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Uhm Tae-woong: Healing through Cyrano
by | September 13, 2010 | 64 Comments

Uhm Tae-woong‘s new movie Cyrano Dating Agency comes out this week, and I am beyond sad that I can’t see it. (Because, seriously? So. Cute.) It also means that he’s in the news a lot these days, doing promo appearances and interviews such as the one below.

“The hurt I received from Seon-deok, I healed with Cyrano.”

Uhm Tae-woong. Is it because the reverberations from Devil are so strong? He’s often played strong characters. But the real Uhm Tae-woong looks more like a playboy. It could be because people saw his merit revealed in Birth of a Family.

That’s the reason that Queen Seon-deok gave Uhm difficulty. With his toughness mixed with his hidden gentleness and his playboyish qualities, he was better suited for the role of Bi-dam than Kim Yu-shin.

Cyrano Dating Agency, which opens on September 16, is an ideal fit for Uhm Tae-woong. In the movie, he plays a man who must set up the woman he loves with another man. He’s a bit of a snob and a bit playboyish, but also harbors his own pain. With Cyrano, it feels like Uhm has put on his own clothes again after a long time.

When did you get the offer for Cyrano?

I got the offer when I was filming Queen Seon-deok and met with director Kim Hyun-seok. I could really sympathize with the character.

You’ve acted a lot of strong characters, from Cell Phone to Chaw and Queen Seon-deok.

To be honest, I had difficulty with previous projects. It wasn’t something I could experience personally, or draw out from myself, which was really tough. That’s why I thought Cyrano would be fun, and there were a lot of parts that were like me. I’ve also had relationships broken up because I was at fault.

You say you’re like the character in that you broke up because of your flaws. Since you were public about your girlfriend, it comes across as a meaningful statement.

Ah, I misspoke. [Laughs] Well, aren’t relationships given up when things become difficult for yourself? In the end, the problem is whether I love myself or the other person more. If I break up with someone I love, isn’t it because I’m immature? That’s why I identified with a lot of the dialogue in this movie. It’s not that you trust someone and therefore fall in love, but that you trust someone because you love them.

Before seeing the movie, I wondered about your story, but it turns out to be very sympathetic.

That’s right. That’s what the director said, that I have a playboy vibe, but that’s where the subtle fun is. Plus, our movie has Daniel Choi as a safety net. [Laughs]

It feels like you’re wearing clothes that fit right for the first time in a while.

It was comfortable and enjoyable. I realized the joy of communicating with the director and in working. As I acted, I felt like I was pretending, and had difficulty when doing Queen Seon-deok. Well, I was also sick and spoke a lot. I think that became like medicine — it was a slump, but after going through that period, I gained even more while doing Cyrano.

Were you envious?

Don’t jealousy and pettiness feed on themselves? [Laughs] After acting calm, you really do become calm. When I was doing Cyrano, it would give me strength and I would wonder at how fun work was. I think I solved poison with poison.

You’ve acted in a lot of projects involving a lot of fighting with opposition. It seems you were free from that in this film.

It’s true that I was tired from all that fighting. The best thing is that I wasn’t able to enter those worlds themselves, but passed through them. That’s what I mean by pretending. This time, as I talked and drank with everyone every day, I understood better what kind of story the director wanted to tell. The director drew me out naturally, and I felt like I entered the world more.

You’ve never had rumors pop up about you and a co-star. Perhaps that means that people felt some distance, but this time we’re hearing that talk quite a bit. You must have been comfortable with Lee Min-jung and Park Shin-hye to talk about marriage* with them.

There was a bit of joking going around about how Uhm constantly suggested getting married to his co-stars. He even says it on camera in the behind-the-scenes video clip posted here.

Why? You never know. [Laughs] That’s a joke. I think I know what you’re saying. You’d think that because I have an older sister, I would be able to act comfortably with women, but actually that’s not the case. I say pointless things and tend to get off-guard. On that point, I think this movie was well-suited for me.

Do you believe in fate, as we see in the movies?

In order to win over my first love, I wanted to show her my vision and enrolled in to the theater department. But she ended up leaving. I was wandering, wondering what to do, when I met the manager I work with now, and then I started acting in earnest. I went to that school to win her, but thinking about it now it’s like I went to meet that friend. I think that’s fate.

It was edited down, but there’s a line of dialogue in the movie about never knowing what life will turn up. It didn’t stick, and it ended up being changed to “blessing in disguise.” Thinking about it now, that applies to me and the movie.

In the past, it seems that you have longed to be the kind of actor with very powerful acting, but you seem to have released that tension this time.

When I started working, I acted with Sol Kyung-gu sunbae. I’d worried a lot at one point, about whether I just didn’t have it, or if it was being blocked and unable to come out. And then, instead of thinking of those burdens, I decided to act with what I had. It wasn’t giving up, but recognizing the truth. I’ll be able to do that kind of acting at some point, but for now I think I’ll have to do what I can do well.

Like in the movies, do you think you have to give up something in order to gain something?

Yes. For instance, even if you want to marry, you have to give up something, which is too bad. In the past I thought I could marry, but now I feel bummed about what I’d have to give up.

Do you remember your first kiss scene?

Of course. I remember the first kiss scene in a music video, in a one-act drama, and in Resurrection. I tend to remember things like that, like what I was wearing when I met my first love. I even remember the scent of the wind on the first day of Cyrano. We were in Myeonmok-dong, and the wind smelled like acacias.

You seem to be riding on the wind of this project.

It has a lot of influence on a person. That also makes me feel uneasy. But the fact that I’ve been able to come this far means I’ve been fortunate, and also that I’ve met a lot of people who know me well.

Via Star News

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64 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Anonymous

    Love this guy.
    Can’t wait for the movie!
    I hope someone will sub it soon :)

    • 1.1 SM

      Most of the time, Korean movies have subtitle after they release in DVD….

  2. Fasiris Fay

    I haven’t seen anything of his, but the movie looks like it should be a lot of fun!

  3. ISELA

    i love this actor its so cool ““

  4. anonymous

    This movie looks like so much fun. I’m looking forward to seeing Cyrano Dating Agency. I wonder when will it become available online with English subtitles?

  5. moana

    sigh . . . can he be more adorable? he’s lost weight since QSD. and are acid wash jeans cool again or does he need a new stylist?

    • 5.1 Laica

      Lol, I had the same thought about the jeans!

  6. oh! tht! chick!

    omg i loooove his story abt how he got into acting soo cute almost a k drama there ahjusshi! ( but the cynic in me almost doubts this too perfect story..down cynic down!!)

    also he kinda sorta is coming across a lil bitter abt his time at QSD…understandable i guess when u are constantly told that ur thunder was stolen by a much younger talented actor…well i dont agree with that..i think ahjusshi was solid…kim nam gil had a crazy ass role and he played it to the hilt…ahjusshi on the other hand had to play the low key guy ( the sageuk sunbae if u will)…plus like i’ve said before he took one for the team after mishil’s departure with the writers having KNG to fill up that void…gah i just feel sad for my poor ahjusshi :( he should be proud of what he did! yushin rang BASAE!!

    hope he finds happier roles to play after cyrano becomes a hit! and ahjusshi has some seriously warped ideas abt love and marriage for a guy who followed a girl into acting school….guess he jus needs the right one to come along before he changes his mind wink wink :P

    • 6.1 Socks

      :-) :-) :-) :-)

  7. Annie

    The writers of Queen Seon-deok did not do justice to his character

  8. Janny

    I have only seen him in Queen Seon Duk and honestly, I really love Kim Yu Shin. Very sown-to-earth character and I think Uhm did extremely well in portraying the calmness and reliability of a loyal general. Though lots of people might be charmed by Bidam, I still prefer Yu Shin till the very end.

  9. eiko

    Uhm is such a cool person! He’s on the right track!!!

  10. 10 Clarisa

    He’s so cute, most especially in the first pic. :-)

    Can’t wait to see the movie, the story’s interesting!

  11. 11 Yoshi

    Yeah, I guess he felt a little bit constrained playing the role of Kim Yushin. After all, it really is hard to play a much-respected and revered historical figure. One could imagine the pressure given to him to deliver and do justice to the role. I never really understood all the giddy, fan-girl ruckus on Bidam. Uhm’s Yushin was noble, steadfast, and one of the most consistent characters in the show.

  12. 12 Socks

    Aww, he’s hurtin’. Glad to see he’s finally landed a role he enjoyed doing. The story about how he went to acting school is LOL-worthy. Very cute! Saranghaeyo Uhm Tae Woong!

  13. 13 leslie

    i hope you will recap this one….

  14. 14 Chocolatetree

    Ahhhh… I really like looking at him; I find him incredibly cute! I especially liked him in “Delightful Girl Chun Hyang” and constantly wished he’ll get the girl. When it became obvious that it wouldn’t happen, (and he’d turned evil) I gave up watching. :(

    BUT NOW I WANT TO WATCH THIS MOVIE.

    Thanks for the translation Javabeans!

  15. 15 peanut butter

    glad to know that cyrano was good for him! gosh, want to watch this now!! i hope the movie does well!

    maybe this is one of those feel good/give you insight into love kinda movies?

  16. 16 diana

    why he sound so bitter during his time as kim yushin?

    what happened actually?

  17. 17 mtoenlob

    Uhm Tae Woong. The man! First seen him in Delightful Girl Chun Hyang and I liked him then. Still like him now. I like him even more as Kim Yushin.

    • 17.1 mems

      “Uhm Tae Woong. The man! First seen him in Delightful Girl Chun Hyang and I liked him then. Still like him now.”

      DITTO.

  18. 18 MARICEL

    I really wanna watch this movie… i love him from the devil and , obviously, i love psh ^^

  19. 19 shiedo

    Impressive interview !!! Not to mention he is indeed very cute ;) I am now a big fan of his :)

  20. 20 Luigi

    Not bitter. I guess, a little bit disappointed that he wasn’t able to fully play Yushin like he expects and wants to. And for an actor who’s really passionate about his work, it’s a bit of a lowdown not to be able to explore and stretch his character muscles in Queen Seon Deok when he knows he should and could. Here’s an excerpt from a previous interview:

    Q: There was some controversy about your character and acting in the beginning. I think you must’ve been worried not only about adjusting to the genre of historical dramas but how you should understand your character Kim Yoo-shin.

    Uhm: I was actually very frustrated when we first started but it’s now what I’m actually most embarrassed about. The moment an actor starts shooting, he has have his mind made up about his character and move according to that thought but there were moments where I wasn’t too sure. They were moments such as when Kim Yoo-shin has to show his weak side and start weeping but that too, it’s because I’m not tactful. Actors need to know how to act even if they don’t understand but for me, if I don’t get my character fully, I just can’t act. That’s when I think I have a long way to go before I become a great actor and that’s why there are some scenes which were frustrating. And I deeply regret not having been more proactive in looking for an answer but I was on such a busy shooting schedule that I didn’t have time to.

    • 20.1 bishbash

      wow, thanks for this excerpt!

      I too, don’t get the fangirl-dom over Bidam. I loved Kim Yushin throughout QSD (ok, I was abit of Ulcheon fan too =X). I thought UTW was real good in his role!

      He’s such a humble person!

      Hwaiting, Uhm Tae Woong!

  21. 21 lovepark

    I absolutely love Uhm Tae-woong. He seems like such a goofy-dorky-awkward person! I mean it in a good way. He has this boyish charm but can pull off charismatic, too (which makes for a killer combination). Glad I can see him in a lighter and quirkier role. I knew he had it in him!

  22. 22 Plucky

    Is this going to have an international release? Ah, darn it! Why do we have to be in another continent? :-)

  23. 23 Dele

    I’m going to go see this, even though there will be no subs. I mean what’s the point of living in Seoul if I don’t take opportunities like this:).

    • 23.1 Essex

      Oh mon dieu! I’m sooo jealous of you. :-)

  24. 24 Tha

    Does he not know that he IS, next to Kang Ji Hwan, my favorite!!!!

  25. 25 loverina1

    My favourite actor, uhm tae woong oppa. I am listening to his song Don’t love me in The devil now. Luv it.

  26. 26 Psyche

    I love Uhm Tae Woong! And I’m really praying they’d show this movie here in the Philippines. I admire all the acting he did for all his shows and he carries his characters very well. I got hooked in him in Queen Seon-Deok because his character was just something beyond this world, someone we rarely find these days — gentleman, trustworthy, patient, and selfless.

    I wished they’d make a series about Kim Yu-Shin and have Uhm play the role again. This time with more bad ass acting.

    I love him playing bad assed characters. :P

  27. 27 Cam

    Ho Ho =) I always admire & LOVE this guy Uhm Tae Woong since I had seen him first in that drama “The Devil”, of course!

    How interesting — He seem very NIIICCCCCEEE!! ^_^

  28. 28 Larissa

    I really like this guy. And I so want to see Cyrano. Looks like a lot of fun.

  29. 29 Porcelain

    Aww… he is such a cutie… something really endearing with the way he smiles and his eye-smile is so cute… Creasy but cute!

    I guess acting is therapeutic… and is good to know how he found release after such a heavy but restricted role in Queen Seon Duk…

    That aside, I think this movie is ablaze, starring all 4 actors/actresses that had just came off all very individual successful dramas recently…

    And the cast member were also in the variety prog.. Come To Play, hardly understanding much but the interaction between them and the MC, Yoo Jae Suk & Kim Won Hee is so adorable and my bb from Suju as well… hahahaha

  30. 30 Keylye

    Thanks so much for the interview! I love Uhm Tae Woong and I’m so glad he enjoyed filming Cyrano Agency. I look forward to seeing it. ^_^

  31. 31 UhmTW fan

    watching The Devil now. He acted as the tough cop. He is so good looking. I love how he can arch his eye. He seems to enjoy his bachelorhood. wonder when he will get hitch.

    • 31.1 Keira

      LOL! Not too soon I hope. I’ll cry me a river when that happens! :-)

  32. 32 Misa

    Aw, this interview is so pure win. He’s such a charmer. To remember such tiny details like the first scent on filming , that’s just adorable.

  33. 33 kiju

    OMG,i had a huge crush on this ahjushi in my sassy girl chunhyang,go go taewoong oppa,we ll always support you

  34. 34 Shima

    This was a really intriguing interview. The more I read about Cyrano the more I really want to see this movie–but I guess we’ll have to wait until the DVD release. T_T Nevertheless, it is interesting to see an actor so grounded and aware of his limitations–that is immediately appealing to me. He may not be the best of the best, but he’s trying his hardest to be good at what works for him. That’s really neat.

  35. 35 khaytee

    Loved him from the first time i saw him in Sassy Girl Chunhyang but liked him best in Resurrection. Really look forward to seeing him in this movie. Hope it will be a box-office hit

  36. 36 Gina

    I love this guy. He’s one of the best.
    Good luck with his new project. I really can’t wait to see him more.

  37. 37 Rae

    Hmmm… I wonder whom he ends up with in this movie? :-) The Koreans are celebrating their Thanksgiving this week. Happy Chuseok, Uhm Tae-woong!

  38. 38 beggar1015

    I know I’ll get flamed for this but I’m just expressing my own opinion. But I didn’t think UTW did a very good job as Yushin. Even before KNG arrived and showed everybody how it’s done, I though UTW was too wooden in his acting. If it was the fault of the writers for not giving Yushin much emotional range, UTW could have done something to take the role and make it his own, but he didn’t.

    And Tae Woong as Bidam? No. No. Not in a million years. No. N.O.

    • 38.1 LoveGFJB

      Totally Agree..
      KNG clearly stole the limelight from UTW in QSD. I don’t think any actor could play the role the way he did…

      Its not that the writing is the only thing to blame. UTW did not play his role to the hilt, hence I could have any connection to his character.

      *no offense :) *

      • 38.1.1 Rae

        I would have to disagree, buddy. First off, Uhm Tae Woong wasn’t given that much freedom to explore Yushin’s character and stretch his acting abilities in Queen Seon Deok. You have to understand that Kim Yushin isn’t just some ancient Asian general. He is a one of the most revered and respected historical figures in Korean History whose ultimate legacy is Silla’s independence from the Tang Dynasty, eventually leading to the unification of the Korean peninsula. He is the focus of numerous stories, songs, and legends. Hence, the writers were quite cautious to “tweak” Yushin’s character. This isn’t America we’re talking about; where like, anyone can produce JFK’s biopic anytime they want to and have the ultimate freedom to show which side or personality of the president they’d like to show. THIS IS KOREA — a nation which holds and treasures its culture, tradition, and history in the highest regard. Bidam IS NOT a historical figure so Kim Nam Gil was able to pull off a Johnny Depp and burst into his character-actor shell with all the gusto he wants while poor UTW has to be constrained to his role as the loyal and dependable general the Koreans esteem Yushin to be. Similarly, if you have read in the previous posts, UTW admitted in an interview that he was frustrated with Queen Seon Deok because he WAS NOT given the oppurtunity to be as versatile as he wanted to. So c’mon guys, give UTW a break and for Pete’s sake, stop STOP comparing him to KNG. Just my two cents worth. Peace! :-)

        • 38.1.1.1 JB

          Well said Rae. I also wish that people would stop all this Yushin vs Bidam juvenile nonsense. UTW and KNG are friends so there’s no need to have them “fight” against each other just to prove who’s better. UTW has moved on and I wish him more projects and success in the future!

          • 38.1.1.1.1 Stephanie

            Yeah, it’s good that he’s finally moving on. He’s really cute when he does comedies. :-)

        • 38.1.1.2 JB

          :-) :-) :-)

        • 38.1.1.3 griddin

          interesting and insightful defense, rae. very well-put!

  39. 39 Ark

    For some reason I can’t stand this guy maybe it’s just because I’d heard he was a good actor but in QSD which I happened to like but his acting left me thinking “this is good?”…maybe if I watch one of his better drama’s my opinion will change. Any suggestions?

    • 39.1 beggar1015

      I admit that QSD is the only drama of UTW’s I’ve seen. Perhaps in his other, older stuff (Um, I think one is called The Devil) he might blow me away. I’m just saying in this particular series, he was less than thrilling. AND I understand Kim Yushin is a sacred historical figure that shouldn’t be messed around with, but c’mon, the guy was human after all. I’m sure he had more than one facial expression, which is all I got from Tae Woong.

      Boy, I’m gonna get flamed.

      • 39.1.1 Gumiho

        Hahaha! Oh well… :-)

      • 39.1.2 lee

        LOL! come on, people… in the spirit of chuseok, let’s end this flame war. why don’t w’all just sit back and enjoy UTW’s light-hearted comedy. will wait patiently for the DVD. spread the love! :-)

      • 39.1.3 beggar1015

        I’ve returned to say I’ve started watching UTW’s old drama The Devil. It seems intriguing so far, and look! Tae Woong has more than one facial expression. (Although now I wish he’d stop shoving his hands into his pants pockets. Stop it! Stop it, I say!)

        And there’s Shin Min Ah. I keep expecting her to say she loves meat so so so so so so so so much. MGiaG has warped me.

        But back to the point. I’m liking the mystery so far and Tae Woong is doing a decent enough job acting in this role, so there may be some hope for him yet.

  40. 40 haniya

    i love uhm tae woong,hope to see his movie cyrano.its a fun and entertaining.love u uhm tae woon,im your avin fan.

  41. 41 Justine

    This movie sure looks sweet. :-) Cast: charming and delightful! Love, love everyone’s clothes! Hopefully, the DVD comes out in two to three months. Can’t wait!

  42. 42 muggsy

    read that he’s gonna be in dr. champ? is it a drama/movie? what’s it about?

  43. 43 Yoshi

    It’s some sort of House/sports drama mash-up. He plays an orthopedic doctor. You can actually search this site for more information on Dr. Champ.

  44. 44 spambler547

    60th post!!!!

    • 44.1 Yoshi

      Ugh, c’mon… Really???

  45. 45 Jamie1227

    Have a healthy and happy Chulseok, Uhm Tae Woong! Really looking forward to this movie! ;-)

    • 45.1 coochxyz

      ;-) Happy Chuseok!:-)

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