T/N: The scans actually had the answers for the last three questions cut off at the sides, so I based it off the Chinese translations. The translation for the second last question might not be fully accurate and isn’t complete since there wasn’t a Chinese translation for that either.
This time too, you answered the 100 questions about the back story of the character Jihyuk.
That’s right. I always do it. Of course, I didn’t come up with all of it from the start to end. When I am at home with a lot of time, I would imagine the parts that are not in the scenario. Essentially, I would create the life story after grasping the parts that were originally in the source. For example, I would think about what the weather was like when Jihyuk first met the director, what time it was, and what they spoke about. I would think through it thoroughly and create my own painting. Just like a useless person. (laughs)
Youngdo in “Heirs” and Seunghoon in “Friend 2” have in common that they are both distinctly dangerous. However, it is as if Jihyuk went a car ride and took three great steps. He is a grown man with a definite aim and an ability to fulfil it.
I often wear the school uniform. Now that I am taking off the uniform, it finally feels like I am wearing my own clothes. In actual fact, there is a burden associated with wearing the school uniform. I would have to take very good care of my appearance.My mustache grows a lot (laughs) and I would have to shave, there are just too many things to take note of. However, when I act as a complete adult, I can be more relaxed in these areas. From the time of the first meeting to this moment of the interview, the director had said many times “our movie is a stylish movie”. He meticulously inspected our outfits. I also mobilized my personal stylist to decide the clothes and hairstyle. When we are acting, the director would check it so closely that he would notice even when just a single strand of hair sticks out.
So Jihyuk’s appearance is closer to a second generation chaebol rather than a normal thief.
I have not once thought about the angles and look of my expressions in my acting. When I first learnt acting, I heard talks about having sincere expressions. I agree with that. In “Criminal Designer”, for the first time I thought about how I looked because of the director’s words. Previously, I used to do it freely. I gave little consideration to the camera angle, but moved freely within that constraints. This time, I took care of the appearance. I thought a lot about the different angles which I would look good in.
Did you grasp the method of letting yourself look cooler?
It’s not possible. (laughs)There is too much to think about. I still don’t have that ability in me. In “Criminal Designer”, Jihyuk can do many things, but I can’t do various things at the same time. I find it difficult even answering the phone when I am driving. But the sincerity I want to convey, I think the audience would be able to see it.
Up until “Twenty”, you have acted in three movies recently. The set is an interesting workplace. Do you still become nervous?
I stopped being nervous on set during the first half of “School 2013”.
You put aside your nervousness very quickly.
Now that I think about it, there were many same-aged actors and Lee Min-hong director took care of us warmly like we were his sons. As such, it was very fun and comfortable on set. It is not that I am completely not nervous now, but I am not nervous like before where I think “Can I do it well?”. Also, sometimes, as compared to when I prepare alone at home, I can do it better when on set. There are my co-actors around and the circumstances make it more fun.
Do you remember the first time you went on set?
I wanted to die. (laughs) It was really difficult. It was during the time of filming of “White Christmas”. When I was acting, I would keep telling myself “Ah, Be Okay. Be Okay. Be Okay. Please”. And of course, whatever I had prepared did not come out in my acting. I was nervous and was uncertain. Because it was a project with model-turned-actors, it was relatively more relaxed. If I was acting with sunbaes then, Kim Woobin’s next project would not have existed. (laughs)
From when did you stop telling yourself “Please be okay”?
It stopped in “School 2013”. After that, because I had been continuously working and had little rest, I stopped having that thought as I completed my projects bit by bit. At first, there was a stress standing in front of the staff. It felt like they were scrutinizing me. (laughs) Now, it is a lot more comfortable than when I first started.
The characteristic of your work is that there is always a lot of people around you, isn’t it?
I have developed more responsibilities. If you want to call it a burden, it can be a burden. The staff is really like family and I’m the maknae (laughs). But I know that these people are working for my sake. Because of this, I once worried a lot by myself and thought ‘Ah… how should I behave and handle things in a wise manner?’ Because my fees are now higher than before, I must also be able to fulfil this expectations on me. So, I will continuously whip myself (work harder). During my rest time, I will worry more. I don’t want to disappoint everyone.
What do you do when you have problems?
It is very fortunate that the friends I love and rely on the most have work similar to mine. The friends who started off as models. Just the existence of these people makes me feel very blessed and full of strength, and I become comforted by just this. I don’t want them to worry about something they didn’t have to worry about because of me. And because I am a positive person, even if there is something that makes me very angry, I would be okay after being alone for a while. (laughs) So, there is no need to share this unhappiness? Sharing happiness would multiply the joy, but I don’t want to spread the unhappiness.
The stress will pile up if you bear with everything yourself. How do you deal with the stress?
I thought of this before. What should I do when I am stressed? People go to the karaoke or to exercise, but I don’t know what I should do. I also had the moment when I was very anxious and cared about many things, and was under a lot of internal stress, but I became more relaxed as I read the script. But I don’t know if it was because it is over time that the stress naturally diminished or if it was because there were other things to worry about as I read the script, so the previous worries just disappeared. I simply enjoy this work and I would have the thought that it I feel really happy because of this work.
You can’t do multiple things at one time so you’d forget those when you read the script.
Seems like it is thanks to that. It’s fortunate. (laughs)
Recently, you got the title as one of the “4 Heavenly Kings of Hallyu”. What would you have done if someone told you three years ago that you will become one of the “4 Heavenly Kings of Hallyu”?
I would probably swear at the person. (laughs) It isn’t possible to receive so much love so quickly. I don’t know who first came up with this name, but I am really lacking in comparison to the sunbaes. Although I do want to participate as much as I can, but it really isn’t up to that standard. Of course, I am very thankful for this. Every time during the end of my fanmeeting, I would say “I am an actor from Korea, Kim Woobin. Please give a lot of love to Korean movies, dramas and music.” I feel very blessed that I am able to say this.
Now you are less impatient in your work.
Whatever it is, I now have a wider variety of choices, and I try to think along the flow. In actual fact, I am not pretending and it seems like I am always impatient. I want to work, desperately. Even now, I am hoping earnestly but I try hard not to do that. Actually, I don’t have a lot of experience. and I don’t know the correct answer as to what to do and say now. Only time will tell if it is the correct answer. Even if it is a wrong idea, it is what the 26 year-old, December Kim Woobin thinks.
Then, what is the 26 year-old, December Kim Woobin’s greatest worry now?
I want to go on a vacation. I haven’t once gone on a vacation with the friends I love. Not even a vacation within the country. So, from a very long time ago, we have talked about going on a vacation together. Of course, there are memories created from drinking together, but when going on a vacation together, the air, feeling and warmth stays for a really long time. But if a group of guys go to a holiday resort together, we would quarrel after a day or two, but we have no confidence to go to a place we are not familiar with, so we are a little troubled now. It’s a very happy kind of troubled. After fixing the plans, I would imagine what kind of clothes to wear. Because we all started off as models, we pay a lot of attention to this aspect. When we usually meet to drink soju, our hairs would also be waxed. If anyone looks too handsome, we would laugh at him. I am the one who spends the least effort on it.
To your friends, what kind of person is Kim Woobin?
I am always the leader. From a certain time, I have become like that among my friends. Among the sunbaes, I will unconditionally listen to the sunbaes. But among my friends, I will become the leader. I would arrange meet-ups and insist on it.
Now, If you are a perfect thief like Jihyuk, what would you want to steal?
People’s hearts. If there is really such a skill, I would want to learn it even if I had to give up all my assets. But something like that wouldn’t exist, so I would have to work hard.