[Interview] Hong Jong Hyun Says He Rejected ′We Got Married′ At First
A variety show for Hong Jong Hyun? A comedy for Hong Jong Hyun?
Whatever he did, he carried around the title ′an unexpected move′ with him. What was his image up until now that if he lets himself go even just a little bit, it′s considered ′unexpected?′
Appearing in the movie Meet the In-Laws 2 in his first leading movie role, Hong Jong Hyun has received a countless number of questions about ′unexpected moves.′ He always seemed like an actor who would never even touch a comedy and would always appear cool. It may not have been on purpose, but Hong Jong Hyun stripped himself of this fortress like image that he built with one move.
It wasn′t a project that he chose on purpose. The public wants to see an actor who is unchanging, but not when it comes to becoming a character in a project. If an actor always acted in the same manner, in the same role, in the same genre, then anyone could get sick of it. Hong Jong Hyun was also tired in that same position, and so when the offer for Meet the In-Laws 2 came, he grabbed it.
In a recent interview, Hong Jong Hyun said, "People can like or dislike the image that I show on screen. But I don′t have any regrets for how I′ve walked up until this point. I think I′ll be like that from this point on."
"Some people have said that they think I wouldn′t be able to do comedic acting and that I have no interest in it. That′s not true at all. I′m very happy to be doing the genre that I′ve been wanting to do the most in my first lead movie role."
Although no one′s exactly surewhy, Hong Jong Hyun is an actor who is veiled in mystery, but at the same time not. His cold and sharp facial features may be part of the reason why, but despite that he didn′t have a lot of opportunities yet, he was branded this peculiar title of being ′soulless.′
And that′s why he began to walk the lines of variety, starting with MBC′s We Got Married followed by an MC gig on SBS′ Inkigayo and a comedy movie.
With news that he′s doing all these things, the reactions were, "What? Hong Jong Hyun?"
When asked what he thinks about the public′s response and whether it worries him, Hong Jong Hyun smiled, saying, "I′m not sure." Then he took a step back and thought for a bit before answering, "I think I′m still trying to find my own color."
"I don′t get stressed out, but I think I do lose my self-confidence. Either way, I know myself the best. There are times when I think, ′I′m not good at this.′ Even so, I say that I′ll do it. When I set my heart to it, I put my all into doing it the best that I can. It was the same with We Got Married. I thought it was right to just show myself."
Hong Jong Hyun actually rejected appearing in We Got Married. When he met with the staff, he honestly said, "I don′t think I′m suitable for this program." However, the staff convinced him that the awkwardness with his partner and getting closer to each other is all part of the program. Hong Jong Hyun found faith in the words and decided to appear.
"Even if I wanted to be on it, even if I received an offer, it wasn′t something I could just jump into. It′s work for me and a program that many people watch," explained Hong Jong Hyun. "So I told them, ′I′m a fun person that plays a lot of jokes and stuff when I get close to someone, but I′m not a talkative person and I′m also not a very bright person, so I don′t know if I′m the right person for a program where I should be showing the refreshing relationship between a man and a woman. I shy away from people and I don′t think I′ll be fun. People won′t really like me.′ Then the staff said, ′How can this world only have bright couples?′ So I decided to ponder about it again and decided to appear. What they said was the biggest reason why I agreed on the show."
"I thought I′ll just really show myself. I could have forced myself to show a different image, but I didn′t want to do that. Even if I tried, because it′s not acting, all of my personalities would have just come out. So I stayed loyal to my feelings each day."
"In the process, the my different images have pros and cons. But because they′re the results of what I chose, I try to stay optimistic and think that there will be another chance for me to show a better image next time. I try not to think too deeply regarding this matter."
"The thing that I want for myself personally is to not be satisfied in this moment and become a person who is constantly working hard. I also wish I can live a fun life. Maybe it′s because getting older year by year is a bit saddening, everything′s not that fun these days, so I′m trying not to lose out on the fun stuff."
The sequel of Meet the In-Laws from 2011, Meet the In-Laws 2 is about a man and a woman who fall in love and their respective family of burglars and family of police who try to prevent the marriage from happening.
Photo Credit: Newsen/Lee Jae Ha