At 18-years-old, Baek Sung-hyun may be young, but he is committed. His performance as the neglected younger brother of an autistic runner in the 2005 hit Marathon had an authenticity that stood out.
Baek is also experienced. 'When I was little, I lived next door to Lee Yi-jung [a TV actress and singer]. Her mother saw me singing and dancing as a kid and told my mother I had that certain something.
'So I got my first film role when I was about four or five, in the film I Wish For What Is Forbidden To Me,' he says. 'Since then, I've been in about 40 different TV and film roles.'
'When you're acting, you can forget whatever worries or sorrows you have in your mind and channel that into the performance. I like that you get to live someone else's life. It can be tough to be on a shoot, but in the moment you are actually shooting, you can forget everything and totally immerse yourself. It's also a great feeling to see an audience moved by your performance.
'I recently read the play Equus and the character of Alan intrigued me. It's the kind of role I'd like to play at the peak of my skills. I want to try complex works that deal with difficult questions and look into a person's innermost thoughts,' he says.
Baek's upcoming film My Happy Ending, he says, is most comparable with the Japanese film Be With You for its melodrama and memories of first love. He plays a terminally-ill patient who, at 18, realises he has done nothing but study and he is about to die.
'I think this is just the beginning for me. All the things I have been doing so far have only laid the foundation for what I hope to become as an actor,' he says.
'I want to become the sort of actor who can take on any role and people will say, 'That really suits him.'
'Of course I want to have a steady base in Korea, but if I have an ambition, it is to have my name known all over the world. I love travelling, and I'm working on my Japanese and English. Right now, I am getting along with basic language skills and body language.'
Contact: Star K Ent, (82) 2 540 3369
Dir: Chung Yoon-chul
Besa Me Mucho (2001)
Dir: Jeon Yoon-su
My Happy Ending aka Romancing Flower (2007)
Dir: Jang Sung-su