Eric, “Surviving means you’ve won… I want to continue as Shinhwa and as an actor” (Pt 2/3)

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Eric responds to our endless questions without hesitation, and he understands the character of Park Do Kyung more than anyone else. When we bring up questions that viewers are likely to have, he explains to us the Park Do Kyung that he understands. Even so, for the viewers who love the drama, he is careful not to shut down the various analysis and theories.

Because of his personal understanding and study of the character, Park Do Kyung seems to have shown viewers a new side of Eric as an actor.

Throughout the interview, he seems like a happy person because of the drama. He has endless praise for his co-stars, and naturally shares some interesting episodes that happened amongst them. He also shares details about the director and the staff. Even to Eric, who has worked on more than 10 projects over the long 13 years, this drama seems to be different.

– The viewers of the drama are mainly in their 20s-30s. Many Shinhwa fans are also in their 20s-30s. How does it feel to have your once-young fans grow to become the main viewer demographic of the drama?

It’s not particularly defined. Oh Hae Young Again is a drama that can be watched by the younger viewers right up to their parents’ generation. My mother’s friends also became big fans. I was wondering when I’d have a drama that could appeal to people across all ages.  I thought it’d be great to have a work like that. When I first received the script, having done romance plots all the way I was thinking how different can this story be, and then I saw the part of Hae Young’s family. A family storyline that’s similar to the Reply series. I thought it’d be great if that came across on screen like how it did in the script. Kim Mi Kyung sunbaenim, Lee Han Wi sunbaenim delivered way above what the script asked for.

– What are the parts in the drama that you could identify with? 

To pick a most talked-about scene, that would be the scene where Do Kyung crashes Han Tae Jin’s car. In the case of this scene, Park Do Kyung is 99.9% a jerk here. From the moral and ethical point of view, Park Do Kyung is wrong. But the question here is would you rather be a good person to a few people, or be perfectly on the side on the person you love? Do Kyung knew of his impending death but puts his life on the line to love Hae Young. I could identify because I understand that he crashed into Han Tae Jin’s car for hurting Hae Young as he’s taking Hae Young’s side.

– Who’s more impressive in a relationship, Eric or Park Do Kyung?

I think we’re about the same. No, Park Do Kyung is cooler.

– Park Do Kyung is prickly and gruff, are you the same when you’re in a relationship?

More so than being gruff in a relationship, he can’t help but to become that way, to protect himself, to push someone away. I’m not this prickly in a relationship. Do Kyung had reasons to be that way.

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–  How is Eric’s personality like in real life? 

I become 4-dimensional when the members are around. When I’m alone, I tend to be shy around people I’m not familiar with and I tend to be wary. I’m careful because I don’t want to make mistakes. My personality is a result of my years in showbiz. Despite that, because I’m perfectly comfortable with the members I really act up around them.

– There are quite a lot of differing views on the ending.

It was necessary to have the accident scene so that the story doesn’t become completely groundless. Do Kyung opened up his heart and explicitly expressed his feelings, and thus his relationship with Hae Young could develop. But the rule is that accidents in life cannot be smoothed over. It was fortunate that Tae Jin changed his mind and stopped the car, but because he had a vision of getting knocked down by a car, he had to be knocked down by a car at some point or another. As I read the final script I worried about whether the accident was going to happen. With about 3 pages to go, it appeared. It was a satisfying piece of work. Also, I liked the scene where Do Kyung’s mother sensed that he wasn’t well. Mothers are mothers after all. I liked the emergency room scene too. Do Kyung had an accident and things could turn out badly, but everyone naturally assumed that he was going to live and just bustling around. I really liked that.

– Are you happy with the ending? 

Honestly I have thoughts about having the male lead killed off. Isn’t it cool to have him die? That was what I thought in the earlier part. But when it came down to it, Hae Young was already crying all the way from episode 1 to the end, how much more would she cry if he really died. Viewers were also watching it with a positive mind so we didn’t really have to go that way… Not that we changed the plot, we just went ahead with the original plan. I’m happy with it.

– Did the Shinhwa members say anything? 

They said Hyun Jin is very pretty, and Ji Won nuna is very interesting. They usually find instances where I act cool so that they could make fun of me, but this time I didn’t do much of that so the members were quite disappointed.

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– Is there a character that you would really like to take on next?

More so than that, I’d like to work in an environment that’s as great as this.

– Having been active for so long, don’t you ever think about wanting to show people more of what you’ve got?

Do I have to show anything? I don’t really think much about this. Shinhwa is Shinhwa, acting is acting. Just like one of my lines, ‘Even if you’re covered in blood, just live. Surviving means you’ve won.” It’s like that as Shinhwa, and the same as an actor, I want to continue to be active with good projects. I don’t think of getting the kind of fame I had during Phoenix. But I’m happier with what I have now than the spotlight I received back then. It wasn’t a character that was compelling. There was also criticisms about my acting, and even as a secondary lead there were many areas that could have been done better. But I’m really happy that in this drama, there isn’t really anything that I can say could have been done better.

– How was it playing a character that does Foley work?

I haven’t seen anyone else other than Yoo Ji Tae in One Fine Spring Day. I was given that to watch as background material but it was really vivid and interesting. I went to an actual audio director’s studio and learnt with the Foley team. The audio director on the set also gave me some training. I liked it that it wasn’t a case where the male lead’s job is just for show, and that when he’s working, it fits into the story.

Source: Star News Daily

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