From a media interview in December 2014.
I have excluded the parts which are similar to what has been translated previously.
Q. Looking at his age, Sang Hyun is still at his peak. So the talk is not about age.
Sang Hyun: Previously I had talked about having lower stamina due to age. It is really different between last year and this year and there were thoughts about being able to have kids. Previously I did not take health tonic but I have been taking them since the beginning of this year. During the filming of Gapdong, I had asked the senior actors how they managed their stamina. With age crossing above 4o, the body would undergo changes with the passing of each year and confidence would be much lower.
Q. Other actors who are older than him are still playing leading roles.
Would the 2nd generation be possible with lower stamina?
Sang Hyun: (laughs) They seem to have better stamina and it is different for each person. It is good that it’s noisy and though it would be difficult, I would like to have up to 3 kids. So I must take health tonic.
Q. ‘5 Siblings of Deoksuri’ is the second movie following ‘Tone Deaf Clinic’.
What is the reason for selecting this movie?
Sang Hyun: I was unaware that Director Cheon Hyeong Jun had turned up with the script and had asked me to read it. But the office did not want to do comedy and had wanted a change of style. Actually more than leading roles, there were many other supporting roles that I had wanted to do. ‘5 Siblings of Deoksuri’ is a comedy and the office had opposed as I had done many good-nature character roles in recent years.
Finally because of the director’s patience and determination, I accepted the script. It was a different comedy from ‘Tone Deaf Clinic’ and I really liked the title. I had become a fan of Song Sae Byeog since watching him in ‘The Servant’ and was thinking what if we could act together. The biggest reason is the title and next is Song Sae Byeog.
Q. Why is the title ‘5 Siblings of Deoksuri’?
Sang Hyun: I had read it as ‘5 Eagle (Doksuri) Siblings’. And looking at the scenario, I keep seeing it as ‘Deoksuri’. So looking at it again, it was ‘5 Siblings of Deoksuri’. From the title, the feeling is different from the others. The situation is funny and I was laughing aloud by myself.
Q. Describe in detail the kind of supporting role Sang Hyun would like to play.
Sang Hyun: The movie ‘Miracle on 1st Street’ was fun to watch and I would like a role like Im Chang Jung’s character in it. In ‘5 Siblings of Deoksuri’, the character of Dong Su did not like the brothers at first but they became close with time spent solving the case. I would like a role with a similar context. Usually also many types of gangsters can only be seen in movies.
Q. Nevertheless, the deliberate choice is a bit difficult to understand.
Sang Hyun: Actually the point is Song Sae Byeog is a major reason. I wanted to see how he acts in the scenes and his focus. And the thought that because the director had made a long preparation with consideration on the casting. There was a lot of attachment to the movie, with much of my own thinking, so I decided to do it because it was to my liking.
It was frustrating during filming. The character seems very stiff. If the change in tone is exaggerated, then he should not just be restrained. So when out of filming, there was a lot of grumbling that it seems exaggerated.
Q. Any feelings when watching the movie directly on screen?
Sang Hyun: Frankly I did not expect much during filming. Because of the director, filming was done perfectly and it could be finished quickly. So there were no worries. It was funny but I had wished it had a distinctive and unique charm. But after watching it, it came out better than I thought. The person’s own characteristic was clear. And finally when the songs came out, why was it so exciting. It was a strange feeling. And it seems fine when the comedy was wrapped up. Though there was no epilogue originally, in order that the audience will be able to go off with a smile, I made a request to the director. Isn’t there an epilogue when watching Jackie Chan movies? There is that feeling.
Q. Was there anything gained through ‘5 Siblings of Deoksuri?
Sang Hyun: More than the point of acting, I have gained something else. After it had ended, there were no complaints. After the work was completed, it was not easy to keep in touch with the actors. But I still keep in contact with Kwang Su, Sae Byeog too is like a friendly neighbor and brother, Chan Seong and A-i is the same. After filming the movie, I can get many good brothers.
Q. It seems the talk had indeed turned out positive.
Sang Hyun: Right, active nature and forgets pretty quickly. Also makes decisions quickly.
Q. You seemed serious in your debut drama ‘Marrying A Millionaire’ (2009).
There was also a lot of talk about your resemblance to Takuya Kimura.
Sang Hyun: Not being serious, because I froze it came out as being serious. With the director, the camera director cursing, how comfortable could acting have been? From part 1 to part 16, not even once was filming comfortable. From then on, it was the start of my not feeling good inside. It was because of the continuous tension.
Q. The trauma is severe for the first work.
Sang Hyun: Really harsh. In fact, I had no interest in acting. The catch was to have my name appear in a CD. I did not even think about having a great song with a number 1 ranking. Anyway I wanted to sing ballad, was asked to dance and rehearse. Then all of a sudden, I was asked to do acting. But that happened.
During script reading, I was reading a book when alone. Because of hurt pride and inner anger which was difficult to appease, another meeting, another disappointment. Then I met a bad tempered female acting teacher and with her daily scolding, I learned while I cried.
In that way after 3 months of learning, the producer of ‘Marrying A Millionaire’ who came by to take a look, liked it very much because of my resemblance to Takuya Kimura. But when I read the script, he let out a sigh. Though I had practiced for 2 months, there was no improvement. As I cried, I had also asked why they did not use another actor.
During the entire script reading, I received a lot of scolding from senior Park Geun Hyung. I had said that senior Park Guen Hyung mentioned that I was a ‘shit’ actor. Even for the one month filming done in France, the set had to be rebuilt because of me. Another was when filming in Jeju-do, I made a large number of NGs. When we had our first dinner there, the director had given me encouragement. Meanwhile because of the difficulties, I broke down and cried a lot. I was 32 years old then. Among the lead actors, I was the oldest. At that time, Mr Go Soo had been very considerate and even now I am thankful.
Q. It’s been 10 years now.
Sang Hyun: Now acting is very good. Hahaha. Even now when I think back of that time, I am very thankful. If it wasn’t for all those people, it seems I would be in the restaurant business. While doing the first drama, I had gone to the bathroom and cried a lot. The 3 months had been too difficult.
Q. With the 2nd movie now, can you feel its charm?
Sang Hyun: I have not yet felt the attraction for the movie. Even though there are so many characters, I’ve done a teacher’s role twice. So I would like to find the movie’s appeal. Having acted in dramas for 10 years, I have felt its charm. So more than dramas, I would like to place more focus on movies. I want to show a new look.
Q. What is the plan for future work?
Sang Hyun: Though there was a plan to do a drama in winter, it was cancelled because of the wedding preparation. And because Maybee have not travelled much, I want us to go travelling together. Another is that the house has to be built and there is a lot of work to do. And by the end of next year, I want something new.