translated by manyearsago
Interview with Joo Won Part 1
I thought I failed in the audition until I was asked to do poster shooting
Q: What is your thought of playing your debut drama which achieved viewer rating of more than 50%?
A: Honestly, I did not realise it in the beginning as I did not understand what was viewer rating. “I thought viewer ratings are all the same no matter what dramas they are, I wonder why everyone was so excited about it?” (laugh). Later on, I went out and it seemed like I drew attention from people, then I realised what it was when viewer ratings were good.
Q: How did you prepare for playing the drama?
A: At first, I received the script up to episode number six. Ma Jun was a very pitiful child and I was interested to know how this miserable child grew up. I strongly wanted to challenge myself on playing this role but I did not receive any news at all after the audition, so I thought I failed. One day, I received a phone call and was told “Please come anyway”. When I arrived at the studio, it was the day doing poster and title shooting. Finally, I realised “I was cast” when doing the shooting, (laugh). Then I enrolled myself to attend baking classes and started to learn how to bake.
Q: Did you have any worries to challenge a drama which is a totally different genre to musical which you initially started?
A: Not at all. When I first started acting, it just happened that I passed the musical audition, then I started musical first, however if I had passed a drama audition, I would have started with a drama first. The performance is slightly different but I do not consider drama, movie and musical as separate topics. No matter what genre they are, they are my performance. I just take it as a different project, not a different genre. I did not worry if genre was different. The only thing I worried in the beginning was whether I did the right analysis on the character. But I think this is how I feel when I do any project.
Q: Were you nervous on the first day of filming?
A: Seriously, I was nervous on the first day but I am the type of person who looks calm even I am very nervous, I guess this is my weapon. In the film set, I pretended to be calm and greeted with the PD. Certainly, I received many instructions on the first day and I did acting according to their instructions. Then, PD praised me and said “I was better than he thought” (laugh). At that time, I was very pleased because PD had been worrying a lot because I was a rookie and also my first time playing a drama. After the drama had finished, he revealed “he really hated me in the beginning” (laugh).
Empathy to Ma Jun’s sadness did naturally make me shed tears
Q: How did you play the role of Ma Jun?
A: What I found most important was to let viewers feel the loneliness and sufferings of Ma Jun’s childhood through my acting. I tried to convince viewers to understand why Ma Jun did lots of bad things even when he had grown up. Also, I was requested by PD to strongly express Ma Jun’s feelings in my acting, like when something happened, I had to respond with big reaction, and when I was angry, I had to act very angrily. Because I don’t have this sort of character myself, playing angry scenes with yelling were really very hard for me.
Q: Ma Jun’s character is totally opposite to yours, did you find it stressful?
A: I have experience playing something like this in musical. I thought if I wanted to express the character well, I would have to continue the character of the role even in private life but then I found it exhausting. At that time, I learned I must separate acting from my private life. When I am not acting, I am who I am. When filming starts, I will concentrate and switch over to the character. After filming, I return to my true self again. I guess other people have their own ways but for me, I can switch over to the character relatively quick.
Q: Was there anything you did not understand about Ma Jun?
A: No, not at all. Even there was, it would be the way how I interpreted his character in my acting. No matter what I tried, I think it was a must for me to understand Ma Jun well. To tell you the truth, I was shocked to see how immature Ma Jun was in some scenes, however seeing Ma Jun’s intention as the drama was progressing, I fully understood his sufferings and could switch over to his character. Especially after Palbong passed away, in a scene which Ma Jun cried after reading Palbong’s letter left to him, I was indeed feeling like he had passed away and my eyes were naturally covered with tears. Ma Jun knew Han Seung Jae was his biological father, in a scene which he deliberately refused and bluntly said to Han, while I was thinking “you should not talk to your father like that……” unknowingly I was in tears.
Q: Did you find it hard acting with sunbaenims?
A: They are all nice people. I think if both Si Yoon hyung and I were afraid of them, we would have cowered. Because they always pleasantly approached us with fun, they relieved us from getting nervous and we could do well in acting. Most of the time Jung Sung Mo sunbae plays a villain and his image looks scary but he is actually a nice and humorous person. Even now, I call Jeon In Hwa sunbae as mother and Jeon Gwang Ryeol as father. Whenever I see them, I always want to shake hands with them. In my crying scenes, sunbae did not force me to cry, it was sunbae leading me to cry naturally. Somehow, when I saw the face of sunbae, I would just naturally shed tears. Even exchanging lines with them, I could easily and naturally immerse into the character’s feeling.
I cannot drive a sport car but I got into a wrecker instead learning how to film
Q: In a variety show, I saw you hug Jeon In Hwa sunbae while greeting her, I think you are good at being spoiled?
A: I want to comment about this. I am the younger son at home but I only show my aegyoness at home. I am not the type who does flattery either. At that time, I only did normal greeting with Si Yoon hyung but I wanted to hug him too however I was told by many people “You are good at pleasing people”. I am not like that (showing a bitter smile). I was simply very glad that I was able to see sunbae again, me being seen as calculative is the last thing in my mind. Please believe me.
Q: Do you feel the sense of rivalry between Yoon Si Yoon and yourself?
A: Both of us do not have much experience and we are young so we do not have the time feeling rivalry at all. Instead we feel both of us put in so much effort to make the drama successful. However because we were rivals in the drama, we tried not to be too friendly to each other as it might impact our acting so we tried not to get along well in film set. Other than practising our lines, basically we could talk anything.
Q: Lee Young Ae and Eugene are experienced sunbaes, did you get any assistance from them?
A: When acting with Young Ae noona, she always told me not to worry too much. Because of her, I did not worry too much, that made me feel relieved and I could act without worries. Eugene noona and I had a few kiss scenes, I did not know how to do it well in the beginning, but noona reacted so well, I felt thankful that the filming was finished with only one take.
Q: I heard PD said he was pretty strong-headed with filming the sport car scene.
A: That was actually my scene however I realised I was not able to do it, that left me with no choice but to rely on a stunt. I have driving licence but I do not have many chances driving recently. In the film set, I did go and sit inside the car but I hesitated, I should not force myself and safety first was more important so I requested for a stunt. PD told me to go home and somehow I felt disappointed if I went, so I sneaked into the wrecker instead (laugh). At that moment, the filming atmosphere was very good and I enjoyed filming, I did not want to leave the film set. It was my first time sitting in a wrecker but I had so much fun and did not feel tired at all. Later on, PD was surprised seeing me sitting inside the wrecker.
It was a shame that I did not get the rookie award but I still think it was too early for me
Q: What was your most memorable scene?
A: The most touching scene for me would be the one which I went to see Han Seung Jae in the detention centre. Somehow my heart ached when I was filming that scene, I still remembered it after filming. When rehearsing and even filming the scene, the camera was facing Jung Sung Mo sunbae and it was not necessary for me to cry but I could not stop my tears and control myself. This was the scene which I will never forget.
Q: Even you gained popularity for your good acting, do you feel it was a shame that you missed the KBS rookie award?
A: A little bit (laugh) but to be honest, receiving an award is the last thing in my mind. In one moment, I was only thinking “What would have happened if the award was given to me by mistake?” (reporter cracked up laughing). Even thinking about it, I reckon it is still too early for me to receive an award at this stage. If I have received an award, without even knowing, I myself may have become self conceited. I intend to continue with acting all the time and for this reason, it is better for me not to receive any award now.
Q: When Yoon Si Yoon and Eugene received their award, you were crying with them but actually what were you thinking?
A: I was not the only one crying when Si Yoon hyung received the award, all others did cry too. First, because I know how hard Si Yoon hyung, as a protagonist, went through, so I cried for him. Secondly, it was a drama which no one was paying much attention to, however with all the efforts contributed by actors and production staff who made this drama a big hit and achieved the viewer rating of over 50%, I guess everyone was emotionally moved to tears.
Q: If you have to choose a single reason why it was good to play this drama, what is it?
A: People. Having the chance encountering with that many wonderful sunbaes in my first drama is the only reason. Without sunbaes, perhaps I could not play well with the role of Ma Jun. Other than their acting ability, I think it was a blessing to me that I was able to act together with the virtuous sunbaes. Besides the co-stars, I got along well with production staff and PD was also a nice person. Both my recognition and popularity were elevated because of this drama, however I think there is nothing more memorable than working on this project with all these wonderful people.
Success is based on working hard not luck
Q: I heard people saying Joo Won is a lucky boy by playing a debut drama which achieved a huge success, how do you take this?
A: I think it is true that I am lucky, but there is something else attached to it other than luck. I played the lead when I debuted in musical. At that time, I was still in school and I was told my acting was good, so I went for audition but did not succeed. There were projects I wanted to try out but there were too many people whose acting were far better than me, I was the one who was chosen as lead but I was just hanging in there and could not move up. Then I realised I was one of those who were still struggling in a well. Because of this reason, I deliberately volunteered myself as an ensemble in a musical performance tour as my next project, I gathered various stage experiences for the six-month period. Even in musical “Spring Awakeking”, I was not the lead and I was only an understudy. However I liked the character so much that I desperately practised even I did not know when I would have a chance performing on stage. Then the sunbae who was cast as the lead got injured on the day of rehearsal, I did the rehearsal on his behalf and was made to do 150 out of 250 performances. I guess on top of having the luck, I also need to work hard with my acting and seriously think how I should live my life.
Q: You have been elevated to stardom, your old photos are being circulated on the web, do you find it embarrassing?
A: On the contrary, I am happy about it. Although I am still young, seeing pictures which were taken when I was much younger, I myself think I was cute at that time and I do not find too many changes of myself. It is either I was chubby or skinny. Those pictures do bring me back with many happy memories which reminds me what I was doing at that time. Also those pictures became a topic which made many others have interest in me, I think more or less it helps them know about me.
Q: I guess your family was happy about the drama receiving good response?
A: I think my parents are proud of me but my older brother is still not used to seeing me in acting, he feels odd when he sees me (laugh). Because many people know my face now, my parents are very careful with every little things like they became very careful in what they say and do in order not to spoil my name. I feel sorry to them when I see this. Even my attitude towards life has become stricter, like instead of leaving home late, I will be rushing to leave much earlier and be more careful in driving. When the drama was finished, I was very glad to receive a message from my parents saying “they are happy with the success of their son”. The atmosphere at home became much better than before.
Q: Would you please tell us about your thoughts after completion of this drama and your future plan?
A: Although I was physically exhausted, I had fun in filming, even now I miss those days. There were many areas which my acting was not perfect but I am thankful to viewers who are pleased with my imperfection. To respond to the anticipation given by the people who have been supporting me, I want to show them how Joo Won as an actor improves in each project. Please watch over me. I will work even much harder (laugh).
My comment: When I was reading Joo Won’s interview in the Baker King Guidebook, I was not intending to do the translation at all because some of the questions were asked and answered and were also translated and posted in this thread. But Joo Won always made me change my mind especially after I read the interesting interview of his co-stars and production team. I actually giggled when reading some of their comments on Joo Won. Also, I was impressed with what Jeon Gwang Ryeol said in his interview as I thought this is what Joo Won is going through. Since I want to relate their comments which you will find them in Part 2, I made up my mind doing translation for Joo Won’s interview as Part 1.
Anyway, please bear with this long post, I hope you do understand Joo Won has been working continuously days and nights in day one although he knows he is physically exhausted, like what he mentioned in his love letter to fans last month.
In my opinion, his approach in acting and appreciation to fans never change at all. If I have to find any changes, I would say his acting is improving every time he plays a project and more people like and love him being a sincere and passionate actor and he shows more appreciation and thankfulness to YOU (his beloved and precious fans) by working much harder, that made me think this is the answer of question that DC fans posed in their questionnaire:
Baker King Guide Book
Interview with Joo Won Part 2
Writer, PD and sunbae co-stars comments on Joo Won
Writer Kang Eun Kyung’s comments
Q: When comparing with Si Yoon, rookie actor Joo Won, who played Tak Gu’s rival Ma Jun, was even less known by viewers.
A: I was pleased with both Si Yoon and Joo Won but there were many strong objections and it was getting worse especially when the role of Ma Jun was cast. After confirming to cast a rookie actor Si Yoon to play Tak Gu, the predominant idea was to cast an actor who had good acting skills and recognition to play Tak Gu’s rival, I also agreed with this idea. However after meeting Joo Won, I was very pleased with him. I went to see many auditions but I could not find anyone who was better than Joo Won. I found Joo Won was the most suitable person to play Ma Jun but others did not agree with me. Comparing him with other people in his age group, he has a clear value and is very determined. Normally, when asking a newbie, you will ask “do you want to become an actor, or do you want to try out to be an actor”. Generally theyanswer you “I want to become an actor” and there is none saying “they want to try out to be an actor”. Everyone wants to become a star and be famous so it is common that they want to become a leading actor. However, Joo Won showed me his belief by answering “I want to try out to be an actor and I want to do acting.” Somehow, his appearance moved my heart.
Q: As a writer, what request and advice did you give to these two rookie actors?
A: Normally I don’t contact and make a special request to actors if they have been acting for some time, I will just leave it to them but because both Si Yoon and Joo Won were newbies, we talked a lot on the phone. My request to Si Yoon was “the strength of being positive”. I told him “it is necessary for you to lead the strength of positiveness. In order to do it, you have to arm yourself with the strength of positiveness.” Si Yoon was sincerely keeping my words in his mind till the end. To Joo Won, I emphatically said “you are absolutely not a villain but sadly you were born with ill-fate, while you don’t know how to accept this ill-fate, you are just like a pathetic man who keeps making wrong decisions”. In addition, I said to him “With your charm, you can grab the heart of female viewers!” (laugh). Joo Won is very clever, if I say something, he can read between lines. Like Si Yoon, Joo Won understood 120% of my request and fulfilled it for me.
Ma Jun’s ad-lib crying scene
Q: Have you ever eaten the bread baked by actors?
A: I ate the bread baked by Ma Jun. The bread baked at the baking school was delivered at time of script reading, it was pretty good (laugh).
Q: Joo Won gained popularity by playing the villain Ma Jun whom you found it hard to hate. It was quite a threat to Tak Gu, wasn’t it?
A: When I think of Ma Jun, my heart really aches. He knew exactly who his father was and witnessed all the bad things his father perpetrated while he was growing up. Since he could not accept his own fate, in order to gain recognition from Gu Il Jong, he constantly kept making wrong decisions. Joo Won was a rookie but he digested very well with the dimensional character of Ma Jun who had been growing up with sufferings. More than anything, Joo Won himself felt the heartache for Ma Jun. In the scene which he knelt down before Gu Il Jong, the script was written as “do not ever cry in front of Gu Il Jong. In the next scene, cry in front of Yu Kyung”. However PD called me and said “we are now filming the scenes but Joo Won can’t cry in that scene, he is acting that scene so sadly and regrettably but his tears don’t seem to come out at all.” Then I said to PD “Just tell him to keep that feeling and act.” When I saw the broadcast, I cried. He is young and on top of it, that was his first drama, it is not easy for him at all to get so engrossed in playing the role. I could only feel thankful to him.
PD Lee Jung Sub’s comments
Thorough acting guidance given to Si Yoon and Joo Won in film set
Q: What was involved in casting?
A: I feel very apologetic to both Si Yoon and Joo Won because I strongly opposed in casting them. It was a 30-episode serial drama, it did matter with the success of the fourth quarter result of a TV station, so there was no way that I would have cast rookie actors. However, it was finally decided to cast rookie actors. I would be finished if I failed (laugh). I made them reading and practising every line of the script on one-on-one basis.
Q: I heard you trained them up very strictly.
A: I guess you visited the film set, right? Sometimes, the film set is like acting school. For instance, when playing a cry scene, practically it can take up to hours for an actor to feel sad until shedding tears. Sometimes, actors even lock themselves up in a small room, but they were good at crying. Because they were like a blank page, it depends on how you see it with my guidance, I think they did well. If I didn’t use rookies, the performance style would be more established but I guess I would not have achieved to the extent like this time.
Q: What is your comments on Joo Won?
A: Joo Won is very clever. He is the type who can do well with anything. When he was acting with sunbaes, he was closely watching their acting. When it was his turn, he would mimic their acting. He has the ability to steal acting from others. To the extent of his acting skills, he can also play a scene of which its script is six pages long in one go. Also, when filming the scene which he had to hurtle a Porsche in distraught, because he said he found it hard to drive, I said to him “you can go home and rest as I will use a stunt double”. It was Joo Won’s turn to film at 1am, the filming would start again at 6.30am. I let him go and we were still filming until 4am. When filming was done, after I said to everyone “Good Job and let’s go”, I found Joo Won getting off from the wrecker. I asked him “Why didn’t you go but you were still here?” He answered “I want to see how the filming is done”. He has the passion with profound tenacity.
Actor Jeon Gwang Ryeol’s comments
Q: Rookie actors Yoon Si Yoon and Joo Won were very nervous in the first part of filming, how did you handle it?
A: Because I am a sunbae, it is very hard for them to approach me. Since I understood their thinking, I approached them, bought them meals and even invited them for drinks to de-stress them. I am their father in the drama, but I am their sunbae in acting, I gave them advice in acting and also encouraged them. Don’t you think they could exert well with their attractiveness in this drama? In the beginning, people voiced their concerns but I could see both of them were passionately acting for the drama. I was also cohered to their passion.
Q: Is there any advice you would like to pass onto these two rookie actors?
A: Taking acting as a career, actors do look showy to glimpse at but they are very lonely. They must self-explore themselves continuously and fight with their own selves, this process accompanies with various hardship. Especially when they became popular, it would be good if they can keep themselves to stay in the top position but it is not like that. To stay in the top position and to make rapid progress, they must work very hard constantly. Take studying or social experience as examples, you learn various things and store them in the well of your heart and you must not leave the well dry. Doing this is very difficult. There aren’t many actors of my age who are still active in acting. Working hard constantly to make progress is the reason why I can still be active. If you don’t work hard, it is very difficult to continue an actor’s life.
Actress Jeon In Hwa’s comments
Q: What impression did Yoon Si Yoon and Joo Won give you?
A: When they first stood in front of me, they looked pale and stiff. Because in the drama, my appearance looked showy and my character was intense, I thought it would be hard for them to approach me. When they stood in front of me, their mind went blank and couldn’t remember the lines. That reminded me how I was when I was a rookie, I remembered my lines well but I forgot them all when I saw sunbaes. Since I understood their feelings, I told them to “calm down and try again”. When rookie is acting with sunbae, I think it is better not to be nervous.
Q: How was their acting?
A: Joo Won has the basics because he has experiences in playing musicals. Since he didn’t understand the system in filming a drama, he was pretty confused in the beginning but his acting was steadily making progress from the middle of the drama, I think he picked up pretty fast. The best scene was he was shedding tears in front of Han Seung Jae in the prison. I could feel he was seriously acting that scene. When I saw it, I was sure he would succeed.
Actor Jung Sung Mo’s comments
Q: What impression did Yoon Si Yoon and Joo Won give you?
I can’t give you an answer based on one drama but I think it is possible that both of them have potential in acting. Actors cannot be made overnight, they have to build up their own acting skills one step at a time, I think they can do it. I see Joo Won’s adaptability is quick. I think Si Yoon needs more training to open his heart.
Q: Why is it?
A: Both Si Yoon and Joo Won carry heavy feelings in their role. Joo Won could express his feelings but Si Yoon was not good at expressing, he simply couldn’t open his heart and his demeanor was simply superficial. However, I think Si Yoon had more hard time than Joo Won in playing this drama. Because Joo Woo can normally express himself well, he can also relate it to his acting. Whereas, there were areas which Si Yoon didn’t fully express his feelings. Actors must express what is written on the script. I think it is necessary for them to do regular training if they have any hesitation in expressing their feelings.
Actress Eugene’s comments
Q: How was filming with Yoon Si Yoon and Joo Won?
A: It was easy to act with Si Yoon because our eye level was matching, but it was very hard to act with Joo Won because I had to look up at him. Due to Joo Won’s height, both Young Ae and I were not happy with the scenes playing with him (laugh), just kidding!! Since becoming an actress, that was the first time ever that the leads were all younger than me, I found it very fresh. Because both Si Yoon and Joo Won were new faces and they matched the roles pretty well so I think their acting was good.
Q: Joo Won said you gave him assistance when filming the kiss scenes.
A: No, I didn’t do anything. Joo Won was good (laugh). In the beginning, he had been worrying and said “How do I do it?” but once filming had started, the take was OK without any NG. He was very good and I myself was surprised (laugh). But, it was quite hard for both Joo Won and Si Yoon because they didn’t have normal love scenes in the drama this time. It was fine if there were sweet love scenes but because both had sad kiss scenes, they were shedding tears while kissing. When filming the scene which I was forced kissing by Ma Jun, I realized I could not escape if a man was serious. This was definitely not a happy kiss and I hated it but the viewers were jealous of me. (laugh).
Actress Lee Young Ae’s comments
Q: I heard you met Joo Won before filming this drama?
A: I went to see a musical played by Kim Mu Yeol who was my co-star in drama “Iljimae” and I met Joo Won at the musical. Mu Yeol sunbae pointed at Joo Won and said to me “he is scheduled to play dramas as well, please look after him for me”. One day, I got a call from sunbae and was told Joo Won was confirmed to play this drama. He said “Joo Won is a good boy but he is playing a villain this time, please look after him.” That’s why I looked after him so well (laugh). In the beginning I thought it would be good if they cast a rookie actor to play the role of Ma Jun and I thought it was good that Joo Won was cast. I feel thankful because his acting was good.
Q: Were you nervous in filming the indirect kiss scene with Joo Won?
A: I was not nervous at all, the filming was finished with one take only. It was necessary to bring up the tension but it was strange that I didn’t see him as a man because he was younger than me. If I didn’t know how old Joo Won was, perhaps my heart would be throbbing but once I knew his age, I didn’t see him as a man. In the previous interview, I was asked “Which one do you like, Si Yoon or Joo Won?” and I answered “Both of them are not my ideal types, my ideal type is someone different”. However the headline of the article was written as “Both Joo Won and Si Yoon are not the types”, both of them were sad about it. It is simply because they are younger than me.
Source & photo credit: Baker King Kim Tak Gu Guide Book published by Mook 21 Japan in 2011
All Interviews by Lee Seo Kyang except interview of Jung Sung Mo by Shin Hye Suk
Photo by Cha Kyu Chang
Japanese translation by Kuramoto Yoshiko
English translation by manyearsago
My comments: I like the comments given by the writer and Jeon Gwang Ryeol. It was mentioned in this thread before if it was not because of the writer, Joo Won would not have the chance playing Baker King. The writer even ate the bread baked by Joo Won and she found him handsome too…………hahaha writer nim, you are no difference to us !!!
I mentioned in Part 1 that I am wondering if Joo Won is doing something similar to what sunbae actor Jeon Gwang Ryeol had gone through before. Is this one of the reasons why Joo Won has to work so hard constantly to challenge himself for improving his acting so that he can keep himself active and continue with acting when he is even in his 50’s. If this is the case, I won’t be surprised that I will still be fangirling Joo Won the “ahjussi”when I have become an ”halmeoni”.
Joo Won mentioned the best thing he found in playing Baker King was “people”. I am convinced that other than encountering with that many excellent sunbae actors and even having the chance to mimic their acting, he had definitely learnt how to look after his co-stars and even hoobae actors like Chan Sung and Im Yoon Ho, he spoke highly of them in his interviews and even in Tokyo fanmeet. Remember his bromance with Park Ki Woong too. He was looked after by sunbae actors and actresses, now it is his turn looking after his hoobaes.
Now I really look forward to watching this “Good Actor” in playing “Good Doctor”.
JOO WON !!! FIGHTING !!!