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Jang Hyuk interview promoting “The Killer” in Los Angeles


Jang Hyuk giving an inter view and The Source Mall in OC, Los Angeles

Hi everyone! It has been so long that I updated the blog that I’m finding myself have to re-learn how to use the platform so please bear with me. I wanted to transcribe this interview that took place at “The Source Mall” in OC, Los Angeles on June 22nd, 2022. That’s right! Jang Hyuk travelled to L.A to promote his upcoming movie “The Killer, a girl who deserves to die” an action noir film based on a popular korean webnovel. I think this is one of longest and most in depth interviews I’ve seen with JH in a long time. Especially interesting for action film fans.

Here is the transcription (based on the interpreter and host translations) There are parts I didn’t quite catch, so if you know what he said, let me know and I’ll edit this post.

I’m also posting the video here, so you can watch Jang Hyuk perform a little comedy-action scene with LA stunt actors, before the interview. Also, to hear his fans go nuts! 😀

The host was adorable saying that he was nervous because Jang Hyuk is a big star. I wish I could catch the host’s name. I recommend you also watch the full video when you get a chance, to appreciate the fan interactions, to see JH apologize several times to the interpreter for getting long winded, to hear him say some phrases in his cute English and to see him send heart hands to his fans, while the interpreter spoke. So cute!

Jang Hyuk with some L.A professional stuntmen

SPOILERS AHEAD This interview contains some details about the plot, so if you do not want to be spoiled in any way, I’d recommend you read this after you’ve watched the movie

One of the different versions of the movie poster for The Killer.

THE INTERVIEW

Host Intro – I got to see the movie “The Killer” yesterday and it was fabulous. “The Killer, the girl who deserves to die” It’s based on a novel, by the same name about a retired assassin. It belongs to the action noir genre. This assassin is forced back into violence because he is supposed to be helping a girl that he doesn’t really like [the role of the girl is played by beloved singer Lee Seo Young, aka Anne from the group GWSN] A lot of you might have seen him [Jang Hyuk] in melodramas, but he is fabulous action actor and he has years of martial arts training as well. So, we are getting into the details of that, how he came to star in this movie and how he prepared for it.

Host: This is actually the first time that you are promoting a film in the US and you were there for the red carpet event, the screening and now this promotional fan tour, you are at The Source Mall, the reception was great.

JH: First for all, I would like to thank this opportunity to promote the movie “The Killer” here in the United States. It’s a great opportunity for me and as “Yun” said (the host) back in 1988, we met when “Yun” was a member of a group called Shark. So, it’s a great reunion.

Host: This movie is part of the “Noir Assassin” genre, similar to John Wick, we also think about the movie “Taken”, “Oldboy” and just looking at the film yesterday I was so blown away by all the action, every action shot was very different and unique and there’s more than meets the eye to this film, than was shown the trailer so, let’s talk about this film.

JH: The Killer, represents the first time for me to participate in the beginning process of planning a movie, so it’s my first opportunity to start organizing the movie, developing the movie, together with the director and while we were developing the movie, we were introduced to this webnovel with the same name, so we adapted it. I took part in the development of all the choreographies, all the action scenes has my planning as well. For the action scenes, we tried to make it more like a dance choreography, so incorporating different sounds, different rhythms of music, we also incorporated different weapons such as guns, sticks (?), even axe so for the martial arts styles we used, we had the musical choreography in mind. One of the movies that was our reference was “No country for old men”. We thought, what if that killer was in this movie? So, that dry, emotionless expression was combined together with the live action that we showed in the movie.

Host: In the movie “No country for old men” the killer was stone cold, he was really cold. I was actually scared watching this man doing the things he did. Now, Ui Gang, is also stone cold, but there is a sense of humor, he loves his wife and he is actually a warm guy and he is really funny, but at the same time when he gets down to business, there is no looking back for this man.

JH: In the movie, Ui Gang, is actually asked to kill a girl, and a portion of this story is about Ui Gang meeting this girl, in a very dream-like scene where Ui Gang is recalling his encounter with this girl, who has asked him to kill her. We don’t know whether she died or not, but based on that request, he decided to retire and the story develops from that point on. So, the storyline develops because Ui Gang, lost(?) this girl that he is asked to take care of and who reminds him of the girl who in the past asked him to kill her. The story is based on the relationship between Ui-Gang and the girl who he was tasked to watch over.

If you watched the movie, you’ll see that Ui Gang holds a cup of latte everywhere he goes, I personally like latte too, but this was inspired in the movie “Leon” aka “The Professional” where Leon meets this girl called Matilda, and he always drinks a cup of milk.

Host: I love how you put that tribute to “The professional” and Jean Reno. How do you like Ui Gang in real life?

JH: The one aspect where I find similarity with Ui Gang is that, when it comes to work, he is a completely different person, in comparison to his personal life. I didn’t notice that about myself but when I see the still cuts of when I’m making the movie, I see myself looking so different from how I am in my normal life. So when it comes to my professional life and my personal life, the difference between those two worlds, I think it’s what is similar to Ui Gang in the movie.

Host: Just a little while ago, you were talking about how, performing some of the stunts, it was like a dance choreography involving many people. It’s a dance choreography that you have to perfect and make it look good. I understand that you insist on performing 99% of your stunts. It is commendable but are you ever worried about injuries?

JH: I’ve done a lot of action film so I get very zealous about it, very passionate about it, at least I used to be in the past. So, I want to do it well, and that led me to sustain injuries, and once I’m injured, the production has to pause. I’ve learned over the years that, it cannot be done like that. So we rehearse “to a t” and make sure that all the movements are practiced and rehearsed.

The reason I try to do the stunts myself is because, action is part of the acting and the character has to come alive in the action as well, so while I’m doing all the actions, my character has to come out and that’s why I choose to do my stunts.

Host: If you guys don’t know, Jang Hyuk, as good looking as he is, does a lot of stuff, he does boxing, and Jeet Kun Do. In 2007, he won an award as the best newcomer in martial arts in China. He does a lot of training year round. Let’s find out how he prepared for this role of Ui Gang.

JH: Movies nowadays, especially action movies, are made with a lot of computer graphics, to which audience members are used to. Usually, the action sequences are cut into many small pieces, but we did all the scenes as one-cut, and while we are filming we are trying to incorporate a rhythm and tempo too, so you will see that come alive while you watch the movie.

In the movie, we tried to sequence the action films in such a way that, there are a variety of different actions involved, a variety of different weapons involved, that all of that worked together, I was working directly with the martial arts director and of course the lighting is important too.

If you see action movies, you see that the emotions get really wild, the actors get very angry and excited, but here in the movie “The Killer” I tried to keep the emotions calm and you’ll see that.

Training was part of my every day routine. As we sequenced the action I had to train myself every day as well.

Host: So, you’ve actually really partaken in the production process and also, creating the whole action scenes, the fight scenes and the choreography so you’ve actually put your opinions and creativity to that as well. You’ve also worked with some really good Hollywood stunt men and also, the stunt director, Bruce Khan.

JH: There is a behind story about this villain that we see in the movie. We had someone else in mind for that role, David (?) the stunt director of the movie “John Wick”, but his schedule wouldn’t fit with our filming schedule so we couldn’t work with him and while looking for a person who could play the villain in the movie, we were introduced to Bruce Khan. The action style he shows in the movie is very different from mine and that was a lot of fun [to see that contrast].

Host: We saw a lot of action scenes, I really liked the one in the motel. The scenes were just phenomenal. What were the best scenes in your opinion?

JH: The scene that I’m most proud of in this movie, is the gun fighting scene. We choreographed a lot of other action scenes in support of that gun fighting scene. So that scene is most memorable and I’m most proud of that.

Host: There were a lot of gun fighting scenes and they were very good. The double tap and the “bap, bap, bap” (he gestures), everything was right on. How did you practice for that?

JH: I was in a drama called Iris 2 and I did a lot of gun shooting in that drama. And that was one of my experiences with this kind of scene. But in that series, we didn’t have a lot of martial arts. What we did was target and shoot. We wanted to do a lot of action involved in this movie and incorporate martial arts to the gun shooting scenes.

Host: Yesterday you had a chance to visit Taran Tactical. Taran Buttler, is the guy who trains all the Hollywood actors, and he is also a former competitive shooter. How was it hanging out with Taran and doing some shooting with him? [I researched this dude and I’m so not a fan, but, yeah, he is the go to gun training guy for Hollywood]

JH: Yesterday at the gun range, I was nervous at first. But, we received detailed explanations about how to position ourselves, our body postures, we had a detailed training before we actually went to the actual shooting. So having a professional explaining things like that in detail, really helps and needs to be incorporated in movies like these as well.

Host: I was reading an interview, and apparently, there was a scene where you could’ve gotten hurt and you actually almost died, not sure if this was exaggerated.

JH: There was one instance where I got hurt. It was a scene where I was fighting with Bruce Kahn. It was a stunt scene where I’m falling off a window. We practiced a lot how to fall through this window, but we didn’t calculate the frame of the window correctly, so as I fell, I hit the frame and I injured my back. You too can watch me getting hurt at the end of the movie, after the credits.

Host: While you are here promoting the film in L.A what are some of things that caught your eye?

JH: My first trip ever to the United States was to Los Angeles back in the late 90s and at the time the person who coordinate my trip took me to Starbucks and he ordered me a cup of Americano, and that cup of Americano felt like Los Angeles. That was a first impression I have of Los Angeles. This is my second trip to L.A, I’ve eaten (???) in Korea and I liked it. I tried it this time again, and yes, L.A (???) is the best. [He then mentioned another meal? and the fans reacted loudly, he then said “It’s very great” in english with an “in love” expression in his eyes. This man loves his food)

Host: How about street tacos in L.A?

JH: I have not tried L. A street tacos

Host: Oh nooo, L.A is all about the tacos!!! [Loud audience reaction]

JH: Ta-Co? Ok!

Host: I’ll get you some good tacos. Ok, I’m going to open it up for some questions, from the audience

QUESTIONS FROM HIS FANS

Roseline Garcia from Santa Ana: In 2014, you were in a drama called “Fated to love you”, as you can tell, my favorite character is Lee Gun and I was wondering if you could do the laugh

[Jang Hyuk, did the signature laugher of Lee Gun and the fans went crazy]

Cindy from Westmister: In Fated to love you, you did that karaoke scene. Can you do a little bit of the rap for us?

[JH talked a lot but it wasn’t translated, then he did a little bit of his rap]

Unamed fan: [We are going to call her the real MVP]: I know your next project is with Jang Nara. Can you give us a tiny spoiler about it?

JH: My next project is going to be a kdrama, I’m reviewing the script. It’s not like the movie “The Killer” but I actually happen to have the same job in this drama. It’ll be action, romantic, comedy and humanistic drama. It’s really interesting, Jang Nara and I work together every seven years.

Host: Before we wrap up we want to ask him what are his plans for the future. You mentioned that are more plans for the film “The Killer”

JH: The Killer is based on a webnovel, and there are four series of that novel. If opportunity arises we are hoping to continue with the series as well and incorporate more action designs along the way.

Host: Lastly, what’s the future for you? You have a film with Jang Nara coming every seven years. You have this ambitious project, which may continue to a series, hopefully it will because it’s a great film. So, for Jang Hyuk, what’s in the future for you?

JH: One of my dreams is to be part of developing characters and I want to continue that, with the opportunity that we have with “The Killer” I want to be able to further my dreams to develop different action designs for movies and working together with other actors in Korea. There are great actors in Korea who are not well known and they are just great talents and want to be able to work with them and also, there are actors who are well known but they have different sides of them, different talents they have, as well as different directors who are looking for opportunities. For me, my dream, my future steps will be that, working together with others, developing different characters, different films. Please if you enjoy “The Killer” tell your friends and we’ll be able to make those dreams come true.

Host: He wants to take care of all the younger actors and to help them on their journey while he is going on his journey. Ok, how about one last goodbye to your fans in L.A!

JH: I’m very thrilled and excited to be visiting you here in Los Angeles through the movie “The Killer”, so many people had a hard time through the pandemic. I hope that everybody takes care of themselves and stay healthy and if there’s another movie that I can come and introduce to you, I look forward to that time. I want everybody to go have fun watching “The Killer”.

The Swordsman 검객, trailer, reviews and more


Visuals of a Joseon Idol

I can’t wait to watch this movie! The Swordsman, directed by Choi Jae-hoon (최재훈) and starring Jang Hyuk (장혁), Kim Hyun-soo (김현수), Joe Taslim, Jung Man-sik (정만식) was filmed in 2017 but due to some production/financial complications, it was only released las month in South Korea, in the midst of a pandemic and with relatively little promotion. Still, like a true underdog, the movie managed to take second place among all movies released that week (release date was Sep 23rd) and 1st among domestic releases.

My baby against the world.

With new movies released during Chuseok, The Swordsman went down a few spots but hey, it’s still out there fighting the good fight and it has gotten mostly positive reviews from press and audience. From what I could gather, the general concensus would be 1) Predictable story but moves at a good pace 2) Good acting 3) Amazing action sequences

It has been compared to other action movies like Taken, The Man From Nowhere (also from Opus Pictures), The Professional (aka Leon), etc. The movie has been sold to 55 countries and here is hoping a major streaming service also picks it up soon.

Jang Hyuk, king of sageuk is back!

Here is some more good stuff to get you as excited as I am (but beware of spoilers)

TRAILER:

TRAILER: CHARACTERS

MUST WATCH: Impressive action sequence, all in one take. This is what got me the most excited!

THE MOVIE BEATS REVIEW: A thorough review but practically spoiler free. It focuses on the action sequences

“The right blend of of exciting sword-wielding action, drama, and warrior’s code to satisfy the appetites of more die-hard genre fans“.

Full written version:

https://www.themoviebeat.com/the-swordsman-2020-korean-movie-review/

Hancinema review: A good read, with some analysis of the character’s motivations. It contains spoilers

https://www.hancinema.net/hancinema-s-film-review-the-swordsman-145684.html

Visit the Soompi movie thread for more information:

https://forums.soompi.com/topic/400935-current-movie-2020-the-swordsman-%EA%B2%80%EA%B0%9D-jang-hyuk-joe-taslim-kim-hyun-soo

Hyuk Update: A recap of his most recent activities


Hi guys! We haven’t updated the blog often lately,  but our dear Jang Hyuk is still as active, hard-working and gorgeus as ever haha! He is quite the energizer bunny. I wanted to do a little recap of his activities during these months, after he finished filming the historical drama Shine or Go Crazy and the movie Empire of Lust was released.

CHINESE OPERA TIME! (where he was turned into a Golden prince doll!)

On March, he went to China to participate in the reality show Ding Ge Long Dong Qiang. This reality reunited chinese and korean celebrities who received training to put together a traditional Chinese Opera. Among the korean celebrities were Jang Hyuk’s friends Kim Jongkook and Jay Park. Jay was actually part of Jang Hyuk’s team along with chinese singer Summer.

One of my favorite moments of the show happened in episode 2 when Jang Hyuk did the spear exercise perfectly. It starts at minute 46:36

This is the final episode where you can watch their energetic and spectacular performance.

You can watch the complete show without Eng Subs on Summer’s youtube channel HERE.

LITTLE PRINCESS ARRIVAL (I can’t stop the awwwwwww)

Then, on April 16th, his baby girl was born! And us fans/aunties let out a collective Awwwwwww! Jang Hyuk’s  first baby girl! As you know he has two sons already. Ever the protector of his family’s well being and privacy, there are no public pictures of his children. So we can only imagine her! Does she look like mom or is she a little Hyukie with pig tails? Awwwww no matter what, this was undoubtedly the happiest event of all for him.

IMG_4483

Imagining Hyukie with pigtails! :p

This was Sidus HQ statement at the time ““He is very happy for the birth of his daughter. He is scheduled to go to China to film a movie, but thankfully, he was able to see the birth of his child beforehand.”

TAIWAN FAN MEETING (Them lucky Taiwanese fans!)

I don’t remember if this was before or after baby girl was born, but he had a Fan Meeting in Taiwan. We found out he cut his hair and he looked like this.

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INSIDE OR OUTSIDE (Wherever you please dear Hyukie)

On April 20th he started filming the chinese movie “Inside or Outside”, next to renowned chinese actors Simon Yan and Wallace Huo. The movie is an action thriller. According to Soompi “Jang Hyuk will be playing the role of Wu Geom, a successful elite who is the CFO of an IT company. After having suspicions that he might not be the father of his daughter, he finds out his life is in danger during the process of digging for the truth”.

Oh my! It sounds very exciting! This movie is expected to be released on September 2015.

WELCOME TO AJINCOME! (Where you get Hyukspammed by the man himself)

It was also around this time that he opened an account on Instagram, much to the surprise of many since up until now Jang Hyuk was not very active in Social Networks. He already had  a Weibo account but wasn’t too active on it. Apparently he decided to do this on a whim. God Bless your passionate impulses darling! Ajincome posts  selfies (he has become so much better with them) pictures of actors he likes, places he sees but the best part of his posts are his brief adorkable comments. They all carry his particular style, a certain poetic  tone, but are mostly playful statements, often accompanied by a wink and/or a heart. A nice simple way to be close (but keep an appropriate respectful distance) to his fans. You can follow him at https://instagram.com/ajincome/

WITH A LITTLE HELP, FROM HIS FRIENDS

After the movie, he flew to Croatia to film the travel show “The friends in Croatia” with Shin Seung Hwan and Choi Ki Sub. According to Yahoo Entertainment, Jang Hyuk said:“I have 18 years of friendship with Shin Seung Hwan and we worked together on drama ‘Shine or Go Crazy,’ and although it hasn’t been that long since I met Choi Ki Sub, who is a member of the famous non-verbal performance group Ongals, I hope to share a deep friendship through this trip.”

This was Jang Hyuk’s airport fashion when traveling to Croatia

From the pictures shared on instagram we can see that the friends had loads of fun! Walking endlessly, learning about Croatian culture, and especially enjoying the local food! Knowing Jang Hyuk’s appetite, this will be an interesting and mouth watering watch :p YUMMY!

Ajincome_friends_Croatiafood

GAEKJU (or the reason we won’t sleep much in the next few months)

Recently he was confirmed to take the lead role in the historical series “Gaekju” based on the novel of the same name by Kim Joo Young. Other members of the cast are Yu Oh Seong, Kim Ming Jung and Han Chae Ah. We hope to get more information and dedicate more posts to this drama, but for now this is what we know.

  • It’s a story about peddlers and merchants, not royalty (for a change)
  • It might have 36 episodes (more Hyuk for us!)
  • Jang Hyuk plays the role of Bong Sam, a commoner who against all odds, becomes one of the richest merchants in Joseon thanks to his remarkable skills for business (and women also fall for him like flies, are we surprised?). Of course given the times and his position in society, his journey will be a tough one (We love underdogs. Jang Hyuk rocks as one. Win Win!).
  • The sageuk will air on Wed and Thur on KBS and will follow drama “Assembly”.

Thorn/Innocent Thing: Stream of Consciousness Review


This is what I wrote on DC Jang Hyuk gallery after watching the movie, and I just translated it. It contains a lot of spoilers, and assumes readers have watched the movie. Junki=Jang Hyuk character, YoungEun=high school girl, SeoYeon=Junki’s wife.

Continue reading

Thorn – New posters


New posters for Junki (beautiful) Junki and Young Eun (kind of hilarious to me) and Junki’s wife (nice)

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