May 25, 2021
Disclaimer: Article is roughly translated. It may contain inaccuracies. Please pardon any mistakes.
Na In Woo’s Turning Point
An opportunity comes without any sign of warning. Through the drama River Where The Moon Rises, Na In Woo is ready to grab the opportunity after completing a mission that will remain a rare case in broadcasting.
When the main character of KBS River Where The Moon Rises was urgently replaced by Na In Woo, worries poured out instead of acceptance. But Na In Woo silently filmed 20 episodes in 5 weeks. He naturally became ‘On Dal’ beginning in Episode 7. It became noticeable that he lost 7-8 kg due to the rigorous schedule, and he gradually became thinner as the filming continued. There were more times when he couldn’t sleep an hour a day or even a wink. At the end of that hard work, Na In Woo was nominated for the Best New Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards. In other words, he proved his value through the opportunity that came out of nowhere. He even filmed the drama and movie Her Bucket List, and was casted in the drama The Jinx’s Lover. Na In Woo is now growing into an actor to look out for.
Q: You’re taller and have wider shoulders than I expected. I feel like you’d send me flying off if I bump into you (laughs).
Na In Woo: Everyone I meet talks about my shoulders. In reality, they’re not that wide. That’s probably a good thing, right?
Q: You’re 187cm tall. If you’d been tall since you were young, I’m pretty sure you stood out everywhere.
Na In Woo: I don’t know. I would always bump my head everywhere I go (laughs). My height has a lot of cons. First off, I have bad joints, and since I have long (legs), they’re difficult to control. They say you look good if you’re tall, however, no matter what you do, there’s a sense of stiffness and awkwardness. The reason why Rain’s dance body line looks great is that he made such a great effort.
Q: On Dal’s action skills came from such excruciating hard work. I’m curious about how you got to join River Where The Moon Rises. When news broke out that you would replace the main lead, there were many curious reactions saying, ‘Where did this person come from?’
Na In Woo: I was filming for the movie Her Bucket List, when in the evening, I got a call to go to the company. I went and talked with the CEO for an hour, and as an actor, I felt sad that a drama was on the verge of falling apart. I had a meeting with Director Yoon Sang Ho the next day. I did a voice recording, and in the evening, I went for clothes fitting, and the next day, I went straight into filming.
Q: Due to the situation, the production team must have had a lot of concerns, but the filming proceeded quickly.
Na In Woo: I met Director Yoon Sang Ho during an audition for a different role, so we were already acquainted. Since my previous work was a historical drama, I think it was easier to picture me in a hanbok. It also happened that the movie Her Bucket List which I was filming at that time was produced by our company, so they were understanding and the schedule was adjusted, so I was able to film both works at the same time.
Q: Within 5 weeks, you filmed a 20-episode drama and a movie at the same time. Should I say that you have great stamina? I heard you filmed while sleeping an hour a day.
Na In Woo: There were more days where I didn’t sleep since I had to film 20-40 scenes a day. I would start filming for the drama in the morning, and as soon as I’m done, I film Her Bucket List all night, and then I go film for the drama again in the morning. They say that when someone is driven to their limit, they develop superpowers, and I think that’s right. Rather than thinking, “I have to memorize the script,” I clenched my teeth and thought, “I have to make this work.” So there were a lot of adlibs (laughs). The director allowed me to act freely. The writer also sent me a text saying “Thank you for doing a great job.” Those gave me strength. Thinking about it now, we did it because we all trusted each other. I’m also very grateful for being given the opportunity.
Q: Since the schedule was so tight, I heard you lost 7-8 kg. In fact, compared to your first appearance, it was seen how you became thinner as the episodes went on.
Na In Woo: That’s right. The clothes were slowly becoming loose. I gradually tucked my belt into the inner compartment (laughs). Right now, I gained back 4 kg. People around me say that this is just right.
Q: Did you consider anything when expressing the historic character On Dal?
Na In Woo: We know him as “On Dal the Fool,” but I thought, “Why do people think he is a fool? What did he do?” Don’t you often call someone who is naïve and simple, and who has his own firm stubbornness, a fool? That’s how I approached his character.
Q: This morning, the news of you being casted in Director Yoon Sang Ho’s drama The Jinx’s Lover was released. It looks like the director liked you.
Na In Woo: Since we both worked together under an extreme situation, we became fond of each other. The director was so considerate and guided me, that I was able to immerse myself 200% on set. This time, I wanted to do such a good work again, so I agreed without hesitation.
Q: You’re the number 1 actor of CUBE Entertainment which mostly houses singers. Are there any special benefits to it?
Na In Woo: After spending 9 years in CUBE, I became one of the people who’ve been around there for a long time. I don’t know about anything else, but since I’ve been their employee for a long time, I don’t need to walk on eggshells, so it’s comfortable (laughs).
Q: There may be many viewers who will remember you through this drama, but you’ve been an actor for a while now. Do you remember how you started out as an actor?
Na In Woo: I started acting through the musical Bachelor’s Vegetable Shop. I was very nervous. During the first performance, as the musical started and the curtains were lifted, I really felt like dying. It was a musical with a lot of fans so the theater was full. I was nervous because there were so many eyes watching, and there was the pressure of being watched. Actually, I still get nervous in front of the camera. While acting, it’s scary not being able to see the results in real-time. Ever since I was young, I found it difficult to talk in front of other people, and now, I’m here doing this job, so I think I’m doing well. (laughs)
Q: I’m curious about the personal details regarding the person Na In Woo. You studied in Canada from age 9 to 12, are you good at English?
Na In Woo: To some extent, I think I’m okay with writing, reading, and listening. I always got a grade of 90 and above in English when I was a student. But I’m not that good when it comes to conversations (laughs) since the words that I know are ones I learned when I was in elementary school.
Q: Since you’ve done a musical, I know you’re good at singing. Have you ever thought of becoming a singer by using your company’s expertise?
Na In Woo: They don’t give me a chance (laughs). Who would refuse an opportunity given by the company? If you ask me, I’ll always welcome the idea. However, I can’t improve my dancing. There’s no problem with the beat, but there’s an inevitable awkwardness because my legs and arms are long. So, if I would choose a genre, it would be ballad.
Q: It was interesting seeing your interview where you said you can’t share a fixed amount of side dishes per person, such as a lunch box. Are you a foodie?
Na In Woo: I used to eat a lot. Before, I would eat 3 bowls of ramyeon plus rice. I would also eat one large pizza and coke alone. Now, I get full after eating 2 bowls of ramyeon plus rice. I’m satisfied with 2 and a half servings of bibimyeon or jjapaghetti.
Q: You’re Instagram ID is ‘10042n00’. You said you chose that because you used to live in room 1004? Usually, people put a lot of thought into creating a username.
Na In Woo: Isn’t adding your birthday with your name simpler? When I was living in the company’s dorm, I lived in room 1004, and I love the word ‘angel’ (t/n: angel & 1004 sound the same in Korean: cheonsa), so I used that. If that’s simple, then my username when I play games is simpler (laughs).
Q: In general, you look like a serious person, but surprisingly, you seem to be fun and pleasant.
Na In Woo: Right? There’s a cool thing about human relationships. When I’m with other people, I’m considerate so I become indecisive, but I’m sharp when I have to decide on something. I don’t hold grudges, too.
Q: Cool? Can you be cool when the relationship is tied with money?
Na In Woo: Of course! Let’s say there is One million Won (roughly $900) in hand. If we’re going to see each other for the rest of our lives, I’m willing to give up half of that. Depending on the amount, there will be variations. Say 300 million won (roughly $300,000) in hand, it’ll be difficult to give up 150 million, since I’m giving it to you without expecting it in return. If I do expect you to return it, I can lend you 200 million with a promissory note.
Q: I should ask you a serious question to end (the interview). What kind of actor does Na In Woo want to be?
Na In Woo: An actor who resonates and conveys sincerity. In order to do that, I need to act with determination.
Q: Filming and the interview has now ended, so what will you do with that determination?
Na In Woo: I’m hungry, so I should eat something. I was so nervous today, I didn’t get to eat anything. Next week, I’ll make sure to go for whitening at the agency!