Hit Netflix film 20th Century Girl lead actor Byeon Woo-Seok admitted that he had his hesitations initially to play a high school student in the movie. He said that all of his doubts vanished when he was able to read the movie script.
"I had my doubts about whether it’d be okay to play a high school student in my thirties. But when I first read the script, I really liked it. I imagined myself in it, and each and every scene was beautiful," he said in an interview with Naver as translated by Soompi.
Woo-seok also said that though he felt pressured at first to star in the movie alongside Kim Yoo-jung, he was excited to work with her.
"I couldn’t believe that my co-star would be Kim Yoo-Jung, the ‘nation’s younger sister,’ and I did feel some pressure because of it—but another part of me was also extremely excited," he remarked.
The Korean actor confessed that he was also initially intimidated working with Yoo-jung, considering that the latter has been in the industry longer than he has.
"Because I started my acting career relatively late, I was [initially] a little bit scared of Yoo-Jung, who had so much experience. I’d seen her [on screen] starting from long ago, but it was my first time filming together with her in person, so I was very nervous. Fortunately, however, she approached me first and was very considerate of me, so I was grateful," he stated.
Woo-seok shared that working with Yoo-jung in the film was a learning experience for him.
"I learned a lot just from watching her, and I was impressed by the sincere pondering and hard work behind her cheerful image. She turned out to be an actress who expresses her thoughts and sincerely pours her passion into making [a character] her own," he stated.
The actor was also asked on what he thinks are his similarities and differences to his character Poong Woon-ho, he replied, "I’m the type of person who outwardly expresses my feelings, while Woon-ho is restrained in his actions and manner of speaking, and he’s the kind of guy who is reserved in his expressions."
He added, "Even so, he and I are similar in terms of our mindsets and the way we treat other people. As I filmed [the movie], the more deeply I understood Woon-Ho, the more I was able to overcome the differences in our personalities and fall more deeply into the character."
In the interview, the actor also opened up about his first love in real life, saying that it was a close friend of his back in middle school.
"But I wasn’t even able to confess my feelings, and it just ended as a one-sided love. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for me to understand this story,” he continued. “I was able to understand how Woon-Ho felt," he shared.
Woo-seok also talked about the much-debated ending of the film wherein his character passed away.
"I think with every movie, there will be people who like it and people who don’t, and the fact that this has become the subject of debate is proof that people are taking an interest in the film. Since everyone has different tastes, there are probably lots of different opinions [about the ending]," he said.
The Korean actor pointed out though that he would like to see Woon-Ho live in the story.
"I personally am on the side that would have liked to see Woon-Ho live," he stated.
On his rising career, Woo-seok remarked that he is grateful that he chose to endure the ups and downs of his journey as an actor which brought him to where he is now.
"In this line of work, there are moments that are difficult. There are times when you even wonder if you’re cut out for this line of work and if you should quit. I want to pat myself on the back for enduring those moments and making it all the way here," he stated,
" There were really happy moments, but there were also difficult times. I’m really proud and grateful that I didn’t give up during those hard times and that I got where I am today. Every project that I’ve been a part of up until now has helped me," he added.