Actor Yoo Hae-jin [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
10: There are times when one has to evaluate their own looks objectively. What do you feel then?
Yoo Hae-jin: I think, "Aren't you ugly". (laugh)
10: Has that thought not changed over the years?
Yoo Hae-jin: It has changed. I don't think such thoughts anymore. And it's not because people recognize me now but how can one live dwelling on their own looks like that? I did a bit when I was younger and going through puberty but I'm past that age. (laugh)
10: Is there anything other than your appearance, such as your physique or voice, that you have been unhappy about?
Yoo Hae-jin: I actually didn't like my voice that much either. It's very sonant. There were times when I used to be disgruntled with my voice which seems like it just spreads out and becomes hoarse quickly.
10: But you're not like that anymore?
Yoo Hae-jin: I can't live my life complaining.
10: But you kept pursuing acting and ended up entering the department of theater and film.
Yoo Hae-jin: I acted except for when I was in the military and I concentrated on my theater work while in school, brushing aside my studies in fashion. I barely graduated as well. But it was a good thing I listened to my dad because there was a special selection process for college graduates which picked students based just on their grades so that's how I got into The Seoul Institute of the Arts.
10: How did you feel once you got in? Was it really that great or a bit different from what you had expected?
Yoo Hae-jin: The best part about it was that I met a great teacher. I remember her telling me, "Life wouldn't be fun if acting was nothing but fun all the time", whenever I'm having a hard time.
10: I heard you learned dancing for quite a while too when you were in your early twenties.
Yoo Hae-jin: Yes, I learned because a close friend of mind did modern dancing. I had a lot of passion back then. And it was when I had failed to get into theater and film but I think I wanted to learn as many things as possible which will help me as an actor, sort of a pride as an actor. Now that I think about it, the passion was very important for me rather than the results that I'll see from it right away.
Actor Yoo Hae-jin [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
10: But so far, you've played characters who are cowardly, servile, true to their desires and quite vulgar. Is there anything that you start thinking about such characters after a while?
Yoo Hae-jin: When I get the role of a so-called 'gangster', I used to feel repulsed by the fact that I have to play someone who is rough again. But I now also feel sort of a sympathy for them. Who would want to live their life like that? Of course, they're doing things which are considered bad ethically but that's just their way of life and I've gotten to think there's a reason they can't help living their life that way. Of course, you can't show all of that about a character unless the movie is about him but I've been thinking that I should at least take interest in that person's survival.
10: Do you think you now receive a wider range of scenarios than before?
Yoo Hae-jin: I do compared to the earlier years of my career. "Desire To Kill" is a unique film but I do still receive a lot of scripts which are similar to the characters I've portrayed so far so I actually do hope I start getting more that aren't like that.
10: Then as someone who has mostly played roles who are a member of a male organization or play the lead actor opposite another male actor, do you hope to play more roles which focus on the emotions between two people, such as romance or melodrama?
Yoo Hae-jin: I don't have a particular genre I want to do. Just as long as it's about someone rich in character, if that's there as a basic element and the movie aims to deliver that, then I'll want to do that.
10: What was your dream when you were young, before you thought of wanting to become an actor?
Yoo Hae-jin: It was what my parents wanted but one of the things they told me to say was becoming a diplomat. I automatically answered "A diplomat!" when someone asked me "What do you want to become when you grow up?" And I didn't even know what diplomats do. (laugh) I think the dream I had after that was to become an actor.
10: How do you feel now about the first dream you selected for yourself, started with difficulty and has now become your job?
Yoo Hae-jin: Well, they say that what you like doing is better left as a hobby and that it loses its pureness when it becomes a job. You have to take more responsibility for it as well. So I may be losing things I'm not aware of, but there are also tons of things I have gained. On the whole, I'm living an incredibly happy life right now. (laugh)
Reporter : Choi Ji-Eun five@
Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Lee Ji-Hye seven@
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