Article by Movieweek
Translated by Wid Kosoo
Asked Ko Soo this question : if you only had 24 hours before you died just like in the movie ‘Some’, what would you do? After agonizing for a long time, he’d answer, "Well .... I really don’t know, nothing comes to mind.” In ‘Some’ Ko Soo are struggling to stop the fate and death after he receives notice of his death. In the real life, Ko Soo is like a calm and careful turtle.
Ko Soo is a very slow person. It takes forever for him to find a word and finish the sentence. Uncomparable with his appearance in all CF, wearing earphones and dance. When I met Ko Soo, he said “All I know is how to act, so I want to do things carefully to the people, even in a slow action.” This time people used to shout ‘Faster, faster’ and it makes moreover dizziness, so does he think the slow one can survive in the entertainment industry? In fact, after the question went he said, "Um ..." 10 seconds later Ko Soo reluctantly answered, “People are talking about how ordinary people can act as they are.” Well, question is a thing, others may follow because of an obsession for everything way to go ahead today. So maybe more presence of Ko Soo the person, as an actor, I'm not sure if engraved. He could be the one who easily forgotten by the entertainment industry and do not forget he can accept how he is as a slow person. Not slow as sloth. Like a stubborn people who live their life as they want to, he has insisted to pursue his acting career that people will enjoy. Ko Soo’s character is like this conversation, a very slow indeed but clearly it’s just a beginning.
Big screen debut
After the discussions with his management and director Jang Yun Hyun, Ko Soo decided to do ‘Some’. In fact, during seven months of shooting he had to reject all offers of other work. Domiciled on the TV as an actor, refrained from appearancing as attractive CF star was not an easy decision. Many spectators had gathered for melodrama and he received numerous casting offers, eventually he selected to make a big screen debut in his first movie ‘Some’, directed by Jang Yun Hyeon.
"Well ... .... actually I thought I was not ready. It’s scary to think that my appearance on the big screen can reflect on everything. No matter how good I do the work, it’s not enough. In fact I didn’t think I’m ready even when ‘Some’ started to release. I was not ready to continue, then the chief told me 'It is difficult to start in perfect condition. Just be prepared to always do your best. So you will be ready to continue.' So, I did. I knew that we've had to make this movie till the end since I read ‘Some’ scenario. It would be hard for not being a part of this work, because 'deja vu' is unique material and the scenario is interesting. The director made a wonderful connection before starting the activity, that’s why this work was so much fun. I got to choose this work among others. The director had me in mind to play this particular role, thanks to him. About a month left before ‘Some’ was release, I was so nervous. I wasn’t answer an offer of a well-received film, sorry to say that I do not regret it. I got frustrated a lot sometimes and had a long walk around to ponder. If it was not because of my boss, I would probably still have been prepared (Laughter). I know that I don’t enjoy doing things in front of so many people. But I realized this is certainly one of a lot of things that I need to learn in the acting.”
Competitive Ko Soo
Why Ko Soo is so late to do his debut on the big screen? To make it fair coz of his rapid growth since debut with the Bacchus CF in 1998 then starring some dramas? His success is easily mounted so he needs to let his mind is not necessarily gone? Of course, in the terminus of the movie, but not in acting, most of TV actors pulled up to the official and forced to wonder about film as the next step. I was curious about his 'original' story. So I asked Ko Soo about his passion for acting. To become an actor, Ko Soo was once homeless, living a double check on the rumor that he is the first step in the entertainment industry.
"Well ... .... Honestly, I love acting and I was not living in Seoul. I had a show at club gig but turned out to be a chaos. One day my brother told me to try some auditions for ads. So I went to Seoul for the audition. Then, in front of... Seoul Hilton hotel, I guess? Anyway, I went to the bathroom there before my turn and tried to put some make-up from my mother’s kit J In my audition, they just asked me to turn around and come back someday. But I was applying in other agencies who think they need to see my picture. Then the phone rang, said that they would go by themselves. I thought to go back home, but no way I would go back to the house. Once I started to pull a knife to do what I want to do, then I’m going to do. I missed everyone at home and wanted their supports but I had to experience new things. There’s a relative in Seoul, but not in a good health condition so I wanted to do this by myself. Homeless, but not far (laughs), thinking why a man in my age was doing this when I could have what I want. Perhaps because that time I tried to calm everyone down, I said that I had no trouble at all. Going new places and meet new friends, with a profile picture in my hand , I kept doing it to make the relationship. Then I was filming a music video for the first time, and tried to build my modeling career. Boundaries are formed gradually. At first I had vague longing for entertainment industry in honest way. Perhaps then, many people would have the same situation. Now look how lucky I am to get what I really wish. I will adapt to live in this entertainment world. That would satisfy me. Then the desire to act, more than anything, was off for a while. Too impressed to watch the performance of senior actors so I kept missing the time to say my lines. I was sick too. 7 months after my latest drama I had a lot of time to think, resting. Having an opportunity with senior actors in ‘Piano’ was a meaningful work that happened to me. Funny, how authentic feeling that things are delayed given the opportunity to think beyond the instructions. "
From Ko Soo to be Kang Sung-Joo
Han Seok Jeon was cast and Jang Yyun Hyeon as the director selected Ko Soo for the work. Somehow it could be a burden. Box office and critical success on both sides are the expectations of most directors, because people should live up to expectations. How about Ko Soo? He focused on the set to be better than anyone. It’s delightful to see a strong desire and effort to improve his acting. Making oversight of embarrassment, and performed his own stunt. With the help of acting coach he’s eventually captured the ‘medium’ standard. Seems dry, but contains a deep resonance, ‘Some’ was a new challenge to Ko Soo.
"Well ... .... it was a really good experience to do ‘Some’. At first, there’s a lot of pressure. Workshops and going through until the end of the first shooting were very difficult, thanks to the staff so the pressure was less. I had a lot of conversation with the director. Brainstorming at the workshop, having many inputs from a lot of sources. Modified the scenario several times, but it didn’t matter. Details changed, but it would not change the feelings of my character (Officer Kang Sung Joo) . The problem was, I took my role 24-hours in a day for seven months. I would not look like me. Joo is a bad person who against criminal in his daily life. I wondered how to maintain the connection between Joo and me until the end of recording period, so I thought ‘I won’t laugh’. I also reduced to smile and laugh in daily conversation. I was becoming Joo. Another newcomer on the scene initially laughed a lot nervously and made a fuss about how my calm attitude seemed to be disturbed. Staff didn’t understand me, they were worried that I wasn’t well. I didn’t even hang out to drink. But it was better than not acting properly, I thought. Lucky for us, there was a small party afterwards, then I spoke openly to staff there to make them understand about everything that they concerned about. I have not seen the finished film yet. I wonder how I have done. I saw two large screens that can be represented even a small movement that went wrong. There’s a lot of people who know acting. More tense so it was hard to breathe, hard to think, I was freaking out. The director wanted me to keep myself in the middle, to pump the acting. So I still got some emotions of the character. Words can not explain exactly how happy I was, so emotional that the acting felt like not- acting. Perhaps I might not be in this position if I didn’t insist to perform my own stunt (Laughter).”
Man with an easy mind
Ko Soo has an obscure face (well, people say that). People have to wait coz it takes a long time for him to get along. Imagine how long for someone he’s dating to know him deeply. His image looks kind and honest, derived from his silk straight feature, seems that is not always the case. Director had to replace his good image to a loud piercing guy. Coarse hair, a dirty outfit and utmost swollen but his appealing eyes are still shining in goodness. After a 3 hours meeting, they decorated the packaging of him, and poor Ko Soo, he felt very awkward. But they can not decorate nicely plausible words of him, or how a naive rare B-list actor still exist for seven years and implies all factors that make him even more beautiful.
"Well ... .... The image is too grand, isn’t it? I do think I have many personalities, not only one image. To have a really good image, you need a surgery (Laughter). At one point, I can change the image that is hard to feel, like a 180-degree turn. Everybody only knows one little piece of me. I think I still have not shown much. Joo in ‘Some’ is a very strong character. I’m starting to try another new character in a movie or drama. About obscuring my face to the story, well .... you won’t let a little horse lead you (Wid: I think it’s a phrase or something). When you first meet someone, you know when you feel good. Then each time you make a mistake, you think what you want to do so it’d passed easily. I need 2-3 years to make friend with someone. Belief is one of many emotions that filtered myself to have a deeper relationship. What I don’t like the most is a lie. It’s easier to heal a wound in the body than at heart. Others might think that’s elusive, but that’s what I have in mind. First, do not even say that you’re uncomfortable. What's the point, just work hard to do your best when you asked to do so. Of course, I’m on it. At that time, I had a lot of tough things that I don’t like, I've given up looking for a more comfortable situation. But it would trouble me more, and make me regret it later. I usually don’t regret what I did. It's just the way you get it. After finished the movie ‘Some’, I'm taking a role in drama "When a man loves a woman”. This drama has an authentic character so the changes would be interesting. I want to play a different character. "