Bae Yong-joon Laments the Price of Fame

May 24, 2006

One of the Korean Wave’s best-known faces, actor Bae Yong-joon, has confided that he received psychological treatment for insomnia. In an interview in the June edition of men’s magazine GQ Korea, the actor disclosed he had difficult times lately and sought psychiatric help for his sleepless nights.

"I’ve been really tired, so I’d try to get some sleep, but after an hour or two I’d always wake up. When I woke up, I thought it must be about 6 a.m., but when I looked at the clock I realized that it was only 1 or 2 a.m.," Bae said. "It was truly dark and desolate. It was so difficult that I went to see a doctor, who said I was too tense, and that frayed my nerves and actually made it worse. I got a prescription for some pills, and after about 10 days I beat the problem."

The man known as Yonsama to his many Japanese fans also talks of his discomfort over a rumor that he got a Japanese woman pregnant. "There was a rumor that a woman living out in the country claimed she was carrying my child," the actor said. "A lot of Japanese fans would like to see me quickly settle down and have a family."

The interviewer says it looks as if Bae is unable to enjoy any semblance of a normal life. "There can be nothing like that for me," the star replies. "The house, the office, the gym: my sphere of activity is pretty limited. There’s a coffee shop at a hotel that our company manages, but even there I have to go in through the back door." He admits to despairing sometimes when he thinks that this is how he has to live the rest of his life.

"There are some who can live their lives freely even in such an environment, but my personality just can’t deal with it," he adds. "I can’t escape the lines that I’ve drawn for myself, or the lines that others have drawn for me. I am always finding myself back inside. Honestly, that is something that really bothers me."

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