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Choi Jin Hyuk Giveaway!

Update: Congratulations! The winners are Amelia, Awesomeduck, and Ivoire. I’ve sent emails to you guys so please make sure to check your inbox.

Yes. I am giving away Choi Jin Hyuk!

I kid, but hey, I can imagine he is mine to give away, right?

Back to serious business. I am offering two copies of the Korean fashion paperzine High Cut, which features hotness itself Choi Jin Hyuk. There are digital copies floating around but if you are like me and are currently feeling the Wol Ryung fever and want your grubby little hands on a tangible presence of papa gumiho, try your chance at a copy.

There are also pictures of Han Ye Seul and Daniel Henney in a suit in this issue of High Cut.

Just leave a comment as to why Choi Jin Hyuk puts fire to your loins was the hidden treasure of “Gu Family Book.” In other words, tell me why you loved the character of Wol Ryung. I’ll pick the best two answers and contact the winners through email. This giveaway runs till next week’s Friday, June 28.

ETA: I have obtained another copy! Now there are three copies to give away in total so I will pick three winners. End ETA.

Here are samples of the pictures in the High Cut.

choi jin hyuk high cut 3 choi jin hyuk high cut 2 choi jin hyuk high cut 1

I was very, very sad to see Wol Ryung leave the drama again. This week’s episode made me forgot for a while that Wol Ryung and Seo Hwa were not the main characters of the drama.

Also, I discovered that Choi Jin Hyuk has an awesome voice. Probably the best I have heard out of a singer. Apparently his version of “Best Wishes to You” aired in the drama before it was announced he was singing it. I couldn’t tell the difference at all because he sounded just as good as The One who sang the original version.

Choi Jin Hyuk- Best Wishes to You (“Gu Family Book” OST)

You can also watch this cute interview of Choi Jin Hyuk about singing the song. There are English subs available.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Issy #

    He was a hidden treasure because NO ONE ever thought of him to look this good in a sageuk if you have seen him in his previous works. He nailed this character when he was able to combine divine creature, evil demon, lover, animal nature, adorableness, coolness & hotness and even a father figure into one character called GumiHOT! ^^

    June 20, 2013
  2. Oh wow!!! I think I am hyperventilating right now!!! I think I would die from happiness if I were to obtain one of these copies. Oh please, please, please pick me?! 😉

    First off, I am so glad that this drama helped rocket Choi Jin Hyuk into fame as he hasn’t done his army service yet, and this will be so great for him. I think that I just loved the character of Wol Ryung so much because of the wonderful balance between completely vulnerable and harsh vengefulness that Choi Jin Hyuk was able to pull off. You could just feel every emotion through his eyes and face and body language. Omo! That little, sexy smirk he pulled off so well I think got my heart rate up EVERY TIME!!! (He also looks AMAZING all in black!) Another thing that I really loved about him was his voice – okay, if I am really honest, he is SO-HOTTE-I-COULD-HARDLY-BREATHE-WHEN-HE-CAME-ON-SCREEN, but for me it’s his voice that sends thrills through me, inside and out. I am in love with his voice. He needs to hurry up and record an audio book just so that I can listen to him speak all day long! He really did and continues to make my heart flutter – I don’t even know what I would do if I were to actually meet him in person, I think I would faint. Oh, he also seems like a wonderfully polite and gentlemanly person.

    p.s. If by any chance you don’t decide that my answer is the best 😉 – is there a way I could buy the issue? Do you know what the options are/if you could, and I could pay you via Paypal or something?
    p.p.s. Thanks so much for doing this giveaway! You’re the best^^

    June 20, 2013
    • joonni #

      Sorry dewaanifordrama, but my the time I bought my copies, most stores were running out. I bought the last copy at my local store. 😦

      July 11, 2013
      • No worries 🙂 Such is life. I hope you are doing well, and settling in with all the craziness of the move.

        July 11, 2013
  3. WendyM #

    Nice voice indeed. Noticed his voice in Panda and Hedgehog but as Wol Ryung that Choi Jin Hyuk voice comes out 10X sexier. Thanks for the pictures!

    June 20, 2013
  4. Choi Jin Hyuk was the hidden treasure of Gu Family Book because he played both his characters to a T. His fun loving, tender, loving, caring human side and protective, fierce Gumiho were a joy to watch. Even though he hadn’t had time to get into the role he played it well. What can I say about the sexy bad ass 1000 year demon. Those evil but sexy smirks, those expressions for anger, fear, rage, confusion and just pure evilness I cannot see anyone else do it. His acting in this was amazing and that makes me the hidden treasure of Gu Family Book…

    June 20, 2013
  5. minozlove #

    Hi Joonni, this is not for the drawing, I am just saying to the universe, GIVE HIM TO ME…… 🙂 🙂 🙂

    June 20, 2013
    • raindrops1 #

      @minozlove, you know what they say for things to come true you have say want you want. I see that you have taken the first step. 😉

      This is not for the drawwing, joonni but in short (and very superficial) answer just look at him. He (his character) was the first thing that pulled viewers to the drama.

      June 25, 2013
  6. deels #

    Hi Joonni & fellow CJH fan 😀 I am not here for the giveaway, just to jump on the bandwagon of CJH ooglingness!n For what it’s worth, I think he’s the hidden treasure (I can’t say put fire to my loins as hubby will kill me!! He’s already insanely jealous when I watch all the WR scenes quietly with a permanent smile on my face!) of “Gu Family Book” for oh man, there are so many reasons!! The first 2 episodes he was in, made me realised – 1)Dang, I didn’t know a man can look so hot with ponytail!!! 2)I never knew a deep manly voice can melt my insides like CJH’s voice did!! He also made me forget (countless times I’m telling you), that the main actor for this drama is LSG. When I see CJH all else were forgotten. His expressions, his eyes, his voice, his cute mannerisms, his manly persona, shall I go on??? I think he should be arrested just for being so darn handsome!!! I was soooo impatient to see him return but luckily I still enjoyed the rest of the drama. All these, is just from the first 2 episodes. But when he returned as the Demon, ooh la la! I never paid attention to any man’s waist before (except my hubby’s of course :p) but when WR returned as Demon in black to boot, my attention was drawn to his waist. How can that costume look so good on a demon… Then his (what I will from now on call his trademark demon smirk) killer smile… from a manly/puppyish/excitable/curious/in love/heartbroken Gumiho he transformed just like that to one hot sizzling papa Gumiho turn Demon with smoldering looks and sigh.. rawr!!! I cried when WR cried, I smiled when he smiled. When he growled, I want to join in & whack some baddies next to him too!!! He’s a damn fine actor. For a 2nd lead to make me forget the main lead whenever he graces the screen, is a feat not very easily achieved methinks 😀 I’m glad I’ve watched him in Panda&Hedgehog & I Need Romance. Now knowing how good he looks in sageuk dramas, I look forward to more of his acting! 🙂 Okay, end of fangirling. My heart, will now slowly return to normal.

    June 21, 2013
  7. Amelia #

    I loved Choi Jinhyuk as Wolryung because his acting made his love for Seohwa so real and heartbreaking. The portrayal of Wolryung’s innocence in the beginning contrasted so well with the angry and hurt demon Wolryung that you just couldn’t help but root for him no matter what he did (including sucking the life out of many people!). The fact that they still couldn’t get their happily ever after because of the mistakes they’d made back then made the final farewell so so beautiful, painful and tragic. I bawled my eyes out with Seohwa’s heartfelt farewell and when Wolryung just gave up living in the end to be with his live forever.

    It also doesn’t help when Choi Jinhyuk looks sooooo gorgeous in saeguk gear and has an awesome sexy voice to boot! To me, his and Seohwa’s love story is the main loveline in the drama for me:)

    June 21, 2013
  8. Awesomeduck #

    Hi Joonni

    Hope you are doing well. Here’s our combined views about Papa Gu and why we love him so much.

    It’s not the sack of peaches, the tree of flowers, the bag of butterflies, the romantic moonlight garden, the sexy voice, the beautiful background that we love Gu Wol Ryung but his undying and unchanging love for SeoHwa.

    It was cute to watch a 1000year old gumiho fall in love for the first time. He protected and did everything for her because that was what his hearted wanted. The lonely soul found his one true love, only to be betrayed because he wasn’t being completely honest with her and she was too young, immature and scared to accept him for who he is.

    Even after being betrayed by her he would rather become a thousand year monster than stab her through the heart. After 20years as a demon he still remembers her voice and how she calls out to him “Wol Ryung”. He took a bullet for her because deep down that was what his heart wanted. He shed tears of happiness after recognising who she was and simply said “I missed you so much”

    In the end WR held his beloved SH in his arms and said the following words that many humans cannot say or do to someone who once stabbed them in the back.
    “I never hated you; I only missed you so much”
    “I never blamed you; I only loved you so much”

    The character WR taught us that we should not judge a book by its cover and prejudice others due to our own fears. Even though according to human eyes WR was “a monster” he serves as a symbol to the human race that being human doesn’t necessarily make one pure and innocent and being a divine creature doesn’t necessarily make one a monster. Even when WR turned into a demon he was still fighting and holding onto good memories to keep him from slipping further into darkness. He cried out for help, for someone to stop him.

    His character taught us that in life people are never entirely good or bad and that we all consist of goodness and evil. We are driven to do what we do depending on what life throws at us. Even a demon can find it in his heart to forgive and love a woman who caused his death, so in relative to the human race, we are all essentially able to find goodness in evil, to forgive and love.

    CJH with his amazing voice and acting brought the character WR to life and left us with so much emotions and feels.

    WR and SH for eternity and rebirth!!!!!!!! CJH forever!!!!!!!!!!

    Soompi Faithlings

    June 22, 2013
  9. OMG he looks soo HOT!! I wish I could get a copy *drools* of the magazine. To be honest, Gu Family Book is the drama that brought to such a Heavenly like man. He’s cute, that gaze of his makes me weak. I love him!!

    June 24, 2013
  10. Pam #

    WR was definitely the main attraction of GFB. And now that the sucky ending has aired, we can definitely say that WR was the only redeeming quality of the show. Sorry, guys…the ending didn’t go well with me.

    I’ve loved CJH since he played the second male lead in I Need Romance! *Swoons He’s finally getting the break through he deserved in GFB! Why is he so hot? Have you seen his stare? *Melting There’s something about his voice too…he looks like a pretty boy but when he speaks, his voice is deep and soulful and sexy, which matches his badazz WR character perfectly!!!

    Thanks to Joonni for recapping the first half of and thanks to Softy for her live recapping of the last half…all the way to the crazy ending! Love you two! Can’t waif for Heirs to air…LOL!!!

    June 25, 2013
  11. Kandiboo #

    Just listening to CJH’s voice (as WR) in the soundtrack release was enough bait for me watch GFH. His manliness is such a big contrast to the current mass of flower boy actors and I literally shuddered when his lines came up in the song.

    The combo of the deep sexy baritone (CJH), the protectiveness of WR and his Cheshire-cat/eye smile – totally makes the perfect non-existent man! Roarrrrrrr! (I am desperately trying to refrain from X-rated comments here)

    I must remember that his royal hotness is completely fictional and is in existence in the supernatural world only. In the real world, my hubs wins. 😛

    June 27, 2013
  12. I don’t know if I will win one of the magazines, and it is OK if I don’t. I am sure that the many readers of this blog had wonderful things to say and write. I decided that I would not focused so much on that as I would let my heart and my eyes speak about what I observed and sensed about CJH, his portrayal of WR and how he made me understand his character/personality as a result of his portrayal. I understood the question to have two parts, and I wrote my comment in such a manner.


    How does one not fall in love with WR? I think I did when I saw him watching SH, her brother and her maidservant being brought to the gisaeng house. I might not have been in love right away, however I was definitely paying attention. WR, when he was on the screen, had a presence that I could not ignore. Yes, he was hot, but hot to me does not only mean being attractive to the eyes. There has to be more. There has to be something below the surface, and WR had that.

    As I watched WR in the first two episodes of GFB, I found him to be observant, caring, gentle, tender, protective, nurturing and willing to sacrifice for the woman he loved. He was even willing to sacrifice his life and in so doing, change the course of his destiny. WR fell in love with SH at first sight, and I loved watching him fall in love and become enraptured by SH. I was sucked into the way WR’s life changed in the course of two short episodes, and how he was when he came back at the end of episode 12, as well as the being he had become, as a result of SH betraying him.

    Having lived alone for 1,000 years, WR was ready to shed his life of solitude and loneliness to be with SH, and he expressed that desire to SJ (the monk). It was interesting to me to see how curious he was about her, when he noticed that she had been taken away from the tree of shame (shown by the way he was wistfully looking at the ropes in the Moonlight Garden). The next day, WR, who had protected the mountains for 1,000 years could not suppress his urge to rescue SH, when she was in danger and was about to kill herself. I loved that scene, when she fell into his arms and he caught her and rescued her. We then saw how powerful and strong WR was, when he scared the villagers away and fought those who stayed.

    The second episode made me feel about WR the way he might have felt about SH: curious at first, and quickly falling in love with him. Was that where I would have to go? To the Jiri Mountain to find me a gumiho who would love me the way WR loved SH? I loved seeing WR still totally smitten with SH, three months after their wedding (and now I want to go rewatch that scene). To please his wife, he would eat her bad cooking and not complain, he was extremely protective of her, not wanting her to venture outside of Moonlight Garden without him, since she was a runaway slave and a gisaeng. He also protected her emotions, lying to her when he found out that her brother had been killed.

    WR’s dilemma and mental struggle when he and SH got caught in the woods, and his decision to fight to save her, thus revealing his true self were hard to watch. I felt for him. His shame and regrets, once they were in the Moonlight Garden were painful to watch as well. SH, being as young as she was, could not handle all those revelations, and the ones that JGW twisted and told her later. That was too much to bear, so she betrayed WR and the look of hurt and pain on his face when he realized that, were heartbreaking. WR was slashed and he vanished. Their beginning was sad, yet beautiful.

    WR came back at the end of episode 12. This time he was a demon, who had lost his memory and was bent on destruction, including SH, KC and the many town people whose lives he took away, until he decided to “sleep eternally.” During that time, I had mixed feelings about WR. I didn’t like that he wanted to destroy everything associated to SH, and that included KC and YW. I empathized with him, when he struggled to hang on to his memories, knowing that when he totally lost them he would have lost the tiny little shred of humanity left in him. I was anxious when he would fight with KC, and I cheered when he warned KC about humans, showing that he actually cared about his son’s fate, though his intentions were misguided and the way he showed his care was counterproductive.

    I felt relieved to see that WR still had some shreds of humanity that he was trying really hard to hang on to, as destructive and a murderer as he still was. WR worried me when he “played” with YW, telling her half truths and twisting them enough to create doubt in YW’s mind. I was relieved and I rejoiced when he actually saved SH from JGW’s gun, showing that he still cared about her, and probably still loved her. The way he cradled SH in his arms after being shot, reminded me of who he used to be, before he turned into a demon.

    When WR came back as a demon, he went from wanting to destroy everything, to warning his son about humans, to struggling to keep a shred of humanity, to meeting SH again and realizing that he still cared about her (taking a bullet for her), to sharing words of wisdom with his son, to choosing to be with SH eternally (after she killed herself). The development of his journey was poignant (for me) and I enjoyed watching it. I appreciated how things came full circle: SH’s painful sacrifice, WR’s grief, WR changing back to a divine (good) creature, his brief encounter with KC, and his lying down next to his beloved, for eternity.

    Why did I love WR? Because I believed who he showed he was, throughout the drama and I felt it as well. I believed him when he was vulnerable, innocent, protective and in love in the first two episodes. I believed him when he felt betrayed and hurt, when he found out what SH had done. I also believed that he meant well when he lied to SH, not revealing who he really was, and when he lied about her brother and about her maidservant (being alive and doing well). I believed the pain he went through emotionally and mentally when he came back as a demon, struggling to not totally succumb to his evil desires (though he did kill a lot of people).


    In GFB, CJH (as WR) had me at the scene in the forest, when he watched SH, her brother and her maidservant being brought to the gisaeng house. CJH totally made the character of WR, down to his mannerisms, his voice and the emotions he portrayed on his face and in his eyes. I had seen CJH in I Need Romance, and my first thought when I saw him in GFB, was that he had matured (in a very good way) since then, and it was evident on his face.

    This is an instance for me of an actor who was cast well for a role. Like LMH did for GJP in BOF, and LSG did for Lee Jae-ha in The King 2 Hearts, CJH created WR, and I cannot think of another actor playing that role. I feel that some characters are created and made memorable by the actor or actress who is interpreting what the writer wrote, and some characters, (who exist or have existed in real life), are well acted, down to the minute details. Watching CJH playing WR reminded me of Morgan Freeman playing former South African president Nelson Mandela in the movie “Invictus”. Freeman had Mandela’s voice and mannerisms to a T, and I could see what great acting looked like. I was sucked into his portrayal of this historical figure, and I believed (during that movie), that he was Nelson Mandela. CJH in his portrayal of WR reminded me of Jack Nicholson, who in my opinion is always good in his roles and knows how to become the character, (the movie “A Few Good Men” comes to my mind). CJH, in portraying WR gave me the same feeling. It was in the way he talked, the sounds he made when he talked (onomatopoeias), the way he stood, his purple lipstick in the night scenes (different from his pastel lipstick during the day) which matched his clothes, the way he ran, his VOICE, his smile and smirks, the wrinkles around his eyes when he smiled (which gave a feel of having some life experience and which I find charming, personally), etc… that gave me the impression that WR actually existed. WR (through CJH), had a presence when he came on the screen, and he felt real. I kept wondering if all of it was written on the page or if CJH simply created some of it (I lean towards #2).

    To me, an actor/actress has done a really great job portraying a character when s/he makes it look effortless and easy. It isn’t until I read some thoughts by said actor/actress where they share how much they struggle, that I am actually reminded of how much work and how challenging acting is. CJH gave some interviews in which he talked about losing his hair and wanting to quit the drama (while filming the first two episodes), because he felt (so much) the pressure to start the drama on a high note. I would have never imagined that CJH had struggled so much (and worried so much as well) to do justice to the role, if I had not read that interview. It made me appreciate his hard work and dedication to his craft that much more.

    Another example of CJH’s excellent performance for me was the fact that his “cheesy” lines did not feel cheesy at all. When he took SH to see the Moonlight Garden area from the top of the mountain, and he told her that she was beautiful (and some other things), he looked and felt sincere (LSG said in an interview that those lines are not easy to say in front of the crew, while filming). WR’s vulnerability, sincerity, gentleness, and love for SH felt organic and fluid to me. Later on, when WR became a demon, and he was angry, hurt, dangerous and yes, sexy, I believed those as well.

    Whenever I see kissing scenes in a movie or in a drama, I always tend to pay attention to how they come across. I think the kissing scenes have to do with how the writer writes them, and what the director expects. However I also do feel that kissing scenes also have some of the actor/actress personality (how they would/might kiss in real life). I personally liked WR’s kissing scenes more than KC’s two minutes kissing scene. I thought WR’s kiss was more fitting to a sageuk, and it was to me a continuation of his personality, when he was in love. I really loved the way he kissed her (all three kisses). I liked how he approached her (I always pay attention to how the kiss starts). WR’s kissing was just like him, soft (at first), gentle, tender yet very sensual. It was not an “in your face” kind of kissing and it was fitting to who WR and SH were, and to where they were in their relationship (they fell in love quickly and married quickly as well). The kissing in the Moonlight Garden cave (the last one) gave me the impression that though WR was gentle, he was going to be an affectionate and attentive lover (physically), and that passion would also be a part of it. What I loved was that I didn’t need to see all of it, it was indicated to me. I could imagine WR being like that, and I loved that certain things could just be left to the imagination.

    When watching a drama, the details are what I am drawn to. In this drama, there were so many details that caught my attention, and that I simply loved. Some of them were the way WR caressed the cords used to tie SH, when he didn’t know she was in the gisaeng house. The way WR looked at his hand (when SH touched him, after he brought some food in the cave), and then he slowly looked up at her (that look) as if he was saying, “you …touched me? And I felt some electricity, the attraction” (this is four minutes into episode two). There was the way WR looked at SH after he took her on top of the mountain, how conflicted he looked after he lied to her about her brother and maidservant, the way he asked her to marry him (three times), the way he kissed her on her forehead when they were being chased (I love forehead kisses), the way he cradled her head when he held her, in the forest and after he took the bullet for her (when he was a demon and they were hugging), his laugh (and chuckles) when he would talk to the monk or to SH. I loved the scene when WR is in the library with SJ (second episode) and they are looking for the rules to get the Gu Family Book. 14 minutes and around 17 seconds in (or so), WR makes a sound that I just love. It’s after he has explained to SJ that living 1,000 years as a divine creature was really lonely, and that sound seems to say, “you really don’t know [how that feels].” WR does the same thing again (a sound) at about 15 minutes and 20 seconds in, to urge SJ to read the book he is holding (or something like that). It’s also the way WR curled his mouth (upper lip, on the side) when he says “aishhh (spelling)”. So the reason why I mentioned some of those details is because I would find it hard to believe that the writer actually thought of such details, and I think that those details about WR’s personality and mannerisms were made .by CJH. I did feel that they were an intrinsic part of who WR was, however, and that to me is an indication of CJH loosing himself (disappearing) in the role.

    By now, it should be no wonder or guesses how much I loved WR and CJH’s portrayal of KC’s dad. I believe that I feel that way because CJH excelled at fleshing WR out, giving him meaning and depth and being nuanced when he needed to be. I felt that I could see WR’s heart and that WR’s eyes were his window to his soul, as the saying goes. I do not speak Korean and I understand only a tiny bit of it, however I was always able to see WR’s emotions on his face, because of CJH’s acting .A powerful scene for example, was when WR looked at SH with hurt on his face and in his eyes, as he said, “I loved you, I really loved you,” before he was slashed (that whole scene by the river was really well acted. It was in episode two). .And when WR was a demon, I could see his anguish, his despair, his struggles and the shades of gray that existed within him.

    This was a very long essay, and I hope that I was able to convey what WR and what CJH meant for me, as I discovered and enjoyed both while watching GFB. I loved CJH’s interpretation of WR, which I found to be very organic. I also thought that CJH had great chemistry with all his fellow actors and actresses in the drama and he gave an all around excellent performance. Watching CJH act in this drama for me was equivalent to having my favorite dessert: I didn’t want it to end, I felt that I could have watched him act in every episode. I feel that CJH deserves all the accolades he gets, and I am grateful that I had such a great experience watching GFB, and that was in great part because of WR and CJH.

    June 29, 2013

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