Wow! I’m overwhelmed by the amount of news about Yoo Ah In on the media these days. I wonder how Ah In himself would feel. Others may squeal and marvel at Yoo Ah-in because of the super cute and cool Geul-ro, but I personally take Ah In’s soar in popularity as an indicator that his talent has shined through Geul-ro the character. Without Yoo Ah In, I don’t think I would have loved Guel-ro as much as I did.
Jaeshinah@soompi has taken all the trouble to collect and translate the recent bits of news about Ah In on Nov 2nd and 3rd. Please give her a round of applause and enjoy some yummy Ah In news, everyone.
At a press conference on the 2nd, Yoo Ah In was asked, “Song Joong Ki remarked that Yoo Ah In’s lips are pretty. Do you also think your lips are your most attractive part?” to which Yoo Ah In gave an embarrassed laugh and said, “I am taking good care of them,” drawing laughter.
Yoo Ah In played the role of Guh-ro Moon Jae Shin who has eyes for only one woman, causing ‘Guh-ro [Heart]ache’ syndrome. He also showed a unique friendship with Song Joong Ki’s character of Gu Yong Ha, prompting viewers to say that rather than the Seonjoon-Yoohee couple, the Jaeshin-Yongha couple was the real gay couple. Yoo Ah In was asked what Song Joong Ki’s most attractive point was, to which he replied “His skin…his skin is really good; it’s like a white gem.”
[LOL I wonder how many times they had direct skin contact during the filming, esp. considering how Yong-ha always takes every chance to jump on Jae-shin!]
At a press conference on the 2nd, Yoo Ah In was asked about his beard. He said, “At first I grew it out for the drama, but I actually like it,” and “People around me say it looks alright, so I’m wondering whether I should not shave it [and let it be].”
Okay, finally somebody asked a question I’m dying to know the answer to!!!! I really want to know if that beard would be kept in the future. Thing is, I don’t like boy/man with fuzzy beard. The beard looks almighty fine on Guel-ro, though. Maybe I’d make an exception…What do you all think?
“‘SKKS’ will remain in my heart for a long time” -Frontier Times
At the last shooting on the 2nd, Yoo Ah In confessed, “When I first took on the role of Guh-ro, I came out and said, ‘I have confidence [I will do a good job],’ but in truth I was scared and worried a great deal about whether I would be able to do a good job.”
He added, “I thank everyone who gave me a great deal of love despite my lacking points, as well as the hard-working producer, the director to whom I sent that first letter, my fellow actors, and all the staff.”
Song Joong Ki said, “The Jalgeum Quartet’s Park Yoochun, Yoo Ah In, and I, as well as Ahn Nae Sang [who played Prof. Jung Yak Yong] gathered together and shot a sincere and serious scene. We’re not normally these kinds of people, but for the first time in a while we shot in a serious mood,” and “Once we heard ‘Cut!’ our tears started pouring out.”
He was then asked, “Do you think you were able to portray the emotion of your last scene well?” to which he replied “I’m not that good of an actor…” and trailed off, drawing laughter.
The ones who have benefited the most, by far, from SKKS are Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In.
Though the male lead was played by Park Yoochun, who conquered the music world with DBSK, the popularity of Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In left Park Yoo Chun in the dust to the extent that one might call it ‘Rebellion of the Sub-leads.’
Despite the fact that Yeorim Gu Yongha and Guh-ro Moon Jaeshin’s had relatively smaller proportions of broadcast time, they were able to cause waves of love for ‘Mischievous Yeorim’ and ‘Guh-ro Ache.’ Song Joong Ki went back and forth from showing mischief to charisma, cleanly ridding himself of his former image as [merely] a kkot-mi-nam star. Yoo Ah In, whose image as a child/juvenile actor had lingered, captured women’s hearts with his voice resonating from somewhere deep within his chest and his penetrating gaze.
Whatever the two actors said in the drama were quickly uploaded online as soon as each episode aired, building their popularity. Even after the last episode of <SKKS> airs on the 2nd, it looks like it will continue for a very long time. Whatever else anyone says, Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In are the greatest beneficiaries of <SKKS>. However, they did not merely get a free ride from the popularity of the drama, but rather they, along with Park Yoochun and Park Minyoung, are actors who deserve to be recognized for helping to make the drama popular.
[Yay, after SKKS, who self-identified his or herself as both Aile and Ainese?]
Jaeshin said, “The person who made hyung like that was not the Left Minister,” and insisted Lee Sunjoon was innocent. However, his words fell on deaf ears, and his father Moon Geun Soo locked Jaeshin in a closet so he could not surrender himself as the Red Messenger. Jaeshin, who was going out of his mind with rage, tried to persuade his father with apologies and tears.
He said, “I was wrong. I went around thinking that I was more hurt than you. I was wrong. I was sure I loved hyung more. I was also wrong to think that. Father–” and opened his heart to his father for the first time in 10 years. He cried, saying he did not want to live in the hell of hating his father any longer.
The great majority of viewers chose Yoo Ah In’s crying scene as the episode’s best scene. One viewer said, “When Jaeshin said to his father’s back, ‘I was wrong,’ my own heart felt like it hit rock bottom. Whether he is explosively showing his deep pain or hiding it all away, the acting is properly done.”
Another viewer wrote, “I was surprised at Yoo Ah In’s acting skills. His expressions, emotions, eyes, voice tone, and speaking speed are all perfect. This scene could have been unbearably corny, but Yoo Ah In kept the proper feeling alive. His acting felt so authentic that I started crying without realizing it.”
Whatever anyone might say otherwise, the first foundation of ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ is its beautiful male cast: ‘perfect prickly man’ Garang Lee Sunjoon, the blend of rough masculinity and sweetness in Guh-ro Moon Jaeshin, and mischievously attractive Yeorim Gu Yongha.
The best performance among the flower-like cast is Yoo Ah In. Could anyone have known from his very first appearance as a ‘Joseon Dynasty Bad Boy’ overflowing with rough beauty that he would establish such a full presence later on?
Yoo Ah In, whose character’s older brother was brutally murdered by the Norons, created the ‘Guh-ro Ache’ syndrome through his frequent line, “[If you keep doing that] it’ll become a habit.” [This is] Moon Jaeshin, whose bluntness is only softened by Daemul Kim Yoonshik.
With his bittersweetly loving eyes and his bass voice digging deep into the heart, he has earned compliments such as ‘Rediscovery of Yoo Ah In.’ This has been the catalyst for transforming Yoo Ah In from someone with a child actor image to a mature, adult actor.
When actor Yoo Ah In was cast [as Jaeshin], fans of the original book reacted negatively. Yoo Ah In’s milky image as a young boy was devoid of anything resembling a ‘crazy horse.’ But Yoo Ah In turned this around. Yoo Ah In portrayed his crazy passion whenever he appeared, overwhelming the screen. Though his part in the first episode was just 5 minutes at the most, it was plenty enough to become a hot topic.
His rough beauty was clear as he fought a group of raiders in his ragtag ‘beggar clothes.’ On top of that, his consideration for Yoonhee by covering her eyes so she wouldn’t be shocked shook women’s hearts. ‘Guh-ro Ache’ began from the moment he realized that his roommate Yoonhee was actually a woman. His delicate, emotional acting as he watched over the girl he loved fall in love with another was truly earnest.
Moreover, his anger against the cruel world that witnessed his brother’s unfair death and his rage and disappointment against his cowardly father stirred one’s protective instinct for the character of Moon Jaeshin. Though the character of Moon Jaeshin was plenty attractive in the original book, Yoo Ah In used his personal charm to create a new Moon Jaeshin and gave an excellent performance that exceeded expectations. Viewers who have fallen into ‘Guh-ro Ache’ are, now that the drama is over, falling equally deeply for Yoo Ah In’s charm.
Though ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ raised the profiles of many young stars, the definitive center of all the hype is Yoo Ah In, who played the part of Moon Jaeshin. The two main leads of the drama were Park Yoochun and Park Minyoung. However, the popularity of supporting main actors Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In rose with each episode, eventually reaching sky-high levels. They surpassed the performance of the two main leads.
Yoo Ah In is, especially, the best star to emerge from SKKS. One may easily confirm his extreme popularity on all kinds of surveys and polls about SKKS on various portal sites. Moreover, nicknames like ‘Guh-ro Ache’ definitively show the heated response viewers had to his character, providing concrete proof that Yoo Ah In has risen to become a star through SKKS.
The main driving force behind Yoo Ah In’s rise as the best star of SKKS was his attractive character [of Jaeshin]. Yoo Ah In’s character of Moon Jaeshin was not a normal scholar but a defiant character who showed strong masculinity even while he risked his life for a noble cause. Though he showed his strong, wild charm in this sense, he also loved Kim Yoonhee from afar, quietly protecting her even as she fell in love with another man. He earned explosive responses from female viewers for his character’s charm. Moon Jaeshin’s attractive character is the first and most important factor in making Yoo Ah In a star.
The combination of strength, softness, and cuteness, along with his good looks and natural acting style has earned Yoo Ah In high popularity. For Yoo Ah In to take a place as a true star, however, he must refine the areas of his acting he is still unable to express, and he must be able to enter so completely into a character that [the viewer can see] no traces of the actor Yoo Ah In.
Although SKKS has given Yoo Ah In the status of a new and great star, there are many challenges ahead for him if he wishes to become a true star.
Yoo Ah In is beautiful. When he smiles brightly his eyes disappear and he seems mild, pretty, and delicate. But if you look closer, he is not an easy person. He has denounced the internet’s dysfunctional treatment of the Tablo controversy on his Twitter, as well as written heartfelt posts on his mini-hompy that criticize movies in which he himself appears. Nowadays, this courageous actor has been gaining passionate fans by the day. […] Seven years after his debut in the 2003 drama <Banolim>, Yoo Ah In is enjoying his greatest popularity thus far as the beastly man of the Joseon Dynasty.
Moon Jaeshin does not have very much to say in ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal.’ His actions come before his words. He is an uncontrollable man who acts exactly how he feels, even as he meets the night dew as a dark hero and lets red arrows fly. The original work ‘Lives of Sungkyunkwan Scholars’ on which ‘SKKS’ is based features Moon Jaeshin as a large, manly man at great contrast to Yoo Ah In’s slim stature and young face. As a result, there was a backlash from fans of the original book [when Yoo Ah In was first cast]. There were concerns about the casting of milky-bright kkot-mi-nams Micky Yoochun, Song Joong Ki, and Yoo Ah In. But Yoo Ah In’s prickly acting is plenty attractive and charming, with his disheveled Banolim hairstyle and facial hair. He adds yet another fun side to the rough and heavily weighed-down original character [from the book].
There have been other rough, beastly men like Moon Jaeshin in several other dramas. The role of Kyungsangdo-style men who mask their anxious hearts with pretended nonchalance have consistently earned love. Moon Jaeshin is also that type of man. He, too, casts lingering gazes at the one he loves and throws out his words bluntly. But [unlike other beastly men,] he communicates his inner feelings with one look. One is able to feel not only [his] love, but also [his] happiness, rage, and sadness. The character from the novel was reproduced as a much more complex, vivid character. This is the result of the foundations of his steady acting, his unique color [as an actor], and thorough character interpretation.
When Yoo Ah In appeared in 2003’s ‘Banolim’ as Go Ara’s nice boyfriend, his popularity was explosive. In just a few months, his fanclub membership exceeded 150,000 people and his popularity was so sensational that he was even chosen as a school uniform model. Though it looked like Yoo Ah In would rapidly rise as a young star on the strength of his brilliant looks, he took a sudden hiatus. Three years later in 2006, he came back through the indie movie ‘Boys of Tomorrow’ and also took roles in the movie ‘Shim’s Family’ (2007), the drama ‘Strongest Chilwoo’ (2008), the movie ‘Antique Bakery’ (2008), and the drama ‘The Man Who Can’t Get Married.’ Though the movies premiered and the dramas enjoyed popularity, Yoo Ah In did not become a star. Instead, he patiently perfected his acting skills in order to become a true actor.
Yoo Ah In is an actor whose writing precedes his spoken words. His active use of Twitter and his mini-hompy have earned him the nickname of ’21st Century’s Red Messenger.’ Like Moon Jaeshin, whose talent with words captures the public’s attention, he frankly reveals his opinions and convictions to the general public. His writings speak for the deeply thoughtful actor Yoo Ah In. Though he has sparked debate at times by speaking too honestly, he shows us the human Um Hong Shik (Yoo Ah In’s actual name) without a filter. Yoo Ah In possesses not only brilliant good looks and brilliant acting skills, but also a firm personal sense of conviction. This is precisely why I so look forward to seeing what Yoo Ah In has to show us in the future.
Credits: Jaeshinah@soompi for collecting and translating the articles, pics are courtesy of InK Cho@Naver