Go Kyung Pyo Shares Insight On His Mental Wellbeing, Public Image, And Stepping Into Variety Shows

Actor Go Kyung Pyo recently spoke with Esquire Korea about himself, his public image, and current activities.

Reflecting on staying fit, he shared, “I used to manage [my weight] better. I could gain or lose as I intended. However, lately, there are areas where I struggle to achieve my goals, which has left me feeling slightly stressed.”

When asked if his challenges stemmed from less effective exercise, he responded, “That’s part of it. I also find it harder to put actions into practice these days than I did in the past. I still know in my head that exercise and meal plans are important, but I often weigh the opportunity cost. Life is short, and I increasingly feel drawn to immediate enjoyment. Sometimes, when I exercise, it feels like time wasted, and I question its significance. However, my profession requires me to prioritize self-care responsibly, which adds to these conflicting thoughts that trouble me these days.”

Discussing feeling burnt out, he admitted, “I’m definitely feeling burnt out. Lately, I’ve been trying new things like YouTube and variety shows, expending a lot of energy that I don’t usually use. There is also the effort I put into showing a different side of myself, which sometimes leaves me feeling empty when I come home. Although I’m enjoying myself and feeling happy these days, I do feel a bit exhausted.”

He further elaborated, “Finding relaxation has been challenging. Until last year, I had a different perspective. I could be authentic with others and still find peace. However, this year, several planned activities have overlapped, making it tougher to manage.”

Regarding his public image, such as his enthusiastic reaction to Zico’s “Any Song” during an awards show, Go Kyung Pyo commented, “There’s an image of me that reflects that vibe, but it’s actually a bit different from how I see myself. People really like that side of me, so I feel like I have to adapt and fit into it. I understand there’s a need for compromise. However, sometimes I can’t help but feel a sense of emptiness. I try to believe in myself and live authentically, but there seems to be a gap between my self-perception and how others see me. That’s why I think I need to approach branding myself more seriously.”

Reflecting on his different sides, he explained, “I feel most free when I’m alone. When I get excited, I enjoy the moment without caring about others’ opinions. Then, when I notice others looking at me, I feel very small. Singing on the street or dancing at an awards ceremony feels similar. It’s not like I planned to do something; it’s more like when Seo In Guk briefly left his seat to go to the restroom during a ceremony, and Ji Ho (singer Zico‘s real name) sat down. Since we’re close friends, I was momentarily excited, genuinely happy to see him. I didn’t even realize people were watching; my body just moved instinctively.”

When asked about his participation in “The Backpacker Chef 2,” the actor commented, “The show demands more variety show energy than I initially anticipated. However, filming it feels like a healing time for me. These days, my mind is constantly occupied, but during filming, I’m fully focused. It’s straightforward work, detached from other concerns, with a demanding workload. Most importantly, I enjoy the company of everyone involved. Baek Jong Won, Lee Soo Geun, Ahn Bo Hyun, and Heo Kyung Hwan especially—they are all warm individuals, and their presence alone boosts my spirits.”

Regarding whether the program appealed to him because of its focus on individual personalities, Go Kyung Pyo said, “Actually, what appealed to me was that it wasn’t a program that put me in the spotlight. The reason I haven’t participated much on variety shows until now is that I didn’t want people to have a fixed perception of me. I was hesitant to show my personal side as Go Kyung Pyo. Sometimes, these fleeting aspects overshadowed my professional work. When I was younger, I bravely accepted such challenges, thinking I could change perceptions through hard work. But experiencing it firsthand showed me it’s not that simple. Now, as an actor, I aspire to be recognized for my roles in good productions and as a character.”

Go Kyung Pyo’s full interview can be found in the June issue of Esquire Korea!

Watch Go Kyung Pyo in “Love in Contract”:

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