[INTERVIEW Part 2] Six Flying Dragons Yoo Ah In: “Everyday I’m Excited, Everyday I Feel Lonely”
This is Yoo Ah In’s “Six Flying Dragons” interview part 2. Go check interview part 1 here.
Translated by Admin M – Yoo Ah In International Fans Community
Picking up where we left off. The journalists praised Yoo Ah In’s attitude during the 90 minutes-long interview/press conference. There were at least a hundred reporters, but Yoo Ah In was relaxed and made everyone relaxed too with his witty and candid words.
“Write everything I will say, don’t censor them just to make me look cool”, he told them, which caused laughter.
In the finale episode of ‘Six Flying Dragons’, Lee Bang Won mentions this phrase, “Everyday I’m excited, everyday I’m scared, everyday I feel lonely”. What about Yoo Ah In’s version?
Yoo Ah In said that Lee Bang Won was a lonely man. “From the human point of view, Lee Bang Won is a very desolated figure despite all the power that he has. He is a very lonely man. In the final episode, Lee Bang Won was cut from all the relationships, he was separated from the people who used to be on his side. I think people who have power are just like that, such as tyrants or authorities. But solitude is their choice. Lee Bang Won embraced the solitude as his choice in life that no one could understand but himself.”
“There’s one thing in common between authorities and actors. Everyday I’m excited, everyday I’m scared, and everyday I feel lonely. Actors have the thought of becoming a unique star, we want to have the power to become an exclusive star and stand on the top of the pyramids. So, we are willing to dig into the loneliness and restlessly climbing alone, separating ourselves from the rest, and becoming the lonely one. It is a lonely path for actors, but I will continue to be such person. That phrase in ‘Six Flying Dragons’ was like the final gift to me.”
Lee Bang Won and ‘Six Flying Dragons’ seem to be the metaphor of the current situation in South Korea [note: a lot of viewers believe that some characters represent the current South Korea’s government and political situation]. We asked Yoo Ah In if this was ‘Six Flying Dragons’ intention.
“I never thought about Lee Bang Won that way. I thought of Lee Bang Won as a political person, but I’m beginning to think that it [the metaphor] is quite true. But, it’s just in my imagination, anyway. Please don’t put the writers in danger. I want to continue working here (laughed)”.
How is the relationship between Lee Bang Won, Moo Hyul, Lee Bang Ji and Jo Young Gyu?
“I believe that Young Gyu’s death took Lee Bang Won from his comfort shelter and made him act that way. Young Gyu was a mother, best friend, and big brother to Lee Bang Won, someone whom he could rely on. He was able to show his true self as a complete person only to Young Gyu. After the ‘First Strive of Princes’ where Bang Won killed Jeong Do Jeon and Lee Bang Seok, there was a scene of Young Gyu appearing in front of Lee Bang Won for a short time, like a fantasy. I felt a lump in my throat. This is one of my favorite scenes. Min Sung Wook sunbae-nim [actor who plays Young Gyu] and I were able to act with a great compassion in this scene, and we received great response [from viewers] too. I think presenting him as a ghost was a way to show Lee Bang Won’s inner weakness moment.”
Yoo Ah In created the best bromance with actor Song Joong Ki in “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”. In “Six Flying Dragons”, Yoo Ah In and Yoon Kyun Sang showed another excellent bromance which gained popularity as well.
“Moo Hyul [actor Yoon Kyun Sang] was someone to whom Lee Bang Won could pretend and bluff that he was a great person. When someone beside you always says, ‘you’re cool’, you pretend to be nice around this person (laughed). As the pretentious went on, it became his real self. Moo Hyul was a catalyst in making Bang Won burns, that’s why Lee Bang Won cherished him. But then he left me, that punk (laughed).”
About Lee Bang Ji or Ddang Sae, Yoo Ah In said, “There was a camaraderie feels between Bang Won and Bang Ji, but there was no friendship. When they eventually took on different path, that friendship disappeared too. Actually, I have a good relationship in real life with Byun Yo Han [actor who played Bang Ji]. But ever since we took different sides in the drama, we seldom met each other at the filming location. So, once we met again, it felt awkward.”
What about the relationship between Lee Bang Won and the only female dragon Boon Yi?
“Before the drama began, we were already given a hint that the female lead would be a brave and honest person. Perhaps, Bang Won was the truest to himself and felt most comfortable in front of Boon Yi [actress Shin Se Kyung]. As the ‘worm’ grew in his heart, Boon Yi became the most difficult existence to Bang Won. Because he loved her so much, he couldn’t put her down, and he couldn’t help to grab a hold of her either. But in the end, he chose to separate from her and be solitude. I think this was what happened to a person with power.”
Yoo Ah In has talked about the harsh condition of filming the drama in the previous interview, but we feel the different understanding of his words in his tone. We’ve asked him what the most difficult aspect in shooting “Six Flying Dragons” was, and he answered, “waking up in the morning was the hardest”.
He explained further, “You might think I’m joking, but this is no joke. I use the terms ‘workplace’ and ‘commuting’ to describe the situation I’m in. When people asked me where I was going to, I told them ‘I’m commuting to my workplace’, ‘I’m going to work’. Normally my dramas only took 3 months of shooting, so I tried to be patient. But this work was harder and took longer time. At the beginning, I told myself, ‘It’s just a few months away to the end’ (laughed). But this wasn’t immediately gonna end soon. Nonetheless, I got to have a perseverance. Because in Korea, no matter what jobs they are, they don’t have a reasonable and best system, and that includes the TV production. Even if I want to question it, I refrain myself. As I’m getting older, I think I should hold it in. So, I guess this job is not reasonable for those who get pissed easily (laughed). To console myself, I thought of the benefit working in the 50 episodes; ‘I’ll earn a lot of money’ (laughed).”
So, actually what does Yoo Ah In want to achieve through this drama besides acting?
“You think I did this drama merely to get a lot of money? No. Don’t misunderstand me, don’t get me wrong. Challenge is my pure intention, because I want to let people know that I’m different.”
Yoo Ah In is rare in the showbiz, because he has that “cool wide range of actor”. He had been working nonstop for a string of great works since last year. From “Veteran” to “The Throne” to “Six Flying Dragons”, he has shaped himself up as the trendy actor and gained a nickname ‘Ainshidae’. Even with that status, he never looks arrogant and he is still the same old Yoo Ah In who speaks frankly, holds onto his principles and is not artificial. The difference now is that he’s more thoughtful in speaking.
“Veteran and The Throne were not shot at the same year, but they both were released at the same time last year. The same thing with Six Flying Dragons and Like For Likes. Therefore, people see me doing a lot of works. Although that [trendy] status gave me a burden, but they gave me a good evaluation too. So, I feel very happy. It feels like boarding the plane and flying away to the sky. But I’m a little calm now. This was something I have always dreamed of, but I didn’t anticipate this moment either. I personally felt that last year was the most accomplishment year to me.”
“I’m a person with colors. I believe that through my roles choice, everyone will be able to see and figure out what kind of colors I am through my acting. And through my works, I would like to make myself different from other actors. I used to hate people who maintained their preconceptions about me. In order to break my stereotypes, I chose the roles which could break some certain image. For instance, I had this ‘Guroh’ image from ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ which was a fantasy for women, so I broke that image by starring in a reality program ‘Launch My Life’ (laughed). Now, since I played ‘Veteran’, ‘Sado’ and ‘Six Flying Dragons’ simultaneously, you might think I only like those rough roles. As a matter of fact, the role I can play the best is that of Lee Seon Jae from ‘Secret Love Affair’ (laughed). But now, I don’t think much about the people’s prejudice, as I’m looking at the bigger framework and enjoying that process. Basically, I will not put myself in one particular image over and over again. I would like some more space for everyone to see that I’m into diversity.”
We asked where his self-confidence came from, and he answered to our surprise, “I have no self-confidence.”
“I have no self-confidence, but I have a trait which is unique in Korea; the ability to express myself. This is strange, but I’m very straightforward showing myself. Hence, I’m deemed as a very unique actor. I didn’t work in a romantic comedy that earned more than 20% ratings, but I’ve been getting so much love. I’m very grateful for this, and at the same time, I have to thank the reporters, who, in such a way, have created a star. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.”
Yoo Ah In was asked about his truthful feelings regarding “Descendants of the Sun”, and Song Joong Ki, whom Yoo Ah In worked with together in “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”. Also represented by the same agency as Song Hye Kyo, Yoo Ah In has a special connection with both of the leads of “Descendants of the Sun”.
“I was asked 8 out of 10 questions regarding Song Joong Ki at an award ceremony last week [note: Asian Film Awards ceremony in Macau, March 17th] (laughed). Our drama had a hard time even reaching 17%, but will they reach 30% in one go? I’m jealous because it’s a drama where a hyung and noona I really like appear. I feel good watching the achievements and growth of these colleagues that are my friends. It sounds like a textbook answer but it’s the truth.”
Although he’s still a straightforward man, it’s obvious that Yoo Ah In has changed, judging from the tone of his voice. As we said, the difference in him now is that he’s more thoughtful in speaking, he’s different in terms of courtesy and concern for others. We can say that he has grown and compromised. So, what are the reasons for these changes in attitude?
“I feel it necessary to widen the breadth of understanding and reduce the misunderstanding. I want to be understood better by others. I think that the greatest value in life is to be a good person, and bring a good influence to others. Although I will keep being straightforward and honest, I want to reduce the misunderstanding and the noise to a minimum, and become more cautious. It’s my responsibility to return the people’s love.”
Yoo Ah In gets involved in various artistic activities besides acting, such as participating in designing, and even music performance (see his art performance video in Style Icon Awards here).
“An actor is not a ‘cool’ career. I decided to become an actor because I wanted to become famous, but that’s not my intention anymore. Being faithful to the essence of acting is my pure intention now. For sure, my occupation naturally produces the so-called popularity or fame. As an actor, I am constantly creating characters, continue showing the world that I have a strong commitment to my work, and bear all the attention from the people. Being cool is not enough to live in such entertainment circle. More than being cool, I want to be a good actor.”
In that sense, Yoo Ah In considers himself as a “creator” rather than a “star”.
“I think I’m just one of those creators. Actor is a creator too, because an actor’s job is creating a character. Trying to make a character as your own is your contribution as an actor. If you put Lee Bang Won and Jo Tae Oh into the perspective of a creative work, it’s not difficult to choose taking on these roles. Creating the characters is fun. That being said, as a creator I’m trying to express, interpret, and capture objects with my own way. It could be in the form of clothes, paintings. music, and other artistic projects. I’m okay if they call me a ‘gwanjong’ [internet slang for ‘attention seeker’], because, in my opinion, ‘gwanjong’ is a person who is standing in the middle of the world.” ***
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