If Korean actor Sung Hoon looks familiar to you, you might have perhaps seen him as the suave CEO in a K-drama. Or perhaps you saw him lounging on his sofa in Korean variety show I Live Alone. Both sides are very much his public image.
The actor, who used to be a national swimmer before he had to hang his goggles due to a spinal injury, made his acting debut in 2013.
When he's wearing a crisp shirt with his makeup and hair done, he is Sung Hoong "at work". When his hair is not styled and he's hanging out with his teddy bear Wilson, he is Sung Hoon on I Live Alone.
But he's not embarrassed to show the latter side of him. The actor, who is currently in town to attend Starhub's Night of Stars, said during a press conference today ahead of the event, "When I first had the meeting with the I Live Alone team, I told them if I had to show a certain image on the show, it's not something I want to do. But the team said they want to show me as myself. I think that's why it's more comfortable for me to film I Live Alone at my house because then I don't have to pretend that I'm a certain person or say something that make me have a certain image."
In fact, he's now comfortable with having cameras in his house.
He said, "I started the show with a comfortable mindset and after filming it, I became more comfortable because I'm actually telling people how I live in my normal life."
He added, "Whether it's Law of the Jungle, Running Man or I Live Alone, they are all not filmed on a set and require me to display some personal talents within a reality programme concept …. which was something really comfortable for me. And especially for I Live Alone, I can show my whole day and how I live, and that is why it was very comfortable for me."
And we can pretty much say his personality on I Live Alone is similar to his personality IRL based on the few minutes we spent with him because five minutes into the press conference, he suddenly realised that there was a livestream taking place and said, "There's a livestream taking place now, right? I forgot there was a livestream so I need to be aware of what I say," much to the amusement of the media.
HE WANTS TO HAVE FUN WITH THE SINGAPORE FANS
“Previously, I was here for a fashion show, photoshoot and filming for I Live Alone. At that time, I was here for work, so I didn’t get to enjoy Singapore that much. Today, as I’m sitting here, I do feel like I’m working, but I’m meeting the fans later so I think I’m here to have fun with the fans rather than just work, so I’m here with a more comfortable mindset than I had previously.”
HE DOESN'T LISTEN TO HIP-HOP MUSIC
“I don’t have a specific music genre that I like, but if you’re asking about the music I don’t listen to, it’s hip-hop. But for EDM, pop and other Korean music genres, I put them in shuffle and listen to them.”
HE THINKS THE SHOW IS POPULAR BECAUSE OF HENRY LAU
“I want to thank not only the fans, but also Henry. (Laughs) He’s popular in Asia, so I think that’s the biggest reason why we’re popular in Asia. Each cast member has a distinct character, which makes it fun. There’s nothing in the show that is scripted, we show our genuine side, so that’s why fans enjoy our show.”
HE WON'T BE RELEASING AN ALBUM ANYTIME SOON
“Absolutely not! (Laughs) On I Live Alone, I was depicted to be funny in terms of the song I put on the album. But the reason why I made an album was not to make money, but to have fun with my fans through the album, so we can sing together—it’s a great communication process. So, in future, if there’s a way that I feel like I need to sing with my fans to have fun, then maybe I would consider it but for now… absolutely not!”
HE DOESN'T WANT TO COPY ANY CELEBRITY'S LIFESTYLE
“I’ve never wanted to copy anyone’s lifestyle. I put a lot of attention in how I live, so I’m slightly more normal in terms of my lifestyle, but if you asked me to choose someone who has a similar lifestyle, I would choose Kian84.”
He might start a mukbang channel… or something more than that
“It is definitely something we are thinking about now. I wouldn’t say it’ll be a mukbang or eating channel, but more of lifestyle and how I live to give more content to my fans and to communicate with them. I don’t think it’s something that will happen now or tomorrow but we’re taking it into consideration.”
HE WANTS TO GO CABLE-SKIING IN SINGAPORE AGAIN
“I’ve always come to Singapore not for a holiday but for work. I always arrive at the airport, go to the hotel, work, then go to the airport, then back to Korea. I always did this. When I was filming I Live Alone, I tried cable skiing. It was fun and I wanted to go there again but I don’t know if my schedule allows for it this time round.”
He’s a DJ (he goes by the name DJ Roiii) but he doesn’t know if anyone wants to watch a drama about a DJ
“If the script is well-made and the drama is fun, then I would want to try [acting as a DJ]. But I don’t know if a drama related to a DJ is going to be fun for the viewers, so that would be something I have to consider.”
HE'S NOT CEO MATERIAL IRL BUT IF HE WAS, HE WANTS TO FLY WITH HIS DOG
“I’ve never been that rich, and even now, I’m not that rich. The first drama role I had was of a CEO, and the ratings were good and we gained a lot of popularity through that drama, so that could be why I keep getting offered similar roles. If I were rich, the first thing I want is a private jet so I can fly around with my dog, Yang Hee. Now, Yang Hee can’t go into a cage, so she can’t take the plane, so I want a private jet so we can fly around together. If Yang Hee could fly, I think I would have brought her here. (Host: That’s a hint to the staff.) [If I took a private jet,] how much of my fees do I have to sacrifice? (Laughs)”
This article was first published in CLEO Singapore.