Actor Park Bo-gum poses for a picture before an interview at a Seoul cafe on Thursday. (Yoon Byung-chan/The Korea Herald)
Park Bo-gum spoke slowly, his words interspersed with child-like smiles. It was as if Park’s “Reply 1988” character Choi Taek had jumped off screen into real life.
“I realized that I’m similar to my ‘Reply 1988’ character in real life. I’m like an iron fist in a velvet glove, just like Choi Taek in the TV series,” the 22-year-old told The Korea Herald in Seoul last Thursday.
“It was an honor to the whole family for me to be part of the amazing TV series. But fame doesn’t last forever. I know I shouldn’t settle for what I have right now, and be more modest and thankful (for my achievements). I know more than anyone else that I wouldn‘t be here if not for the help of my family, agency and fans,” he said in tears, getting a bit emotional.
“Reply 1988” was a record-breaking cable TV series that roused nostalgia of the 1980s across the country. It was so popular that it brought back elements of the 1980s comedy, music, fashion and even people’s longing for interpersonal relationships in the old days.
While it comes as a big pressure to take the next step under the spotlight, the actor said “every work has been a pressure to do well.”
“Since my debut in 2011, I’ve thought that every TV series or film I’m starring in is the biggest work of my life. I know I just have to be hard-working and focused on what I do, as I have done in the past five years,” Park said.
Despite his early achievements as an actor, he was just like any other college student at his age.
Asked what his biggest concerns were, the actor hesitated for a second and answered “registering college courses,” saying he does not want to miss out on life as an ordinary college student. Park is currently a third-year in studying musical drama at Myungji University.
“To be honest, I want to go back to high school and finish do things I wasn’t able to do (because I was preparing to become an actor). I’ve learned that there is a time for everything. I want to fully enjoy my college life and maybe someday be in a musical with the things I learned at school.”
Park has been in the public eye over the past few years, by appearing in hit films “China Town,” “The Admiral: Roaring Currents” as well as the TV series “Cantabile Tomorrow” and “I Remember You.”
By Suk Gee-hyun