Ji Chang Wook gives an interview to Japanese magazine an.an in advance of his drama “Melting Me Softly” premiering on cable channel U-NEXT, and discussed what he’s been doing since “Lovestruck In The City” wrapped filming.
Ji Chang Wook, dressed in neat looks and a sweet atmosphere, has received enthusiastic support as a “romance craftsman” in the Korean drama industry. What is his charm, from doing everything from serious works to comedy?
In “Lovestruck in the City,” which is being exclusively distributed on Netflix, Ji Chang Wook plays a cool but pure romanticist in love, making viewers excited. He is now in his thirties and has gained the title of ‘romance craftsman,’ but he seems to be a credible person who does not decorate his face.
Q: You play a variety of roles, from confident boys to slightly unreliable maternal-instinct-longing characters, but I have the impression that you continue to appear in works without a break. Are you a workaholic? (laughs)
JCW: I don’t know if I’m a workaholic or not (laughs), but even when I am not working and I see new scripts or [other] people’s works, I feel like doing it. When I meet a role I want to play, my heart beats like when I’m in love. In the past, I was greedy and worked in musicals and dramas at the same time, but that was quite difficult (laughs). But every time, I find something new and I always want to do something new! Besides, my motto is “working while having fun laughing,” so I’ve never had a hard time even if I’m busy.
Q: Each piece attracts women’s hearts with its unique coolness, but is there anything you are aware of?
JCW: I think every person has an unexpected face. Is it a gap? It looks perfect, but in fact, I’m lonely and I don’t like insects (laughs), so I put some emphasis on those differences. Also, dramas and movies reflect the flow of the times, so I hope I can become an actor who can adapt well to that flow. However, I’m the type who doesn’t really care about fashion… (laughs).
Q: You do YouTube and Instagram, right?
JCW: At first, I worked hard on YouTube, but soon I was at a loss for material… (laughs). Recently, the online culture is developing, and young people feel more familiar with dealing with a variety of media and devices. They are also good at getting information and showing themselves via SNS. In that way, I feel different from that. I don’t touch computers often, and I don’t like machines. I think I only use my mobile phone for e-mail, and simple searches. These days, mobile phones have a variety of functions, from photography to document creation, so there is nothing you cannot do. It’s amazing that you can enjoy various contents.
Q: In “Lovestruck in the City,” you play an architect with great work and various hobbies, such as surfing and [using] cameras. Chang-wook, do you have any hobbies that you have developed from your work or are familiar with outside of your work?
Sidebar: There is no genre in particular that can be said he is an expert, but… when asked what constitutes a human being, Ji Chang Wook answers without hesitation:
JCW: Family and friends, acting, coffee, and motorcycles. I like coffee. My day starts with drinking coffee. I’m not particular about it, but I prefer savory flavors to sour ones. I like traveling, and I wanted to go touring in Japan someday, but this [Corona-19] is why I have to stay here. Instead of not being able to travel, I’ve been running along the Hangang [Han River], watching movies and dramas at home, and reading books for a change.
Q: Do you have any particular memories of your visits to Japan?
JCW: The food in Japan is very delicious, isn’t it? I love eating, but I can’t forget the delicious soba restaurant I found in Azabujuban. (Minato City Ward in Tokyo.) I also traveled to Tokyo with my mother right after I was discharged from the army. While I was also filial to my parents, it became a fun memory.
Q: This issue features ethical life. Chang-wook, are you practicing anything?
JCW: Recently, I eat out less and I often order in food, so I’ve come to feel the plastic problem close to me. Disposable containers for delivery and cups for taking out coffee are also worrisome. I drink a lot of coffee, so I try to carry a tumbler with me as much as possible and refrain from using disposable cups.
Q: From 16 April, the character drama “Melting Me Softly” will be distributed on U-NEXT. What kind of person will we be watching?
JCW: I play Ma Dong Chan, who is a talented TV producer whose motto is “Do What Others Don’t Do.” After waking up for the first time in 20 years after his program’s planned refrigeration experiment, how he adapts to modern society from the state of Urashima Taro.* The romance that takes place when his body temperature rises is also unique and exciting. In today’s stressful world, I think it’s a work that you can enjoy without thinking!
*Here, the interviewer took wide liberties in likening Ji Chang Wook’s character in frozen suspension to that of ‘Urashima Taro,’ the protagonist of a Japanese fairy tale named “Otogi Banashi.” A fisherman is rewarded with a tamatebako (a sealed jeweled box) for rescuing a turtle, and assuming he would only spend a few days at the undersea Dragon Palace (Ryūgū-jō), ended up spending 100 years there instead. When he returned to his home village and opened the tamatebako, he turned into an old man.
Ji Chang Wook was born in 1987. He made his film debut in 2008 through the movie “Sleeping Beauty.” He has starred in dramas such as “Suspicious Partner ~ Destiny Lovers” and “Healer ~ Best Lover.” He is also active as a musical actor. Ji Chang Wook’s official Japan Fan Club can be found at https://jichangwook.jp.
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.