All smiling men are beautiful, but the most beautiful of them all is Kim Seon Ho; especially when he flashes a bright smile and shows his deep dimples.
THE SMILING MAN, KIM SEON HO
Yesterday, you received the Best Emotive Awards at AAA (Asia Artist Awards). Congratulations! How do you feel about being the popular actor these days?
Eh, it’s not to that extent. I just feel good about it. It’s such a good feeling, but I do feel awkward when I think of this, ‘Why is it going well like this all of a sudden?’ Although I still can’t believe it to know that many people like me through the commercial and the pictorial, there are times when I feel amazed by it. A hyung I worked together with in a play asked me this not long ago: how does it feel to be liked by people like this? I’m not sure, really. Thanks to the fellow cast of Start-Up, my Instagram followers has increased. I also feel good and excited to see the international viewers leaving comments. Other than those, nothing much had changed.
Prior to joining 2 Days 1 Night, you said in one interview that it would be better for you to restrain yourself from doing variety show because you wanted to act for a long time. But now, thanks to the variety show, isn’t it the other way round? You are getting more opportunities to act, hence you will get to do so for a longer time.
I really had a lot of concerns back then. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do well, and there wasn’t any guarantee that people would love the real side of me. Together with the staff who have worked alongside me, I weighed in the pros and cons calmly. After the decision was made, I have no other choice but to give my best. At first, my heart would be pounding since cameras were everywhere no matter where I looked. I even thought to myself that those weren’t empty talks when they said the entertainers might have suffered behind the camera although they seemed to be enjoying their time on the show. But then, when I looked at the other members, I realized that they were all the same, be it in front or behind the camera. Just like how they are in front of the cameras, they still joke around outside filming, so that makes me feel more comfortable. Even when I’m busy with my daily schedule, it makes me comfortable just from thinking of the nice things to hear and look at when we go for 2 Days 1 Night shooting. Haha!
The members and the viewers were nervous about your withdrawal from the show, right?
Oh, that was nonsense. I have never felt this kind of affection from people before. I like how warm it is.
In Start-Up, Han Ji-pyeong turns into a Good Boy in front of Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) and Choi Won-deok (Kim Hae-sook). We thought that the nickname fit you to a tee due to your good-natured appearance. Perhaps, was it because Writer Park Hye-ryun had you in mind while writing the character?
Han Ji-pyeong’s nickname Good Boy was already decided since the beginning. I joined the cast later as compared to Suzy and (Nam) Joo-hyuk, who were both onboard since before.
Could it be that the character Seon in your name is written using the Hanja for ‘good’?
Everyone thought of it like that, but it’s actually written using the ‘generous’ character, together with the Ho for ‘tiger’. Hence, it becomes a ‘generous tiger’.
People might have some expectation for you to be a good-natured man in reality due to your good-natured disposition. Do you feel any burden with regard to it?
There isn’t any burden, but I still hope that such side of mine won’t be visible when I’m acting. Although the kind appearance might be helpful even when I’m portraying a bad guy, there still might be details I ought to miss because of that. It’s something that I’ve been concerned about, even at this moment.
When was the moment you become a mean person?
Let’s see..I become mean during 2 Days 1 Night’s filming. Haha. It’s because I pull lots of pranks. And then there’s me when I’m acting, where I seem to be thinking about myself first and foremost. Although I’m still considerate of my acting partner, I can only accept and react to my partner after resolving the emotions of my own character.
Do you have any idea on the trigger which made you think that it was time to expand your domain into drama from your stage days?
In the past, there was an interview which asked me about my preference; whether I wanted to be in drama or movie more. Most actors would answer movie to that question, but I answered with drama. Although it could be different for each person, my parents are not frequent moviegoers in their whole lifetime. Since I want to show them that their son is an actor, I thought that it would be more fitting for me to do TV dramas. But then, the opportunity didn’t come easily. I had the chance to go for an audition after starring in the play Closer, and the opportunity landed me into the role of Seon Sang-tae in Manager Kim. That was the beginning for me.
Your longtime fans from your stage play days, who had been supporting the stage actor Kim Seon-ho, might not accept the current situation well. From the fans’ point of view, there is this kind of greed, to see you as ‘the actor only known to us’.
I think of them as the people who put me in this position. Whenever I’m distressed because my acting doesn’t feel right, each word I hear from the fans become something precious to me. “Today, the acting was good.” When I hear those words, I somehow feel apologetic, yet at the same time it becomes some sort of strength to me. The strength I gained slowly piled up like soil, turning me who was like a thin pole into a sturdy pillar. They made it possible for me to endure everything, and they are the people who give me the right to act.
You said it before that you were worried if people said that you have changed. Still, people can change because of their respective environment or condition.
I think that I’m someone who won’t really change, but you are bound to change with passing time, right? It’s just that how one changes is also important. If it’s something inevitable which forces me to change, then it would be great if I can direct the change towards the direction I want with all my might.
As an actor, what is the thing you are most cautious with?
It’s not listening to the acting partner. The reason why one’s acting is good and why the scene turns out great is not because of one person’s great effort. It’s a product of acting together with your partner. But then, if you stop listening to what your partner is saying, then it will only become a minus point to each other.
You said it before that you wanted to become an actor whom people want to work again with. Right now, there would be so many people who want to do so, hence you might have to decide on your list of priorities.
If there will be a time when I can choose, I would work again with the people I have done projects with before. I have faith in them since we have worked together before.
If you didn’t start acting, who do you think the current Kim Seon-ho would be?
Everyone is living as the main character of their own lives. With that kind of thinking, I might be working in a company at this age. Truth to be told, I still don’t have a clue on what I could be doing; do I have something I can do well instead of acting? There’s nothing I have learned except for acting, and there’s nothing that come into my mind when I think of something else I want to do. Although it is important to be good at something you do, I also think that it is important to be able to answer this question: If I do that, will I be able to be happy and like that job? As I have that kind of concern, I am able to not give up until the end and continue acting. I think that I did well (on not giving up).
Everyone is paying attention to your next project after Start-Up and you have chosen to go up on the theater stage again.
I like that I got to hone various skills such as being quick-witted and the ability to see the big picture from my days as a stage actor. Perhaps, that could be the reason why the depth of my acting seems different. There will be people who is able to look over and cheer on me objectively as I act on the stage. If I happen to receive someone’s advice, I’d be happy, thinking that I’m still flexible and there’s still room for me to improve.
There are lots of things that an actor can gain from stage acting, but it seems that the play Ice itself is full of charms?
It’s a two men’s show, but there are actually three characters present in the play. There is a young man who is the murder suspect named Hyuk, but the audience won’t be able to see him. His existence is only proven through my eyes and the lines. To put it simply, he just doesn’t exist in reality. It’s a set up where the audience have to rely on me in order to see the character. The play itself is exciting, but the director of this theater, Jang Jin, makes me want to do it even more. I have seen and enjoyed all the director’s past works. I even watched The Flower’s Secret twice because I liked it that much. I have huge anticipation for it since the director is someone who has a fun way of directing his projects.
We heard that you really liked going to the group dinner with the cast and staff right after the script reading session. Could it be that you are actually looking for a company in a crowd since you are an only child in your family?
Rather than that, I find that it is fun to listen to people talking in that setting. It’s just fun to see people having different thoughts from me even in a similar setting, and it’s a good place to get close to people. I also have this thought: that it’s unreal to see those amazing people and being in a project together with them. I used to think that I enjoy being alone, but it isn’t so. It’s just nice to have someone looking after and taking care of me. Haha. It’s just a great, precious feeling to have people looking after me and growing closer to each other.
2020 turns out to be a special year compared to the previous years.
I’ve come to realize once again how much people have helped me and worked hard for me. I also get to see how happy I am as a person. Hence, there are times when I feel choked with tears. In 2021, I want to return all the love I have received. I want to greet the people who have supported and helped me with a good performance and a good project.
You have a mole below your eye. Do you tend to cry easily and shed lots of tears?
I didn’t shed that many tears before. But then, the members of 2 Days 1 Night tend to poke my sides, so I can’t help it. I don’t cry easily in front of people and I only cry when I’m acting. I don’t shed tears recklessly. Never! Haha.