Yoo Ah In “Sports Chosun Travel Talk” Part 2: “Cheers from the crowd make me weak”
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 2, translated by Yoo Ah In International Fans Community
(See Part 1 here)
[Sports Chosun Travel Talk②]
We can call him the one and only. He’s not inferior among the “Great Chungmuro” faces while rubbing shoulders and sharing the “feast” side by side with his seniors. All the people recognize and appreciate their ambition too. The future of Korean film industry, the focus of attention; actor Yoo Ah In. Is the best male actor award that he got at his 30, eleven years after his début, intoxicating him?
◇ November 26th last year, the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards at Kyunghee University Peace Hall in Seoul. Yoo Ah In won the best actor through his performance in “Sado”, 11 years after his debut.
In the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards which was held in November last year, the biggest topic was who would win the Best Male Performance. There was fierce competition among the selected candidates in the Blue Dragon Film Awards for Best Actor Nominees; Song Kang Ho (“Sado”), Hwang Jung Min (“Veteran”), Jung Jae Young (“Right Now, Wrong Then”), Lee Jung Jae (“Assassination”), and following Song Kang Ho in “Sado” was Yoo Ah In.
All the five nominees deserved the prize, putting the judges in difficult decision. But there couldn’t be five winners. Yoo Ah In’s crazy acting in “Sado” (“The Throne”), which explored the intense and twisted Prince Sado, eventually won the prize. No one felt dissatisfied that the “nephew” Yoo Ah In became the youngest Best Actor winner. In the previous year, Song Kang Ho won Best Actor award through “The Attorney”, and because of that he was given the task to present the award to the next best actor Yoo Ah In. Like a father, he embraced Yoo Ah In on the stage and looked at him with a father’s eyes. At the same time among the audience, Jung Jae Young, Hwang Jung Min, and Lee Jung Jae gave their big applause and sent their “uncle smile” [to him].
“I was super nervous at the time, because I awfully wanted to get that award..hahaha. I think that if you are greedy, you become nervous about yourself. When I was waiting for the results, I looked at myself on the [giant] screen with my seniors. At that time I was closing my eyes, and someone asked me if I was praying for the prize. It was not like that (laughs). It’s because I was embarrassed. Not only in the Blue Dragon Film Awards, in the previous awards I showed a lot of things [expressions] too. I never feel comfortable with my position. I don’t know what to do when suddenly the camera flashes on me, even if I’m freezing myself for a moment. I know it’s obvious that my appearance is being broadcast, but it’s also strange to pretend acting. Haha. Some people think that these things are part of the actors/part of acting, but I can’t do that. It was funny. Ah, this is just my personal taste. Haha. As you all know, I am very brazen when I have to act for real. I’ll be willing to act and become [actor] Yoo Ah In when needed, and I’ll go back to the natural awkward Uhm Hong Sik when a natural look is required (laughs). It’s been 10 years since my last Blue Dragon Film Awards attendance where I received the Best Rookie award. It’s been a long time since my last [actor] award, so that moment I felt embarrassed and I looked too candid. Thanks to my award speech, I felt so stupid when I get down the stage. Haha.”
It was unprecedented occasion for Yoo Ah In who was not familiar with inauguration celebration. The moment when his name was called [as the winner], he closed his eyes, and his face turned red. In that strange awkward situation, he sweated and touched one of his ear lobes. “Why did the golden trophy engraved with ‘Best Actor’ seem so heavy that day? And why did the stage seem so high? Why did all the focused attention and the camera I’ve seen for 11 years feel so burdensome?” Yoo Ah In didn’t know. “Shameful [embarrassment]. I just had this one word in my head. Even now, when I think back of that time, my face turns hot and my hand goes up toward my earlobe automatically.” It was not the “player” Yoo Ah In who never lost his composure and flexibility in any circumstances/situation that we saw. It was the most exciting moment of a humane Uhm Hongsik. And it was cute.
“I’m cute? Recently I really wanted to hear the praise ‘cute’. ‘Yoo Ah In is very cute’, I love hearing that. Hahaha. Touching my ear is a habit that appears when I feel shy. At that award-winning speech, I touched my earlobe first, then looked at my hands holding the trophy, and then uttered my award-winning speech style (laughs). Honestly, I re-winded the best actor award scene in the Blue Dragon Film Awards many times. How can’t I often look at it? Haha. I think that this Blue Dragon Film Awards stage is more intoxicating than the other big stages that I have climbed up before. I have never been able to write the award speech, but it’s also fun to improvise [an acceptance speech]. Honestly, our national awards ceremony is boring. I think there are some ridiculous customs that exist in order to cater to the awards ceremony. I want to show you something interesting in that regards. My mission is to make sure that people who are watching this moment don’t sigh [out of boredom]. I’ll take the risk.” [Note: he’s ready to take the risk of being criticized or getting mocked by people who don’t like his impromptu speech style]
In 2003, Yoo Ah In became famous through the KBS2 TV series “Banolrim” as Okrim’s (Go Ara) boyfriend. Since then, he has been transformed into a veteran of seven dramas and nine films. After acting vigorously, a gift came in the end. For the first time after eleven years, Yoo Ah In came to the end of his suffering and earned the “recognition”. He said cheers from the crowd make him weak.
“Everyone seems to think that Yoo Ah In doesn’t want to get recognition, and the respond [when I get an award] will be, ‘whatever’. Well, it’s just a short piece of attitude that I set up. To be honest, I get more tired and nervous the moment I admit it [the desire to get acknowledgment], so I’m deliberately ignoring it. It’s about the way. The way/path that I choose is not a fast easy way to get a recognition. ‘I’m going with this heavy footstep’, ‘don’t you see I’m going this way sincerely?’, ‘I’m going in a special step’, and if you get tired of saying these things, you’ll end up getting tired of yourself, because there’s a moment when you really want to be recognized. Afterall, I’m a very vulnerable person. By the time I received the prize, I was worried and felt like ‘is this right?’, ‘where am I going?’. At this phase, the Blue Dragon Film Awards’ Best Actor prize gave me the feeling that, at least, I got recognized by the audience that I didn’t walk the wrong path. And, although I received a huge amount of praise because of the ‘Veteran’ popularity, the Best Actor Award [for his performance in ‘Sado’] provides further essence of recognition. It was a happy moment for me and I feel very satisfied. I will have to live to get the viewers recognition once again, right?”
Yoo Ah In, who tasted the recognition, in the future will always miss the audience’s praise, and determines to act more intensely. However, he doesn’t want to stick to the award-winning things. To prevent the arrogance and laziness, Yoo Ah In didn’t put the trophy at his home, but in his agency’s office. “Sometimes when I miss the joy of that time, I go to my agency and take a quick glance. I don’t get caught up in the glory of the past. I’m just thankful for every moment in my life.” Beyond imagination, Yoo Ah In is a very humble 30s generation actor.
Compared to “Sado”, his performance as “Veteran” Jo Tae Oh received more love from the audience, but he thinks that the actor‘s actor’s performance is in “Sado”. “I wouldn’t have been able to get nominated and win award had I not played in ‘Veteran’. If ‘Veteran’ and ‘Sado’ were not tied in one package [not released at the same period of time], wouldn’t the audience’s passionate love be cooling down? I remember getting a lot of affection like this when I filmed ‘Wandeugi’ (‘Punch’ 2011, director Lee Han). When young actors are trying to show their strength, people would say, ‘he’s cute’ or ‘he’s adorable’, but I don’t think it will develop to a recognition (laughs). [Note: some people thought he was adorable in ‘Wandeugi’, and they were full of affection toward him, but they didn’t notice his acting prowess that much]. However, through these two works, I have to admit that I received more recognition and exposure than I did ‘Wandeugi’… haha. I know, I’m not the kind of a great kid who deserves such compliment. And the most important of all, just because I received the prize, it doesn’t mean that I’m better in acting than Song Kang Ho sunbae-nim. Prince Sado was a character with a very wide spectrum, and I think the character itself is praise-worthy. Song Kang Ho sunbae-nim is not the kind of person who’s jealous that a kid like me has received an award. After the ceremony was over, we had the [Blue Dragon Awards] dinner and I look at [Song Kang Ho] sunbae-nim’s happy face. And it dawned on me, ‘Ah, if you have received the Best Actor nomination three times in the Blue Dragon Film Awards [like Song Kang Ho did], you would have these tolerance and grace!’ Haha.”
© Yoo Ah In 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.