10: Has it still not hit you that you've become famous? Do you still feel awkward about it?
Uhm Tae-woong (Uhm): I've adjusted to it much more. I still do feel a bit awkward when people recognize me but then again, I also get slightly disappointed when it seems like they don't notice who I am at all. (laugh) It's also difficult trying to act like I'm used to people recognizing me. My fellow actors or my seniors are good at it but I'm not.
10: I think there are just certain people -- like your sister Uhm Jung-hwa -- who are born to be in the spotlight.
Uhm: I think so too. My sister becomes very happy and loves going to places which are fancy and where there are a lot of people, like parties. I'm quite ashamed about that at times but when she sometimes asks if I want to go too, I do think it might be fun but I don't go because I don't know where I should be when I go to such places. I don't know what to do in settings where there are more than five people. (laugh) Recently, the CEO of my agency got married and I hosted the wedding since he asked me to but I ruined it. With acting, I just need to memorize my lines but at the wedding, I failed at controlling the pace of reading the script and felt so bad for his parents because they looked quite stumped at one point. And I've never received an award before but even if I was to be given one, it's scary because I would have to go on stage and give my acceptance speech. So if I ever do get to receive an award, I hope they just send it to my house. (laugh)
10: Your personality is quite different from your nickname 'Uhm force'. (laugh)
Uhm: I got it because of my character in KBS TV series "Life Again" but it was before people found out about my real personality. Even my fans now know that I have no so-called force or charisma. And although it's a great nickname, I felt a bit burdened by it in the beginning. I do like it better when they call me by my nickname than my real name now.
10: You must have had a pretty hard time shooting the commercial you shot while working on "Seon-deok".
Uhm: Hahaha. It was great fun but I was very embarrassed. I even thought to myself, 'I'm the sturdy Kim Yoo-shin in the drama -- is it okay that I dance?' when I had to dance for it. It was a relief that (Yoo) Seung-ho was there. And it was fun when I saw the completed version on television.
10: How did you become such good friends with Yoo Seung-ho when your close to 20 years older than him?
Uhm: He was very mature when he first came on set. And he seemed to become very pressured about making bloopers. So I think he was confused by me at first because he probably didn't know what to think of me making weird jokes on set. (laugh) But as time passed, I think he became more comfortable and started acting more his own age. I don't know if this will help him but he learned how to have more fun after making bloopers. We play jokes on each other when we meet on set these days. He's very good looking and I become happy just looking at him. I like him, I think he likes me too and I think we sort of resemble each other when I look at photos we've taken together? (laugh)
Uhm: While a lot of people who I am, I don't think they had been able to feel a sense of closeness to me. Most of the people around me, outside my fans, had only seen me in dramas or movies so even the people in this industry hadn't known much about me. But when I recently went to a temple to take a break, a lot of people acted very friendly towards me. A lot of people in the countryside or older people have got to know about me after I've appeared in this drama with high ratings, but I think what's greatest is the fact that I've become a more approachable person.
|Actor Uhm Tae-woong [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Uhm: I was very frustrated at first. I did suffer a lot of loss in some ways being the nice person and the patient person. People would think I would understand everything, which I did, about waiting on set or other issues which may be an inconvenience for others. At one point I felt that I was having a hard time concentrating because of those things though, so I tried turning down some things like others do, but I couldn't keep up with it because it would make me feel uncomfortable. (laugh) This is the way I'm born and I realized that having to do something on purpose which may be natural for others, means that I'm not meant to act like it. I think it's up to me to be a better person in such situations.
10: I think you resemble your character Kim Yoo-shin in that sense. Like you know that Bidam is trying to harm you but you overlook it and try not to win by force.
Uhm: Haha, that's why I sometimes think that the writers may have noticed that in me and cast me for the part.
10: You had said you feel nervous about not having hit the peak in your career yet. How do you feel right now?
Uhm: I still haven't hit it.
10: Are you still nervous?
Uhm: I think I've become much more at ease. That's just my personality. Looking on the process of how my life has been, I've come to realize that I may never hit the peak, I can't always get everything I want and that it's just better to go with the flow... I guess you could say I'm quite yielding. (laugh) Acting changes with the change of generations so I'm just trying my best to find a genuinity in my acting even if I may never hit the top. That itself isn't an easy task.
10: You once said inferiority is the largest drive to living and acting.
Uhm: I still don't think that sense of inferiority will be resolved all of a sudden dramatically. It's something I'll live with for the rest of my life but I think I'm also gaining a confidence that I did not have before. I had a much stronger sense of inferiority in the past but now a level of confidence that helps me cope with it so it all balances out now.
10: Then how much do you think you have achieved so far as Uhm Tae-woong?
Uhm: Well, it's definitely not nothing. There are many things I can't live without and I won't live without -- although I don't realize them in everyday life. I have really gained a lot of things compared to when I first started to work. I had thought I want to buy a car with my own money but I have a car now, I have my own house and my fans. So now, rather than trying to protect these, I think it's time for me to live up to what I have. Like a turning point, I think it's time that I start living as someone who can return what I've earned in life so far. I'm not that young anymore either. (laugh)
Reporter : Choi Ji-Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer : Chae ki-won email@example.com
Editor : Jessica Kim firstname.lastname@example.org, Jang Kyung-Jin email@example.com
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