Park Bo-gum may be one of the hottest young actors now but the 25-year-old South Korean is not one to let fame get to his head. In a recent interview in Singapore, Park humbly shook his head when this reporter said he was popular and successful, and even expressed his thanks.
The actor confesses to watching all his dramas to scrutinise his own performance. The heartthrob of K-drama series Encounter (2018) says through a translator that he loves acting but it remains a challenge for him.
He elaborates: “Sometimes when I take on a new project, I would think, ‘Am I playing this right? How do I improve?’ And I doubt my own abilities, I feel a lot of pressure and my confidence goes down. I’m not fully satisfied with my performances and I think I still have a lot of room for improvement.”
Despite his doubts, Park’s acting has won him legions of fans in and outside Korea. He has won praise for his roles as a quiet Go player in nostalgic drama Reply 1988 (2015) and as a mischievous crown prince in Love In The Moonlight (2016).
Park usually plays the kind and dreamy romantic hero, though a notable departure was when he acted as a psychopathic lawyer in 2015’s Hello Monster. Asked if playing romantic hero roles is limiting, Park says:
“The most important thing for me when considering a role is whether I can immerse fully in the character and whether I can understand and relate to him. I think there are roles suitable for different age groups and I believe that as I mature I will experience a bigger spectrum of roles.”
So what’s next for the popular actor?
Park, who is touring Asia for fan meets until April, is involved in a new movie with Gong Yoo from Train To Busan (2016). The movie, as yet untitled in English, will star Park as the first cloned human who has eternal life.
With Park having worked with major South Korean stars like Gong, is there anyone in the Chinese entertainment scene he will like to work with? Leo Wu, he answered.
Wu, 19, is best known for acting as Fei Liu in Chinese drama Nirvana In Fire (2015), the young bodyguard to Hu Ge’s revenge-seeking political strategist. “We met once an at awards show and I sensed a sort of chemistry with him. I thought it’ll be great if we could work together,” says Park.
And while acting remains a career mainstay, Park – who originally wanted to be a singer-songwriter – will make his debut as a singer in Japan, with the release of his single Bloomin’ in the East Asian country later this month.
“I don’t have a particular genre I prefer. As long as the music is melodious and the lyrics are touching, I’ll enjoy it. But I do hope that one day I will be able to compose my own song and release it for my fans,” says Park. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network