Youth Star Seo In-guk


The editor is a drama mania. If the boredom continues past the second episode, even if a sparkling top star appears in a decisive manner, the editor deletes the drama from the playback list. Even if it’s an old work, if the star rating is high she boldly plays it and binge-watches the entire series. Naturally she has found a preference. As for actor preferences, it is definitely Seo In-guk.

He acts well. Appealing, tricky, dependable. Starting with Answer Me 1997 to Squad 38 the peak was reached and in Shopping King Louie his real value was effortlessly confirmed. Shopping King Louie had the lowest ratings in the Wed-Thurs lineup but beginning episode 6 rose consecutively and captured first place. Seo In-guk’s power is amazing.

What do you do while taking a break?
At times I have a tight schedule, I also go abroad, eat lots of good food…

What delicious foods?
Alcohol (laughs).

Ah, I read in some interview that after filming a drama you relieve stress through alcohol.
I like it.  When I have a hectic schedule I can’t drink. It’s not to the point of binge drinking, but I like having a glass of beer while talking about this and that. Lately I had a drink with my Busan dongsaengs.

Is there an afterimage remaining from the drama?
My manner of speaking is similar with the character Louie. Ah, right. There is one. That’s why there are lots of embarrassing cases after I speak.

I felt it while watching this drama, but I think you are getting more and more good-looking.
Haha, that feels good. Management may be part of that but I think the parts that come from the character play a huge part. Louie is a pure character that is filled with aegyo and many people have a favorable impression. To the character Louie in the drama, shopping was his everything. Because there is shopping, he is able to rise up in the very sensitive and special stage. To fit in the clothes he picked, I had to be slim. So I rapidly lost weight.

Does the usual Seo In-guk have aegyo?
It comes and goes (laughs). The thing I am sure of is I laugh well. Laughing a lot is something I inherited from my parents. And because I cry a lot too it’s hard for me to watch sad movies. I cry to the point of having a headache.

The name ‘Master Kisser’ follows you around. Why are you so good at kissing scenes?
Even the director teases me with that nickname (laughs). Even though I’m embarrassed, it’s a good feeling. Being good at whatever is a good thing. In thinking that the kissing scene in a drama is its flower, I think it’s important that the story is also beautiful in order for the flower to bloom. Our kiss scene in episode 6/7 was the first, but because time was spent with Bok-shil and Louie expressing honest and awkward feelings I think the kissing scene was filled well.

Is that why the start was insignificant but the end was prosperous. From being last place in the ratings the drama went to first place.
It was amazing. After the first episode aired nobody talked to me about ratings on purpose. I checked it and it was low. It was to the point where the actress playing opposite me, Nam Ji-hyun, read the mood and came to set. With the director and staff, we said, “Let’s still enjoy filming!” and started back again.

I’ll ask one cliche question. What’s the scene and line that made the most impression?
The scene that lingers is the kiss scene at the secondhand bookstore alley. And the line: “Bok-shil!” There are so many lines in English and French but I can’t remember any right now. Bok-shil! Bok-shil! I don’t know how many times I shouted that.

The character Louie in the drama is simply the shopping king, but do you normally like shopping?
Of course I like it. I like accessories but I like clothing and shoes more. When I go shopping I just go everywhere.

Do you have any other hobbies?
Watching VOD at home while drinking soju. When I finish filming I binge watch. When I search online and see a movie poster I like I also watch that, I also watch those with fun plotlines, when an actor I like is appearing, I also watch…so there are many times when I can’t remember the title. Lately I watched the movie Tunnel where my co-actress Nam Ji-hyun appeared, and when she was covered with dust and crying I also cried. Ah, the movie called Time Paradox (2014 Australian movie Predestination) was quite difficult, but it’s a film that lingers in my mind. Hudson’s Miracle (2016 movie Sully) is a movie I’m planning to watch.

When you watch VOD at home you mostly drink beer…?
I drink somaek (t/n: soju + beer). It’s my preference (laughs).

It will be 8 years since his debut this year, and even between actor peers he has accumulated an excellent filmography. If we look back at a list of his works, you will look at youth star Seo In-guk differently. Answer Me 1997. Master’s Sun. King of High School Life. King’s Face. I Remember You. Squad 38. Shopping King Louie. There is nothing you should leave out.

Is there an actor you admire?
Hwang Jung-min and Kim Myung-min sunbaenim. And I also like Leonardo di Caprio and Brad Pitt.

I heard you did not have an acting teacher and studied acting on your own.
A lot of people ask so I’m embarrassed. It was my personal method. When I analyze a character I talk with the director and my co-actors a lot. I follow my co-actor around and I think we rehearse more than 10 times. It may be a very simple way but I got used to it so that’s what I do. Ah, it’s probably because I was from a survival program, but the director says a lot that “you’re tough,” you’ve got guts.” Those kinds of compliments give me confidence, I think.

That must be why you’re called a trustworthy actor.
That feels good but is also burdensome. As expectation increases so does disappointment. There is no answer for each work and character. I think the answer is different depending on each person. Of course the judgment is up to the viewers to make, so before each work gets publicized I feel a thrill and get nervous.

You may not have done a lot of work but they’re mostly great successes. What is your standard for picking dramas?
The first is of course the script. Whoever the actor may be, it has to be interesting. After that, I ask myself, ‘So you want to participate in this work?’ After that it’s the character I have to play that I look at. I let my imagination run wild about that character. That process is exciting. The thoughts I am filled with, in combination with acting views match up with the show. When I look back I portrayed such diverse characters, so that makes me feel great. In the case of Squad 38 I thought I should do it to the point of craziness so to me that was a special role.

Which character do you have the most attachment to?
 As I said before, Squad 38‘s Yang Jung-do! Acting-wise, it was a turning point. When I was acting I didn’t know what the right answer was and I couldn’t think. There was always a thirst remaining. As the director advised, I relaxed and acted and so a lot of varied things were able to come out. My most unforgettable scene was a scene where I gather all the con artists and brief them. Speed matters in briefing, but anyone can tell I was explaining roughly. My hands were in my pockets, and I was talking like there was no pacing and my eyes were relaxed. I received response that it was fresh. In that process I was able to learn a lot and it became a turning point in acting.

Your good image is strong. In reality are you like that?
I don’t think so? I said it earlier but I like drinking, so… (laughs)

And yet your reputation with the staff in this field of work is very good.
I really like being on set. Waiting in the car or in the waiting room doesn’t fit me. I’m crazy about mixing and working with the staff on site. That’s why however hard it is I have energy. Even staying up throughout the night is fun. I think that’s why they look at me in a favorable light.

Ah you’re close with actor Ji Chang-wook who’s of the same age, right?
Our connection is strange. I first saw him in an awards ceremony, and he said to me, “Do you know Joon-young-ie?” We’re close friends. That became our tie and we drink together, have meals, and drink coffee together. I have a very playful personality, and he is very cautious in every manner. That’s why when we talk we stimulate each other. Aside from that there’s a coffee shop I frequent in Seongsu-dong. When I’m sitting there Chang-wookie breezes in. I heard he’s close friends with the coffee shop owner. Haha. Our ties are peculiar.

Ah, by the way, do you clean the house well these days?
(He made an appearance in I Live Alone and received a lot of sympathy for the single lifestyle.) My mother received a lot of stress. Seeing my dirty house, the people around my mother kept saying things like, “What have you been doing that your son lives like that?” I felt very sorry for that. While I may not clean up dust meticulously everyday, I clean the dishes or arrange my things as I see them.

How about dating?
If I were to speak frankly, it’s hardly unthinkable considering I’ll be going to the army. (Early this year he is going to enlist.) It’s fun drinking beer with the hyungs while talking about this and that, playing games at home, watching VOD, and shutting myself in the workroom. My dating style? I have many, but the people around me say I’m “good at leading” and I’m “manly.” But at times I also use aegyo (act charming). I’m honest with emotions.

I’m curious about your next step.
I think it might be going to the army. Because I naturally have to go to the army, I want to do it quietly. I’m going quite late so my determination is different. On one hand I look forward to how I’d change after my discharge. There are actors who tell a story with their aura even when they don’t move. Some male actors become sexy to some extent when they age, and I’m also looking forward to something like that. But I’m worried about getting lost in the flowing trends while I’m in the army.

I need to sing, and when I’m atop the stage I need to care about my outfits, when I’m acting I need to show concern over the character. These days my manner of speaking also changes quickly…That I can’t follow those emotional things are the parts I worry about. After my discharge I need to study a lot while going around.

Sending you away like that is such a shame, but do you have any plans to have activities in between?
First I want to rest with fun. Even if you work, I think it’s hard to have to be in tune for a long time. That’s why I think I might be working in the music side. Ah, people were asking me how it’d be to go to King of Masked Singer, but now I’m scared of showdowns. I don’t even watch competitions by other people. My hands and feet get real sweaty (laughs).

For the year of 2016, if you were to give yourself a score…?
I lived diligently, my work also received good comments. In that regard, 90 points! On one hand I want to also go on vacation and invest on my personal time, so it’s a shame that I couldn’t. In my thirties I want to enjoy work and experience lots of things.

Seo In-guk is this honest, this smart, and this genuine. For now, this editor’s actor preference is Seo In-guk.

Interview from Woman Sense; original article link
Translation: 猫 from Trans Fats



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