Sungyeol Ize Interview
Is your cat “Jeurumie” doing well? (laughs)
Sungyeol: I don’t have time to take care of him, but I think he’s growing well. I actually don’t just like cats and dogs but all animals. I always wonder what they’re thinking about. Like SBS <I can hear your voice>, I want to read their thoughts like Lee Jongsuk. Of course I’ve never succeeded in connecting with them before. When I went to the jungle because of SBS <Law of the Jungle> I heard a lot of things like I’ve
grown the lizard, but he only stayed with me because he liked me. We never connected.
In Mnet’s <This (Diss) is Infinite> I saw that you wanted to raise a monkey in your dorm. Do you still have any left over feelings from
Sungyeol: Since I was little I liked <Dragonball>. Seeing the main character help people in need and fightly cooly, I’ve always had a thing
for monkeys. (laughs) Just a while ago, I was doing my own schedule then I received a message from L. He took a picture with Hyuna’s monkey. Seeing that picture, the greed I had for monkeys that had shrunken grew again on fire. I think a monkey the size where I can carry him around would be good but it doesn’t matter much. If I could just take one picture hugging it…if I saw stuff like this people tell me I’m weird, but
I think it’s normal.
Your image seems to be very different from your actual self.
Sungyeol: When I got accepted to my company, my CEO told me something like that. I had a good role model student kind of look like Lee
Seungi so he picked me, but he was tricked. (laughs) These days that image seems to have flown away. A lot of people say I’m kind of cold these days. I look cold, a bit scary, etc.
Isn’t it good that you got out of your “choding” image?
Sungyeol: There is definitely something good about that image. I could talk to my fans casually and play jokes with them and stay close. But, some fans also thought less of me. I got a lot of stress from that, so I thought I couldn’t do it and had to change myself. I tried to make a manly image. I exercised, went to the jungle, drank Americanos, and did all sorts of things. After I changed a bit like that, people have been telling me, I’m not like myself, I’m a bit scary, so I don’t know what to do. I’m still worrying a lot about it. I want to get close to my fans, but then I feel like people will step on me because of my “choding image”, but if I stay like this I’m going to drift away from the fans.
You must really think about your fans’ feedback.
Sungyeol: I look for it a lot. Some even judge my character so I get hurt, but I still force myself to search for feedback. I can’t be satisfied with myself. If I don’t look for feedback then it means I’m satisfied with where I am. I can’t be satisfied now. I’m the type that only fixes self when getting hurt. “Why did I live this way” I would think and be hurt by myself, then I would think, “I’m going to fix then.” would be the thought I would have after. Even acting, I had a lot of criticism on my pronounciation, so for six hours each per day, I’d hold a cork in between my teeth and practice.
Do you have a lot of expectations for yourself?
Sungyeol: That’s right. But compared to it, what I’m showing you now in dancing, singing, and acting, they’re all in very low levels. It might just be my greed, but I really want to do the best in everything. Weirdly, it’s not like anybody even pressured me when I was younger. I wasn’t very good at studying so there was no pressure there, but that didn’t mean I got first places in sports. There was just no expectations for me.
It almost seems like you have no confidence.
Sungyeol: Even on air, because I always said “I don’t really have any good things about myself except my height”, so a lot of people asked
"why does this kid have no confidence?" That’s not it. If amongst some people I was the best at something, then I can call it my strength, but
if not, then I don’t think that you can call it that. It’s just one thing out of your many charms, but it’s not a strength. I have a lot of charms that are not strengths. I’m good with my hands, I used my mind well, and I’m flexible. However, even if somebody tells me that they are my strengths, I won’t listen. Everything I think in my condition.
Still, don’t you want to receive compliments?
Sungyeol: Looking back, I think I lived well without any thoughts. I don’t have any outstanding strengths to put out, and I just did things that I was told to do. I didn’t try to do more. Although, when I did filial things, I wanted to praise myself. When I was younger, my nickname that my mom used to call me wsa “Money eating machine.” If I borrowed, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, my mom would say “What are you doing with all this money?” Everytime she’d say that I would bluff “I’ll be successful and pay you back. I’ll even buy you a house before I get married.” But turns out that I could keep my promises. I bought her a shop, a house. I’m proud of that one thing.
You seemed like somebody who needed to grow a bit more, but I’m surprised.
Sungyeol: Ah, there’s a side to me like that, but I’m realistic. Especially financially. I think every single thing realistically. It can be good but it can also be tiring. Even if I lose some things, living well is living well. If I bought something and it came out to be 100 bucks, I would need to consider why it came out to be that much. Because my personality is like this, I can’t see anybody else losing things either. If my friend got ripped off, I would go in the shop with him and go, “I bought this cheaper than he did, so why did you sell it to him at this price.”
If you’re like that then is there a scale to how much you want to earn?
Sungyeol: $500,000,000! Living life, I told myself I’d earn that much. No, if born once, shouldn’t I earn a lot then die? Of course, because it’s
a lot of money, I’m thinking about compromising with myself. maybe about 100,000,000? There isn’t really anything I want to do with that money. If my parents are happy, then it’s okay. They’re just words, the talk about that 500,000,000. Honestly, nobody knows how much you need to earn to never worry about money. So I’m just saying 500,000,000. Ah, did I only talk about money today? (laughs)
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