|Joo Sang-wook [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
A monster that catches monsters. Yeo Ji-hoon, the manager of an investigative team that Joo Sang-wook played in cable channel OCN's "TEN" is a character who is more cold-hearted than his criminals and could possibly be more cruel. Yet the eighth episode to the show aired on January 6 showed him suffering from an unidentified trauma and him saying that he "wanted to become a monster because I thought I could catch the monster" revealed the weak side to him. Hence, that he was a man who disguised himself as a strong man to overcome his fears. And by pulling off the role of this man who has a personality at extreme poles, Joo Sang-wook stepped in a new realm of acting. 10Asia met with this man who for so long had the image of being the head of a department at a company.
There's only one episode of "TEN" left to show. Did you expect the series to do so well when you first decided to appear in it?
Joo Sang-wook: I can't really tell how well it's done. I actually think OCN's "Vampire Prosecutor" did better in terms of ratings. [laughs] But I guess the response to "TEN" might be better. [laughs]
You must've had a hard time preparing for your role because it's your first time in an investigative series.
Joo: I did a lot of wandering before pinning him down. I had always liked thrillers so I watched "CSI" or Japanese investigative series so I just watched more of them, without drawing anything particular out of them. Thoughtlessly. And then once in a while I'd think, 'Oh? Maybe Yeo Ji-hoon is something like that?' And I left the rest up to my imagination.
And what was that idea of 'that' that came to mind?
Joo: Somewhat dreamy and fantasy-like. I wanted him to seem like someone from another space or dimension like an alien. I wanted none of the viewers to know what he's thinking, what meaning there is to his actions and why he acts the way he does. To make them think, 'What's he? What on earth is he?' [laughs]
Well in that case you've succeeded. Because when I first saw Yeo Ji-hoon, I thought, 'What the...' because there was not a touch of humanity about him. [laugh]
Joo: I had a lot of fun playing Yeo Ji-hoon because he ignored everyone. Even those that are senior to him. [laughs] He regarded himself the only being that exists in this world. And it was fun because the real me isn't like that. But he's not realistic. He's not the type that would actually exist in this world. It wouldn't make sense. He's such a rude guy. [laughs]
|Joo Sang-wook [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Joo: I think I had an easier time because I'm used to the situation my character was in. The characters I've played so far have never had to receive and follow orders. Everyone followed my orders because I was always someone of high status. And Yeo Ji-hoon was team manager too so he was easy to play in that sense.
How was your chemistry with Kim Sang-ho who played detective Baek Do-shik? You two had quite a bit of a psychological warfare.
Joo: It was great. I love him so much, really. [laughs] I was the happiest when I shot scenes with him. And I felt at ease because he's such a great actor so I had faith in the fact that with our scenes, he'd make up for the ways and areas I lacked in.
I noticed from behind-the-scenes photographs that your relationship with Kim Sang-ho was great but so was the overall mood on set.
Joo: It was a lot of fun and I felt relaxed. I've always been the type that emphasizes comfort on set and it's because I have the memory of not having been able to do anything when I had just started acting because the director would shout and all the senior actors were there which made me uncomfortable and pressured. So I think that feeling at ease on set is most important because it helps the actors have more fun with their work and feel at ease. That's why whether the people I'm acting with are more senior or junior than me, I try to become close with them.
The photos showed that you often made goofy expressions as well. [laughs]
Joo: Oh, yes, I'm always like that as soon as the director says, 'Cut!' after a shoot. [laughs] I also make more jokes than be serious.
Maybe that's why it didn't look like you were that nervous on SBS' "Running Man."
Joo: I used to get extremely nervous when I first went on entertainment shows. My mouth would dry up and I was thirsty all the time. And no matter how hard I concentrated, I couldn't hear what other people were saying nor know what I myself was doing. Then when I watched the shows, I'd see that I was doing nothing, as I figured. I had such a hard time on those shows that I said I'd never go on them again.
How did you become more at ease then?
Joo: Well I haven't been on many entertainment shows but I've been on each entertainment show once. And from a certain point onward, I started to loosen up. It's the same with "Running Man." I had no idea how to treat everyone on the first day of the shoot because I didn't know anyone but the second day, we'd become a bit more close so it became a mess. You'll see once you watch it this week. [laughs]
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