Cha Tae Hyun’s Confession: My Wife had a Boyfriend
On SBS’s ‘Healing Camp’, Cha Tae Hyun revealed that it was love at first sight for him and his wife.
Cha described his first encounter with his wife by referencing ‘Slam Dunk’ manga character Hanamichi Sakuragi’s tunnel vision, explaining that he only had eyes for her at the time.
But he soon followed up with a characteristically comic explanation, saying that coming from an all-male middle school, his standards probably weren’t that high.
Cha said that although he wanted to date her as soon as he saw her, she had an older boyfriend at the time and he kept waiting for the day she would break up with him. He also added, "My wife won’t be happy to hear this on television.”
On a more serious note, Cha also confessed that he had suffered from a panic disorder and explained how his wife aided him in the healing process.
Photo credit: SBS TV ‘Healing Camp’
It had been a year since we last met Gong Hyo Jin, but it felt shorter. At our last interview, she had been worried that it would not be easy to bid farewell to Shin Yoo Kyung, the leading character of MBC’s Pasta, a heartwarming romantic drama that had aired early last year.
Over the past year, she entered into the 12th year of her acting career, and the 8th year of her romance with actor Ryu Seung Bum, remaining the subject of much female fan envy. She also proved her acting talent on MBC’s The Greatest Love, and re-emerged as widely adored actress.
What really recharges me? “Taking a nap in my car.”
As in almost all recent dramas, the cast and crew of The Greatest Love has had to endure a tight schedule. Broadcast dates quickly caught up with the scenes shot in advance, and towards the end of the series, they were almost shooting live coverage.
“The schedule was crazy. Sometimes, I thought I might die if I continued (laugh). Anyway, it was crazy. I want to applaud myself for completing the race,” said Gong.
Perhaps due to her tight schedule, she appeared to have lost weight. When we expressed our concerns, she answered with a bright smile, “I lost a little weight, maybe around 3 kg, due to the tight schedule. But I’m in good shape because I took care of myself by taking little power naps and opting for wholesome food like potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, and grains rather than junk food.”
Secret to becoming the nation’s sweetheart? “Hmm..Being flawed?”
In The Greatest Love, Gong Hyo Jin played a role of Gu Ae Jung, a former member of a hot girl group who had fallen from the public’s good graces. Even though her character was hated by viewers, the role gained her nationwide favor in real life. Gu Ae Jung, who is confident and straightforward about expressing her feelings, has much in common with actress Gong Hyo Jin.
“I think viewers liked me because my character was imperfect, human. My flaws, I think, helped viewers sympathize with the role,” said Gong.
She has taken on all kinds of cute and adorable roles on the small screen. So we thought she might want to change her image by playing a villain, but she flat out rejected, saying “No!” to villain roles.
She explained, “Since I have only played favorable roles, it would be so hard for me to play the bad girl. It would have been okay at the beginning of my career, but now, I think I’d be too emotionally distressed. I’d refuse to play the villain even if the characters had a reason to be bad.”
She adds, “But I would like to play a macho female role, a woman that is charismatic because she’s tough, not sexy. I once received a screenplay with a role like that, but it was never picked up.”
The most difficult part of The Greatest Love? “The drama was dealing with my own industry.”
The Greatest Love was not all about sweet romance. The Hong sisters, who wrote the drama, tried to depict the real life of celebrities on the screen – those celebrities who, even in the most desperate and pathetic situations, remain in the industry and try to make the best of it.
“Some celebrities might feel uncomfortable watching the show. They might even think that the show demeans celebrities. But whenever a show portrays people of a certain occupation, there are difficulties. It was hard portraying the realistic life of chefs in Pasta, and it was even harder to portray celebrities in The Greatest Love" said the actress.
When Pasta was on air, the online bulletin boards were flooded with an array of comments and criticisms including, “Chefs must tie their hair back”, “That kind of behavior is unhygienic”, “Chefs are not allowed to wear manicure, or wear rings”. Things must have been tougher with The Greatest Love because it was a story of people in her own field.
“I paid extra attention to my behavior and way of talking, because I knew that my mannerisms could potentially offend somebody. The only option left for me was… ambiguous acting (laugh).”
Plans to support Ryu Seung Bum? “He says he wants to ride on my popularity…”
“I think [Ryu Seung Bum] was following the drama. He joked that he would tag me along everywhere, because I’d become a ‘trend’ these days. He was pleased that I finally gained so much popularity 12 years into my career. He said he was happy to see The Greatest Love on TV when he hit the gym,” said Gong with a big smile.
Even though she says her source of energy are power naps, taken in intervals while shooting on set, it seems like that her real support is her boyfriend of eight years. Even though the actress had sat down with us after a long day of continuous interviews, her eyes sparkled every time she spoke of her boyfriend.
In fact, Ryu Seung Bum was a great help to her as she went through with her tough schedule.
“I always complained to Seung Bum when I was on the phone with him, saying ‘It’s tough’ and ‘I’m tired of this” all the time. And one day, he started worrying that I was turning into a negative person. He is the kind of boyfriend who feels like a close friend, and he is always supportive and helpful,” said Gong.
Having been rocketed to stardom with The Greatest Love, her packed schedule won′t be letting up anytime soon. She said, “I want to take a trip to Bangkok or someplace like that when I have the time,” but it looks like that wish will have to remain a wish for the time being. TV appearances and ad shoots are waiting for her, and starting in July, she will be shooting the romantic comedy movie, Love Fiction.
She ended the interview with a note of determination, “It’s already been 12 years since I started my acting career, but I want to be an actress who constantly strives to evolve, an actress who remains humble and resolute. I try not to forget how I started out, 12 years ago.”
Photo Credit: Reporter Kim Byeong Gwan
Translation Credit: Misun Lee