Yeo Jin Goo reveals thoughts on college, drama “Daebak” and his narration on the Sewol Tragedy

South Korean actor Yeo Jin Goo started his career as a child actor in 2005. Now he has turned twenty years old, showing greater improvements in acting and becoming a narrator for one of the most important documentaries of South Korea, the Sewol Tragedy that happened two years ago from today, April 16, 2014. Read more about Yeo Jin Goo’s highlighted life stories and find out what he is planning next!

Making the Most of One’s Youth

Yeo Jin Goo makes the best of his youth by entering college, becoming a freshman, beginning documentaries as a narrator, and filming a new historical drama.

Yeo Jin Goo Daebak & Sewol TragedyGrey jacket and pants from Maison Flaneur by Artage, and Derby shoes from Marsell by Artage.

Yeo Jin Goo has always been an actor who received great compliments. He started as a child actor, making his first debut in 2005 in a film called “Sad Movie”, where he revealed an emotionally moving scene. Later Yeo Jin Goo turned into a romantic prince in the drama ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’, and he attracted many young Korean women. Another movie called “Hwayi: A Monster Boy” that was released in 2013 featured him (Hwayi) being raised by a monster father. His acting in this action-thriller movie surprised everyone, because he played rough, violent, and outraging roles without any problem. Actor Yeo Jin Goo always tries to show his best with his roles, and now after turning twenty years old, he started filming a new historical drama called “Daebak”(meaning jackpot in English) that was released in March.

“This piece is different from all the other historical dramas that I have filmed before. It is my first time playing the role of an actual existing historical figure. I want to relive the moments of Yeong Jo in the past and recreate his character. If most of the characters that I’ve played in the past were brought to life by the power of emotion, Yeong Jo will require a stronger rationality. That’s probably the reason why you are seeing a new tone of voice, facial expression and more. I worry that these changes in my acting will not be awkward and appear natural.” – Actor Yeo Jin Goo

Based on his statement that he doesn’t want to waste a moment in his twenties, Yeo Jin Goo plans to focus more on his acting, learning techniques, and also spending time with his friends.

Yeo Jin Goo - Daebak & Sewol Tragedy

You probably have a lot of things that you are trying for the first time this year in 2016 as a twenty year old and entering college.

I’ve recently started filming a new drama called ‘Daebak’, but I’ve been attending school very hard too. I have a good relationship with all my colleagues (laughs). I thought that the age of twenty would allow me to do almost everything that I’ve always wanted to try before. I had many things that I wanted to experience too. But after I turned twenty, there weren’t much changes in my normal lifestyle. When I was in high school, I remember myself wanting to drive, drink with friends, and travel anywhere. Maybe one day, I can leave for my vacation alone and see what that feels like.

You’ve been in the acting industry for over 10 years now, although you just turned 20 years old. I think you probably learn more things at field sites than your classroom.

Ever since I began working as a child actor, I learned many things at my field sites and adjusting to new changes quickly. But that has all been done instinctively, and I’ve never really studied proper acting. So when I recently monitored my past work from 2-3 years ago, I had some regretful feelings. I didn’t feel like I was improving much, and that made me seriously worry about my acting. I had great opportunities of working with awesome directors, actors and actresses at a very young age, but that might have made me feel too content unknowingly. There can be problems from not learning something, but there is nothing wrong with learning. Therefore, I plan to study acting from the core basics so that I can become a better and experienced actor. The domain of art should always premise learning.

How did you imagine your life as a college student?

Well, you know how in movies or dramas, college students always appear with a book on the side of their hips, walking around campus? That’s something I wanted to do, but in reality, there isn’t really anything. (Laughs) I like how everything is right now.

Not many students choose their majors in school based on their dream. But I think it’s great that you already found your interest and career at a very young age.

It’s nice that I don’t have to wander around to find my field of interest. I can confidently focus on one thing and seek for better outcomes. But it could be saddening if the end result is not what I expected. As of now, I just want to believe that everything is happening for a good reason. To become a good actor, I have chosen to attend college, and I am blessed to have this amazing opportunity to walk the path of an actor. It is the most exciting thing that has happened to me.

Did you have any down moments?

I haven’t had one just yet, but I am afraid of experiencing one. I am not sure how I would be able to overcome those moments. From what I hear, you become very sad and unenergetic. When I come across such moments, I’m going to try to remain calm and low key. Don’t you think this time will help you learn and experience many things that you haven’t had before?

Yeo Jin Goo Daebak & Sewol Tragedy

I feel like you are a very serious person who would be the same around your friends.

No no. (Laughs) I enjoy hanging out with my friends and talking with them. I joke around a lot, too. I just tend to be serious when it comes to thinking about my dreams.

Is it overwhelming to have everyone watching your growth and development?

I’ve never felt overwhelmed. Maybe that’s because I’m an optimistic person. But I try to do my best because there are many people watching me, and I don’t want to disappoint them. I think it’s more correct to say that I feel more responsible than overwhelmed. Sometimes I also think about controlling my eating habits and diet to stay healthy.

Yeo Jin Goo Daebak & Sewol Tragedy

White shirt from Golden Goose Deluxe, jacket from Solid Homme, ribbon scarf from Gucci.

I am spending my twenties very busy. I just started filming “Daebak”, and I am also narrating for the Documentary of Sewol Tragedy. Voice narrations are very different from acting, so I have to be careful and stay focused when I speak. This enables me to take a second look at my voice tone and speech, and there are so many things I can learn as a narrator. However, this Documentary of Sewol Tragedy was the most difficult task that I’ve done so far. While narrating, I realized that I should not incorporate my emotions to the tone of voice, or it will make the entire documentary sound too depressing. The tragedy already contains so many misfortunate situations that I don’t want people becoming even more sad from my voice full of tear. So I tried my best to control my emotions as I narrated the work.

To my friends who are grieving over this tragedy, this documentary is dedicated to them. I want to cheer up my friends in every possible way, but I know that it is an impossible task. It has been two since the incident, and we are already starting to forget what has happened, including myself. But after narrating this work, I was reminded again that I should never forget this moment. The friends we lost from this tragedy were our friends, and if my voice can at least comfort those out there who lost a friend or family member, there is nothing more I would want. I am very grateful for those people who made this special documentary.


Yeo Jin Goo Daebak & Sewol Tragedy 5 1

It seems like this year is going to be filled with new and exciting things for you. What are you looking forward to the most?

I’m looking forward to the end of the year. There are so many things that I am trying for the first time, and I wonder how I would feel by the end of it all. I’m kind of anticipating, worrying, and getting nervous all at the same time. I just think that if I stay busy and not waste time, I can become satisfied with everything this year.

You don’t seem to be scared of trying new things.

I don’t worry about being afraid or scared, but I worry about acting impulsively. I tend to act without thinking about what will happen next and I’m satisfied with that. I never regret on my decision. The most daring task that I’ve made recently was getting my driver’s license and driving the car alone. It was really nerve wrecking  at the time. (Laughs)

What moment do you look forward to the most in your life?

I will probably have a lot of things that I will face for the first time in my twenties. I want to experience them all, but I’m also worried that it’d be too much for me to handle. So sometimes I imagine skipping into the thirties without going through my twenties. By that time, wouldn’t I have more experiences to understand things much better? I wonder what kinds of thoughts I would have when I am in my thirties and forties. I really forward to those moments.

You must be really busy because it’s the beginning of the new school year and you are filming a new drama.

That is actually my biggest concern right now, because I have to attend school and also act. I want to do them perfectly, but since they just started, I’m not sure how it will turn out. I’m full of ambition though.

You seem like a very passionate person.

I think so too. I want to maintain this strong passion and enthusiasm so that I can become a better actor. I don’t ever want to feel content about a moment. I want to experience as many things possible and learn all kinds of emotions to keep on moving forward.

Yeo Jin Goo Daebak & Sewol Tragedy

Do you ever think about dating?

There has been stories about college couples, which I have been looking forward to, but I probably won’t date someone right away. But I know I should date someone, because people say that I might become a magician. You know there is a Korean joke saying ‘if you remain single for too long, you will have magical powers.’  I wonder how much time there is left for me to become a magician. (Laughs)

Source: Marie Claire Korea

Editor  Park Min
Photography  Kim Do Won
Hair 윤 성희(재클린) Yoon Sung Hee (Jacklyn)
Makeup 정 소연(재클린) Jeong So Yeon (Jacklyn)
Styling 전 민정(유포리아 서울) Jeon Min Jeong (Euphoria Seoul)
Assistant 박 세연·안 예경(유포리아 서울) Park Sae Yeon, Ahn Ye Kyung (Euphoria Seoul)
Reference  April 2016 Issue