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2018 Allure Korea December Issue Interview

D.O. and Doh Kyungsoo. It doesn’t matter which name he goes by but he is always a consistent person. Whether it’s a public broadcast or a variety shows, and during interviews too, he always carry a calm aura and a humble attitude that is different from other artists. In short, he’s someone who tightly hid his passion inside of his chest, and he brought that passion out when he is on the stage or acting. That’s why he always has a powerful energy in the stage and the screen. However, that Doh Kyungsoo is quite different right now. His posture that is always eager to learn and his shy voice that showed a humble rookie actor persona, now has a little more strength. He clearly showed his confidence that he talked without any hesitation about the fun movie he is playing. It is truly a work of art seeing how the quiet Doh Kyungsoo changed. ‘Swing Kids’ is Director Kang Hyeongcheol newest work where Doh Kyungsoo took on the role of Roh Kisoo. In Doh Kyungsoo’s world, he is the best friend with a cheerful face that showcased tap dance moves. Is it the body that move first? actor Doh Kyungsoo felt the tak-tak-tak sounds like a beat in his heart.

Q. We meet again in December after 2 years. In this season, there are people who are feeling down but there are also many people who are cheerful about it. Which sides are you on?
A. I don’t think I belong to any type like that. Rather than thinking about how a year has gone by, I’ve just been naturally spending it by being busy that when I look at it, a new year is about to come (laughs).

Q. This time too, we meet you as an actor. Are there many changes that happened?
A. In two years….I filmed ‘Brother’ and after that ‘With God’, I also did activities as EXO and go on concerts too. I think I’ve been running without rest. I’ve learned the needed skills in terms of acting and also know-how on the filming set. I also learned a lot on how to adjust my (body) condition.

Q. It looks like you’ve been so busy to the point of being asleep right away when you close your eyes?
A. There are really moments like that! It’s my first time filming a drama and the schedule is very different from a movie. Whenever I’m going to the filming set, I make sure to eat vitamins. I also adjusted my sleeping time, at that time I could sleep only by laying my head. I wonder if it’s because I have grown accustomed to such habits that when the drama filming ended and I don’t have to go for filming anymore, it felt really weird. It feels like I have to do something. Right now I have adjusted my body back and I’ve been sleeping well.

Q. It’s really hard to believe it though? especially since two days ago you go straight for a comeback with EXO’s ‘Tempo’
A. Haha! Honestly in preparing for the comeback I haven’t been sleeping much.

Q. It seems like you’ve always been busy during end of the year. During the end of this year, EXO is making their comeback after 400 days and you also have ‘Swing Kids’ movie coming up right? It looks like it will be a special year-end for you.
A. I think it’s very special to me. I’m so happy and thankful towards the unexpected result of ‘100 Days Husband’. EXO is also getting very good result right now. I don’t know how it will be for ‘Swing Kids’ but I hope it will gain a lot of love.

Q. We usually see your humble side that sometimes feel a little bit tight, but now you’re being really confident?
A. I have great confidence on ‘Swing Kids’. I always played a dark character in all my projects until now and this time through ‘Roh Kisoo’ I can show a new side of me. It doesn’t mean that I acted really well but because I really had fun during the filming, so I think the audience could also feel the positive energy.

Q. Even though EXO’s comeback and ‘Swing Kids’ appear on the same time but the preparation (for Swing Kids) has been done for a long time. Do you remember the day you go for the first filming?
A. It was a 6-month filming and the first filming was done at a reed field. It was a scene where Kisoo and a character name Kidong showed their happy feelings by joking with each other. The first filming ended in a simple way. It was a one take of a wide scenery. It started by filming us coming out from the reed forest, I’m happy that it finished quickly in 1 to 2 hour (laughs). When I go back to Seoul, it was night already.

Q. Where does ‘Swing Kids’ knocked Doh Kyungsoo?
A. Our director read the book first, and we always looked the scenario together you know. The director told me that ‘you must read this scenario’ and when I read it, I really like it. When I meet the director for the first time, he said he’s going to make a film that will make your heart race, and that kind of feeling really came. Even when I’m just reading the script, my heart goes fluttering like ‘kkungkwang kkungkwang’, it was a powerful scenario like an overflowing energy. I wanted to play the character, and the scenario is really great too.

Q. We’re told that this movie has tap dance as the main point. Can we call this movie as a dance movie?
A. It is a dance movie, and it’s also a story about people. I think there are many things that goes into the story. There’s a musical feeling inside it, and also a topic that make your heart race, it’s a perfectly complex movie.

Q. Personally, what message do you feel (from the movie)?
A. I feel like this movie is giving me a question of ‘What is the most essential thing in life. And what is that important thing’. I think the movie clearly conveyed that message.

Q. As an idol, you have shown many performances, and although you’re a vocalist member but you also dance, wouldn’t that make you easier to process the character?
A. My heart feels like that but in the dance aspect, it’s completely the opposite. The reason is because tap dance is a completely different genre. Of course the rhythm and steps that I have learned helped me but while doing tap dancing my body become completely stiff. I don’t think of tap dancing as a dance but as playing a musical instrument. It’s because of this (stomping his feet) the sound of feet hitting the floor has no connection with dancing. It feels like I’m learning to play a musical instrument for the first time.

Q. Just like when you were filming the video earlier, your face looked so happy when stomping your feet?
A. At first, I could only do this, there a few routine of kwang! kwang! kwang! kwang! (hitting the floor using right and left foot). I did that routine regularly first and keep practicing it. I want to make my feet produce a regular beat but it doesn’t work well. And even when I used my hand a lot my foot wouldn’t follow that. It’s really heard to create a rhythm using your feet. When concentrating to tap dance music, my upper body becomes a mess. Every person have their own specific posture, some people concentrated only on their feet and they keep their upper body calm, while for me I keep bending two of my fingers. Because the pose is not straighten up, it become difficult. When my feet as become comfortable with tap dance then my posture would be natural, but it took a really long time to get comfortable for it.

Q. From what moment do you feel the excitement from doing that?
A. As I practiced it, it suddenly become exciting. And there’s an advantage from it too. While performing on the stage, I sprained my ankle once so the condition of my ankle isn’t that good. But tap dancing routine has a lot of similarity with the exercise I did when I did rehabilitation for my ankle. This time, the song ‘Tempo’ has high dance difficulties but I never hurt my ankle for once, so it become a lot of help to me. I also need to lose my weight, and since tap dancing is like an aerobic exercise I naturally lose a lot of weight. And in between that I learned the intonation north korean accent from the teacher.

Q. It seems like you feel the freedom that Roh Kisoo feel from tap dancing
A. What’s really good from tap dancing is that you can make rhythm using your feet by yourself without any music, when you turned off the light and you practiced alone, the sound it produce is very charming. I usually stood still, but now I have a habit of stomping my feet to the ground.

Q. How do you approach to get the emotion needed for the character?
A. I put a lot of effort in order to relate to the role. I watched the actors on the set, and naturally falls into it. I feel like on the set I naturally understand the character from receiving and giving energy with other characters. Kisoo is a character that has a high curiosity and sense of justice, I wanted to focus on that so the Director told me to look at other actors in the eyes while acting. I especially put attention on the emotion about the older brother role. Since I also have a real brother who is three year older than me, I try to be a young brother who wouldn’t be a burden for him. It’s not easy to get the emotion of getting difficult because of the older brother.

Q. Are you the type to get affected by the filming set’s mood ?
A. Yes, I’m the type who really get influenced by the filming set.

Q. There’s a rumor that the Dir. Kang really care about you.
A. Haha! I really filmed this project happily with the director at the filming set. The director is the type that give detailed and delicate direction. There are many times when me and the director can communicate even without speaking a single world. I understand it when he said ’How if we do it like this?’. There are many parts where we share the same mind, so there are barely no big differences of opinion between us.

Q. Personally, how do you see Director Kang as a person?
A. He is very delicate. I think he is the most delicate director out of all directors that I’ve met. Director Kim Yonghwa from ‘With God’ is also really good that we filmed without having to discuss much. With Director Kang, he pointed out each and every emotions and actions, and gave detailed directions on things I never thought before. We relied on each other a lot at the filming set.

Q. In ‘Brother’ there are two leads, but this time you are a sole lead actor in the movie. Does it become a big burden to you?
A. I received a lot of help from the people around me. The director, Oh Jungse hyung, actor Kim Minho, and Park Hyesu also helped me a lot. If it weren’t like that it would have been difficult.

Q. The public first know this movie through your hairstyle, ‘D.O. shaved his head bald because of a movie’. You cut your hair quite fast.
A. It was because Roh Kisoo is a prisoner of war, so I had to do it. I shaved my hair without many thoughts. When cutting it, I did it on my own. It was much comfortable that way, after three days the hair has grown back so I keep cutting it. That’s why I always carried a hair shaver and did it by myself.

Q. In that case, this is the first movie that doesn’t need a hair stylist in the filming set!
A. It really is like that, it was really comfortable. Honestly, I want to cut it too right now (laughs). A short hair is comfortable, and because it’s too comfortable I keep wanting to cut my hair.

Q. There’s always a point to be taken, I watched EXO concert and you were also calm back then. It doesn’t look A. like you’re a different D.O., your consistency is impressive.
A. Do you really came to the concert? Haha. It cannot be helped because during ment, the members talked a lot. Because they did it so naturally that I become quiet. And it was also because I usually don’t talk much too.

Q. But isn’t your role this time has a high tension? How do you maintain that kind of mood?
A. It really has a high tension! But there are parts like that inside of me, when I’m with my friends or close friends, that kind of personality also came out. That’s why while I’m acting I feel good and enjoyed it. It relieved my stress. A job of an actor is continuously playing as different character and living another person’s life. As I experienced that, I found it very charming.

Q. Which character you enjoyed the most so far? Since your rookie actor days, you have played many interesting character. Starting from taeyoung in ‘Cart’.
A. It’s Roh Kisoo. To me Roh Kisoo who did everything he wanted without hesitation is the best character. Before that it’s Han Kangwoo from ‘It’s Okay It’s Love’. To meet that kind of character isn’t easy, I have a really good luck.

Q. Your recent drama ‘100 Days Husband’ is a success. There’s an increase of Actor Doh Kyungsoo and Wondeuk’s fans.
A. Haha… I don’t know about that for sure. After I finished the drama I practiced in the practice room, and then I have schedules so I haven’t had the chance to feel it. I tried a 2 role in 1 person, and have fun with fellow actors that we had endless laugh in the filming set.

Q. There’s the memorable line of ‘is it only me who’s feeling uncomfortable?’, so what make you feel really uncomfortable in real life? For example, during official schedules ment you always said ‘We will be EXO who is polite’. Do you find impoliteness to be uncomfortable?
A. It’s not because I don’t like impoliteness but it’s because my personality is the type that doesn’t like to become a burden to other person so I thought a lot about being polite. For example, on the living room where me and members jointly used together, I don’t like it if laundry is being thrown away, it’s simple things like that. I like it if we help one another.

Q. Looking from that, it seems like you nag a lot in EXO?
A. I do nag a lot (laughs), I did that a lot to the members, and also people who are close to me.

Q. From a mountains of scenarios, what are the one thing that you would find the most important?
A. I get attracted a lot to projects that deliver a clear message and have a humanism scent. When I’m watching movies too, I really liked the movie ‘First Man’ that I recently watched.

Q. When do you feel that you have grown as an actor?
A. I feel that I have developed when I’m not nervous at the filming set. When I started acting, I got really nervous, so there are instances where I forgot all the scripts I have memorised. I prepared a lot but when the filming start my head wen blank. Of course there are moments like that happening recently too but back then it was really because of nervousness. Right now I’m just naturally enjoying it. I think I feel the most developed at the filming set until now.

Q. You are always humble just like a rookie actor, but actually you are a veteran entertainer and artist. What makes your heart jump like back then?
A. Work. To me I think it’s always work. There are many times when my heart beat fast when I’m working. Also, when I’m working with people I’m close with there are a lot of fights, sadness, and happiness. When I had that kind of emotions I feel like I’m alive.

Q. If you can only invite three people to the premiere, who do you want to invite?
A. My family, (SM Ent) director, and also EXO members of course, I’d like it if they can come. So three seats is not enough. I hope they can relate to the movie message just like the audience. If the members said they liked the movie I’d be happy beyond words.

Q. Are you guys the type to give feedback of each other’s activities?
A. Of course, recently Jongdae sang the OST and he made me listen to the guide. Since I think the song really fit him, I’d be very thankful if he would do it so I asked him. Jongdae ended up singing it and the song is very good. Just like that, we share many stories to each other, the members are the type to talk a lot about individual activities with each other.

Q. As a musician, what dream do you have?
A. I think that someday, there will be time where I can do the music that I want to do. Although I don’t know when it will be, because I like music I think of wanting to compose and write a song by myself, and sing the song that I made. A song is also a form of an art. I want to convey my own story someday.

Q. What kind of story would that be?
A. A song is something that you listen to when you are happy or sad. It would be a song with a lyric and melody that can give consolation. A song that is comfortable to listen to.

Q. In EXO album there are many memorable songs with medium tempo. Your voice sounds nice to the ear in that kind of songs. Do you have any thought of a solo song?
A. I really like EXO’s winter album or our medium tempo song that is sung slowly! About a solo song, I do have desire about it. I also sang by myself at the concert, but since right now I’m promoting the album and the movie, so I want to try it when I have more free time.

Q. Last year, you received the Blue Dragon rookie actor award for the movie ‘Brother’. Although you received many awards as EXO, but this one might feel different. How do you feel about that?
A. It is different. Because it’s an award that you can receive once in a lifetime when I received it my mind went blank. I still remember it vividly to this day, because of the concert that day I couldn’t attend the award. During the ending ment of the concert the news came out through the inner ear ‘D.O. received the male rookie actor award from Blue Dragon Film Award’ and my mind went blank. After that I shared my winning speech in that spot, it was very meaningful.

Q. In ‘Swing Kids’ when do you feel the most nervous as an actor?
A. It’s the production presentation. Because it’s the day where people who liked movies came to watch and give their judgement about the movie. It’s the place where the movie is shown for the first time, and because movie lovers are watching it I’m curious about their thoughts. I feel the most nervous at that time.

Q. Have you ever watched a movie in between the audience?
A. I haven’t, I think I will try it for once during ‘Swing Kids’ this time. I never thought about it before.

Q. Which movie cinema are you planning to visit? I will tell the audience to look closely for someone who’s wearing a hat.
A. Haha! Wouldn’t it be the nearest COEX cinema?

Q. What do you want to say to yourself on the last day of this year?
A. You’ve persevered in good health. Please keep surviving healthily. I think those are enough.

Q. We keep meeting in December, if we can meet in another season, which one would you like?
A. May. March, April, and May are spring but it’s still cold until April (laughs). So it’s May. I think it be really good with the warm colour.

interview scan by @0nlydks
repost / translating to other language is permitted with credit @dyororo_
Tags: 2018, drama : a hundred days husband, interview, movie : swing kids
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