Go to global navigation menu Go to sidebar menu Go to contents

[AERA] Jang Keun Suk: featured article and interview

“Person In Focus”

Credits: AERA
English translation: tenshi_akuma

I’d like to improve myself so that people may say “Jang Keun Suk is my goal”

Jang Keun Suk is not a person who doesn’t lock himself in. Even between takes, he goes out from his waiting room to the studio, and enjoys chatting with a much elder cameraman in a natural manner. Looking at the covers of AERA back number, he said, “Ah, it’s Takeshi-san!”

Takeshi-san is Takeshi Kitano. He says he is a big fan of him. “As I’ve studied how to direct at university, he is a role model. I admire his talent which enables to express his view of the world in a two-hours movie. For example, Movie ‘OUTRAGE’ describes Yakuza’s black world funnily. I accidentally thought ‘Yakuza’s life looks interesting’ while watching.”

His latest drama “Love Rain” is currently being broadcast on Fuji-TV networks. It was directed by Yoon Suk Ho of “Winter Sonata” so that you’ll imagine how pure this romance is. Jang Keun Suk plays In Ha who lives his youth in 1970s for this early episodes. After episode five, he plays In Ha’s son, Jun. “At first, I wasn’t confident to act well because I haven’t experienced 1970s. But I decided to play the role because I felt obligated to a person in 20s should try anything.”

He visited Furano, Hokkaido for the shooting. He was shot with a heroine whom Jun would fall in love with later, with diamond dust in the background. “I’ve always been to big cities in Japan. So it’s new for me such a quiet city, Furano. The residents were waiting at 6 am for seeing the shooting. Besides, they provided us delicious meals. Thanks to their warmness, I could bear the cold.”

He doesn’t stay in his actor’s shell. He has started music career as a singer. Last month he started his third Asian tour. He has concerts held in Osaka and Nagoya in September and Fukuoka in October. Tickets were all sold out instantly. An additional concert is confirmed to be held at Saitama Super Arena in November.

“I don’t like to be described as a Hallyu star. Then, Actor? Singer? No. I want to live as Jang Keun Suk that isn’t fallen into any categories.”




Credits: AERA
English translation: tenshi_akuma

I’ll do something big within 10 years

Despite a super busy schedule, Jang Keun Suk accepted shooting of the cover of AERA and our interview. He’s broken a new field with his latest drama “Love Rain.” What is his resolution in the future? He talked passionately about it with far-off look in his clear eyes.


“One, two, three… I was fallen in love in three seconds.” Drama “Love Rain” starts with such an impressive line. It describes love relationship of two generations and unchangeable adoration of first love. Jang Keun Suk plays a double role, In Ha living in 1970s and Jun (In Ha’s son) living today (in 2012).

JKS: I myself haven’t experienced living in 1970s. Therefore, Senior Jung Jin Young (In Ha in 2012) and Director Yoon Suk Ho helped me to understand the reality of 1970s. Korea in 1970s was a suppressed era. At that time. student demonstration was very popular and people prioritized happiness of their family or people around them over themselves. I can’t imagine the world without freedom. Because I’m the very person regarded as a ‘free man’, right?

As for me, it takes 0.3 seconds

– How do you feel about love relationship in 1970s?

JKS: Love relationship without mobile phone is new for me. Because we have to speak out if we want to tell our feelings. Now we are just texting for that. On the other hand, we have to wait patiently in front of her house until she comes back if we want to see her. It’s frustrating, but at the same time, beautiful. I wish I had such experience.

– In the drama, there is a line uttered by a man who experienced his youth in 1970s. “Love relationship of today is lack of adoration. Have you ever experienced your heart ache with love?”

JKS: I think it reflects Director Yoon’s real opinion. And it’s also the reason I adore 1970s. Love relationship of today is ‘instant’, isn’t it? We utter the words “I love you” instantly, and also we break up instantly. Honestly I can’t feel the preciousness of love like 1970s…

– Surely, Jun living today doesn’t believe love and he brags that he can ‘get women easily in three seconds’.

JKS: Well, as for me, it takes 0.3 seconds. Lol. Even three seconds sound long. I’m very busy. I try and get her as soon as possible.

His images are literally art

The way Yoon Suk Ho, ‘the magician of images’ directs a drama inspired him a lot, as he has also studied how to direct dramas and movies in university.

JKS: First of all, the beauty of his images. He is particular about color contrast of details as well as backgrounds. Therefore, the complete images were literally art. Long takes without cuts were also impressive. Most Korean are short-tempered. I’m very short-tempered, too. Korean culture is the one which continues to transform, while pursuing something new. It can’t be helped. But Director can ‘wait patiently’. That’s why he can do a production as such.

Director Yoon showed his spirits of ‘wait patiently’ on the shooting in Furano, Hokkaido. What he had been looking for was ‘diamond dust’. It’s a phenomenon that grain of snow looks like a diamond by reflecting sunlight. It can’t be seen unless the conditions of weather and time are right.

JKS: The shooting was carried out in late February. Because it was the dead of winter in Furano, I thought I was going to die of the cold. At the end, we could see diamond dust only for a moment. However, it was really romantic scenery. The poor thing is what I saw was a lot of the staff, wondering if it would be romantic my beloved one was standing in the light when I turned around. Lol. Soon I was pulled back into reality.

There is no end of what I want to do

After around 10-months shooting, it was over on May 28th. Wondering he would relax after that, he hardly took a break and was busy for preparing his concerts and shooting CFs. Such a busy guy, Jang Keun Suk. What does he plan to take the next step?

JKS: I’ll realize one of my dreams, ‘a production of short films’. Without any limitations of time or adult situations, I want to produce a film satisfactory to me. That’s why I decided only with my company’s money, not with investors’ one. Needless to say, I play a double role as Director and the lead actor. The script was already completed and I got the staff, too. I think I can launch the shooting this fall.

JKS: What I want to do comes out one after another and never ends. I want to become a figure whom my juniors adore me saying “I want to be like him” in five or ten yeas later. I’ll do something big within 10 years. Therefore, I just keep running now.


Credit: JangKeunSukForever, JangKeunSukForever

Source: AERA