Kim Seon Ho – ELLE February 2020 Interview

Even when he’s lonely or sad, Kim Seon-ho will smile. “I am lucky. Why? Because I’m always smiling.”

BOYS, BE SMILING!

(Because smiling guys look better)

You’re so energetic today. 

When I’m doing something which I don’t have much confidence in myself, like shooting a pictorial, I would always be on high alert. I’m not sure if I’m just being a hindrance to everyone.

That’s very kind of you. I don’t know why but you seem to be someone who is kind towards everyone.

That’s not it. It’s not really that (laughs). I think I’m influenced by my parents. My mother is very kind and sweet. She is considerate of others. (I think that) as I grow older, I resemble her more.

What does a man who smiles a lot do when there’s something bad or difficult happening to him?

I will go out for a walk. Walking is the best. I walked until 2 AM in the morning last night too, listening to music as I walked. I got to collect my thoughts.

Something must have happened yesterday.

I had a lot on my mind. I am afraid of something like this. There would be times when I might feel that I am taking for granted the work I’m doing. Hence, I would be wondering if I am doing it half-heartedly. Even if you are doing something you like, doing it repeatedly calls for a time to ponder about it and give a serious thought about it.

It seems that you want to find affirmation in something at every moment.  

It seems like the desire to find out if I have learned something new or made the right choice on that day. I want to be able to feel new excitement, even it’s just a little.

So, it feels that right now is the time where you don’t have anything to be afraid of. You had just wrapped the drama Catch the Ghost and currently acting in the stage play Memory in Dream, as well as appearing on the variety show 2 Days 1 Night. It’s the best moment for you to receive all kinds of good impulses from different channels.

Of course, I really love it at the moment. But then, I have mixed feelings about it when I think of acting. I have been living my life being obsessed with acting and letting everything else go.

Even the members of 2 Days 1 Night called you someone who lives his entire life being devoted to acting.

It’s true that I have been living and treading on that single path up until now. When I read a script, I would sit there for a long time, reading it from cover to cover. By the time I finish reading, 5 or 6 hours have passed by just like that. But then, I can’t seem to direct that kind of concentration towards something else.

You mentioned in an interview when you were promoting the drama Catch the Ghost, that you are restraining yourself from doing any variety show since you want to be able to act for a long time. However, you are currently active on the 2 Days 1 Night, touted as the national variety program.

I did give a lot of thought about it when the offer for 2 Days 1 Night first came to me. It was because I’m just a ‘loser’ outside acting, so I might end up being marked as a loser there too. I had my change of heart after seeing the writer during the meeting regarding the show. It was writer Noh Jin-young, and (Moon) Geun-young said that it was great when they went to the South Pole together for a documentary about penguins. It was something I heard way before I received the offer for 2 Days 1 Night, so I was so glad to see someone familiar there when I attended the meeting.

You are currently becoming the scene stealer on the show, and you even earned the nickname Yeppo (예뽀 예능 뽀시래기 aka Variety Rookie). What was probably the first expectation the production team had towards Kim Seon-ho?

I was asked this question when I met them: What do you usually do? I don’t really do something when I have free time, and I answered it honestly. I thought that it would be great if there was someone like that on the team.

You can even joke around with people you are comfortable with. When you were asked about your dream, you answered that you wanted to become a shining star who climbed to the highest point and then fell off. It was a cool kind of joke.

I’m good with that kind of joke. I like black humour. Hence, I was confident in my own way when I first started 2 Days 1 Night, but letting myself free and being spontaneous has been proved to be quite difficult for me.

Thanks to 2 Days 1 Night too, you have experienced many things you have never tried in your life. What was the moment that you had to muster a lot of courage to do something?

It was the time when we had to go out to a small club. I felt embarrassed when I had to take off my shirt during the shooting. I was afraid that I would appear to be lax in my effort if I was hesitating about it at that time, so I quickly took my shirt off right after doing the push-up. Although it was for a very short time, I had to gather a lot of courage for it. (laughs)

After your debut on the stage of New Boing Boing in 2009, you continued acting and became known as an idol among the stage actors. Then, you started acting in dramas and managed to star in a lot of dramas just in 3 years’ time. The roles you have portrayed were diverse too.

I’m just great with my luck. It’s 100% luck.

There’s also the news about your participation in an upcoming drama Sandbox. What is your secret to retaining this much amount of luck?

I’m always smiling. At first, I smiled and laughed because I was fascinated and thankful for everything.  Being able to act on the stage for 7 years and then given the chance to act on the media, what is the reason for me not to smile? Even when someone ignored me or made me upset, I continued to smile. Those things don’t mean that I can’t enjoy this opportunity given to me. I’m not feeling intimidated by those and I don’t pay attention to them. I feel that I can do my best if I continue to smile, although I’m very much aware that giving my best in something doesn’t mean that I’m good at doing it. There are times when people can’t seem to concentrate on what they are doing at the moment because they are worried about the future. I don’t think about the future. It’s enough if it’s something enjoyable for me at the moment because it’s considered a new experience for me. Let’s just smile. Let’s continue to do it as we smile.

It’s something to be envious of since you’re not easily affected by other people.

When I’m not acting, there were times when I would feel angry or down. But still, I think that I’m less vulnerable to being affected by those negative feelings. It will be fine if I know how to enjoy myself. Keep looking forward is my own way to do so.

Do you happen to find a new side of you as you continue acting in dramas?

I found a weakness. I realized that I tend to make a lot of extreme and sometimes too many expressions. I also learned that neutral and detailed expressions produced a better effect. There were a lot of things I discovered through Catch the Ghost. Compared to other works, there were lots of opportunities to see myself on the screen, and there were many roles I had to play in the drama. I really gained something huge from Catch the Ghost. It’s a way of finding a new opening for me.

Apart from your acting, what do people like about you?

I’m not sure about that myself. I’m not someone who can’t live without friends. I generally get along well with lots of people but there’s no particular person I’m close or frequently keep in touch with. There are 4 friends I’m close to at the moment. They also admit that they all get along well with me, but there isn’t anyone whom I keep in touch frequently. I think it is because I don’t talk much about myself with them since I have always been the person who listens in a conversation.

Is it because you want to be seen as someone who can be easily approached by others?

That’s right. Actually, it’s becoming more like that as I continue acting. I hate to be the source of discomfort to others, for instance becoming a hindrance or disturbance to my partner in acting. Just like that, 10 years pass by and I have become a person who knows how to suit myself with others well, regardless of the atmosphere. But then, there are friends who hate this too, and I even heard them saying that I was just being pretentious. It was upsetting to hear.

There’s this kind of prejudice against people who are kind and upright. They are thought to be putting on a fake show by being too nice and upright.

At that time, there was a close hyung who said this, “If you are living like that for 10 years, then you’re just a person like that. It’s not an act but just you.

Your unique way of approaching someone you want to get close to?

I will put an effort to identify with that person. If that person likes something, I will also grow to like the same thing.

Do you think that something romantic will happen to you this coming Valentine’s Day?

I’m not sure about that. I’m shooting this pictorial for ELLE’s February issue today. I’m doing a variety show, acting in a stage play, and I even attended a year-end awards ceremony. I think this is the most splendid time of my life. Perhaps, I will give chocolate to my agency family members and eat the chocolate together with them this Valentine’s Day.

©ELLEKOREA

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