ANN/THE STAR – While expressing his satisfaction with playing the lead role of Nam Kang-ho (THE STAR, pic below) in Netflix’s latest romantic comedy series Love to Hate You, Yoo Teo cautiously shared some of his updated goals for becoming a better actor.
“With the rise of local and global streaming platforms, I’ve become more ambitious and dream of something bigger. More unexpected opportunities are waiting for actors. I am well aware of how much more work I have to do to achieve my goal, but I feel that my lifelong dream can actually be accomplished in our current media environment and creative content industry,” the 41-year-old actor said with a brilliant smile.
In a recent interview with reporters, Yoo did not specify his dream in detail. He hinted at his desire to become an actor praised both for his performances and creative content production abilities.
A CHALLENGING LEADING ROLE
In his latest series, Yoo plays a Korean celebrity called Nam Kang-ho who detests women and doesn’t trust them.
The series was his first rom-com leading role of his 20-year acting career. With it, Yoo was ready to overcome some challenges and present a lesser-known side of himself.
“I grew up in Germany and spent a lot of time overseas, so I always think deeply about what is considered typical and generally relatable to Korean viewers. I tried to find a role model or an inspiration, to which I can add my own interpretation and develop into another original character,” Yoo said.
The process may seem tiresome, but was certainly necessary, according to the actor.
Unlike many other Korean actors who say they try to distance themselves from existing characters, past projects and references to make their performances more original, Yoo said that he has to refer to all of the above in order to make up for what he lacks: a deep understanding of Korean culture and society.
The actor shared that the screenwriter also recommended he refer to the performances of actor Hyun Bin and others in Secret Garden, a hugely popular Korean rom-com series.
“After studying such characters, I move on to create something on my own,” Yoo said, mentioning that he applied such efforts to all of his previous works.
GLOBAL VIEWERS’ PERCEPTIONS
From his Korean film debut in Actresses (2009) to the latest drama series Love to Hate You, one of Yoo’s constant concerns is how his character is perceived by viewers across the globe.
“How Korean viewers see my character in a foreign project or how global audiences feel about the role in a local series is very important. Though the viewers are from different countries and cultural backgrounds, I hope that audiences can understand and easily relate to my character,” Yoo told The Korea Herald.
When asked whether he thinks such tasks can be shared with voice actors and translators, Yoo believes that these burdens give him extra motivation to become a better actor.
“I think these times made me who I am today. I think this actually allowed me to be fully immersed in the character and have a better understanding of my role,” he said.