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Movie star Gong Yoo opens up about his own fears

In the zombie apocalypse film “Train to Busan,” which opened in theaters Wednesday, actor Gong Yoo plays the role of a father who is too busy with his demanding job as a fund manager to spend quality time with his daughter.

“I’m still single, so I had to use my imagination for that,” Gong told reporters at a group interview on Monday in a cafe in Seoul. Casually dressed and waering a baseball cap, the actor discussed his thoughts on parenthood, social media and his own horrors.

Actor Gong Yoo (Soop Entertainment-Next Entertainment World)
Actor Gong Yoo (Soop Entertainment-Next Entertainment World)

“It gave me a chance to think about how I would treat my child in the future if I have children. I don’t want to crush the child’s sense of hope, but I also don’t want to lie. It actually made me more afraid of raising a child,” he said.

Gong said he was drawn to the “uniqueness” of the film’s script more than anything else. In “Train to Busan,” a zombie virus overtakes the country while the main characters, each with a different story, are trapped on a train headed to the southern port city of Busan. In depicting the characters’ struggles to survive, the film defies established plot devices recurrent in thrillers, critics have commented.

He was also impressed with how director Yeon Sang-ho juggled the film’s numerous cast, the actor said.

“The characters are quite cliche,” he admitted. “But I think (director Yeon) took those characters and struck a good balance.”

The 37-year-old actor, who debuted in 2001 in the TV series “School 4,” remained modest when it came to his craft.

“I’m always unhappy with my performances,” he said of his acting. “I don’t think there’s an actor who is completely satisfied with one’s performance. I don’t know why, but as the years go by, it gets harder to watch myself act.”

Even so, Gong is having a busy year. He stars in the film “A Man and a Woman,” released this February, and appears in the upcoming movie “The Age of Shadows,” a much-anticipated action flick directed by Kim Ji-woon.

“In my 15th year of acting, I could have gotten lazy. But (these films) have been a good stimulant during this period,” he said, adding that “The Age of Shadows” will be a “very different film” from his two other movies this year.

Despite starring in a zombie-ridden feature, Gong confessed to being “very scared” of horror films.

“I think I believe in ghosts, so I get even more scared with my own imagination. But I think people can sometimes be more horrifying.”

Though a much-exposed celebrity who has endorsement deals with Kanu coffee and the beauty brand The Body Shop, Gong said he is not, and will never be, active on social media.

“I think (social media) is so scary,” he said. “I think it’s a tool that makes people lonelier. You feel insecurities you don’t need to feel on social media.”

By Rumy Doo (

Korea Herald daum