A compilation from the recent radio show appearances and interviews from various media articles.
On the recently concluded drama ‘욱씨남정기’
For those who had been watching Sang Hyun’s comeback drama ‘욱씨남정기’, the reason he seems to have put on weight is because it was deliberate. But there had been some unkind remarks online which questioned if he have had Botox on his face. To make his character Nam Jeong Gi more realistic as a white collar worker whose main concern is to earn enough to feed the family, with no spare time to think of exercise and eating a lot when under stress, he had deliberately put on weight for his role.
During his meeting with PD Lee, the latter had also expressed a wish for him to portray an employee with a puffy face instead of a handsome office worker. So he had to forgo his skin care and exercise, and when at home watching TV at night he would eat snacks of ice cream, pork knuckle and blood sausage which resulted in a gain of 7 kg. But somehow during the latter half of the drama due to staying up often throughout the night, he lost appetite and people around him were concerned that he seemed worn out. Even when he tried to eat candy, his weight did not increase. As the scenes had him mostly on the move, his weight had dropped spontaneously. He commented that he now understands Kim Sun-Ah’s commitment to her role in the drama ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’.
A bit of romance was shown at the end but originally it was not meant to be included. During their first meeting, there was no talk on romance as the story is meant to illustrate the pain and suffering of the office workers. Writing in the romance between Nam Jeong Gi and Ok Da Jung would have diluted the focus so it was not expected. But it was added in a little at the end and had been well received by the people around them.
The ending of episode 16 was supposed to have Nam Jeong Gi and Ok Da Jung going back into their houses after their conversation on the balcony. The lights would go off in Nam Jeong Gi’s house while Ok Da Jung’s room light is switched on which would show their silhouette. This was meant to be left to the imagination but the ending was changed so as to have a pure start and end. It would be up to the viewers whether he becomes Ok Da Jung’s 4th husband.
On working with the casts
The casts and crew were great and he enjoyed good camaraderie with them. He did not know Yu Jae Myeong (President Jo) could be so funny and was surprised when he found out that they were of the same age. So when they were chatting off camera, people were surprised that there were using ‘banmal’ (informal speech). Having done his research, his acting as the boss was awesome.
Sang Hyun had felt apprehensive when he had first met Lee Yo Won. During their exchange of greeting when filming the first scene, she did not show much expression besides a nod so he had thought that perhaps she did not like his approach. But after some time on the set, the atmosphere had changed and they were laughing, joking and having playful chats. She’s easygoing and feels like a friend. Being a mother of 3, she also gives a lot of advice related to parenting.
On his breaking down during the end of shooting gathering
He had felt regret as filming ended but did not know why the tears emerged. He had worked hard in each episode to portray the character of Nam Jeong Gi. Everyone else had worked hard too and there was great harmony and affection throughout the filming. As the thought came to mind that this is the end, he started to cry and everyone also became tearful.
This is the first time he had really enjoyed filming and a first that he would like to have an extension. Not just 16 episodes but up to 120 episodes. During reading of the script, he had been confident that viewer ratings could reach as high as 10% but unfortunately it had remained around 2%, with the highest up to 3%. Though he had been in other dramas with high ratings, ‘욱씨남정기’ gives him the feeling that this is his life work. With other scripts he would usually not have a clear idea of its direction but this drama had given him so much confidence right until the end. He rates himself 90% out of 100% for this drama with the missing 10% due to ‘visuals’.
He would like to convey his thanks to the writer. Filming this drama has increased his awareness of social issues. He had learned a lot as he did the narration as Nam Jeong Gi. There were a lot of tears during the restructuring scene and because of the sincere acting, the sadness was felt for a long time. The script is a reminder not to carelessly discard others as everyone is precious in this world. Because no one was carelessly discarded in the script, there were a lot of tears.
On a possible sequel for the drama
It would depend on viewers. The script writer is now on other work so it is uncertain if there will be a second season. If there is a sequel, he would like to act in it and it would be more fun to have the same PD and staff. For season 2, it would be interesting if he could try Lee Yo Won’s role.
Since his marriage last year and raising a family now, he has a stronger sense of responsibility. Responsibility is often mentioned in the script so he has been thinking a lot about it. Lee Yo Won too had cried during reading of the script and while shooting the scenes as she thought of her daughter at home. He is very thankful to his wife as she keeps him grounded in what he is lacking, and her advice and support is his source of strength.
Sang Hyun’s attitude towards acting has changed with the birth of his baby. Marriage is a major life event and he has also grown as an actor. When he is filming, he would leave home at dawn and return home late. The sight of his child smiling at him makes him feel thankful. She’s 5 months old now and would smile when she sees him on TV. With his daughter around, his fatigue dissipates and it spurs him on to work harder. His child would be watching his shows one day so he will have to do his best in every scene. These days he has been furtively eyeing melodrama scripts.
On his thoughts about childcare, he feels that it should not all be left to women. Men should help out too as it’s a lot of hard work. While he was busy filming over 3 months, he had felt sorry that his wife had a hard time and he was unable to help. So now he will focus on childcare until his next work. While living on his own, he is used to cooking, doing the laundry and house cleaning. His wife will take care of the baby and he will do the rest. He’s good with household chores, is neat and organized which is something his wife appreciates.
His father is a conservative man and many times would make decisions arbitrarily rather than consult his mum. So there were a lot of arguments at home. He grew up watching them fighting. If his father had consulted his mum before carrying out his work, at least the damage suffered would have been less. His father had suffered losses from selling and buying land. He is unlike his father as he is not into investing money that comes in. To him, it is important to do things as one moves forward in life …. the need to have music, go fishing, hiking and going on trips with the family. If one thinks in this manner, it becomes part of one’s nature. It is good to do things with the family. He has no childhood memories of even one trip with his family. A father plays an important role for his child and he wants to make good memories with his daughter. Though he knows it will be hard on his wife, he still intends to have 3 children as planned.
On his digital single
Sang Hyun had made an appearance recently on the radio shows to promote his current single. Though he has participated in a number of drama OSTs, he has never had an album in his name. He has been thinking that he should do it before it’s too late and now the time is right. As an aspiring singer, he had taken up acting and had acted the role of a singer. His desire to achieve his dream as a singer remains unchanged. Meeting his singer-songwriter wife has enabled an album in his name to be put up and she had given him a lot of encouragement.
The lyrics were written by his wife. He had requested her help as he did not want the lyrics he had written earlier to sound juvenile. Because he was filming at that time, he had not checked the lyrics immediately when he had gone to the recording studio. As he was singing, the lyrics brought a lump to his throat as they contain all the words that he had said to his wife when they were dating.
On his future plans
Future plans for singing activities is likely to continue and Sang Hyun would like to announce a ballad in Spring or Fall. Though it would be good to have dance music, his body would not be up to it. He has revealed an interest in appearing in the MBC ‘Mystery Music Show, Mask King’. He had always wanted to watch it and has been talking to the writers. If as the Music General, he might not have the courage to step down but he would have won once even if eliminated.
There are 3 songs out of 18 which he would like to perform. If he were to go, he will try his best to capture the title once. Actually he is worried because there are so many others who can sing well and if the writers were to talk about the elimination of the Music General, he would be thinking if he should go.
Finally, what kind of actor would Sang Hyun like to be?
Sang Hyun: I just want to be a good actor. Though there are many good actors in South Korea, I would like to stand alongside them. Without exception from silly to crazy psychopath roles, I want to try everything.