In part 1 of Kim Bum’s interview with My Daily, he spoke a lot about the scenes and cast members of the recently and successfully ended drama, “That Winter the Wind Blows” (henceforth, “That Winter”). Here in part 2, Kim Bum shares that his actual personality is quite close to that of Jin Sung’s during the drama.
He said, “I actually think male friendship and loyalty is very important. I do have a masculine side and I’m very straight-forward so sometimes, it even causes misunderstandings.”
Kim Bum is actually a very loyal person. All of the staff members of his agency were people that he went through many hardships together. He said, “My agency CEO is like my Oh Soo in real life. My agency was set up by myself and my CEO hyung. When we first started, we didn’t even have an office so we opened in my CEO’s studio apartment. I didn’t even have a manager so my CEO hyung and I went to the broadcast stations together. When I wasn’t working, the staff couldn’t get paid. But I’m so grateful because they all helped me and said, ‘Pay me later.’ Those people are the people who do my hair and pick out my clothes right now. I’m so thankful to them and they’re so precious to me so I want to protect them.”
It seems like Kim Bum matured and grew into a man during his hardships. Not only did his inner appearance change but his outer appearance as well. His features got a bit sharper than his “High Kick” days or “Boys Over Flowers” days. It turns out, he lost about 13kg (28.6lbs).
“Since I was young, I worked out a lot. I lost a lot of weight especially during ‘Padam Padam.’ At that time, I worked out seven days a week. I worked out in the morning, came home, ate, slept, woke up during the evening and ran on the treadmill or jump-roped, came home and studied my script. My diet consisted of a banana, half a sweet potato and a cup of americano. I didn’t even drink water.”
When asked why he had to intensely lose so much weight, he answered, “I wanted to give a physical change.” He continued, “As I lost weight, my face changed a lot. In addition to acting, I wanted to give a change to my physical appearance. One of the reasons why I highly regard Hollywood actor Christian Bale is because of his ability to lose and gain weight so frequently. There were even times when he had a difference of 30kg (66lb) and I think that’s all out of his passion for his character. I know many fans who liked my soft image may think my weight loss makes me look unfamiliar and strange but I want to be stubborn about this and keep changing myself.”
Although Kim Bum used the word “stubborn,” it seems closer to call it passion. Just by looking at his filmography, Kim Bum has usually picked difficult roles. He is the type to put himself through difficult challenges and grow from there. “When I look back at the projects that I’m drawn to, they were all usually projects that challenged me. When selecting a project, rather than choosing one that I’m confident in, I’m more drawn to projects that will help me mature and learn.”
Perhaps that is the reason why Kim Bum did not choose to act out melodramatic roles that many actors his age choose. He said he is not confident to do well with those roles. “All of the characters that I had in the past depended on what color I chose to fill it in with. But when it comes to melodramatic characters, I don’t know what color to choose. I think you need to be ‘pretty’ for a melo but I don’t really know how to be ‘pretty.'”
Instead, Kim Bum wants to challenge himself with acting out characters that represent the opposite sides of the human mind. He said, “I want to be able to act out completely opposite roles. Senior Hwang Jung Min filmed ‘You Are My Destiny‘ and ‘A Sweet Life‘ with only a year in between. In ‘You Are My Destiny,’ he was an innocent, clean and pure character but in ‘A Sweet Life,’ he was cruel and evil. I also want to show diverse sides of myself like that.”
In “That Winter,” Jin Sung often made mistakes and bad judgments due to his tough and rash personality. And although Kim Bum says his true personality matches that of Jin Sung’s, this interview shows us that he is more collected, mature and adult-like. Kim Bum clearly knows how to value those around him and protect them, which makes him better than Jin Sung. Eyes will definitely be kept out on loyal guy Kim Bum’s next project.