Article Title: Jo Hyun Jae said, “This intense character made my heart throb greatly.”
[No Cut News, Lee Jin-wook, CBS Reporter] 2015-10-14 17:33
The hot drama “Yongpal” drew to a close recently. In this drama, Jo Hyun Jae (35) played the villainous character Han Do Jun. “I chose to be in this drama because I was drawn by the intense feelings it evoked and by its cinematic elements.”
Recently, at a local cafe in Nonhyun, Gangnam, Seoul we interviewed Jo Hyun Jae. He said, “I think the decision to join “Yongpal” became possible because I wasn’t too caught up in the amount of exposure my character will get, but rather, I saw the atmosphere of the whole drama.”
“Han Do Jun is a character who lacks many things in his life. In the beginning, the quantity of my scenes wasn’t big enough to explain everything about the character. Honestly, I felt a little burdened because I knew that I had to portray the character in such a short amount of time. However, I was able to see the atmosphere of the drama as a whole and I thought I could bring everything out by being cold-hearted by focusing on what is lacking in the life of Han Do Jun.”
Han Do Jun is Jo Hyun Jae’s first villain role. He tried very hard to widen his spectrum as an actor and this was a new challenge in a way.
“I have always wanted to play intense characters. I even had butterflies in my stomach about my first villain role. I had the desire to play my kind of villain while I express it in my own little ways. People always say that I have a kind look to my face, but I saw that it could possibly be effective if I could bring out the cold-heartedness despite the fact that I have an innocent-looking face. I was confident I could do it. I focused on showing the cold stare more than anything and I thought it was reasonable.”
Jo Hyun Jae talked a little bit about his character. He said, “He was pressured to maintain his authoritative power and he always lived with this emotional anxiety.”
“All the things that Han Do Jun does in the drama that seem hard to imagine for normal people are rooted in the fact that this character lacks in so many levels. I thought to myself, in such insecurity in the character there is this delicate shake which made me want to bring that out through my eyes and facial expressions. Once I got the part to play the role of Han Do Jun, I went over to the writer and bothered her. I needed the specifics to understand this particular character. That was the first time I ever went and bothered the writer. (Smiles) By doing that, I was able to find out more about the character and I was able to deeply immerse myself in my character.”
Jo Hyun Jae has been an actor for 16 years as of this year. Already he in his mid-30s. He said this about his 20s, “I think I lacked in many ways while I felt like I was being dragged around all over the place.”
“In my early 20s I pretty much started as a starring role and probably that was a bit too early. I still have a long way to go even now, but I feel that I started too big too early. I also lacked wisdom in those days. I just went into acting without hesitation. I had work constantly coming in. There was a feeling that I had no say in anything whatsoever and I was being dragged around the way people wanted me go. That also goes with choosing a project. I was responsible for the livelihood of my family so my situation was just as important too. That was my main motivation to go to work back then.”
He had no time to even relax back in his 20s. He didn’t even have the time to just naturally enjoy his acting and reflect.
He dropped out of school fairly early. Acting was what he really wanted to do so his acting work was very valuable to him. However, it was only recently when he gained a deeper understanding of his chosen profession.
“When I look back now, ever since I was in middle school I have always wanted a job that was mass media related. I made such a decision at a very young age. I am amazed in a way because I was able to make up my mind about something like that very early on. (smiles) I wanted so much to pursue that path as early as possible that is why I went to school only until I finished middle school. In the process, I met with an agent then naturally I was able to walk the path of an actor.”
“After that, I went to college and studied Theater and Film. Even now, one of the most important reasons why I am in this job is to make a living. However, I am now more attached to my job. It has become more valuable to me than ever before because now, I am able to spare myself mentally more than at any time in my life. Back then I would just skim over the script once. But now I keep on studying and reading the script countless times.”
Jo Hyun Jae is now looking for a new project. He states his will by saying, “This time would be the same as last time. I will decide on my choice based on the atmosphere of the whole drama.”
“I am still in talks as far as my future works are concerned. I know that I have to choose wisely. I would be considering the detailed parts of the characters but I am thinking that the decision will be made based on the whole outlook of the drama. I hope that I will get more of those kinds of opportunities.”
He emphasized, “Just like the character Han Do Jun in “Yongpal”, I will continue to challenge myself to play various types of roles.”
“My hope and dream is for the people to say that they enjoy watching dramas where I am a part of the cast. I want to be the kind of actor who would inspire confidence among viewers. The kind of actor whom viewers will have faith that they will enjoy the drama because I am part of the cast. In order for that to happen, I know I have to continue basing my choices by looking at the whole picture instead of just focusing on the details of my own character.”
Credit: Photo as labelled. English translation by Jenny Park. Thanks! Editing by Prissymom. English translation is not verbatim.