Ji Hyun-woo became the "Nation's Young Man" through the 2004 drama "Old Miss Diary - Drama" and continued on to star in "My Sweet Seoul", "Queen In-hyun's Man", and more. However, he's been working on creating a new image ever since he starred in "Awl", which deals with the matter of temporary workers; he's also taken on "Wanted" and "Bad Thief, Good Thief", which is based on social matters.
Ji Hyun-woo is being rediscovered as an actor over the past two years and he talked about it in an interview at a café in Seoul. He's been resting since the end of "Bad Thief, Good Thief" and said he used up a lot of energy over the past six months and needs some time to find his colors again.
He recently took a break for three days and two nights to hang out with friends at the reserve base where he is a reservist. "It's fun talking to friends there and listening to what's on their minds. I think this is a time for me to find what I have to do. Usually when you work, you think about what you're going to do when you get the chance to take some time off, but when you do, you're just sitting down with nothing to do. I'm usually at home now".
In "Bad Thief, Good Thief", Ji Hyun-woo played Jang Deul-mok, a man who is by day a lawyer and by night a thief in a society where pro-Japanese descendants carried out bad deeds. Deul-mok used his intelligence and agility to take care of things that couldn't be judged by law. Through the character of Jang Deul-mok, Ji Hyun-woo brought up reflections of the past.
"I really wanted to do it well. I thought if I was the descendant of an independence activist and if Park Yeol was alive today, we would have been alike. I wanted to show the humorous and confident side of Park Yeol through Jang Deul-mok".
Just a few years ago, Ji Hyun-woo was the "Nation's Young Man" and he says there is a difference in the dept and attitude of when you're in your 20s and your 30s. Ever since he got his hands on the scenario of "Awl" in 2015, he found himself naturally reaching out for similar genres like "Wanted" and "Bad Thief, Good Thief" as well as the movie "True Fiction". He hopes that not all lines said by actors are spoken as a means to fill an empty space, but rather as something meaningful.
"I was in a lot of romantic comedies in my 20s. I did about two romcom dramas a year and maybe a third project would be a movie. I always tell my juniors to do something for ten years first. Ten years can change a lot about the way you think. What actors say is not just a means to fill an empty space, but rather is something meaningful. I get to consider why this line was said here and that's how I become more sincere about my lines".
In "Awl" he was charismatic and in "Wanted" he was sharp. In "Bad Thief, Good Thief" he was more romantic. "I think it was a medium for me to go back to romantic comedy while dealing with social matters at the same time". In fact, he practiced justice and even made things work with Kang So-joo (Seohyun). What are the relationship plans for the 34 year-old this year?
"I am not interested really. They say romance can die. I felt it when I was acting, but I wondered who would want to meet someone who's always with his scenario in his hands. There's no one to understand that. In addition, men my age think about marriage so the pressure's there".
Romance is not in his agenda at the moment, but Ji Hyun-woo is as passionate as ever. He's been acting and singing in a band as well. Last month, he performed for the third year death-anniversary of the late Sin Hae-cheol. He won't be coming out with any new songs yet as he's too busy with acting.
"I filmed "True Fiction" although I don't know when it's coming out. I felt a change in myself after filming it and I want to be better at acting. It's about a member of the assembly and his son-in-law and the director wrote this scenario eight years ago. I wouldn't want to ruin that. I want to make it work and it's fun when you give and take with your co-star like playing table tennis".
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"[Interview] Ji Hyun-woo, the Nation's Young Man"
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