Credit: tvN

Kim Mu Yeol shared a heartbreaking story of his father’s illness and his personal struggles on the May 29th episode of tvN’s talk show Yoo Quiz on the Block.

The star revealed that his father suffered a cerebral hemorrhage when he was in his early twenties. “He was staying home alone at the time, so I have no idea what happened to him. He was found injured and was taken to the hospital in a police car. My father was lying there with his head shaved. He was in a coma for a long time, and then he was diagnosed with cancer,” he recalled.

Life wasn’t easy before this. Kim Mu Yeol’s family struggled financially, living in a shantytown during his youth. “We were struggling financially and that’s when I started acting in TV dramas. I heard that my father would go around telling people in the neighborhood, ‘My son is on TV,’” he recounted. “My father passed away when I was in my early thirties. It was a difficult time for me to cope with.”

He then spoke about his recent success, including the movie The Roundup: Punishment  and the birth of his son last year. These moments, he said, are bittersweet. “I’m finally at a point where I could just enjoy it if Dad were here bragging about me,” he shared, becoming emotional. “He’s not here anymore, but I think of him whenever something good happens. Looking at my son, I can’t help but say, ‘I wish your grandfather was here.’”

Kim Mu Yeol explained that his family’s financial situation worsened around the time he entered high school. “My mother was scammed in a store subdivision deal. A combination of factors caused our family to fall on hard times. People would come to our house and put up red eviction notices. I couldn’t even afford to take the bus or train to college. My mother had to borrow money from neighbors because we were struggling so much financially,” he explained.

Despite being accepted into the prestigious Department of Theater and Film at Sungkyunkwan University, his dream was put on hold for some time by financial constraints. He took a leave of absence and juggled numerous part-time jobs to survive.

“I worked so many different jobs that I can’t even remember them all: construction work, factory lines, event staffing, security, etc. I did capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, for a long time, and I made good money performing with body paint. I also worked as a deliveryman, handed out flyers for new businesses, and sold ballpoint pens. I delivered newspapers and sold rice cakes,” he said.

He added, “After work ended late, I would walk home from the subway station, which was a long way. It was my time to act. I would spend an hour alone singing out loud, practicing lines, and rehearsing in empty lots or in the mountains. It was my only escape from reality.”

>> ‘The Roundup: Punishment’ Shatters Box Office Records, Draws Over 4 Million in First Week

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