Kim Soo Hyun Talks About Preparing For His New Drama, How His Values Have Changed, And More
Kim Soo Hyun recently participated in a pictorial and interview for Vogue.
During the interview, the actor was asked about being more than a decade into his career. Kim Soo Hyun answered, “I first started in 2007 and somehow I’ve already found myself here. If I look back, there were abundant times to the point of excess, but there were also times when I regretted, retreated, felt a lack. I can’t judge whether I was right or wrong when I look back on the past, but I also don’t feel like I should have avoided those situations. Time will pass, and whether it’s an honor or a wound, both of them leave traces. I’m still running toward a dream, and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to make myself heard as an actor, but I’m still able to endure the feelings that surround me now.
He continued, “There was never a time in which I got swept up in a situation or felt desperate, but there was a time when I needed a break. Fortunately, this was around when I enlisted and I found both my question and answer at the same time. I did a movie in between, but not everyone goes to the theater, so the last time people could easily see me was in the 2015 drama ‘The Producers.’ I was in the military for two years, and no matter how fast I chose a project once I was finished, 2020 was the earliest that people could see me again. I questioned whether I could fill that gap of five years. It wasn’t exactly the fear of disappearing from people’s memories, but rather a sense of pressure about showing a new side of me while remaining familiar. With the advent of digital platforms, the viewers’ choices have expanded, so I couldn’t be the only one staying in place.”
Kim Soo Hyun shared that his values had changed after his military service. “I stopped feeling greed,” he said. “Before then, I felt like I was responsible for doing a certain amount, and I had this greed to make myself stand out with my acting in each scene. But after I was discharged, I learned how to fit in with the overall scheme. The environment of broadcasting is such that one person can’t fill the whole space. It’s only when you acknowledge others and blend in that you and your partner can shine. I also got rid of a lot of negative thoughts. Apart from work, I tended to approach things with a negative attitude. I’m the type to overthink, but now I accept things as they are. If I can, I try to be positive, but at the very least I try not to dig too deeply into it. If I try too hard to perfect something, then I get stuck in that rut and lose something else. Then I get more regrets, and it ends up poisoning all my attempts to start something new.”
He explained how that change in values had translated to his first project after his military service, the drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.” “Unlike my previous work, ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’ was a project that I approached with a really comfortable attitude. I thought that I would feel even more pressure about it since it was my comeback project, but I felt more free with it than any other work I’d done. In the past, I thought, ‘I have to stand out, I have to do more to make my character stand out, I have to succeed with my acting.’ But with ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,’ I took a step back and approached it with a more contemplative mood. I didn’t need to be super dramatic or dynamic. In a competition full of professionals, trying to stand out only makes you look like more of an amateur. If you only focus on results, then you feel lonely during the flow of the race, so it’s better to finish at your own pace. I approached the drama with that attitude and it went well.”
Kim Soo Hyun has been cast in the upcoming drama “That Night” (literal translation), a Korean remake of the BBC show “Criminal Justice,” along with Cha Seung Won. Kim Soo Hyun talked a little about the new project, saying, “‘Criminal Justice’ is a drama made in the United Kingdom in 2008. It’s five episodes in the original version, so the storyline moves fast and you get immersed in the characters that much faster. The American version is eight episodes, so there is more detail and explanation. Both versions have their advantages. The Korean version is planned as eight episodes for now, but the broadcast time and method have yet to be determined. I don’t feel a sense of pressure about the original version. Even if I tried to act the exact same way, it wouldn’t come out the same at all. The actors are different, but also the language and the director’s perspective. I saw the U.K. version first, and the first thought I had was, ‘It’s flawless.’ From lead actor Ben Whishaw’s work, to the music, the camera angles, the style, the overall tone and mood, it all appealed to me. Most of the dramas in this genre are focused on finding the true criminal, but this drama was about the relationships between the main character and the people around him. It’s about what happens when an ordinary young man is placed in extraordinary circumstances and how the people around him interpret those events.”
Watch “The Producers” below!