After his debut through 1997 SBS drama ‘Model’ , actor Jang Hyuk (37) put MBC Drama ‘Fated to Love You’ as his 30th work on his filmography. Thanks to his acting life where he worked near 20 years without resting, his acting now shows confidence, not arrogance, and conviction. But ironically, his still shows an attitude of a rookie actor.
It’s not a simple thought that he should work hard. He still goes to filming site even on a day he doesn’t have filming, and he still has gratitude to ‘people’ in his heart. Jang Hyuk who never stops to ponder about his own acting, and never gets lazy in practicing to solve the problems. We met him on 18th in a cafe in Yeoksam-dong. He looked a little gaunt from FTLY filming, but he looked as cheerful as Lee Gun.
“I’m busy doing house chores these days. It’s also nice to be able to sleep well.” He opened up with playful remarks, but as he started talking about FTLY his face showed some mixture of joy and nostalgia.
“The saddest thing is that I won’t be able to meet FTLY team for a while. I hope we could team up again to do a rom com or any other genre. There’s something I gain after every single project, but FTLY gave me a great time spent together with a good director and good fellow actors. Ah, the fact that I gained a fun interesting character is also something I should be thankful of.”
Jang Hyuk became Jeonju Lee clan’s 9th generation only son Lee Gun, and got responsible of laughters in FTLY. His laughter that reflects his overwhelming confidence that almost looks like arrogance didn’t make people hate him, but make them accept it as a fun, flamboyant charm. It has a power to make you laugh along. No matter how serious the situation is, this laughter could change the atmosphere.
“When I was first building the character Lee Gun, I wanted to express Scrooge’s young days. Scrooge is an old man who is mean, isolated, and alone. But the ghosts of past, present and future visits him and he goes on a time travel to regain his humanism. I sensed something similar with Gun. For Gun, not ghosts but Kim Mi Young (Jang Na Ra) pays a visit.”
Audience took notice of Jang Hyuk’s effort. They started calling him in countless nicknames. After he fell in love with KMY, him looking at her with totally changed lovely eyes was called ‘Gun-reen light’ (green light, a sign that love has started). In the prenatal class scenes, he was called pervgun, when he sang duet songs with MY he was called ‘TJrapGun’. Jang Hyuk said “It means what the character tried to express has been successfully delivered” and smiled saying “getting a lot of nicknames is a happy thing”.
Jang Hyuk has steadily been building up his filmography through various films in past 18 years. Every year he filmed at least one or two films. And FTLY put yet another layer on his actor life. Jang Hyuk said “It’s my 30th time being on site, but it always feel different.” He showed his ambition by saying “Characters are different and actors are different, so each filming site always feels new to me. I will continue to be on filming sites, and I want to show myself changing slowly, but for sure.”
For him, acting was always difficult, and always easy. “No one can provide the correct answer by saying ‘this is it.’ If you can convince someone with your acting, that’s it. Convincing acting is the one you can empathize the most. I never tried to find the correct answer, but tried to find a well accepted answer. When you feel your character is hard to act, that means you worked with actors and team with whom you don’t have good ensemble with. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable even in a new genre, new character, that means there’s someone breathing with you (having a good team work).”
He is soon to become a 40 years old (korean age), and celebrate the 20th year after his debut. But his thoughts on acting is always the same. Let me go on filming site and tackle it. Jang Hyuk says “Every time I go to filming site I learn something.” Isn’t that the attitude rookie actors should learn from him?