When performing in dramas, movies and musicals, Joo Won always seeks continuous improvement. In real life, he is even kinder, more diligent and dedicated, winning every single person over with his unique charm. Probing into Korean actor Joo Won’s rational and emotional sides.
Ceci: Do you know which word has the highest occurrence rate in your interviews?
Joo Won: I do not know.
Ceci: ‘Kind’, ‘Decent’, ‘Hardworking’, Humane’, do you agree?
Joo Won: I don’t think I’m kind like an angel, so I feel embarrassed when these adjectives are used to describe me. There are times when I am angry and lose my temper. At some particular point when I sense that certain things could have been done better then I’m always determined to voice it out whether people like it or not. But when it really comes to the crunch, I will feel very pressured when I speak up.
Ceci: Do you feel worse after speaking to someone harshly?
Joo Won: I feel very uncomfortable but I cannot keep quiet either. Even if it’s stressful, I have to live like this. Because it is impossible for everything in life to go according to my wishes.
Ceci: You often say that you hope everyone likes you.
Joo Won: If everyone likes me, I gain strength, feel good and perform better at work. If I hear unpleasant words, I will still complete my work silently, but it isn’t what I hope for. As the lead in a drama, I can offer suggestions. Hence I always propose to the PD to be more encouraging towards new actors. If I don’t feel good when I am reprimanded, what more a new actor. I would gladly complete any task if I can be happy going about it.
Ceci: Were you reprimanded when you were a newbie?
Joo Won: While filming “Baker King – Kim Tak Gu,” I was reprimanded a lot but even then, I would not show any dissatisfaction. After seeing that I did not give up, the PD even commended me. I pretended to be unaffected (by his scolding) and appeared very tough. As I persevered day by day, he slowly accepted me.
Ceci: You seem to really know how to make people like you. A person like this is very observant and understanding. Do you pay extra attention to others?
Joo Won: Of course, I do not like to be judged negatively. If people dislike me because they do not understand me, I feel very aggrieved. I am not painting myself as a kind person. Instead, I like to show my good side to everyone I work with. Although it’s impossible for an actor to be well liked by everyone, I used to have this thought, “Who are the people who dislike me indiscriminately ? I really want to meet and chat with them”. (laughs)
Ceci: If you express yourself openly, are you confident to win everyone over?
Joo Won: I will not force myself to do things just to please someone. I believe I am not a bad person. Those who spend a period of time with me will like me. I do not get familiar easily with someone I just met. Neither do I behave without reservations on first meeting. Other than “Hello! See you next time!”, saying anything more than these is hypocritical. If I’m really happy to meet the next time, I will greet the other person warmly.
Ceci: Thirty years old and enlistment are both unavoidable. Currently, your career is in the golden period Do you feel keenly that change is about to come?
Joo Won: I am sensing it a little now. I will think “I’m still young, how did I suddenly grow up, what should I do?” Gradually, I also start to understand my parents’ feelings. I understand why my parents say I’m still a high school student to them. In actual fact, my daily life will not change much even after I become thirty years old. However, it’s baffling that I keep seeing myself as a grown up now.
Ceci: You said that you hope to preserve your childlike innocence. What have you been holding onto all this while?
Joo Won: In actual fact, my heart has not changed. I’m still uncalculative when it comes to love and I will seek love with sincerity. In front of the hyungs whom I knew in musicals when I was twenty years old , I still behave like a kid. When I met a forty years old hyung whom I have not seen for ages, he praised me for being unchanged. To my longtime friends, they do not see much change in me.
Ceci: Was there anything you could not hold on to?
Joo Won: With more experience, I understand more. I know what type of advice to give under various circumstances and my way of handling situations is changing. However, I do not want to change my ideology of love. Hopefully, the surrounding environment will not change me.
Ceci: I heard that you are now a shareholder of your agency?
Joo Won: Where did everyone hear the rumors from, why am I the only who isn’t aware? I have to check the past interviews. (Laughs) The truth is I do not understand shares at all. To me, they are just nothing but numbers.
Ceci: For years, your agency and you have maintained a good relationship built with trust. You have also contributed to your agency’s growth, so this is another recognition of your work performance.
Joo Won: I only made a small contribution to the agency’s growth but I trust my agency fully. Whatever the job is, we can discuss and communicate comfortably. I am thankful for having such an environment. I hope this will not change.
Ceci: You are probably not someone who can open your heart easily, right?
Joo Won: Yes, it takes time. But we will get closer after a short interaction.
Ceci: What kind of people can become close with you?
Joo Won: Someone who is kind, someone whom I can communicate well. Even if our thoughts differ, we can still listen to each other’s point of views. Someone who knows how to care for others.
Ceci: Some people say that this year is “Joo Won’s Year”. After hit drama “Yongpalyi,” the current airing movie “Fatal Intuition” has delivered excellent box office results too. Are you proud of it?
Joo Won: It’s good if you can do well in your field of work. But in today’s world where rumors spread rapidly, if you become complacent after achieving a little success, everyone will start to point fingers at you. The rumors and slanders that follow are really frightening.
Ceci: Life is usually very tough when you have something to protect, because you fear losing it.
Joo Won: Let me give an analogy. It’s like a father’s state of mind now! For the sake of his family and career, a father will be busy with drinking and entertaining at the company’s gathering. Similarly, in order to safeguard my future, I am determined to endure hardships.
Ceci: What makes you happy? Apart from to vigorous walking and drinking coffee (laughs).
Joo Won: Now, I can only think of home. I stay with my parents and “home” is a space that gives me strength. If my parents are happy, I will be more motivated at work. Since young, the environment at home is especially important to me. Of course, there is no bad relationship between parents nor was there misfortune in the family.
What makes me happy now? I have been thinking a lot recently. I am happiest when I am with my family and people who are close like friends. I can bear with fatigue from overworking. While filming “Yongpalyi”, I could still maintain a smile despite seven days of consecutive filming without sleep. I could smile while chatting with the PD. Even meeting the crew and actors on site mades me very happy. Thanks to everyone, I was able to persevere through the drama.
Ceci: What do you desire the most now? You’ve said before that you hope to stay in a big house with your family. One with a garden and BBQ pit.
Joo Won: I have yet to have such a house. (Laughs) I am very busy with work, but I will not be able to work in this manner as I get older. Even if I only have one project per year, I hope I act well with my utmost effort.
At 7 am on a slightly cold winter morning, Joo Won reached the studio punctually as scheduled for the cover photo shoot. With lots of works in recent years, his charms on the filming site is even more overwhelming.
Putting his best performance in the cover photo shoot, we were mesmerized by Joo Won’s captivating smiles once again.
In response to the lipstick mark on his neck, Joo Won said with a smile, “I feel awkward.”
Holding a trophy for a commemorative photo shoot, his cute expressions filled the entire studio with warmth.
Chinese translator: hongcha126 on Joo Won Bar Baidu
English translator: sagaseed