The New Asian Icon – The Asian Bad Boys We Love – Interview #1:
So Jisub – The man whose melancholic charm gets stronger with every “bad guy” he portrays
At the moment, the Korean actor So Jisub (32) is gathering a lot of attention in Japan and abroad. He’s received several movie awards for his film “Rough Cut” (Korean title: Yeonghwa neun yeonghwa da; Japanese title: Eiga wa eiga da) in Korea and the USA. As part of the “next generation” of a wave of actors who are following in the footsteps of the actors in their late 30s who represent Korea, like Lee Byung Hun and Jung Woo Sung, So Jisub is the one people are expecting the most from.
He is meeting these expectations not just in his home country. Actress Zhang Ziyi personally chose him for the role of her lover in the movie “Sophie’s Revenge” in which she plays the female lead and which she also produced. And in Japan, he is the first overseas actor to play the lead character in the joint production original drama “I am GHOST” which is currently up for download on BeeTV.
The characters So Jisub plays are often “men who are wild and sexy yet at the same time lonely and melancholic”. Just as we were preparing for his photo shoot in which we wanted to translate this very charm into pictures, we were surprised when he called us and said he himself wanted to prepare himself as well – because even though people usually arrive at the scene of the photo shooting where everything is prepared for them, to have someone say “I want to prepare myself” is definitely a rare thing.
During the photo shoot, So Jisub works very hard to respond to all of our requests and doesn’t lose his intense gaze and facial expressions for a second, just like he is playing a role in a movie. His concentration and professionalism are so high, the tension at the shoot is rising as well.
And then, the second the shooting is over, he instantly returns to his gentle and shy self and talks to us. A true actor without a trace of the pretentiousness of a celebrity.
The atmosphere at the set becomes calm at once.
We were told by his staff that he wasn’t good at talking but we wanted to take the opportunity of this peaceful mood and ask him for the readers of VOGUE about everything from acting to love.
In “I am GHOST” you’re portraying a killer who doesn’t talk in order to keep his true identity secret. Wasn’t it difficult to play a role without any lines?
For an actor it can be quite difficult to not have any lines but I was totally attracted by the thought of overcoming this difficulty and try and create this character so I accepted this role.
We heard that you don’t talk much. Does that mean you don’t like people who talk a lot?
Of course not. (Laughs.) I also have friends who talk quite a bit. A lot of my friends are as old as I am but it often happens that I’m the youngest so I can’t just sit there and not talk. But yes, people used to have that strong image in their heads that I didn’t talk much.