[bnt interview] Yeon Jung Hoon, Venturing Into Hollywood With Jackie Chan and Fan Bing Bing
[by Hong Ji Hye, translated by Sora Ghim, photo by Choi Seung Kwang] Yeon Jung Hoon is reputedly an actor attracts attention.
Nine years ago, he gained many enemies for his sudden marriage announcement to the beautiful Han Ga In, shattering many men’s’ fantasy. Recently, he participated in the Ferrari Challenge, showing a different side from his usual gentle image. He was rough while racing and even won first place. This time, he gained another title for his venture into Hollywood.
Starting from a minor role in SBS drama ‘Wave,’ he built up his acting career over the span of 16 years, coming to where he is now. He spoke strictly saying he is not an actor with his own color. However, that can be an advantage because he shows new sides of himself with each new character, breaking free of the image the public has set for him.
Now that he has some freedom to just stick with an image, he has a new goal of going into Hollywood. We listened to him speak about his acting career as he moves towards his new dream.
Entering Hollywood? “I didn’t prepare for it specially”
Even now, there are many actors who work day and night trying to go into Hollywood, but sorry to say, Yeon Jung Hoon beat the competing Asian actors and received a love call.
“Coincidentally, I heard news that they were looking for an actor that can speak English. I received an offer to audition and seeing that it was a chance to expand my acting career to another genre, I auditioned.”
The movie he is cast in is ‘Skiptrace’ about a Hong Kong detective (Jackie Chan) and an American gambler (Johnny Knoxville) who team up to save the detective’s niece (Fan Bing Bing) while battling criminals for an action film. Then what role is Yeon Jung Hoon? “I’m the axis of the evil organization.” He plays the character Wally on the side of the antagonist, giving a smile while speaking.
‘Skiptrace’ involves Jackie Chan and Fan Bing Bing, top Chinese and Hollywood stars for filming in various locations such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macao.
Yeon Jung Hoon already has experience acting with foreigners with Hong Kong drama ‘A Time of Love.’ This drama is separated into four different stories, each with different countries as its base, starting with Malaysia, then Singapore, Korea, and Japan. He acted with Hong Kong actress Linda Chung.
“That was a very unique experience. The entire staff was from Hong Kong and it was hard to understand each other, there were three languages being spoken (Korean, English, and Cantonese) in order to work with each other. According to Linda, our story had the highest viewer percentage so I am pleased.”
“I grew up watching Jackie Chan’s movies. His action is a definite but his passion for acting made me want to work with him at least once.” He expressed his anticipation for the movie because although it is co-produced by Hollywood, it is based in China and it is a new experience to film for this.
The character I am attached to the most is Do Yang from Jejungwon, “An antagonist with a reason is very charming”
He has a reputation for playing an antagonist, alongside Lee Yoo Ri of recently ended MBC drama ‘Here Comes Jang Bori.’ With his gentle image, he played the antagonist in SBS drama ‘Jejungwon.’ It was his first attempt at being the bad guy but he chose this character as the one he is most attached to.
“I had a lot of thoughts while acting in 2010. A lot of thoughts on ‘What is a perfect doctor?’ The character, Hwang Jung that Park Yong Woo played cared for each and every patient while I (Do Yang) was the type who would rather save 100 people than save just one.”
“Between the two, I’m still not sure which is right. That’s probably why I chose that drama? (laughs) Many medical dramas were popular but ‘Jejungwon’ was set in the Joseon period when Western medicine was first being introduced into Korea, and rather than honor and money, people were emphasized which is why I liked it more.”
“The ending where I had to throw away everything and accept the truth, left a strong impact on me. Near the end of the Joseon dynasty, the Japanese occupation was nearing and from a Korean perspective, doom was approaching. However, during that time Hwang Jung and Do Yang worked hard for the health of the citizens and it left an impression. Whether it’s because of that or not, that role is stuck in my head.”
The most difficult role? “Only people who had to seriously transform into a vampire knows”
OCN drama ‘Vampire Prosecutor,’ was a monumental work for Yeon Jung Hoon. Busy going across humans and vampires, he has set a name for himself as a ‘vampire.’
“I was a bit pressured to do well for the first real vampire genre in South Korea. But it was surprisingly very fun.”
“In particular, it was embarrassing to act someone transforming into a vampire in front of many people. Prior, those many actors who had to transform did it comically whereas I had to do it seriously, which made it more difficult. But whether it is because of this, it leaves a lasting memory. An investigation story is a very charming genre.”
“If I get stuck onto something, I follow it to the end” A natural adventurer
Besides acting, he gets a lot of attention for his hobbies. Last year, he won the grand prize at a Swedish Photography competition and this year he won in the Ferrari Challenge race for the Asian region.
He have never done something with a goal in mind. He blames it on his personality which has to see something through to the end and that whatever he does, he ends up having good results.
“It’s just a hobby. A hobby. I think it is good for an actor to experience various things. Before those things happen in a drama, it’s just a few things in my life I want to enjoy itself.”
He has hits with each drama he does, his good looks and overflowing talent, or his wife that the whole nation is envious of, and now entering Hollywood, he is as you say “A man who has everything.’
When asked about his normal healthcare routine, he said he doesn’t do any special care, which is different from the usual answer given by celebrities. You may think, is that possible, but it seems it can be a possibility for the ‘man who has everything.’
His desire as an actor to portray the same information in a new way
“As cultural industries continue to develop, I am glad that dynamic characters and different genres are being created. I have the desire to get out of this category and work with new writers who make fresh characters. Even in similar dramas or movies, I want to portray the character in my own way.”
No long is Yeon Jung Hoon someone’s wife or someone’s son, but an individual as he continues to strive towards making his own name in acting.
“A few years ago, my plans to go to Jakarta were canceled due to a huge flood. I still have a yearning memory that I couldn’t go see my fans then. From now on, I will greet my overseas fans with a good image.”
He doesn’t forget to thank his fans proving he is a polite gentleman, however the song he likes to sing at karaoke is G-Dragon’s songs, not forgetting to show that charming twist in personality. Now ‘Skiptrace’ is being tested on another level. As we hope success to his Hollywood venture, we anticipate the next keyword he will go towards. (photo by bntnews DB)
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Write: 2014-10-29 16:37:57 / Update: -1-11-30 00:00:00
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