Go Soo – the heartthrob of Will It Snow at Christmas? (but also known for plenty of dramas before) – sat for an interview with asiae for his new film “Haunters,” where he goes up against psychic Kang Dong Won. The following is an excerpt of that interview.
10: You seem to have used your body a lot for film “Haunters.”
Ko Soo: I do think I had to move a lot compared to Gang Dong-won.
10: You even had to fight with the many people that Gang’s character controls in the movie.
Ko Soo: But it seems that you have to have a hard time with what you’re doing to feel that you’ve actually done something. (laugh) I had a tough time, having to sweat and run around but my character Kyu-nam is someone who recovers very quickly. This scar here too [points to scar near eye], the doctor had originally said it would have to be treated for three weeks. The cut was so deep that you could see my bone. And it was totally red at first, then turned blue the next day and slowly moved down. But I went back into shoot just a week later.
10: You couldn’t move around the shooting schedule?
Ko Soo: There was a set schedule and we were in a hurry. We had to [shoot] to keep everyone happy including the producer.
10: But you’re body is precious as well.
Ko Soo: It is precious. (laugh) It’s precious but a lot of people were working with me. And of course everyone would understand but it’s a situation that could become easier for everyone with just me being just a bit more diligent. I think it’s right that I bear with the situation. I don’t like getting in other people’s ways.
10: Well that’s easy to say but not everyone can act upon it. That’s why it’s difficult to think of you as anyone else than the honest and right-minded actor that you have portrayed in your roles. In this movie as well, your Kyu-nam faces an opponent with a ridiculous amount of strength to do what is right.
Ko Soo: I don’t think Kyu-nam will know the meaning of words such as justice because he has learned so little that he could be called stupid. It’s just it makes him angry to see the people he loves suffer.
10: And do you like that about him?
Ko Soo: I do like that about him. He doesn’t want to change, win or gain anything. He’s very simple-minded. He’s happy with the fact that he can eat and live as he does in his current state. He thanks the sunlight when he sees the sun and that he can hope to find warmth when the day is cold.
10: But in the entertainment business, having the desire to reach higher can’t always be a bad thing.
Ko Soo: I think I just try to be natural. When I look at myself, I think I just want to do what I want to at that moment and live the way I am, rather than striving to achieve something huge. I’m not the type that does things on purpose. Just naturally, going with the flow. (laugh) I don’t need to get anything in particular on purpose. If I want something, I’ll think ‘I want it’ but think that I’ll get it one day rather than trying to get it right away.
10: Well when it comes to both Kyu-nam and simplicity, it’s about protecting what you already have rather than trying to achieve something new. It there anything by any chance that you don’t want to lose?
Ko Soo: Hmm, health? I don’t like being in pain. Whether you have a disease or have a cut on your finger, they all hurt. And of course, I haven’t ever been seriously ill before but I’ve been in pain here and there. It’s not good to be in pain.
10: Then why did you not take better care of your body when you so hate being in pain?
Ko Soo: You can’t really feel it then. And when I’m working, I absorb myself into my role, thinking I’m not myself anymore. That my character is in pain, not me.
10: Since when did you establish such a mindset for acting?
Ko Soo: It’s not something I thought of separately. It’s just how I’ve come to work. Actors think a lot about roles they have been set to play — from the moment they wake up till when they fall asleep at night — so I think you naturally become closer to your character and drift away from your own life. You don’t transform immediately but rather naturally.
10: And do you eventually become your character after going through such gradual change?
Ko Soo: I try to but I don’t think I can become my character 100 percent. I always want to and hope for it endlessly but 100 percent is hard to achieve.
10: Is that why you sometimes choose characters that are similar to your own self?
Ko Soo: I think it would be correct to say that my character becomes similar to me rather than me looking for a character that resembles me because we’re based on the same factors such as looks, way of speech and tone, so I guess it would be impossible to be completely different.
10: There definitely is that sort of consistency to your characters. And that’s why it’s difficult to imagine you playing a mean role.
Ko Soo: Whether it be meanness or pureness, I think they all arise from the situation the character is put in. If he was in a situation where he had to be mean, he would look so anyways, even if he didn’t put on a nasty expression.
10: But we haven’t seen such acting from you yet. Do you maybe not want to try your hand at such roles?
Ko Soo: I do want to as an actor but it’s not that important for me. If I wanted to express such things, it could show in my work in a ridiculous way but what’s important for me is the script I have right now. I can play mean roles when I’m handed them or I’m put in a situation too. But what’s in my hands now is what’s important for me.
10: In that sense, your role as Cha Kang-jin in “Will It Snow for Christmas” was interesting, not because your character was mean but that it was different. He was also very different from Jae-soo in SBS TV series “Piano,” with a cold side to him. And he’s righteous yet not kind-hearted. The Yohan you played in movie “White Knight” was interesting as well in the sense that you were a murderer who loves only one woman.
Ko Soo: I think I study into roles time to time when the need arises. And I read quite a large number of scripts. Cha Kang-jin had a dead-on personality. He an architect which is a job that needs precision, with things such as numbers, balance and mathematical calculations. In the same way, I felt that in “White Knight,” I wasn’t trying to go as far as making people forgive Yohan but that I should justify why he was murdering people. It would become difficult for the audience to understand Yohan if he committed murders fanatically so I took that into consideration while playing the part. But I don’t know if I did a good job of it. I feel like I could do a better job now…
10: Are you ambitious about training your body and soul?
Ko Soo: I used to be. But now, not really… (laugh) I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it’s so hard. Because I try really hard once I start. So my body will be in pain while I also need to work. I’m an actor, not a martial arts person or athlete. So I decided to concentrate on acting.
10: But do you still want to maintain a healthy body and soul?
Ko Soo: I always want that. Through acting, I’ve come to realize that the body is very important. It’s important to stay at zero, to not overdo it or underdo it. So that I can gain and lose weight whenever I need to.
10: So you want that ultimately for your life as an actor?
Ko Soo: It is but I think I live a controlled life because I act. That’s why I think this is good. I’m grateful. I could’ve become extremely lazy and loose if I hadn’t become an actor.
10: Don’t you ever want to break away from everything?
Ko Soo: I heard recently that people are usually consistent in their dreams, goals and tastes but for actors, they change everytime they play a new role. That people usually live with their own mind but that fluctuates a lot for actors. I think that’s why we don’t think of deviation.
10: Then aren’t there times you want to take a break from work?
Ko Soo: Of course there are. But I think I’ve been on enough breaks. I rested for about three to four years while serving in the army so it may be because of that but I now want to do a lot of things like acting, working and creating.