Kang Myung Seok; 2011.01.27 15:44
Bae Yong Joon
Bae Yong Joon: “At one point, I thought my life was full and beyond my capacity. But now, I’m grateful for that role. If I must do it, then I want to do it the best of my capabilities. Of course, someday, my life may feel full once again.” – Bae Yong Joon, at the interview with “Yonhap News”
Lots of strength, lots of responsibility. It is the life of a man to carry those two qualities.
Kim Jae Yeop: The owner of the acting institute where Bae Yong Joon used to attend. According to him, Bae Yong Joon was very sincere and constantly prepared to become an actor. When Bae Yong Joon was a teenager, he decided to become an actor to quickly make money during his family’s financial troubles. He had a reserved personality and enjoyed assembling and disassembling toys alone rather than playing with his friends. But, he started to play with his friends and sports while learning Hapkido when he was in junior high and high school. The elders around him worried about him changing, but they thought that “It isn’t best to follow the path that is recommended to him by their experiences.” Bae Yong Joon jumped at an acting job after he graduated high school.
Kwon O Joong: An actor who went to the acting institute with Bae Yong Joon. He was part of the staff at the filming location of the movie, “The Girl for Love and The One for Marriage”. After he appeared as an extra in “Pilgu”, he was recognized and received free acting lessons at the acting institute. He met Kwon O Joong at that time. He learned Kungfu from Kwon O Joong and débuted in KBS’s “Salute D’Amour” At that time, Bae Yong Joon decided to make “Be like a convenient store” as his personal motto. Because, after experiencing situations at many filming locations, he wanted to be an actor who could present anything that the directors wanted.”
Jun Ki Sang: Director of “Salute D’Amour”. He thought, “Bae Yong Joon is so handsome” when he first saw Bae Yong Joon. He thought that Bae Yong Joon’s noble-like features might be a problem, so he ordered Bae Yong Joon to do one thing. He ordered Bae Yong Joon to wear glasses. History would then be born. As the director Jun Ki Sang had predicted, Bae Yong Joon could show his tender and handsome image wearing glasses. In the early 1990s, with the appearance of so-called the “X-Generation”, Bae Yong Joon was a romantic guy who appeared when “beautiful boys” started to get attention.
The late Cho So Hye: She is the writer of KBS’s “A Place in the Sun” and “First Love”. The late Cho So Hye paved the way for Bae Yong Joon to achieve sure stardom with “A Place in the Sun.” She also made him take off his glasses in “First Love”. He played a rebellious teenager who couldn’t achieve his dream even though he was smart because of his poor family background. That character somewhat compared to Bae Yong Joon’s teenage life. He acted in the scene where he collided into the truck while he was riding a motorcycle without a stuntman. He proved that he had the ability to shoot action scenes. After that, he showed his action skills in KBS’s “The Barefooted Youth” and appeared as a cold-hearted man who pursued only success in MBC’s “Have We Really Loved?”. His image in KBS’s “Winter Sonata” was big, but he continuously changed the way he was seen within every frame. Bae Yong Joon described his personality. “I’m not tough or mild.”
Kim Hye Soo: Bae Yong Joon’s partner in “Have we really loved?”. Bae Yong Joon even said, “I enjoyed talking (with Kim Hye Soo). I learned a lot from her.” Kim Hye Soo commented on him by saying, “It isn’t easy to be close to him because of his defensive personality, but he does express himself when he is friends with someone. He is a perfectionist when he works.” Bae Yong Joon, who achieved his stardom in his 20s, was “too young and wanted only to show his perfection. He had a passive personality and rarely appeared in the media or game shows. It was a good chance for the media to write articles about his “mythical strategy”. At that time, he concentrated on acting with “Have we really loved?”. In this drama, he wasn’t a romantic or a tough guy. He played as a reserved man who wanted to leave a poor town and reach success regardless of his financial difficulties. His acting showed a deeper side more seriously compared to than his previous works. If you want to see his acting skills in 1990s, then this is the drama to see.
Lim Jong Pil: The trainer who was hired to shape his body for the photo book, “The Image Vol 1”. “He exercised a lot, but didn’t exercise systematically. He will be the best jem if he is trained well,” said Lim Jong Pil of Bae Yong Joon. Bae Yong Joon followed Lim Jong Pil’s instructions well enough for Lim Jong Pil to comment, “There is no such person in this world (speaking of Bae Yong Joon).” Since Bae Yong Joon’ debut, he has been on potatoe diets when they were necessary. He reduced his weight by about 6kg in MBC’s “Hotellier” and 7kg in the movie, “Scandle”. He was so athletic that he looked like a natural at his first experience horseback riding. He enjoys golfing because he thinks that golfing is a good mornign exercise. He plays piano well enough to play “Moonlight Sonata” in the movie, “Immotal Beloved” when he so chooses. Since his debut, he developed in interest in photo shoots. He also made the photo commentary in “Scandle”. He became a second generation tycoon after appearing in the drama. No, he is the tycoon.
Choi Ji Woo: She is an actress who appeared in “First Love” and “Winter Sonata” with him. Bae Yong Joon talked about her in “Winter Sonata” by saying, “She matured.” He also commented on Song Yoon Ah in “Hotellier”, “She acted very seriously.” On Lee Young Ae of KBS’s “Papa”, he said, “She is beautiful and has lots of patience.” Choi Ji Woo who has a clean and pure image matched well to “Winter Sonata” which shows her pure fairy tale love; the show also maximized Bae Yong Joon’s romatic image. “Winter Sonata” was exported to Japan.
Yoon Seok Ho: He is the director who worked a number of pieces with Bae Yong Joon. Of course, their most recognized work is KBS’s “Winter Sonata”. Bae Yong Joon said that “There are some necessary parts which this era needs” of “Winter Sonata.” “Winter Sonata” recorded a big hit historically. After “Winter Sonata”, “5,000 were very excited” during his first visit to Japan the news stated. The city of Kakamigahara in Kihoo, Japan, which set up a sisterhood relationship with the city of Chuncheon where “Winter Sonata” was filmed, spent 10 million yen to organize the “Winter Sonata” theme event, “Winter Sonata, Chuncheon Story” and had a great ripple effect of 3 billion yen. Bae Yong Joon then became “Yonsama” a word that has stronger meanings than just star.”
Lee Jae Yong: He is the director of “Scandle”. Bae Yong Joon “wanted to show that he was able to act for the movie” and acted as a playboy of the Chosun Dynasty without glasses while gaining explosive popularity in Japan. Nobody expected him to lie and play innocent, as he occassionally deserted woman with a cold look after he became “Yonsama”. But, before “Winter Sonata”, he tried to play various roles and learned traditional martial arts for months for a short action scene because of his perfectionist nature. It’s known that the production team of “Scandle” was suprised to see Bae Yong Joon admitting his limits. After “Winter Sonata”, he chose to be “an actor named Bae Yong Joon”. But, “Yonsama’s star quality” gained too much recognition as people could no longer see him as just “an actor named Bae Yong Joon.”
Son Ye Jin: An actress who apppeared in the movie “April Snow” with Bae Yong Joon. In “April Snow”, Bae Yong Joon played a role of a man who commited adultery as he showed the world his versatility as an actor. But it wasn’t easy for him to adjust to the shooting system, a shooting style that constantly changes (acting) according to the locations and circumstances. He only shot after complete preperation. He said it was “stressful not to express or throw away what he had inside” while he learned “a completely different acting style” at the same time. it was also difficult for him to act as an adulterer with his conservative personality. A personality that he admits to having. At the same time, in the face of the media, he became an actor who had the ability to make any piece successful as people fixed on his image as the man of “Winter Sonata”. “April Snow” might be considered his transition period, a period he had to face. At that time during the CF filming, the stress he faced was evident when he was requested to show the same smiling expression. He said “I’m an actor. I want to be an actor and I want to act well. How can I better myself as an actor if I must repeatedly have only one way the audience sees me?” in response.
Kim Jong Hak: The director of MBC’s “TWSSG” which Bae Yong Joon appeared in. Kim Jong acknowledged Bae Yong Joon as one of the partners who was responsible for “TWSSG”. He changed the direction of the drama when Bae Yong Joon claimed that “If we keep going this way, we, the director and I both will crumble. It might end the Hallyu.” But, “TWSSG” wasn’t the only work that showed off Bae Yong Joon's business skills. The reason that Damdeon, the main charcter in "TWSSG," can show God-like abilities is because of the aura that can only come from a face like Bae Yong Joon's. Bae Yong Joon is expressionless or shows only a neutral smile in the most of his works, but his silent presence can be felt. Moreover, his presence, which is recognized as something other than of a common person, made us understand the story of “TWSSG”. He showed a unique acting skill by melting his own personality, which is coming from maintaining a good public image (like not drinking), in the great public interest with his present status and star quality. That acting skill is created only by the actor who is called “sama” and star. There is no actor who can act like Bae Yong Joon in ‘TWSSG” even though there are many actors who can show more various acting skills than Bae Yong Joon.
Jeong Ha Myung: The character who Bae Yong Joon played in KBS’s “Dream High”. Jeong Ha Myung is the chairman of the board of Kirin Art School who notices the personality and talent as something that can be cultivated into a star, even in a short amount of time. It is a very unrealistic situation. But his unique presence, which is unbelievable even to him, makes this possible. It comes from the result of his efforts to not only be a Hallyu star, but also a promoter of culture by learning about traditional, Korean culture and master artisanship, and writing "A Journey in Search of Korea's Beauty." In “Dream High”, he headed overseas after he chose the potential stars. After he left, new Hallyu stars are going to appear. He is too important of a figure to simply call him a star. He is one who takes steps forward while transforming himself and accepting situations as they are. I wonder where Bae Yong Joon will head to now.