[I think a real capable man is one who helps the weak willingly]
He who transformed from a gentle to a tough image, Kim Hyun Joong is back after four years with ‘Inspiring Generation: Birth of the Fighter’ which will be aired in Japan. He plays a loyal and passionate character of Shin Jung Tae, who fights to protect his loved ones.
‘There are many people who carry the gentle image of me in mind, so when I was thinking to show the tough side of me, I met the character, Shin Jung Tae. I showed a more manly and tough side of me in the drama this time and it seemed that I’ve gained the liking from male viewers and audiences of a wide range, I think it was a right decision I chose the drama.’
Just as he said, it has been a hot issue to many up to now when he challenged a completely different from his previous ‘smart prince’ character into a masculine and tough character.
‘Considering all the characters that I have portrayed up to now, maybe my personality was more similar to Shin Jung Tae, I did not give much thought on how I should build up this character. However, I did some research to understand more about Shin Jung Tae. Since it’s important to understand the character first before bringing the character into live, it was actually difficult to imagine how Shin Jung Tae lived in the past only through the scripts. Even from now, I will plan to get enough time to analyse the character thoroughly when a new project comes in.’
Kim Hyun Joong said that he did not specially trained his body to film for the action scenes.
‘I built up my body through either strength training, soccer, golf or scuba diving usually. Non-fan audience might have the thought that I purposely trained my body for the drama, but my fans would know I did not because I often show my body during my live concerts. (laughs)’
Kim Hyun Joong talks about the high appraisal for his acting performance in his crying scene. Similar to the 1930s background suffering from poverty, his appearance seemed to suffer a lot too.
‘Because it was an era where one may not even be able to afford a piece of clothing, so I wore clothes that appeared dirty. As time passed, I got used to it and even wore it during off-filming. It will also look weird to have color-dyed hair in that era so I dyed it black and cropped my hair short too.’
Kim Hyun Joong thinks that Shin Jung Tae is a great character who is able to protect his loved ones with his own hands.
‘It is not an easy task to risk one’s life to protect so many people. I think I would probably give up immediately if I were to face that kind of situation. (laughs) I couldn’t bear to see someone I treasured to pass away in front of me. And I don’t fight too.’
Kim Hyun Joong said he has the same sentiment for few lines in the script.
‘<It’s not the physically strong ones who will win; the mentally determined ones will> I agreed with this line and I am determined to live my life diligently too. Also, I feel that a strong person is not one who is physically strong, but one who is willing to lend a helping hand to those weaker than him.’
Kim Hyun Joong have received a lot of appraisals for his acting performance this time. He have garnered many attention in the scene where Jung Tae cried for his father’s death.
‘When you want to express anger, you express through your body language. The feeling of sorrow comes naturally and to express that feeling, you have to feel that way too in order to bring out the emotions. Even if the script wrote <tears fall here>, the feeling of sadness wouldn’t be expressed if your tears don’t flow. Although it’s the scriptwriters that create the characters, it’s the actors who create the life for the characters. The acting for that crying scene came out naturally and if you were to ask me how I did it, I really don’t remember. (laughs)’
He have ventured into a new breakthrough this time, what is his thought for his future project?
‘I’ve enjoyed a lot while filming for a period drama and next I want to try a contemporary drama.’
Finally, a message for Japanese fans.
‘It’s always been a thought but I am always grateful towards Japanese fans who always show their undying love for me who am a Korean, who came from a different country. There is only limited things I can do, so I want to repay all of you with songs and dance you love, and work hard on my acting career. Even from now onwards, I hope for your support too!’
1) What was the most difficult point when filming for the drama?
When I couldn’t return home. It was almost to the extent that I only got to go back home once a week, four times a month. There were also times when I took a short nap in the camping car during off-filming time because I do not have enough sleeping hours. I still remember the time when actors and I warmed ourselves up with the around the fire under the cold weather.
2) When are the moments you think yourself as ‘manly’, ‘Handsome’?
Compared to times when I feel I’m ‘manly’, I feel there were times I feel I’m ‘not manly’ like must I go to the hospital? (laughs) As for ‘handsome’, although there are times I do feel it, I feel shy too. Of course, I feel happy when fans or people around me praise me.
3) What will you do if you have someone like Jung Tae around you?
I don’t really like people who caused a lot of troubles, and if there was someone like this around me, I might get into trouble as well..so no thank you. (laughs). If I have a younger or elder sister who says they want to marry a person like Shin Jung Tae, I will probably disagree. (laughs) A person who leads an extraordinary life may be difficult and people around them might suffer too.