Translated by Gumi
Actor Jang Hyuk (37)’s laughter spread happy virus to households through TV channels. His 12 years reunion with Jang Na Ra showed what ‘real chemistry’ is, and their exchanges showed the definition of romantic comedy.
Jang Hyuk said “It was physically hard, not being able to have proper sleep for a single day in past 3 months,” but his face was full of satisfaction and happiness. The drama’s happy energy seemed to have affected the actor’s mind as well.
MBC Wed-Thu drama ‘Fated to Love You’ which ended on the 4th, was thought to be the weakest competitor in the beginning. But FTLY gave us a twist by achieving both good responses and popularity. This witty rom-com slowly stole the audience’s heart.
Below is an interview with Jang Hyuk.
Q: Did you think it will garner this much attention?
I think the reason for Korean version’s success was because we put in humanism within the comic elements. I think it did a good job in portraying relationship in a family. Actually in the original, the male and female roles were the opposite. Female lead had more comic elements, and the male lead was more on a serious side, but Kr version flipped it over. We tried to differentiate it.
Q: You had boiling passion for comic acting?
Maybe that’s what audience may think, but actually that’s created by directing and editing. As an actor, I didn’t think I was doing a comedy acting. Of course I knew the situation was comic, but I think that’s for the director to control. In this drama what I focused on was to have fun in comic scenes, but to be able to naturally shift into serious acting in more emotional scenes. Simply put, to go back and forth between comic and serious, and it was all possible because of Jang Na Ra. She helped a lot.
Q. Your laughter gained such attention
Lee Gun character himself is not that rare, he’s a chaebol character. But I wanted to make him special. So I got a motif from Scrooge. I think that ‘Umhahaha’ laughter somehow matches him. And while filming FTLY, I was also filming a sageuk (historical) movie ‘Age of Innocence’ at the same time, so I was used to sageuk laughter. I gave that a little variation, and ended up with that laughter. It’s fortunate that people liked it.
Q: Rice pounding scene and rice-and-barley game scene was such a big issue.
Rice pounding scene did change the mood up for sure. It wasn’t on the script, but we came up with it as we discussed. After hearing Lee Dong Yoon PD’s explanation, I thought ‘Wow he’s really letting it all go’. He even talked about penetrating asphalt with a huge drill. (laughs) And what we decided on was the rice pounding scene, I’m glad it worked.
Q: Did you not worry about getting censored while filming?
Well, if it breaches upon the censorship standard, it’s only the director who gets in trouble. Hahaha. Actor’s don’t have to do anything about it.
Q: You seemed to have great synergy with Lee Dong Yoon PD.
It’s my first time working with a main PD who is of same age with me. He gave me a lot of advice, and we talked a lot. He’s a talented director and a great person.
Q: 12 years reunion. How is it different now compared to back then?
When we filmed SSBG Jang Na Ra was around 20. And I was in mid 20s. We were not that close back then, but when we met after 12 years, it was as comfortable as if we met yesterday. She was a shy person, and she was still shy when we met again, I felt like she didn’t change. But as I acted with her, I felt that time has passed. When Jang Na Ra does reaction, it just fits perfectly. We do have good team work, I want to try different genres with her.
Q: Park Joon Hyung’s cameo appearance was also interesting.
It was fun. I get sentimental with him, since we lived together in same dorm for 3 years during rookie period. Whenever and wherever, it feels great and fun to meet him.
Q: Do you keep in touch with ‘Real Men’ members?
I do keep in touch with Park Hyung Shik, Son Jin Young, Suh Kyung Suk hyung, and Kim Soo Ro hyung. We don’t talk that often, but sometimes I do call them. Kyung Suk hyung even came over to FTLY filming site. He said the filming site was near his house. (laughs)
Q: What did you gain from this drama?
I gain something new every time I finish a project. What I felt especially strong while filming FTLY was the importance of team play. I felt that a drama with a ready team with good team play can last long. After all, contents depend on what people do. I want to work again with Lee Dong Yoon PD or Jang Na Ra.