In “Bad Papa” (currently airing) Jang Hyuk plays Yoo Ji Chul, a former Championship Boxer with a wife and 17 year-old daughter. He’d suffered a number of setbacks in his life and became a Detective, but his heart wasn’t in the job. His life-long passion’s boxing and supporting his estranged family is his number one priority.
Ji Chul finds an opportunity to make money, but resorts to taking stolen pills that are in a testing phase. While deadly to others, the blue pills enhance Ji Chul’s natural abilities to super-heroic proportions within a three-minute window. He not only becomes a hero after saving a family in a bus wreck, he returns full-force to Boxing and wins back his titles, respect, and family.
There’s plenty of dark moral issues to deal with. By taking the pills, Ji Chul’s cheating in the ring big time and lying to his family and friends. He’s covering up murder, and the pills may slowly be killing him.
Ji Chul’s getting red flags and warnings from all sides to stop, especially from his own twisted conscience, but the lure’s too great…
And that’s where we’ve left off biting our nails for the upcoming episodes!
Most fans know that Jang Hyuk has practiced and excelled in Jeet Kune Do , a form of Martial Arts created by the legendary Bruce Lee. But Jang Hyuk’s also been a semi-professional boxer for just as long. Meaning, while he doesn’t have a career in boxing, it’s more than just a hobby.
(Check out those skills in a gif from Robbers.)
Jang Hyuk’s dream was to play a Boxer, and his wish was granted fully with Bad Papa. But past roles featured boxing as well. In Robbers (2008) Jang Hyuk played Oh Joon, a former boxer turned con-man. The focus isn’t on his old boxing career, however, it’s falling in love and redemption.
He was a boxer in the drama short Old Goodbye with Jang Nara. And lets not forget in the recent Wok of Love he played his character Chil-Sung’s doomed father, appearing on a retro-Boxing poster and in a quick flashback in the boxing ring.
In an interview for The Korea Times after Money Flower ended, Jang Hyuk likened boxing to being on a drama or movie set. He’s carried over boxing principles to help guide him while filming.
“A set is like two actors hiding what they have and facing each other in the ring. Under immense tension, they exchange punches and counter punches. If there is no tension while shooting a drama, how can we expect it to draw viewers?”
We all know how Jang Hyuk amps up the tension in any scene. With just a twist of his mouth or a flicker in his eye he deftly reveals the deeper emotions within his characters. No one can ever accuse him of playing cardboard cut-out roles.
One of the biggest lessons he’s learned from boxing is fierce endurance. Even when conditions on the set are troublesome, or he’s exhausted and wants to give up and go home, he continues to fight his way to the end of the film shoot. Jang Hyuk’s passionate about doing his best at all times, and it shows in all his performances.
Read the full interview by Park Jin-Hai at The Korea Times: