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Ko - production in Busan
  • BYUN Yo-han of SOCIALPHOBIA
  • by KIM Hyun-soo /  Mar 23, 2015
  • A Star That Shines Brighter on Set
     
    Prior to his exploding role from TV series Misaeng, actor BYUN Yo-han had starred in over thirty indie shorts and built his career through them. His recently released film Socialphobia is an indie feature that stars BYUN where his outstanding performance can be witnessed.
     
    Socialphobia is the second feature film BYUN has been cast as the main character. The character he plays in the film is a student preparing to become a policeman named Ji-woong. Through Ji-woong, the dark underworld of social media and the internet which can easily turn someone into a perpetrator is revealed. While the viewers follow the story from Ji-woong’s point of view, they becomes surprised when faced by the truth. Director HONG Seok-jae commented, “The only person I could trust in taking a lead in my film was BYUN.” We met with BYUN to hear why.
     
    When and how did you decide to become an actor?
    I used to be an introvert when I was young and often stuttered when I spoke. It really had an impact on me, but during middle school, my teacher who used to be a theater actor persuaded me to go on stage and that’s when my stuttering stopped. Since then, I found joy in acting and becoming an actor turned into a dream. However, my father was strongly against it. Perhaps that’s why I was more desperate to become one.
     
    You’ve starred in over thirty short films. What do short films mean to you?
    After admitting to Korean National University of Arts, I’ve starred in films from my second year. There are about thirty films that I’ve performed in. If we count the projects that never saw the light of day, it’s over thirty, My roots are from indie films. How I became to be BYUN Yo-han rooted from independent films.
     
    According to the director, casting you in Socialphobia changed the character Ji-woong. How did it change?
    At first, director HONG described Ji-woong with the term colourless. He is cynical and a person that is hard to see through. However, if he coincidently gets involved in a murder case, we wondered how he would react. From this point, we started to analyze the character. After talking quite a bit with the director, we made Ji-woong’s different characteristics. I think we were able to agree on a plausible character.
     
    Your character in Misaeng, HAN Seok-yool, was someone who also saw the importance of being on site. Do you as an actor relate a lot to the character?
    I take importance in looking at the scenario, analyzing the character and talking to the people you work with. After studying the scenario and discussing the character with others, the right lines naturally come to me. That’s why I think being on site is important.

    Socialphobia deals with the issues of social media. Are you someone who is active on such networks? What are your own personal thoughts about them?
    I didn’t have much interest in social media before. Most of my friends do it for fun. I use it as a communicational tool with my fans. I think it’s important to be responsible for one’s on personal security when posting online.
     
    Your next project is director SHIN Su-won’s Madonna. Could you tell us a little bit about the film?
    We just finished shooting. The film is set in a VIP hospital ward and deals with organ transplants. I’m playing ‘Hyuk-gyu’ who is a resident at the hospital. I hope many people will love and remember director SHIN’s Madonna.
     
    What kind of actor do you want to become?
    I want to become someone with a strong color. Someone who people can say, ‘this character can only be played by BYUN Yo-han.’

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