Jang Dong Yoon – CINE21 No. 1089 Interview

I have a lot of interest in people – Solomon’s Perjury Jang Dong-yoon

He is the star who appears out of the blue. Jang Dong-yoon had his debut through the national news. Upon witnessing a robber holding a weapon in his hand while he was at a convenience store, Jang Dong-yoon reported the situation to the police as he acted like he was on the phone with a friend. He managed to apprehend the robber and received the Certificate of Courage, which led to him being interviewed for the news. “Since I don’t have any social media account, I didn’t know that it became a hot issue on the SNS, and I received lots of calls. Believe it or not, my current agency called me after watching me on the news. They asked whether I was interested in acting and a meeting was arranged for a proper discussion. At that time, I was preparing for job placement, so I gave it a long thought, and in the end, I decided to take on the challenge.”

Although he majored in Finance, Jang Dong-yoon said. “My original dream was to write poems.” He learned poetry writing from the creative writing academy for gifted students in Daegu’s Education Office, and with regard to his love for movies, he said, “I collected the movie posters from the local cinemas.” He even wrote a few scenarios himself. His own poems ‘The Broom’, ‘Sweet Potato Train and the Black Horse’, and ‘Looking at the Soles’ won the Participation Prize in the 18th Youth Sowol Poetry Prize; another of his self-composed poetry ‘The Canoe of Three Generations Goes to the Ground’ earned him the First Prize of the Youth Literary Prize in 7th Contemporary Award for Poetry section. “I haven’t had the chance to write a poem properly as I was studying Finance, but now that I have started acting, I get to start writing again. Whenever the idea comes to me, I will start writing at that moment, and I even use my handphone. It becomes a way of training my emotions so it also turns out to be a great help when it comes to acting. I have always wanted to have a collection of my poetry one day, so as my New Year resolution, I would like to prepare at least half of the content intended for the manuscript.”

The first role he took after debuting was Gom Gae-bal in the webdrama Game Development Girls, adapted from a webtoon of the same title. His character is a game developer who is honest and can’t seem to his awkwardness. “I thought that I could do it well when I memorized the script, but once we had the script reading session, I got so nervous that I couldn’t even think straight. Thankfully, the character itself was awkward and full of shyness, so it was like showing my own self. (laughs) Even my friends who watched the drama said, ‘Isn’t that you yourself?’” His second project is the currently airing Solomon’s Perjury, where he portrays the character Han Ji-hoon, a student acting as a defense attorney in the school trial. The character is a model student popular among his peers; he is the object of both admiration and envy for his kindness and humour. “The director really loved the character Kazuhiko Kanbara in the original work, so he told me to be as similar as possible to Kazuhiko. Hence, I used the original character as my source of reference. As I learn more about acting, I trained myself how to express the emotions as they were, but Han Ji-hoon is someone who has something to hide. He suppresses his emotions, and it is difficult as well as complicated to act out the character.”

On starting his career as an actor through an unexpected opportunity, Jang Dong-yoon said, “Since I already started acting through this opportunity, I want to get on acting diligently and slowly working my way up.” “The sweeper uncle, the workers operating the sweet potato cart and the tent bar, and the homeless people…all the poems I have written before were somehow related to people. I have a lot of interest in people. I want to be an actor who is familiar with the public and comfortable to be seen for a long time. I know that people might be prejudiced against me because of how I came to become an actor, and I think it is also because I haven’t had the opportunity to prove myself. I want to be a respectable actor despite being given the chance of fame in an unimaginable way.”

Common Questions
  1. Define yourself in one sentence: Someone who wants to be a man of decent character. It is a humane way of putting it. It’s not right if one loses the human qualities in acting.
  2. A director/actor you to work with: Song Kang-ho sunbaenim. I have always wanted to meet him once, even way before I decided to become an actor. I think that I would freeze on the spot if I ever happen to meet him. (laughs) I fell for him after watching Memories of Murder, but I think that he has shown his best acting yet through The Attorney.
  3. An exciting moment (during auditions, script reading sessions, on the filming sets, etc): It was during the second script reading session for Solomon’s Perjury. I didn’t have many lines in the first reading session, which covered the first two episodes, so I wasn’t nervous. However, there were lots of my lines in the third and fourth episodes, which was covered in the second reading session. It was like having your teachers staring at you and my face was burning. I was frozen at that moment, and it was probably so bad because everyone approached me after the session ended and gave me words of encouragement as well as advice. My tips to calm yourself when you feel agitated? I don’t have any. (laughs)
Filmography

Drama: 2016 – Solomon’s Perjury, Game Development Girls

©CINE21

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