10 Fun facts you probably didn't know about Jeju Island Gatsby leading man Yoo Yun Suk
Jeju Island Gatsby is just around the corner, and it marks the first time the talented and handsome Yoo Yun Suk will play the male lead in a major network drama. Fans may recognize him from his extremely varied roles in Gu Family Book, A Werewolf Boy, or Answer Me 1994, just to name a few, but what is the man behind the camera really like? Get to know the latest Hong Sisters leading man with these fun facts!
1. With his breakout role in Answer Me 1994, many fans thought he was a rookie actor, but Yoo Yun Suk actually made his debut in the famous 2003 film Oldboy. In a small but crucial role, he played the younger version of Yoo Ji Tae, and he was recommended for the part because of his resemblance to Yoo Ji Tae. In a 2013 interview, Oldboy director Park Chan Wook joked that if he had known how successful Yoo Yun Suk would become, he would have treated him better on set, giving him more close-ups.
2. Yoo Yun Suk completed his mandatory military service in the air force, which requires three extra months of enlistment. Why did he choose that branch of the military? Because the air force training camp was close to his girlfriend's house! Sadly,instead of visiting him often as she had promised, she broke up with him shortly after he entered training. There's a silver lining to the story, though. Yoo Yun Suk said that he pulled from the experience of having heartbreak and a one-sided love for his role as Chilbong in Answer Me 1994.
3. Yoo Yun Suk has a very versatile acting career, which sometimes makes viewers confused about his true personality. After his antagonistic role in Architecture 101. where he came between Suzy and her true love, netizens posted angry messages about him online. Then, when he played a hateful villain against Song Joong Ki in Werewolf Boy, he earned the nicknames of "nation's bad boy" and "guy you want to slap."
4. Yoo Yun Suk has been dedicated to acting for many years. He moved to Seoul in high school so that he could pursue acting, and when his career didn't take off after Oldboy, he went on to earn a degree in Film Arts at Sejong University. He said that it was difficult to go back to high school plays after a role in a big film, but his perseverance has paid off!
5. Acting isn't this man's only talent! Yoo Yun Suk actually developed furniture making skills during his time working on play sets in his high school and university days, and he both designed and built most of the furniture in his home. In an episode of Real Talk show Taxi, he said that he wants to put his skills to good use when he proposes marriage someday. He said of his dream proposal, "I can make my own furniture, so I will present a baby bed later, saying, 'Would you please have my baby?'" Awww! Now that's pretty adorable.
6. Yoo Yun Suk's hobbies don't end there, though. He is also an avid gardener, and he has built an impressive knowledge of plant properties that he uses to make his own natural beauty products! Since his acting career is so busy, he doesn't have time to make his own cosmetics anymore, but he did make some lavender face spray from scratch and gave it to Sung Yu Ri in a 2014 episode of Healing Camp.
7. Is half of this list about stuff Yoo Yun Suk knows how to do that makes us swoon? Yes, yes it is — but apparently the man knows how to do everything because he loves photography, and he collects and rebuilds cameras in his free time. The actor went to Ethiopia with World Vision in 2014, creating a photobook titled DREAM about his volunteer experiences in the African nation. All proceeds from the photobook went back to charity.
Oh, and did we mention that he can play guitar, piano, saxophone, and the traditional Korean gong? Because he can.
8. Yoo Yun Suk isn't his real name! He was born as Ahn Yun Suk, but he changed his family name during his college years because people thought it might be too hard to pronounce.
9. For his 2014 movie Whistle Blower, Yoo Yun Suk played a researcher who becomes an informant. In preparation for the role, he met with veterinary researchers and studied their slightest movements so that he could copy their mannerisms. He noticed nervous habits like twisting their hair and playing with their fingernails, and he incorporated those mannerisms into the character.
10. When asked about his ideal type, Yoo Yun Suk has repeatedly mentioned American actress Amanda Seyfried, who, in turn chose him as her ideal Korean man in an interview! He was finally able to meet his dream girl at a charity event, and he said it made him fall even more in love. According to the actor, it is her beautiful and genuine smile that he finds endearing.
So there you have it, drama fans. Don't these facts just make you fall even more in love with Yoo Yun Suk? I can't wait to see him in the premiere of Jeju Island Gatsby on May 13! You can sign up for new episode alerts for this DramaFever exclusive series HERE.
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In the meantime, you can see Yoo Yun Suk in the first trailer for the series below: