South Korean actor Park Seo-Joon made a public appearance the day after dating rumors with singer and YouTuber Xooos surfaced, speaking up directly about the speculation. Despite it being a high-pressure situation, his response proved to be the best decision and a savvy maneuver.

The production report conference for the movie 'Concrete Utopia' took place on the morning of June 21 at Lotte Cinema Konkuk University in Seoul. In attendance were director Eom Tae-hwa, lead actors Lee Byung-hun, Park Seo-Joon, Park Bo-young, Kim Sun-young, Park Ji-hu, Kim Do-yoon, and others.

With Park Seo-Joon's dating rumors breaking just the day before the conference, the event unintentionally became 'hot,' attracting an influx of journalists.

On June 20, news broke out that Park Seo-Joon (34) and singer-cum-YouTuber Xooos (28) were dating. Reports suggested that Park Seo-Joon introduced Suus to his close friends, indicating a special relationship between them. Online communities quickly shared photos of the two with friends, adding that they enjoy simple dates together like any other couple, sharing hobbies and exercising.

Park Seo-Joon's agency, Awesome ENT, expressed to OSEN, "Regarding the dating rumors of Mr. Park Seo-Joon, it's difficult for us to confirm as it pertains to his private life. We ask for your understanding." Xooos' agency, WAVY, also told OSEN, "As it's a personal matter, it's hard to confirm," maintaining the same stance.

It's challenging for all involved when dating rumors or controversies surrounding lead actors emerge ahead of movie or drama production report conferences or press releases. Usually, before the event begins, there's a common announcement asking to refrain from non-work-related questions.

The concern is that all attention could be focused on a specific actor. If the issue contains negative content, there's a push to block related questions beforehand. Even when asked, actors often feign ignorance, but avoiding the question can backfire.

There was no such preemptive request at the 'Concrete Utopia' conference, which remained warm and friendly throughout.

Junior actors Park Seo-Joon, Park Bo-young, Kim Sun-young, among others, expressed admiration after witnessing the acting skills of their senior, Lee Byung-hun. Lee humorously responded to their praise by joking that they were "buttering him up," inducing laughter.

In the last moments, a question about the dating rumors was directed at Park Seo-Joon. He handled it smoothly, as if he had anticipated it. Ignoring or evading the question might have led to an awkward situation ('gapjil') and potentially triggered speculative articles about his behavior.

"I only found out about the news very late yesterday," Park Seo-Joon revealed. "I'm currently working on a project ('Kyungsung Creature Season 2'), and my initial thought was, 'I'm receiving a lot of attention.' I felt grateful for that interest."

However, he added, "I generally feel uncomfortable about opening up my personal life. It's difficult to comment on (the rumors with Suus) since it's a personal matter. Rather, (today) is the first official schedule for 'Concrete Utopia,' and I'd appreciate it if you showed a lot of interest in this movie." He concluded his response this way.

Amidst heightened curiosity following his agency's "unable to confirm" position, Park Seo-Joon candidly expressed, "I feel burdened about revealing my personal life." He simultaneously did not forget to mention 'Concrete Utopia,' acknowledging the collective effort of dozens, hundreds of people involved in the project. His response was arguably the best he could give under the circumstances.

In the meantime, 'Concrete Utopia' (directed by Eom Tae-hwa, produced by Climax Studio, co-produced by BH Entertainment, distributed by Lotte Entertainment) is a disaster drama that depicts survivors congregating in Hwanggung Apartment, the only remaining structure in Seoul after a massive earthquake.

Adapted from the second part of Kim Sung-nyung's popular webtoon 'Cheerful Outsider,' titled 'Cheerful Neighbors,' the movie marks director Eom Tae-hwa's return after seven years since 'Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned' (2016). It's the latest work by Climax Studio, which has previously produced creative works such as 'Hellbound' and 'D.P.' The movie has been pre-sold in 152 countries worldwide. It is scheduled to be released in August.