Don’t trust that cute face of Song Joong-ki’s
This article of Song Joong-ki actually came out before his recent turn in the drama Triple — it dates back to February — but now he’s got a higher profile as the drama’s adorable speed-skating Poong-ho. In fact, his baby face is deceiving, and belies his actual age — he’s 24. It’s also interesting to note that he’s quite an accomplished speed skater, which makes his casting in Triple pretty much spot-on.
SONG OF THE DAY
Triple OST – “Little Tiny Baby” by 짙은 (Zitten) [ Download ]
Song Joong-ki: A Tree Grows
Oh no! When a young man decided he wanted to pursue theater and film, the upset look on his parents’ faces was clear. They were remembering that they had sent their exceptionally timid son to a variety of classes to improve that part of his personality — among them acting classes. That son encountered parental opposition but blindly left Taejeon for Seoul, shut himself up in a small boarding room, and studied day and night. He had figured, “If I make something happen on my own, my parents will let me do the work I want to do,” but the time of loneliness, sorrow, and uncertain future for just-turned twenty-year-old Song Joong-ki must not have been easy.
“I want to do a role like Jang Jun-hyuk in White Tower”
But in the end, the boy achieved his goal. He became a business economics student at university and, as planned, became an actor. “Because of the sense of accomplishment I got in improving my grades, I studied. If you see my report cards, you’d be shocked. After deciding on business economics as my major, from my second year onward, they take a dive. It’s then that I really fixed on wanting to be an actor, and it was difficult for me to care about other things.”
He has a face as cute and pure as a midsummer peach, and a bashful, bright smile that shows his upper teeth. He has the prim appearance of No-tak in Frozen Flower and the youngest Jin-ho of KBS’s My Precious You, but his methodical speech and voice show he’s not a boy. When Song Joong-ki says, “A lot of people mistake me because of my appearance, but my personality is very comfortable and relaxed, like a Chungcheong Province type,” again he recalls the image of a peach. And I realize that settled inside is a large, strong seed.
Some seeds grow into blades of grass, but the one Song Joong-ki carries dreams too big. That tree grows fairly large and forms a complicated design. “I really want to try acting a role like Jang Jun-hyuk, acted by Kim Myung-min sunbae in White Tower. He’s a selfish person who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, but he looks lonely and sad.” Perhaps it’s because his personality is the type who knows how to take the roundabout path that leads to his goal, rather than breaking through the front. The scenes he pours his heart into aren’t forceful so much as they are delicate, intimate moments.
“I watched Frozen Flower in the theater, and the highlight was Jo In-sung sunbae’s last look in his eye, which mixed regret with surprise.” The look in Song Joong-ki’s eyes as he speaks so firmly of these sensibilities is like that of an honor student’s eyes flashing in challenge as he receives his test booklet. As he likes movies like A Dirty Carnival and Bittersweet Life, those eyes flash even more at the recommendation that he try a role like Leslie Cheung doing Hong Kong noir. He exclaims, “Ah! I could do that too,” as though ready to run off immediately to audition for a tragic noir film.
Don’t trust that cute face of his
In short, Song Joong-ki is a male. He was a short track skater for more than ten years and cultivated a desire to win, yet with his easygoing personality he still takes the bus or subway around town, like always. Seeing this real him is like experiencing a cheerful twist. He has a weakness for singing and dancing so he wants to try musicals, and says he wants to try comic acting because he has no skill for telling funny stories. He has courage in wanting to overcome his fears through experience. Not only that, when he dates, he’s the type to stay in long-term relationships with one person, and he has great tenacity to stick with decisions through the end, such as when he happened to see the play Liar and found it really entertaining, and right away he went and read all of parts 1 and 2.
That’s why it’s impossible not to be curious about why he took on business economics as a goal. “To my young mind, it seemed really impressive. And it seemed like if I told a girlfriend later that I was studying business economics, I’d appear smart. Haha.”
Goodness! His unadorned speech and unfailing honesty is characteristic of this young Chungcheong man. That’s why one looks forward to his future as an actor as he sheds the veil of his cute appearance.
My Name Is: Song Joong-ki
Born September 19, 1985. Year of the cow. Since this is the year of the cow, I have a lot of expectations for this year. I think there will be many good things.
I’m already in my mid-twenties, but I’m very baby-faced. Sometimes when I take the bus, the driver asks, “Are you really a university student?”
Alcohol and cigarettes are things I don’t really do. While going to university, there have been times I’ve put a cigarette to my lips, but these days I’m taking care and purposely keeping away.
During my school days, I played soccer and basketball a lot with friends. But the unlucky thing is, even when I’m alone I always had to put on sunscreen and wear a hat and go to the gym.
When I was in junior high school, I was a short-track skater representing my city of Taejeon Gwang’yeogsi. I even participated in the National Games three times, and won awards at other large meets. I had to give up because of an injury.
I have a brother two years older. He’s serving in the military right now, and he’s very different from me in that he’s masculine and muscular. I also have a sister seven years younger. She’s the family jewel. If her friends ask for her to get her brother’s autograph, she says, “Hey, that’s no big deal. At home he just walks around in his underwear.”
Actually, my mother wanted a daughter as her second child. She was disappointed that I was a son, and there are pictures with my hair tied back, wearing a two-piece dress.
I started in a weekend drama, a conventional series rather than a miniseries, which I personally think was a big fortune to me. In particular, Na Mun-hee taught me personally for an hour before doing a big emotional scene. Where else could I get those kind of lessons?
My first television debut was with KBS’s Quiz Korea. A good sunbae friend of mine was a broadcast writer, and she called me last-minute when one of the scheduled participants canceled. But all the questions were things I’d read the day before in the newspaper. The fact that I made it to the finals was purely good luck. I’m disappointed that I missed the last prize gift certificate, though. If I’d given that to my parents, I might’ve been able to get their permission to become an actor a bit quicker. [Laughs]
Being selected for the cover model of College Tomorrow was because of that same sunbae. I’d already decided that I wanted to prepare to be an actor, so inside I wanted people to give me a chance, but still, when seeing students carrying around pamphlets that pictured my face in close-up at school, I felt embarrassed.
In M.net’s [꽃미남 아롱사태], I was shown to be too much like a model student, always going to the library. [Laughs] In real life, I wasn’t like that. At the time, I was really nervous so I came off a little cold, but a lot of people enjoyed watching so I was glad.
When I shot Frozen Flower, all the hyungs were so tall, I was sad. Even director Yoo Ha was close to 190 cm tall. At first, I asked the wardrobe coordinators to slip in some insoles secretly, but when I saw the movie, it turns out that I’m noticeable because I’m shorter. I decided to think of everything positively.
[Song Joong-ki’s profile height lists him at 178 cm, or roughly 5 foot 10.]
After shooting in an area where the cell phones didn’t work, I became really close with the other actor hyungs. We played games at night, and ate late-night snacks. Even now my hyungs Im Joo-hwan and Yeo Wook-hwan come over and spend the night chatting.
After watching the movie, I was startled at Joo Jin-mo sunbae’s acting. He was really fantastic at acting the emotions throughout, and letting them loose at the end. It was so different from his persona on the set when he’d joke around yelling, “I’m the king!” and it was startling.
Acting-wise, I’d like to follow the example of Lee Seon-kyun sunbae. His voice is wonderful, and he has a very distinct appeal that’s unique to him.
Among actresses, I like Jeon Do-yeon sunbae. I ran into her once at the department store, and without even realizing I was overpowered by her charisma and said, “Hello.” She cracked a smile at that.
Hyungs and noonas tend to treat me well. My secret for that is to absolutely do what the elders tell me. It could be the influence of living since childhood in one house with my great-grandfather and four generations, or maybe it’s because I have a memory of once disobeying my hyung and getting hit. [Laughs] When doing Frozen Flower, the director was looking at the angles and told me to lose some weight, and at the time I didn’t know what he meant by that but seeing the movie, I realized, Ah, I should always listen to whatever the director says. I should have filmed it the way my face looks now! [Laughs]
The words I most want to hear are the same as a person and as an actor: “Song Joong-ki’s a pretty decent kid. He’s a good person.” Then I’m happy.
Originally published February 11, 209
Written by Yoon Hee-sung