“Lovely Runner” Byun Woo Seok Opens Up About Early Career Struggles and Overcoming Self-Doubt

Actor Byun Woo Seok recently shared his journey from obscurity to fame, revealing the challenges he faced during the early years of his career.

Appearing on the latest episode of ‘You Quiz on the Block’ that aired on May 22, Byun Woo Seok expressed mixed feelings about the sudden attention and recognition he received following the success of ‘Lovely Runner.’

“I’ve worked hard for 8-9 years,” he said, expressing gratitude and amazement at the love he’s now receiving.

Byun Woo Seok also disclosed that he’s been inundated with job offers, receiving “10 to 20 times more offers (for roles)” than before.

His first lead role in the drama ‘Lovely Runner’ didn’t come easily. The script had initially been offered to other actors, resulting in a three-year wait for production to begin.

Despite the delay, Byun Woo Seok felt an immediate connection to the script: “When I read it, I thought, ‘I have to film this, I want to film this.’”

However, his rise to fame wasn’t without its struggles. This year marks his ninth since debuting, and Byun Woo Seok recalled the difficult moments when he wasn’t well-known. “I’ve been cut during script readings and faced harsh criticism,” he shared. “There were times when I had very low self-esteem.”

As a former model, he loved being in front of the camera. But the constant criticism in his acting career led to a fear of cameras. “I questioned if it was right for me to continue this path,” he admitted.

Despite hearing blunt remarks from others, Byun Woo Seok persevered. “Some said, ‘I don’t think you’ll make it in 4-5 years.’ Ironically, things started to work out after 4-5 years,” he reflected.

Rather than remaining idle, he immersed himself in the field, taking on any role, no matter how small.

In a candid moment during a one-on-one interview with the production staff, Byun Woo Seok revealed a painful memory: “After the script reading, I got my hair done to fit the character, but then I received a phone call saying, ‘Sorry, we don’t think we can work with you this time.’”

Leaving the group chat with cast members after being cut from the project felt like a blow to his pride. Yet, those moments fueled his determination to improve and work harder.

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