[Interview] Jung Gyu Woon′s Acting Transformation
‘I kept going without any rest. Then I turned around and looked back was I on the right path?’
That is the big question on the mind of actor Jung Gyu Woon these days. The blame lies with his ceaselessly forward momentum and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Jung always appeared on TV whenever it was turned on.
That’s just how busy he has been the past couple years, following the end of one production with the start of another.
Perhaps it was due to this that he looked exhausted when enews met with him on March 13, following the conclusion of SBS’ History of Salaryman. It seemed like much of his energy was poured into his ‘bad guy’ character Choi Hang Woo in the concluded drama. There no longer was any room for Jung’s rash and immature character from Dr. Champ to reveal itself. Jung was also able to improve on the depth of his characters with the passing of time.
There were times when he wished to be swept away on a journey. Moreover, he carried the constant feeling that something was missing inside of him. Although he had received much praise and words of encouragement for his Choi Hang Woo portrayal, he now wants to try some new, something different.
You look exhausted.
“It looks like I still haven’t escaped from the grasps of Choi Hang Woo. However, the set atmosphere was great during the shooting of the drama. Many of my colleagues gave me words of encouragement and there was some sort of team spirit between the cast members. It gave me the strength to continue on with the shooting.”
Maybe it was due to that, but your Choi Hang Woo character was well received by the audience.
“Our previously planned production strategy seemed to go well with the viewers. Although the Choi Hang Woo character may seem one-sided, I feel we were able to showcase his various appealing traits. I wanted to portray him as something more than just another simple villain.”
Your character’s relationship with Cha Woo Hee received a lot of love from viewers. Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts?
“Their relationship came about during the final stages of the production. The push and pull between Woo Hee and Hang Woo was well received by viewers, maybe due to the genuine enjoyment of the two actors that were involved. However, if the drama had continued on, Hang Woo might have also fallen in love with Yeo Chi. If that happened, it could have made Hang Woo’s love life much more interesting,” Jung said as he laughed.
Now that History of Salaryman is over, were there any memorable scenes?
“There was scene showing the allergic reaction to peanuts. I remember it was very weird [acting out the scene] since it was my first allergic reaction acting experience. Thankfully, the performance was hilarious and was also well received by the audience. I actually enjoyed the experience.”
It seems like you have worked nonstop since your debut.
“I really haven’t taken a break up until now. After getting discharged from the army on August 3, 2004, I immediately joined an agency the week after. It was made possible because I had passed an audition that I took while I was still in the army. After that, there weren’t too many breaks in between my activities. Looking back, it appears I was quite fortunate. Nowadays, I get the feeling that I should rest a little. A vacation sounds really appealing right now.”
You played many different roles in the past. What are your future goals?
“I would like to escape my ‘TV actor’ image and try new roles. I would also like to appear in a movie. My ambition grows bigger every day. It appears I have managed to escape from Choi Hang Woo’s personality. Hahaha.”
Lastly, how far has Jung Gyu Woon come as an actor?
“I feel like I am standing at an important crossroad. I am greatly looking forward to my next production now that I’m done with a good production. In all honesty, I am not near the top like Hyun Bin, who can pretty much choose any production he wants. Although I have felt quite fortunate, from now on, I would like to change some of that good fortune into actual ability. The path of an actor, it seems, is never ending.”
Jung, who is always progressing, stressed that the current period was an important one for his continued transformation into a genuine actor. Although much of his energy was depleted after it had been poured into his character Choi Hang Woo, his journey is far from over and many are curious to see what kind of character he will return as once he regains his energy.
Photo credit: Hea Jung Min