Yoo Ah In “Sports Chosun Travel Talk” Part 1: “I was a rebel because I felt lonely”
During the Blue Dragon Awards special photoshoot, September 22nd, Yoo Ah In had an exclusive interview with Sports Chosun. The interview was published on October 20th in 3 parts.
Here’s part 1, translated by our dear translator in the Yoo Ah In International Fans Community
[Sports Chosun Travel Talk①］
◇ Through movie “Sado”, Yoo Ah In won the Best Actor in the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards last year, making it a meaningful year for him, as it was his first best actor prize eleven years after his debut. To Sports Chosun ‘Travel Talk’, he candidly confessed and shared with us the pressures and happiness which came along with it.
※ Sports Chosun reporter was out to see the busy star. We drove to his nearly like-a-home work site, that offered a quiet place to rest. Our conversation was filled with sincere atmosphere. This time our main lead is the last year’s hottest star who received lots of love through his movies “Veteran” and “Sado”– the “youth icon” Yoo Ah In.
If we are asked to name the busiest, the most loved, the most glittering and the happiest star last year, we will answer: it is Yoo Ah In (30). He starred in two films with a month difference of première. To obtain such opportunities is undoubtedly lucky, but also beyond that, both his movies had won a huge amount audience with over 19,660,858 viewers. Borrowing his own words, receiving the best actor prize before 30 is such a miracle and a moment of joy.
In the past two years, Yoo Ah In truly didn’t waste a minute of his life. In spring 2014 he shot “Veteran” (director Ryoo Seung Wan) four months straight, and right after the film cranked out, he immediately joined “The Throne” (director Lee Jun Ik), channeling his passion. And just like a precious child, they let Yoo Ah In swept and occupied the theaters in the 2015 summer and autumn box office. In addition, between both movies’ promotional activities, Yoo Ah In took his spare time to shoot a new film “Like For Likes” (director Park Hyu Jin). Before he had time to catch his breath, he joined the SBS drama “Six Flying Dragons” (writers Kim Young Hyun & Park Sang Yeon, director Shin Kyung Soo) in October, vigorously continued rowing and enjoying the high tides of his popularity. So this year, he finally had a moment to breathe. After he completes director Lee Chang Dong’s new film “Burning”, Yoo Ah In will enlist in November, and his work as an actor will be temporarily come to an end. [Note: the reporter just wrote this based on the piece of information he got in October about “Burning” and enlistment, so this information is not up-to-date]. However, it will be a time to recharge and leap further.
After “Six Flying Dragons” finished airing, we learned that the non-human Yoo Ah In would spend a day to shoot a special pictorial [Blue Dragon Awards special photo shoot]. So, we immediately dispatched to his work site. It was a collaboration photo shoot with actor Oh Dal Soo and Jeon Hye Jin, both with whom Yoo Ah In worked in “Veteran” and “Sado” last year. Oh Dal Su won Best Supporting Actor, and Jeon Hye Jin Best Supporting Actress, sharing the joy with Yoo Ah In who received the Best Actor prize in the last year’s Blue Dragon Film Awards. He opened the studio door and greeted them, saying it was their first meet after a long while. He seemed a little shy, but once he posed before the camera, he turned to a heavenly fierce actor.
“It’s been a year since the last time I saw (Oh) Dalsu and (Jeon) Hye Jin sunbae-nim. I feel very happy to see them again in this photo shooting location (laugh). ‘I really want to see them’, was my strongest feeling, and it did come true. Also, it’s been a while since the last time I shoot for a pictorial. The staff laughed saying ‘it’s been a long while’, when they saw me. I think last year was a very special year in my life, so I would like to reminisce that moment again through this photo shoot with both of them.”
As Yoo Ah In said, the last year’s Chungmuro/movie industry has brought a special opportunity to Yoo Ah In. People wondered ‘what on earth is going on?’. Suddenly the whole world saw Yoo Ah In with full attention. No, ‘major crush’ is more fitting to express that situation. Debuted in 2003, after 13 years of career filled with precious and colorful talent, the heyday arrived a little late (was it/wasn’t it?). Everyone loves Yoo Ah In more and more passionately.
“I don’t feel that the recognition came late. From a novice to a thirty-year-old Korean actor, I have communicated with the audience through more than one work, got everyone’s love, to finally received acknowledgement as the best actor at the prestigious awards ceremony. From the beginning I had already expected that it would take time to get recognized. You’ve seen me along the way (laugh). I would like to use my filmography to prove to people what kind of person and actor I am. Of course, there are days when I want to hide in a safety net and say, ‘let’s see what will happen next’, or ‘I gotta see where this high wind is heading to’, and want to run away into the middle of nowhere. But I always face the challenge. Like an experimental adventure, I never treat it with caution or fear, even if it makes me spend more time to arrive to where I’m now/to get the result.”
A special person, a remarkable man. That’s Yoo Ah In. Although he said he had just began to be a sensible man, he is different from the peers his age. He has already set up his own career plan and found his direction of conviction too. Compare to those at the same age, this 30 year-old man is out of ordinary. Even when he stumbles on the stone, falls down to the snow and bleeds, he will hold on to his sole conviction of “let’s go all the way”, get up and continue again. And, a self-reflection like this is always harsh and cruel.
“Weren’t there some times when I was judged as a pretentious? To put it nicely, there was a period when I was deemed a rebel kid. Haha. I think these pictures piled up and finally made a three dimensional actor named Yoo Ah In. Our Korean people don’t like garish thing. Our culture can’t positively accommodate those who suddenly stick out in the bunch, the heterogeneity and differences. If you let young actors to freely show their own personality, then there will be different colors, and we’ll be able to show diversity [in entertainment industry]. But we seek exactly the same thing. If they suddenly stand out starkly, like me, they will be deemed a rebellious kid. I feel really really sorry for this reality. There was a time when I was treated as a potential disease, so I put on an act as a rebel kid because I felt lonely. Back then, I didn’t dare to share my story to the seniors. Now I think it’s necessary to share this story to my juniors. I would like to show you that if you’re willing to be brave and live as an actor [a true actor who has his own colors, not an actor who falls into stereotype], then wouldn’t the entertainment industry become more exciting and richer too? You might collide with the others or there might be some conflicts, but I think eventually people will grow up through conflict.” [Note: “conflict” as in argument and disagreement, not physical conflict that use force]
He did grow up. In the past, there were times when Yoo Ah In shouted to people, “this is not right!”. SNS became the only window for Yoo Ah In to convey his voice. But was he too blunt? Because of that, people labeled him as pretentious and a rebel. His SNS, his attitude, his point of views always became a hot potato, and often got irresponsible remarks. While shouting to the world, Yoo Ah In realized he felt lonely and sad.
“‘Why does this actor play SNS?’ I hear this question most of time (laugh). Just like other people, besides doing an actor’s work, I do my hobby too sometimes. So I thought, ‘why not?’. I was hurt many times [by the backlash], but by the time I was 30 I’ve learned that these unsatisfied people don’t represent an absolute majority, but they’re just some aggressors/attackers [e.g: keyboard warriors who are lack of bravery and/or conviction in real life and post generally unnecessary negative rubbish, lies, rumors on SNS when they would never say such things to someone’s face]. I was very nervous and sensitive in the past, but now I’m able to calmly listen to their words and I try to understand them. Haha. Of course, it’s a relief. I’m not giving up, I will accept and embrace it. [Note: he accepts his situation/the effect caused by these negative people because it really doesn’t matter to him, but he does not accept/embrace their action. And instead of attacking people back, he agrees to disagree with different opinions]. Isn’t this part of my role as the so-called artist too? After all, those criticisms, rumors, terrible insults/verbal abuse, they’re all actually nothing. Conversely, the praise, the applause and the cheers, they’re all not everlasting. Because they’re all just desires that will not last long and will disappear, like the sand trickles through your fingers the more you try to hold it tight. I think that’s the fate of an actor.”
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