written by Son Hwa Shin, translated by Gumi.
“Umhahahaha” We can still hear the laughter. In a recently finished drama MBC ‘Fated to Love You’, whenever Lee Gun laughed his heartily laugh, it felt like my fatigue from the whole day was just blowing away. September 19th in one cafe at Yeoksam-dong, I met actor Jang Hyuk who just sent away Lee Gun.
As the first question, I asked about the secret of Lee Gun’s laugh. “Script? Script never had any signal for laughter. I just laughed whenever I wanted to.” It was an unexpected answer. “I don’t prepare thinking ‘this is how I will laugh’. The character wears fitting clothes himself by the time you get to Ep 5 or 6. I build up the skeleton first, and the rest is working it out well with a partner during filming, making some natural points.” You could feel the deep experience of an actor in his 18th year of acting.
Jang Hyuk was a veteran with his own acting philosophy. “Before, I was busy doing homework. I endlessly analyzed script, and just kept throwing my own interpretation. I was busy throwing mine, I didn’t have room to catch others’. Now, after building up a character a little, I leave it empty for the rest. If I leave a room for flexibility, there’s a chance for better acting.”
His famous humor was also coming from ‘leaving it open’. “Right. I’m a funny person. There’s no secret to it, though. Other than keep listening.” His answer was simple. “If you keep listening to your partner, timing and content for ad-libs naturally come to you. Ad-libs are useless if it’s not at the right timing. You just have to listen well. It’s important to keep an close eye on your partner.” Jang Hyuk was a man with virtue of listening well.
‘Fated to Love You’ is Jang Hyuk’s 30th project. Jang Hyuk who has been busily working going back and forth between dramas and movies, what would be his next vision in acting? I threw him a little comment that I think of action genre when I think of Jang Hyuk. And he responded in firm answer, “I don’t necessarily wanted to be an action star.” “I do enjoy Jeet Kune Do, and often do action scenes, but that’s only ‘Jang Hyuk on show’. Jang Hyuk on September 19th today and Jang Hyuk on Sep 19th a few years ago, and Jang Hyuk a few years after are all different people with different personalities. If people live stagnated lives, everybody should still me mewling infants, right?”
Jang Hyuk on September 19th, 2014 was an ‘actor’ with deep and sincere thoughts. And he was a sincere ‘person’. “I’m not trying to boast about it, but I never sit in the back of a car. Manager is my colleague, not my chauffeur. Only when I sit next to him can I speak with him, facing him. I think these little things are the most important. How I treat those around me decides whether those people become my people or not.”
Jang Hyuk had deep thoughts, but also was very simple. He thinks about his work, or his family. That’s it. At the question “Do you often do events for your wife like Lee Gun?”, he said “sometimes yes, sometimes no.” “It’s not like I love her more if I do more events, and love her less if I do less. It’s not decided like that. But there’s one thing that is clear and crisp, and it’s that true love is standing by one’s side when one’s going through the hardest time.” It was a love theory of a romantist Jang Hyuk.
“What kind of actor do you wish your children view you as?” At this question, Jang Hyuk opened his mouth after a long silence. “I’ve never thought of that. I hope they see their father as a person with many good aspects. Ah, and it reminds me of what singer PSY said. ‘I’m scared of the thought that my children in the future will be embarrassed of my work’. I can feel that. I’m scared that my sons will be embarrassed at my acting in the future. So I try to throw in my everything at the filming site, so that I won’t regret.”
Lastly, Jang Hyuk said “I don’t have any moments in my past I want to erase. Good or bad, if I erase it that whole time gets erased from my life. Myself right now can be what I am right now as a result of all those good and bad memories added together.” His every single word was precious gem in the interview.