[TRANS] HOT CHILI PAPER Vol 59

A better translation of the Hot Chili Paper Interview.

PLEASE REPOST WITH FULL CREDIT

BIG THANKS TO THE TRANSLATORS =)

HOT CHILI PAPER VOL 59
NOBODY KNOWS… JANG KEUN SUK

Q: Let us start with the drama The Reign of Women 여인천하 that you starred in during your childhood years? (Note: The Reign of Women is also known as “Ladies of the Palace”)

A: At that time I was 15 years old, but I was still a child actor at that time, I don’t think I can introduce myself with the particular work. I started becoming a model when I was around 6 years old and I debuted as a child actor when I appeared on television in the 1997 drama ‘Happiness for Sale’.

Q: Do you still remember the scenes during the filming?

A: In The Reign of Women, whether it was the day I wore hanbok during filming on a snowy day or the time I fell down in the village… I remember all of them, my memory is very good. I still remember, there was a scene where the young Nan Jung was carrying a jar, and I was supposed to throw a stone at the jar to break it, but because I missed, it hit the kid’s face instead.

Q: Were you afraid of the adults at the filming site? (The Reign of Women)

A: Yes I was afraid of them (laughs). I cried a lot of times at the filming site. The filming site is also a part of the community, although the adults around me say that I’m cute, and treat me very kindly. On the other hand, I am a child actor – as an actor, there are certain things one cannot do. But when I was young I didn’t know that, I just played happily with the older boys because I was so excited about the props at the filming site. So when the adults scolded me, ‘How can you not read your script yet?’, I cried a lot of times. Since acting in Happiness for Sale, I always travel to the filming site by myself. Taking the bus and subway… my parents has never accompanied me to the filming sites, not even once.

Q: Only by yourself?

A: A child actor does not have a manager (laughs). Besides that, my mother is the type who won’t accompany me to filming sites, I’m grateful to her when she did that. Hating to ask the staff at the filming site, “Please take care of my son.”, my mother wanted me to become strong, so that no matter what problems I face, I would not just cry away only…. Of course, I did cry at the time, now I can withstand all sorts of challenges.

Q: What were the changes after acting in the 2002 ‘(The Great Ambition) and (The Reign of Women)?

A: Since then, I started to have managers. That was because after I filmed a CF for a mobile communications company, people began to know me….. But, I myself did not change. Even though I have the passion of acting since young, I did not plan my future at all, when I grow older, I might have other dreams and ambitions.

Q: After that, your next drama was Orange, am I right?

A: Actually, Orange was filmed earlier than The Great Ambition. In my memory, I can only recall the heat (laughs). The filming was done during summer, there were a lot of swimming scenes, and in each episode we played happily while filming. The shooting took 3 months, besides that, I don’t have more memories of them. I was 16 years old then, the year after that I went to study abroad.

As a child actor, Jang Keun Suk was active, among his fans he was popular when he was young. The opportunity to become a child actor came when he was in kindergarten, he followed the suggestion of his teacher, and endorsed a children’s clothing line. After that he starred in several commercial films, and instantly began to embark on the road of acting… even when the filming coincided with school, filming dramas and etc, the thought of becoming a real actor did not cross his mind.

But when his mother looked at him, “If he does not focus on studying now…..”, she felt worried.

Q: Was New Zealand the place where you studied abroad?

A: Yes, before I graduated from junior high school, my mother said to me, “If you don’t study now, your studies will be delayed until I don’t know when.” During that time, I was already famous, so I could not live a normal life in school. My mother said, “Go out to study what you want to study.” So I went to New Zealand with my mother.

Q: Is your mother fluent in English?

A: No, she does not speak English at all. (Laughs) My mother and I went to a language center to learn. Unable to speak English, her choice of living with me abroad for one year was not easy. My mother is a woman to be respected.

Q: What did you gain while living in New Zealand?

A: Yes, that is – even when I’m standing before a foreigner, I won’t get nervous. When a foreigner, especially Europeans and Americans walks towards you, “what should I say, what to do….”, the people who feel afraid and run away are many. Although I’m not fluent in English, how should I explain this, that is – I won’t feel nervous even when I’m standing before a foreigner. I would greet them friendly, for example, if someone asks for directions, I can point out the directions very well, I gained this confidence when I was in New Zealand.

Q: After studying abroad you starred in the youth sitcom Nonstop 4, when you were 17 years old as a ‘medical student who is conscious to the latest trends’. I heard that you have your own kind of creativity.

A: When I met the director for the first time, I said to him, “I would like to act, I wanted to be a doctor since young, and I like to play the role of a fun-loving medical student.” There was really a medical student role in the script, I was surprised. Because Nonstop 4 is a situation comedy (sitcom), although there are stories and touching moments, it must be able to make the audience laugh. If I think like this, I still have to accept a lot of challenges. Being able to make up the latest slangs, and do fitting actions when saying my lines. Because I felt that everything was new, I myself tried a lot of different actions during acting, so if the audience respond was good, I would come up with another scene of my own.

Q: After Nonstop 4, you acted in Lovers in Prague without your father’s permission – kinda like a high school kid that loves to rebel huh?

A: I wanted to present a side of me that was different from Nonstop 4. Back then, the drama shooting happened to clash with the university entrance exam, so I was quite worried about the results. Luckily, the exam was successful and Lovers in Prague became the last project I took up before I hit 20 years old.

After that, we told him “Now we’re going to ask you questions regarding Doremifasolasido…”, and he said “Ah…this too???” (gives an uneasy expression). He even said that out of all his works to date, this is the only one that he never wishes to see or to be blunt, will never watch.

Q: Did something happen while you were shooting Doremifasolasido?

A: Frankly speaking, Doremifasolasido and Baby and Me – they weren’t the movies that I acted in because I wanted to. I’m sorry for being so direct (laughs) but it’s the truth.

Q: You mean you can’t reject them?

A: Back then, I already signed a contract with the company to shoot the movie, so I couldn’t go back on my word. If I don’t like something, I wouldn’t want to do it – that’s the kind of character I have! And I don’t like to dictate… Even if I put in my best to portray that character, I also can’t predict whether that movie will be successful or not. Right after I finished the shooting, they (his company) approached a tired me, saying: “This is your next movie…” and passed me the movie script – that made me even more stressed.

Hence, I really couldn’t concentrate fully on the set, so I lamented to my manager “Why am I here???” – That’s how I felt when I did that movie…

Q: Did the shooting go on smoothly then?

A: Something else happened (laughs). Halfway through the shooting, the investors stopped investing, so the shooting couldn’t continue. So I went on to act in “Hwang Jini”, “Hong Gil Dong” and “The Happy Life”…2 years later, I actually got a phone call saying that I have to shoot “Doremi” again, that I must finish it no matter what. I was like “Why???” – Even though I couldn’t totally understand, I still had to accept and shoot the movie; such situations are very common in Korea.

Q: Didn’t you find the storyline interesting? Was Doremifasolasido really not to your liking?

A: By just looking at the script, it wasn’t that bad. However, just like building a house, even if the foundation is good, it doesn’t mean that the house will be built to perfection. The same logic goes for movies and dramas. Besides the script, the actors, director, camera crew and all – to produce a good show, everything must be a perfect combination. Through this, I felt that I must always protect myself properly and make myself stronger. Although I really didn’t want to do the movie, if only I tried putting in a little bit more passion into it, maybe things would have been different. Because at the end of the day, my name would still appear with the movie. Whenever I thought of that, I felt it was a pity.

Q: Was One Missed Call a movie that you took up after you sorted things out?

A: Haha, yes it is (laughs). I was 19 or 20 then – that’s when I heard they were searching for an actor around this age – soon after, I received notice to go for the audition. During that period, I actually had no job offers. Those actors whom I acted previously with in Nonstop 4 were all very active… “One Missed Call” was what I got while searching for audition opportunities…

Q: Do you still keep in contact with your co-stars Maki Horikita and Meisa Kuroki?

A: No. I was not very close with them while I was shooting the movie. I’m the type who doesn’t exchange numbers with my co-stars. Even without exchanging numbers, we can still communicate to a certain extent while being respectful of one another. If we become close and meet up for drinks etc, then it will be hard to maintain the professionalism…

That’s why I am not close friends with any female stars – ah, that is, besides Kim Hee Chul. (laughs)

Q: Maki and Meisa are very popular now…

A: From their point of view, to me, One Missed Call and Doremi are the same…

Q: Is there a possibility for shooting a Japanese movie again?

A: Of course, I would consider it. The script is most important when it comes to choosing my next project, but it’s also as important for me to have the “I really want to act this role” type of feeling. If I really like the project, I will shoot it without hesitation even if it is a comedy. Ah… yes! I’ve long heard that I’m the type of guy that the Japanese like – ah, then why am I still not Bae Yong Jun? (laughs)

Q: Emm.. Your goal is to become him??? But your styles are very different…

A: No, no…I don’t want to become him – hmmn, is it weird for me to say that? I am definitely not trying to put him down… (laughs) What I meant is I wish to be as well-known and popular….

Q:Compared to other Korean actors, Jang Keun Suk belongs to the slimmer body built. Do you plan on becoming “muscle man” in the future?

A: If that’s the case, I would be able to wear the fashionable clothes which I like (laugh).
Every actor has different thoughts about body built. For me, I don’t want to swell with muscles as I don’t like to exercise! Recently, it’s because I had to prepare for the filming of the movie You’re My Pet that I took up exercise to fit into the role but ballet is the main focus. I took up jogging and cycling as well. In this sense, I don’t think I will become “muscle man”

In 2006, Jang Keun Suk finally met the role he was destined for and that is Hwang Jin Yi.

In Hwang Jin Yi, he acted as Ha Ji Won’s (Hwang Jin Yi) first lover Eun Ho. They adore each other, but their love ends in tragedy due to their gap in social status. At that time, South Koreans had different opinions about this role – they worry about the age gap between Keun Suk and Ji Won, and there were a lot of criticisms on his acting skills.

Q: How do you feel about people’s opinion of this role?

A: To me, this role was a wall which I had to breakthrough.
People were thinking why Ha Ji Won was paired with Jang Keun Suk. But I feel that they can say all they want but I will subvert their opinion of me; I will show them! Compared to now, I was more hot blooded, young and crazy then (laughs) But it’s because of this enthusiasm which allowed me to put myself fully into the role of Eun Ho.

Q: How did you get into the grieving role of Kim Eun Ho?

A:The truth is, I just brokeup with a girl whom I really liked. She’s the one who initiated the breakup. I didn’t comprehend her intentions for breaking up and kept apologizing to her but even so, she did not relent. I waited in front of her house but all I got from her was “Do not wait for me”… I even wrote a letter to her everyday but she told me to stop it. I had unintentionally suggested that we break up during our fight over some trivial matters and that was the cause of our break up. I was willful and selfish.

Even till now, I have wondered if we can still stay together. I liked her a lot and can’t live without her… but she left me. I was heart-broken. For a month, I did not go out nor eat well. I was cooped up in my house. I lost a lot of weight and became very thin. I did not have any energy. It was in this painful period that I received the Hwang Jin Yi script. “All this will be my story. I have to interpret it properly.”

Q: During the filming, did you feel sad when you thought about the girl?

A: I had this feeling not as Eun Ho but rather when Eun Ho became me. I only wanted to cry during that period as it was very painful. I even secretly cried in my car when reading the script as I saw my girl’s face in Ha Ji Won unni’s face. Although I want to do more for my girlfriend still, that dream will never materialize. My heart and Eun Ho’s heart are on the same page. After the end of the shooting, It took me awhile before I found myself again.

Q:It was painful, … but as an actor…

A: Although it’s very cruel, but we can say that my sorrow helped my acting skills a lot.

Q: The marriage proposal scene is very romantic. Do you prefer romantic also?

A:To be exact, I like to create romantic gesture. For the sake of H.C.P readers, I will narrate a few childish stories (laughs) I have put a lot of balloons and an ‘I LOVE U’ banner inside the car trunk, so that they will fly out from of the trunk when it was opened. I have also tried writing a letter in a diary everyday for three months and gave it as a gift during our anniversary. But the most romantic of all was taking her out for a ride in a limousine which I had rented.

Q: Limousine? It must be very expensive!

A:It’s not as expensive as you think! It is only 200,000 won (around 1100RMB) and the car came with a driver. (laughs). I borrowed the limousine for two hours and we drove around the Han River. We even drank red wine inside the car.

Q: Do you like this side of you which keeps doing romantic gestures/actions? If not, was it because you like to watch the other party’s reaction?

A: En~ I like to do various planning. I feel proud to be putting in great efforts for my girlfriend. I think it’s very cool to show her that I love her through actions and not just words only.

Q: What other (Romantic) gesture would you like to try?

A: Because I am an actor, and I have great confidence in my video editing skill. So firstly, I’ll book the entire theatre and play my own video. Then the both of us will eat popcorn and watch the video together. It will certainly be very happy! But to do this, I’ll need a considerable budget. Ah~ I don’t have that much money (laughs)

Q: Looking back, what was the significance of Hwang Jin Yi to Jang Keun Suk?

A: Hwang Jin Yi is my starting point as an actor. My dream is to be an actor and Hwang Jin Yi made me realized what qualities are needed by actors. Because of my experience in past relationships, I treated Hwang Jin Yi as my story and not other people’s.

This is the first time using my past experience to ease into a role. From then on, my whole attitude and thinking towards everything has changed. Till now, no matter where I go, I’m always accompanied by my managers. If I say I’m hungry, they will prepare food for me. They will also book my appointments at the hair salon. I want to take care of things myself. This is because if a person is caged up, how can he claim to have acting ability? It will be no different from reading from the script if I have to act out something which I have not experienced before.

During the Lounge H activity at HanYang university, I personally contacted the sponsors. I wrote the sales proposal myself and got the school’s approval. To the extent that I will call and compensate anyone who had lost their items. I learned a lot of new things by doing all these. It’s not my manager who lived on my behalf, and it’s not my parents who closed the curtains to hide me away but it’s myself who goes out to look for activities. This is a breakthrough which will be helpful in my acting career.

Q:Through Hwang Jin Yi, you realized the importance of experience.

A: Yes! I realized how importance experience is. That’s why I don’t really like managers. (laughs) Because they are always thinking of doing things on my behalf. Today’s interview is an exception. I would prefer to do everything myself in my normal daily activities.

Q: Was Happy Life the same as Hwang Jin Yi where an actor can learn many things? My deepest impression was that you mentioned in a previous interview that it was the turning point in your life.

A: What I had felt from filming Hwang Jin Yi is that “Managers cannot live my life for me.” Obviously the seniors with whom I have acted together knew about that. Seeing them going to the convenience stores and sitting in front of the stores chatting till 4am, I had thought to myself “I would like to try that too”. If I were to follow the wishes of my fans and the people around me to be cooped up in a bird cage, I’m afraid it’s not possible. I want to be a bird which flies out of the cage and not be contained. Absolutely do not want to be contained.

Q: After Hwang Jin Yi, you acted in another drama called Hong Gil Dong as the revenge-seeking Chang Hui. Accordingly to you, this is your first time experiencing being an idol (smile)

A:Not only was there a conflict with the filming of Baby and Me, there were also 7 advertisement offers at the same time. It was extremely tiring. However, even under such circumstances, I still insist and want to act the role of Chang Hui well.

Q: What were your thoughts when you were acting as Chang Hui?

A: The drama series is interesting and filled with life. Except for my role as Chang Hui , a terrible character which seems to deviate from the mood of the show. When we just started shooting, I I panicked a bit. However, during filming, I talked to Brother Ji Hwan and other actors during the filming, we can find the same feeling (an understanding).

Just the filming alone is an endless pain (laughs). The main reason is that we had to stay in the mountain for the filming – it was very cold. It has come to a point where I developed hatred towards it. In addition, it was away from Seoul and I can only go home once every two weeks. When we are rushed for time, I only can manage a bath and had to go back to the filming ground immediately. If we continue living like this, our mood will become very bad. It’s not just only me, even the workers and other actors are becoming more quick-tempered. If this continues, the atmosphere will become very somber. So it was under that kind of situation that we successfully wrap up the filming.

Q: After that you went on to the drama Beethoven Virus.

A: After filming Hong Gil Dong and Baby and Me, I went on a 2-month holiday trip in Europe. Before my trip, I told my manager, “If you give me a script during the holiday, I will immediately tear it up and even burn it!” (laugh). Whatever the case, I did not want to discuss about work for the time being. As mentioned just now, the Japan schedule is very tight, I was exhausted, my body had grown weaker and I was mentally exhausted. I remembered saying, “I’m not sure if I want to go back to Korea anymore. Don’t come and bother me”…

But sure enough, the manager started to email me scripts (laughs). I was on vacation in Germany at that time and I was agonizing whether I should delete the emails before I read it. “Maybe this is the time to slowly decide my next work…” was what changed my thinking. So I didn’t delete the emails and ended up reading the script. I was very keen on it once I read it and after finishing the two chapters, I called my company to say, “I want to act”.

Q: Which part of the drama that attracted you?

A: I will be playing trumpet, moreover it will be directed by Lee Jae Gyu whom is well known for his aesthetic works in Damo. Other than that, Senior Kim Myung Min will also play a part. I can learn directly from these seniors. Senior Lee Soon Jae also played a part, so to me, this work to me is very important.

Q: What is your impression towards Senior Kim Myung Min?

A: He asks for perfection in everything, but he’s not like like Kang Gun Woo who is overly stubborn. (Laughs) I was the last to be finalized for the role in the drama, because I was lagging behind and and I also didn’t want to make the seniors feel unhappy, so I put in extra effort.

There will be trouble if I didn’t take charge of my trumpet. But unlike other works, I wasn’t suffering at all. During shooting, I didn’t feel anxious at all. Regardless of how tight the schedule was or busy to the point of not getting enough time to sleep, not only me, but everyone was very happy to get into shooting. This was really strange.

Q: Did everyone get along well during filming?

A: Maybe it was because the theme was regarding music. During the concert filming, fellow actors’ mindset was linked together through music. Discord notes turned slowly into harmony during the play. Although it was only acting but after the concert ends, I was really moved to tears.

Q: Don’t you regret rejecting the invitation of Boys Over Flowers and choose Beethoven Virus instead?

A: Ah haha.. (Laughs) I think I made a very good choice. Besides, what I might have received from Boys of Flower, I got it through You’re Beautiful.

Q: The script for You’re Beautiful is written by Hong Gil Dong‘s Hong’s Sister right?

A: I heard that the sisters were thinking of me while writing the script. After reading the script, although it was only the draft but my mind had started a fresh image. Through this drama, I felt that only the 23-years-old-me can bring out the cuteness and freshness, so I happily agreed to play in this drama. But there are also a lot of problems in this drama. (Laughs) During the shooting, the production company was changed several times. The two producers worried that, “If Keun Suk also gives up, what are we going to do?”

I said: “Don’t worry. When I saw the script, I already started to analyze the role. Contact me once the filming date is confirmed.” After going through all these problems, the filming finally started in August.

Q: Many said that Tae Kyung‘s excessive concerns of cleanliness and vicious words resemble Kim Myung Min’s role as Kang Gun Woo (Beethoven Virus).

A: Whenever I heard this statement, if I say I didn’t feel any pressure at all, it would be a lie, because of Tae Kyung’s line is over self-centered. Actually at the beginning, I thought of using Kang Gun Woo as a reference but I gave up immediately. I drew it from Editor Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada.

Q: Have you finished watching You’re Beautiful?

A: Yes, the day I got the DVD I called to confirm. There wasn’t any regret, only felt that it was a pity the filming was rushed, it happened many times that the script was completed in the morning of the filming day. And when the filming was supposed to start, the script hadn’t reached our hands yet
It was under these circumstances, all the actors and crew persevered to the end.

Q: What do you think regarding the airing time being the same as IRIS?

A: I didn’t feel it was a loss to be aired at the same time because I would watch IRIS rerun on weekend too. Only felt that it didn’t have the luck for a battle.

Q: Is your character the same as Tae Kyung?

A: Hmm.. How do I say this? Always a perfectionist at work and can’t tolerate any mistake at all. But once I finished work, I will show appreciation to my Manager and Office Staffs, “Although I am strict, in order not to fall into the last, we pulled through together.” I will also prepare gifts. But when I go back to work, I can be so sensitive to the extent where you can’t even touch me. I am this kind of character.

Q: To be exact, who is “Tae Kyung” to you?

A: A role that allows the 20 odd years old me to shine, the character which resembles Jang Keun Suk the most.

Stepping out of Tae Kyung character was painful, but Jang Keun Suk gradually did it. Currently, he is preparing his brand new image for his next movie You’re My Pet everyday.

“I guess you all might think that I must be playing around whenever you don’t see me on television, but the fact is everyday…. Everyday, at a place where you can’t see me, I am learning seriously to improve myself.”
He left this sentence and leaves the studio as he has an English lesson to attend.

Jang Keun Suk who is determined to change himself to act the role, he made this promise, “In the next work, I will show everyone a brand new side of me.”

Credit to: Gracelwf, Xene, Siwonshii, Whogar, chinyee, Sky9, dailytofu@ soompi & keunsukholic.comReposted : lovesears blog

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