Q: The weather seems dark, rain is falling and the sea fog is marching forward.
PYC: I like this kind of weather very much. However, because I am worried about the upcoming concert, I am not able to fully savor the weather. Meanwhile we, the three members gathered together but the time we had to practice was insufficient. Jaejoongie-hyung’s drama, Triangle ended not too long ago, Haemoo for me and Dracula for Junsu. Each of us were busy. On Saturday (August 9) was our concert and there were so many preparations to be done so we were stressed.
Q: There are rather many fans who are going for the concert not because they like you as JYJ Park Yuchun but as actor Park Yuchun.
PYC: While carrying out my acting activities, I see many new faces.There’s a strange difference from the fans previously. The age is slightly different; there were more noonas. In fact, the singer-side fans [T/N: fans who like Park Yuchun as a singer] are mostly in their late 20s and early 30s since much time have passed. Occasionally, it’s amazing to meet fans who say, “I have been your fan for 8~9 years!” I would like to also ask them, “How did you endure for such a long time?” (laughs) And there are those who carry their baby along and they tell me, “I am married now and I am living well.” When I see these kind of fans, it feels rewarding.
Q: People’s behavior is very different depending on the age. Is Park Yuchun also different when he is in front of noona fans?
PYC: It varies depending on age group plus where I’m at. But regardless of gender, I prefer older people. When I am with older people, I am more comfortable. I had been like this since young. I started working since junior high and the people around me were hyungs and ahjussis. After work, the ahjussis I work with and myself will share a glass of soju and a bowl of makgeolli (laughs). So as I grew up, the qualms I have towards older people are lesser compared to that towards my peers.
Q: How do you feel when looking at the hyungs whom you have gotten close with as they get older?
PYC: There are many things to put into action but the feeling is as if you have not accomplished anything?
Q: I don’t think so, but why? Are there many things which you have not done?
PYC: To put it precisely, I feel inadequate in the things which I’m doing. I often feel that it’s more important to do something for someone. I grew up believing that that’s the reason for my existence. But at some point, I began to feel that it’s becoming unmanageable. At that time, it felt like it’s a matter of course but much later after that, I started feeling confused. If I had invested a little bit more in myself, I would have found the ways to be happy. In that sense, I felt pitiful.
Q: What was it that made Park Yuchun a person who has such a strong sense of responsibility?
PYC: It must be the environment in which I grew up in when I was little. I grew up feeling like a parent/head of the family. When I met (Baek) Changju-hyung to establish a company, I thought about paying the staffs’ monthly salary and that was how I pushed myself to work. Fortunately now that there are many seniors (ie. Choi Minsik, Seol Gyunggu, Lee Jungjae etc.) who have joined the company, I feel at ease. Nevertheless, before this I carried with me the responsibility of providing for others.
Q: It seems like it was the environment which had forced you to mature ahead of your age. A precocious child can grow up properly but one day they may unexpectedly unleash the anger that has pent up in them.
PYC: That’s right. There was a seriously awful time when I exploded and that was when my father passed away. At that time, I completely lost control. How shall I put it…It was as if the strings which were holding me together just disappeared in a flash. Though I may not have lived for a long time, I lived my life thinking that I am living it the right way. I was confident and adamant in the life I was living. That was when I started having doubts in my beliefs and started thinking that they may be wrong. At that moment, everything in me clattered and the ceiling just caved in on me.
Q: How did you endure that period of time? Also, how did you get back up?
PYC: Acting helped me a lot. It was the time when I was filming Rooftop Prince. In the midst of a restless heart, I found a certain degree of comfort in acting. While filming that drama, I was able to feel lighthearted. Rooftop Prince to me, was a piece of work which gave me pleasure and confidence.
Q: If you could go back to the past, how would you live for yourself?
PYC: It’s a very small difference but before this, I believed that when I see someone else being happy, that is happiness to me. That may change a little and I think I would do something for my own happiness.
Q: Is acting something you’re doing for yourself now?
PYC: Haemoo is a piece of work which gives me a lot of worries. Before taking part in Haemoo, I had longings and desires to challenge acting expressions which are not easy to express. After Haemoo came to past, I realized that acting is not a turf to challenge. Acting is something that requires a lot of determination. After watching Kim Yunseok sunbaenim, Moon Seung Goon sunbaenim and the other seniors, I thought a lot about my directions in the future and also felt a lot of new things.
Q: Director Shim Sungbo once said, “Park Yuchun gives a good-natured impression.” What is the impression you have of yourself? Personally, I think people’s face/appearance changes in accordance to the changes in their lives.
PYC: That’s true. As compared to before, things have eased down. Last time, it was hard for me to approach people. The public relations team and head of the department in our company also said, “When we met Yuchun for the first time, it was not easy to carry a conversation with him. (laughs) But after I went into filming, I became more comfortable and my personality changed too. In the past, when multiple disputes take place simultaneously, I managed all of them with much urgency. But now things have changed for the better and I take things one step at a time while handling it properly with patience.
Q: In the past, were you a person who’s very conscious about how others look at you?
PYC: I was conscious. But above that, though I was conscious I still did whatever I should be doing. Hahaha. In the prime time when we had many fans, when I went out for drinks there were be more than 150 sasaeng fans standing in front of the stall (T/N: Pojangmacha). It was uncomfortable to drink while fans are looking. Nevertheless, what should be done was done and what I should be drinking, I drank. Hahaha.
Q: Hahaha. Actually, as we are having this conversation right now, I am being struck by surprise. Your image is very different from what we expected. I expect you to be someone who would conceal your heart and be very cautious in every word you say but you seem to be answering freely.
PYC: Ah, no way. That’s why there’s a need for this person (The PR team from the management company. The PR team became restless as Yuchun made his comments without reserve). Hahaha.
Q: You were with other senior actors in Haemoo. When you gathered, what do you all talk about?
PYC: Unexpectedly, we do not discuss about acting. We talk about very private matters. We talked about dating advice and the difference between man and woman. Hahaha. At times we discuss about social issues and also talk about female idols. One of the seniors said, “Recently, I’m into A Pink” and (Kim) Sangho-hyung responded, “You know A Pink?” He would also say, “How could you not know!” We like these kind of topics.
Q: I heard that when you received Haemoo’s scenario, you were caught between the determination of wanting to do it as well as whether you would be able to do it.
PYC: I was worried because I knew that it would not be easy. Moreover, I was concerned about the people around me and was concerned about not wanting to go against their will. At first, I full-heartedly said “Let’s run into it for once.” But many people just felt uneasy, “Yuchun for this type of movie?” In the end, I still made the right choice and did what I wanted to do. Fortunately, once I went into filming I was able to dismiss all those worries. Because I was busy living the life of Dongshik.
Q: What about now? Since the filming has ended, how do you feel now?
PYC: Firstly now, I need to get myself out from Haemoo…Until now, I am still deeply immersed in Haemoo. The aroma of nostalgia.
Q: What do you think is Dongshik’s source of strength?
PYC: Compared to love…To be honest, it’s life. The larger part of it was life. Even though Dongshik has given his heart to Hongmae (Han Yeri), if that had nothing to do with life then, do you think he would have wanted to protect her? Dongshik is a person who suppresses all his feelings but he is a person who has a strong will to live on. I see that his will was expressed through Hongmae.
Q: Do you think that Dongshik is someone who became stronger because of his instinct to live? Or do you reckon it’s the opposite?
PYC: I’m thinking whether it’s because he was frail and that made him stronger instead. No matter how I look at it, Dongshik is not the most down-to-earth person. Because he is not down-to-earth/realistic, he carries a lot of necessary elements towards others. I probably learned about the figure in me which I did not know about and learning it for the first time, I was very surprised myself. I wished to express such things.
Q: As you’ve mentioned, there were moments when I discovered the self in me which I did not know about. In reality, when did Park Yuchun feel something like that?
PYC: I felt it a lot this year. After filming for Haemoo ended (T/N: for the day), I went back to the lodging and fell into deep thoughts while having a glass of beer. Come to think of it, it could be because of that so I could not sleep and felt tired the following day. Last time, I used to think a lot too but this time, the feeling is very different. So, I came to realize that I did not notice the new changes in my personality.
Q: What type of personality?
PYC: I used to be someone who will read another person’s expressions. To put it in a nice way, it means I look at situations and read people’s expressions (T/N: His actions is dependent on the situation and how others see him). Anyway, the fact that I still look at people that way will not change. However, before this, I used to think that this personality of mine is ridiculously great but now, my thinking has changed a little. I think it’s necessary to use the way I look at others to also look at myself.
Q: When was it that you felt the happiest?
PYC: I am happy these days. The right way to put it instead of saying that I’m happy is that I feel peaceful. I have put down many things and I am giving up on/letting go of many things. (T/N: He may mean burden in this sense)
Q: Define giving up.
PYC: There are various ways to define. Even though I always have to set a good example, I feel like I’ve done all the things I want to do. Hahaha. Giving up in that sense? I am gradually letting go of the greed for great freedom/liberty.
Q: My question is, why do you want to give that up? The celebrities in our country has the tendency to hide themselves because of the attention they are getting from other people. Under such pressures, isn’t it healthy to be able to live freely?
PYC: Of course, that’s right. It’s good to have freedom while working but I think when it comes to things which are not related to work and wanting freedom in that, it becomes loneliness. Be it family members or people in the company, when you’ve caused them to feel lonely, my question is will there still be value in the freedom which you’re chasing after? It’s like having a wide warehouse now but because you cannot arrange it well, there seems to be no room for anything in there. I think I’ve arrived at the point where there is a need to manage my interpersonal relationships.
Q: In relationships, are you the type who will bring it to a definite close when a relationship comes to an end?
PYC: I failed in doing so. I wanted to do it that way but I felt sorry so, I was not able to do it. I wanted to just run away but when I thought about the many faces, I could not bring myself to do it. It will gradually get better in the future. I quickly put it aside and try not to think about it.
Q: After going into acting through Sungkyunkwan Scandal, there were almost no controversies with regards to your acting. It feels like Haemoo also sailed successfully and arrived safely (T/N: Premiered successfully without any interference). After the movie preview, the responses you received were all good.
PYC: Honestly, I didn’t know that. I was not touched by those words. I am wondering if my acting was really worthy of those high praise. I simply only lived as Dongshik without missing a moment but because I was complimented for that, all of a sudden I feel that there are inadequate moments when I lived as Dongshik.
Q: That’s the best thing, isn’t it? I don’t mean to say that you feel good but to be able to put yourself aside, assume your character and to just completely live as that character; not many actors are able to do so.
PYC: Is…is that true? That’s…that’s the way it should be, right? [T/N: He was stuttering] I think that is fundamental.
Q: It is fundamental but not in many cases. Anyhow, being able to completely immerse yourself in the character is a situation which you can say with confidence and for that, you should be feeling proud.
PYC: Now that you’ve mentioned, I think that’s how it should be! Hahaha. I do have confidence in that.
Q: By the way, do you have the habit of checking out complimentary words? You are being surrounded by evaluations at an early stage so, do you feel alerted by sweet words?
PYC: Honestly, yes. I am alert.
Q: Are you perhaps the type of person who’s easily deceived?
PYC: (Looks at the people from his management company who were in front of him) I do look easy to be deceived, right? (Firmly) No! Maybe it’s difficult to deceive me. I can pretend to be deceived and yet not be caught for pretending.
Q: You have the a slick/sly side.
PYC: I clearly have that side. As I get older, I think I’m becoming sneakier. I’m thinking how it would be like to be much sneakier than I am now.
Q: Looking at your filmography: Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Miss Ripley, Rooftop Prince, Missing You, Three Days and Haemoo, they are all of different genres.
PYC: It wasn’t intentional. I chose a film, did it and it just turned out the way it did. Also, after doing one, I naturally had the desire to show something different from before.
Q: Since you’re considering to look for something different, why don’t you dye your hair? (laughs) There have been many conversations going on about your hair color. The feedback from others is why you’re maintaining your hair black.
PYC: This is slightly dyed. It has been a long time. I do not want to change my outer appearance. What I have is good as it is. Acne scar is good, not having eyebrows is also good. I was told to get eyebrow tattoo but I would just like to live as how I look like. Before, I used to dress up but now, I do not have the interest to do so. Just place fancy stuff where they are supposed to be and that’s enough.
Q: What type of man or senior is attractive?
PYC: A senior like Yoo Seung Mok sunbae. Seungmok-hyungnim is very manly, and even though he can be crazy in acting, he is an attentive husband and good father to his daughter. All the seniors in Haemoo are like that. They are very masculine but also soft and homely men.
Q: I assume that kind of lifestyle is one you are dreaming of.
PYC: That’s right. I would like to live like that. It would be great to place family first above work. I know how difficult it is and that’s why I stay together with my family for the longest time possible.
Q: You seem to harbor such a great yearning to become a good father.
PYC: I do. Yearning to become a good parent.
Q: What kind of a son were you?
PYC: Ah…A very unfilial son. Now that I am working and earning money, I can provide a nice house but what is the meaning of all these when that person is no longer around [T/N: His father, I assume]. That’s why, I am trying my best to treat my mother well. At the same time, I separate my life from my mother’s because I think that is better for her.
Q: You said you will be going to the studio to practice for the concert after this interview. How is it like to be going back-and-forth between being an actor and a singer?
PYC: It happens naturally. It’s something which I do frequently. Above everything else, these 2 jobs bring me joy so, there is no burden at all.
Q: It seems like there are other countless Yuchuns existing between actor Park Yuchun and singer Park Yuchun.
PYC: No. I think there isn’t singer Yuchun either. Not even actor Yuchun. It’s just solely me. Many people are talking about the many facades of my figure. However, in the end that is just me so why do they want to talk about me separately? I am who I am.