[Interview] ‘Asia’s Prince’ Ji Chang Wook returns with “Melting Me”

With the upcoming premiere of “Melting Me” (“Boku o tokashite kure”) scheduled for 23 March on Japan’s Mnet network, Ji Chang Wook sat down with Japanese online magazine Marisol to talk about the upcoming drama and other sundry items.  Note:  All references to Ji Chang Wook’s prior works will be referred to herein by their Japanese names as referenced in the interview, which was held after his “Waiting For You” fan meeting in Yokohama on 11 January 2020.

Ji Chang Wook, a star with the nickname “Asia’s Prince,” has had big hits such as “Doubtful Partners ~ Destiny Lovers,” “Healer ~ Best Lover,” and “Queen Ki.”  He started his Asian tour in January with a fan event held in Japan for the first time in three years after leaving the army.  He is well-known for his singing ability in the drama OSTs, and in this performance, 12 songs are sung enthusiastically!

“Rainy Blue,” which was sang in Japanese, matched his voice so well that I fell in love with it.  I’m looking forward to it because I want to try his musicals and plays.  I heard that he has become a YouTube newcomer, and he also showed a motorcycle ride that he likes to feel like cutting the wind, and he often makes mistakes.  He also shows the facetious side of the ride that he enjoys when he goes out on random trips.  He paraded through the 2nd and 3rd floor seats of the venue filled with 5,000 people, and then there was the sudden send-off!  [Note:  The interviewer is referring to the high-touch farewell after the fan meeting ended.]  It was a fan event that impressed me in not only was it beautiful acting, but also showed he was a natural-born entertainer.  Ji Chang Wook was also recently selected as a global model for CK CALVIN KLEIN, and will appear in the movie “Punishment” (working title)* and in “Convenience Store Saet Byeol” (literal title) with Kim Yoo Jung later this year.   In Japan, the long-awaited “Melting Me” (original title), which will be released on Mnet from 23 March, will start!  The success of Ji Chang Wook, who has returned from the army, will be with great energy!

● Why did you decide to perform in this work?
– First of all, the script was so funny.  I was also interested in the personal relationships, and thought it was fresh material that I had never seen before, so I decided to perform in it.

● How did you prepare for the shooting?
– The material and genre of this work are very unique, so I focused on matching the tone of this work.  I remember preparing for the drama by imagining what it would be like if I woke up 20 years later.

● Ma Dong Chan was a challenging person who tried things other people would never do, but would Ji Chang Wook want to participate in a frozen human project?
– I’m not going to participate (laughs). The project itself is dangerous, and I don’t really enjoy [the thought of] waking up in 20 years.  I would not have any family around, and I think it will be difficult to live in a different age from the one around me and my friends right now.  I’m not going to participate!

● How was the atmosphere of the shooting site with the co-stars and staff?
– The atmosphere at the shooting site was calm and nice. The ratings are also important, but I’ve always wanted to be able to finish without any accidents during the shooting.  I’m glad that I finished in a good atmosphere until the shooting was over.  Also, because of my role, I often spoke informally to my seniors, which was an interesting experience.  It was fun because I was acting something that I couldn’t do in real life.  And the seniors had a lot of fun.  For example, there were many exciting ad-libs.  There were a quite a few NGs where I could not resist laughing.

● Please tell me the scenes that you have played and have left a special impression on you.
– It’s been a long time since the shooting ended, but I remember the scene when I was inside the frozen capsule.  Even though I merely closed my eyes while in the capsule, I still remember being trapped all day long.  The cold was very severe.  Anyway, there are a lot of memories from being inside the frozen capsule.

● What did you want to do the most during your military service and after you left the army?
– What I wanted to eat the most was rice my mom cooked for me.  I ate a lot after my discharge.  What I wanted to do is travel.  I really wanted to go.  I was busy every day until going to the army without a break, so I wanted to be able to travel after being discharged.  So I went to New York at the end of the year [2019], took a rest and came back home.  I thought about most of the things I wanted to do during my military service.

● What do you want to do when you have private time in Japan? Is there anything that left a lasting impression?
– In Korea, if I have private time, I ride my motorcycle or play with my friends.  There’s nothing special about it, but recently I’ve started learning how to bowl from my friends.  In Japan, we walk around the streets and do some shopping.  Most times, I’m looking for delicious food.  I really like eating, so I eat a lot of delicious food every time I am here.  The weather is good in Japan and the town [Yokohama] is beautiful.   Especially this time, I really wanted to eat soba, so I ate soba at lunch today!

● The drama will be broadcast on Mnet Japan for the first time from March.  What are the highlights of the drama?
– My main character will join the frozen human project due to a sense of mission and will wake up in 20 years.  If you focus on the relationship with the people around me after I wake up in 20 years, and the story that begins from there, you will be able to enjoy it more.

● Lastly, please send a message to your fans.
– It’s been a long time since I last met you.  I’m so happy.  It’s been a while since I left the army, right?  Our drama “Melting Me” will be aired for the first time in Japan.  There are a lot of interesting scenes and I hope you enjoy watching it with a happy smile.  I hope you’ll always be healthy, and please love our drama a lot.  I will do my best to show you good performances with good works.  Thank you very much.


*Note:  This interview was conducted before the working title of “Punishment” was changed to “Restricted Call.”

Translated from Japanese to English by cherkell; there may be slight inaccuracies.  PLEASE DO NOT REPRINT, REPURPOSE, SCREENCAP OR OTHERWISE COPY OUR CONTENT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Credit:  Marisol Online Magazine; photos by MNet Japan

About cherkell

Left Coast Otaku and Chicago Expat, successfully mangling both the Japanese and Korean languages at the same time. Devoted Ji Chang Wook Follower since 2007; proof positive at jichangwookkitchen.com. Fangirl Squeeeeeing Nightly; No Cover Charge.

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