[Interview] Zo In Sung Thanks the Screenwriter and Song Hye Kyo for the Success of ′That Winter′
With his return, Zo In Sung showed he was still strong. He even went so far as to show that he had become better. Viewers praised him for his sharp acting, which proved he hadn′t wasted a minute of his time while he was on hiatus.
So it was that SBS′ That Winter, the Wind Blows satisfied him and his waiting fans.
"There was a lot of talk about me before I started on this piece. Some said I had become ugly, and I felt pressure when others said I′m not the Zo In Sung I used to be. Still, I′m satisfied that I managed to remind everyone that there is still an actor named Zo In Sung here. I was also comforted by screenwriter Noh Hee Kyung, director Kim Gyu Tae and [Song] Hye Kyo."
In the drama, he got to act in a heartwrenching romance with Song Hye Kyo, drawing praise that the two suited each other well both in visuals and teamwork. Song Hye Kyo previously said it was all thanks to Zo In Sung that the drama was a success.
"The mood on set was fantastic," Zo In Sung said. "We knew we cared for each other. I was able to come to where I am thanks to Hye Kyo. With actors who don′t know what that′s like, you start to feel you want compensation. There are times when you hate [your co-star] or feel like she could have done better, but since we knew how things work, we didn′t feel either way. I don′t think I′ll ever be in a piece again that makes me feel like this."
The drama had him cry in more scenes than any other piece.
He recalled that he thought at the time, "What does the writer see in me to give me such scenes?"
"There are only so many ways I can cry. Ms. Noh Hee Kyung had seen all of my pieces. I was scared that she would have seen the pattern I use in my crying scenes. You know how my tears became a sort of humorous characteristic since Something Happened in Bali. Still, she told me that my acting would be different now since I′m older, and told me to stop worrying. The director also helped by filming the scenes from different angles. I think since the piece was so tightknit, everyone watching was pulled into the story, and didn′t think much of my crying."
It is true that there is a characteristic pattern to his acting. Some point out that he seems to pour too much emotion into everything he acts out. The actor himself had something to say about that.
"I think I′ll continue to act the way I do now. I′ll have nothing left in me if I throw out who I am. Of course, my style could both help me and hinder me. It′s not that I′m trying to make my way into the ranks of sunbaenims (seniors) who have their own colors. Writer Noh [Hee Kyung] told me that ′Zo In Sung is supposed to be so alive that he springs around.′ I think my being lively makes me Zo In Sung."
His role in That Winter brought him another new peak in his career, as female viewers fell for his charms as Oh Soo. It seemed it would be a good time for him to boast, but still he chose to be modest.
"I think he just looked so pitiful. There′s a line in Oh Soo′s dialogue which says, ′Bragging and putting on airs don′t apply to love′. There are a lot of things Oh Soo could have boasted about, like how he saved Oh Young (Song Hye Kyo)′s life and how he begs her to live on his knees, but he doesn′t. Everyone liked the way he loved."
As it was his first piece in a long time, fans are of course sad that the drama′s already over.
For his next piece, Zo In Sung said, "I don′t think I′ll be able to act in romance for a while."
"I think viewers would have a hard time accepting it if I entered a new romance so soon after my sad one with Hye Kyo. It will take time for me to get over this character, and the viewers also need time too. Dramas are almost always romances. Films have many different genres, but dramas are limited in that aspect."
That Winter helped him quench his thirst for acting. He said he wants to pat himself on the back for many reasons.
"It′s great that I pulled through when it was such a difficult piece. I think I feel that way because it ended on a high note. I′m grateful. If it hadn′t ended that way, I think I would have felt so embarrassed at this interview right now."
The more we talked, the more he seemed to shine with modesty and sincerity. This was, it seemed, what made the teen star Zo In Sung a real actor. What was it that helped him work so hard throughout his career, from Nonstop to That Winter?
"Once, a senior of mine told me that ′the public only remembers your best, so feel free to test yourself′. From Love of South and North to Madeleine and The Classic, I kept slipping with controversies on my acting skills. I was even chosen as the worst actor of the year. I almost didn′t make it back to the acting world. That was the hardest year for me. Thankfully, after Something Happened in Bali I didn′t have to suffer as much, and I started to concentrate on my choices with a firmer attitude. I′m just thankful I can continue acting again thanks to this piece."
Photo credit: Hea Jung Min