Giving support to a villain, rookie actor debuted with his marvelous attraction!
Normally no one would have paid any attention to the second lead of a drama. In addition, the role he played was a villain, Joo Won bravely challenged himself despite he did not have the faintest idea about acting in front of television cameras. He had probably won a lottery ticket as the drama resulted a huge success in 2010. No matter what wrong-doing Ma Jun had done due to his complex feelings towards Tak Gu, viewers still could not find him hateful because rookie actor Joo Won left very strong impressions to them. Let’s find out what his goals are!
When reading the script about little Ma Jun, I wanted to hug him
~ How did you spend your time after completion of the drama?
I did not take any break at all after the drama. I had to go to school and do musical performances, therefore this is the first time I am having a break but I don’t know what to do (laugh). As usual, I just stay home. If I feel like going to the beach, I will ring up my friends or I will go to the snow mountain as I like snowboarding. If I have decided to take on the next project, I will be reading and analyzing the script, ringing up and discussing with PD and then filming. This is how I spend my time.
~ I heard your debut movie is a thriller, aren’t you scared?
Thriller is my favourite. It is not something like I will transform into a horrific figure so I am not too concerned. “Don’t Click” is the name of movie, its script is interesting and filming atmosphere is good, I am spending enjoyable and relaxing time during filming.
~ After Baker King, you had hiatus for more than half a year, do you feel impatient?
Yes I do. I wondered whether viewers would have forgotten me. Although, I don’t make any public appearance, it doesn’t mean I am doing nothing. If I am not doing any filming at all, I think I am getting very impatient. Actually, I am currently in the middle of filming so I don’t make any public appearance, While waiting to see viewers again, I’ve got to be patient.
~ Did you do any review after completion of the drama?
I certainly did, afterall it was an interesting project even I watched it once again. Although I knew its story, when I watched it, my mind still raised questions like “What will happen next?” “What is the scene after next?”
~ I heard casting of Ma Jun was the last, wasn’t it?
I went to the audition without any pressure and even without doing any preparation in particular. I just said my lines when I was told to. The questions they asked were totally irrelevant to the drama. I just showed them my “true self”. However I didn’t receive any news at all after a long time, I guess I must have failed. Then, one day I got a call and was told “come over tomorrow for poster and opening filming” (laugh). They didn’t even say “I was cast to play Ma Jun”, they just told me to “come over”. On my way to studio, I was wondering what it was all about, I wasn’t sure if “I will be playing the drama?” When I arrived and filming started, I finally realized “I will be playing”.
~ Do you know why you were selected?
I don’t think it was because I remembered my lines well or my acting skill was good, I guess my confidence and my honesty have got something to do with it.
~ What did you like about this drama?
When I first read the script, I found Ma Jun was very pitiful since he was young, I felt like hugging him. I was so keen to know how this boy was going to be like when he became an adult, I strongly hoped I myself could play this character. I never worried about how the viewer ratings would have turned out, the story was interesting and I could meet and play with many outstanding sunbaenim, I thought I would have learnt a lot if I had a chance playing this drama.
Hard for me getting angry and yelling at people because I don’t normally get angry
~ I guess time for your preparation was short but what sort of preparation did you do before filming?
Next day after poster filming, I went to baking school learning how to bake bread. Then I started going on diet again, when I was performing musical “Spring Awakening” in 2009, I had to put on so much weight to play the role. After I finished the project, I went on diet. For playing this drama, I spent two months doing both exercise and weight management to lose 20 kilos.
~ Are you actually good at baking?
My mom is very good at cooking, I always help her and learn cooking from her over her shoulders. I was glad to hear everyone said the bread I baked was delicious.
~ Did PD make any special requests to you in playing the drama?
I was told I had to play very differently from Tak Gu and my acting had to be intense. When I thought it would just be fine to play a scene with this certain extent of intensity, PD would then tell me to play it “more intense”. It was very hard for me to play angry and yelling scenes because my original character is not like that. Because I don’t normally get angry, I don’t get used to yelling at people, I was catching my breath with ranting and raving so I didn’t do well.
~ Was there something in particular you paid more attention to your acting?
When I first received and read the script, I realized the little Ma Jun was very pitiful, even when he became an adult and kept doing evil deeds. I wanted to express the sadness kept in his heart since he was young. If I could act like this, viewers wouldn’t see him as a “ridiculous villain” and I hoped viewers could understand that there were some inevitable reasons behind his wrong-doing. However, the script writer was really marvelous, even I didn’t need to act like that, the script was written as how I would have depicted in my mind, hence I could express well in my acting.
~ I can see there are differences in playing drama and musical. What did you find it difficult in filming a drama?
Facing camera was the most difficult thing because I was not used to. Actions have got to be big for playing on stage, however playing big actions in TV drama will not be captured within the camera itself. Because I didn’t have any faintest idea when the camera was focusing me, it was hard for me to catch the direction of the camera to which I had to stand and face (laugh). So I always missed the camera focus, it was very hard before I got used to it.
~ In the drama, Tak Gu played by Yoon Si Yoon was your rival but how about in real life?
We are not rivals in real life. Both of us don’t have much acting experience and we are young. Since we had to lead the drama, we didn’t even have the time for rivalry. Instead we helped each other by doing our best.
Being positive in thinking and pleasant like Tak Gu is actually my character
~ You don’t look like Ma Jun at all while chatting with you.
My real character is close to Tak Gu because I am pleasant and I have positive thinking although I may have the character like Ma Jun in the bottom of my heart and I don’t show it (laugh). Because my character is very different from Ma Jun, it was very hard for me to play in the beginning, however I understood him more and more as filming went on, I became Ma Jun in the second half of the drama.
~ Was there anything you didn’t understand about Ma Jun?
Not at all, because I had to understand him well in order to act. But actually I found him naïve and weird. He couldn’t suppress his anger so he broke all the fermentation pots and framed Tak Gu for his wrong-doing (laugh). Anyway, I think basically Ma Jun was not a bad guy and I was so engrossed in playing this role.
What was the saddest thing you found about Ma Jun?
When he was little, he overheard in backyard the conversation between his grandmother and Manager Han, he cried when he knew the secret about his mom, and also the scene in which he cried when he was reading Palbong’s letter. When filming that scene, I just naturally dropped my tears. When Ma Jun shed tears, I empathized him a lot. In the drama, there were things which Ma Jun should not have done but there were scenes in between showing us his real intention, so by all means I had to deliver his sad feelings. When playing his scenes, I could immerse in his role naturally.
~ Did you ever get cowered or intimidated in front of sunbae actors?
They were all very nice and approached me affectionately. I thought Jung Sung Mo sunbae (biological father in drama) looked a bit scary but actually he always joked around. Park Sung Myun sunbae (heir of bakery) was funny, we almost needed to retake many scenes when filming together. Actually, there were many scenes taken in the bakery that Ma Jun framed Tak Gu for wrong-doing. During rehearsal, Park sunbae would yell at me saying “you are so wicked” (laugh). Both Jeon Gwang Ryeol and Jeon In Hwa sunbae were serious persons, they didn’t do this to me, but instead they just quickly made up some jokes with smiling face.
~ Playing a son to both biological and foster fathers, to whom did you feel more heartaching?
To his foster father Gu Il Jong, I thought it was “lonely”. To his biological father Manager Han, I thought it was very “pathetic”. So in the last episode, I thought he was going to address Manager Han as “Dad” but it didn’t happen. Even so, his foster father was really a bad person! It was so frustrating. The filming had finished for some time, but I still can’t forget Ma Jun’s frustration. How come a person could be that coldhearted. He shouldn’t be like that (both Joo Won and reporter cracked up.)
~ At home, what are you like?
A typical maknae (laugh). My elder brother is five years older than me, his character is very manly. I am more like a girl when comparing with him. I am always told I am manly but when I am at home, I am just a maknae often pampered by parents.
~ There were many hugging and kiss scenes, didn’t you find them embarrassing?
Not easy to play. I wasn’t sure if I really liked that person when playing first half of the drama, so it was even harder. Eugene sunbae leaded me so well but I was surprised that we only needed to do one take in kiss scenes. I was hopeless in playing those scenes, but it was not necessary to retake. However, it was a bit lonely playing the love scenes because Ma Jun knew there was no room for him in Yu Kyung’s heart, that always hurt him. If there is a chance next time, we have to play roles loving each other.
~ Did you ever have unrequited love?
(thinking for a while) I think I had but I can’t remember exactly………ah, I had and we ended up dating. I am not a clingy type but I won’t give up easily (laugh).
~ What is your ideal type?
Nothing in particular. If I have to choose between Yu Kyung and Mi Sun, I will go for Mi Sun, Yu Kyung’s character is a bit too pessimistic.
~ Why was this drama so popular?
All characters gained empathy from viewers and also for people who like bread, we showed them our sincerity in baking them. I thought these would be the reasons why the drama was so popular.
~ When the drama started its broadcast, it was a hot topic that you look like Kang Dong Won and Big Bang’s TOP.
Thanks to them, viewers remembered my name. It is truly a good thing that I look like them however there is nothing I can compare with them because I am not as handsome and outstanding as them. I think I gained popularity because of them. I hope I will be like them and I will do my best to show viewers my true self. By working harder, I just hope people know my name and I am waiting for that day to come (laugh).
~ Is there a special meaning for your stage name?
When I was in university, I went to church with my parents and they gave me this stage name. It means “God’s Wishes”. Because the name is very meaningful, I feel there are areas that I can do much better in my acting, that’s the reason I use this stage name.
~ Do you have any role in particular you want to play?
From long time ago, I had been always aiming to play a role which I can express both sides of good and evil. So if I have the ability, I would like to try out the character in musical “Jekyll and Hyde”. But I am still in my 20’s, I guess it is more appropriate for me to play a character which is more suitable for my age. As I get older, I am intending to play that character which is more appropriate to play in that age group.
Source and photo「もっと知りたい！韓国TVドラマ」vol 43
Interview by Lee Soo Hyang
Photo by Cho Kyu Chang
Japanese translation by Kuramoto Yoshiko
English translation by manyearsago
Do not reblog and use in translating without permission and proper credits.