Gong Yoo might have been busy saving the world and his loved ones in Train to Busan and Goblin, but in real life, the only thing he’s busy with besides acting is his cats. The actor may have a brooding appearance and personality, but at times, he would surprise the media and fans with his candidness.
Think you know everything about Kim Shin (his character in Goblin)? Here are eight things you might not have known about the actor, who is celebrating his 38th birthday today.
He doesn’t have social media
In this day and age, it’s rare to find a celebrity who is not on social media, especially if they’re trying to break into the international market. However, Gong Yoo reckons he would never jump on that bandwagon. He told The Korea Herald, “I think (social media) is so scary. I think it’s a tool that makes people lonelier. You feel insecurities you don’t need to feel on social media.”
His life revolves around his cats
The actor seems to have a liking towards mentioning his cats during interviews. He even said during an interview that he would save his cats if there were a zombie attack. He said, “Does it have to be a human, or can it be something else? Can I not choose human? Can I choose my two cats at home? Can I choose them? I would be really scared if my cats were bitten by zombies, and that they became cat-zombies. If I were to choose one human, I would prefer choosing my two cats.”
He has had the same daily routine for more than a decade
In an interview with The Straits Times, he described his daily routine: “I’ve been living the same routine for the past 16 or 17 years. I either exercise or listen to music. Otherwise, I catch an early morning movie alone or watch a movie alone at home. Oh, I also clean up my cats’ poop.”
He speaks a bit of English
When he was in the army, he became a radio DJ for the military station. He even taught them basic English on some of his shows, which includes lessons like going to the club. The actor also showed off his linguistic prowess during a recent interview with CNN.
He influenced a change in Korean law
The actor initiated and pushed through the movie production of Silenced, after reading the book (titled The Crucible) in the army. The book was based on a real-life story about a school for the disabled that sexually assaulted their students. It sparked public outrage and led to reinvestigations of the suspects. It also resulted in a revision of a bill to target sex crimes against minors and the disabled.
Gong Yoo is not his real name
It’s common for Korean celebrities to use stage names (that sounds like real names), and Gong Yoo is no different. Born Gong Ji Cheol, the actor combined his parents’ surnames to form his stage name, Gong Yoo.
He watched Coffee Prince in the army barracks
While some actors refuse to watch their own works out of embarrassment, singer Tony An, who served military duties in the same unit as the actor, revealed that Gong Yoo used to control the TV remote and would watch Coffee Prince, the drama that he starred in, with a satisfied grin. Since he was ranked quite highly, no one dared to go against him.
He’s a descendant of Confucius
Or so he – or his parents – claimed. For the uninitiated, Confucius’ Chinese name is Kong Qiu (or Kong Fu Zi). So from Kong to Gong… his parents might not have been lying after all. He’s known to be good friends with another descendant of Confucius, actress Gong Hyo Jin.
Images: TPG/Click Photos
Here are a few articles featuring Gong Yoo that you might want to read.