[OLD INTERVIEW] Yeon Jung Hoon’s Interview With InStyle Magazine August 2008

InStyle 2008 1

YEON JUNG HOON~He who lives in the East of Eden

He can afford to do everything he wants but at the same time he also cannot do anything in total freedom. While it’s difficult for other people to have one of those circumstances, Yeon Jung Hoon has them both. He has a famous actor father and he spent his school years in America. Not only that his debut days that followed after that were generally a smooth sailing, he also has one of the nation’s top beauty woman as his wife. After getting married at an early age, he has now just discharged from military service. As a man named Yeon Jung Hoon who posesses all of these good things in life, he is the man with enough potential to be misunderstood by other people. For the first time since he was discharged from army, he is now returning to small screen through a drama entitled ‘East of Eden’. Perhaps, the character that he has been searching for in a drama, has already there in the drama ‘East of Eden’?

InStyle 2008 2

Before and after discharged from military service, which aspect of your life that had changed greatly?

I’m getting older. (Laugh) When I first enlisted in the army, I was in my 20s and now I’m already 30. And since I enlisted a little bit later than most other people, rather than struggling hard, I got to meet with people from various cultures and backgrounds and because of that, now I feel like I have broadened my view of the world. I also feel so lighthearted after finishing this postponed assignment (military service) at last.

How are you doing these days?

I’m building up my body with my last holiday spirit before the filming for ‘East Of Eden’ begins. Discharged from military service, I lost a lot of weight. So I should exercise diligently to trim my figure but it doesn’t work out very well.

Please describe a little about your character in  drama ‘East Of Eden’.

I play for a man named ‘Dong Wook’ who was born and grew up in countryside. He then becomes a prosecutor later in the future. ‘Dong Wook’ is a young man who lives with a dream to avenge for his father. It’s a kaleidoscopic role that is expected to have character development the most as the drama progresses and certainly an equally demanding character that goes with the same amount of expectation. It seems like this is the first time I act in such an authentic drama since my debut.

As an actor, to have such a clean cut and well bred young man image like yours, is actually a merit or a demerit in your opinion?

Well, I’m not sure. It’s not that I make my own image. What I’m supposed to do when my personality and my living background are seen that way. Apart from showing a different side through the characters I play from time to time, I prefer to live my usual casual easy-going lifestyle in my everyday life.

Is there any big misunderstanding that people have about you?

I often heard that I look like a cold person who likes to remain aloof to people and doesn’t even bother to talk to anyone. I’m actually not like that at all.

You’re acting as a prosecutor in the drama, so it seems you’ll be wearing a lot of suit outfits. Do you have any know-how to dress sharply in suits?

I think I had worn all kind of suits in my previous drama ‘Snow White’ (2004). The stylist was naturally a person who has strong experimental spirits… (Laugh) But personally I like suits with classic style like the ones from Tom Ford or Ralph Lauren label rather than the suits with ostentatious style.

How would you define ‘stylish’ with your own words?

Wear something with confidence and also a whole look that has great colour combination. I majored in car design at college and I used to have a stereotype view that ‘designers should wear something with achromatic colour only’. I had this kind of perspective because of my professor. During my freshman year I used to dress unsophisticatedly beyond words, like wearing a blue shirt with orange necktie. I felt sort of culture shock when I looked at the way my professor dressed himself in light beige coloured outfit with a matching pants. Then, during my first trip to Italy after graduating from college, I experienced a refreshing jolt once again, seeing those Italian passers-by’s unique and stylish colour combination that they put together for their whole look.

Do you remember the very first suit that you had?

I had my first suit right before my high school graduation. I went to Hong Kong with my elder sister. I was so excited because there was a sale up to 70-80% off, so I bought one Giorgio Armani suit. At that time I should have bought a conservative black suit instead of the ‘silver hairtail’ coloured glossy suit that I picked. It was over 10 years now and I have worn it only twice so far. It’s just hanging there in my closet.

What is the longest-kept outfit that you have in your closet?

Once I buy a garment, I won’t throw it away so easily. A considerable amount of my clothes, I wore them until they were tattered. When I left the house this morning, I was wearing VANS shorts that I bought right before my junior high school years.  

InStyle 2008 3

Besides clothes, what do you think the most important factor that determine men’s style?

Actually, I often say that I should’ve studied mechanical engineering instead of majoring in design. Since I’ve always been interested with all types of machines, even out of many fashion accessories too, I like watches the most. However, it certainly costs a lot of money if I want to have all the watches that I like. In that sense, another much more affordable item that can give great fashion point to men’s style is none other than a pair of shoes. Anyone can be stylish when dressing up with classic-designed shoes or sneakers or any good pair of shoes.

Who is your style icon?

Johnny Depp. In the past, I used to think that David Beckham’s style is cool. But when I look at his style now, he seems to be overly interested in American look even though he is an Englishman himself. So Johnny Depp’s fashion that shows more of his own unique individuality looks much cooler to me.

What if your stylist isn’t around to assist when you need to attend an important awards ceremony. What would you wear to the awards ceremony then?

Haha. If I know about it, I’ll get my attire beforehand. (Laugh) I think I’m going to wear Tom Ford plaid suit that I bought not long ago with a pair of sneakers. When I first saw the suit, I thought that ‘plaid suit is really a no-no..’ but when I put it on, it actually looks really stylish. No matter how many times I look at it, I still think that Tom Ford is really the best!

If you could shop regardless the price, what brand would you choose?

When I’m shopping, rather than shopping at a specific brand store, I prefer to go shopping at a multi-brand store that offers variety of brands to choose. For designer brands, I prefer Tom Ford and Burberry Prorsum label by Christopher Bailey. I also like UnderCover brand by Jun Takahashi or any Japan brand that has the same style as 45RPM brand. It’s a trouble since they’re all expensive. (Laugh)

Do you have any memorable shopping episode?

A few years a go I went to Paris with my wife. We were on our way to eat when I found 45RPM shop by chance. Because I didn’t know anything about the brand, I just entered the store casually. The brand sells ordinary looking clothes but yet possess unique colour and design. My wife really liked the brand so much that she picked a handful of clothes and put them on the counter. But when we saw the total price amount, she took away the clothes one by one that in the end she bought only one T-shirt. Even after going back to Korea, my wife still felt regret about it for quite a while that she said the next time she go to Japan, she’ll find the 45RPM shop and she’ll buy their clothes as much as she wants. (Laugh)

Do you search and read articles that related to you on the internet?

I do read them sometimes. Since I’m a human too, of course I feel bad when I read any spiteful comments about me. But to face such things is also a part of my profession life as an actor, so I couldn’t help it. And to be honest, before being a celebrity, when I gathered with my friends, I’ve said various and unusual sort of comments myself after all. Sometimes when I saw good comments about me written by some people on the internet, I’d like to leave a reply ‘Aren’t you my relative?’. (Laugh)

Any post about you on the internet that you remember the most?

Me being in the 1st place for ‘Death Note’ ranking? (Laugh) When I saw such writing, I said in my heart ‘Then, why don’t you try very hard, so that you too can marry a pretty girl.’ I felt like saying those words but I didn’t.

InStyle 2008 4

It’s already known that you have strong liking towards cars, but do you have any new things that you ‘got hooked on’ lately?

Because I like cars, I still enjoy radio controlled car racing or tuning. But lately I also began to like golfing as my new hobby. I first learned how to play golf during primary school but since at that time I had no friend to play with, I couldn’t feel the fun of it. And then, one by one of my friends started to play golf since last winter. So, I also began to play golf once again. Initially, I went to the golf field because I like to have a relaxing stroll through the lush greenery of the nature besides hanging around with friends while exercising. But these days, since I manage to score stealthily I become more ambitious and motivated.

What are the things that make you the happy the most right now?

The new drama that I’ll start doing. After my debut until now, it seems that I’ve been doing only the projects that were given to me. But I’m involved a little more actively this time. And naturally if I’m working with a bunch of good acting casts, even working could be so much fun for me. I’m looking forward to our drama that will be aired on the end of August.

What would you be like after 30 years from now?

I probably have two or three children and they might be all grown up by that time. To be honest, I don’t want to live by relying on so much to acting work that made me giving up my privacy life completely. I guess, it’s just a mere wish that everyone hope for in life. The work that I want to do, whatever it is, it must be the kind of work that allows me to live freely.



Luigi Colani’s design book He is the car designer that I admire. His philosophy phrase “The universe has no right angle” is really impressive.

Classic black leather watch – It becomes my favourite watch because it can be worn with either suits attire or any casual clothes.

Custom-made putter – This custom-made putter has my name engraved on it. I got it as a gift from the golf shop that was introduced to me through a friend. Thanks to this putter, I managed to reduced 5 strokes off my game.

Radio-controlled car – This racing car is different from average racing car. It is a limited edition memorabilia car. Rather than using it for racing purposes I’ll have it as a valuable collectible.

Magazine scan credit to: AOI from YJH DCinside Gallery & Boronuk
Translate by: yjhspere


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