Sunday, January 3, 2016

[STARNEWS Exclusive] Jang Keun Suk "I was an alien" - Full translation

Source: 16.01.01 JKSLAND Korean Translation 
Original source:
Translator: Charlene Lam, Min Young Kim   (TEF)
Edited by: Lola Devung (TEF)
Proofed Fenny Setiawan (TEF)

"Yanghwa Bridge" is partly my song. Dad worked as a driver, my mother worked as dishwasher before. For their son, they moved from Jecheon bringing only 200,000 KRW and arrived in Seoul. So I have to make money, not only in order to guard my family, but also to bring my family happiness."

Originally I thought Jang Keun Suk was a very glamorous person. Searching for him online, some words like “super race car”, “property” will always be found.

He even has the gorgeous title of “Asia Prince”. Last year, Jang Keun Suk had a difficult year. Participating in the tvN variety show "Three Meals a Day" yet he was sadly "deleted from the entire contents ". This was because of the "tax" issue. Although it was the company's failure, but the world criticized him.

Last year, Jang Keun Suk spent his time as a student. He obtained a master’s degree (Hanyang University Department of Theater and Movie). He said: "Physically and spiritually, I find it the most comfortable time while in school." 

During this period, Mnet invited him to host ‘Produce 101’. Jang Keun Suk turned the offer down because he needed to finish his studies. Mnet waited until he had holidays. He will not serve only as a host/ MC for this show, but also as a supervisor. This is similar to the "national producer" role. From a total of 101 participants, only 11 will get a chance to debut. 

"This is a very interesting job; teaching the kids, training them. I feel it’s a bit similar to the entertainment company. The kids call me "Representative Jang". Staffs also call me that, too. Of course, it is not for me to select the 11 finalists. It is selected by vote of the audience. In my life, one of the biggest goals is to train a little Asia Prince (Asia Prince Junior) or a little Asia Princess (Asia Princess junior). "In fact, through this program I have learned a lot. I met good mentors, learned how the whole system is set up and running. However, managing 101 people is too hard (laughs). " 

Jang Keun Suk said: "From a total of 101 participants, some have very striking potentials". He also said that some participants felt like they were very good, so they didn't work hard, which was a pity. He empathized when some fellow participants got low score at the evaluation and cried. “To see that kind of scene, I think of me as a child. When I was a child actor, I went to many casting and I did the same thing (crying when evaluation result was low). Though that did not determine my life, yet during that time as a child star, I thought the world had ended. It feels like I am watching my own children now." Then, Jang Keun Suk smiled. 

Jang Keun Suk debuted firstly in May 1992, as a model and first appeared on television screens in 1997. This year, it happens to be the 25th anniversary of his debut. He will turn 30 years old in Korean age this year.  

"Because I did not appear on television screens, so everyone thought I was hiding. In fact that particular time was the time in which I was not in a position to either defend or admit. Everyone would throw flying swords on to me, it made me panic. I can only work hard. A lot of people made fun of me that the show would only show my hair. I still haven’t watched "Three Meals a Day” that I participated in. I met Na Young Suk PD not long ago, he said, even though it would not be for the same program, he hoped that next time we can work together. I think the reason I have been able to persevere is because there are a lot of seniors who could understand my heart. " 

Jang Keun Suk said: "Master’s study taught me a lot," "people study together and there are a lot of people who are already professionals. Looking at them, although they have achieved much already,   they are still trying to develop themselves. I have been inspired a lot by this."

Jang Keun Suk said he paid the meals for others a lot in school, but not every time. Because, "I do not want others to be seen as an object of my good intentions", he will only pay when it’s needed. "I think, paying for their dinner is courtesy. However, it must be in the need of buying, paying for a good meal." 

He also said an interesting story. "I heard that the school often mentions my name. Whenever there are some bosses, or artists who do not go to school, I will be mentioned. They said if Jang Keun Suk can come to class, why can’t you? Ha ha ha."

He is not a student who will pay for dinner only. He also gives donations to the school regularly. Money donated by him has helped a lot of students complete their studies. He recently had a heartwarming experience. 

"Recently during a short movie filming, there were some staffs that came to find me. They did not explain the reason, instead, directly told me:" Brother, thank you." I asked them what it was for. Then they said "Brother, you helped me pay my tuition". At that time, the feeling was really wonderful. I did not even know them. But they completed their studies through my help, and even become the staff of the short movie. At that moment, I found out what philanthropy meant." 

Jang Keun Suk said: "Everyone says I am very rich, but in fact, I am not" "Now I have a total of 200 million KRW deposited in my account. And the car is also paid by installments." He also talked about the story of his own childhood. 

"Actually, I earned money initially for a living. When I came to Seoul, my parents only had 200,000 won with them. Mother raised me at Jecheon, but she didn’t want me to live my life like that, so we came to Seoul. "Yanghwa Bridge" is my story. My Dad was a taxi driver, my mother washed the dishes. No house, no money to buy uniforms. From that time to the following 10 years, our family's goal was money. It goes the same to me. At that time, I though that's the only way to guard my family; being filial to my parents. What is especially funny is that thinking about earning 100,000 would be all right, but when you earned 100 000, then you would say you wanted to earn 1 million. When you earned one million, you would say you wanted to earn 10 million. The desire is really endless. Living life like that, suddenly there was a moment that I thought it did not make much sense to earn so much money. " 

He went on to say what happened in school. 

"My classmates; some are working in this field (theater and movies), earning a salary of 600,000 KRW, but still pursuing their dreams. In reality, there are times when I feel undeserved compared to them. A lot of friends are good at learning. In order not to fall behind, I can only work harder. I cannot forever rely on the identity of a Hallyu star in life, right? The popularity of Hallyu stars is almost over. My goal is to help others. Just giving so much money or participating in activities, this kind of thing is not enough. I think training juniors will be more meaningful." 

Training juniors while also contributing to society, this is what the 30-year-old Jang Keun Suk wants to do inside his heart.
"Often, artists will secretly give donations. Like the "charity angel" way. However, I think there is a need to tell everybody, too. We help whenever we should make every effort to help. I believe that help is not defined by money only. You need to know what people need the most. During the earthquake in Japan, I asked what they needed the most and they said that it was very cold there. So, I immediately bought 15,000 blankets to send them. Giving them more important things than money, it should be timely and appropriate; this is the true sense of helping. People think that money can enhance human values, but in fact this is not the case. This is what I comprehend as a 30-year-old"

JKS’s 'latest work" was 2014 KBS 2 TV drama, "Beautiful Man." It’s been two years with no new work, he also knows it. He is passionate about his work. 

"As a Korean star, it’s equal to holding both a shield and a spear. As far as my work is concerned, it will certainly involve money. I think this phenomenon is caused by the current Korean crisis." An actor is “to play, therefore cannot pick up the calculator to calculate. Looking back over the past five years, during the filming of "You're Beautiful" we really focused on studying the script. But after that, because the amount involved was 10 billion each time, so simply there was no time to care so much. Although this is something that a capitalist society inevitably encounters, but as somebody who works in the culture field, I was actually shaken. Eventually, the reason is my own. When I was 25 -26, I was ‘Geun-chan’ in Japan, earning hundreds of millions a year, it was indeed blinded by money" 

When a reporter asked, "have you overcome that?” he said, "Japan is both a poison and the antidote." "My life has been very lonely; there is no way to tell anyone about my troubles." 

He further said he has no intention to enter China. "I do not have the ambition to enter China. I think China is still a too big market for me. Instead of appearing in China, in fact, appearing in Korea through my works to get everyone's approval will be relatively natural. I think this should not be too worrying. After all, we can't eat hot tofu impatiently" 

Jang Keun Suk said: "From the beginning of this year, I want to start the domestic activities formally" 

"I got a lot of love from people in Japan. I have also done a lot of LIVE performances. However, in terms of income, it’s actually not so much. To present everyone with a better stage, I have invested a lot to design the stage, too. In order not to disappoint everyone, I hope to be able to present the most perfect stage. In Korea, I very much hope that I can do all the works. Actually I expect quite highly. Ha ha ha. I hope to appear in good works that everyone loves". 

As a Korean star, Jang Keun Suk, the "Asia Prince" has been everyone's favorite. But, he talked about his "crisis", about what a change will bring.  

"I understand myself better than anyone else. What my weaknesses are, what kind of image will be my problem. I learn every day. I do not intend to be too close to other artists. Because when they are with me, they will get hurt (laughs). It will be a major problem when they are watching me, learning from me. It’s because this little rascal Jang Keun Suk doesn’t want to hurt them. Like what everyone sees, in this way, my character is relatively loose. I am relatively loose, yet not frivolous. I have my own way to deal with the crisis. Until now, I haven’t committed such scandalous things as being drunk, gambling or drugs. I am very careful not to do things that will likely hurt people. If there is no way to deal with it, I will turn to my managers for help" 

Jang Keun Suk thinks so far, in the past five years, that he has been an alien. He’s not Japanese, but not Korean either. Just keeping his long hair, is it a woman or a man? Is it "Geun-chan" or Jang Keun Suk? “Many times I would even be confused. When TV dramas were on air, the ratings were not high. I searched my name on naver, only "assets" would appear. Now my goal is very clear. Playing time is over. I also have done what I can do, so now it is time to be an actor. If I use Whiskey to describe my 20-year-old period, then it is the original whiskey. Now it is the time to put it inside the oak barrels to be fermented, even though we don’t know yet when it can be tasted. " 

Jang Keun Suk said that he does not like to date, but he wants to get married.

"Dating? Although I want to do it, I am too busy. Hanging out with friends will be better. My drama "Mary Stayed out All Night" has such a line. It's my remark to Moon Geun Young’s character," You cannot like me." I particularly like that line. I will say this to all women, and then everyone will look strangely at me. But I want to get married early. I want to have a family early. When I was little, in my memories our family of three was a very loving, very happy family. I want to be the head of the family and create the same happy memories. I’m done with playing. Nightclubs are too dangerous! " 

Jang Keun Suk said: "I recently have a friend that makes me feel not that lonely". He took the photograph out; it was his cat "Kiki". Because it loves to play, so it was given a name "Kiki" (it’s a Korean homonym). 

"It’s an Abyssinian cat breed, looks like a tiger (laughs). One day, I suddenly felt alone, thinking why not having a cat, then going to the pet shop, where I met this cat. Because there were too many cute cats, so I said, "kids, come here." At that time, only this cat did not come over. Very attractive. Although it is relatively arrogant, it is very attractive. She is a Female cat so whenever female friends came to my house, she would bite their feet then run away. My recent enjoyment in life is Kiki. She is very spoiled. We have a dog we keep at the company, called “Suni”, but because of Kiki, Suni’s popularity declined. Kiki is catching up." 

As an actor Jang Keun Suk has been recognized by everyone, but he still wants to make music as his "Artist Jang Keun Suk"’s dream. 

"Music has a good side. No time constraint. I can also write songs in the car. I can write a song even when I’m drunk. But for a drama, it involves staff, going to shoot the scenes, and then getting broadcasted on television. It requires those steps to get the result. Music, I can do it without rest and there is a charm to make people addicted to music. Music is my way out. Korean audience may not know much about my music, but in Japan, I am very focused on doing music; playing with the orchestra also EDM (electronic dance music)." 

Continuing the story of Japan 

"I will tell you the reason why I went to Japan. After I came to Seoul from Jecheon, my father was a taxi driver, my mother washed the dishes, and I did the underwear ads, but even like that we still had no money when I was in middle school. When I needed to select my study stream, Science or Language departments, in middle school, that whole year I thought about filling out the column. In middle school, I hated those students who used my underwear ad pictures to make fun of me. I would get mad at those kids, because they spent pocket money from their parents but they laughed at me who earned my own money. Anyway, when my mother tried to save money, I asked her to send me to England or to the United States to study. However, because my family circumstances did not permit, eventually we went to New Zealand." 

It was in the rural area. At that time our school had about five South Korean students. I spent more times with Japanese friends. I went there in order to learn English, but I eventually learned a lot of Japanese. I also learned Japanese culture and I was very interested in Takuya Kimura. The day before when I watched the video, he was a TV drama actor, but the day after he appeared in the variety show, and was a host. Seeing these, I really suffered from a culture shock. At that time, in Korea, it was still in the era when only actors would be doing acting and singers just singing. Ah, so you could do all these things at the same time in Japan. I decided that I must go to Japan within 10 years. I set myself a 10-year goal. I did not expect to reach it in nine years, to have the opportunity to perform at the Tokyo Dome. It was really overwhelming." 

He also disclosed the secret of becoming the "Asia Prince" in Japan. 

"Everyone thought I was famous with only one drama in Japan. Yes, it was the case. But I did a lot of preparation before going to Japan, too. I first went to Japan was I was 20 years old, with only 500,000 KRW. But then I could converse with the Japanese. That was the first time I went there. They were surprised. They would say: ‘Hey, he can speak Japanese’. I realized that after I went to Japan. Ah, you can do it if you are determined. Just work hard to achieve it. Ever since that time, I began to learn English, too. I feel like by doing that I can go to the United States. However, I will not go to the United States yet. I’d better focus on Asia now.  I have to make people think of Jang Keun Suk whenever they think of Asia. I would like to establish that ‘everyone thinks of me for Asia’ as the future strategy. " 

Jang Keun Suk said: "The next 10 year period is the time to restore my reputation", "The future goal is to put every effort to act." 

Jang Keun Suk also mentioned another goal: "Asia Prince junior" project. Through his own experience, he will personally train a new generation of Korean stars. 

"The next 10 years, there are about seven goals, one of which is looking for" Asia Prince junior ". Whether an actor, or singer, I hope to provide him with a smooth, comfortable path to walk through the road of opportunity. There are no conditions apply. As long as they try hard with the effort, walk through the road I have been through, carefully prepare and try to learn hard. If it is a singer, the person would likely to perform at my Japanese concert as an opening stage. If it is an actor, it is possible to appear together in the same work. I want to train a second Jang Keun Suk, a third Jang Keun Suk. "The Future of Asia" starts now." 

Zion. T: Yanghwa BRDG MV (English Subtitles) 

Lyrics with English Translation:



  1. Oh, JKS, I love and respect you even more after reading this article. I have liked you for many years. I listen to your music every day, I have your CD's, love your dramas and movies. You are just a beautiful person, so kind and caring and a very good son to your parents. How, I would love to meet you. You are really a wonderful person. I wish you much success, from USA have a wonderful, successful year. I will be watching and reading about you.

  2. All the best to you #JangKeunSuk Hope you succeed in all you ventures... Love you always!

  3. Success I look forward to it now transmitted in the article is the trowel there are now Jang struggling

  4. Thank you for sharing. This is very great article of JKS

  5. This is the best interview yet! Eels (and hopefully public, too) can see his points of views on a lot of aspects. He has been maturing a lot. He is sharp, determined, confident yet really humble. Humility is after all knowing what you can do while also keep reflecting and learning from others around you, too. Thank you for posting this translated article and thank you for the hard work. JKS and eels, zikzin always!

  6. Thank you for sharing this great interview with JKS because at this time I confirm my admiration to him, I just let this tough to him " Jang Keun Suk keep going with your dreams and goals don't care much about that heaters that will never will be pleased with anything or anyone, you're doing great and in the world are so many people like me that love your job and admire you as a person"

  7. I hope everything goes well for you .hid year.. nd u achieve your goals smoothly.. lots of love nd best wishes.

  8. Thanks for this hones auto-presentation !I used to respect JKS for his work,but now I'LL COME TO RESPE T HIM FOR HIS MATURITY AND STRENGHTS ! Good luck,JANG KEUN SUK ! <3

  9. Thanks for the translation,the interview is fantastic,i cried reading because i know how hard he worked all this years,i am proud and he have my respect by Esther Noloc.

  10. Way to go Jang Gun Suk! Looks like you have discovered your true self and developed your next stage in rooting yourself in the ground. You can do or become anything! Singer, Actor, Mentor, Friend, Son, lover, Father... In any particular order! Keep in mind, you'll be able to put all the pieces together in your 40's... Until then, you'll just collect data... Never fear in being an alien ��. Just remember, when others are looking for perfect puzzle piece to complete their picture... You're like Henri Matisse, you're creating your own from scratch! Zik Zin !!

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  12. Why does he says "bad reputation"? Why in the world would have have a bad reputation? You are wonderful, and have done everything right! We love you and respect you no matter what! You will achieve anything you want, I am happy to see you more mature. Oh need to eat healthier to be fitter but I still love you of course!

  13. I come from Viet Nam. I have just watched the film "you are beatiful" few days ago (today is 17/9/2017), i like you Jang Gean Suk :) hope you have more happies in your life :)


Thank you for sharing with us, Cri!