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Ji Hyun Woo: “I’m a Regular Person Who Likes Analog.”

JHW Economy Today 5

Ji Hyun Woo: “I’m a Regular Person Who Likes Analog.”

*Analog refers to the analog signal that transmits sound and images to television and radio, in contrast to the digital system that powers most entertainment these days. Used in the context to describe someone, it means that the person is someone who likes old things or belongs to an older era.

Ji Hyun Woo once said in an interview that he viewed acting as his way to make a living. I thought it was a bold thing to say. Most actors would want to have their profession viewed as an artistic expression or something that they are very passionate about without consideration of money. I considered Ji Hyun Woo’s answer as a healthy view of his profession, except I did wonder about his passion for acting. As someone who knew nothing about Ji Hyun Woo except what was seen in dramas when I first saw that interview, I didn’t understand how and why he chose acting, and what made him continue to pursue it. Thanks to a request for the translation of October 2011 interview with Economy Today, I learned a little bit more about the actor Ji Hyun Woo and began to understand his position regarding acting.

The interview was a promotional interview for his movie Mr. Idol so of course he was asked about it. Ji Hyun Woo did not initially want to do Mr. Idol because he thought it was a predictable story. But he finally decided to take on the role as the idol group leader, Eugene, because he wanted to work with the young director of the movie, Rah Hee Chan. Ji Hyun Woo had always wanted to work with a young director so that they can converse and collaborate on a project together more freely than he could with an older director.

Ji Hyun Woo saw a bit of himself in the Eugene character. Like Eugene whose financial concerns were an obstacle to his music career, Ji Hyun Woo also faced a similar situation. Growing up surrounded by music because of his parents, Ji Hyun Woo was seen as someone with a promising career as a guitarist by the time he was in high school. But because he didn’t have the money to pay, he gave up college and took up acting. Ji Hyun Woo, on reflecting back on the time when he  focused solely on music said, “I don’t know how I survived living off the unpredictable income. I must have really liked music.”

Starting with the 2004 KBS sitcom, Old Miss Diary, Ji Hyun Woo has consistently been cast as the “younger male” counterpart in the older female-younger male romance stories. Regarding this image Ji Hyun Woo revealed that he did not mind it at all; rather, he saw it as an opportunity to work with more experienced actors whom he can learn from.

In the interview, Ji Hyun Woo also revealed that he hand-writes the script for a drama to memorize and understand the mindset of the writer. He also remembers excitedly waiting for and watching dramas like Huh Joon, Feelings, and Star in My Heart when he was in elementary school. (I’m happy to find out that he grew up watching the same dramas I did. :D)

The reporter who did this interview described Ji Hyun Woo as a positive thinker who seemed more suitable to the analog age rather than the digital age. A lot of people seem to describe as Ji Hyun Woo as someone who is very mature and acts older than his age. I suppose that has something to do with his upbringing and working with older actors at a young and impressionable age. I think Ji Hyun Woo has a good head on his shoulders and doesn’t take his profession as an actor too seriously. Not to say that he doesn’t care about it; I think what he meant about acting being his way to make a living was that he is content to be an actor rather than a celebrity.

Source: Economy Today (1) (2)

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18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Elena #

    Thanks Joonni for sharing with us interesting info about JHW! The more I learn about him, the more I like him. I always wanted to have such a friend: mature, calm, self-confident, positif thinker and belonging more to the analog age rather than the digital one…
    P.S. really liked the photos!

    July 8, 2012
    • joonni #

      I think he makes a really good “Oppa” type of figure. No wonder the noona’s like him.

      July 9, 2012
  2. Thx for sharing..
    So.. Oppa, I think you are ready to get married with YIN Unnie.
    Hehehe..
    I really envy with YIN unnie to have a good man like JHW oppa.

    July 8, 2012
  3. M #

    ah…………… more JHW crack… hehehehe

    July 9, 2012
  4. Surely Hyun Woo is a conservative type of guy. I like that. This is one staple reason for me to follow celebrities like him, when acting is not for celebrity or fame but more of enhancing their craft. Again, Thanks Joonni !!

    July 9, 2012
  5. OMO… I can’t believe you agreed to translate this interview! Thank you so much Joonni! You’re the best! :)) I used to Google translator before you translate this article and Coldplay and Damien Rice were mentioned. Did he talked about them in that interview? :) Thank you!

    July 9, 2012
    • joonni #

      Sorry, I left it out because I didn’t have time to do a straight translation but yes, Damien Rice and Coldplay were mentioned. He said he only listened to them for a while after watching the movie “Once.” He really wanted to do a movie like “Once.”

      July 9, 2012
      • Oh… please, don’t ever say sorry :D You don’t even know how much you make JHW’s fans happy… we’re really so grateful! I asked about it because I just talked about it few days ago with tessieroo that he’d totally nail Damien Rice’s songs without knowing he listened to DR’s songs :D JHW seems to like British artists a lot. Radiohead, Coldplay, Damien Rice, ….

        Once was pretty huge here since the main actress(musician) Marketa Irglova comes from where I live… the Czechs were pretty proud of her when they won Oscar.

        July 9, 2012
        • joonni #

          I’ve heard good things about the movie and I absolutely love the lyrics to “Falling Slowly.” Heartbreakingly poetic.

          So you live in Czech? Cool.

          July 9, 2012
  6. Thanks again for translating this one! I really appreciate his honesty and maturity. And at the same time, I’m happy that we get to see him smile and laugh openly with YIN now. ^^

    July 9, 2012
  7. jomo #

    I have always liked the idea of analog vs digital as a metaphor for personality.
    Also, accoustic versus electric instruments.

    He said in that other interview that music is his love and acting is his job.

    Thanks for the storeeeeee.

    July 9, 2012
    • joonni #

      The analog vs digital is really a good metaphor. Although I think there is a lot of gray area in the comparison because it is a relative comparison not an absolute.

      July 9, 2012
  8. britener #

    You just give me more reasons to like this man. Thanks for this story!

    July 9, 2012
  9. Fallensnow #

    Oh man, Joonni, I don’t know how it’s possible but you’ve made me fall even deeper in love with him. …of course, I shall concede to YIN (you lucky girl).

    July 9, 2012
  10. I owe you such a huge thank you. For years, I’ve been bummed I couldn’t understand interviews or articles about JHW completely and nothing was ever translated to English. I hope you know how much it’s appreciated – you taking the time to do things like this. :)

    July 9, 2012
  11. jaz #

    Thanks for the info! Now that’s what you call a true person! Not minding about what others think and would say about him as long as he’s happy and content of what he’s doing. I think it would be nice if JHW oppa was my friend for real or my big brother perhaps since he’d be a good confidant, teacher and adviser. You know someone who could teach me a thing or two about the ways of life. ;)

    July 9, 2012
  12. Yetzin #

    Thank you for all your articles on JHW. I became his fan after watching ATK, though I didn’t complete the drama. I just couldn’t watch it anymore after ep 28, I stop completely.
    I stumbled on your website while I was browsing for an updates on QIHM recaps when the drama was aired on tvN. I enjoyed reading your recap of QIHM so much. You are meticulous and super fast with the recaps, and I enjoyed your humor. It shows in your writing.
    This is my first time commenting on a blog, though I have read a lots of them but never bother to leave any comment. I decided to drop a comment to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading all your articles. Love love all your creative works!!
    I hope you will do the recap on Faith, Arang and the Magistrate and Nice Guy. Is it too much for you? Take it as a challenge, ‘fighting’

    July 10, 2012
    • joonni #

      Thanks for commenting! I stop watching ATK midway too.

      3 recaps?! LOL.

      July 10, 2012

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