With the upcoming Korean remake of the Taiwanese Drama Fated to Love You beginning July 2nd, I thought this might be a good time to write a Jang Hyuk’s Stalkers Guide. There have been a lot of mixed feelings online about him playing the male lead in this upcoming Romantic Comedy. For anyone not very familiar with him, for the skeptics and for any fans that may have doubt about his ability to successfully pull off another Rom Com (yes, it’s really not his first), I want to give you some hope and reassurance.
I discovered Jang Hyuk this past winter and have been watching his movies and dramas with a find tooth comb ever since. I can’t claim to have seen everything he has been in (yet), but I’ve seen a lot. I hope this stalker’s guide finds itself insightful and perhaps broadens your opinion of his abilities as an actor.
Everything of course is my opinion, so feel free to add any (respectful) comments.
Here are some questions people may have
Can he be successful in a Romantic Comedy? Why Yes! Is he too old to play a lead in a Rom Com? Of Course not! No! Can he be as sexy as the younger, very popular Hallyu stars? Yes, Indeed!
Some of Jang Hyuk’s best physical features
So yes, I love his acting, but (ahem), I do enjoy some of his handsome physical attributes as well. Here are a few before I delve into his strengths as an actor.
- He has killer abs
- Chiseled face and jawline
- Expressive Eyes
- Perfect nose
- Muscular back
- Looks splendid with and without facial hair (but i love him especially with facial hair)
- He has a very attractive beauty mark on his neck
What really drew me into Jang Hyuk as an actor, is his incredible acting range. I feel he’s also up to any challenge, and isn’t satisfied sticking only to one particular genre. He appears to be an individual that likes a challenge and really respects the art of acting. He not only plays a part, he becomes the character he is portraying.
Here are some examples of areas I feel he excels:
- Ability to cry in different ways
- Can play layered characters very well
- Is able to play the villain or hero
- Strong presence as a male romantic lead
- Brings a character to life
- Expressive through movement
- Brings more to a role than is scripted
- Let’s just say, extreme versatility
A few Acting Traits
Every actor has certain trademarks that add to their persona. From watching so many of his projects, here are some observations I have made with a little help from Drama Fan.
- Bulgy eyes when he’s mad (especially apparent in his earlier work)
- Has a cute smirk
- Intense stare
- Dorky laugh
Jang Hyuk Movies and Dramas
Now, I’ve highlighted some of my favorite Jang Hyuk projects and broken up his movies and dramas into categories to make it easier to find Jang Hyuk in a specific genre that you may enjoy.
Jang Hyuk and Melodrama/Romance
Thank You – Drama
Character: Dr. Min
Thank you was the first drama I watched Jang Hyuk in and fell in love with. I’m pretty sure I actually started adoring him solely based on the screenshots I saw. Then when I saw the drama, I was blowned away by his manliness, bluntness and caring nature. He can come across as very “rough” but really he has a good heart. This drama is so beautiful. The subject matter may sound intense (a little girl diagnosed with HIV/AIDS) , but it’s laced with heartfelt humor and love.
Robber – Drama
Character: Oh Joon
Robber, in my opinion is an extremely underrated drama. It’s honestly one of my favorite Romantic Melodramas. What’s great about Jang Hyuk’s character in Robber is his transformation. We get to see two very different characters, yet the transition occurs in a way that is believable and acceptable. I also thought he was really quite funny in this drama. His character is frankly, kind of weird, but still charming (and infuriating).
Tazza – Drama
Tazza is a fun melodramatic drama. It brings you along Go-ni’s journey of revenge as he becomes more and more skilled at Go-Stop (Korean card game). I loved the OST and the super intense card games. The relationships are often complicated. Watching Go-ni hit rock bottom then try to climb his way back up is thrilling in itself.
Jang Hyuk Sageuk (Historical)
Jang Hyuk really shines in historical dramas. Two of my favorite Jang Hyuk performances are Sageuk.
Chuno / The Slave Hunters – Drama
Chuno is a drama that revived my inner acting instinct. My favorite Jang Hyuk character is (no doubt about it) Daegil from Chuno. Daegil stole my heart, reminded me the beauty of love and caused my heart to bleed out in agony with him. I cannot yet rewatch this drama as it still effects me emotionally in such a deep way. If I look at Daegil, or listen to the OST the memories of the drama come rushing back and my eyes begin the well up with tears. If it was up to me, everyone would give this drama a try. The acting is Oscar worthy. Seriously. I’m not kidding. Someone please just give this man an Oscar.
Oh, and how can I not mention Jang Hyuk’s mad martial arts skills in this drama? He has super cool action scenes. His character breathes through every movement. I highly recommend this drama.
Tree With Deep Roots – Drama
I love Ddolbock. He’s had a hard life, but never loses his spunk and stubborn nature. He’s beautiful in and out and highly intelligent. The drama will appealing to the intellectual minded. It has a great twist.
Daemang / Great Ambition – Drama
Character: Park Jae-Young
Daemang is on my watchlist, so I’ve included this excerpt from Drama Fan’s Review: Daemang has its dose of drama but it is not overly melodramatic. It has a lot of humorous moments and it is first and foremost an endearing story, full of likable characters and a lot of heart.
Jang Hyuk and Rom Com
Rom Com isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Jang Hyuk, but he has performed in romantic comedies before.
Successful Story of a Bright Girl – Drama
If you are planning to watch the Korean Version of Fated to Love You, you may want to check out this drama. Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara first acted together is this drama. It’s cute, and he really pulls off the whole Jerk Chaebol before the whole concept was even really popular back in 2002.
Please Teach Me English – Movie
Character: Park Moon-Soo
This movie is really silly, and that’s what I liked about it. Jang Hyuk was cracking me up. It’s very sweet.
Windstruck – Movie
Character: Ko Myung-Woo
Okay, not really a Rom Com. It’s starts out really funny but then becomes very emotional. I had trouble formulated my thoughts. Drama Fan summed it up nicely: It’s a rare chance to see Jang Hyuk be super sweet and romantic as well. The movie is charming. Jun Ji-hyun and Jang Hyuk have great chemistry. We don’t usually ever see Hyukie as a doormat. I loved the OST. It makes me cry. I actually felt that movie. It has cool cameos. Same director of My Sassy Girl which is a classic.
So, yes, Jang Hyuk has been in romantic comedies. Rest assured, he can do Rom Com.
Jang Hyuk and Psychological
Searching for the Elephant – Movie
This movie is out there so I can’t expect everyone to like it; but it was right down my alley. I love psycho-weird stuff. So Hyun-Woo is a schizophrenic, pot smoking, alcoholic (or something like that). He describes himself as Manic Depressive, but he clearly sees things that aren’t there. Getting into Hyun-Woo’s head was frightening. His reality is dark, lonely and very scary. But his heart is so beautiful. He’s a lost soul searching for purpose in life; looking for happiness and peace. This is probably my second favorite Jang Hyuk character. Flawless acting. Bravo.
The Client – Movie
Character: Han Chul-Min
The question is whether or not he murdered his wife. A very complicated character. He was difficult to read, which was the whole point.
Jang Hyuk Steamy Romance
If you want a little bit of sexy in your movie, I would suggest watching Innocent Thing (Thorn) and Five Senses of Eros. Searching for the Elephant also had some very provocative scenes.
Innocent Thing / Thorn – Movie
The movie can be a bit all over the place, but the pure sexual pull of Junki cannot be denied. There are some very sensual scenes that seem a little too real… To be honest, the bedroom scenes felt so real I felt like I was invading the actors privacy by watching. But I kept watching of course!
Five Senses of Eros – Movie
Character: Jung Min-Soo (segment “His Concern”)
This movie is broken into several short stories. I was only interested in the first one with Jang Hyuk. He meets this woman at the train station and they have a “connection”. His narrative is really good and they share a night of passion.
Slower paced Movies
Maybe / Rabbit and Lizard – Movie
Because the movie is slow, it allows viewers to appreciate the acting more. Jang Hyuk’s character has a terminal illness. The pain he invokes can make you feel a little skirmish. I really don’t like seeing him in pain because he acts it out so well.
Dance of the Dragon – Movie
This wasn’t my favorite movie but it’s worth mentioning because Jang Hyuk plays someone who wants to be a professional ballroom dancer. For that alone it’s worth watching. It’s so very different than any other character he has played, and he succeeds. He’s delicate and graceful.
So I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Here are some other movies and dramas that you may want to investigate yourself. If your looking for another drama, maybe try Midas and for a Movie The Flu (pictured below).
- The Flu
- Iris 2
- S Diary (cameo)
- Public Toilet
- Volcano High
- The Best (1998)
- My Sassy Girl (cameo)
- Wang Rung’s Land
- Into the Sunlight (1999)
- Love You and Love You (1998)
- Model (1997)
- Ai Shang Nu Zhu Bo
- Jungle Juice
Jang Hyuk as himself
Jang Hyuk is equally fun to watch when he plays himself. I recommend you check out some of the shows below.
- Running Man (episodes 44-45)
- Real Men
- Win Win
- SNL Korea
- Healing Camp
- Family Outing
By reading blogs, speaking with fans, and watching some of his other appearances, I have learned a few interesting facts about Jang Hyuk.
- He was once known as the rapper TJ
- He likes to sing “Creep by Radiohead” when he’s out with his friends
- He’s not much of a drinker
- He’s responsible for taking care of the Recycling when he’s home. He has a system (don’t mess with the system people)
- He can cook a fierce hot dog
- He’s skilled in Jeet Kune Do and Taekwondo.
Fated To Love You (MBC / July 2014)
Character: Lee Gun
It’s really exciting for me to watch the reunion of these two actors. I’m going to be watching this drama on Viki. I also planned on reviewing and discussing each episode.
The Age of Innocence (2014) – Movie
Great Blogs for more information of Jang Hyuk
Well, I hope you enjoyed this stalker’s guide. I’d love to here your thoughts.