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[INTERVIEW] Actor Oh Chang-suk

2010/11/03 | 5745 views | Permalink | Source

My name is Oh Chang-suk. My grandfather was the one who came up with my name.
I was born on June 2, 1982. I have one older sister and one younger sister but that by no means meant that I had a girly childhood -- we rather grew up like guys working out, fighting and then having to write letters of apologies to each other. (laugh)
I am currently majoring in industrial design at Sejong University. I became really burnt out after spending 15 hours a day working on projects for over a year and half. I grew a beard just like Robinson Crusoe, slept on a fold-out bed and washed my hair in the bathroom sink. (laugh) On top of that, design is something that you have to put every inch of yourself into and it becomes really tough if there's an error on your computer while you are working since all your work gets deleted. I used to look out the window watching people go to work while drinking a cup of coffee from the vending machine. I felt that I wouldn't be happy if I began working for a company because it is harder than being a student.
For over a year, I didn't tell my friends that I gave up design to become an actor. Usually, people majoring in design treat you like an outsider once you give up on it. I told my friends after I shot a few advertisements. I waited until I had something [to show them] instead of telling my friends that I was preparing for something because I'm the type of person who likes to show people through my actions.

I'm the kind of person who lacks sensitivity and had never shed a tear before starting acting. And my favorite genre of film are either macho or blockbusters. That is why when I took acting classes it took me over a year to cry. (laugh) So that's when I started watching into sad or melodramatic movies.

Oh Chang-suk [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Actor Oh Chang-suk poses during an interview with 10Asia.

I still can't forget my first acting class. I had a monologue where I had to recite the line "Did you know that I followed you around during middle school?" but my mind went blank after I said "Did you know". Wow, that was a strange feeling. The teacher asked me if my mind went blank and he told me to never forget that feeling when I answered I did. That was when I felt a weird pleasant feeling.
I went to the Pusan International Film Festival for the first time in 2007 and I felt really out of place and insignificant because I didn't have a movie [to promote or screened there]. It is a good experience for new actors to attend the ceremony but it is not a place to go for a second time. (laugh) But thankfully this year, I confidently took to the stage for an audience meet-and-greet for my first feature "Come, Closer". The audience told me that I am different in person from my character in the movie and I felt good because it meant that they were into the film.
The military is an alright place to go once but not twice. (laugh) When I was about to enter the military there were many people who were trying to go the easy way by getting a lower grade on their physical exam so they could serve as a civil servant but I didn't want to be like them. Just because those people served for two years as a civil servant doesn't mean they spent it more meaningfully. It just seems like a waste of money.
The one thing that isn't in the military is rationality. That is why I put in the effort to become a rational sergeant and got my work done fast so my successors will follow suit. If at any time one of them thought 'why does this person do things this way' it will give them a chance to defy the way I do things. (laugh)
I played the role of Sung So-yoo opposite actress Bae Jong-ok in the KBS drama “Worlds Within.” However, it is embarrassing when people ask me if I was in the show since I played a minor role and didn't have many lines.
The bed scene between my character Young-soo and Sae-yeon in the movie "Come, Closer" was supposed to be shown towards the end. The tempo of the scene is very slow and I felt that it was better that it came out in the beginning because if it was shown at the end it would have been a loss for the movie. But when I look back on that scene Young-soo really looks like a loser and I can't help but think 'What on earth is he doing?' (laugh) He comes off that way because he doesn't know how to have relations with a girl because he lived his whole life as a homosexual and is also hesitant if he has to do it or not.
Young-soo's room in the movie "Come, Closer" is actually a big storage room at the College of Music, Fine Arts & Physical Education building at Sejong University. We began filming in mid-December and it was during my final exams so I was able to give my presentations and head off to the set. There was a lot of small furniture and the TV was small too just like a main character's room from a Japanese movie which made the atmosphere dull. I was able to get into my character who was depressed. (laugh) and when I laid alone in bed I cried.

Oh Chang-suk [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Actor Oh Chang-suk poses during an interview with 10Asia.

I cried so much when Young-soo and Woon-chul broke up. But the director told me to talk without feelings and in a calm manner. He told me not to cry and asked why I cried like that. I was really sad. (laugh)
That best thing after shooting a movie is that you have something that you can show other people. It was hard to explain how much acting I have done whenever I went into production meetings or auditions because it's not like acting is divided into good, fair, and poor and I can't do a monologue with my line 'All right' from "Worlds Within". (laugh)
I play one of the new recruits at intelligence agency NTS who is part of the same team as Super Junior member Choi Si-won's character in upcoming SBS series "ATHENA". I feel that this role is a good match for me since I like to workout and we run around chasing after people shooting our guns every day.
I have more lines in "ATHENA" than I did in "Worlds Within". (laugh) I relay most of the lines through the walkie-talkie saying 'Where are you?" "Get off, get off!' and 'The license plate on the black car is 7686'.
I don't like the word 'celebrity'. Even my closest friends say that I am a celebrity and I tell them that I'm not and they shouldn't use that word. (laugh) I'm just a person whose job is to act. You become a celebrity because what you do is open to the public but I don't want to become one.
The most recent film that I saw that left a lasting impression was "I Saw the Devil". It is similar to "Come, Closer". (In what way?) In that the reviews are either extremely good or extremely bad. (laugh) I like movies like where you still think about it even when you are home instead of forgetting what you saw once it's over.
I would like to study directing in the future. I think if the actor knew at which angle the director shoots the movie and with what kind of emotions they edit it they will able to act accordingly to those points.

Reporter : Lee Ga-on
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Lucia Hong luciahong@, Jang Kyung-Jin three@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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