KBS Star Date on Rapper TJ (2000.9.4) – “I never suffered hardships”


I just watched a video clip from 2000/9/4 KBS Star Date, which was about star Jang Hyuk who came back as a rapper TJ. Aww, that’s like…14 years ago..!

It was a 25 minute video, and was a precious gem…! It not only talked about Jang Hyuk’s TJ rapper project, but showed a lot about this man.

But there was one line that just struck me in my heart.

When he was asked of “The hardships he suffered as an unknown actor in the beginning of his career”

he answered immediately with a very casual and matter-of-fact tone:

“I never suffered hardship.”

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Now, is it the case that this guy just lived an elite life and never experienced any failure or hardships in his life?

Those who’s been following Jang Hyuk are all pretty familiar with the story of him failing auditions 120 times. He tried and tried and tried but kept failing (I guess K ent world was pretty strict back then…? How can he fail that much with THAT face?) and that almost ruined his self-confidence. He was keep questioning, “Is this even my way? Or am I just not meant to be an actor?”

Oh, and all those funny-but-sad stories of him starving…Jang Hyuk and his friends god(idol group) never had enough to eat, when Jang Hyuk had enough money to buy two bowls of ramen it was such a big dramatic event. And when their boss allowed them to eat meat as much as they want, and they all stuffed themselves until they threw up, and started eating more after throwing up, cuz it was such a precious opportunity.

Or him just simply being told by people, “Will he make it?” Being told that he just doesn’t have “it”, doesn’t have the talent.

His life definitely wasn’t full of misery, but I would say all those added together at least qualify for some level of ‘hardships’. At least enough for a talk topic, “You know, when I was a rookie and going through some hardships~”

But Jang Hyuk answers without hesitation, “I never suffered any hardship.”

“If that’s called hardships, that word really doesn’t mean anything. There are so many people who try out for auditions. A lot of people who tried out even more than I did. I mean, I was only in that stage for three years.

I think hardship is when you put in effort and didn’t get anything from it. I was doing it to do what I wanted to do, so I never thought it was hardship. I think so now as well.”

I think what he said is all true. There are so many people who were ‘unknown’ for much much longer period than he was….in fact, making it big 3 years after his debut, Jang Hyuk actually belongs to those who made it big pretty quickly. And there are countless others who never ‘made it big’. And all of them put in tremendous amount of efforts as well. So I guess Jang Hyuk is on the lucky side.

But what amazes me is how this man, who looks more like a boy at this point, is so well aware of it. For a hot trendy star who just made it big and is experiencing the peak of his popularity, he was extremely mature. I mean, it’s kind of a human thing to do to think of one’s own cold much serious problem than someone else’s cancer…but he says what he went through was not hardships at all, and is grateful of that time and his current position. And appreciates every single moment of his life, shining or not shining, because he knows he worked hard to do what he wanted to do.

Can I love him even more? ;(

Below is recap from that video clip, if anyone wants to see it. I’m warning you, it’s very very long 😛

The video first introduces Jang Hyuk, a star actor, who came back as a rapper TJ.
…and TJ is now used to just tease Jang Hyuk, but surprisingly, yes TJ was popular at that time. Haha.

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000060233 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000061300 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000064033 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000065366 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000066666 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000074266 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000074733 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000075733 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000076433 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000083666 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000085900The text says:
From an audition man to a star…<Jang Hyuk’s Story>

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000089133 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000092666aww, baby pics of hyukie…!

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000106700 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000107100made his debut through 1997 music video “Ae Won”

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000113966 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000119100 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000120500 stardate1_all_all.mp4_0001221001999 MV of god’s “For Mother”

stardate1_all_all.mp4_0001259001998 movie “Zzang”

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000132033 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000132866 stardate1_all_all.mp4_0001404001999 KBS drama “School”. He got super popular through this series. This was the drama that made an unknown actor Jang Hyuk into a star.

And ‘now’ (as in 2000 lol), he’s a top star who’s in all sorts of commercials.

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And then we have rapper TJstardate1_all_all.mp4_000168600 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000174033 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000176666where’s your six packs, oppa….? XD

Jang Hyuk talks about his painstaking efforts of one and a half year to learn rapping…and how people in his company saw him practicing and sighed, and said “at least he works hard” lol

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Ok, that sunglasses are big nono. but his dorky laughs are still adorable, and his dimples….!

The show goes on showing Jang Hyuk working for his album, along with some people’s testimony on how hardworking he was.

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And here it goes! TJ’s first stage!stardate1_all_all.mp4_000304800 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000310700

after the stage, Jang Hyuk is immersed in monitoring himselfstardate1_all_all.mp4_000321900 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000322700 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000323166 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000331600 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000333200 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000333866 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000335000 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000335433 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000335900 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000336300

BAM!!!stardate1_all_all.mp4_000336766 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000337166 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000337566 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000338033 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000338800 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000339366

he walked into a glass instead of open door LOL. This was hilariously adorable XD

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after some serious monitoring….

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He is satisfied! He smiles brightly!

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Someone tells him it’s been a long time since she’s seen him smile that brightly, and he says…

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000364233 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000365600You know, real charisma isstardate1_all_all.mp4_000367433smiling when your tension is released.stardate1_all_all.mp4_000368500 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000369000 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000369400and he laughs at his own words…stardate1_all_all.mp4_000370233 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000370633 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000371466 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000372733…and runs away……LOL. There’s a female staff commenting “Oppa always runs away after saying something funny.”

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A manager who has known him for five years comments on Jang Hyuk. He shares a story about how Jang Hyuk used to practice pronunciation with a pen in his mouth. JH was doing it, again and again, and to be honest when the manager looked at him from side, it didn’t seem like working. He thought, why doesn’t he find another way? It’s not a very smart way, to do something over and over when it’s clearly not working. But JH kept with it….and the manager realized, I was mistaken. Everybody’s strength is different. And this boy’s strength is not in “being smart” but is in being ridiculously persistent.

Here are some cuts from TJ project.

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Yes this is Jeon Ji Hyun in YWCFTS

Yes this is Jeon Ji Hyun in YWCFTS

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Q: Why were you called an “audition man”?

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I was always trying out for auditions. Tried out for…120 times? Something like that. As I did that, I learned a lot. Tried out for the first audition, got rejected. Tried again, got rejected again. After ten times, I was asking “Why am I like this? Am I not fit for an actor?” Eleventh time, failure again. After the twelfth time, I’m sure now. I’m not meant to be. But then I did twelve times already, why don’t I give it a thirteenth try? That led to 20th trial. After that point, I’ve put in too much that it feels like wasting it if I give up at that point. 21st, 22nd…I’m still young, let me try until I get it. Negative thoughts turned into positive thoughts.

And then he talks about his memories with ‘god’, especially one of them. Park Joon Hyung (he’s the one who made cameo appearance in FTLY, the guy who filmed a commercial with a baby)

He says it was before the rest of the ‘god’ came in, it was when it was just him and Park Joon Hyung. They wanted to go somewhere, but didn’t have money. But PJH had one 100 dollar bill he brought from the states. He took it out, said hyuk-ah, let’s go somewhere fun, and they went to an amusement park together. Until now if he goes to amusement park, he thinks of those days.

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so they went to an amusement park. JH said he enjoys biking. stardate1_all_all.mp4_000658566 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000675700

and looks super calm in biking. When asked “aren’t you scared at all?” he just smiled and said he’s used to these kind of stuffs, it’s nothing to him.stardate1_all_all.mp4_000692366 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000694366

And then he talks about how he ‘never suffered hardships’…as I wrote in the very beginning. And the narration commented on how he never wasted his 3 years, he just quietly worked hard to learn what he has to learn to be an actor.

Then we get to see Jang Hyuk playing the squash!

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000806200 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000806866 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000809966 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000810300 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000814233 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000816133

Oppa I didn’t know you were good at squash too! Jeez, what can’t he do?

After working out, he heads off to meet someone…stardate1_all_all.mp4_000822533we’re not seeing often enough these days.stardate1_all_all.mp4_000829533

so I feel a little sorry.stardate1_all_all.mp4_000830166

hmm who can it be? Is it his girlfriend? Oh, but this is before he met his girlfriend…! who is it?

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000832300TaeHyun-ah, I’m sorry!

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000836700 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000839100

Ooh, it’s his bestie, Cha Tae Hyun! Aww these adorable men. They were that close already 14 years ago, and the friendship remains sturdy until now.

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It was pretty adorable to see them together…with CTH teasing JH and JH explaining things seriously. The dynamics never change, does it? 😛

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Q: who do you think as your biggest support?

(Cha Tae Hyun and) god, JiHyun-ie….Cuz we all lived together. I mean, JiHyun is a girl so she lived at her own home, she commuted, but…when I see those friends on TV, being successful, I feel proud. I’m sure they will feel the same. We worked hard together, they were the ones who made my life warmer at those times.

Jang Hyuuk & god pics

stardate1_all_all.mp4_000957633 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000959866 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000961566 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000962333 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000963000 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000963700 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000965900 stardate1_all_all.mp4_000968866

And he answers a phone call from someone.

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“What, what did you say? Okay. Yeah~ ok~”

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Q: Who did you just talk with?
JH: JiHyun-ie.
Q: JiHyun? Jeon JiHyun?
JH: Yeah her last name is Jeon~ name is JiHyun~
Q: You two close?
JH: Very close.
Q: Why?
JH: She’s my sister. My younger sister.
Q: What if you two get into a scandal?
JH: I don’t care. Both I and JiHyun don’t see each other with romantic feelings, we are just like siblings, we talk on phone and watch movies together. I don’t want to break a good relationship out of worrying for scandals.

stardate1_all_all.mp4_001038900
he offers his meat to audience who are watching lolstardate1_all_all.mp4_001054766
and proudly says he never leaves any rice behind. He can’t if he thinks about the efforts put in to make this bowl of rice.

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“I was immature during high school time. Because whatever I do, my parents would take care of it. But after coming to Seoul alone, I suddenly got out of parents’ protection, and I realized even to the very small things I had to be responsible for them all. I realized I was weak and vulnerable.
I miss home, miss parents, miss my brother…but I have things I need to do here.”

Now it’s the day of TJ performance, the first after his album got popular and went chart-in.

stardate1_all_all.mp4_001104400 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001108300 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001113833rehearsing hard for the important performance…

…but something seems to have gone wrong before the actual performance.

stardate1_all_all.mp4_001127300 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001130533Jang Hyuk looks feeble, and he rejects food.

Oops. He is sick.stardate1_all_all.mp4_001134233 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001136400 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001141000 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001145066
He’s not smiling at all, and is sweating. Aww, poor boy…! ;(stardate1_all_all.mp4_001147133 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001148666
You look sick. Will you be fine?stardate1_all_all.mp4_001149333 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001150366
Yeah, I’m fine. stardate1_all_all.mp4_001154500
I’ll do my best. stardate1_all_all.mp4_001157700
Hyukie blanking out. stardate1_all_all.mp4_001160566
Manager: Get hold of yourself!stardate1_all_all.mp4_001161200
Right before he enters the stage, he says… stardate1_all_all.mp4_001163966
Don’t forget to record it!stardate1_all_all.mp4_001165433
I need to monitor it.stardate1_all_all.mp4_001166733
He goes in for his performance. stardate1_all_all.mp4_001172033 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001174733 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001176266 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001178233 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001180066 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001181300 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001182366
Performance was successful, he filled the entire stage with energy, and fans loved it.

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as soon as he gets down from the stagestardate1_all_all.mp4_001186133
“Can you give me the camera?”stardate1_all_all.mp4_001188466 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001191866
Starts monitoring himself right away.stardate1_all_all.mp4_001194133
Sick or not, that’s the first task he has to do.stardate1_all_all.mp4_001197100 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001202033 stardate1_all_all.mp4_001203300Seems to be satisfied, boy!

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“My dream? It’s to continue what I’m doing now. Continue being an actor. If I be greedy, maybe write a scenario some time?”

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Jang Hyuk’s 1 minute scenario: Middle-aged love.

There’s a married couple in their 40s. There’s a very old electric fan turned on between them. The man is reading newspaper, and a drop of sweat rolls from his face. He doesn’t even wipe it off. The woman is writing her account book. A mosquito bothers her, she slaps it. The old fan is on revolving mode between them. It sends the wind to the man, and then the woman, and then the man, then the woman. The man looks at the woman, and does one act. What is it? He fixates the fan to the woman’s direction. The moment he pushes that button, he doesn’t express it in words, but the situation exists because the man loves the woman.

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I think the 30 minutes on my way back home is the time of loneliness. But when I walk back out tomorrow morning, I’ll be back as healthy and cheerful usual Jang Hyuk. (I guess this is when he was living alone….he surely does appreciate his family after getting married. Emphasized several times that when he goes back home, he feels the warmth. Aww)

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A message from ‘Jeong Yong Joon’ to ‘Jang Hyuk’:
“Mmm…You, just work hard. That’s all. Work hard, and achieve what you want. There’s something we both know, right? For you to achieve something 10 years after, you need to start working hard right now. You know it. I will be watching you.”

Here ends the clip, and they showed us the music video of TJ’s “Hey Girl”. Here are some captures, although you can easily watch it on youtube:)

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4 responses to “KBS Star Date on Rapper TJ (2000.9.4) – “I never suffered hardships”

  1. Hi Gumi, thanks for sharing this, its beautiful. I have learnt from him that tenacity and commitment is the way to success, even now, JH being successful, he continues in this thread. BTS of FTLY shows he monitors his work, he reads, understands the character, develops it, works w the director and his partner actress (i love this term he uses), continues to read and review scripts, practice, etc. I also think his appreciation of what life offers him after all his hard efforts comes from his family – his parents upbringing, (as i understand from Healing Camp), his father was away and also he had no choice but to bring the “bacon” home when his father was fired from his job. His mother bringing up him and his brother up alone – i think that also helps mould his values on marriage. Being so far from home at such a young age, he definitely appreciates the value of family love and support and he extends this to his friends too. JH saying he never suffered hardships – that statement and his life experience should be shared w all the young people nowadays, its such a beautiful experience to learn from. Seeing his “failures at auditions” himself as a impetus to work harder certainly has moulded him and we are now so lucky to benefit from his beautiful acting. This is one actor that has got me so fascinated that i go back to all his early productions and watch them, see him mature and develop into a great actor he is now.

  2. Thanks for your reply Gumi.

    I was watching raw cuts of ‘Real Men’ on YouTube and I really enjoyed seeing JH in them, totally love his tenacity in them!

    And from the screencaps you shared this post, he’s such an inspiring person. I’ve learnt a lot from him. ^^

  3. Hihi Gumi,

    I guess this question is kinda random…but I became curious when I saw JH wearing a necklace with a cross on it and I’m wondering what his religion is?

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