[Interview] 20100222 Now News – ‘Hero’ Ji Chang Wook “I have no role model or ideal type”

“I do not wish to lie to audiences. Pretending to be angry when I’m not, smiling when I’m not enjoying myself… I really do not wish to do that. But that is very difficult.”

Is it his dream to become an actor who does not lie? A rookie actor whom we met at a coffee shop recently revealed a rather unusual acting mindset. But this rookie does not have a role model either. He is none other than Ji Chang Wook who played the role of a reporter with a unique personality in the MBC drama “Hero” that ended last month.

A rookie with no role model…”Hero” was a pity but he has no regrets

“Although acting ability is important, I found myself thinking many times that this is real when I watched (Son) Hyun Joo hyung. But I don’t know if it’s going to work. You are just a human, how is it possible to be always 100% immersed in your role? But I want to show a genuine side of me.”

The reason why he does not have a role model is because of his worry that it will end up restricting his acting range.  “I don’t have a role model. It could become a benchmark for me in a way. Furthermore, a certain actor may be charming in a certain way, while another senior may be charming in another way, so it’s not easy to choose.”

Ji Chang Wook started acting because he wanted to live his life enjoyably with laughter. While filming “Sleeping Beauty” that was nominated at the Indie Film Festival in 2007, he got a first taste of editing on the set and other interesting aspects of movies.

His face started to become familiar to the public when he starred as the innocent and immature youngest son Mi Poong in last year’s KBS weekend drama “Sons of Sol Pharmacy”. Following that, he starred as the playful reporter Park Jun Hyung of the economics department in the MBC drama “Hero” and challenged himself to a 180-degree transformation.

“Both are interesting roles, but it was tiring for me mentally when I was acting as Mi Poong. Although he was a cute and adorable character, the preparation time in the beginning was very long and I needed time to immerse in my role also. My seniors were also worried and said ‘What should we do?'”

Despite the many difficulties, he was able to shoot comfortably with the help of his “hyungs”. He often had get-togethers with his oldest brother in the drama played by Son Hyun Joo, his third brother played by Han Sang Jin, and Cho Jin Woong who starred as Brutus Lee. He found himself seniors who candidly told him “You are not our junior but our friend”. On the other hand, it was comfortable for him character-wise in “Hero”, but the pressure was bigger since it was his first mini series.

“Unlike the introverted Mi Poong, Jun Hyung was the kind who would express himself outwardly. I should have enjoyed myself and acted freely, but I was a little taken aback by the tight filming schedule at first. As much as I loved the character Jun Hyung, I also felt it was a great pity.”

In fact, “Hero” drew attention as a “heroic” drama that takes a jab at the unreasonable reality of society, but it had the misfortune of going up against KBS’s “Iris” and “Chuno”, causing the series to end its run with dismal viewership ratings.

“I found it a pity that I did not manage to do everything that I had initially set out to do with the character Jun Hyung. Even though it’s not possible to succeed every time, the viewership ratings didn’t turn out as well as expected. The director, staff members and team atmosphere were good, and the character and production process were interesting too. It was a piece of work that was like our flesh, so it was a great pity. But I have no regrets nonetheless.”

Wants to have all the strengths of actors…A rookie with a great ambition for acting

Ji Chang Wook is honest and does not know how to hide his feelings. In reality, he said “I do not have an ideal type. I don’t get why we need to have an ideal type. Wouldn’t you know only after you meet someone and start having a conversation?” and revealed “My face usually turns red easily and my feelings get easily shown on my face.”

With regards to his charm and strengths, he was more reserved in his words and said he will find out over time. Because he wants to have all the strengths of other actors. He also said he is happiest when acting, and he expressed his ambition to take on various kinds of characters in many projects where possible. For this reason, he also developed a habit of reading a book before bed.

“I didn’t like books initially. I started after thinking ‘What should I do in order to act well?’ Just like how one exercises to build muscles, I read books to gain more experiences indirectly. These days, I’ve been reading ‘A River Runs Through It’, a book that I got as a present from my friend, before going to bed.”

In his bid to widen his spectrum of acting, Ji Chang Wook will be standing on the musical stage at a small theatre in Daehangno this coming May. He will also be resuming his studies and continuing with his activities on TV at the same time. Because he is still young and has many things he wants to do, he quickens his footsteps towards the gym.


This article was first published in February 2010.

Translated from Korean to English by Gabby.  PLEASE DO NOT REPRINT, REPURPOSE, SCREENCAP, TRANSLATE INTO OTHER LANGUAGES, OR OTHERWISE COPY OUR CONTENT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.  This interview was translated for the sole purpose of providing English content to international fans.  No copyright infringement intended.

Source: Now News

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6 thoughts on “[Interview] 20100222 Now News – ‘Hero’ Ji Chang Wook “I have no role model or ideal type”

  1. I thought I’d seen everything except Sons of Sol Pharmacy (I’m still midway with Five Fingers) but I wasn’t aware of the drama “Hero”. I’ll have to add it to my list.

  2. He is perfectly honest and true.this is why i love him not as an actor but as a person.the way he loves his job and the people around him.just be yourself and have fun .life is so great and amazing.miss you.

  3. thank you for another insight into this man! i enjoyed this also. i miss him but so glad he is on his way out back to us!

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