[Interview] Ha Seok Jin Takes Responsibility for His New Decade
Have you ever met a person whose wrinkles actually compliment his face? These days ‘baby faces’ have become another standard for beauty, but sometimes the wrinkles add up one by one to make a person even more beautiful than before. That is why we have to take responsibility for the slow changes which appear on our faces as we grow older.
Actor Ha Seok Jin is concerned about such things these days. He was born in 1982, which makes him 30 years old this year, and he wants to build a new decade for his 30s completely different from his playful 20s.
He doesn’t need to be too serious about it. It’s just a change in one digit from 2 to 3. But he still wants to differ from his 20s, in which he cared so much about decorating himself, spending his money, purchasing cars and meeting women. It’s probably because he suddenly saw he was standing in the middle of a great flurry of confusion.
“Now I’m taking responsibility. That’s probably why I keep brainwashing myself with my age. In the beginning of the year I drank a lot and loafed around without any plans for the future, but now it’s time to shed the torn jeans. My heart is heavy with all these concerns, but it’s time I had those.”
The mischievous and boisterous boy was slowly becoming an adult - no - he was encouraging himself to become an adult. His age of 30 came to him with a great meaning.
“In other countries you’re already independent [from your family] near the age of 20. Korea keeps you in an uncertain status until you get a job and get married. But I started working at age 23, 24 and lived my years as someone halfway between a student and a worker. I want to end that starting from age 30. I want to prepare for my 30s as an independent man. So I guess it’s a time for preparation to become an adult? (Laugh).”
The character he recently took up goes well with who he is now. He was cast in the new SBS drama If Tomorrow Comes as the manly and diligent man Young Gyun, who comes from a common family but is happy with a glass of beer and some chicken, and knows how to treasure small things.
“There are a lot of people around me who are similar to me in many ways including thoughts. In the past I would’ve tried to stand out and exaggerate, but now I can feel the weight on me as the leading role, and I want to lead the 50 episode piece well to its end."
"If you think about it, it’s already been seven years since I made my debut, but I haven’t been able to settle down in acting or in a certain position. There are many juniors who are jealous of me, but when I look back I can see I was just a child who was floating on air. After I started to feel that, I felt somewhat embarrassed, too.”
He was preparing himself to become an actor who was responsible for his age. Because of that, he was very serious toward his acting and his life.
“I’ve left behind the ambition to be successful as an actor or to reach the top. I’ll just become an actor who enjoys being at the set and acts with sincerity, so that those emotions will reach the viewers. Now I need to concentrate on the 50 episode long If Tomorrow Comes. Because it has my name at the very front, I will see it through to the end so that I will become a responsible actor, and an actor who you’ll want to cast again.”
Time taught Ha Seok Jin what the deep wrinkles on his face meant, and now, is preparing, in every minute, to become a better man, rather than just another guy.
Photo credit: Kim Byung Gwan
Translation credit: Erika Kim
- Ha Seok Jin 20111028