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.”
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.
And ‘now’ (as in 2000 lol), he’s a top star who’s in all sorts of commercials.
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
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.
he walked into a glass instead of open door LOL. This was hilariously adorable XD
after some serious monitoring….
He is satisfied! He smiles brightly!
Someone tells him it’s been a long time since she’s seen him smile that brightly, and he says…
You know, real charisma issmiling when your tension is released. and he laughs at his own words… …and runs away……LOL. There’s a female staff commenting “Oppa always runs away after saying something funny.”
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.
Q: Why were you called an “audition man”?
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.
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!
Oppa I didn’t know you were good at squash too! Jeez, what can’t he do?
hmm who can it be? Is it his girlfriend? Oh, but this is before he met his girlfriend…! who is it?
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.
It was pretty adorable to see them together…with CTH teasing JH and JH explaining things seriously. The dynamics never change, does it? 😛
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
And he answers a phone call from someone.
“What, what did you say? Okay. Yeah~ ok~”
Q: Who did you just talk with?
Q: JiHyun? Jeon JiHyun?
JH: Yeah her last name is Jeon~ name is JiHyun~
Q: You two close?
JH: Very close.
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.
“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.
…but something seems to have gone wrong before the actual performance.
Oops. He is sick.
He’s not smiling at all, and is sweating. Aww, poor boy…! ;(
You look sick. Will you be fine?
Yeah, I’m fine.
I’ll do my best.
Hyukie blanking out.
Manager: Get hold of yourself!
Right before he enters the stage, he says…
Don’t forget to record it!
I need to monitor it.
He goes in for his performance.
Performance was successful, he filled the entire stage with energy, and fans loved it.
“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?”
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.
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)
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:)