[Interview] Jang Hyuk, “True love is standing by one’s side when one’s going through the hardest time”


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.


18 responses to “[Interview] Jang Hyuk, “True love is standing by one’s side when one’s going through the hardest time”

  1. 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…isnt this what MY says to LG in episode 18? so beautiful that FTLY lines and script is close to JH’s beliefs. lessons about love to all of us.

  2. Stand by Me and i stand by you. One should live a life without regrets…so often quoted heard by all of us and yet how many actually live it? Jang Hyuk is one excellent example. He has always been consistent too and yet when you read it, they dont sound old. Thanks Gumi for translations.

  3. Thanks for the translation. Never get tired of reading them. I’m sure his sons will be proud of their dad, setting such a good role model for them. Just love and respect this guy more and more.

  4. The first picture is hard to look at. He’s like… right there. XDD
    It’s understandable why his co-stars and PD (and practically everyone who’s worked with him) give nothing but praises. Hyukie just doesn’t just study his character to their souls, but he also gives the stage to his team and sets the mood like a true veteran. He puts everyone on the same playing field in order to craft more solid characters along the way, and in turn it makes him better understand and build on his character. It’s not a one-way street for him and I feel like this already makes him a good teacher and a good leader. It’s probably why he is a valued and respected actor and person. His character breathes him, not the other way around. But the amazing part is that as a viewer and maybe even especially as a fan, you can’t tell that at all. You can’t say that about all A-list actors. What a privilege and honor for an anyone who gets to work with him. JH is just so cool!

  5. “His every single word was precious gem in the interview.”

    I second this.. every single time I read his interview, even if he keeps repeating some stuff, there’s always something precious to uncover.. what a gem, that is jang hyuk..

    • I think stuffs are repetitious not because he is repeating himself, but because all those media were there at the same time. I assume they took turn in asking questions and stuffs, but some answers they liked, they took from others’ questions and put it in their articles as well…hence the repetitions with a little bit of phrasing difference.

      • Thanks for clarifying, Gumi. I do understand that he may be talking to several media at the same time, or was asked about the same questions. Got to clarify though, pehaps I could have expressed it better, but I don’t mean that he’s being repetitious. A better way to put it may be – he’s really consistent, like he’s never changed over the years, especially when you compared with his past interviews. Ah, I can’t describe! Just love this man so much!

  6. I’m a little mind blown by the kind of things he says. It looks like he’s learned very valuable life lessons along the way. And he clearly gives the vibes of someone who knows himself rather well. When does the man get time to do all this introspection? Did you guys say he’s written a book? Would love to get hold of that book.

  7. Mrs. Jang, or I should say Mrs. Jung in real life, won Hyuk’s heart by standing by him while he’s going through the toughest time. Mrs. Jung well deserved him. Salute Mr. Jung!


  9. Is he doing a lot of interviews right now or are we getting snippets as they are translated?

    • I’m just curious, are these all different interviews? If they are then these journalists have to step up their game, poor man, he’s so exhausted and has to keep giving the same answers over and over again. At least he keeps changing them up. And I really appreciate all the translations.

      • They took place at the same time, I think. He did interviews twice, on 18th and 19th, and my assumption is that reporters from a lot of different media was present there, asking him different questions. And when they organize his answers and write up articles, the pick and choose process and phrasing made each articles slightly different from others…?

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