Ahn Jae Wook Apologizes For Past Drunk Driving Incident + Talks About Making Return After 5 Months

Ahn Jae Wook shared his thoughts on his comeback five months after being indicted for drunk driving.

On July 16, the actor appeared at the press conference for the play “Misery” at the Sejong Culture Center M Theater in Seoul.

“Misery” is a play based on a book of the same name. It premiered on Broadway in 2015 and was also the debut play for Hollywood actor Bruce Willis. Producing director (PD) Hwang In Roe of “Midnight Diner,” “Moon River,” “Princess Hours,” and “Love Again” will be directing the play.

Kim Sang Joong and Ahn Jae Wook take on the role of famous novelist Paul Sheldon (in Korean theater productions, it’s common for more than one actor to take a role and alternate performances). Gil Hae Yeon and Kim Sung Ryung appear as Paul’s passionate fan Annie Wilkes while Sheriff Buster will be portrayed by Go In Bae and Son Jung Eun.

In February, Ahn Jae Wook was indicted without detention for drunk driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.096 percent. After his driver’s license was suspended and his case was forwarded to prosecution, he stepped down from musicals “Gwanghwamun Sonata” and “Hero” (literal title).

After being confirmed for “Misery,” Ahn Jae Wook had said, “I just feel sorry to everyone and the fans who love me, and I am self-reflecting about my mistake. I’m thankful that you gave me the opportunity to return to the stage, and I will repay everyone with my sincere acting.”

At the press conference, Ahn Jae Wook began, “I felt really sorry and personally embarrassed. I also thought about taking a break from working, but I don’t have any skills except for acting. I need to repay everyone with a good and sincere appearance, but hiding and avoiding didn’t seem like the right answer. There was some criticism that it seemed too soon, but I thought that I should try my best and repay everyone no matter what, if I were given the chance.”

He continued, “No matter how much an actor works hard and does well, it’s the end if there’s no opportunity and a stage. This opportunity is valuable. I practiced a lot while concentrating. To put it jokingly, I even practiced harder than I did during my college years. Even though it was my period of self-reflection, I was called upon a lot. I basically lived in the practice room. I’m just starting out and I hope that my appearance in the play will be seen as a good appearance. I’ll also personally work hard to repay everyone from here on out.”

“I stepped down from the project that I originally planned to be a part of and another project that I was going to be appearing in,” said Ahn Jae Wook. “It’s not something that’s solved just because I leave, and I feel really sorry to the company and actors. I can’t put my apologetic feelings in words. I stepped down from ‘Hero’ which is scheduled to run at the Seoul Arts Center in July and August, and I contemplated a lot over it was right for me to participate in another project at a different theater. I don’t know if this will be an answer, but the actors and company that I was supposed to work with sent me a lot of encouragement and support. Director Hwang In Roe who gave me this chance for ‘Misery’ gave me lots of support. Dare I say that I’m trying to stand using that strength.”

“My heart feels heavy to the point where I can’t express it using any expression or word in my way of speaking,” he said. “If there’s a chance for me to be of help to someone, then I need to work hard to repay everyone with a better appearance than now. I don’t know if I was thoughtless, but I didn’t have the strength to not work at all, have this in my heart, and find a way out.”

The actor concluded, “There may be things that people dislike about me and can’t forgive me for, but I think that it may be better to use the small support I have to show you a better appearance. Despite criticism from many people, I gathered courage with much difficulty. I hope you’ll understand that I’m exposed [to the public] due to the nature of my job as an actor. I’ll act with more caution and thought.”

“Misery” will run at the Sejeong Culture Center M Theater until September 15.

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