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[ENG TRANSL] Ahn Hyo Seop - Esquire Korea Part 1 (2022)

July 21, 2022


Disclaimer: Article is roughly translated. It may contain inaccuracies. Please pardon any mistakes.

Ahn Hyoseop of <Business Proposal> is really,

“A person with a simple mind”


(Today is Ahn Hyoseop’s day. And Ahn Hyoseop said that it is important to know that the present is the only time we are living.)



Q: It’s already the second time you’re meeting with “Esquire.” On top of that, this time, you’re on the cover. How does it feel?

A: Since I was young, I’ve always been exposed to the media called magazines, so it’s amazing that I’m on the cover, but the moments I’ve worked hard so far, don’t pass by like a flash. During the photoshoot, I couldn’t think of anything.


Q: That’s right. That’s a dramatic effect used in animations or movies.

A: The only thing I felt was that I was having fun, and I was happy to film with the staff on set. I think because I don’t have any greed, or the overwhelming desire to be recognized by others. Once I find happiness from being recognized by others, I start to become confused. I think true happiness is to find happiness with myself.


Q: You have a really simple mind, in a good way.

A: Right. I’m very simple and honest in many ways. But there are people who don’t really understand that, and sometimes, that makes it difficult.


Q: Simple people have one huge advantage. For example, a simple machine doesn’t break down. This phone breaks down, but a bottle opener or a screw driver doesn’t get broken easily.

A: That’s a good analogy. That’s why on the contrary, I find it difficult to spend a long time with people who are too complicated, people who are too passionate, or those who are overly focused on small things.


Q: You can be misunderstood. You do something without much meaning, but the other person takes that and gives it overly complicated meanings.

A: That happens a lot. There are lots of circumstances when a person gets to know me more as time goes by and later understands and thinks, “Ah, Ahn Hyoseop’s action doesn’t mean this.”


Q: For example?

A: I’m the type to clearly voice out my opinion. If my opinion is wrong, I discuss it with the other person, and I don’t feel offended at all. Of course, I also don’t intend to offend the other person. But apparently, sometimes they feel that I am complaining.


Q: So they misunderstand you and they think you’re trying to fight them or you don’t like them. But that’s not what you intended to do…

A: That’s right. That’s exactly it. (laughs) I’m just saying, “let’s talk this out.”


Q: So you’re a bit similar to Kang Taemoo from <Business Proposal>, since Kang Taemoo also has a simple mind.

A: That’s right. Perhaps, Kang Taemoo is almost childish; he’s simpler than I am. I guess that’s why I got feedbacks that said I looked quite comfortable playing Kang Taemoo. Still, due to the genre, I had some cheesy lines, but it very comfortable to say them because they were generally in sync with the emotions.


Q: I also found those scenes cute. Your way of talking right now is also a bit similar to Kang Taemoo.

A: I also think we’re similar. Actually, I like to say the things I want clearly and rationally. I like to say things logically. I’m similar to Taemoo in that way, so the lines came out naturally. The difficult scenes were Taemoo’s narcissism, and confession of love, which I can’t do in real life.


Q: That’s not too bad. <Business Proposal> drew a tremendous rise in viewer ratings. I think it’s a work that clearly showed the value of actor Ahn Hyoseop.

A: Thank you for loving it. I also had a very simple reason for deciding to do it. The script was fun. I read until Episode 3, and called them right away to say I would do it. I didn’t even think of whether it will work or not. I had confidence in the “fun” part of it, so I personally was comfortable working, and honestly, the actors and staff were all comfortable on set.


Q: It went over 11%. As a result, all of your 3 recent works received double-digit ratings. And it started with <Dr. Romantic Season 2>.

A: (Dr. Romantic S2) is really the best drama. It’s actually the most meaningful drama to me. Every work I did has their own meanings, but while working on <Dr. Romantic Season 2>, I became certain that acting is the right path for me.


Q: In what way?

A: In the drama, Seo Woo Jin (played by Ahn Hyoseop) goes to Doldam Hospital in order to meet the “good adults”. Before that, all the adults that Seo Woo Jin knew were people who only used him. And those good adults are the Doldam Hospital family, including Master Kim, played by Han Sukkyu. But the actors who played the roles of the medical staff, were also good adults to the Ahn Hyoseop in the real world. They were really nice senior actors. I especially learned a lot from Han Sukkyu.


Q: Did you have any special classes?

A: That wasn’t the case. He didn’t teach me how to act. He showed me what attitude I need to have in order to act, and I was completely persuaded by what he showed me. He didn’t say, “Do this, do that,” but I just learned by watching him.


Q: Actually, the most important thing is attitude.

A: I learned the attitude towards acting from him.


Q: Even <Business Proposal>, but in all recent 3 dramas, your roles had backstories regarding a death of a parent.

A: Oh! That’s right. It’s the same for <Dr. Romantic 2>, <Lovers of the Red Sky>, and <Business Proposal> too. And, I did play many characters with backstories with unfortunate family conditions. If you compare the three dramas, they’re a little different. The reason I wanted to play the role of Kang Taemoo, is because I felt emotional exhaustion while playing Ha Ram and Seo Woo Jin. The emotions felt really heavy, and it was difficult to take them off.


Q: For me, while watching <Dr. Romantic 2>, I thought it must have been hard on you because of English. You’re fluent in English, so it must have been difficult to pronounce medical English words in Korean.

A: (laughs) That’s right. I memorized all the Korean pronunciations. I did so many mistakes because the English pronunciations naturally came out. I had to restrain myself from using the (English) pronunciation.


Q: How was it acting with Kim Sejeong in <Business Proposal>?

A: Actually, aside from Yoojung of <Lovers of the Red Sky>, I rarely worked with actors who are younger than I am. Sejeong is younger, but she’s amazing. She’s so nice and considerate. I’m rooting for her happiness as an actor, and as a person. All actors of <Business Proposal> took a step back, and are very considerate. Everyone was so positive, and the atmosphere was cheerful. I am the one who received a lot of energy. Actually, I’m don’t talk unless someone talks to me. Thanks to the cheerful vibe of all the staff, including Sejeong, I had a lot of fun on set.


Q: I’m also personally cheering for Kim Sejeong. She seems like a cool person.

A: The present Kim Sejeong looks happy. Actually, I think she’s someone who will be happy anywhere, not necessarily in showbiz.


Q: Have you watched (Business Proposal)?

A: I couldn’t watch it in real time during filming, but I watched it after. It wasn’t pre-produced, so we were filming while it was airing.


Q: What’s your style? Actors show different reactions when watching their own works.

A: Well, some scenes were difficult to watch. During the scenes with cheesy lines, I held the tablet at an angle, and took peeks. I couldn’t watch it. (laughs) Watching the edited broadcast, other things caught my attention. For example, the scene I liked the most was the scene abroad. We couldn’t go overseas because of the pandemic. So for the New York scene, it so obvious that it’s in Korea, but they put “New York” as a subtitle. I really liked that brazenness, and I enjoyed watching it. It looked better because they didn’t vaguely make it look like New York.


Q: Hahaha. Right. I also laughed out loud watching that scene.

A: I’m sure everyone knew that it was in Korea. (laughs)


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