This is Part II of our interview with Ryu Seung Bum. Read Part I here.
It would mean that it's in your nature to be so, when you're so good at being a bully you're called the best in Korea for such acting.
"That's right. I'm a punk. I want to be the kind of punk that people want to be around. I'm not really a bully though. I want to be a person people think they'll have a good time with."
Ryu Seung Bum the punk actually hasn't been in much trouble.
"It's because I'm honest. I think people just pass everything by since I just show it as it is. I have no more new things to show. I've shown it all. I don't go well with mysterious images."
You're actually a very faithful Christian though.
"The reason I don't go the wrong way is because of my religion. I lower the threshold for churches, don't I? Since people like me go to church too, it means church can be a very comfortable place. I go to church with sleeveless shirts on, showing all my tattoos, and people pray for me and show concern for me. I still remain bold and continue on my style though. I'm Christian, but I'm interested in Asian philosophy and I recently enjoyed Monk Hye Min's book."
Ryu Seung Bum is very popular among men. Do you know?
"Yes, I do. I have a lot of male fans. I think they think of me as a substitute for their dreams. I like actors like Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro. They just live their lives according to their own values. I think that's why I have so many male fans. I don't even receive skin treatments, though I'm an actor. I recently went to see the dermatologist for the first time in a few years. I just pop my own zits. It's so thrilling."
That's why you're always mistaken as the valet. (Ryu Seung Bum recently said on broadcast that he's often mistaken as the town's valet.)
"It's because I usually go out in a comfortable jacket. Sometimes when I stand with my back turned, people come to me with their car keys. I believe I give people hope somehow, since I show that people like me can be actors too. I started the Renaissance of hope and dreams. (Laugh)"
Why won't you appear in dramas? Your last drama appearance was in 2004.
"I don't want to make viewers feel uncomfortable. I don't like it when I'm on the small screen; what would viewers think? I can't curse or use slang in dramas also. I feel locked in."
Still, you need to be in dramas to become a hallyu star.
"I'm not very jealous of hallyu stars. I'm never really jealous of anyone. There are hallyu stars, and then there are people like me who manage to stay on."
You don't want to win awards, either?
"No. I did receive some, but I don't even keep the trophies at my home."
Have you watched any films recently?
"I watched Namyeong-dong 1985. It was sad. My hobby actually isn't in film though. It's in music."
You like music so much; do you have any plans to release an album?
"There are people who would give their lives for music; I don't think it would be good for me to release an album when I just listen to it as a hobby. Music is holy to me. There's so much music to listen to out there; there's no need for me to start making music. These days I'm into North European music."
What are your plans for the future?
"I have many big hopes and dreams. I don't think anything would make me happier than being able to remain on film as I grow old."
'The Berlin File' has premiered. Do you feel you could have done anything better?
"I feel if I had acted for it now, I would have done better. It's always like that when we finish. Still, I don't think I would have made it perfect even now. I just need to live today at the fullest with such thoughts in my head."
What does 'The Berlin File' mean to you?
"It's a great and new experience. Since it's a commercial film, I hope it's successful. It won't change my life, but if a commercial film becomes popular, I think it would feel great since it means the movie was used for its original purpose."
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan
Reach reporter Oh MiJung on Twitter @isyutar!