Tuesday, February 16, 2016

[Article] Conversations over Drinks (Part 2): Jang Keun Suk ‘Experiencing Success and Failure in Life Already’

Original Source: isplus.live.joins.com                            Conversations over Drinks (Part 1)
Japanese Translation: ameblo.jp
English Translation: Lola Devung
Proofreading: Fenny Setiawan

Reporter: You’re going to act in ‘Daebak’
JKS: “It is a work in which I’m going to risk my life as an actor. This is the first challenge of my being 30 years old. This work will determine whether I’m an entertainer or an actor.

Reporter: It seems like you are determined
JKS: “When people think of Jang Keun Suk, I don’t know if it’s good or bad; no hit projects despite the good acting. As an artist, I have done a lot; now it’s a chance for me to show my real worth”. 

Reporter: What has made you interested in ‘Daebak’?
JKS: “I have done romantic comedies and got no good results up until now. I haven’t found the answer yet when reading the script of ‘Daebak’. There are still many things I’m curious about and it makes me more interested (in the drama). It’s not a simple drama for an actor to act in. The character is not easy to play but it’s worth trying.” 

Reporter: It’s said to be the Joseon’s version of ‘All-In’ (*translator note: the 2003 hit drama starred Lee Byung Hun and Song Hye Kyo)
JKS: “Gambling has existed already since that period. It’s a story of people’s lives unfolded before the gambling table”

Reporter: Do you feel the pressure of being 30 years old?
JKS: “Everybody may feel the same about being 30 years old. But for me, I feel different as I have worked already since my early age, so it’s as if Ihad experienced the life of a 30 year-old already”.

Reporter: How do you feel about being 30 years old?
JKS: “People want to achieve a lot when they turn 30 years old, but I think I have already done those things. It’s now the time for me to start over again and it’s exciting”.

Reporter: Last year was a tough time for you
JKS: “Tough time… you know how I spent last year; however, I still felt good to get through the tough time. I was usually chased by time but last year I didn’t have to worry about myself or about what other people thought of me. I had time to do a self-reflection of my 20s.”

Reporter: How did you overcome the tough time?
JKS: “I let go of my status as an actor and went back to study (Hanyang University, Department of Film and Theater). I filmed movies with my classmates and collaborated for projects with my juniors.”

Reporter: You seem to have a great lovefor your school
JKS: “It’s the best way out for me to be myself, to be with my friends, juniors and teachers. This is the place where you can find me on my own without my managers around. Friends don’t feel uncomfortable with me and I can ask help from them for the things I don’t understand. I am also grateful for the strict criticisms I get from my teachers.”

Reporter: You have donated a lot (to the school)?
JKS: “It’s my love for the school. I think donations should be made with such enthusiasm. Usually people would be expected to donate silently but for me, it should be continuously done with determination and not only in the form of money. Such a mindset should be changed.” 

Reporter: You’ve also been directing some movie projects at the school
JKS: “I don’t think I’m that professional yet to understand the sentiment of a director. Even when I’m in the position of a director, I would still look at things from my perspectives as an actor. At the moment, I wish to return quickly to the scenes as an actor.” 

Reporter: This year you have debuted for 25 years.
JKS: “It’s not easy to reach this point. All this time, I haven’t taken a rest. I could not rest properly even if I wanted it. Last year was the first time I could do it. So, I’ve been constantly preparing myself for turning 30 years old.”  

Reporter: What have you gained and lost so far?
JKS: “I’ve experienced all success and failure. I think there’s not enough time yet in my career to assess this Actor named Jang Keun Suk, however, to me, the answers will be revealed by the recognition from the public. That will be my report card result for these 25 years.”

Reporter: When was your most successful time (in career)?
JKS: “The Tokyo Dome Performance back in 2011. When I was studying in New Zealand, I made friends with many Japanese students. Then I thought of being a popular Korean Star in Japan. I thought ‘I should be performing at Tokyo Dome in a 10-year time’ and I actually made it in eight years. After the performance, though, I started going downhill. It’s such an irony.”

Reporter: How was your feeling when performing at the Tokyo Dome?
JKS: “Two hours went by just like a dream. I was so immersed that I felt like I wasn’t even sure if I really did the performance or not. It’s not in Korea, but in Japan, I had 50,000 audiences watching me. It’s really once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Reporter: On the other hand, when did you feel like you hit your rock bottom? 
JKS: “Actually it’s very vague. There’s no standard for it. When people are frustrated and then suffer, they feel like it’s the worst time. But when they face another difficult situation, they will also feel like it’s the worst again. I’ve also been through repeated setbacks until now. I don’t know yet if I will face more difficult times in the future.” 



  1. Thanks so much for your translation of this amazing interview. He's so overwhelmingly honest in sharing his thoughts. From earlier interviews it's been clear that introspection and self-evaluation are built into his DNA, and to be able to read his own thoughts about his life's work is, to me, a privilege. I sometimes forget what it is about him that inspires me to try to keep 'moving forward' - this interview is the perfect reminder.
    Again, many thanks for the posting :)

  2. Thank you for the translation! I just have a couple of years following this amazing idol, every time that I see him I found a sincere person that works so hard to give his fans all his love and respect it makes me admire him more and more. So JKS keep strong and never let the haters take your energy.


Thank you for sharing with us, Cri!