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Thursday, May 25, 2006

. . aera interview part 2 . .

AERA Special Edition No.51 9/30 issue
Evolving Hanryu (Korean Wave) - Bae Yongjoon "April Snow" (Part 2)

During this interview, he looked at me straight in the eye and would never diert a look even a moment. Even while I took notes with my face down, he gazed at me with earnest look. Indeed, he is a man of concentration. Though in quiet tone, when it came to the talk on acting, he began to express his thought with enthusiasm, gesturing with his hands.

It is 11 years since he debuted. It usually cannot be possible for the man who has continuously been a top star to throw away all of his own acting style, in addition, among exceptionally big expectations on him from domestic and from foreign. Bae Yongjoon, however, dislikes more than anything living peacefully in the image fixed as an actor.

I revealed our hope to him, who said that he still had not escaped from Insoo completely, that we would like to have the image of Insoo as a concept of the photographs for this ‘AERA’. For an instant, he looked puzzled, as he came here in bright clothes, but immediately he nodded, saying "I understand."

How cruel thing I said to him to return to the role in hardship! Having a bit of thought we should change the concept and seeing him, he already showed an earnest expression. Once standing in front of a camera, he took a deep breath as if he toned his feeling. In a moment, a smiling face disappeared and his look began to wear melancholy. Only his deep signs and shutter sounds were sounding in the room. [Chris: I'm so very impressed by Yong Joon's professionalism.. totally. If I'm the reporter, you will see my jaw dropping on the floor]

I imagine it was seriously hard for you to throw away all your acting style in the past. Why did you dare to do that, though your 'perfectionism' is what no one can imitate?

BYJ : (Thinking for a while) As you said, so far I liked 'perfection' and never failed to think that there should be a correct answer. In other words, in my behavior as well, I had been searching for a 'correct answer'. But, in so doing, I think, I might have constructed a kind of frame, in which I have been shutting myself up.

You mean, not only about the films, but you are talking about your way of thinking and living your life, aren’t you?

BYJ : Yes. This time, however, I think I could break the frame by myself through this work, and could broaden the width of my understanding. Say, I came to think that love can take various forms.

In this film Insoo was seriously hurt and was put into an agony by his wife’s betrayal, but he ironically let himself into doing the same thing. Through experiencing the moments in such ironical situation with inconsistencies, I felt various things. Can the relationship between Insoo and Seoyoung be called love?

In the beginning I could not grasp even the outline of the relationship of the two. Since I had wanted to have a correct answer for everything, I was so confused and had a hard time. In such confusion, however, I gradually came to accept it. There might not be a 'correct' answer. Various forms of love can exist.

And I realized love is what one believe in. I think it is the hardest time when one cannot believe in love.

You have thrown away all of your acting style in such a big work like this in the midst of surrounding expectation. Is it from your confidence that you still could accomplish- it in the end?

BYJ : (with a bit shy smiling face) Surely, I think I can do, for anything, when I believe I will definitely make it. And even when I may not make it, I will try my best to the last moment to achieve it. If it turns out to be a failure, I will not regret. This time also, since I believed so, I could take up this project and could obtain a lot from it.

On the day of crank-up of this film, after the final shooting, Bae Yongjoon felt hard to leave there and was standing on the highway with Director Hur Jinho for over 30 minutes. He, who had been Insoo himself, felt there still was something left to be shot and could not help missing.

Just after the crank-up, I asked him about his feeling, and he answered like this: ( AERA, August 1st , 2005 issue) - "I felt the end of shooting as a beginning of something. Because, I thought too many things while doing this work. How should I live as a human being? I thought it over and about love as well. I think it a good chance for me to reflect upon myself as an actor."

This sincerity with which he considers anything in earnest is the very posture he has consistently kept.

As for the works Bae Yongjoon appeared, there are not a few excellent works which carefully projected the social backgrounds of Korea This is also the result of the fact that he himself has selected the works thoughtfully.

Just like 'April Snow' of this time, I think you have been outstanding in your selection of the works. What is your priority when you decide the work?

BYJ : 'April Snow' is an exceptional case where I decided to appear before the scenario was completed. So far, I always read the scenario first and think how far I can recreate and develop it as an actor. For, the fate of an actor is to evolve himself through the works. And I also think it important to be able to feel any charm from the role I would play. I try to find any similarity in myself as well. For, while in performance I have to live completely as the character even though it happens to be a thorough unfamiliar figure to me.

It is a great pleasure to experience various lives other than my own thanks to being an actor. And it is another charm of this occupation that I can make some impression and influence on a number of people through my works.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Trinh said...

Beautiful picture of BYJ being Insoo, Chris! I'm gonna print it out and put it on my desk at work :) Thanks!


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