Kim Seon Ho – Marie Claire October 2020 Interview

Actor Kim Seon-ho, who wants to be a part of the scene.


You had an interview with marie claire right before the premiere of drama Welcome to Wakiki Season 2. How did you change afterwards?

I’ve grown a bit firmer myself. As I acted for Welcome to Wakiki Season 2, I realized how difficult it was to make people laugh. Thanks to those times, they add up to my diversity, which has gone up a few notches. No matter what situation it is, I can get over it calmly unlike before, where I would be flustered and taken aback whenever something unexpected happened. Perhaps, another thing which is different since then is that I can look at the camera better during the photo shoot? (laughs)

In the midst of your changes, what remains the same?

Although I try not to make it too obvious, I still take some time to get used to new and unfamiliar surroundings. Acting is still difficult as always and in my opinion, there are lots of things I’m lacking. I still have a lot of concerns too.

Among those many concerns you have, there is no doubt that acting occupies most of them, right?

‘What kind of actor I’m actually trying to be?’ I always approach this question differently each time. When I feel that I can’t express my acting well. I feel that I’m getting lazy. Perhaps, it’s only through flipping the script that I’m able to feel that I’m working diligently. In order to deliver a good acting, I always think of something I can do in my free time when I don’t have any project.

It seems like a problem that cannot be solved with one single solution. So, are you trying to find the answer among the few solutions you have to the question?

The first one is exercising. When I start my day with exercising, I found out that my energy level becomes different. I also think that I should meet up with other people. Just like today’s interview, it gives positive influence to me, since I get to think over one more time on how to take my next step and how am I doing at the moment. It is helpful, even from simply taking and holding a conversation like this.

You mentioned in the interview last year that you went out for a walk when you need to find the answer to a question. Is it still like that?

Walking has proved itself to be helpful as well. When I go out for a moment, I get to feel the weather like the scorching hot sun and the blowing wind, and that alone is enough to change how the air is around me. Rather than finding the answer to something, these days it’s about how to raise a question, how to ponder about it, and how to spend the time. There are times when another person’s advice won’t make any difference; in the end, the answer is all within myself. It is through this way that I can allow myself to grow, finding the conclusion within myself as I spend my time following that path. If the path leads to a wrong direction, then I can always go back a few steps behind. The experience of taking a few steps behind also adds up to the amount of experience in my life. In the past, I would always find myself suffering when there was a need to take a few steps behind, reevaluating my choice. I would think that I should try to find the answer as fast as I could. But now, I realize that it is something which everyone has to go through in their lives.

You’re right in the middle of filming the drama Start-Up. Just like the title, it is the story of youths working in a startup company.

I’m portraying the character of Han Ji-pyung. Although he is currently a genius investor, he keeps a sad past to himself. He lost his parents early in his life. Although he has no other choice but to be cold-hearted in order to survive by himself in this world, he starts to change after his encounter with the characters played by Suzy and (Nam) Joo-hyuk. Um..actually, rather than ‘change’, it’s more like having his original heart and emotions he couldn’t show to others before this bursting out randomly.

 A project is always regarded as an assignment for the actors. You probably get to learn different things from different projects and acquire new things you want to achieve through them.

Most of my projects prior to this involved huge things happening in them, hence making the contents relying a bit more on the excitement. However, Start-Up is a story of continuing to live your life normally. Thus, I am currently learning how to act while trying to be more relaxed. As I watch how (Nam) Joo-hyuk acts, I would be wondering how his mind works while he is acting. I am learning how to become an actor who opens a door to a world unimaginable to others for the first time and acting out scenes never seen before by others’ eyes.

Start-Up is a project you are doing after a long while, as compared to how you used to pick projects one after another in the past.

I tried not to think about acting while I was not attached to any project. I was wondering if my obsession with acting in turn hindered my growth in acting. Although I tried comforting myself that nothing much would change when I took a break from acting, I grew anxious while wondering if I would crumble or regress as a result of it.

Regardless of that, if you had to choose, what was the thing you liked while you took your break?

I was able to take a good look around myself. I managed to see what I have missed before as I spent more time with the people I’m close with. I got to think about the direction I have to take from now on after taking a good look at my surrounding.

You must have felt even more nervous after being away from the filming set for a while.

When I started filming for Start-Up, it has been a while for me to go to a set, hence I was frozen at first. The first group dinner we went together after the first script reading was the most heart-fluttering moment for me, as always. On the other hand, the first script reading was always nerve-wrecking for me, since I feel burdened to read the script for the first time in one place, together with the cast you’ll be working with for the project. But then, I would feel happy when we got to the dinner place after ending the script reading session with applause for everyone. Still, it’s a heat-fluttering moment to see the people you’ll work with and nothing tops that feeling of meeting the names you only saw on the casting board before in reality, talking and exchanging thoughts with them.

You also get to work together with your seniors such as Kim Hae-sook and Seo Yi-sook aside from the actors of the same age range as yours. What comes to your mind as you watch over the seniors acting before your eyes?

I want to learn the relaxed, leisurely behaviour they possess. It is something you can’t achieve even if you put in your utmost effort. Perhaps, I will be able to achieve that kind of behaviour one day, as I build my experience and learn how to act in a more relaxed manner. The seniors would always stand firmly in character and look at everything in a relaxed manner. Thanks to their stable position on the set, it is as if they’re the force that holds us together, and I get to find own way of channeling my energy towards the correct position in the project.

You did the stage play Memory In Dream prior to Start-Up. The stage has always been the place your heart yearns for, right?

It was a play I did at a familiar place, together with people I’ve known for a long time. Perhaps, that is the reason why it felt even better. It was a play where my acting could be viewed more objectively, since it was something I did together with people who knew my strength and weaknesses well. It was a place where I could hear things like parts where I lacked but still good and the better parts I shouldn’t throw away. I received lots of comforting words as I did the play, perhaps owing it to the fellow actors who are like my own family.

Could it be that the reason you continuously reevaluate yourself and agonize over your acting is because you want to find the answer to what kind of actor you want to be?

I want to be an actor with bright, vivid colours. I also want to be an actor who can be sincere regardless of the situation. I watched the movie The Intern not too long ago, and there was a scene in which Robert De Niro was reading a newspaper. It was just a simple scene of reading a newspaper and nothing else, yet it felt as if I was looking at the character itself existing in the scene instead of watching Robert De Niro himself. That moment when an actor doesn’t seem like he’s acting. I too aspire to be able to act like that.

What are the values you do not want to lose in your journey towards finding the path to become a good actor?

I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable because of me. Rather than becoming a good person alone, I want to become a person whom people feel comfortable to work with.

What was the ‘first’ moment that still gives you strength until now?

Drama The Strongest Deliveryman was the first project where I had a lot of parts in it. At that time, I was still green in terms of drama acting without any experience prior to that, and there might be people who wasn’t that assured, but there were people who cheered for me. I never lost my smile on the filming set and kept holding on; all the enjoyable moments became my huge source of comfort. There’s nothing I could do since I have endured those trying times, plus I think that there’s nothing that I couldn’t enjoy to my heart’s content.

It is the season where the wind is changing its temperature. As we are approaching the year’s end, what is a meaningful moment in your life as an actor?

Practicing the whole night for the audition of a stage play I really wanted to join and then passing the audition before spending my time at the theater practically living there to sleep and eat. Those hours spent together with the rest of the cast practicing for more than 10 hours daily, eating, sleeping and exercising together. The moment of burning passion I felt back then felt like a proper beginning to my life as an actor. I don’t want to lose my memories of those times, ever.


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