He does not think about the far away future. Kim Jung-hyun returns after catching his breath as he observes closely the moment now, right here, today.
This is the Moment, Kim Jung-hyun
We heard that you went on a trip while you were on your break.
I make an effort to go on trips when I don’t have any work if it’s possible. I traveled to France earlier this year. I went to Northern China after I returned from France. I recently returned from Mongolia for the filming of Crash Landing on You.
You’re returning as Gu Seung-jun in Crash Landing on You, which is set for the November premiere. The character description for him is ‘the standard young and rich, young businessman’ but it does not sound that attractive.
If I’m to say it in a kind way, he’s someone who is closer to a young and rich conman. (laughs) He’s a smart guy who has the knack in dealing with business and con together at the same time. Truth to be told, he’s just detestable. Still, he has this brazen side to him as well as coldness, with a wide spectrum and array of feelings. I think it’ll be good to anticipate how he’s going to showcase his different sides there.
Unlike School 2017, Welcome to Waikiki Season 1, and Time, where you acted alongside the cast around the same age as yours, you are working with your great seniors this time around.
I’m just amazed when I see Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin sunbae-nim acting on the filming set. There are also many things I want to follow outside the filming angle, not just their acting. Once during our team dinner, I thought that Hyun Bin sunbae-nim was just a cool guy from how he treated everyone around him gently from the beginning until the end. He took care of all his juniors and he even paid attention to the staff who sat far away from him. I’m looking forward to the scenes with them, since acting is all about making it work with your acting partners; hence, it might be a chance for me to develop myself one step further.
When we met each other two years ago, you said, “I want to be an obsessed actor even with the passing time I have spent and the growing experience I have gained so far.” Is that thought remain unchanged until now?
It’s essentially the same until now. But then, rather than being obsessed, I’m more on the ‘observing closely’ side recently. There are differences when it comes to the words and the nuances that come with them, but it dawned on me that I won’t be able to discover something new if I happen to be too obsessed. I am bound to miss something when I do some research about a certain character. Rather than simply being obsessed about how people around me evaluate me – certain words or even a particular term they use – I want to pay more attention to my own heart and act according to it.
If there is something you want to achieve as an actor…
I want to be remembered as someone who is able to give a good influence on others. Be it the projects I was a part of or the interviews that I participated in, it would be great if my words conveyed through those mediums become food for thought, and the feelings I channeled are shared around and remembered like songs. Even if someone won’t be able to meet Kim Jung-hyun as a person, it would make me feel so happy to know that they are able to gain something good from, have a sweet memory of, or treasure the memories they got from actor Kim Jung-hyun.
Don’t you have any personal desire towards a particular kind of reward or honour?
I think what I said before is already filled with personal desire. In order to be able to display such kind of influence, I need to meet good projects and many people have to be exposed to those projects. My personal desire is hidden in my wish to become a better actor who is remembered for a long time. It’s the dream of an ambitious blob.
You frequently mentioned about becoming a better person through acting. What is something about Kim Jung-hyun today that you think is better compared to before?
I have stopped the habit of being fixated on something. I’m making an effort to avoid looking at a certain level or standard when I see other people. Just like how what I feel today is different compared to yesterday, the person in front of me might have encountered a situation in his life that makes him acquire a different side to him. I also learned how to love myself more and take a closer look at my own self.
You don’t really use SNS and there were only a few sightings of your appearance online. How does Kim Jung-hyun fill his so-called lifestyle these days?
Exercising, being thankful, and also observing. Exercise takes up about half of my day. I feel alive whenever I sweat it out at workouts. If I do the workout until I’m nearly out of breath, the surge of endorphins makes me feel refreshed. Before I go to sleep, I go through the day to find people around me or just something about me that I’m thankful for. Even during those moments when I’m in a bad mood or angry, I try to think of the things I should be thankful for; as those things slowly cross my mind, the negative feelings also disappear.
How about observing then?
It’s a part of my effort to gently grow close to and hold a conversation with people around me. In that kind of situation, if I observe my partner as I ask them questions, the conversation itself will be something different. When I’m meeting an old friend of mine and finds out that he’s not in a good mood, instead of saying, “Why are you overreacting? You’re not like this usually.” I’d ask him, “Is there something bothering you?” It’s also the same process that I apply to my own self; thinking about why I get angry, why I’m such in a bad mood, why I was such in a good mood at that time, I naturally come to observe my own state of mind.
Aren’t you the type that consoles yourself by nature?
Rather than going straight into resolving my emotions when they flare up, I tend to think of the idea on how to resolve them. Whenever my heart didn’t feel good, I used to see the relationships I had with people as the key to resolve the issue. On the contrary, it actually starts with my own heart; I should organize myself first before resolving the matter and dealing with the situation itself. If I just start from managing my relations with people like I used to do, it would only end up in a mess.
The word ‘relationship’ is being mentioned frequently today.
I have realized that my passion, feelings, or sincerity alone won’t be enough to solve everything. There’s almost nothing one can achieve by his effort alone, so I become concerned about relationships since I think that things will become better if they are done together with other people. I also feel that getting to know myself better and knowing how to appreciate myself in return help me in fostering better relationships with other people. As I observe and think about myself more, I get to maintain my state of mind at a decent level; in the end, I can treat others with a comfortable heart.
Is there any secret to how you set the ground for and grow the deep concern you have regarding your own self?
I think it’s good to think that ‘It’s okay’ no matter what situation I’m in. I’m also someone who enjoys the moment when I go out for a movie or a movie by myself. If I feel lonely, then it’s also an opportunity for me to experience how precious a person’s presence is to me in my loneliness. If I enjoy myself to the fullest even when I’m alone, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t feel satisfied with myself. In my opinion, this will also make it possible for me to fully be my true self even in relationships with other people. You just have to accept something as it is, regardless of the situation.
Did you also reflect on this thought when you decided on your project this time around?
I had several meetings with the director, and he really did mention many times about doing the project enjoyably. He was the one who chose me first and it was possible for me to participate in this project because of his faith and conviction. “Junghyun-ah, I like having fun while working on something. Of course, the result is still important, but it would be great if the process itself becomes an enjoyable one.” Just like what he said to me, he’s letting me try out different things. I’m having such a great time filming right now.