Celebrity News
Yoo Seung-ho and his image ruination for Kim Seon-dal
by | June 28, 2016 | 31 Comments

His latest role, a brash swindler in historical film Kim Seon-dal, marks a departure for Yoo Seung-ho (22) from his usual melodramatic projects, and his playful, puppy-like side came out during the round interviews held last week to promote the movie. Yoo debuted in 2002 at eight years old in the widely acclaimed film The Way Home, and since then, he’s produced a steady stream of tragic and tearjerking work. He’s so good at those types of characters (His eyes! They’re like deep pools of emotion!), and while he can wrench hearts like nobody’s business, it’s refreshing to see him go out of his comfort zone and attack a comedic role with gusto.

In Kim Seon-dal, Yoo’s titular character is a legendary crook—one who manages to swindle the king and pull off the biggest fraud of them all: selling the ownerless Daedong River. It’s actually his second consecutive movie set in the Joseon era, and he talked about choosing Kim Seon-dal to follow up last December’s Joseon Magician.

“Yes, [Kim Seon-dal] is a comedy, but this is the first time I’ve read [a script] and laughed aloud to myself.” Yoo continued, “The number one reason why I chose this script was because it was fun.

“You could say that I desire to do projects I’m attracted to. I was in four projects last year, and it wasn’t because of any particular reason. It’s just that I selected a joyful project, a fun project, anything that piqued my interest—and I found myself with overlapping projects in some instances. It’s just a coincidence that I chose two films that were set in the same time period.”

He was indeed busy last year, filming both movies, as well as headlining dramas Imaginary Cat and Remember—Son’s War. Yoo was eager to get back to work after fulfilling mandatory military service.

“After being discharged, I was so excited to be a civilian again, I took project after project.” He explained, “When I was in the army, I felt dejected watching my twenty-something peers acting and would say to myself, ‘I can do that, too! I used to do that!’ I think that’s why I immersed myself in so many jobs.”

Asked what sorts of genres he’d like to try, Yoo replied, “I can’t do it all right now, but I dislike ambiguity. It’s all or nothing. If I’m going to count, I’m going to count to exactly three. If I’m going to emote, I really want to do projects that will cause rivers of tears.

“In my late twenties, I think there will be even more projects available to me than there are now. I’d like to try a lot of action, I’d like to try a comedy where you belly-laugh from start to finish, I want to try a heartwrenching story—those with really strong emotions or that really wring tears. I personally am not a big fan of love stories.

“I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve not experienced it, but I have a hard time empathizing with love stories. I get the sense that [at certain points] I should be fairly sad, but I can’t empathize with the details. I’ve based kiss scenes off of the ones I’ve seen on TV, did I do OK?” He elicited laughs from the press.

Yoo’s played a lot of serious characters, but he opined on why he selected a comedy this time. “It’s not that I wanted to get rid of my serious image or anything like that. I personally like subdued and melancholy projects. I like them dark, depressing, and gloomy. Just because I like those feelings doesn’t mean I only want to do projects with that kind of vibe. Up until now, and I’m not sure why, I only got offers for those types of projects.”

Yoo went on, “But when I received an offer for a comedy film, I thought it would be a challenge for me, and a collaboration with the director, producers and staff. I think it was a challenge for us all. If you only do depressing works, you start to appear sad. Haha. ‘I can do a bright and cheerful role that fits my age, too!’ is what I wanted to show.

“After experiencing a comedy, it was better than I thought. We shot it last summer, and I realized it makes me happy to make others laugh. I’ve become greedier about ruining myself. I don’t know when it’ll be, but I’m totally happy to let myself go [for a role] even further. I’ve become more confident,” Yoo said with a broad smile. (And hooray, we may see him in another comedy soon.)

Asked about what he does in his spare time, Yoo responded, “I don’t have any celebrity friends, and I still hang out with my middle school buddies. Everyone thinks we stay up late drinking, but my friends and I can’t tolerate alcohol well. Even we think we play quite wholesomely.

“We’ll start out drinking coffee and then head over to a PC-room, spend about four hours there, eat dinner, and then go back to the PC-room until about 2AM. We do hang out until late but we’re not really doing anything exciting.”

The press wanted to know if he is funny in real life: “I try to be funny but there are some people who just aren’t. I’m one of those.” He laughed. “I’ve become more confident about humor but I’m still not funny,” he said honestly, and jokingly continued, “My mother laughs for me. Because she’s on my side.” We are too, Seung-ho-ya, we are too!

Kim Seon-dal hits theaters July 6.

Via Herald 1, 2, 3, Joongang, Joy News 24


31 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lulu

    Awww! He’s got the most adorable smile! Seeing his smile just makes me happy! >_< Can't wait for his next project!

  2. mary

    He’s so cute!

    I’m glad to hear he’s also into comedy because I was starting to associate his face with pain and tears. Dunno if I’ll ever be able to watch Kim Seon-dal, so I hope Man Living In Our House pushes through.

  3. Mohammed

    I like how honest he is about his personal life, his friends and dont care about having an image of fast celebrity lifestyle.

    “After experiencing a comedy, it was better than I thought. We shot it last summer, and I realized it makes me happy to make others laugh. I’ve become greedier about ruining myself.”

    This sounds good, he is too promising actor to only do melodramas. Also every K-drama star dont have to do rom-coms. I hope to see him in comedies and how he can do action roles.

  4. FrabbyCrabsis

    I’m still crying for Harry Borrison. He’s definitely good at what he does.

    • 4.1 Miky

      Tell me,i rooted for him soo much and even hated the leads….Might be minority but hated the heroine way of tossing him away and those 14 years of their life together for a youth romance she had in some months or less….They really made his character soo pitiful

      • 4.1.1 missDVM


        I know what you mean. I felt such immense pity for Harry. Up until the very end whenever he was still reaching out for…her? someone? I cried buckets of tears.

        However, it was the scene in the car after he was SHOT IN HIS BAD LEG (*Oh. My. GOD. Seriously, SHOW?!* How. COULD You?!) that was the emotional end of me. Yoo Seung Ho brought such tragic sadness to that role.

        • Siham

          I totally agree. I mean wat was she thinking…I don’t remember me being very sad like I was when seeing that drama, I nearly broke my Mac.

    • 4.2 korfan

      Oh my goodness, Harry Borrison. ….. Yoo Seung-ho was fantastic in that role.

  5. Miky

    Can’t wait to see the movie,the teasers we’ve got were gold…and please Seung Ho do a comedy drama next!!!!also i somehow want him to do a fun role as a sweindler or the likes on a drama as well,no more gloomy roles for a bit,can’t take the river of cry seeing his characters end up suffering in the end always..Also,i’m greedy and i do hope sometimes he’ll do a romance..with the right sceneario and cast he cand pull it off without a doubt

  6. Chiisan

    Wait, did Yoo Seungho just say he needed to experience love to sympathize with his melo character? I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!!!!!

    • 6.1 Tara S

      I laughed so much when I read this. Your selfless action will be remembered always chiisaniss.

      • 6.1.1 Jinnamon

        It’s honestly such a good cause

      • 6.1.2 missDVM

        May the odds ever be in your (our?!) favor!!


  7. phuong

    i wish more actors went to the army in their early twenties. first of all, korean netizens and the public will love them (unless they’re doing public or police service). second of all, actors tend to hit it big in their late twenties. why would they want to enlist just as they were getting bigger and bigger? plus it’d be embarrassing to be older than soldiers who are your seniors, given the strict junior-senior relationship in korean culture.

    • 7.1 Iris

      God I honestly don’t know how it happened-maybe because I was scrolling down too fast- but I misread your first sentence as ‘I wish more actors went to mary in their early twenties’!
      And I didn’t even realize that I was just nodding along and thinking you were right! Hahaha. xP

      • 7.1.1 OmegaWau

        I’m sure mary would appreciate all the young actors at her door.

      • 7.1.2 mary


        Our talent agency takes ajusshis too!

    • 7.2 bd5

      Credit him and others who actually serve in the military (esp. if it is the ROK marines) – unlike Rain, etc.

  8. Shf

    Does anyone know whom the actress who played the grandma in the movie THE ROAD HOME is? That is one of my favorite movies. I’ve been so curious about the actress.

    • 8.1 Miky

      U mean Kim Eul-Boon?I’ve read that she debuted as an actress at the age of 78 in the movie mentioned..the Director himself made a casting to find the right person for the role who will make him remember his grandmother

      found this talking with the director about the movie and also mentioning Kim Eul Boon so might be a nice read

    • 8.2 fan

      I watched The way home in a theater in Seoul (I happened to be in Korea that time -I only watched two movies in Theater in Seoul, the other being ‘Friend’ with Jang Dong-gun. Sad thing is that I still remember him as a temper-throwing boy when I see YSH. lol.

  9. Arhazivory

    He’s such an adorable child….erm….young man. He’s like a breath of fresh air.

  10. 10 Rieve

    Him being this old and and long in entertainment industry since he was a kid hasn’t experienced love and didn’t have any celebrity friends? Hmm… can’t believe it

    • 10.1 Mohammed

      Why cant you believe that a famous star is a normal guy in his early 20s hanging out with his friends. Going to PC room with the friends is very south Korean thing they are online gaming nr.1 country in the world.

      He is 22-23 years old you think he fell in love for real as 17 year old? That happens only in Kdrama and he didnt say anything about not having many temporary girlfriends in because of his male lead looks, fame 😉

      Friends you can trust or celebrity friends in cutthroat industry hm….

  11. 11 mandelbrotr

    “. . . head over to a PC-room, spend about four hours there, eat dinner, and then go back to the PC-room until about 2AM.” Well it’s no wonder he needs to rely on tv to know about kissing 😛

    • 11.1 Mohammed

      Prolly PC room is a good place to avoid messy sexual scandals after partying too much like Yoochun and many others 😉

    • 11.2 fan

      That reminds me – who was that idol who said he practiced kissing (for acting) on his hands.

      • 11.2.1 Kiara

        That would be my oppa, Lee Junki lol. He didn’t look like he needs practice after Scholar.

  12. 12 noonaloveschimchim

    My ideal man, really <3

  13. 13 Peppa

    I saw a teaser of the film in KBS and it was so hilarious. Waaaah… Yoo Seung hon totally fits the role of a swindler.😏

  14. 14 olars

    Wow, uri yoo, I really do love dat guy, such a lovely smile, am sure u good in everything, in any role. Cus your fans will always be there for you, so dont worry about anything just keep smiling, cus me I will always chear you up. Yooshi fighting…. Sarangea

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