Continuation of the compilation from the recent media interviews.
Sang Hyun’s release of his recent digital single is not something sudden as it has always been his dream to be a singer, before he became an actor. For a year, he had been preparing to set up a 4 member group with Ko Se Won but their plans fell through when he got involved in acting. As an actor, he had put that dream aside but the desire for music still persists and is something he is unable to give up. In addition, a special reason for his first music project is the collaboration on the lyrics with his wife Mabe.
Sang Hyun says he likes all genres of music such as hip hop, R&B, rock, electro and has plans to make music like ‘Hyun Jong Sin Monthly’. He has received a lot of help from many of Mabe’s acquaintances in the music industry and the microphone system at home also gives him a good environment for practice. Mabe often gives him helpful advice and had once pointed out that the lyrics had to be distinct as people would be listening to it.
Releasing the album has also opened up other possible opportunities, with one of these being a collaboration with Park Myeong Su. Though they were just talking about it and no progress has been made so far, they had an interesting conversation during the radio show. Park Myeong Su had suggested that they do it together and he had replied by asking if his voice would fit in.
On his family
Sang Hyun thinks his daughter is more like him as she’s boisterous and not calm and quiet like his wife. She is full of curiosity, always smiling and very active. Since he likes art, music, sports and hiking, he thinks his child would too and would like to go hiking and fishing with her. He is pleased to hear that first daughters usually resemble their father.
He has no plans to participate in parenting entertainment programs which are in the spotlight these days. They can consider it when his child is older and can decide for herself whether she would like to be in it, but for now he would like her to play freely. He will support her in what she likes to do.
Describing himself as childlike and not a deep thinker like his wife, he acknowledges her as his mental pillar. They have had their disagreement and fights but he would later realize her intentions and reflect on them. Especially now his thoughts seems to have deepened. Everyday he would picture in his mind when they have 3 kids, they would go traveling together. He would like to go to Spain and Australia. That is his dream of being together with the children.
Usually a father might feel the burden of responsibility but Sang Hyun feels happier with the birth of his daughter. Of course it is tough physically with the lack of sleep with looking after his child, but seeing her smiling at him would dissipate that tiredness. He did not know that he likes children to this degree. Because of his child, he is trying to fix his shortcoming. In many ways for him and his wife, their child is special.
Sang Hyun says that he is the opposite of his character Nam Jeong Gi in the drama ‘욱씨남정기‘. But acting in this drama has completely changed him. Previously he did not know why he wanted to act and even as an actor for about 12 years, it was a time of drifting around. Money used to be the reason for acting and though he had thought money would make his life more fulfilling, it did not. More than money, now happiness is enjoying what he does and when doing his best in front of the camera. This drama has helped him realized that.
His criteria for work selection has also changed. It would not be so much on the salary now as he would have to look at the script first. This change in his thinking did not take place after doing this drama but when he had received the script. Living life at most, in the past it was simply pouring in all the emotions and that took a lot out of him. What had the biggest impact on him was ‘responsibility’. These days he has been thinking all these can be translated literally from the dialogue and by looking at the script, he understands how he’s supposed to act.
He is a fan of Stephen Chow and since young, had always watched his movies. Many times he had wondered why Korea did not make this sort of movies. He would like to act in a movie like ‘Kungfu Hustle’ and hope that PD Lee Hyung Min would come up with something like that.
On the drama ‘욱씨 남정기’
As his character is completely different from Nam Jeong Gi, he was initially worried how he should portray him. But after having done his research on many similar people around him, he was comfortable with the role. During the earlier part of the drama, it was mainly comic acting about having to endure the stress of the workplace. But as the shooting entered the second half with a heavier message of their struggles, it also made him realize its significance.
In the scene of the company restructuring when Ok Da Jung had retained Nam Jeong Gi though he offered to be dismissed, he had said these word to her “No one in this office will be fine if they are dismissed. If I’m not fine, won’t the others feel the same way?” There was a lot of resentment felt and it made Sang Hyun realize at that moment that he was unaware of this value in his own life so far. Feeling disappointed with himself, it seems he cried as he read the script. On self-reflection, he realized that everyone in this world is precious.
Because there were various elements such as laughter, sincerity and love in this drama, it was easier and comfortable for him to act in it as compared to Gapdong. Referring to the latter, it was tough having to be continuously immersed in scenes with only similar emotions. There was no break in between shooting to get some relief from the intensity. It was always about chasing after the serial killer and it became stifling as his real emotions become depleted.
A low period in his life
Since his debut in 2005 in ‘Marrying A Millionaire’ and up till his more recent dramas such as ‘I Hear Your Voice’, these had captured the audience and established a position with its box office appeal. While others were of the view that his acting career was smooth sailing, for Sang Hyun however, the depression he felt was enough to make him think of giving up acting.
He felt he had not really achieved the degree in acting. So when the act could not be performed and the work could not be included, it was due to the PD’s good editing and packaging that made it acceptable. While people who see it thought that it was good, he hated it as the acting was not original. He felt a lot of stress and as a result suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. When people talk about this or that role, it was tiring and hard for him to endure. He had the feeling that there was nothing he had done himself and this sense of shame began to pile up. When ‘Gapdong’ ended, it was seriously worrying that he was thinking that he should quit acting.
When the role of Nam Jeong Gi came along, it was like a god-send. As he read through the scripts of the first 2 episodes, it felt so realistic and practical that he read it all in one breath. This is the first work in which he had felt so immersed that he cried as he read the transcript. Though he does not know how other people can just go through numerous dramas, a valuable work such as ‘욱씨남정기’ means a lot to him. Being absolutely sure of how the character should be represented gives him that ‘taste in acting’.
An open letter
Dear Sang Hyun,
I feel so sorry I did not know what you were going through at that time. To me, your acting had always been wonderful and it has touched me many times. I’m glad that you’ve managed to find yourself again and regain that joy in acting, and doing what you love. I hope you will continue in both acting and singing for a long, long time.
I am happy too that you have fulfilled some of your dreams, especially with a lovely family and a beautiful daughter who gives you so much joy. May your family continue to give you inspiration in whatever you do and your dream of being a singer is within reach very soon. I love your latest single which is special because they represent your heart and your life experiences. Even without thinking of the lyrics, your voice is heart-tugging as always. I look forward to many more of your dramas and songs that come from your heart to ours.
With love and support always,