Actor Namkoong Min Says He's Still Learning His Craft

  • By Choi Soo-hyun

    April 25, 2017 12:56

    In the TV series "Good Manager," which wrapped up recently, actor Namkoong Min's character was a hero to office workers everywhere. He rebuked his bosses when their performance was poor and fought against corruption within his company.

    The comedy's central figure, played by Namkoong, is an accountant hired as a manager of a conglomerate's finance department. He is a genius at accounting fraud and tax evasion but ends up inadvertently bringing the company to justice. 

    Namkoong Min

    Namkoong said he hasn't had a chance to catch his breath since the series ended, as he has received so many offers from advertisers.

    "People ask me if I'm that funny in real life, but the truth is I can't even appear on talk shows, because I'm so serious and boring," he said. The character was the least like himself of all the roles he had played during his 14-year career, he added.

    "I studied the character and paid attention to every last detail. I moved my eyebrows, facial muscles and hands a lot, and created a unique speaking style for the character. I had to concentrate hard, because my own habits would surface if I let my guard down even for a second. My co-stars laughed so hard, I really felt like a funny guy."

    Prior to the series, Namkoong had mostly played supporting roles. His performance in "Can You Hear My Heart?" in 2011 was widely noticed and praised. "After that drama, I decided I would only accept lead roles, as I gained recognition and popularity, so I turned down all offers of supporting roles," he said. "Then I ended up taking an unwanted break for two years." 

    Namkoong realized he needed to be more flexible and accept opportunities as they arise. "I changed after that. I used to focus only on how cool my roles would be but I've come to consider an offer in terms of the project as a whole."

    If a script is good, he said, he'd even take a minor part. This approach has allowed him to enjoy acting again, and he no longer feels stressed even when working for long periods without a break.

    "Acting is still difficult, and I've realized that I still have a lot to learn. The series got me thinking back to when I started out," he said. "As you get older, you tend to stick to your habits in terms of your acting style. I want to be a hard-working actor who listens to others' advice." Full of confidence, he vowed to return with an even stronger performance soon. 

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