Do you remember ‘Oh Young-gon,’ the nasty stalker of Kim Go-eun in the drama “Cheese in the Trap?” Although he has been hated by drama fans for his realistic acting, actor Ji Yoon-ho made his presence known to the public with his powerful acting. Some of you may be familiar with him who was the actor in Davich’s “Don’t Say It’s Goodbye” music video and the Galaxy S9 teaser model. Recently, he also delivered impressive acting in the queer family drama film “the Changes of Seasons”. The actor who plays various characters across good and evil characters has. A seemingly intense face, but also a painfully shy face. CAH interviewed actor Ji Yoon-ho, who graduated from the Department of Theater and Film at CAU.
CAH: Now, the movie “the Changes of Seasons” is stimulating audiences’ emotions and going viral through people who watched the movie. Could you tell us the plot of the movie and the role you played briefly? Also, tell us what people should pay attention to if they haven't seen the movie yet.
Ji: The movie is being known in the queer genre by the article, rather than the importance of genre, it is showing a typical type of common family. Queer is just one of the settings for the movie. Unlike other queer movies, “the Changes of Seasons” is not dealing the queer settings directly, but portrays homosexual characters in the third party. I played as the son of Bae Jong-ok, named “Soo-hyun” who is a normal high school student. These days, there are many spectacular and dramatic movies, but on the contrary, our movie contains a calm and everyday sensibility. The movie would help people who worry about life and about finding direction in life.
CAH: You said you started acting when you were in high school after leaving your hometown, Busan. What made you interested in acting and dreamed of becoming an actor?
Ji: I have had a curiosity about this job since I was a child. I watched “Taejo Wang Geon” with Choi Soo-jong and thought about acting. I started watching TV dramas before my ego was entirely formed, so I was influenced a lot. After that, I saw Choi Soo-jong being really comfortable in a reality program and I was interested with his opposite image from the drama. Having an interest in acting, I wanted to enter a high school for the arts, but I failed, so I entered an academic high school. However, I continued thinking about acting, and even now I am still agonizing. I don’t think that I know a hundred percent of acting; I just know the tip of an iceberg of it. I am still trying hard!
CAH: Why did you enter Department of Theater and Film at Chung-Ang University?
Ji: The CAU Theater and Film Department is number one in Korea and I wanted to study in a good environment. I thought I could get the best education if I entered the best school. I felt like I could take the best elite courses. Among them, my favorite senior, actor Ha Jung-woo, graduated from CAU. There were many senior actors and actresses at CAU, and I had a desire to follow in their footsteps. With such mettle, I decided to choose Chung-Ang University.
CAH: Before your debut, you were onstage as a psychopathic mentally- oriented son in the play “6 Characters in Search of Authors” in 2011. Why did you start acting in a play instead of a drama or movie?
Ji: Since the department focused on plays, I had an idea that the basis of acting comes from plays. I wanted to try both wrong and right things and hoped to find what is suitable for me. As I was acting in plays, I was able to challenge myself and learn many things. If I had acted in dramas first instead of plays, I would have made more mistakes. Because of the experience at the time, I could deeply understand other actors and thought about the relationships more carefully.
CAH: How is Chung-Ang University helping you with your current job as an actor?
Ji: The former seniors are active and the title of the school cannot be ignored. If I say that I am from the same university as them, they would like to see me once more. The title of Chung-Ang University can never be ignored, but I don't want to be helped by it. I want to achieve more with my own strength, and I would rather give a helping hand to the younger members of CAU. I don't think I'm used to getting help by others. The pride of the Department of Theater and Film at CAU is great, but I don't want to benefit from it. But I think I'm getting some advantages from it. I want to be a person who can help many juniors in the future.
CAH: Please tell us if you remember any of your most memorable moments of college life. (Performances and activities of theater films, academic conferences, club activities, etc.)
Ji: It was a period of storm and gale in life and I was fearless at that time. I wanted to make my own way, even if others said it was wrong. Due to the characteristics of the Department of Arts, I should have done well in the relationships between the juniors and seniors such as the consideration of group life, but I did not do it well in the past. It would be good if I could done more on that point, but I have no regrets. I cannot think any of special episodes well. I feel sorry that I hadn't made some memories and been more active. I feel bad about not having enjoyed what only university students can enjoy at school. No regrets, but I’m a little bit sad.
CAH: You played ‘Oh Young-gon’ in the drama “Cheese in the Trap”, which was a huge hit having the high rate of synchro with the original webtoon. What does “Cheese in the Trap” mean to you?
Ji: The drama “Cheese in the Trap” is the biggest work that has changed my life so far. Before that time, I had a hard time failing to audition a lot, but the drama seemed to be the rope from the sky to me. Thanks to the drama, I could play other movies and inform people more about myself. I think the drama “Cheese in the Trap” will be talked about constantly in the future and will remain in my mind forever.
CAH: Is it true that you first auditioned for the role of “Kwon Eun- taek” instead of the role ‘Oh Young-gon?’ If that is true, how and why did you change your mind?
Ji: Well, yes that is true. I first had “Kwon Eun-taek” in mind for the “Cheese in the Trap.” I did prepare for the role “Kwon Eun-taek,” but, I changed my mind as soon I saw “Nam Joo-hyuk” trying for the same role. It just came to my mind that “Nam Joo-hyuk” is the best fit role for “Kwon Eun-taek”. So, there, I quickly changed to the role of “Oh Young-gon.” I tried my best to show what I had and I think that passion is what the director saw in me.
CAH: In the movie “the Changes of Seasons, the character “Soo- hyun” is by far the most different role that you have played compared to the past in the movies and dramas. Also, the “Soo-hyun” character required a lot of complex and mixed feelings to perform. How did you prepare for the role “Soo-hyun” specifically?
Ji: In the past, I had been playing characters that have strong traits, such as psycho-paths and stalkers. However, this character was a whole lot different than those characters that I have performed in the past. “Soo-hyun” is a person who is very friendly and natural at understanding. It seems like the “Soo-hyun” character could be really in one of the neighborhoods of the real world. Because “Soo-hyun“ was a challenging and different character, I tried to understand the characters deeply during the preparation.
CAH: In the movie, “The Changes of Seasons,” how was the harmony and the cooperation between the actors and actresses?
Ji: This movie really did require a great level of cooperation and teamwork among the actors and actresses. It was awesome how we all had strong connections and strong bonds between the actors and actresses. Not only with the actors and actresses, we also all had strong relationships with the directors and staffs as well. Throughout this movie, I learned valuable life lessons as well from other actors and actresses. Overall, I can say that this movie was perfect in every aspect.
CAH: From the past interviews, you have stated that your goal is to do the best and show the best acting whatever the character may be. Then, what would be our special acting method that you use in order to achieve that?
Ji: The first thing that I try to do is to find the pieces inside of me. Whatever character is given to me, I know that I have the common characteristics somewhere deep in my ego. So, I try to find the connection between the character and myself. Second, I study the character more deeply by watching the similar character that are presented in dramas, movies, documentaries, or even in personal stories. I always try to find the missing pieces and try to fit every piece inside myself. It may take a long time for this process, but I always prefer to act after the examination is done and I have finished the puzzle within the character and myself.
CAH: So far, you have handled strong characters in movies and dramas. If there is one, what other roles that would you want to act in specifically?
Ji: I like to challenge myself and try all the different characters. But, if I have to pick one of the roles, I would like to act as a character that has a masculine and manly personality. I want to act a character that has a manly charisma. However, I do not limit myself in playing or acting certain characters. So, my goal is to try and to experience different roles as much as I can in the future.
CAH: Beyond drams and movies, you have performed in a variety of fields such as plays, commercials and music videos. Are there other fields that you want to try?
Ji: Yes, I am always interested in trying and experiencing new fields of interest. However, I believe that I will be able to do so when I am ready. It is important to take chances when there are ones. But, I also believe that responsibility is the most important things. Playing in a play, movie, or a drama is not just a game. It is real. So, when one has decided to play certain roles or act in a certain field, I believe that being ready is one of the most important factor to consider. I am looking forward to play and challenge myself in other fields of interest, when I am ready for those particular fields.
CAH: Thank you and we are very appreciative for your interview. Please give any advice for Chung-Ang University students who also dream to become actors or actresses.
Ji: All I want to tell them is to enjoy the moment that you are living in. Also, I really want to tell not only students who dream of becoming actors or actresses, but all Chung-Ang University students, that memories are valuable and priceless factors. I wish all of Chung-Ang University students to remember the happy, sad, and exciting moments throughout the school years. I believe that it is very crucial to have these memories that they can look back to when they grow up later. I personally do not have memories that I can relate with my Univeristy life. So, from that I learned that it is essential to remember even the small events and small achievements. I hope all Chung-Ang University students to live fully during their college years and to live productively in terms of success.
King of Modesty. Endurance. Humble. These words perfectly describe the actor Ji Yoon-ho. He has not only the admirable qualities in his characteristics, but also the confidence towards his career and what he wants to achieve in the future. CAH anticipates seeing him more actively and lively on TV more often in the future. Through active work in various programs on TV, such as dramas and movies, we hope he does not lose his persistence and passion and grit throughout his career life.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >