[June 2014 – Men’s Health] Choi Jin Hyuk – Interview

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Choi Jin Hyuk - Men's Health

What was the most memorable scene in the movie “Psycho”? It’s the shower scene that unfolds strongly as soon as the movie starts. This means the minor role of Marion played by Janet Leigh [t/n: article says it’s Vera Miles, but Wiki tells me that Marion is indeed portrayed by Janet Leigh and Vera Miles is Lila, the sister who investigates the murder of Marion] who appears only a few minutes in the movie. This choice hit the the mark because it’s a scene that remained as one of the best in cinema history. The actor who dominates the entire story, although he plays a minor role with such importance is called a “scene stealer”.

How will Choi Jin Hyuk be remembered? More than his name, we remember him as Goo Wol Ryung in “Gu Family’s Book”, Kim Won in “Heirs”. In the movie “The Divine Move”, he tried a villain role as in he’s playing among a galaxy of actors such as Jung Woo Sung. He’s already receiving attention because of the movie trailer in which you can see him confronting Jung Woo Sung. With his overwhelmingly acting, isn’t it his habit to be a scene stealer regardless of the importance of his role? The life of someone like him showing experience through his deep acting at the age of wasn’t smooth. Still committed to the result he strives for, he advanced to take on lead roles and he stood as an earnest actor.

The trailer for “The Divine Move” was released. The scene where you play the go game with Jung Woo Sung in the cold storage is overwhelming.

The cold storage scene was shot in midwinter. It was so cold. And we even had to do it topless. However, thanks to the help of the staff, the scene wasn’t so hard to shoot. It’s an important action scene, so I was really worried and I practiced a lot. It came out much better than I thought, so it’s a scene I’m satisfied with. It’s a bit unfortunate that I didn’t get a little bit more time to make my body look better.

What did you do about your body for this role?

First of all, Jung Woo Sung-sunbae has such a great body that it was a motivation. The shooting was overlapping with the shooting of “Heirs”, so I was busy and I didn’t really have time to work out. It’s something I’m really regretful about. I only ate chicken breast and sweet potato the week before we shot the scene.

You usually played serious and nice characters, so “The Divine Move” was unexpected.

It’s a movie with sunbaenims that I’ve always respected and the scenario was interesting. More than the importance of the role or the number of my scenes, the simple fact of being able to play with great sunbaes was an honor. And I also wanted to take on the challenge of shooting action scenes.

There are also action scenes? I’m curious about your character.

I’m waiting for strong action scenes. And if you also expect the change for a villain role, I think it will be good.

You showed a great body in many of your projects. Do you have any know-how about maintaining your body?

I think the body is an investment. Eating in the way to match your constitution is as important as exercising. It’s not a good thing to always be losing weight. I tell myself “it’s something I also need to work hard for.”

I heard you enjoy exercising.

I like wakeboarding, but I’ve been into golfing lately. I had to learn how to play because of “Heirs” and I realized it matches my style. It’s just that I have no time, so I don’t improve because I can’t practice often (laugh). I’ve always liked playing soccer and I’m a member of a celebrity soccer team, but I don’t play when I’m shooting because I’m scared to get hurt.

What is the reason for you to enjoy exercising and always doing it?

I used to carry a ball around and do sports for fun. Basketball, soccer, table tennis, I’ve been doing these sports since my school days and there’s a charm about exercising while interacting with a group of men. It’s physically hard, but once you fell into it, it’s even harder to get out of it.

“Strong body, strong mind”, this is the saying that I think of when I see you. How would you judge yourself?

I do have to take care of my body for work purpose, but the “strong mind” thing hits home. I think being healthy and pure are things we need. I try my best to always have a healthy mind.

When did you decide to become an actor?

To be honest, it’s because of the recommendations made by people around me. At first, I wanted to do music, I began acting out of curiosity and it’s my job now. It became fun as I kept doing it.

I think you’re an actor who benefits a lot from his voice. Do you want to try music again?

I had a complex at first. I didn’t know if people would like my voice. I like being an actor for now. Music… If the opportunity comes later on, I want to release a single for my fans.

You’ve been acting steadily… Which character was the most memorable for you?

I think it’s “Goo Wol Ryung” in “Gu Family Book”. The character was special, but this character is also meaningful to me because it was a turning point in my career. It’s a character I came across with when I was in a life or death situation in my career. He’s special to me because he gave me a confirmation about being an actor.

You left a big impression with cold characters, but the image you showed in “Emergency Couple” suit you too.

To be honest, I prefer characters like Oh Chang Min in “ER Couple”. First of all, this personality is similar to mine. Kim Won in “Heirs” really had a big sense of reality, didn’t he? (laugh) I like cheerful, bright and fun characters better.

I feel like you’re an actor with bold acting. Do you get to niptick when it comes to choosing a role?

Thank you if you see me this way. However, this [t/n: knowing for sure that it’s a good role for him] isn’t something I’m aware of yet. I just work hard because I choose the projects that can be fun to do and I can do well. I think it’s just fortunate that it’s a good match.

Do you think the road you must walk down is still long? Do you think of any “bang”?

The road is long. So instead of thinking about my popularity going with “a bang”, I just want to enjoy acting itself.

It seems that you went through a lot of hard times. How was it? I’m curious of the strength, of how you overcome the hard times.

I think I never lost faith. The faith I had about myself. I think this conviction never wavered. I had thoughts like “I can do well”, “it’s just that my fate isn’t good for now” and I kept striving forward.

Do you have a blueprint of what you want your future to be?

If I have one wish… My dream is just to have a beautiful wife, a son and a daugther who are adorable and just spend everyday being happy over the smallest little things.

What will you remember of your 20’s?

I lived hard and there were many complications. So if there was to be a reward… I have many expectations for my 30’s. I hope to get a lot of interesting roles, things like that.

No one has the skills to defeat someone who shows constant efforts. There’s nothing better than to work constantly for your goals. Choi Jin Hyuk usually finds the balance between the right thought and the right image. Same goes for the fact that acting without taking a rest gives him more depth as an actor. As soon as he’s done with a project, the news of him doing another one is heard. The point that doesn’t put a coma in his career is the reason to wait and see more of him as an actor.

Original article: Men’s Health
Translation: @onesunnylady

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