‘Gyeongseong Creature’ Choi Young-jun starved for 8 days for… historical background “I don’t care” Beliefs [Interview summary]


[OSEN=Reporter Kim Na-yeon] Actor Choi Young-jun shared his thoughts on finishing ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ and the story behind the work.

On the morning of the 19th, an interview was held at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, with actor Choi Young-jun, who played the role of Lieutenant General Gato in the Netflix original drama ‘Gyeongseong Creature’. He watched ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ from the perspective of a viewer right after it was released without having seen the edited version at all, and expressed satisfaction, saying, “It was fun.”

‘Gyeongseong Creature’ is a creature thriller in which two young people, whose only goal was survival, confront a monster born of greed in the spring of 1945, when the darkness of the era was deepest. Choi Young-jun, who played the role of Lieutenant General Gato, who leads the biological experiments at Ongseong Hospital, caught the eye with a different face from his previous work. He lost 15kg for the character and showed passion by maintaining 57kg for the entire 10 months of filming ‘Gyeongseong Creature.’

Choi Young-jun said, “I went to film, ate lunch at a restaurant, then came home and starved. As soon as he came to Seoul after finishing filming ‘Our Blues’, he went to film ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ for the first time the next day or the next day. At that time, I intentionally gained more weight than usual, so my weight was around 72kg. But when the director saw the first edited version, he said, ‘It’s too rich. He called and said, ‘I don’t think it’s the image we had in mind.’ It was the Lunar New Year holiday, and I thought it was urgent enough to call on a holiday. So that day, I didn’t eat for 8 full days. That’s how you lose weight. “I usually don’t eat because I think I’ll detox for 2 or 3 days, but at that time, I was in a hurry, so I starved for 8 days and the weight started to go down from there,” he explained.

He, who was offered the role of Kato from the beginning, said, “I asked the writer and director the reason, and they said that he looked good and bad, and the biggest thing was that they were not sure what kind of personality he had.” However, with the Japanese colonial era as the background, there may have been concerns about acting as a Japanese soldier at the time. However, Choi Young-jun answered, “I had no such concerns at all.”


Kato appears as a villain, but Choi Young-jun said, “I focused on the fact that this person is crazy about his work and thus causes damage to others, but does not think that way himself,” and added, “The period part was also irrelevant. Well, I thought that Kato was a person who had nothing to do with the system, and I tried to act like that. So, there was no such burden. He explained, “He gets criticized, that’s the next thing. He doesn’t have to think that much while acting, so he didn’t have that kind of pressure.”

Previously, director Jeong Dong-yoon and writer Kang Eun-kyung said in an interview that due to the influence of the Korean Wave in Japan, the number of works set during the Japanese colonial period has decreased, and because of this, casting is also difficult. Regarding this, Choi Young-jun said, “I am too old to worry about that and act. I have also done a lot of work, and there have been moments where I was grateful and honored, no matter how big or small it was. Anyway, I am an actor, and I think the time of living like that with something in mind is over. I’ve tried various things since I was young. “I’ve lived that way, but the reason I’ve been acting until now is because I can be free from that,” he said, revealing that he had no thoughts or worries about entering the Korean Wave.

However, since it was a Japanese character, there were quite a few difficulties in having to act in Japanese. Youngjun Choi said, “Acting in a foreign language feels like acting with my hands and feet tied. “I’m not Japanese, so I don’t know how Japanese people do things like hand gestures, so it was difficult,” he said. “It was when I received the script up to Part 6 and taught the class step by step from the beginning via video from Jeju Island. I thought I said exactly what I heard, but I got tired of pointing it out. There was a time when I sat thinking about something else for 30 minutes, saying, ‘I’m so sorry, but I’ll just run a lap and come back,’ and then went back to class. “I thought, ‘I’ll never have to act in a foreign language again,’” he said, expressing his difficulties.

Regarding the scene where Gato reveals to Chae-ok (Han So-hee) that his mother, Seongsim (Kang Mal-geum), is Creature’s true identity, Choi Young-jun said, “It wasn’t for Gato, but as an actor, it was very exhilarating.”He said, “What I always wanted to do was to act as someone who had no remorse. For example, if you kill something that should not be killed, it usually turns you into a mentally unstable person. I think that’s conscience. People say, ‘I do this because I’m a crazy person,’ but I thought that people who aren’t crazy could also do this. I think Gato was like that. It’s not because I’m crazy, I’m talking about it in a rational state. “In that sense, it was exhilarating and I had fun acting,” he said. “I have never killed anyone. “I like small animals, and I also raise dogs,” he emphasized, drawing laughter.


He explained that in expressing the character of Kato, “I basically tried hard to do what the director told me to do.” As I didn’t know much about Gato, I had a lot of conversations with director Jeong Dong-yoon, but Gato was such a difficult character that I couldn’t come up with a clear answer. Choi Young-jun said, “The director also had a lot of concerns about this role. He sent me a long text once. He read it all and thought, ‘So what?’ I also hear a lot of direction while working on a piece or play, but this is the first time I have heard such direction. He said, ‘Act like Top from Inception.’ “I thought a lot about what that would mean,” he said of his times of worry.

He confessed that he still doesn’t know the exact meaning, saying, “When I went to film the next time, the director also said he was sorry. “Anyway, we put a lot of effort into trying something unknown to each other,” he said. However, in his own interpretation, he focused on the ‘contradiction’. Choi Young-jun said, “For me, it was taken to mean that I was a person who was not healthy but was able to work healthily. A person who clearly doesn’t seem to have much will, but is incredibly strong-willed. The top should definitely stop, but it keeps spinning without stopping. It feels like that. So I didn’t move much when I was acting. “I don’t know if I could see it, but I only changed the angle of my head when I looked at people, listened to them, and thought before expressing my opinion,” he said, pointing out the points he focused on while acting.

He also revealed the story behind his acting with Creature. Youngjun Choi said, “It was really difficult to act with CG. (The staff) puts on big legs and wears chroma key colored clothes to act. When you say ‘left’, you go left, and we follow to the left. After filming everything, Hyeonta came. Still, it was a fun experience,” he said. “There were scenes where I first captured my gaze and then drew the creatures. At times like that, I don’t know how it moves or what it looks like, so I don’t know where to focus. “It was difficult to continue imagining it like that,” he said.


In this way, ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ was a work that presented many challenges to Choi Young-jun. When asked if he decided to appear in ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ with an image transformation in mind, he said, “For me, acting ability is a spectrum itself. I think acting ability is being able to do this and that. Of course, I chose to do it (to change my image) when I had the chance, but I didn’t do it with any intention. I also thought that something I would do someday had come a little too soon. “I thought it would be fun to do something different,” he explained.

When asked about the criteria for choosing a work, he, who has been loved by many works such as ‘Wise Doctor Life’, ‘Vincenzo’, and ‘Our Blues’, has been a box office hit, and he said, “Honestly, I am of the ‘let’s go if necessary’ principle. “If the director or writer says it’s necessary, I have a strong desire to go,” he said. He said, “I really wanted to do ‘Our Blues’, and I even auditioned for ‘Vincenzo.’” He added, “I will go if they say they need me. The thought is, ‘I will call you because I have work to do.’ But when I went there, I saw that there was a good piece of work,” he said.

He previously said that his representative work was ‘Our Blues’. When asked about his current representative work, he said, “I think I have to do one a year. In that sense, this year is ‘Gyeongseong Creature’,” he said with a laugh. Choi Young-jun, who finished ‘Gyeongseong Creature’, was already filming his next work and had some works waiting to be released. He said, “Around the time I was filming ‘Gyeongseong Creature,’ a movie came in. It was my first movie. I said, ‘It’s my first movie, so I have to do it,’ and I said okay. Then, while filming, there were English lines. It was even a scene where he was giving a speech in front of the public. ‘I am crazy. “I thought, ‘I’m not an amnesiac and I’m doing difficult things even though I know it,’” he said, bringing laughter as he revealed an episode related to his next project.

Lastly, when asked about his goals for 2024, Youngjun Choi said, “It’s not a big goal, but I hope to work as much this year as I did last year. I thought about it even after ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ came out, and although the success or failure of the drama is important, my acting is also important. Since I had to live my life thinking about whether or not I had taken a good step, I also thought, ‘I will have to live with that discomfort for the rest of my life.’ But what can I do? Because it’s work. “If 2024 is ‘Gyeongseong Creature,’ I hope to be able to produce another masterpiece next year,” he said.


[Photo] Ace Factory

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