Category Archives: My Country (2019)

Jang Hyuk interview: About Lee Bangwon’s fan, his next drama and his family time


Thanks Prettysup for posting this on Soompi JH thread. Please visit it for more JH news and fangirling. I also added some more excerpts translated by Jane on IG.

https://forums.soompi.com/topic/3100-jang-hyuk-장혁-upcoming-drama-tell-me-what-you-saw-upcoming-movie-the-swordsman/page/731/#comments

Jang Hyuk “Unprecedented emotional Lee Bang-won, great pleasure to create”

The name of actor Jang Hyuk, 44, has been engraved in the historical drama’s beloved character “Lee Bang-won Club”, joining other actors who had previously given impressive performances of this person. Jang Hyuk has once again created a new character in the viewers’ minds that appear whenever Lee Bang-won’s name is mentioned.

Q : Which was the hardest scene in this work?

A : Every single scene. In every scene, we have to constantly calculate and agonize whether should I turn this way or that way? Should I show my front or my back? Should I hold a sword or my fan with me?

Q : Lee Bang-won holding a fan is something new. Is this in the original script?

A : I just brought one from somewhere (laughing). Kim Gyu-ri painted a picture on the fan, she has been painting folktales since “Beauty”. I said, “It will be nice if there is something that reminds you of Lee Bang-won’s feelings, can you draw a picture for me?” So she did a lyrical portrayal of a full moon and bamboo swaying in the wind. I liked the picture, so I decided to use it as a prop.

Q : Can you say the scene burning the fan at the end was almost ad lib?

A : Yes, when I burn the fan, my mind will be thinking “Everyone dies”.

Q : Will you play Lee Bang-won again in another film?

A : I don’t know yet. After ‘The Age of Innocence’ was over, I wanted to do it again, but now I don’t know. I’m not saying that I’m done with Lee Bang-won already, but I’m wondering if I can show viewers something else. Not right now, but I think the story of Lee Bang-won after becoming king will be another interesting one.

Q : We only have a month left this year, what’s your year-end plan?

A : I will be doing next year’s work (OCN drama ‘Tell Me What You Saw’)(laughing) We’ll be shooting from early December.

Q : Don’t you need time to recharge, such as travel or rest?

A : I’m going to recharge at the scene. Haha. It’s different, we’re going to a different scene. I enjoy my work. Happiness is not the only pleasure. Sometimes there are annoying, angry, and stuffy parts, but I feel like my day is thicker when I’m on the scene. Sometimes, when I meet a wall (problem) at the scene, I feel frustrated, but I enjoy the process of solving it.

Q : When did you start to enjoy being at the scene ?

A : Of course it wasn’t from the beginning. There were times when I wished there were no walls, and there was a feeling of pain when I bumped into them. I’ve been boxing for a long time, and if I want to hit, I have to get hit first. After a painful time, even the match becomes fun at some point. I think acting is just as hard and fun as I get through it.

Q: You will be playing the role of genius profiler Oh Hyun-jae in the next project. I wonder what kind of character it will be?

A : Director Kim Hong-sun, who directed “Voice 1,” gave me an offer. Looking at the script, the process of solving the case looks good and the character was fun. This is a character that is on the opposite side of Lee Bang-won. In comparison to animals, if Lee Bang-won feels like a tiger, Oh Hyun-jae is like a hawk. He identifies his target, hovers round and round, and catches the person when he gets the chance.

Q: These days, more celebrities are communicating with the public outside of their acting, such as through YouTube and SNS.

A : I’m on SNS too, but I’m not active. I think I should have my own time. I have a job to do, but I think I should have my own time.

Q : What do you usually do in your own time?

A : Work in the office (laughs). After work, practice boxing in the gym, go home, drink a beer and watch a movie after putting kids to bed, take the youngest to kindergarten in the morning. My eldest son is playing soccer, and if there is a match, I will go watch him. That’s the routine.

Q : It’s like a typical father’s routine.

A : It is not exemplary, haha. My father went abroad for a long time when I was a child because of his construction work. I only get to meet him for a month within a year, and even when he was in Korea, he will be busy going to local sites. That was the case with most fathers at that time. Because I felt my father’s absence, time spent with my family is precious. When the child grows older, his friends will come first before his parent. It is not long before my kids reach that, so now everyday is happiness.

Q: Are you still “passionate” Jang Hyuk?

A: While filming “Volcano High” I wrote “passion” on a chair on the set and “passionate” on “Jungle Juice” (laughs). I feel the same back then and now. I guess that’s what I wanted to mark then. I seemed to only have passion. And I think it’s the same now. I have some worries about how I will go forward and what will I leave behind. Plus the mind of “giving the best as much as I know” is the same as well.

Q: What words would you use if you carved a phrase in your chair now?

A: Well…I just want to say “enjoy it”

https://entertain.naver.com/read?oid=052&aid=0001371595

‘My Country’ Jang Hyuk Interview – Talks about Bangwon’s scar, his hair in new drama and more


Hi, I’m copying this interview translated by Prettysup and posted on the Soompi Jang Hyuk thread. Thank you Prettysup! This way we can always refer to it.

I also added some of my favorite images of beautiful (and terrible but awesome) Bangwon, for us to drool forever! #Bangwitched

As he enters his 23rd year of acting, Jang Hyuk has also shown off the special weight that he carries, capturing the agony of a humane Lee Bang-won in JTBC’s “My Country,” which ended on Sunday.

Jang’s relaxed smile at the interview did not make one feel that he is tired after finishing the work that had been shooting for about eight months. “I can’t cut my hair because it’s going to be used in the next drama,” he said with a big smile.

“I wanted to show you an emotional humane Lee Bang-won, not an ambitious blood lord. In fact, during the ‘Age of innocence’, I was always thinking about playing Lee Bang-won again. In ‘The Age of Innocence’ , Lee Bang-won feels like the background in the first strife of the princes. ‘My Country’ Lee Bang-won is a weighty villain, and he’s at the center of the story, so there’s a little bit of freedom and coolness.”

“My Country” is basically the story of fictional characters Seo Hwi (Yang Se-jong), Nam Seon-ho (Woo Do-hwan), and Han Hee-jae (Kim Seol-hyeon) who help Lee Bang-won revolt in the drama. However, the three-dimensional confrontations between Lee Bang-won (Jang Hyuk), Nam-jeon (Ahn Nae-sang) and Lee Seong-gye (Kim Young-chul) who contributed to the founding of the country showed off their existence as much as traditional historical dramas.

Among the past works dealing with Lee Bang-won, Jang was particularly attracted to ‘The Deep Rooted Tree’ which he also starred in. “I wanted to show everyone the Lee Bang-won who stood against his father. There was a scene in ‘The Deep Rooted Tree’ which Baek Yoon-sik senior told Ido (Song Joong-ki) to live. I was very impressed with that fascinating look.”

Actor Kim Young-chul, who plays Lee Seong-gye, had also portrayed Taejong two times previously through “The Great King Sejong” and “Jang Young-sil.” Kim Young-chul, however, rarely talked about his works because he feared it would have an unnecessary impact on Jang’s performance. On the synergy of their acting, Jang said, “We acted as father and son during ‘Iris 2’, and even if we don’t talk about it, we can immerse ourselves in real-life feelings. You just have to get the emotional intensity that your senior members are driving at and pour it out as it is,” he explained. These are words coming from an actor representing the acting class in the entertainment industry.

“Although it’s a work of fictional characters, stories beyond historical characters may not be convincing. Most people know how the Strife of the Princes went and what roles and actions Jeong Do-jeon, Lee Bang-gan, and Bakpo played. If you go too far-fetched, it’s going to be hard to accept. So instead of creating a new story, I wanted to reinterpret the feelings behind it, while keeping true to historical records. Did Lee Bang-won really think that he was going to be a king? Maybe he didn’t, but he was just swept away by the surging emotions and became the king. We only know the records but we didn’t see it and feel it personally, so I focused on capturing the inner thoughts of Lee Bang-won.”

As a result, “My Country” Lee Bang-won became Jang hyuk’s new life character. Lee Bang-won’s relentless confrontation with his father, Lee Seong-gye, excited viewers. “I’m grateful that you have enjoyed this drama because it’s so emotional,” Jang said with a smile.

Jang Hyuk also talked about being a senior among the cast. He said, “Although there were seniors on the set, but most of the other cast and crew were younger than me. There was only Tae-ryeong (Kim Jae-young), who is three years younger than me at the set and we talked a lot,” he said, confessing to his unexpected loneliness.

He reiterated that he learned a lot from young actors like Woo Do-hwan, Yang Se-jong and Seol Hyun. “One of the most regrettable works of my life is ‘Daemong’. They’re only a year or two older than me when I did ‘Daemong’, but are very well prepared. I was surprised that they can act so well at this age.”

Jang Hyuk’s choice of a master scene in ‘My Country’ is a question-and-answer session with Lee Sung-gye at the end of the drama. Jang recalled, “I fell in love with Kim Young-chul’s feelings. Would I answer as king or as father? The sixth, seventh and eighth are already dead, and the fifth, you will be king. He’s hitting the line. I’ve stopped feeling so much. Do you have any fingers that don’t hurt? It’s because I’m a royal family member. There was no line in the original script that said Lee Bang-won resembles Nam Seon-ho, but I added it on the spot because I felt that he resembled Nam Seon-ho.”

Jang Hyuk’s personal favourite acting scene is when he threw his crown after becoming the king. Unlike Lee Seong-gye or Nam Jeon, the throne was just a mean for Lee Bang-won to create his version of ‘my country’.

“I wanted to depict the feeling of cutting the opponent’s head off and throwing it. It’s my seat, I have went through a long way to reach there, but I don’t know what to do when I get there. I raised my sword not to make the abandoned, but the reality is that I abandoned everyone from Seo Geom (Yoo Oh-sung) to Seo Hwi and Nam Seon-ho. Lee Bang-won is just like the characters at the end of the movie ‘The Graduate’, where they ran away from the wedding, sat on a bus, like two pathetic, helpless, empty people.”

Jang Hyuk also confessed about the scar on Lee Bang-won’s face, which further sharpened his image in the drama. “It was a coincidence, I got hurt while working out. But then I found that it suited my character well. Doesn’t it feel like Lion King’s ‘Scar’?”

The most beloved historical character Jang Hyuk has ever played is Lee Dae-gil of ‘Chuno’. At one time, viewers commented that they see Lee Dae-gil in every character that he played. However, through ‘My Country’, Jang hyuk has completely shed the shadow of Lee Dae-gil, which had been hanging for more than a decade. Jang Hyuk said, “I forgot about Dae-gil a long time ago as I needed to move on to my next projects. It has already been 11 years and I’m grateful that there are so many fans who remembered Dae-gil for such a long time.”

When asked whether he would consider doing the TJ project as a gift for fans, Jang appeared embarrassed and said after coughing, “We have to take a look at the times when the TJ project took place. Back then, the music video was done to promote the movie ‘Volcano High’. I was not good at singing, hence I practiced rapping as it was similar to saying my lines.” he explained.

“I like listening to music very much. I always practice acting while listening to music. I’m very happy if I managed to find a song that fits the mood just like OST. But I don’t have the knowledge to work on music.”

“I’ve been asked several times to appear in ‘Sugar Man’ as a rapper TJ. But that’s not a joke, you have to decorate the stage. I’m sure not many people have seen TJ in person, and I think most of them know it through friends or the Internet. I don’t think it’s going to be easy to star in ‘Sugar Man’.”

Jang Hyuk’s new Sageuk: “My Country” (나의 나라)


My_Country-p01

It’s been a long while since we’ve posted, and since Jang Hyuk’s starred in a drama! We’ve all missed him, and hopefully he’d gotten a well-deserved break after starring back-to-back in “Money Flower,” “Wok of Love,” and “Bad Papa.” Not to mention cameos here and there and a role in the Crime film, “Ordinary Person.”

JH-My-Country

Jang Hyuk gives off Lee Daegil “Chuno” vibes here. Fans are thrilled he grew out his hair.

Jang Hyuk again takes on the mighty role of Joseon’s third King, Lee (Yi) Bang Won (The future King Taejong). He played the King in the 2015 film, “Empire of Lust.”

Jang Hyuk’s not the lead in “My Country” (JTBC Network) (To many fans’ disappointment) but he is listed as a Main role. Since it’s a multi-episode drama, it’ll be exciting to watch how he develops King Taejong’s personality with the distinct nuances he always brings to his performances.

Whatever happens, King Taejong’s presence will be influential to the story.

The drama’s main plot revolves around young best friends in a tumultuous time period – the fall of the Goryeo era into the early years of the long-standing Joseon era.

Seo Hwi (Yang Se-Jong) is a righteous warrior, the son of a powerful commander who goes through grievous trials. Nam Sun-Ho (Woo Do-Hwan) is an intelligent young man born from the lower class. His dream of joining the military is crushed when his father gets embroiled in corruption and his poor background becomes an obstacle. The best friends have misunderstandings and develop clashing opinions, leading them to become enemies.

This wouldn’t be a proper Kdrama without a love-triangle or a romantic entanglement. Enter the beautiful Seol Hyun (Han Hee-Jae). She’s described as a skilled martial artist and resourceful, intelligent woman ahead of her time who possibly holds classified information.

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 7.54.40 PM

Lee Bang Won was crowned King in Joseon’s 8th year. The political upheavals that got him to the throne could put the ex-best friends at greater odds while fighting for freedom and country.

These are just speculations, we’ll all have to watch and learn together!

“My Country” began filming back in March, 2019. Pre-produced dramas are on the rise. This system allows for better and compelling stories and acting, as the writers, cast, and crew don’t fall prey to the whims of Producers and fickle audiences necessitating last-minute plot changes. Just from the trailers, we can expect high production values and beautiful cinematography.

Having the talented Jang Hyuk in a major role will surely elevate what promises to be an exciting historical drama of friendships, enmity, love, and war as Korea pushes through the birth pangs of a new, astounding era in their legendary history.

“My Country” (나의 나라) premieres Friday, October 4th, 2019.

***Note to Fans – “My Country” is a Netflix Exclusive that will launch globally on that date.  They are the only streaming site with Korean Language content to air it. For those of us without Netflix, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to watch it elsewhere.

Enjoy the Official Trailers: