[Interview] The Four Charms of Choi Jin Hyuk
Choi Jin Hyuk seems to have appeared out of nowhere but he is already in his 9th year in acting. He earned fame by acting as ‘Gu Wol Ryung’ in MBC’s Gu Family Book but that took him eight years.
Despite starting out by winning the grand prize from KBS’s acting audition Star Audition in 2006, Choi Jin Hyuk had to build his career for eight years before finally seeing the light.
From acting as ‘Gu Wol Ryung’ in MBC’s Gu Family Book to playing Lee Min Ho’s older brother ‘Kim Won’ in SBS’s The Heirs and most recently as ‘Oh Chang Min’ in tvN’s Emergency Couple, he has been gathering the interest of many with his ripened acting abilities.
Meeting with enews in a café near Samcheong-dong, four different charms of Choi Jin Hyuk were explored.
Choi Jin Hyuk is Honest
Choi Jin Hyuk was honest and straightforward, even for sensitive questions. He was especially objective when it came to questions about his acting abilities or his projects.
“Emergency Couple was about a divorced couple meeting and falling in love with each other again. It was hard to get into the role. Even the other cast members and the director had a hard time agreeing with the storyline. So instead of trying to pull in the viewers’ attention, I spent more time on calculating how I could accept the situation and act it out.”
The storyline of Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) falling in love with Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) again once his father died was something that could not easily persuade the viewers.
Agreeing with this, Choi Jin Hyul said, “At first I couldn’t agree with Oh Chang Min’s character. You have to be thoughtful when a man and a woman come together again, but he was very quick in his decision. I also couldn’t agree with Oh Chang Min and Oh Jin Hee suddenly changing their thoughts upon his father’s death. But I kept trying to think from Chang Min’s point of view and there was a point where things finally started making sense.”
Choi Jin Hyuk appealed with his half moon shaped smile through the drama, creating an image of a ‘romantic guy’ for himself.
“When I don’t talk, people think I’m really cold and that’s stressful for me. Especially when I was a new actor I would often be frozen out of nervousness but people told me I was rude because I wasn’t smiling.”
Sweetness of a Tough Guy
Being 186cm tall, having a muscular body and cold image, Choi Jin Hyuk seems like a tough guy. But in person, he was fit to be called a ‘rom-com king.’ He introduced himself, “Cheery and playful from the bone marrow.”
“I’ve always wanted to do a romantic comedy. I was confident I could do well since it’s closer to my actual personality. (laughter) But every project that was offered was either an action or noir genre. I was offered many projects after acting in The Heirs and Emergency Couple really caught my eyes. I think was drawn to the charms of ‘romantic comedy.’”
Spirit of Never Giving Up
Choi Jin Hyuk went through many things. He started acting by winning the first place in an audition program, but that began his long journey of hardships.
“I really went a severe period of heartaches. I think I was scolded everyday for about four, five years. Not only about my acting but also the way I talked informally. I would cry alone and get stressed. I thought about quitting acting many times. I even thought about it when I filmed Gu Family Book.
Choi Jin Hyuk considered Gu Family Book as his last chance. He poured in his everything into the drama, acting as the male ‘nine tailed fox.’ The result was a success. He quickly gained fame by ranking his name on top of search engines as soon as he appeared in the drama. It marked the beginning of Choi Jin Hyuk’s era.
Million Dollar Voice
One of the contributing factors to Choi Jin Hyuk’s popularity was his voice. His deep and low voice tone adds weight to his role and attracts viewers’ attention. Choi Jin Hyuk described his voice as ‘the one that echoes in a public bath house’ but his voice surely took away the hearts of many female viewers.
He is also skilled in singing. He has participated in recording the OST for every project he was in. His OST for Gu Family Book and The Heirs ranked high on the music charts.
“I don’t think my voice is good but it just echoes more than others.’ (laughter) I dreamed of becoming a singer when I was younger but I like acting more. I think of releasing an album but I want to participate in recording OST when the opportunity comes. I want to continue to interact with the public through good projects.”
Photo credit: enews/ Hea Jung Min
- Choi Jin Hyuk 20140418