Here is a young man grown up as an actor, revealing various and distinctive colors, from a boy missing his mother, up to a soldier of North Korea. This actor shot to fame at an early age through paving his own path, one that is significantly different from those of others. Actor Yeo Jin-goo, who made his debut with a movie ‘Sad Movie’ which appeals a fresh mood of Korean film, successfully showed his potential with veteran actors and actresses like Jung Woo-sung, Cha Tae-hyun, and Lim Soo-jung. The actor who always shows the public endless growth, Yeo Jin-goo became an alumnus of department of film studies, Chung-Ang University. As a class of 16, becoming freshman, he is now attracting all CAU students’ attention by his entrance in CAU. Let’s listen to a vision of a young actor who will soon become a global actor in the future with his colorful life stories!
CAH: First of all, congrats on your becoming a twenty! Were there any fantasies or things you have always wanted to do when you become an adult?
JG: I had really wanted to get my driver license when I turn twenty. And I earned it on my very first attempt without any failures. I wish I could drive soon and travel around. Moreover, I had always wanted to go on a trip by myself and also with my friends. I guess it isn’t so much different to be an adult but, still, I am excited because I can experience plenty of things as from now on.
CAH: You had been acting since the age of eight, so I guess there was not enough time given to you to hang out with your friends. What are your thoughts about this?
JG: Well, to be honest, I was able to spend decent amount of time with my friends because luckily, almost every films started shooting during my semester vacations. Therefore, I attended school camp and went to school just like any other students. Moreover, my friends and I grew up together in the same town all the way from elementary to high school so we have strong bond, which consistently keep us in touch.
CAH: If you had not been an actor, what do you see yourself doing now?
JG: I had not really thought deeply about it but I love sports and music. I love any sports that are related to balls such as soccer. I had participated in school soccer team too. Furthermore, I love playing guitar and piano but I wasn’t a type of student that liked to sit on a desk. Rather, I preferred staying outside and something that actually involves using my body.
CAH: Is there any CAU alumni that you respect?
JG: Of course, there are too many graduating seniors to respect that I can’t even mention every one of them. To pick one of them, I admire ‘Ha Jeong-woo’ because he can perfectly portray various characters in the film. He owns diverse colors and his distinctive charm that catch public imagination. Moreover, ever since I met ‘Jeong Bo-seok’ through the drama ‘Giant’, I was awed the way he absorbs the character he acts. They show no limitations on the characters they play. It is something that I genuinely respect for.
CAH: Why did you choose to study at Chung-ang University, Department of Theater and Film?
JG: I had thought deeply about this matter, whether to study more in the university or keep learning from the coalface. A lot of movie directors told me that it isn’t necessary to enter university that I could still learn from the filming site. However, I thought that it would make a great synergy effect if I combine taking a theoretical approach and learning from the real filming site. Additionally, it is very new for me to act and work with the actors of my age as a group. Thus, I think my decision could expand my horizon through being in a brand new place. Most importantly, however, I chose Chung-ang University, department of theater and film, because it is undoubtedly, the best in Korea that earns high marks for churning out talented actors.
CAH: Is there any lecture that you would like to attend?
JG: I cannot wait to learn about history, vocalization and fundamentals of theater and film. As aforementioned, my film directors have been my acting teachers, they pointed out mistakes and areas to work on. I am glad to meet my professors. For the case of taking liberal studies, I am not fully aware of the classes because there are too many lectures.
CAH: You debuted at the age of eight. What kind of elements of film attracts you?
JG: I loved staying at the filming site, where it is crowed with people. Rather than staying indoor, my personality was very outgoing and I wanted to gain a spotlight. Therefore, the reason why I started acting isn’t actually because I wanted to be an actor but I just wanted to be on screen, in front of everyone. Luckily, my parents supported me; rather than oppressing me, they had told me to try anything I wanted. Well, I don’t think they thought that I would actually be an actor haha. But it all started from curiosity. The first time when I contemplated on deciding my career as an actor was when I acted in a drama called “Giant”. I was in middle school by that time and I was able to act with a lot of talented actors. Since then, my passion towards acting amplified, after acknowledging what ‘acting’ truly is.
CAH: What kind of obstacle did you face as an actor?
JG: I guess I had gone through both physical pain and mental anguish. First of all, the filming site is an extremely harsh environment than you could imagine. The actors and the staffs must endure freezing cold and sizzling hot weather. Every scene is delicately produced through numerous trials and errors. It is physically and emotionally extremely exhausting task to create the satisfying scene which is used for only few minutes. When you are physically exhausted, then here comes the mental torment. Well, I always try to express the things that I'm feeling inside, which are under my skin. However, the process to pull out that appropriate emotion requires tremendous endeavor and will. I have to delve into the character, emptying my personal characters and simultaneously keeping my charm and absorbing the fictional character that I have to be. Senior actors and movie directors truly helped me developing my acting skills through guiding me on the film site. Additionally, of course, the staff members were always there for me to support me anytime. I sincerely thank all the members for always trying utmost effort to promote a very friendly environment just like a family.
CAH: You have been casted more than 30 dramas and films so far. What are the pieces that you are mostly satisfied or attached with?
JG: I have attachments to every single drama and film. But to pick the piece that I love the most is the movie called ‘Hwai’. The character that I portrayed was very complex and unique. As I dig down into the character’s mind, I could unveil more elements of that distinctive character but I had to even dig down more. It is quite difficult to express how I felt with words but I felt that I should understand the character even more as I realize some of it. It was very challenging task to simultaneously instill distinctive emotions and leave out some of mine to genuinely portray the scene. Therefore, this movie had a significantly improved my acting skills. Furthermore, the movie ‘Seobu Jeonsun’ was very new to me because it was my first time to act a character that dies in the scene. I also had to practice and learn North Korean language so it was quite new experience for me.
CAH: Few months ago, you made a guest appearance on the entertainment show called ‘My Little Television’. Are you willing to be on the entertainment program in the future?
JG: The reason why I decided to participate as the guest is because ‘My Little Television’ is one of the entertainment show that I enjoy watching. To be honest, however, it was somehow burdensome and uncomfortable staying on the actual show because I was under some pressure to ‘entertain’ the audience. It was a great experience but I feel more comfortable as an audience ha ha.
CAH: Some people say that your sweet voice is a gift because it especially radiates the women’s heart. Have you ever received any vocal lessons?
JG: Thank you so much for the complement. No I had not received any vocal lessons. I guess it is genetic in our family because all my family members have low and deep voice just like mine. Strongly, my voice changes when I try to sing so its kind of sad that I cannot sing with my original voice.
CAH: What is your philosophe in terms of acting?
JG: Well, I don’t think that I am on the stage where I could proudly say what my philosophe is. However, I have certain standards or promises that I always endeavor to keep. Most importantly, I do not want to be seen as the actor ‘Yeo Jin-gu’ on the screen. That is, I want the audience to perceive the character that I demonstrate but not me.
CAH: How do you relieve your stress?
JG: It’s quite simple. I just eat, sleep and play. I try to relax whenever I am stuck with some problem because I found myself doing better when I am thinking positive. One of my hobbies are playing piano and guitar. It helps me to chill and get rid of complex emotions.
CAH: What kind of films would you like to shoot in the future?
JG: Currently, I have schedules for filming historical drama which is related to gambling. In the near future, I would like to portray a noir film, something that could touch a string in the people’s hearts.
CAH: Is there any last advice to the CAU students who are dreaming of becoming an actor?
JG: I say ‘why don’t you give it a try?’. My curiosity made who I am now. I personally think it is very important to enjoy life, doing the things that we love to do. Some people feel more comfortable staying indoor but some prefer staying at the coalface. I strongly support those people who would like to try acting. Who knows? You could be very talented.
CAH: What are your goals or promises?
JG: First of all, I will not waste my youth. I will endeavor to go beyond my potentials through experiencing diverse aspects and things in life. Overall, I will put my utmost effort to produce a film that fully satiates me. Thank you.
What inspired CAH so much after the interview was that ‘Yeo Jin-gu’ reveals great dedication and devotion towards his career. The interview with actor ‘Yeo Jin-gu’ was such a valuable experience, and CAH hopes to hear more good news from him in the future. His passion and devotion towards his profession, will certainly shine on even greater and promote a society where people do ‘what they truly love to do’.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >