“Have the reporters eaten?” “You have to take a selfie with me after this.” “The lighting is good over there.”
Actor Kim Woo-bin (real name Kim Hyun-joong), who recently met with WikiTree in Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, have said so to us. Kim Woo-bin, who returned with the movie “Alienoid”, led the atmosphere comfortably throughout the interview with his witty greeting and relaxed appearance. Not actor Kim Woo-bin who doesn’t believe in his “definitely introvert” tendency, at the interview was an ordinary “34-year-old Kim Hyun-joong” with pure, unchanging charms.
In particular, the first part of the movie “Alienoid,” released on July 20th, has received a lot of attention as Kim Woo-bin’s first movie in six years after the movie “Mister.” He stopped all activities in 2017 due to nasopharyngeal cancer and was diagnosed with a complete recovery in 2019 after two years of fighting against the disease. Director Choi Dong-hoon was the reason why he chose “Alienoid” as his return work after he left the entertainment industry for a while to focus on recovering his health.
“I was offered the casting invitation in January 2019. Originally, I was supposed to join ‘Wiretape’ with the director as well, but the project was suspended (as I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer), and the director told me to ‘focus only on recovering my health.’ In fact, the project production had started for quite a while, so they would surely lose money if they kept the project delayed, but he still said that, which helped me a lot. While resting, I kept receiving different scripts the moment I thought, “I think I can think of returning by now,” but every time, I refused because if I return, I want to review director Choi Dong-hoon’s scripts first. I had thought, ‘When I return, if the director need me, I would enthusiastically do any role.’ I wouldn’t mind a cameo role too, but thankfully, he gave me the right character. (laugh)”
It is never easy to halt a movie that is already at the stage where production has begun. This is because not only the cast but also numerous staff and various related companies are intertwined. In particular, if the problem is related to one actor, they will often replace that actor with another person. But Choi said, “I can’t do it without Kim Woo-bin. I can’t film with other actors,” he said, and CJ E&M, who was in charge of distributing “Wiretape” at the time, also accepted his repquest. This gave Kim Woo-bin strength and became a promise that he must keep in the future.
Five years later, director Choi and Kim Woo-bin reunited with the movie “Alienoid”. His return to the siver screen after six years was heartwarming. In particular, he made friends with Kim Tae-ri and Ryu Jun-yeol. There is no scene where all three of them appear together in the play, but they all went to each other’s filming site to cheer and talk and got close.
“There are times when we learn from each other and sympathize with each other as we are around the same age. As we stacked our experience, we also talked about the work, and on days when any of us didn’t have a shoot, we went to watch how others film. Tae-ri and Jun-yeol are all great people, so I feel like we have had a happy trip together.”
Earlier, Ryu Jun-yeol drew attention by saying that he cried and laughed while having a long talk in private with Kim Woo-bin after their first meeting. In a related development, Kim Woo-bin recalled the time, saying, “I think it was when we get to know each other to some extent while filming in Mungyeong.”
“Both of us had no shooting that day. Our accommodations were on two different directions, so I was thinking about meeting him in the middle to eat, but the time was ambiguous, so we decided to drink some tea, but we chatted for about three to four hours. (laughs) We communicated very well. I could feel his feelings well and I tried to convey my feelings as well. I think we care about each other a lot. I really like meeting Jun-yeol. I hope he won’t get sick or hurt. It’s to the point where the other actors think, “How can they care about each other so much?” I think it’s because we filmed together for a long time.”
Kim Woo-bin, who loved drawing as a child, was a shy little boy then. He couldn’t even do the group bowing to his parents in kindergarten because he was shy. However, Kim Woo-bin, an introverted little boy, gradually changed as he dreamed of becoming a model. He likes to be curious about every person he meet and like to hang out with. However, at the age of 34, his biggest concern is “my people.”
“When I was 20, I didn’t know anything, so I tried to get to know as more people as possible. But now I want to use my energy for ‘my people’. It’s still fun to meet new people, but if I can choose, I just want to see my family more. In the past, people close to me were only placed second and people I met for work were my first priority, but I regretted that a lot during my short break. The time when I was taking a break, I spent it thinking about work and disciplined myself. Now I’m trying to focus on ‘my people’ who are in front of me. There are times when you talk to someone for an hour, but you don’t even know what that person is wearing. I think such time is a waste, so I tried to observe more, and I think I’m living a better life. My happiness index has gone up a lot.”
Kim Woo-bin, who disciplined himself to become a better actor 10 years later by reducing his sleeping time and working hard on self-management, said, “I regret the time I have lived only for the future.” He, who was a “person who lives today for a better self in the future,” has now changed to a “person who focuses on the present.”
“I think I’ve always lived for the future. So I can’t remember the process. I’m sure there must have been fun in it, but that’s a bummer. Now I’m going to focus on the present. By piling up such experiences, it helped me a lot when I acted. I can focus on the situation in front of me, and I sympathize with the character I play.”
During the unintended hiatus where he struggle with illness, perhaps it was a time when he could only think of negative thoughts, but Kim Woo-bin overcame it with a healthy mind. It was that period that gave him the relaxation today that we felt throughout the interview.
“While I was resting, I looked back on my works. I’ve always been busy for 14 years, but there weren’t as many as I thought, so I thought I’d like to do more. Through tvN’s ‘Our Blues’ and the movie ‘Alienoid’, I can show you something I haven’t shown before, and a lot of people welcomed that. Because you guys don’t feel unfamiliar at all and like what I did, I want to show you guys even more new things. I think there’s a lot I haven’t shown you yet. (laughs)”
Kim Woo-bin, who shared his honest thoughts no matter what question it was, was asked if there was anything he wanted to say to fans who had waited for a long time at the end of the interview. Then, Kim Woo-bin, who was lost in thought for a while, expressed his sincerity.
“I have always wanted to say something better, but I can’t think of a better word than thank you. That’s why I’m always expressing how sad I am by that. I’m receiving so much energy and power that I can’t even express, and I feel your hearts well. How should I express this? Even though I’m always lacking, please give me your generous support. Thank you once again, and I’m always sad that there’s nothing I can give you. Thankfully, there have been a lot of occasions for me to meet my long-time fans, and when we met, it was hard to hold back my tears. I hope you guys are always healthy.”