Despite conducting interviews with 50 media outlets over three days, he did not seem too tired. Because there is a big sense of accomplishment from this happy person who is receiving lots of love.
Ji Chang Wook who leaps up another step through “Healer” was recently interviewed in Gangnam.
After being selected as the lead role and rising up in the daily drama “Smile Donghae” (2011), and freeing himself from his tensed feelings as the villain in “Five Fingers” (2012), this is our third interview with him.
He has grown a lot over the four years, and he will be an actor that makes people look forward to his growth in the future. More importantly, after being born as a “real man” in “Healer”, he is now the focus of attention in the entertainment industry.
“I had fun playing. I had a lot of fun and I was happy. I felt just how happy an actor could be when he receives the trust of the writer and staff. All of them made it possible for me to play to my heart’s content at the film set. They really helped me a lot.”
◇ After “Healer”, he is overwhelmed with love calls…”I will consider carefully.”
The lead character of “Healer”, Seo Jung Hu, is actually a character with at least 50 points. That’s how cool he is. He moves around elusively, doing all kinds of jobs as the ‘troubleshooter of the night’ and his action skills are superb. To top it off, he has a pure love towards one woman.
But frankly, when the casting news was first announced, Ji Chang Wook did not seem very suitable for such a cool suit. It seemed too big for him. There were suspicions as to whether he would be able to do well. Although he expanded his acting range as Ta Hwan in MBC’s “Empress Ki”, he seemed to be lacking the male charm that was required for Seo Jung Hu.
But Ji Chang Wook still delivered. Regardless of the viewership ratings, there were many female viewers who fell deeply for Ji Chang Wook in “Healer”, and more importantly, he has attracted the attention of the entertainment industry. His action skills were agile and nice, his pure love also moved the hearts of viewers, and his emotional acting was also good.
Ji Chang Wook said with a laugh, “Thanks to ‘Healer’, I have been receiving many scripts and scenarios. It wasn’t like this before…”
It means he is overwhelmed with love calls. On the day he was being interviewed, his manager was in a meeting regarding offers for his next project. Here and there, people are looking for Ji Chang Wook.
Ji Chang Wook said, “I’m resting a bit and I will also consider carefully. While I’m thankful to the people who are giving me offers, I will carefully consider all the offers to decide on my next project.”
◇ “Although Seo Jung Hu is smiling, I thought he still ought to look lonely.”
Given that his father had committed suicide and his mother remarried, Seo Jung Hu’s life was filled with burden since his early days as he went in and out of the youth detention centre.
Ji Chang Wook said, “When I initially got the character Seo Jung Hu, I found it very difficult.”
“If you look at his life, it is very dark and it’s a role that is inevitable to have some mental illness. But despite that, he seemed perfectly fine from the outside and he also needed to have wits, so I pondered a lot about how I should portray this. Although he is smiling, I concluded that he ought to look lonely. But if I’m not able to express that, what am I suppose to do? I really worried a lot about this (laughs).”
“I also had a lot of fun acting as Ta Hwan in ‘Empress Ki’. Ta Hwan was a role that had many things for me to show and his line was very clear, but Seo Jung Hu hid and restrained himself, he’s cynical and leads his life apathetically, so it made acting more difficult. So I continuously tried not to make him look too awesome.”
He who did action and wielded a sword in “Warrior Baek Dong Soo” shows action with his own body this time.
“Since young, I ran and rolled around a lot. Rather than liking it, I did that because I had nothing to do (laughs). But that became very useful for my acting this time. Although I worked very hard to look agile, there are many regrets. I wanted to show action that was more intense, faster and grander, but I was unable to do so due to the lack of time. But because the editing was done very well, it seemed to turn out well (laugh).”
“Healer” is penned by writer Song Ji Na who wrote “Sandglass” and it is a story about the generation after “Sandglass”. It paints the story of the Sandglass generation, who lived through the turbulent period of 1970-80, and their children.
Actually, Ji Chang Wook has not seen “Sandglass”. When “Sandglass” was aired in 1995, Ji Chang Wook was only eight years old.
“Because I was still young, I did not watch it. Although I know it’s a famous show, I didn’t watch it. But the setting of ‘Healer’ is not related to it. ‘Healer’ is a story about the conflict and communication between the older generation and the newer generation, and Writer Song Ji Na wanted Seo Jung Hu to be an example of the young of this generation who grew up without the care of an adult. I think this show probably touched a spot among viewers.”
◇ “It’s very exciting to rack my brains thinking about acting”
During ‘Smile Donghae’, Ji Chang Wook was once troubled, thinking he had no talent and wondered if he should quit acting. His big eyes were filled with anxiety and burden.
Four years later today, Ji Chang Wook is totally enjoying acting.
“During ‘Smile Donghae’, I couldn’t even distinguish what was this and that, and it was very difficult. But after that, things started to untangle bit by bit and I began to understand. While doing musicals, I also learnt to play on stage. I don’t think there’s any convenient method. A person who has read the script once is different from a person who has read it twice, and I believe there is nothing that can replace practice. In conclusion, it all boils down to hard work. Thinking hard about a character is always a painful process, but it is very interesting. If I used to give up because it was too difficult when I played games last time, I now continue to hold on and improve even if it’s difficult. At some point in time, I changed and I now want to taste the joy of winning.”
He said with a smile, “I don’t know if my eyes have gotten deeper or my acting has gotten better. But one thing for sure, I have broadened my horizons compared to last time. The process of preparing to act is very fun”.
We asked him about his mother’s reaction to seeing her son grow as an actor.
“I live with my single mother. My mother’s friends praised me a lot, saying that my acting has improved a lot (laughs). My mother told me this and I laughed for a long time. People say the eyes of ahjummas are very accurate, so my acting must have really improved, and I feel rewarded. Ha ha.”
Translated from Korean to English. Please share with proper credits.