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Gong Yoo reveals he felt 'empty' after 'Goblin's' massive success

By Melanie Uson Published Oct 06, 2023 2:51 pm

Gong Yoo gets real about his struggles with anxiety after the massive success of his K-drama, Goblin, saying how he couldn’t enjoy the spotlight since he felt "unhappy and empty.” 

The Korean star opened up during the Sept. 29 episode of the YouTube series Pinggyego, where he talked about a variety of things, from sharing their interests to the most serious topics, including dealing with anxiety. 

Host Yoo Jae Suk asked Gong Yoo if he ever feels anxious, to which the latter answered affirmed, saying that he experienced it twice during his twenties and thirties, including the time when his 2016 drama series Goblin was at its peak. 

“Of course, I've gone through emotional anxieties in my twenties and thirties, but I can't tell what kind of a feeling it is,” he began. 

“Like, Goblin achieved huge success, but weirdly, I didn't feel happy,” he revealed. 

The 44-year-old actor clarified that he was happy that the drama series succeeded, but shared that a part of him felt “so empty and sad.” 

“I didn’t know what to do back then,” he added. “I couldn't enjoy any spotlight or happiness. It's hard to talk about this openly,” he said, saying that people might confuse him as being ungrateful, especially when they assume that he is on “cloud nine” given the massive success. 

Moving on, Gong Yoo said that the experience made him become more “empathetic” to other people. 

“After I went through those things, I got to see everything differently,” he said.  

“I’ve become more empathetic, [and think] ‘I hope he’s fine,’” he said. 

After its run in 2016, Goblin gained massive success globally. In Korea alone, the hit series is among the top three cable dramas with the highest viewership ratings, with a record of 20.5 percent.

Gong Yoo was meanwhile awarded the Best Actor in the Baeksang Arts Awards in 2017 while its screenwriter Kim Eun-sook was awarded the grand prize. 

Other than Goblin, Gong Yoo is known for his roles in series and films Coffee Prince, Train to Busan, Silenced, and The Silent Sea.