“Sorry I’m late. I had an urgent call.”
Maru greeted Sooil with his eyes and then looked at him. His cheeks were pale due to the cold. It seemed that the call was so personal that he couldn’t tell Byungchan about it.
“You should drink this. It should warm you up.”
Maru gave Sooil his drink. After drinking the coffee, Sooil sighed out.
“I’m Choi Miyeon.”
“I’m Yoo Sooil.”
Miyeon had waited until Sooil caught his breath to introduced herself.
“It’s quite cold, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Even though it wasn’t this cold just a few days ago,” Sooil said as he put down his coffee cup.
“The weather has gotten really whimsical lately. One of the editors at my office is down with a severe cold.”
“I’m also taking some medicine because of a slight sinus cold.”
“A sinus cold? Oh dear, are you okay?”
“Yes. It’s somewhat bearable.”
Miyeon smiled and spun her notebook 180 degrees so that Sooil and Byungchan could read it.
“First up, I tried narrowing down some of the interview questions I’m going to write in the column. I’m going to remove any if necessary before we get to it so that we don’t break the flow of the conversation. Oh, I also want to record the whole conversation. Will that be okay with you?”
“That’s a little…,” Byungchan said with a difficult expression.
“I’m not going to reveal it to anyone. I’m just recording so that I can recap when I actually start writing the column. Due to the nature of interviews, I’ll end up putting some of my own opinions once I start typing it out later. I like putting the raw version of the interview in the column, so I usually record them. There’s nothing better than a voice when it comes to interpreting the nuance of the words. The overall atmosphere of the text differs drastically if I type it out while listening to the voice recording. Of course, if you find it uncomfortable I won’t turn it on. The interview is supposed to be done in the most comfortable environment for the interviewee.”
Miyeon smiled. Maru sipped his coffee before looking at Byungchan. Byungchan spoke,
“Are you two okay with that? If it bothers you, it’s definitely better to refuse it now.”
“I’m okay with it. It’s not like I’m going to confess my sins or anything,” Sooil said in a joking manner.
Maru also nodded. The main event for the interview was Sooil anyway. The main character was okay with it, so there was no need for the sidekick to say something about it.
“I guess you can turn on the voice recorder then.”
“Thank you. I’ll repay you with a good interview. Then shall we get started?”
Miyeon pulled the notebook to her side.
“Oh, before that, let’s take a photo together. We might take more in different poses.”
Picking up the digital camera, Miyeon stood diagonally to Sooil. Byungchan stood up and fell back, and Maru moved behind Sooil.
“Consider that I’m in front of you. And place your hands naturally. Oh, holding onto your cup sounds fine as well. The outside is dark so it makes a good contrast.”
Hearing Miyeon’s request, Sooil picked up the cup. Maru placed his hands neatly on his thighs and looked forward. After a few shutter noises, Miyeon returned to her seat and sat down.
“I’ll show you the photos after the interview. If you like any of them, I’m going to use that one in the magazine.”
Pushing her cup to one side, Miyeon put the voice recorder in the middle. A red light started flickering to indicate that it was recording.
“Then let’s get started, shall we? Mr. Sooil. First of all, thank you for accepting our interview. I heard that you were busy with drama shoots. It’s the one directed by producer Heo Soogwan, right?”
“Yes. Thanks to director Heo, I was given the opportunity to shoot a good piece.”
“Were you acquainted with the director before this?”
“I saw him once during a drama afterparty. I was told that he wanted me to participate in his next work. Back then, I thought he was just joking, but I really was called.”
“I heard that the title of the drama is ‘Your Time’. What genre of movie is it?”
“The story is about a man who replaced another man that looks just like him. As for genre, there’s mellow, action, and a bit of mystery.”
“You are playing the role of the main character in his younger days, right?”
“Yes. I was lucky enough to play the younger days of senior Kang Suyeol.”
“Oh, I see. That must have been a lot of pressure on you.”
“Well, I did have to lead the first part of the story, and the one that will be receiving my acting is senior Kang Suyeol, so it did put some pressure on me. I’ll probably receive a lot of insults if I didn’t do well.”
“There are rumors about your good acting among the child actors though. The movie that starred you as the main character has also gotten good results.”
“I’m still far from perfect though. I’m still in a place where I receive a lot of help from others. I still need some time to say with confidence that I am fulfilling my role properly.”
“Are you dissatisfied with your acting?”
“Well, I think that it’s harder to find an actor who’s one hundred percent satisfied with their own acting.”
Maru sipped his coffee when Miyeon wrote things down. The interview was centered around Sooil’s career activity. It seemed that Miyeon had investigated quite a lot as she smoothly talked about what character he played in which work.
Twenty minutes passed after the interview began, but there were no moments of silence. Even during the little breaks they had, they talked about the atmosphere of the café, the taste of their drinks, or little things like what happened that day, so that they didn’t get distracted from the interview.
Sooil also focused on the interview. Even for questions where he could answer in short words, he added more detail, inducing the next question.
Maru remembered back to what happened at the JA building last time. Sooil had made a condescending woman fall back with his lies and smooth talking skills when that woman was acting cocky towards the part timer. He felt this back then, but Sooil did not waste any of his words as though he had learnt how to speak fluently. He increased the content when necessary, and decreased it when it was not. He was just like a negotiator.
Miyeon’s prior investigation, progressive skills, as well as Sooil’s talking skills made the progression of the interview very smooth. Maru just enjoyed his coffee as he listened to their conversation. Since he found out that he was just the sidekick, there was no need to be in a hurry. He was satisfied just by finding out what an interview was like.
“The movie you were shooting recently has come to a sudden halt, hasn’t it?”
“Yes. I prepared a lot for that movie, so it’s such a pity.”
“I hope the problem gets resolved and we get to see a good movie.”
“I also hope for that to happen.”
Miyeon smiled and put down her pen. Sooil also picked up his coffee again.
“Is that the end of the interview?”
“Yes. You said you have an appointment right? Oh, let me take some more photos.”
Miyeon walked around and took photos from different angles. They were all photos that zoomed in on Sooil’s figure. She talked to Sooil about some of the photos she took before sitting back down again with a nod.
“Then I’ll take my leave. Sorry about this. Maru, see you next time.”
Sooil left first. Maru looked at Byungchan.
“He has a schedule. Sooil was the one who said that we should hold the interview in Suwon because you might find it a little hard to come all the way to Seoul when we might as well have held it in Seoul.”
Maru was a little confused at first as to why they were doing the interview in Suwon, and now his curiosity was resolved. Byungchan lowered his voice and spoke,
“I’ll come back right after I give Sooil a ride.”
“You don’t have to. If it’s a shoot, he might need a manager. Don’t mind me and keep looking after Sooil.”
“That makes me feel sorry towards you though. Even though I’m your manager as well.”
“Sooil isn’t in the same league as me, is he? You told me last time that Sooil takes priority. You did everything you could by scheduling the interview here. Don’t exhaust yourself by going back and forth between Seoul and Suwon.”
Maru pointed at Sooil who was waiting outside. Byungchan grabbed Maru’s arm and spoke,
“Sorry. Even though I promised to eat with you after this.”
“Today’s not the only day. Let’s eat together later. Also, watch out for the cold. I saw you coughing before.”
“I’m already taking some medicine. It’ll be a huge problem if I get one of you sick because of me. Alright then, I’m going first. Sorry about this.”
Byungchan shook hands with Miyeon before asking her to take care of the rest. Miyeon saw him off without any signs of displeasure as though they had talked about this beforehand.
“I made you wait, didn’t I?” said Miyeon as she turned around a little.
“Well, I guess I did wait quite a bit,” he said in a joking manner.
Miyeon smiled as she controlled the voice recorder. A red light started flickering once again.
“Let’s continue from last time, shall we? Twilight Struggles, didn’t you have a hard time shooting?”
“I want to pretend that I didn’t have a hard time, but honestly speaking, it was very hard. I was cast in the movie not long after I started learning acting, and there were numerous people around me who couldn’t be compared with me at all. If I look forward while unfolding the acting I prepared in my head, I see their acting, immediately putting me in despair. I was only able to last because it was a single cut. If I stayed there any longer, I might have suffocated to death.”
“But those kinds of experiences help you out a lot.”
“That’s definitely true.”
“What kind of changes did you experience after the movie shoot? Maybe you became more proactive, or maybe you became more shy.”
“Honestly speaking, I became loose.”
Maru pulled his chin inwards a little.
“Twilight Struggles was a huge pressure for me, but at the same time, it was a splendid objective. It was just a single line, but I held onto that line for a long time. I can’t say that I am satisfied with the acting I ended up doing in the end, but it is true that I did everything I could within my powers back then. After pouring everything into that, the next thing I did was background acting.”
“Background acting, you say?”
“Yes. An actor is always supposed to do their best regardless of what acting they’re doing, but I think that there’s a difference in that ‘best’ I just talked about. I tried my best regardless of whether I was a minor actor or a background actor, but the time spent preparing for each one definitely has a difference. In the end, that leads to a difference in immersion and a difference in tension as well.”
“You sound like a balloon that lost all its air after being inflated.”
“I guess you can compare it to that. I couldn’t feel the thrill I felt that day during drama shoots. Of course, I’m not saying that the drama shoots aren’t fierce. The problem was more with myself.”
“Let me change the question. When did you start learning acting? I heard that these days, people start as early as preschool.”
“It was the beginning of this year when any hesitations I had about acting disappeared and I started learning acting properly. Oh, to be exact, I guess it’s last winter when I received the novel version of Twilight Struggles. I started digging into characters back then.”
Miyeon was quite surprised.
“So you’re saying that it hasn’t been a year yet? Then what triggered you to start acting?”
“I guess that’s when I entered the acting club of my high school.”
“Did you have desires about acting back then?”
“No. The reason I entered the acting club wasn’t because of any desires I had, but because one of my friends persuaded me to.”
“Then you started completely out of coincidence?”
“Strictly speaking, yes. But nothing in life goes according to plan, does it? How many people become teachers because they wanted to be, and how many people become businessmen because they wanted to be? I think that everyone starts due to a coincidental trigger.”
“You’re right. My dream, when I was young, was to become a piano teacher after all. Who would’ve known I would become a journalist instead.”
“That’s just how life is.”
“This is quite interesting since your view of life sounds quite persuasive despite the fact that you’re a high school student. I feel like you have a lot of social experience, or am I misunderstanding?”
“I’m just imitating a few things I saw in books. Where do you think I can get any social experience at my age?”
Maru smiled nonchalantly. Miyeon also nodded with a smile.
“Let’s move over to dramas, shall we? Recently, you showed very characteristic acting through Youth Generation, The Witness, and Apgu. None of these characters had any similarities, yet you digested them quite well. Especially The Witness. There were a few articles when the episode was aired. Have you read them?”
“No, I don’t look for articles about me or my acting.”
“Really? If it was me, I would have been curious to death.”
“I am curious, but there’s nothing good for me if I look at something that happened in the past. If it’s a drama I’m participating in regularly, I’d be monitoring them and reflecting what I learned upon my next acting, but they were all minor roles. Oh, I did look some of them up when I did Youth Generation. Though, I was very embarrassed when I read them.”
Miyeon wrote down something with her pen before asking again.
“Your acting of the young murderer in The Witness, especially the interrogation scene with the actress Ahn Joohyun became quite a hot topic. What did you feel after that? It was quite a fiery scene.”
“That was the moment I concentrated the most after Twilight Struggles. The actress Ahn Joohyun showed splendid acting and expressions, and I was very nervous because I thought that I couldn’t reply to her skills. So, I started acting with the mindset that I should show her my spirit at least. Actually, I relied on her to cover my lacking acting skills. That scene was only created thanks to Miss Ahn Joohyun’s excellent acting skills. I didn’t contribute that much.”
“Don’t you think you’re being too humble?”
Maru shook his head.
“I’m someone that really cherishes my food bowl. If I could show off my humbleness to get profit, I would gladly do so, but I can’t lie because of that. If the opposing actor was someone else that day, my acting would’ve become a horrible one where I just screeched all over the place.”
“You’re quite harsh when it comes to evaluating yourself.”
“I’d like to call it being objective.”
Maru picked up his coffee cup.
The cooled coffee flowed down his throat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Glad to see Maru getting some recognition!