Q: Your recognition started to go up after 'East of Eden' and 'Boys Over Flowers'. Do you feel like there is anything different now?
Honestly, I've been so absorbed in my dramas that I haven't noticed, but I'm thankful for the love and support from our Japanese and other Asian fans for the 'Boys Over Flowers' drama. Our Korean fans are also very active, and they are another source of support for me as well. I learned a lot of things from working with the senior actors in 'East of Eden', and even now, I would call Kim Jin Man director or the filming director if I have a question about acting. Also, I have grown close to my F4 hyungs and Goo Hye Sun from 'Boys Over Flowers', and we met up a while back on my birthday, as luckily my film shoot for the day had ended early. It was a pity that (Kim) Joonie hyung couldn't make it though, because he had activities in Japan.
Q: You must have received quite a few casting offers after 'Boys Over Flowers'. Why did you decide on 'Dream'?
Actually, between 'Boys Over Flowers' and 'Dream', I finished filming for another movie 'Flight', which should open in cinemas at around Chuseok (Thanksgiving). 'Dream' is my first appearance after 'Boys Over Flowers' and I was worried whether I could continue to show a good image to the audience and whether it might be too fast for a new drama. I decided on 'Dream' after much deliberation, and even though the preparation period was short, I did my best to concentrate and prepare for this drama. First of all, I was drawn to the never-before-seen story of a sports athlete, his agent, and their world. I think 'Dream' is not just a drama about martial arts, but more a story of how someone grows and matures emotionally through the events and the warm people he meets.
Q: What kind of character is Lee Jang Seok?
He has the temperament of a fighter, but in reality he's actually quite tenderhearted and lonely. Growing up in a bad family environment, his pickpocket father made him drop out of middle school, so that he could teach him pickpocketing skills. Eventually, he ends up in a youth correctional facility when he takes the blame for his father. As a result, Lee Jang Seok has a complex about his father. He's disappointed with his father, but at the same time he secretly hopes for some fatherly love. To protect himself, he works hard at putting on a tough/strong facade, which is kind of similar to the So Yi Jeong character in 'Boys Over Flowers'. Personally from an actor's point of view, I pity and respect both these characters.
Q: But on the surface, it looks like Lee Jang Seok and So Yi Jeong are 180 degrees different. (Laughs)
To be honest, initially I was worried that my fans who liked the So Yi Jeong character would be shocked by my new role. But now that I'm immersed in the Lee Jang Seok character, I think only about how I can best express this person. Actors do not show just one image of themselves, but are constantly looking to change and evolve. I hope viewers can throw away their fantasies about So Yi Jeong, and look at me as Kim Bum the actor. I can't live forever as So Yi Jeong, but still I hope to have left viewers a good memory of him.
Q: How did F4 react to your new character change in 'Dream'?
Truthfully, I didn't notice it, but when we met on my birthday, they said that I seem to have become colder since 'Boys Over Flowers'. I guess its somewhat good that I'm that immersed in my character. Still, to hear them say that I've become colder... (laughs)
Q: From a pickpocket to nightclub waiter to martial arts fighter - this seems to have been an interesting process of transformation.
Jang Seok takes the rap for his pickpocket father and goes to a youth correctional facility. When he is released, he tries to look for a job, but his prior record makes it difficult for him to find one. Eventually he finds work as a night club waiter. Later as the result of a fighting incident, he gets involved with sports agent Na Je Il (Joo Jin Mo), which leads to Jang Seok's debut as a martial arts fighter.
Q: What did you do to prepare for your role as a mixed martial arts athlete?
I haven't been able to practice much these days because of my filming activities. But in the period before production started, I prepared by learning some basic techniques from actual martial arts fighters. I think no matter how much I practise, its going to be very different when it comes to actual filming, so I guess I'll adapt to the situation as required. I haven't actually filmed a fight match scene yet.
Q: What is the atmosphere like on set?
We are going to film in Ilsan until late at night today, following which we'll leave for the airport and fly off early morning tomorrow for another Dream press conference in Japan. A tight schedule like this can be very tiring, but Oh Dal Su sunbae's adlibs always makes the atmosphere on set enjoyable. There was a scene where I was supposed to stay still with my eyes closed, but even though I was just listening to Oh Dal Su sunbae's adlibs, I couldn't resist laughing and NGed.
Q: You have appeared in a variety of projects since your debut. What do you think was the turning point for you?
It was 'East of Eden', where I appeared from the 2nd to the 5th episode. Even though I only appeared in 4 episodes, it took half a year to film. Time went by really quickly, but I lived immersed in the Lee Dong Chul character for 7 months, and there was a big difference from my debut in the 2nd episode to my last appearance in the 5th episode. This left a great impression on me. Especially during the final shoot, I was so into the Lee Dong Chul character that I was worried about how I would be able to choose my next character. Even now, I still have a lot of love for Lee Dong Chul, and because I was able to act with excellent senior actors, I learned a lot (about acting).
Q: Even though you didn’t appear a lot in 'East of Eden', it left you with a lasting impression. You shed the cute image from before and played a tense character. From your rookie days it seems you have worked really intensely and hard at whatever you do.
But while I'm working, I really enjoy it. Do I look very tense? (laughs)
Q: Where does your strength come from?
I’m the type of person who hates losing. Nothing can compare to my family, fans, staff etc, who believe in me and give me support. When I see their eyes or presence I will never be careless with anything.
Q: From the time you joined the entertainment industry and started acting when you were younger... I'm sure there must have been times when you felt stressed or lost (about your acting career). Are you one to worry much?
I don’t have time to be lost (laughs). I also don’t think about being uncertain (about my acting career). I admit that I have wished I could travel like my friends and enjoy school life, but since I have chosen the path of an actor, I can only give up my desire for such freedom. Still, I don't regret it at all.
Q: Then what do you worry about usually?
I worry about my projects the most. Too boring? (laughs) Especially for 'Dream'. I was the last actor to join the cast for training, so compared to the others I had shorter time to train, and I had to worry about how to maximize training in the shortest amount of time. Therefore lately I’ve been worried about how I can quickly shed the images of my previous characters and take on that of Lee Jang Seok.
Q: Last year you were admitted into Chung-Ang University in the Theater and Movie department. Is it possible to balance your acting life and student life?
Having these two lifestyles at once is very tiring, which is why I am taking this semester off.
Q: What dreams do you want to accomplish with 'Dream'?
An actor’s manager and stylist work in places and situations we cannot see, just like the relationship between an athlete and his sports agent. I hope that we will be able to truly show the obstacles and life of these characters, and that 'Dream' can be a warm drama that will bring hope and dreams to our viewers. Also, I have yet to receive any awards, and I do not hope to receive an individual award, but wish that we would be able to receive one for the drama 'Dream'.
Q: Until now you have been developing steadily as an actor. Is there any other occupation you would like to try in the future?
If there is a chance, I would like to try my hand at directing. More than just putting in practice what I have learned as an actor, I want to work hard and seriously to prepare, whether it's an independent movie or a commercial movie or a theatrical play, I would like to try directing. Because my friends are also in the Theater and Movie department, it would be nice to be able to work together with my seniors and juniors.
credit: as labelled+bumsso blog+heroine_mei@soompi
Monday, July 27, 2009
Kim Bum : 10asia Interview
10asia released many mesmerizing pictures of Kim Bum, along with a long interview.