Article Title: Jo Hyun Jae said, “I am thankful when people tell me that I used to be an actor who was well-received.”
Actor Jo Hyun Jae (35) said, “I am very thankful to the netizens’ opinions saying that I was once a well-to-do actor back in the days.”
Jo Hyun Jae was in the SBS drama “Yongpal” where he showed his presence properly. He plays a villain for the first time since his debut 15 years ago. He chose to be adventurous rather than sticking with his pure and innocent boy image. However, in his 20s he endlessly played the main leading male. Playing the second male lead for this particular drama brought a strange sensation to the public. He also got an evaluation saying that “he must be over-the-hill” now.
“Do you think I was a well-to-do actor back in the old days? (Smiles) I don’t take those kind of evaluation as a hateful comment. I think fans are just worrying about me. I am really thankful for their concern. However, I believe that I am still young enough to be able to do so many things. While I was considering what to do about my career, I was given a chance to appear in “Yongpal”. I am very happy to have this drama in my filmography.”
“Yongpal” is a project that allowed Jo Hyun Jae to have a second acting life. In previous years he never received an offer to portray a villainous character. But this time he was given the opportunity to prove that he is capable of pulling off a character that is deep and distinct.
“As a 35-year old man I am at an age where I am not naive anymore. (Smiles) Just like any normal person, I don’t possess only a gentle side. Once I reached my mid-30s things changed bit by bit. Being in the mid-30s feel differently to being in my early 30s. When I was in my early 30s I felt like I was still in my 20s. But these days I really feel that I am in my mid-30s because I have been getting nothing but age-related and marriage-related questions. Even so, being in a drama like “Yongpal” made me think like I’m starting all over again even at this age. In the future I want to be able to play characters that are more personable with some interesting personality.”
In “Yongpal” he played Han Yeo Jin’s (Kim Tae Hee) half-brother. In order for him to become the number one person in the company he committed all kinds of atrocities. It can be said that Han Do Jun is the type of character who is in a very miserable state. Jo Hyun Jae was able to play a character like Han Do Jun superbly.
“I have two older sisters. I think it’s awkward to use the term “cute” at my age. (Smiles) My family takes care of me up to now. I still live with them even now. Of course, we divided the space from top to bottom so basically I am living independently, although you can’t really call this living in independence completely. My second older sister got married not too long ago and my niece is only 100 days old. She is so adorable.” (Comment: Awww, Uncle Hyun Jae has really gone gaga over his niece Yujin. So sweet!)
“Even in middle school I was called “Old Man” since I came off older than my actual age,” said Jo Hyun Jae. Ever since a young age he had shown his independence which paved the way for him to become an actor.
“When I was 17 years old I debuted as a singer but that didn’t last for long. I was in the same group as actor Kim Kang Woo, we were on a music show program and that was all. Back then, it was quite common to start up your career in the performing arts by becoming a singer. Our debut song was called ‘A sad relationship” (Seul Poon Yeon Ga). I really made a sad connection and ended it. (Smiles) I didn’t go to high school; I was able to go to college by taking a college aptitude test. When I was barely 20 years old I kept on going to auditions to become an actor and with that I officially started my acting career. Even though it was short-lived, I debuted as a singer and my major in college was Theatre & Film.” He knows he can perform on stage but he said he prefers being in a video (music video?). With those statements Jo Hyun Jae brought on some high expectations for his future work.
“I think I could do musicals if I learn it. However, the field I’m personally interested in is a little different and that is all. Some people enjoy performing before a live audience but I prefer to be in videos and just acting in regular dramas or movies. I think I am more attracted to the already made fantasy. I wanted to be an actor because I thought working as a person that doesn’t exist in this reality and putting it into film seemed like a lot of fun. I really like the work of being in videos and through it, I am able to share common grounds with the public even now. Because of that, I would like to be able to reveal my future work as soon as possible. Of course I am still capable of playing a good guy if I want to, but now I am also capable of playing the villain, right? In films the scope of expressing yourself is wider, so if I get the opportunity then I would love to go side by side with being in a drama and film.”
Credit: Photo as labelled. English translation by Jenny Park. Thanks! Editing by Prissymom. English translation is not verbatim.