On a recently broadcast episode of SBS’ “Healing Camp,” Yoo Yeon Seok explained the reason why he entered the military ahead of other actors of a similar age.

Yoo Yeon Seok debuted in the 2003 blockbuster “Oldboy,” in which he played the younger version of Yoo Ji Tae’s character. Because the movie was such a success, most of the actors who appeared in “Oldboy” were able to secure other important roles. However, Yoo Yeon Seok was not as lucky in this regard. “Even though the other actors from ‘Oldboy’ were all acting in other films, I was still stuck in my school’s theater,” he said.

Yoo Yeon Seok therefore decided to enter the airforce. The period of enlistment for the airforce is three months longer than that of the regular armed forces, but he chose not to enlist in the regular army because “The airforce base was near my girlfriend’s house, and I thought this way we could meet often. However while I was in the military she broke up with me. It was suddenly as if I had lost all purpose,” he confessed.

“I resigned myself to the situation and endured it as best I could. If I think about it now, it’s due to that experience that I can act successfully in melodramas and was able to portray my character so well on “Reply, 1994,” he said.