Interview with actor Yeo Jin-goo
My name is Yeo Jin-goo. My name means the nine treasures and when I asked my mom why not ten, she said I should live my life looking for the last one.
I was born on August 13, 1997. I will be 14 years old and I am in seventh grade just like my character Gang-mo in SBS TV series “Giant.”
I have a brother who is five years younger than me. He doesn’t do it in front of me but when he’s in front of his friends he boasts about me to them. However, he’s not envious of me because I act or come out on TV. When I ask him if he wants to act he would say no, no, no. He is a lot more bashful than I am.
There is a scene in “Giant” where I hit So-tae’s (played by Seo Ji-won) head with a coal briquette and before filming we practiced it a couple of times by me pretending to hit his head. Even the martial arts team members were saying we shouldn’t get hurt so they told us that it’s all about striking at the right timing. We had to do several takes because I would hit him on the side of his head instead of hitting him on the back of his head when he turns around. We kept on repeating the process of smashing the briquette, dusting it off and Ji-won would rest. And because he was hit not once but several times Ji-won wouldn’t turn around naturally and would dodge the briquette. Eventually, we got in trouble by the camera director.
From all the child actor roles that I’ve played the actor that I mostly want to become like…speaking with my hand on my chest, I really wanted to become like Zo In-sung from “A Frozen Flower” but after I met him he was different from what I had imagined him to be. When I grow up I want to be like actor Lee Beom-soo from “Giant.”
I’m about 162 centimeters tall. My goal is to be 184 centimeters. I’m drinking at least 1000 to 2000 mililiters of milk to grow. I also try to jump higher when I jump rope instead of counting, play basketball instead of soccer and work on my jump shot rather than my dribbling skills.
I don’t know if it’s because I swim but the lower half of my body is seriously thicker. I learned [how to swim] for about two years when I was younger and it helped a lot when I was working underwater for SBS’ “Swallow the Sun.”
I would like to learn to play an instrument to help with my acting skills. I want to play the piano, drum or guitar. I have always tried to learn how to play the piano properly but whenever I am about to, I’ll have a new role and when that’s over and I try to learn it again, I’ll have another role. So I have not learned to play the piano yet. There is a scene in “Giant” where Jung-yeon (played by Nam Ji-hyun) is actually playing the piano and you can’t see her fingers because she’s playing so fast.
I get dizzy whenever I play computer games so I just like to kick around a ball with my friends. When I was in elementary school we didn’t have a basketball rim so we mostly played soccer. Since entering middle school, I’ve been playing a lot of basketball with my friends because we have a basketball rim. And I try to keep in mind that I have to grow so I’m supposed to shoot a lot but once I start playing the actual game, I only dribble. All the tall kids stand under the rim and most of the smaller kids like me try to steal and pass the ball. But when I miss a shot after having thrown off other players by dribbling, the taller kids say “Hey, why didn’t you pass it?” and I walk away saying sorry. (laugh)
I think middle school is more fun than elementary school. In elementary school you are only taught by one teacher but in middle school you have classes with different teachers. It’s fun because you have classmates from various elementary schools. We are a coed class but we’re comfortable around each other so much that it’s like we’re at an all-boys middle school. Sometimes I think the girls are cooler. For guys when someone accidently hits them, they would hit the person back, but for girls they would just walk away saying “Don’t do that next time.” They’re cool.
I have to constantly study on set because it’s not easy to keep up with my studies. I ask my friends to get me copies of the work that the teacher passes out during class. And when I go to school there will be piles of paper inside my desk. My friends would linger around me even after I thank them. At first I didn’t know why they did that but I found out they wanted something in return. So after class I sometimes buy them snacks like bread or ice cream.
My mom gives me my allowance whenever I need money. I secretly ask my grandparents for allowance but they tell me to go and ask my mom. When I get lucky he’ll give me maybe 5,000 won?
The very first thing that I want to do as a grown-up is to get my driver’s license. Whenever I go back and forth from the set, my mom seems so tired — she’s always fighting against the urge to fall asleep while driving. After I get my license, my mom could stay home and rest while I can drive around with my manager. I don’t have a specific kind of car that I want to drive yet. And when I see a cool car, I just get jealous instead of thinking I want to be able to drive it. I think cars like the lamborghini is cool. I didn’t know it before, but it’s very expensive. I looked up the price online and was surprised to see it, thinking “Wow, I have to make a lot of money.”
The military…It’ll probably still exist even when I get older, right? Ah…I know I have to go. Even if I have to go I would enlist to serve full-time and for the Army for two years.
Reporter : Wee Geun-woo eight@
Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@
Editor : Lucia Hong luciahong@, Jang Kyung-Jin three@