July 1, 2021
Disclaimer: Article is roughly translated. It may contain inaccuracies. Please pardon any mistakes.
Na In Woo’s Question
Q: It was already felt on screen, but your eyes are very clear and appealing.
A: I can say the same to you. Anyone who focuses on something has strength.
Q: Are you usually good at complimenting others?
A: Yes, that’s right. I often compliment others. Personally, I think I have a good eye for people. It’s a habit I picked up from acting. I like people, and I wonder what they think. So I take a careful look at them.
Q: Coincidentally, your name is Na In Woo. You use the characters for ‘person (human)’ and ‘friend’
A: It’s my stage name. It means a friend-like person you can approach comfortably. My real name is Na Jong Chan, and it was given by my grandfather with the meaning “to help people generously like the sound of an iron drum.” Should I say it’s a bit similar? I think I was just born that way. (laughs)
Q: Director Yoon Sang Ho of the TV drama River Where The Moon Rises certainly received a huge help from Na In Woo. I heard you filmed 20 episodes in one month. He praised you, and casted you in his next work The Jinx’s Lover.
A: I think the director influences the atmosphere wherever he goes. I think as a leader, he (Director Yoon Sang Ho) created everything in River Where The Moon Rises. He had the power to push through while taking care of the details. Regarding him looking favorably on me, maybe it’s because I was always laughing even in extreme situations? (laughs) I laugh a lot when I’m with other people.
Q: You were tailored for the simple and honest On Dal. You even got all sorts of nicknames such as “straight out of a mural (?)”, and “Hohoba (a fool who isn’t a pushover). Are you also similar to On Dal?
A: I like people, nature, and animals. I think we’re similar in the way we stand firm and endure wherever we go. Also, I’m not a pushover either. (laughs)
Q: It also seems like you have an innocent side like On Dal.
A: On Dal is too innocent. On the other hand, in reality, the older you get, the less innocent you become. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I believe that’s maturing. As time goes by, won’t your identity become clearer? And that’s until you die.
Q: In the KBS2 drama At A Distance, Spring is Green, you play the role of Yeo Jun Wan, the main character’s older brother. It’s a complicated love-hate relationship with your brother.
A: Jun Wan is a fun, but difficult character. Whenever I express a character, I approach it by throwing away what I have rather than looking for similarities between the character and myself. However, it wasn’t easy to approach this character because he was restrained and didn’t reveal his emotions or inner feelings. At first, I tried to understand him because his brother was his life’s driving force. I started with the idea that growing up in a bad environment, he needed self-defense to survive, and he didn’t want his brother to suffer like he did. Every time I play a role, I always ask questions like “Why is this person like this?” That’s how I unravel the thread.
Q: Park Ji Hoon plays the role of your younger brother. How was your chemistry with him?
A: He’s such a very cute guy. We got close pretty quick. I didn’t have much experience acting with those younger than me, but it was nice.
Q: You successfully starred in River Where The Moon Rises, you’re currently in At A Distance, Spring is Green, there’s The Jinx’s Lover that’s scheduled to film in the second half of this year, and there’s the movie Her Bucket List. You have your work lined up. You’re a popular actor. How do you feel?
A: I think of it as me climbing the stairs of life one by one. My mind is constantly busy. Going up one step, I don’t know what to expect, so I’m also afraid. Also, popularity comes with responsibility. But now, I’m trying to advance with clear footsteps.
Q: In your agency’s promotional video, you introduced your definition of ‘peace’. How does Na In Woo go about peace?
A: Thinking about the other person’s feelings first, since I know how I feel. So I always look at the other person first. I believe I should start there. The next step would be, “how do I create synergy with this person?” Or “what should I do so I can have fun with this person?”
Q: That’s very mature of you.
A: I am an adult. I’m 28 years old, almost 30.
Q: I think physical age doesn’t necessarily make one an adult. What does Na In Woo think an adult is?
A: Ironically, adults are all foolish. They think they know everything, but there’s actually more that they don’t know. Come to think of it, I shouldn’t call myself an adult. (laughs) There’s a lot to take care of and forget about. Being an adult is so tiring.
Q: What was Na In Woo’s childhood like? I heard that you grew up to 185cm when you were in 2nd grade of middle school.
A: People kept looking at me because I was tall. Adults also liked me and said I was handsomely tall. (laughs) Come to think of it, my seniors liked me more than my juniors did.
Q: You must have received a lot of love confessions.
A: Not really. (laughs) It wasn’t that I was popular, but they probably looked at me because they were fascinated by my height. When I hit adolescence, I was an ordinary kid who would always smooth my hair thinking about how to look cool. It was a time of self-satisfaction (laughs)
Q: You spent your childhood in Winnipeg, Canada.
A: Back then, I didn’t stay at home; instead, I was playing outside the whole day. Skateboarding, riding a bike, playing basketball, soccer, and I loved running the most. I liked feeling the wind and sweating in the wild nature. I also won first place in a marathon at school. Maybe that’s why I’m a homebody now. I think I used up all my energy back then. (laughs)
Q: I can imagine some of it. If there’s something you couldn’t forget until now, what is it?
A: The clear skies, tornadoes, ah, I also saw the aurora. I saw the aurora when I was on a plane. Since Canada is up north, the route passes through the polar region. It’s a glacier underneath, but at night, the green light looks like a curtain. At first, I was mesmerized by the beauty of it, and I only found out later that what I saw was an aurora.
Q: I heard your hobby is sunbathing.
A: I close my eyes for a moment when the sun feels nice. Then I feel drowsy, my negative thoughts disappear, and I gain positive thoughts. It doesn’t matter where it is, all it takes is some good sunlight. I also did it on a mat in a parking lot.
Q: At first, you were offered to audition at SM, then you became a trainee at JYP and CUBE. Were you ever recommended to become an idol singer?
A: Until I moved to my current company, I thought of doing anything I please. But just before I turned 20, I felt certain that I wanted to act. I mean I was about to hit adulthood, and I thought I had to seriously think about my career path. I thought about something I’d really love to do, and it was acting.
Q: What did you like about acting?
A: When I was really young, I watched dramas like Rustic Period and I’m Sorry, I Love You and the actors’ awesome acting remained in my heart. I think I came this far because I didn’t forget that feeling. Now that I became an actor, I think I made a good choice. I feel very proud that I give life to a character.
Q: I remember you playing the guitar on the TV show Radio Star. I was impressed when you said, “Rock is my soul.” These days, the younger generation usually likes hip hop but I was glad to meet a fan of rock.
A: If hip hop is being rebellious, rock is venting out. It’s like pouring out suppressed feelings. There are a lot of lyrics that express frustration or doing things you can’t usually do. When I was young, I used to release such feelings through rock. In particular, my favorite genre is symphonic metal, and the classical melody in it has a unique charm. I like the Italian band “Rhapsody of Fire.” I think there’s no rocker like Kim Kyung Ho in Korea. Also, I often wore training pants that were customized with Slipknot’s tracklist. Once I fall into something, I can’t get out of it. If given the chance, I want to be on stage with session musicians. Ah, of course, I have to have the skills first. (laughs)
Q: You also sing pretty well, and your guitar skills are also excellent. Above all, it’s surprising that you don’t have experience with bands when you like music so much.
A: I’m the type who likes listening than singing. Liking something is easy. Loving something is difficult. You do the things you like when you’re resting or when you’re stressed out. As for the things you love, you have to keep checking on them and taking care of them. To me, acting is the field I love.
Q: What do you find cool right now?
A: I find it cool when someone faithfully accomplishes their role. Whether it’s the standard way or doing it their own way, they do it professionally. I’m trying to be like that.
Q: As we keep talking, I can’t help but notice the mole under your eyes.
A: It’s something that’s polarizing. There were people who told me to remove it, but I decided to leave it because it is mine. Depending on the role, I’ll cover it if needed. So now, this mole is my identity.
Q: What does Na In Woo believe in?
A: What do you (editor) believe in? I think interviews aren’t decided on who asks the questions, and who answers them. Even in life, we need to look at things from a different perspective. So, I believe in the power of putting ourselves in someone’s shoes.