This is the fifth of a series of interviews Jo Hyun Jae gave to Korean reporters after he finished filming the SBS drama “49 Days” in May 2011.
Jo Hyun Jae’s acting energy stored for 3 years all overflows in an avalanche
After the SBS Wed./Thurs. mini series “49 Days” is finished, actor JHJ is full of emotions. Even though he has this mixed feeling of “happy and nostalgic” at the same time, all the energy he has been accumulating for the last three years all pouring out is not something that he wishes had never happened.
JHJ entered the military in 2008, and after he completed his 2-year military service, he spent another year making his comeback as an actor. JHJ said: “Every time I thought about it being my comeback work, I became very sensitive, which was why my management company had a hard time recommending anything.”
As time went by, he felt more and more the importance of a prudent choice, so the burden became greater. At the same time, expectations from fans who had been waiting became greater.
JHJ said: “I did not use to understand why actors have so many empty periods. Now after my discharge I was facing the same situation, so I finally understood. Precisely because my comeback took 3 years, the burden has increased 2 – 3 times. Because the pressure was so great, so as soon as the work was completed, I was very relieved.” – JHJ revealing his innermost feelings.
During the 4 months of filming “49 Days”, JHJ only had 2 – 3 hours of sleep a day. In the last 3 weeks he could hardly lie down to sleep but only rest for about 20 – 30 minutes in the car.
“Well, I managed to survive,” JHJ seemed to be comforting himself. “It was an extreme physical endurance test. I slept for two days after the celebration party. I slept and ate, and slept and ate, like a sick person. I was full of confidence about the energy I had stored up these 3 years, but it was not like anything I imagined.” – JHJ chatted on.
Although he did his military service at an “advanced” age, it was an opportunity for an actor to become more mature. JHJ completed his military service as an army dog soldier. In spite of offers to be an entertainment soldier, JHJ wanted to serve as an ordinary soldier like everybody else. He also contemplated being an entertainment soldier, but after he was appointed an army dog soldier, he felt the weight of the responsibility. “I have always loved dogs, so I was very happy about this appointment.”
JHJ continued: “I was a lot older than some of my seniors, and those soldiers who were 10 years younger than me all expected a lot from me. I thought then: if I take my military duties seriously, maybe it will be some consolation to them. And I also wanted to keep my word to my fans – that I would complete my military service satisfactorily.”
“49 Days” is JHJ’s first work after he turned 30, and JHJ has changed. When he was 20, he dreamed of becoming a “star”. Now he wants to be called an “actor” — not to be an entertainer because of earning a living, but to be an artist because of acting.
JHJ said: “At 20-something work seemed to be an obligation to me, but after 3 years I have realized the importance of acting. Now I observe carefully my fellow actors; I learn from them as we work together.” – JHJ smiled when he said this.
In “49 Days” JHJ plays the role of Han Kang who displays the highest, purest kind of love for a woman. After the drama ended, JHJ received universal praise for his portrayal. Once again JHJ captured a lot of women’s hearts with the penetrating look in his eyes and his expression of delicate emotions. JHJ said: “Many people asked me if I practiced acting in the military because I have become more manly, more macho. Aren’t they saying I have become old?” – JHJ consoling himself.
JHJ said: “I have received a lot of praise for my acting in ’49 Days’. To an actor, what can be better than this? I am very happy to have made a successful comeback, and I will try harder to improve myself. As I get older, I would like to hear people say I am a good actor – that is how I would like to continue.” – JHJ expressing his expectations.
Credit: Article from http://sports.hankooki.com; English translation by wulijohyunjae. Thanks!