[INTERVIEW] Geek Magazine 2015 January Issue


Joo Won does not easily step on the accelerator pedal

Whatever it is, he thoroughly considers and discreetly makes decision

But recently he challenges without fear and makes different commitments

While stepping on the accelerator pedal, he is approaching the moment to take off


~ I heard you do thorough research and preparation when selecting a character of a project.  Because of that, you have become an actor without failure which earned you a well-known nickname of “Unbeatable Joo Won”, however you miserably tasted failure for the first time by selecting movie “Fashion King”.

JW: I like the webtoon “Fashion King”.  Actually, I wondered if webtoon could be well adapted into a movie.  I pondered how I could express.  Nevertheless, the reason why I selected this project was because there were particular areas popular enough when I read the script.  When producing a remake movie, I perplexed how much I have to follow but I thought it was still a good choice.   Many parts in this movie were manic, so I thought I could give it a try.  On the other hand, if I don’t play a student character now, I won’t play it in future, so I took the risk.


~ It was good trying out something new but its result was not good. 

JW: The important thing is I do not find box office important.  Certainly I understand box office is an important issue to production staff, there is such a responsibility they have to take but I have no personal desire.  So, I am not too concerned about how “Fashion King” went.  That was a pretty good experience.  The atmosphere was particularly special.  There wasn’t such a film set where we had so much fun in filming.  In the movie industry, they say “you have to leave the film set alone.  It will only be successful if a movie is filmed under intense atmosphere.”  As an actor, I don’t like that.  Therefore, this time I wanted to challenge this sort of unwritten rule by presenting a movie produced in a free atmosphere and such a movie can also become successful, however it was very regretful that it couldn’t be presented.


~ “Fashion King” was a hot topic before filming had started but there was not much anticipation.

JW:  Well, it was not because it was not anticipated.  Before its open, there was time to select prospective audiences for receiving their comments.  After hearing comments, editing was done once again.  It was targeted for teenager audiences, it was re-edited after hearing their comments and finally it went through preview session.   Everyone gave hundred points.   Because the movie was released after the college entrance exam, I think there were many other possibilities.


~ “Interstellar” was also open.  And also…

JW: So something was not right.  An event had also been held.  But I guess if I work with the production team of “Fashion King” again, we can successfully produce a very good movie.


~ Up to now, I have a feeling the characters of “Gu Ma Jun” “Lee Kang To” “Cha Yu Jin” that you played are all from comics.

JW: I never limit myself in selecting the characters to play.  Even from now on, I will be like that too.  No matter what character it is, if I think it is good, I will play.  I am not the type of person saying something like “I don’t play this sort of character ”.


~ It has been a long while since you last performed musical on stage. 

JW: I play dramas and movies but stage has that indescribable atmosphere.  Because I debuted in musical, that’s why I am probably like that.   Every time when I stand on the stage, it reminds me how I was when I first made my debut, this makes me more focused.


~ What is the difference of standing in front of the camera and on stage? 

JW:  It is not easy to express standing on stage.  Therefore, when I stand on the stage, I feel like I became small.  It is not that I can directly communicate with audiences but I see them visually and hear them audibly.  I thought my physical strength was good but when I stood on the stage, I couldn’t ease my nervousness and I became tired.  The feeling in that moment was very good.  I felt refreshed.  That is why stage is my hometown and also what I respect.

~ You did musical, movie and drama within this year.   I heard that you are hardworking and I can probably guess so.

JW:  I am really hardworking.  I always sleep early and get up early.  But I am not sure whether it is because I have just finished filming “Naeil Cantabile” that my body has still not adjusted back to its normal pattern.  If I try to sleep at 12am or 1am, I cannot sleep in until 3am.  Certainly, same as for work, I follow the pattern.  So I sleep late and get up early recently.


~ Don’t you drink with friends?  If you drink, won’t you naturally get into sleep and get up late?

JW:  I can’t drink.  Even I meet up with my friends, we just drink coffee and chat.  If I have filming next day, I stay home and rest.  I absolutely don’t go out.


~ You are in your twenties.  It looks too tough.  Don’t you think it is necessary to break some rules for doing various acting?

JW:  Friends and seniors also said “You can do various acting like how a dog plays.  When are you going to stop living a straight-laced life?”  But I have my own plan, say I focus on my acting in my twenties and I will play like a dog in my thirties.  I will live a more straight-laced life in the next two years.


~ Then, are you a self-disciplined person?

JW:   Pretty much in disorder at the moment.  Haha!  I am still working on it.  Even for acting, there is a stage to do some preparation.  Time is also needed to prepare for the changes of my life.


~ But what must you do to play like a dog?

JW:   I think I just need to open up more of myself.  I think a lot on this topic.  I also worry a lot.  Even I don’t think or worry about it, I can still live as nothing has happened.  While knowing it, I just worry and become anxious.   I am currently working on solving this problem.


~  It is already December.  You don’t have any filming.  I guess you can take some rest.

JW:  Actually, it is really “spectacle” no matter what year it is.  I challenged various genres therefore I gained a lot, especially movie and drama projects in the same year.  A type of character I played was a leader.  I know I still have shortcomings but I learnt what I had to do.  In future, I will be someone’s senior, I will just take that as rehearsals.  As much as I have gained, there are also many things I want to do.  I am more thankful that I did musical. 


~ You are like an anthology.  When reading it, I know it is good but somehow I don’t understand it.  When seeing your acting, I always have these thoughts.  You are handsome but the problem is I can’t recall your outstanding look.  Your acting is also good but the problem is I can’t recall it.  Everything is good but there are many reasons that I don’t understand.   The problem is actually not related to the characters you played butthese are only my thoughts.

JW:  I guess the problem is because I haven’t played a romantic comedy like other actors of my age did.  Because I am attracted to the character when selecting a project, it is just like other actors selecting the character of a project.  Actually playing a romantic comedy is also difficult.  So if it is luck, it is probably luck.


~ In future, do you have any intention playing a romantic comedy?

 JW:  I think I prefer playing melo to romantic comedy, not to play a character who only whines or cries but to play a character who knows exactly what love is, like movie “Notebook”.   In this movie, there are many flashback scenes of the couple’s younger days bickering at each other every day and they didn’t know why.  They hugged when they saw each other.  I want to try out that kind of acting, to play a character who is so much in love and doesn’t know what to do. 


~ Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

JW:  Well, I am already reaching the end of twenties so I have more worries.  Because I can’t keep going this way, it seems like it is necessary for me to make some little changes.  It is alright even that is not my real aspect.  Even it is fake but once I get used to the changes made by me, thatis my aspect.  This is one of my resolutions.  I am looking for another side of me.


~ In 2015, what sort of actor do you want to be remembered as?

JW:  An actor without fear.  A trustworthy actor but rather than just being recognized for reliable acting, I also have the thoughts of contributing to the development of movies.  I need to be more self-assertive.  No one knows the future.  Anyway whatever it is, I want to be self-assertive.


~ It is quite late now.  We are in the outskirt of Gyeonggido, I guess you have a car.

JW:  I have a SUV.  Actually it is fast and its shock absorber also works well.  It is good enough that a car can give me the impression of sturdiness and toughness.


~  Where do you normally go when driving the SUV?

JW:  I go camping.  Although I can’t drive far, if I have time, I drive to the camping site with friends to spend a day there.  When I don’t have time camping, I drive to Han River.


~ After seeing all these cars for photo shooting today, don’t you have a thrill of excitement?

JW:  Neither sport car nor sedan can make my heart beat faster.   Other cars perform well with speed too.  Recently I am very interested in Mercedes Benz G Class (wagon).  Whoever sees it can see its toughness and power, it also looks classy.


~ Here is a G class right in front of you. Where will you go?

JW: Actually, there isn’t a particular place I want to go.  Somehow I just feel like going to the nearest mountain with my mom and dad.  We have to go there and eat.


~ You are such a good boy.

JW: Will there be any difference when I am in my thirties?   But I guess I will find out at that time.
English and Chinese translations by manyearsago @ soompi    (Translator’s note:  Korean is not my native language, I just translated above article according to my understanding so there could be mistakes in my translation.)


Please give proper credit if re-translating or posting.


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