In an exclusive interview with Globe, Yeo Jin-goo spills the details about his cooking adventures, reuniting with former castmates and traveling through South Korea in a House on Wheels
It’s hard to recall what the outdoors were once like. After being cooped up in our homes for three months and counting, our interactions with the outside world are (and should be) few and fleeting: a grocery run here, a drugstore run there, an exciting trip to ten steps outside the doorway to pick up the day’s food delivery. Just as it starts to seem like life beyond the village, the city, the country exists only in our memories, tvN comes in with a cure: the network’s newest must-watch variety show, House on Wheels.
House on Wheels is a balm for the wanderlust-ridden soul. Starring Sung Dong-il, Kim Hee-won and Yeo Jin-goo, the show follows the trio as they travel across South Korea in a literal house on wheels. With the tiny house movement picking up speed globally, more and more people have begun to downsize and live more environmentally conscious lives. The show zeroes in on this unique lifestyle, as well as must-visit provinces and the growth of the traveling trio.
Unlike his co-stars, Yeo Jin-goo is a fresh face on the variety scene. After starring his stint as Goo Chan Sung in breakthrough drama Hotel Del Luna, he navigates his way around South Korea and the variety show world with House on Wheels. “I think the biggest difference [between dramas and variety shows] is the fact that in variety shows, viewers get to watch more of Yeo Jin-goo as himself. It’s more of my genuine self,” he shares.
But as any K-culture fan would know, variety shows are a completely different animal than scripted films and series. This left Yeo Jin-goo with his fair share of apprehensions before joining the cast of House on Wheels. “Everything is impromptu and genuine,” expresses Yeo Jin-goo. “I think I spent a lot more time thinking about whether I should be part of a variety show production than a drama or film, because I get a little nervous about showing my true self.”
Despite his initial uneasiness, Yeo Jin-goo has adapted wonderfully to his new life on wheels. Already well acquainted with his co-stars (he made his TV debut in I Want to Love in 2006 as Sung Dong-il’s son!), he got to unlock new levels of friendship with his seniors. Together, they didn’t just travel around the country—they built their home, planned their journey, and shared a relatively confined space. They also invited guests over to their House on Wheels, which is arguably one of the show’s highlights.
One of the most awaited guests was undeniably IU, Yeo Jin-goo’s Hotel Del Luna co-star, whom he personally invited to come on the show. “After the long, 6-month journey of filming Hotel Del Luna, the entire production team as well as the cast members went on an overseas trip together. I think the entire time, we were very close and I got to know IU as a person a lot during the filming journey, as well as [during] the trips we took together with the team,” shares Yeo Jin-goo. “Even though I was the one who invited her to come on the show, I felt that she was just being herself. She was very natural, she was very authentic. Of course her character in Hotel Del Luna is a fictional character, but IU as a person is very different in real life. In House on Wheels, you’ll get to enjoy seeing her be herself and watching her share what she’s been up to.”
In the process of settling into his new mobile home, Yeo Jin-goo also discovered more about himself.
One of the key aspects of tiny houses is to live with less—less belongings, less plastic, and less chemicals—which Yeo Jin-goo was already practicing in his own life before filming the show. “I was already practicing minimalistic and environmentally friendly practices like using plastic as little as possible and not using too much of [those] environmentally harmful items like takeaway boxes, so I would say that as I embarked on my House on Wheels journey, I discovered I was already living out such practices in my actual life off-camera.”
Another interesting fact: all three cast members had to secure a special license to drive the massive House on Wheels, but due to the risks involved, Yeo Jin-goo primarily left the task of driving to Kim Hee-won. Instead, he found his calling in the kitchen.
“I love cooking,” he enthuses. “Even though I can’t say I cook every day, if there are dishes that I want to try out, then I wouldn’t be afraid of giving them a shot.” This is something viewers have already gotten to see in House on Wheels, with Yeo Jin-goo trying his hand at everything from sikhye (a Korean traditional rice drink) to red pepper paste stew. While he may have gotten off to a clumsy start, Yeo Jin-goo eventually earned his stripes as the unofficial barista of the house.
See the rest of Yeo Jin-goo’s adventures unfold on tvN’s House on Wheels! Catch the episodes with English subs online on Viu. Get more of your favorite Korean drama and variety shows with Globe's promos: subscribe to Globe Prepaid's GoKOREAN10 for an additional 1GB on K-entertainment apps, or subscribe to Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi's HomeWATCH199 for free 4GB on YouTube, Netflix, iWant, iflix, Viu, VLive, TikTok, and NBA.
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