You won Best New Actor at the 4th APAN Star Awards in 2015, and you’ve been nominated for and won several other awards since. Have these opened new doors for you? How do you feel about them?
To be honest, I’m still not sure if I even deserved all of these nominations and awards. If anything, being recognised for my work has been very humbling. I think I’ve been very lucky to have found success in an alternative career. I know I still have a long way to go. It’s what I tell myself now when I look back at those moments – to not be conceited, or impatient, or even afraid, but to keep working hard at it.
What’s your approach to acting? How do you get under the skin of your characters?
I try to imagine how I’d think and act if I were the character that I’m playing. Of course, it helps if there are similarities between the character and myself. I’ll also try to better understand the character through various means, from doing research via books or films to acquire background knowledge, to breaking down and analysing the character from more technical angles. It also helps when I talk things through with the actors I’m working with, because that really gives me additional perspectives into my character’s personality.
You seem to really enjoy – and embrace – your acting career. How do you unwind when you need to step away from it?
I enjoy working out and playing games. Interestingly enough, they both have competitive elements, so winning and losing are an important part of the experience. To be able to win in both sports and games is quite a joy for me.
I like travelling too – especially spontaneous trips, whether with others or just on my own. I left for Jeju Island alone recently and frankly, it was as boring as I thought it’d be. But this getaway allowed me to appreciate things that I wouldn’t have paid attention to had I been with other people, like the landscape, the views of the sea and the sky, and even the sounds of nature. The trip was also good because I haven’t had time alone to think about things for quite a while, and being by myself on Jeju Island gave me just that.
All images: Kim Hee June; Styling: Megan Jung; Interview and Wardrobe: Dior Men; Editing and Additional Words: Jamie Tan
Catch up on Part One here.