COSMOPOLITAN – Interview with Jang Hyuk – Excerpts and photos

Check this link for a collection of gifs from the BTS of this photo shoot

Gumi translated some excerpts from the Jang Hyuk interview featured on the August issue of Cosmopolitan, Korea. Thank you Gumi!

During this interview, Jang Hyuk talked about acting, “The Flu”, his goals, his family, life. etc

Q. What if “The Flu” situation actually happened? What would Jang Hyuk do?

A. That situation is the most extreme choice a man could face, right? You get to decide whether you’ll be selfish or altruistic. But in a peaceful situation like this right now, I could say anything, but I can’t be sure what I’ll do instinctively if that situation actually happens.”

Q. You said you want to act for a long time. But you never know what will happen in life. Right now you like it and are passionate about it, but you might be doing something else next year, or even the next day. Have you ever thought about the next stage after acting?

A. I always think about it, but it’s not like I want to do something else. An actor is a freelancer, and you need to be ‘picked up’ so you always have to think about the ‘next’. So on the filming site, regardless of the project’s result, I try my best in the process of making it, to make others feel they want to work with this actor again. That’s the only way I get ‘next’. That’s why I still get nervous for every project even though I’ve done almost thirty projects now. How I do in this project connects to the next project. I haven’t thought about doing something other than acting, but I do worry about my ‘next. So you don’t think about what else you will do, you think about what you will do next. When I felt that most desperately was when I was in the army. That situation came true. Well, it was my own fault, but I was frustrated at the thought that there might be no ‘next.'”

Q. When do you feel attracted to a woman? I’ll change that question since you’re married. When is the moment you get attracted to your wife all over again?

A. Once we got married and had children, when we talk we talk about children, family, people around, and not much about ‘ourselves’. That’s the reality. But then sometimes when we talk about ‘ourselves’ than she becomes a woman again. I feel the same excitement and feeling from before. Something hard to explain, something emotional

Q. What’s the biggest change in Jang Hyuk after marriage?

A. The fact that I need to protect someone. Before I was the one being protected, but now I have family who depends on me, who needs my protection. That changed me a lot. When my first child was born, I thought a lot about my own father. I was really bad at holding the child at first. He was so small that I didn’t know how to hold him, and I thought ‘Ah, my father would’ve been so nervous holding me as well.'”

Q. What’s the biggest turning point in Jang Hyuk’s 37 years of life 

A. There were a lot of them. When I got in college, when I quit being an athlete, when the army scandal broke out, when I was in the army, when I got married, those were all my turning points.

Q. All of those turning points were not easy ones, and you’ve dealt with them well, and I think that’s Jang Hyuk’s strength. You always showed some improvement after hardships. What made that possible?

A. Being honest. Not trying to talk around it or go around it, but just being honest with the situation. I think that’s the best way. It’s harder than just sitting and regretting, but it’s better to just go straight. It’s not easy, but that’s the right way. If I have to go that way anyway, going through it is the only way, there’s no way around.

Q. So you mean, if you have your goal you just have to go straight for it, right? So what’s Jang Hyuk’s biggest goal right now?

A. Just, living well. Not in terms of wealth, but I want to live a fun happy life.  In my twenties, I tried hard to accomplish something. Digging here and there. In my thirties, I admitted that some parts were impossible to get through, and focused on what I could do well. Now, I just want to let myself do what my curiosity leads me to. Doing ‘well’ with family and friends. I want to act well for a long time, be in good terms with my family and live happily. Those rather abstract goals.There might be some changes in specific, but overall I just want to ‘live well’.”


21 responses to “COSMOPOLITAN – Interview with Jang Hyuk – Excerpts and photos

  1. Deborah Boomer

    Love Korean films and dramas….discovered them for the first time last year. I have always been a fan of Asian films, but Korean are in a class of their own! My initiation into this world was with, Fated to love you, which I have watched many times. Jang Hyuk in my opinion is in a class of his own… talented!

  2. As I am now reading these comments he has 3 children now.

  3. I so enjoyed reading and following this blog. JH appeals to the heart and mind of many. He has captured my heart and mind with his wisdom. He will live and love everything and that transfers on to his films and affect many people who get the opportunity to see those films. He is my intro to the Korean culture. I am fortunate to have watched FTLY in one siting. Imagine that, I can see why he is loved by many. He will keep acting and be a great contributor in this industry. Nothing to worry about JH. You are just an amazing human being. I look forward to watching all of JH’s films. I love the TV series because it takes that much time to build up and witness the transcendence of the story through the characters. I send love and joy to JH and family.

  4. I am from upstate ny..I always enjoyed korean dramas and movies. ..JANG HYUK has become one of my ideal actor to watch…

  5. I am a much older American person who is hooked on Korean movies! I have watched The Slave Hunters twice and even learned a few Korean words.JH is a wonderful actor and I will watch other movies he is in. Good Luck to JH and his family.

    • Hi Rose! Welcome to this blog. The Slave Hunters is amazing. If you like period pieces or dramas I highly recommend The Tree With Deep Roots. Take care and please keep visiting 🙂

    • Deborah Boomer

      I am an older Canadian woman in love with Korean films and dramas! Some, I have watched several times and have been learning Korean words as well. I love Jang Hyuk, believing he is definitely one of the more talented Korean actors. Very versatile.Since I’ve started watching these series, I can hardly stomach Hollywood type films.

  6. OMG
    Imagine hyuk oppa being a baby diaper changing … or shaking a baby to calm him!
    oppa in the form of a father!
    Wow, I’m really jealous of his wife, he so love his wife! Although I do not believe in marriage, but he loves his wife too I am a lover of wisdom jang hyuk
    um..can you find and put some pic from his wife?
    Drama fan and Gumi komaooooooooooooooo

    • Cathy, there arent too many pictures of his wife. If you google “Jang Hyuk wife” you may find pictures of the wedding and I remember a picture from an event (but Im not sure)

  7. Many thanks to both Drama fan and Gumi for posting this article. You know what, i was just feeling upset with some hard problems with myself. But after reading this article, i get inspired by Hyuk’s words. You can’t imagine how much strength I get from this article.
    Those difficulties i’m facing right now are definitely not as much serious as what he faced. I should learn from him to be honest with those obstacles and go straight. I believe it will turns out to be OK in the end.

  8. Thanks Drama Fan and Gumi for the ongoing updates and translation. It’s so true that “Being honest. Not trying to talk around it or go around it, but just being honest with the situation. ” Hyuk is such wonderful and warm man with a big heart. He’s just adorable 😀

  9. Hi Lady G: Yes, he has 2 sons and their names are Jeong Jae-heon, Jeong Seung-heon (I copied this from the Bio page :D) The military scandal is a touchy subject for koreans. I will tell you the little I know from my conversations with Gumi and what I’ve read. The military service is obligatory in Korea for all men. They should serve 2 years before they reach the age of 30. Trying to avoid military service is heavily criticized (and Im not sure if it is considered breaking the law as well). Anyway, Jang Hyuk and other two actors were caught trying to avoid military service when their time came. And it was a huge scandal to the point where he, and it seems others too, thought this could mean the end of his career. I remember when Hyuk decided to join Real Men, the scandal resurfaced and people started making all sorts of comments (Gumi told me, because this is something that you would read mostly on korean media and social media, it is not really something that transcends to the rest of us). Personally, I don’t even have strong feelings about “military service” per se, since I don’t think it should even be mandatory, but that is just me. In his context, it is a big deal. Some of his fans worried that his decision was dangerous, because it was going to bring this to the audience’s memory, and in a way he is one of the few actors who have survived such scandal. In fact, the other actors involved, don’t ever mention this scandal. Jang Hyuk seems to be the kind of person who would rather confront his demons, so not only does he answer questions about it candidly, but he even brings it up himself as a big mistake in his life. One more reason I like the guy 😉

    • Aww 2 boys, That’s cute. I do know that it is considered breaking the law and you will be jailed in Korea for a failure to comply with this service. Thank you for explaining. So I see how it can be considered a big ‘scandal.’ for someone like him and the other actors. I appreciate his candidness too. I think he has impressed his talents in the hearts of so many people over the globe that nobody will really think much about it. Well except for those in Korea, since their are some negative comments. It’s a shame they don’t offer alternative forms of service.

      • Yes, an alternative would be nice. But, it seems Jang Hyuk appreciates his time in the army, it helped him reflect and grow and we appreciate how manly and sexy he came out of there 😀 According to some of his peers and superiors, he turned out to be an excellent soldier, very hard working, and earned some medals and their respect, so all in all it turned out to be a good experience for him.

      • Remember, he’s a top star in Korea too, which means a lot of Koreans are supporting him! Otherwise, he won’t be even casted!:P

        Anyway, just to add some more info, avoiding military was and is illegal, but it was something everyone did back then. All the stars and athletes were avoiding military, and the management companies had brokers for that and stuff. I heard the companies usually tried to get all their stars out of the army, because you can’t earn money from stars who are in army…Plus, you lose precious two years from your career, and this job requires not to be forgotten, so many actors avoided the army. I’d guess if JH was not an actor, he would’ve gone without hesitation, but his situation and general atmosphere of that entertainment and the company’s decision would’ve influenced him. Not trying to say there’s no fault of his, cuz he is the final decision maker for himself. And not even once has he tried to blame someone other than himself for this whole scandal. But just wanted to point out, the general situation was different back then, there were more celebrities avoiding than actually going.

        At a certain point, they decided to catch them all, and among numerous actors and athletes who were caught, the most famous was SSH, JH and HJS. When they were caught, it became the biggest issue in Korea, and they were sent to the army and after this incident they became a lot stricter in sending the celebrities to the army. Nowadays, everybody pays attention to whether a celeb is going to the army or not.

        But yeah, so that was JH’s army scandal, and it was one of the biggest scandals an actor could get into. But what I’m amazed and impressed is his attitude towards his scandal. He never avoids talking about it. He actually always brings it up himself, saying “it’s my own fault, it’s the burden I will have to carry till the very end.” Knowing one’s fault, not blaming any one else, not forgetting about it and not trying to cover it up, is the right way to deal with a fault but definitely not an easy one. And his sincerity moved people’s, not all but definitely many people’s mind. For one thing, he’s one of the most popular male stars among men, and it’s near impossibility that men will forgive someone involved in the army scandal…but JH made that possible. Plus, there are just so many great comments and stories about his army life. Those who served in military with him, they’ve got nothing but good things to talk about JH online, and he is the star with the best army stories…he was humble, nice, hard working, never complaining, good at every mission (we’re seeing that in Real Man show :D), everybody liked him, etc etc. Someone posted saying that JH actually enjoyed the army, made the best out of it. So, the public opinion is that “Well he did wrong, but he went anyway and did well, so yeah isn’t that good enough…? Plus, he’s an good actor and his dramas are great.” Of course that’s not everyone’s opinion, and there are people who just can’t forgive him for what’s done, but as he said, it’s the burden he’s gonna carry, and I think he’s strong enough. I mean, look at this bold man who chooses to do an army show after life shattering army scandal, he can just do anything, lol. and wow, my comment got long.

        • Oh, don’t worry about the length of your comment. You explained a great deal and cleared up what I will call ‘issue’ rather than ‘Scandal.’ Yes, people garner much more respect if they own up to their mistakes or failings and actively try to make them right if they can. JH seems like a really cool man and in the end, as you pointed out, it was his final decision, and he went anyway and forged a memorable record. So those STILL harping on it negatively should just take a chill pill. 😛

  10. Very nice interview! I’m still laughing at the hair dryer and lion. There should be a pic where he’s blow drying the lion fur. haha. 2 questions, what is this about an army scandal? And how many children does he have? 2 sons?

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