Ji Chang Wook looks back on his 14 years as an actor!
Star actor Ji Chang Wook, who appears in the April issue of éclat. Our Healer, the charm of an invincible entertainer, with undisclosed photos in the first half and second half, dig deeper with an exclusive long interview!
[Note: We refer to dramas and movies mentioned herein by their Japanese titles.]
éclat: You have appeared in various works so far, is there any particular work that you remember?
JCW: First of all, “Queen Qi ~Two Love Oaths of Tears~” was memorable. Because the shooting was very long. I think it took about a year to shoot. It was 51 episodes, so I remember it well. “Healer ~Best Lovers~” is also a memorable work. Actually, it was very cold during the shooting, and there were a lot of action scenes … The same goes for “The K2 ~I want to protect only you~” and “Melting Me Softly.”
“Melting Me Softly” was a very fresh drama.
That’s right. The material itself was very interesting. That’s why I think it’s more memorable.
Did “The K2” leave an impression on you because there were so many action scenes?
“The K2” was filmed when I was 30 years old, and I really wanted to play it. When I was thinking of challenging myself as an actor and taking on the role as a security guard, I was asked to appear in this work, and I had a lot of fun filming it.
Is the musical “The Days” an extension of that?
Yes, I appeared in a musical called “The Days” and was very attracted to the profession of a guard. So if there was a drama that used guards as a material, I really wanted to play it once. It was a work that I was able to perform when I happened to think so, so I remember it more.
I think an actor is a profession, but where do you think that you have grown up as an actor?
In fact, I don’t know if I’ve grown up in this area, but what’s certain is that I’m much more comfortable with acting than before. I think I’m having more fun now.
Oh, that’s right. “The Way of Love Between Men and Women in the City” was omitted to my answer to the first question. Personally, it’s one of my favorite works these days. “The Way of Love Between Men and Women in the City” is not about me playing a character, but rather about acting as if I were talking about it myself. The work of screenwriter Jung Hyun Jung (“I Need Romance” and “Discovery of Love”) was also a work that I have long wanted to appear in, and I personally liked everything from the music to editing. It is the same in terms of the story and the direction.
Have you ever run into a wall while acting? How did you overcome that?
Actually, I felt like I was bumping into a wall in every work. At times like that, communication with the producer and director was very important. I think I overcame it through communication. Communication with the staff and actors is also very important. I think I relied on that kind of thing.
When you run into a wall, you tend to hesitate to talk or be a little negative. Does Chang-wook actively talk to the director?
I think that depends a lot on the other person. Because of the difference in nuance of the language, it may not be conveyed well, so there are certainly some parts that are a little sensitive. It can also be interference in a sense. So, while thinking about the other person’s personality and such things, I will talk while thinking about the situation. Speaking in a roundabout way. On the other hand, there are times when I speak really straightforwardly. But I think I’m the type of person who speaks carefully so as not to cause misunderstanding.
I think it is difficult to enjoy daily life when filming starts, but how do you solve it?
I think this will also change depending on the situation. It could be a sport, or have a drink with friends. Sometimes I rest alone without doing anything. I feel like I’m looking for my own way to get rid of stress and work pressure. If you don’t do that, you’ll get too tired. I don’t think I can do my best put on the spot.
You have a strong image of action, but how much do you train?
When it comes to action, I don’t usually go to lessons or anything like that. However, once the work to be performed is decided, I exercise accordingly and train with the action team of the work.
Is the action fun?
There is fun unique to action. Most of all, what I can see is gorgeous, and I feel very happy when I achieve action scenes because it’s physically very difficult.
You are so satisfied with the finished product that you cannot stop it.
That’s right. Action is one of the genres that has been loved by the public for a long time. That means it’s very attractive to actors.
You have appeared in works of various genres, but which genre do you find interesting? Also, what genre do you want to play in the future?
Each has its own charm. I like everything. I like historical drama, action; I like romance and humanism. I like them all. And I would like to continue to appear in various genres in the future. Recently, I want to take action again and I think historical dramas are interesting. Romance is also good.
In the movie “Hard Hit ~Transmission Restriction~,” which was released in Japan at the end of February, Mr. Changwook’s voice alone was very scary. What about the thriller genre?
I would like to try such a genre as well. I’ve never acted in a mystery thriller. Horror seems to be interesting, too.
Are you interested in directing or producing?
Not yet. Of course, there are times when I participate as an actor in my work and express my opinions on the directional aspects. However, that does not give me any motivation for directing yet. It is difficult no matter how you think about it, and I still don’t understand. So I don’t have any desire for directing, production, planning or anything like that yet.
Do you have any favorite movies or dramas?
I watched “Don’t Look Up” on Netflix the other day and it was very interesting. I was a little envious (laughs). I am very envious of the movies that can convey a message when I watch, and the actors who can participate in it.
What works have you seen many times?
I watched “Fight Club” a few times recently and it was really good. It’s a work that I have a lot of love for. I like the costumes and colors of the movie, and the actors are attractive. I personally like the two actors (Brad Pitt and Edward Norton). Both of them are cool.
Is there a drama you recommend?
I haven’t seen much lately … As for a movie, I just watched “Don’t Look Up” the other day. I watch [TV] when I watch it, but I really don’t watch it at all when I don’t … I don’t think the TV has been on at all these days. If it’s a popular drama, I love “Strange Stories in the World.” Now, I’m looking forward to my next work.
What do you think is the charm of Korean works when they are popular all over the world these days?
I think there are various reasons. I feel that it has a synergistic effect with K-pop, and the novel scripts and Korean emotions may be fresh to foreigners. I don’t know what this is yet. However, many people are making great efforts in the field, and everyone is working hard to make good works, so I think there will be more works that will be loved in the future.
Please tell me about your next work.
“Annarasumanara ~Magic Melody~” will be released soon (directed by Kim Sung Yoon of “Itaewon Class” and co-starring Choi Sung Eun, who was nominated for the New Face Award for “Monster,” and Hwang In Yeop of “True Beauty.”)
And “Speak Your Wish” [original title] that I am shooting right now is a humanistic drama (directed by Kim Young Wan of “The Cursed ~How To Change Fate~, screenwriter Cho Yong Soo, who participated in “Golden Slumber” and co-starring with Song Dong Il and Girls’ Generation Choi Sooyeong). It is so much fun on the filming site. It’s a heartwarming story that takes place in a hospice ward, so please look forward to it.
*The second half of Ji Chang Wook’s “1 Question-1 Answer” web Eclat interview will follow soon!
Photography/Kim Dowon (WONDERBOY Studio); Hair/Park Naejoo; Makeup/An Seongun; Stylist/Lee Hajeong; Coordination/Song Shinhae (TANO International); Interview (Written)/Katsura Mari
Source: eclat Magazine April 2022
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.