[Star Dictionary 2.0] Jang Dong Gun, From ‘Beautiful’ to ‘Actor’
When thinking of Jang Dong Gun, most people state, "He’s like a work of art."
With big eyes, a high nose and tall figure, Jang possesses no flaws.
But that doesn’t mean he should be thought of as an actor who only has gotten this far due to this looks. For Jang Dong Gun who returned to the small screen after twelve years, he came back with refined acting skills and the confidence of a real ‘actor’. Lately he has been capturing the hearts of many women. Though he is over 40, he is still Jang Dong Gun, a ‘beautiful man’.
’Walking Art’ Jang Dong Gun
Jang Dong Gun is the epitome of the saying, ‘ A Walking Piece of Art’. Having been selected at MBC’s 21st actor audition, he was cast in MBC’s Our Heaven with the popular young actor Kim Chan Woo and caught the eyes of viewers right away. With Our Heaven being then filmed at Seoul Women’s University, the spot became a very popular one thanks to Jang Dong Gun.
The flawless Jang practically became a star overnight. Then he became a bona-fide star thanks to the 1994 drama Last Victory, which made basketball a sensation in Korea. He became the prime example of a good-looking man in the 90s.
His physical facial features were so unique, some even asked if he was of mixed blood. A true ‘walking artwork’ had emerged.
Of course, with the praises laid upon Jang Dong Gun, another challenge came to him. Though his good looks allowed him to easily be given leading roles compared to other actors, there was little judgment being passed on his acting skills.
Growth in Acting
There was no doubt that Jang Dong Gun benefited from his good looks, as he was cast in leading roles so easily. The actor, however, was now in danger of becoming a one-time shining star who would soon disappear with the passing of time.
Last Victory helped Jang Dong Gun become a star, but he followed that up with a string of productions to help stack up his acting experience.
From Our Heaven (1992), Il Ji Mae (1993), Icing (1996), Medical Brothers (1997) and 2002’s All About Eve, Jang Dong Gun continued to meet with viewers on television. During this time, he also shot the movies Love Wind Love Song (1999(, Friend (2001), Taegukgi (2004), Typhoon (2005), Good Morning President (2009), Warrior’s Way (2010) and My Way (2011).
Through these many productions, Jang Dong Gun began to appeal to viewers not only with his looks, but with his acting. Medical Brothers began to show his potentials and by 2001’s smash hit movie Friend, he had bloomed as an actor.
Soon he had established himself as a representative actor of Korea. Though it wasn’t a stellar hit, Jang Dong Gun even made his entry into Hollywood with the 2010 movie Warrior’s Way.
The Original ‘Flower Boy’ Becomes a ‘Flower Man’
The staying power of the original ‘flower boy’ is quite amazing. For many cosmetic surgery enhanced female and male stars of today, criticism of them being bland in advertisements has been growing, but Jang Dong Gun continues to be in demand in the advertisement world.
Lately he has been showing how gracefully a man can age through his first drama in 12 years, A Gentleman’s Dignity. The ‘flower boy’ has now become a‘flower man’.
Above all ,it’s the fact that the once cold and unapproachable seeming actor we saw in works like Medical Brothers, is now showing a warm and humanistic side to him through A Gentleman’s Dignity. The seemingly flawless Jang Dong Gun too shows jealousy when his love is in front of another man. The guy who seems like he can’t muster up the courage to confess to his crush suddenly dons a serious expression to do so, and has ended up shaking the hearts of women once more with a new merit to him.
Of course, Jang is now famously off the market. After acting in Love Wind Love Song with Go So Young, the two began a relationship which culminated with the two of them getting married on May 2 in 2010. In the same year, on October 4, the two became the parents and he added the title of ′father′ to his resume.
As time passed, the original ‘flower boy’ became a ‘flower man’, but he still remains the beautiful actor he is today, Jang Dong Gun.
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan, SBS, AM Entertainment