversely, he might be incompatible with other actors in a work.
Yoo Ah In, “I agree with some parts that you said, but I don’t think there is such a soloist actor or a chorus actor. There are only the 20s actors, and no matter what position we are in, we all feel nervous, so that we feel like boldly going through. Just because Veteran and The Throne were squeezed in to release at the same time this year, so many people gave me a round of applause. Had they released only one of them, I wouldn’t have been like now.”
I asked, “What does it mean by ‘boldly going through’?”
Yoo Ah In said that “it may be a means of subsistence.”
What was the most impressive moment this year to Yoo Ah In?, I asked. He chose “at the Busan International Film Festival events; Korean Film Reporters Association Open Talk.” [read the reports here and here]
He said, “I’m very shy of strangers, no matter what position I am in, I always feel that I don’t belong there. At that time, the road was covered with faces, which somehow felt like it wasn’t where I supposed to be. Many people greeted me and applauded me, in a way that I think I could finally like it to some extent.”
Yoo Ah In, “I always felt like an outsider my whole life, I didn’t seem to belong to anything or anyone, I’m very shy of strangers, but now I feel the power.” For sure, “Veteran” and “The Throne” gave Yoo Ah In the box office power.
It seemed we were shifting to a very deep topic, so I threw a childish question: “Which one is better? Veteran or The Throne? And what about the impressions of each film you are going to remember?”
Yoo Ah In answered unhesitatingly, “From a personal standpoint, I love The Throne. Objectively speaking, I love Veteran. I have a big satisfaction as an actor in The Throne, and Veteran is the best film of the year for me.”
I asked him a simple question again, “In Veteran you worked alongside Hwang Jung Min, while in The Throne with Song Kang Ho. Whose one of the two is better?”
This time, Yoo Ah In thought hard for a while before he answered, “They both made me feel uncomfortable”, then burst to laughter.
Yoo Ah In, “I miss drinking soju with Song Kang Ho again. I miss Hwang Jung Min and envy him very much for taking part in many films,” he said it longingly. I guess he should be reminded that he’s been taking part in many works too.
This year he is called as the “King”. I asked him: “I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of praise this year. This year will past soon. How are you going to reflect on yourself before this year is over?”.
Yoo Ah In, “Just like before, I will keep on reflecting on myself with a humble heart.”
He added, “I carefully conveyed my thoughts with a lot of pretty words in my writings back then. Now, I want to be able to express things without hesitation. But then, even if I have a pure intention, it can get messed around if I don’t deliver it properly.”
Yoo Ah In is not trying to be a refined gentleman, but an anxious person instead. At one certain moment, Yoo Ah In, who refuses to be a gentleman but a restless man, made himself clear to everyone. That moment could be “Veteran” or “The Throne”.
Yoo Ah In, “I am able to recognize what is mine and what is not mine, I know very well what I can and cannot do. But I want to live a life full of challenge, and be surrounded by the environment which constantly changes. And I want to keep things that I can cherish for a long time.”
The anxiety of Yoo Ah In solidifies his identity, and it keeps the curiosity up. People may feel the same about him.
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