In advance of “The K2” beginning its broadcast in Japan on cable station Mnet today (18 January), Mnet sat down with Ji Chang Wook for a quick interview and his take on his role as Kim Jae Ha, mercenary bodyguard!
What kind of drama is “The K2”?
In short, it is a “bodyguard action” drama. It is one that highlights fierce actions and romance. There is also the conflict between the characters which makes it interesting.
Who is the character Kim Jae Ha as played by Ji Chang Wook in this work?
Jae-ha is a former soldier, but after some events happened, he was dishonorably discharged. Then he became a top-notch mercenary, but became hunted and went on the run. But eventually, he becomes a JSS special bodyguard.
There are so many action scenes. What was the hardest point during shooting?
Anyway, in the first half there were a lot of action scenes. When I started shooting it was honestly very painful physically. Besides, since it was summer when shooting, it was even harder because of the heat.
You showed brilliant action. Do you usually normally train your body?
I like to exercise, so I usually play soccer and go to the gym. I received special martial arts training before shooting. The action scenes itself were not so difficult, as I played [them] in the previous work as well.
Are there any favourite scenes or dialogue?
The scene where I rescued Yoo-jin (*the car crash scene in Episode 3). Also, there is the dialogue, “Then how should I live?” that expresses well Jae-ha’s feelings.
Jae-ha will try to protect his loved ones at his own risk, but can Ji Chang Wook put his life on the line for the person who he loves?
I do not really know until I would get into that kind of situation. But in reality, I was able to portray it in a drama with all my might simply because it was impossible in real life. What about me, well… I don’t think it will be easy. (laughs)
There were many people who co-starred in this work for the first time. How was the atmosphere on the scene?
I was playing tricks on the scene all the time for mutual mischief. Although the drama was full of tension, the atmosphere is good, and laughter had persisted throughout the shooting.
In this work you co-starred with YoonA of Girls’ Generation for the first time. How was it?
It was really fun. While shooting, we talked a lot about various things, such as things related to work and personal stories and things like that.
YoonA-san is an idol. Is there an idol that Ji Chang Wook likes?
Actually, I hardly watch any type of TV, so I’m not familiar much with celebrity idols. But recent idols are all pretty, and also their dancing and singing are good. I think that it is really amazing.
Although Anna is weak, Yoo-jin comes from a strong, ambitious family. Why do you feel attracted?
There are few people who are very strong and ambitious. However, Yoo-jin is not only ambitious but also has a lot of personality, so I think each [actress] has a charming personality.
It was a spirit full of true opposites from your usual gentle image, but did you prepare something specially?
I’ve been worrying about my acting roles. Being able to focus on the character makes you express your emotions naturally.
Have you had to ad lib?
Ad lib is difficult to follow, depending on the characters and circumstances. I did a lot of ad libs. Both the comedy scenes and the calm scenes, all have ad libs.
There was a scene that made you smile while watching Anna eating ramen with a security camera. Is that acting?
Of course it was acting. Since I did not have a security camera when I played the scene, I acted while imagining [one]. Did it not look real? (laughs)
You are active not only in Korea but also in China. Are there any difficulties?
Just because you cross the border, there is not much change from when you act in Korea. I just do my best in each respective country.
Are you planning to advance into Japan in the future?
I wonder what a Japanese drama is like and what the actors are doing. If there is an opportunity, I’d love to appear in Japanese dramas and movies.
What Japanese works have you seen?
I watched the movies “Love Letter,” which is very famous in Korea, and “Be With You” (“いま、会いにゆきます“) as a child. Also, I saw a movie called “Handsome Suits” (“ハンサムスーツ”) by chance, which was also very interesting.
What do you do on your days off?
Watching movies, playing with friends, reading comics at home. I like manga very much. Recently, I read a manga named “I Am a Hero” (“アイアムアヒーロー”) in Japan. I’m expecting it to be made into a movie! I still love “Naruto” (manga) and “Dragon Ball” that I often watched when I was a child.
You have appeared in various works. What kind of acting do you want to try now?
There are so many genres that I have not tried yet. I would like to think about it when I receive a new piece of work and feel anxious about it.
What is the highlight of the drama “The K2”?
It is a drama with many scenes not to be overlooked such as full-scale action, a love story with Anna while both of us have scarred hearts, and the relationships with the people around us. I also want you to pay attention to the relationship with Yoo-jin as depicted as a evil woman in the drama.
Please end with a message to the Mnet Japan audience.
All Mnet Japan viewers, “The K2” is a drama with a compelling storyline. Please also pay attention to my action scenes. Be sure to watch it!
Translated from Japanese to English by cherkell. PLEASE DO NOT REPRINT, REPURPOSE, SCREENCAP OR OTHERWISE COPY OUR CONTENT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.
Credit: MNet Japan “The K2”