Eric, “Similarity with Park Do Kyung? Trauma from disappearances” (Pt 1/3)


It has been 13 years since Eric embarked on the road of acting. But to Eric, even though 10 years have passed, his signature “Do you smell something burning?” line from the 2005 MBC drama Phoenix still follows him around. That’s because that’s the drama that catapulted the actor Eric into stardom. But having played the character of Park Do Kyung in the tvN hit drama Oh Hae Young Again, Eric has now left an impression on the minds of viewers not as Phoenix‘s Seo Jung Min, but as Oh Hae Young Again‘s Park Do Kyung, whose tsundere charms came through with full force with lines like “Something I had lying around”.

In a wrap-up interview on 30th June, Eric said that “it would be great if (the drama) didn’t end. Feeling sad to part, I enjoyed myself with the staff at the wrap-up party until the wee hours, and we hung out together until the 3rd round of drinks.”

Playing the role of audio director Park Do Kyung, Eric’s charms sent hearts racing. Unlike his previous roles of Casanovas and frivolous characters, Park Do Kyung is edgy and gruff, and unable to show his emotions due to a traumatic experience. Instead of lines, he perfectly expresses his emotions through his eyes and expression. Without lines that directly show his emotions, it’s easy for Park Do Kyung to become a two-dimensional character. But with his own charms he has led viewers into a Do Kyung Syndrome.

– Are there any similarities between Park Do Kyung and Eric?

Do Kyung has a trauma from people and things disappearing. Having witnessed in his childhood the sudden death of his father, he saw him disappear right before his eyes. After that, Pretty Oh Hae Young did not turn up at the wedding and disappeared. Thus he’s not easy to get close to, and he can’t express his feelings well.

I entered showbiz at a young age. And when I just got a little closer and comfortable with the manager hyungs, they would disappear (i.e. left the job or got assigned to other singers). Singers that I got more familiar with during promotions would also suddenly disappear. After experiencing that to some extent, I don’t talk to people easily, and I don’t open up easily. These are people who will go away anyway. Other than the members, I don’t get close to anyone, and I don’t really talk to anyone. I’m similar to Do Kyung in that sense.

– But it seems that the cast of this drama got close pretty quickly?

Usually I only become closer with my female co-stars at the wrap-up party. But this time we really hit it off. In the earlier part we didn’t talk about it in case there was a negative effect but we all started out as singers. Young Ji, Hyun Jin, Jae Yoon, Ji Suk, Hoon. In particular Ji Suk learnt rap from me when he was still a trainee. It didn’t feel unfamiliar working with them and there was a good sense of camaraderie.

– Was the atmosphere on the set good?

There were no accidents, and there was a good vibe on the set, and viewership ratings were also encouraging. I’ve experienced accidents on the set, bad atmosphere on the set, and poor viewership ratings. This time round, there were none of these and I was grateful as filming continued. I thought, an environment like this does exist too. It felt like even the universe helped out.

– How many points would you give yourself for your acting in this drama?

70, 80 points out of 100. It’s a character that I’m satisfied with. I didn’t try particularly hard to stand out in any scene. I trusted the directing, the cinematography and the background music so I worked on leaving some space (for those elements to fill in). Working with such a capable team, I mainly followed the director’s cue to maintain my emotions rather than try to explain everything.

– Is there anything that you felt was lacking?

I can’t say that there was anything lacking, but due to my own inadequacies there are scenes where I thought I could have done differently. But I developed a bigger ambition for acting after this project. Through this drama, instead of thinking about how to express every emotion differently, I thought of expressing what is already latently there. I think I was very spurred on by Hyun Jin.


– You said you developed ambition, isn’t there any other genre that you want to try instead of the romcom genre that you’ve been doing? 

I don’t have any particular interest for genre dramas or dramas that require a lot of action. You can’t really detach that from the drama production style in Korea. If I work on projects like that, I can’t show the energy that I usually use in emotional scenes. So I’m still more suited for romcoms and melodramas. I watch a lot of American genre dramas and I watch more of the Korean dramas that focus on emotions. I want to do what I like watching. Of course fans want me to take on genre dramas or a psychopath role, but I’m not too sure about dramas.

– Why do you think fans want that?

Seems like they just like things like this. Haha.

– You mentioned that you learnt a lot from Seo Hyun Jin. What in particular did you learn from her?

In our group chat, we talk about Hyun Jin being a sagikae (originally a gaming term, but also used to describe someone who is outstandingly talented in many ways). There’s nothing she can’t do, and everything works for her. She has a good voice, she dances so her movements are good, and I never realized that she’s this pretty. Maybe it’s thanks to the director’s magic that I come out looking good and Hyun Jin looks really pretty. Looks, popularity, acting, movement, voice – she doesn’t miss anything. Her stamina is really good too. We get barely an hour of sleep and we shot for 5 days in a row, it’s the first time since Super Rookie that this happened for me. Despite that, Do Kyung has fewer lines so I get to catch short naps in between scenes, and I don’t really talk on the set to conserve energy. But Hyun Jin has a lot of lines to memorize and even though she had stayed up overnight for many days, she laughs, takes care of the staff and makes jokes to liven up the mood. It’s the first time I’ve seen an actress like that. I’ve never even seen any actors like this.

Source: Star Daily News

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