The year 2014 was special for ‘actor’ Park Yuchun. His [big] screen debut with movie ‘Sea Fog’. And the Blue Dragon Film Awards’ New Actor award. He emerged as Chungmuro’s rising star in one swallow. The audience saw the the future of Korean cinema in the image of Park Yuchun holding his trophy and recalling the names of people he was thankful to with a flushed expression.
One year’s time has passed and we should find the Blue Dragon Film Awards award ceremony this year in the capacity of winners from the previous year right now, but Park Yuchun enlisted at the end of last August and is in the middle of his public service currently. He will not be attending the hand-printing event on November 5 either. Sorry that he’s leaving his moment of glory in a handprint, we met with Park Yuchun in advance on August 17, ten days before he enlisted. Park Yuchun spoke with determination, “I will become an actor who won’t shame the trophy,” looking back at the moment he was awarded when he was doing his hand-printing.
Park Yuchun deserved to be the owner of the trophy, for his fervent performance turning into a naive crewman in ‘Sea Fog’. However he said, “I didn’t expect it at all when I was at the Blue Dragon Film Awards”. “The moment that my name was called, I was so surprised. I didn’t even know what kind of expression to put on in front of the camera; and hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech too. I think I was scattered, talking strangely. I really was looking around at the award ceremony. It was a period where an entertainer wants to see an entertainer. It was interesting to examine what works I missed in the movie theater. But my mind/heart felt uneasy and my shoulders bear a heavy responsibility when receiving the award unexpectedly.”
Unlike the dazed Park Yuchun who didn’t realize he was being awarded, Director Shim Sung-bo and Director Bong Joon-ho cheered as if it had been their own work and congratulated Park Yuchun. It is a scene where we felt Park Yuchun receiving so much love as the youngest of ‘Sea Fog’ filming location. “The actors and staffs would amassed into a group when there were a lot of local shooting. We happened to have drinks at every opportunity. All of ‘Sea Fog’ team, actor, and staff including the two directors are very great people. I spent half a year in happiness. I guess I receive a lot of good fortune.”
‘Sea Fog’ is a work that helped Park Yuchun perceive the new fun of acting. Despite being tired as much as not saying a word about it when filming the action scene inside the engine room, he had felt exhilarating joy and sense of pride. He talked about how he may not have been acting out hardship, so to speak, but there being a lot more natural and living sentiments coming out when he is acting in a state where he is truly exhausted. “It is fun the more I am acting. It is hard too. But I like acting as it’s worth feeling happy about, up to its difficulty.”
His last work before enlisting is ‘Lucid Dream’ which has yet to open. Although it is a small role, he made an appearance without any particular worries in a conversation with Sol Kyung-gu, “Let’s go together”. There were a lot of things he learned when acting with Sol Kyung-gu. Citing Sol Kyung-gu’s thorough preparedness as an instance at getting an ‘okay’ sign in the first take coming down to Gangwon-do for a single scene, Park Yuchun let out a big exclamation. “Sol Kyung-gu sunbae is a really cool person. He had said ‘let’s fight in a strong work next when you get discharged’, but I want us to just meet in an entertaining movie or a down-to-earth-like movie. I will practice like crazy. My heart is pounding already at the thought of it.”
He also received a surprise gift from Sol Kyung-gu. A director chair with his name ‘Actor Park Yuchun’ carved in. It is a priceless chair made as many as over 20 years ago. Conveying Sol Kyung-gu’s message: “I want to give you a gift that isn’t tacky but just right”; Park Yuchun was overwhelmed once more with emotions. “Originally I liked Sol Kyung-gu sunbae, but I began to like him more as I got to know him actually. I can dare to say that he is my role model. Because of sunbae that I had chosen a work again since taking a break for a while after drama ‘Three Days’. I was prompted to do acting so much after watching ‘My Dictator’ starring sunbae. Thus I had starred in ‘The Girl Who Sees Smells’.”
Told ‘It seems you will be an actor like Sol Kyung-gu later’, Park Yuchun replied, “I certainly hope so,” and had a twinkle in his eyes. It is a dream that could become a reality in the not too distant future. So we are more curious about Park Yuchun in 2 years. “I am doing public service and since I get to live outside of the public’s eye, I will be taking the time to look back at me and try to learn about myself more. I think I should live a worthy life of me and will be able to find a good work. I hope I have become a person who is equipped more when I get discharged (from my military service).”
When asking about the fear of reaching his 30s: “I can receive pocket money from my younger brother(Park Yuhwan) when I am not working or doing well” and laughed ‘haw-haw’ cheekily. “I have made a lot of mistakes but I do not live carelessly. I believe I will be together with someone definitely by my side even in my 30s. That is enough for me.”
Article by: Reporter Kim Pyo Hyang
Photos by: Reporter Jung Jae Geun