This article is quite difficult to translate because Jo Hyun Jae’s replies are full of metaphors. It didn’t help either that the reporter’s writing is very confusing as well. Even our translator Jenny Park who is familiar with the Korean language had a hard time translating the article. But since Hyunjae shares his opinions on 2 interesting topics in this article, Jenny and I laboured hard to translate the article so other JHJ fans can read it too. English translation is not verbatim.
The 2 interesting topics on which Jo Hyun Jae shared his opinions are: (1) makjang dramas, and (2) side scripting.
For those who are not familiar with the term “makjang dramas” here is an explanation: it is a kind of K-drama that can be best characterized as having excessively or over-the-top melodramatic elements and convulated/unbelievable/ incomprehensible/improbable storylines.
Jenny translates makjang drama as “extreme scenario drama”; it is also a slang word meaning something that is so bad that it couldn’t get any worse. The word has a negative connotation, so any drama tagged as a makjang drama develops a bad reputation among drama aficionados.
On the other hand, according to Jenny, a side script is the script for a particular scene that the cast receives on the day they will film that particular scene. This practice is more common with K-drama production and less with K-movie production. The side script is used when the writer is short on time so he or she rushes to write only the part they will be filming that day.
By the way, the article used an old picture of JHJ, I just took the liberty of using another picture for this post.
Article Title: Jo Hyun Jae asks, “What is wrong about makjang dramas and side scripting?”
[Ilgan Sports Park Hyun Taek] 2015.10.05. 17:09
“makjang” and “side script”
No matter who hears these words, for them the words have negative connotation. But there is an actor who carefully lets out his opposing views regarding these words.
This is the story of actor Jo Hyun Jae who just finished “Yongpal”. On the afternoon of the 5th at a cafe in Nonhyun, Gangnam, Seoul an interview was held relating to the SBS drama “Yongpal” which just ended. Jo Hyun Jae shared his views about makjang dramas and side scripting during the interview.
On this day Jo Hyun Jae was asked about his criteria for distinguishing between makjang dramas versus non-makjang dramas. Jo Hyu Jae replied that he doesn’t believe in distinguishing dramas in this manner.
He continued by explaining, “If I were to use music as an analogy, the person that gives me the song would be the creators/writers and also the director. As an actor, my job is just to interpret the song, that is all.”
Jo Hyun Jae also said, “You can say that I am just like a soldier in the battlefield. This can seem a bit old fashioned, but usually I just follow the orders of the director so I really don’t want to divide dramas into makjang versus non-makjang.”
Jo Hyun Jae explained further, “It is not really about distinguishing whether a drama is makjang or not. What is more important is the value an actor puts in his performance.”
Jo Hyun Jae states, “I think that if I were to want to gain the interest and love of the public I would have to participate even if I hear words like makjang.” Jo Hyun Jae said that actors are more interested in showing their talent in acting.
He again used music as an analogy as he continued to explain, “From time to time if you can’t seem to understand the song you have been given, this could make you feel embarrassed. However, actors should have a more proactive attitude. Instead of blaming the song (script), actors should also do their own research into their characters so they can interpret their characters in the best way possible.”
Regarding side scripts, instead of looking at the negative side to this practice, Jo Hyun Jae tries to look at things in a positive light. He said, “Regarding side scripts, I usually think positively about it compared to others.”
He explained by saying, “If you look at it from an actor’s point of view, it would be great if we can receive a complete script prior to filming or if a drama is 100% pre-produced. I would love to be able to look at the latter part of the script to check it out if I am curious about something once I have started reading it or if there is a part which I am having difficulty understanding.”
He continued, “On the other hand, with side scripts, the writer can adjust the script depending on the viewers’ reactions, whether those reactions are good or bad. I think Korea is the best when it comes to coming up with the final product by quickly reacting to and reflecting on the opinions of the viewers.” This is Jo Hyun Jae’s positive view of the quick-witted environment of drama production in Korea and the ability of people involved in drama production to handle things in a fast manner.
Jo Hyun Jae talks about the valuable report card as an actor, “In the end, it’s all about the love and support for the character that I played. On top of that if the viewer rating is good then it would be a gift from God,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, Jo Hyun Jae played Han Do Jun in the drama “Yongpal”. Han Do Jun is the half-brother of Yeo Jin (Kim Tae Hee) and Chairman of the Hanshin Group. Jo Hyun Jae has put forth an enthusiastic performance.
Park Hyun Taek Reporter
To summarize, Hyunjae’s opinion on the 2 issues are:
> on makjang dramas – he doesn’t believe in categorizing dramas as either makjang or non-makjang. He would rather focus on his acting than spend time categorizing dramas.
> on side scripts – Hyunjae recognizes that complete and side scripts have their respective advantages and disadvantages.
As far as Hyunjae is concerned, makjang or non-makjang, complete or side scripts, these are not such big issues for him. What is more important to him is what he does with the role/character entrusted to him.
Credit: Photo as labelled; English translation by Jenny Park. Thanks! Editing by Prissymom.