A Stalker's Guide to Yoo Ji Tae
Yes, this is the guy. The guy I was talking about. The one and only mister Yoo Ji Tae. The best Korean actor. Yes, for me he is the best. I know there is Choi Min Shik, there is Song Kang Ho, there is Han Seok Kyu then Kim Sang Joong, Son Hyun Joo and Choi Min Soo, and yes they are brilliant actors to the point that you wouldn't know whom to pick as number one, but I still chose Ji-tae. Why?
I think the answer is pretty simple. When I see him on the screen, either he plays a good or bad guy, either it's a main or small role, either it's a movie or drama, I see only him and no one else. I see his big shoulders, I hear his unique voice that I'd recognize anywhere. I see his dreamy and expressive eyes, which tell me more than 1000 words could ever tell, and I've already gone deep into his world. I literally become so involved with whichever character he plays and I start from the point where I could adore him and worship him so much to the point where I could rip his eyes and kill him. He is one Korean actor who has the strongest effect on me, and no matter how other actors may be amazing or better in other people's eyes, he still stays as my all time favourite Korean actor. And truthfully he is the most handsome and attractive one, that is one big plus for him definitely. His tallness, beautiful face and elegant figure really blow up many women's minds. ;)
When I was younger I loved Asian horror movies the most, still love them only I watch now every kind of genre that comes from Asia. Anyway that's how I discovered him, through horror movieInto the Mirror. And I completely loved that movie, still one of my favourites. He was really cool there. That is how my fascination for Ji-tae started. ♥
He is so gorgeous, right? :P
He is a model, he is a stage actor, he is a director, is there anything this man can't do? ;)
One thing depressed me though. He is taken. :( Married. In love. Like really in love and happy. And she is also a movie star, one gorgeous actress Kim Hyo Jin. And they match so perfectly, look at them, both so beautiful.
They met 2003 and at first they were friends, but after three years they started to date, and married in 2011. Then in 2014 they became parents. Such a fairy tale and lovely story between them right? I like them cause they stayed together despite that awful world of show business, they are such a support to each other, they always smile and always so polite and good to their fans. I'd say they a real diva couple. ♥
And she was beside him when he graduated from Dankook university with a major in Theater and Film, just look how cute they are. ;)
I also appreciate that he cares a lot about world problems, he's not some rich typical star, he is very active philanthropist- he helped in setting up a kindergarten in Nepal, has donated to Haiti earthquake relief, then funds for building schools in Myanmar. He has promoted the adoption of abandoned dogs, has campaigned against domestic violence towards migrant wives, and many other things. A man that could be such an example for other famous people.
I read somewhere that he loves theater and doing plays, I'll quote his words: "I work on stage because it's there that I find the challenge and the stimulus an actor needs through continuous creative work."
And I have to agree on that, stage is a lot more difficult and if you overcome theater and become confident in your own performance, you'll succeed as an actor for sure.
I mentioned that he also showed his talent in directing and recently he's really into that, to him "Making films is like taking drugs. Actors feel a pleasure when they deliver well but directors feel they have poured out everything they have in the sole fact that they have completed a movie. It's impossible to compare the pleasure you get from it."
I find his words very inspiring and his way of thinking challenging to make you want to do more and more with your own life.
He is a real example of a movie actor, he had roles in only two dramas as I know, Star's Lover and extremely successful and popular drama Healer.
Let me say something about those dramas although about Healer even the birds know. ;)
1. Drama Star's Lover (2008)
This drama is like some fairy tale, something with the touch of "Notting Hill". The story is about two people who through many coincidences meet and fell in love. She is a top star, the most popular actress and he is an ordinary guy who is in need for money, and becomes a ghostwriter for her. That is when the whole story and problems begin. I love this drama because it introduced me to one of the best couples with great chemistry, their kisses, interactions and scenes together are really something, I fully enjoyed and both Ji-tae and Choi Ji Woo were fantastic. This drama is a bit for more mature audience, it has low rating here but for me it is one of the sweetest love stories. Plus you'll fall in love with Ji-tae here cause he is so handsome, dreamy, romantic and damn smart. I love when he talks so much about books, when he admires them and when I see his room filled with books, it's indeed such a turn on. ;)
2. Drama Healer (2014)
There is no need to get into some deep talk about this one cause it's worldwide famous, but I'll say a few words about him and the character he plays, Kim Moon Ho. I think that Moon-ho was the most complex character, someone who really got through so many things in life, someone who knew so much but still he kept silent for the reasons known only to him. And I really liked his development through entire drama, this character was very well written and for me the best one in whole drama. Also I loved his little bromance with Healer, how he protected and was trying to do the right thing for Jung Hoo and her.
Apart from that deepness of his character there is nothing special about this drama, the hype is too big. Yes I liked it cause I like the cast (Kim Mi Kyung, Ji-tae and Ji Chang Wook) plus two hotties plus good music, plus good actions scenes and you get one entertaining relaxing drama with good acting and solid script but that's all. One ordinary action romance drama where chemistry between the leads was really great, between the couple but also between Moon-ho and two of them. You won't die if you don't watch it but you also won't be disappointed if you do.
Now let's talk about some real talent here and his movies. Before that just a few looks at him and his natural awesomeness. :P
As I said already that movie Into the Mirror was the first movie where I fell for his acting. This movie is also a favourite of mine, I watched it in 2003. and then found out about YJT and I loved it. I liked its scariness, its way of telling a horror story where actually behind that is something touching and sad. Almost all Asian horror movies are like that, behind that scary and disturbing things, kids, ghosts or whatever else, there is always some sad or tragic story. That's why I love these types of movies, horror without lots of blood and killing people by ripping them apart. ;)
This movie tells a story of a former policeman who was conflicted and tortured by his past, and gives up that job and starts working as security guard in a department store. When some strange suicides start to happen he decides to investigate all by himself, but at the same time is followed by his former colleague who holds a grudge against him. This movie has some pretty scaring moments and I remember that I had goosebumps and always had some crazy desire to look at myself in the mirror. ;)
The cast is pretty strong, with YJT and Kim Myung Min as leads, it's already promising. If you're into horror in typical Asian style then this is a must see.
His newest movie based on a real story which absolutely left such a big impression on me. I mean the plot isn't something that unique, nor the whole movie isn't something big, but his acting was pure perfection. I thought that he couldn't surprise me anymore with his brilliance, but once again he proved that he can. I will never forget this movie and his portrayal of a man, a famous opera singer Bae who suffers from thyroid cancer and at the peak of his career he loses his voice. I will never forget that expression in his eyes, that despair, that sadness, that powerful hope and fight to go on and sing again. I dare to say that Ji-tae was at his best here. And when you add one outstanding Japanese actor like Iseya Yusuke who portrays a music producer who becomes fascinated by Bae's singing, you have one great friendship, two magnificent actors, good acting, great music and some shots of my beloved town Belgrade. ;)
One emotional, touching movie full of hope, love, friendship and the will to live on.
A brutal movie about corruption, crime and evil guys who actually win in some way and good ones not. I enjoyed this one, I liked that dark tone and atmosphere, even the ending, it was so cool. Both Kwon Sang Woo and Ji-tae were pure awesomeness, I loved Sang-woo's acting a lot, his performance of one tough, short-tempered homicide detective who fights against the system and politics only to catch a main bad guy, a crime boss. In his fight a smart prosecutor Oh who lives by the law joins him and they become a tandem. Then the real fight for survival begins. The movie was well done with good closure and lots of realism how the real world functions today. If you're into some good action, crime and revenge plot, don't miss this one.
4.Old Boy (2003)
Who didn't hear about this movie? Old Boy has become a true classic, a movie famous around the world, director Park Chan-wook became one of the most critically acclaimed directors and the actors in it became popular and known to audience outside South Korea. Personally it's not the movie I liked that much, I know it has original story, brilliant acting, magnificent performance worth the Oscar both from Ji-tae and Choi Min Shik but simply I find it very twisted especially the end. Don't get me wrong, I love twisted, dark, gory, crazy movies the most, but here I think what actually made me sick was the ending. Maybe that's why it's not in my favourite movies. ;)
But I can't deny its great cinematography, directing, idea and acting, it was really powerful and I think this movie actually isn't meant for us to enjoy in it and like it, it's more meant to make a very strong and unforgettable impression which really worked in my case.
A man trapped in one room for 15 years without knowing why and when he's finally gets out there is vengeance, psycho guy, romance, killings, blood, brutality, all mixed in one, it does make you curious. ;)
One more crazy role for our dear Yoo Ji-tae. ;)
Here he is one psycho whose idol is Travis Bickle from "Taxi Driver" and who is an obsessed fan of TV anchorwoman and late night radio host Sun Young. When she announces that she's gonna quit her job as radio host he then starts to take things in his own hands and the real story begins. Stalking, kidnapping, murder, action and fear are well packed in this movie with great acting from Soo Ae, not to mention Yoo who was simply so freaking scary and disgusting as a real twisted lunatic.
It was entertaining watching both of them playing game of cat and mouse. ;)
Let me tell you, this one is one HOT SEXY CRAZY movie.;)
Very crazy and very weird but I loved it, I don't know why, I guess mostly cause of him but generally I liked the plot, it was unique and interesting to see something this controversial. Ji-tae plays two roles, two brothers where one of them has a wife and soon after wedding gets into an accident and falls into a coma; and the other comes to their place when his brother is in come, meets his wife played by sweet, lovely Yoon Jin Seo who never saw him before and didn't know they are identical twins and soon enough they start an affair. The rest you'll find out when you watch it. But trust me one thing is sure, this movie is one of those with best scenes of passion, lust and making love with such powerful chemistry, I'd love to see them start in another movie or drama as a couple. And ending will make you wonder and feel very strange. At least it was like that for me and I liked it. ;)
Although a supporting character, he was important enough and his performance was great as usual. He plays a firefighter who is one of the team members of a whole unit who tries to find and stop a famous arsonist from terrorizing a city. The main game is between a veteran fireman played by awesome coolest ahjussi Choi Min Soo and crazy arsonist played by Cha Seung Won who were by the way so incredible in their roles. Nothing wow about this movie but it will keep your full attention without some moments of boredom.
Seeing Ji-tae in some romantic movie is always a pleasure and feast for the eyes. ;)
With amazing and talented Lee Young Ae he starts as her love interest, sound engineer who steals her heart as well she, a local DJ, steals his. Pure romance movie about what love is, what is passion, can passion withstand and last forever or will it lose its way becoming a simple routine and habit? All these questions are asked in this movie. The whole atmosphere is so full of love, care, I liked their walks in the woods, I liked spring theme in it, I liked their conversations and natural approach to romance and I find this movie very realistic, actually one of those gems of mine. Bonus you get to watch Ji-tae so in love and so sweet. ♥
If you want something bizarre, supernatural with horror and thriller elements than you should try this one. It's not the best out there, I was disappointed because I expected more from that glorious cast with a bunch of fantastic actors but it failed to impress me. The idea was actually pretty good, an expedition of 6 people challenged crossing the Antarctic for the first time without supply with goal to come to unreachable point of Antarctic continent. And in middle of their journey they find some old British journal from expedition 80 years ago when strange, unexplainable things start to happen and darkness appears.
I can't complain for the lack of acting, that part was good, Song Kang Ho, Park Hee Soon, Ji-tae and rest of the guys were really fine but I guess the whole reason how and why failed to deliver. And I found the end rather unsatisfying and mystery plot not well done. Anyway it wasn't complete waste of time, I'd watch anything with this cast and it was worth to see how they all become insane. ;)
First thought: "Lord, let this man wear long hair for a lifetime! Yoo Ji-tae please let your wonderful hair and beard grow." :P
Then came the second and third and all other thoughts. It was so different watching him in some historical movie, with this clothing and sword and it was so good, I really wish for more roles like this for him. I think he'd be great because in this movie he was really good. His grandiose figure came to the light, his shoulders, arms, and his eyes, that was enough to enjoy in his portrayal of a servant who falls in love with his master's daughter, a girl named Jin-yi who later on becomes one of the most famous and legendary courtesans.
The whole movie is about her life, how she was from a rich family and finds out that she is a daughter of a female slave and how she falls to the bottom so that she could rise again as the most beautiful, glorious, intelligent courtesan. And in all that process one man was there all the time, to protect and love her. I wanted to see more between them, more interactions because they loved each other so much but I guess this movie wasn't about that. I find Song Hye Kyo's acting very delightful and this kind of role is made for her, she is a beauty in real life, probably the most wonderful Korean actress ever and it was such a pleasure watching these two gorgeous persons act together. The movie could have been done better in terms of deepness and with less rushing but generally it was a nice watch.
With this role he actually started becoming popular in world of cinematography, one of his very first roles where he plays a guy who lives in 2000, and through radio he begins to communicate with a girl from his university. In their desire to meet each other they slowly start to realize how they're not from same time, she is from year 1979 and he from 2000. How is that even possible? And what will happen to them? What is the real story here?
This movie was quite a success but I didn't find it that good, somehow it was bittersweet and nice and he was really cute with that blond dyed hair but that's all. I wanted more. That's why I find his other romance movie One Fine Spring Day much more deep and full of real romance.
Other movies which I've seen with Ji-tae are:
-Attack the Gas Station (1999), this one is actually pretty funny and hilarious. It's an old movie with a bunch of famous actors who were young and so funny back then. Four guys decide to rob a gas station and when they see there isn't some big money, they take employees as hostages, lock them up and take over the station. Without knowing a thing about running a gas station they come across many problems. I laughed while watching them, it's a nice relaxing movie for weekend, watch it with friends and have a good laugh.
- Natural City (2003), action sci-fi movie in the year of 2080 where technology advanced pretty much, even brought to the the creation of cyborgs. Then cyborgs revolt and military squad leaded with two men is ordered to eliminate them. Things start to become complicated because one of the guys falls in love with a cyborg so the whole battle becomes unclear and hard to follow. Plot holes were definitely here with some stupid decisions but overall typical sci-fi movie, not good but also not so bad.
- Hello Schoolgirl(2008), 18 year old high school girl and 30 year old man start to like each other, he innocent and shy for his age, she eccentric and positive. They become neighbors after he comes to live in her building. Could anything happen between those two and have a happy ending? Very typical movie, boring if you ask me, you won't miss anything if you don't watch it. Except for him, if you're crazy fan of his like me then watch it. ;)
- Traces of Love (2006), two people fall in love, got engaged but soon tragedy happens and she dies. After some time he is given a journal that was written by her with details of a journey they would have taken on their honeymoon. He takes a journey where he meets one woman and the actual plot starts. Slow paced movie with very touching background, I liked their story and their deep love for each other. Movie made for women to watch together.
And here I'm in my room writing this article for the actor I respect so much and I think what a stupid fool I was, I didn't even know that he was in my town when he was filming The Tenor Lirico Spinto. I could have meet him, taken a picture and tell him how much I love him, I could have even kidnapped him. :P
But the chance is already gone. And I wrote this article so that some other true fans of his could read and then pay more attention of happenings in their cities, he could be there in front of your nose. Go get him ;)
Yoo Ji-tae is one hell of an actor, a rare talent and truly a grand actor who never disappoints with his acting because some people are simply born with that raw, pure talent and he is one of those. I am always looking forward seeing him more and more, he is always welcome to my world of movies and dramas and I hope that by each day one new fan of his will be born. The guys damn deserves all the shine and glory. ♥
And we like him, right? :P ♥
If there is an actor or an actress that is worthy of a Stalker's Guide in your opinion, and you have watched enough dramas of his/hers to prove it, please contact KatelynJaynea about it.