April 20, 2017
Disclaimer: Article is roughly translated. It may contain inaccuracies. Please pardon any mistakes.
Q: You lived in Canada for 10 years.
A: I went with my family to study. My family still lives there. I like living alone, but lately, I miss the days I lived with my family.
Q: You came to Korea alone at the age of 17. Why did you enter the entertainment industry?
A: It started when I was accidentally cast to be a trainee at JYP Entertainment. After auditioning and being accepted, I thought of not losing this opportunity. I did have a lot of concerns, though. My parents obviously disapproved of it. However, I dreamed of being in the entertainment industry as an actor and a singer since I was young. I ended up convincing my parents and came to Korea alone.
Q: You studied abroad for 10 years, and you’re from Chungdam High School. You seem to get a lot of financial aid from home.
A: I went to Chungdam High School because my dorm was located at Chungdam-dong. My household doesn’t have anything to do with wealth. Studying abroad took a toll on my parents. I’m not from a rich family (laughs). We’re a very ordinary household. You can say we’re a family who aspires for academic achievement. Although I don’t (laugh). I’m now appearing on TV and showing good results, so my parents are giving me a lot of support.
Q: Why did you switch from being a singer to being an actor?
A: The reason I wanted to be a singer was that I love music. But the more I (trained), the more I could see the excruciating stress when music becomes a job. For me, music was something I enjoyed, but I was in distress at the thought of it becoming my job. And there’s also the fact that I had some aspects unfit for being an idol. And so, I coolly made the decision.
Q: How is acting as a job?
A: Actually, acting too, wasn’t always fun in the beginning. Watching the finished product on TV or in a movie, was different than being a part of that product. The filming process was different from what I expected. The cut which connects the emotions was far different from what I imagined it to be. I was very unfamiliar with acting back then, so I deeply thought that this system wasn’t fit for me. In my first work, Splash, Splash LOVE, I was afraid of the self-consciousness I’d feel being in that square frame of the camera. But the more I did it, the more fun it was, and as I saw myself gradually being immersed in the work, I felt that it was a place where I can show various sides of myself. I wasn’t trapped in the screen, and it became fun as I adapted to it. Most of all, acting is too much of a hobby (laughs).
Q: You worked with Kim Seul Gi twice through the dramas Splash, Splash LOVE and Queen of the Ring.
A: I’m thankful to Seul Gi noona and she’s comfortable (to work with). It was actually difficult when we first worked together. I was such a newcomer at that time that I felt distant from seeing a celebrity. Right now, it’s become very comfortable. I’m very grateful because she’s very friendly both while working and off-camera. We talked about my worries, and I also received acting advice. Ji Sung, Kim Ji Ho sunbae and Seul Gi noona gave me acting advice, so I’m thankful.
Q: You’re becoming famous through the KBS Drama My Father is Strange.
A: Many senior actors appear in weekend dramas, so I was able to learn a lot. The atmosphere on the filming set is amicable and warm (smiles). It’s a bit awkward since I haven’t gotten close to my partner, Hwa Young. I think it’ll get better as time goes on.
Q: Anything you’re putting an effort on for acting?
A: I think it’s a bit embarrassing to say as it is something everyone puts an effort into (laughs). I do my best in analyzing the script. First of all, I’m most concerned about the interrelation between my character and myself. My character, Chul Soo in My Father is Strange is a soccer coach, so I looked for a youth soccer club and I observed and interviewed their coaches. Then I’d apply what I learned when I go to film.
Q: You are considered the ‘next-generation online boyfriend.’ What is your dating style? What’s your ideal type?
A: The ‘next-generation online boyfriend,’ I like that. I’m always grateful that they look at me in a good way (laughs). I don’t remember how I was when I was in a relationship. I don’t remember whether I was hot-tempered, or sweet. My ideal type is... hmm, I think someone who I can communicate with is important. I don’t really look at the appearance. But if I have to choose, I like women with pretty eyes. It’s not about having big eyes, though. I mean someone who has clear and kind eyes. I think it’s difficult to talk about attractiveness in terms of appearances.
Q: You have many similarities in particular with Kim Woo Bin and Nam Joo Hyuk. What’s Ahn Hyo Seop’s charm that differentiates you from them?
A: They’re all awesome people (laughs). I know what you mean by similarities, and I think it’s because of my height. However, I like my eyes the most. I think there’s something in my eyes that only I have. I’m actually still looking for more. Sometimes, it’s my long arms and legs. Sometimes, I’d say my ears because I have big ears (laughs).
Q: What image do you want to show in the future?
A: Dirty sexy. A bit disheveled and free image. Sometimes, I want to deviate and act like myself. I say deviate, and it’s not that I’ll do something, but I’ll stay within the lines as not to harm others. I usually wear loose and ripped clothes, and I sometimes tear my own clothes. I also like my hair disheveled. I think I like things that aren’t normal (laughs). Rather than sticking to being normal, there’s an attractiveness in diverging a bit from normality. I don’t like things that are standardized, and I’ve been that way since I was a child. In pictorials too, I want to show that image. I think it’ll be fun to do a concept like Photographer Ryan McGinley.
Q: Is it similar to Robert Downey, Jr. or Bradley Cooper? You said you were a fan of them?
A: I was attracted to their masculine vibe. I think character roles don’t change the person. I think there needs to be a certain amount of a person’s own personality (in the role) in order for acting to come naturally. And those two actors naturally showed their own colors. I thought that was cool. I’m still lacking, but if I go for it, I think I’ll be able to create that kind of image for myself. (laughs)
Q: What kind of actor do you want to be?
A: I want to be an actor who continues to grow. I’m making it sound so boring. I want to be an actor rather than become a star. First of all, I’d have to be good at my job. I’m still not good enough, so I’d like to try diverse roles such as a cool role, fun role, everything (laughs).