[exclusive article] Jang Keun Suk “I was an alien”

2016-01-01 New Year Interview – Full version
Original source: STARNEWS
English translation: Hazy Lee from ECI
01
“‘Yanghwa Bridge’ belongs to me. Dad used to be a driver, and mom a dishwasher. For their son, they came to Seoul with merely 200k Korean Won. This is why I need to work hard, to protect my family, and let them be happy.”

The interviewer used to think JKS is about impressiveness. ‘Branded sports car’, ‘Properties’ are words associated to him. ‘Asia Prince’ is also a modified glamorous phrase about him. That was the thought prior to the interview. However after the 1 hour interview, I totally changed my view. He is very frank, focused, steady, and very sharp. He has clear goals.

There are reasons to interview him in 2016. JKS went through tough moments last year. TVN variety show ‘3 meals a day’ had to go through the painful process of editing even though filming was completed. ‘Tax’ was the issue. Even though it was an error made by the Company, the whole world focused the blames on him.

JKS spent the past year as a student. He also completed his Masters studies (Hanyang University Drama & Film Faculty). He said “I felt the most comfortable when I am in the school studying”.

He is now the MC for Mnet ‘Produce 101’. JKS initially rejected the invitation in view of his studies schedule. However, Mnet waited till his holiday break. He is not only the MC for the show; he also had a supervisory role. A ‘National producer’ role, a total of 101 participants, only 11 will be selected.

“It’s a very interesting and challenging role. Giving them lessons, and helping them with the practice, liken an entertainment company. The kids call me Representative Jang, the staff too. The 11 are not chosen by me. They are selected through votes casted by the public. One of my goals in life is to develop an Asia Prince junior. In the process, I learnt a lot too. I met many good teachers, who taught me the practical ways which helped me a lot in my life. But to control 101 is really tiring (laugh)”

“Of the 101, there are some who, at first glance, shine like a star. There are some who think they shine like a star hence don’t work hard, which is such a pity. Really empathize with those who cried on the stage when they saw their undesirable score. Reminded me of the times I was young. I went to many auditions in many places, and encountered the same disappointment. The fact is — these do not determine the ultimate path of your life — at that time I felt it was the end of the world. It felt like I was looking at my own kids now (laugh)”
02
JKS debuted in 1992 as a model when he was 5 years old. He went on TV screen in 1997. This is his 25th year at 30 years old.
“Many people felt I was hiding from the screen since I did not appear on TV. The circumstance then wasn’t right for me to step forward to clarify anything, the flying swords that were attacking me, really made me panic. I continue working hard. When the show was aired, it was edited to show only my hair, and people would even made fun of it.
Till today, I have not watched the ‘3 meals’ I participated in. I saw the PD recently; he told me we will definitely work together again even if it was not that same variety show. I could persevere on as there are many who know and understand me.”

JKS added, “University life has taught me a lot. Many students in my class are working, and have achieved a certain level of success, but would still work hard to further secure their foundation. I learnt a lot from them.”

JKS mentioned he would invite his fellow classmates to a meal in school, but he didn’t get to pay every time. “I dislike giving treats as a precedent to gain favor or status; will pay only when there is the need. I felt giving a treat to my fellow classmates is out of courtesy.”

He heard when there is any artiste who skipped school, his name would be mentioned, “JKS is able to come, why are you not all attending school. hahaha”

JKS often donates to the school, helping those needy students.
“I remember when I was directing the short film, staff who participated in the filming, came and bowed and said “bro, thanks”, and I asked why. He said “it was bro who paid my school fees”. It was an indescribable feeling then, I didn’t know them, yet hearing that they were able to complete their studies through my contribution and participated in the filming as staff. I learnt the true meaning of Philanthropy.”
03
“Everyone says I am rich, but I only have 200million won in my bank now, and my car is rented (kekeke…)” and he began talking about his younger days…

“My initial goal was to earn money, when my parents came to Seoul with 200k won. Mom told me we can no longer stay in our hometown hence we came to Seoul. ‘Yanghwa bridge’ is similar to my situation then, dad driving a cab, mom washing dishes to earn a living. We have no house, and no money to buy school uniform. Since then for the next 10 years, our goal was to earn money, me too. To me, it was my role to protect my family and my act of filial piety. But ironically, we thought when we earned our 100k, it will be enough, but when you get your 100k, you want to earn 1million, after 1million, you want to earn 10million. There is no end to ‘desires’ in life, but one would realize there is no true meaning in pursuing so much money if he just blindly focus on earning them.”

JKS then spoke about his school life.
“I have a classmate who earned 600k won at the filming site, yet he would still work very hard to pursue his dream. Notwithstanding my status now, at times I feel undeserving compared to them. One easily loses out as there are too many outstanding students… One has to work very hard in order not to be overtaken. How long can one survive with a kpop title, most of the kpop is now history. My main goal now is to help others. The help is not merely through acting activities, but I felt grooming the next generation will be more meaningful.

Many artistes would donate quietly, and are then given the title of charity angel, but I feel one should shout out when in need of help. The help rendered may not necessarily be money, but should first identify what is needed, for example during the Japan earthquake, when asked what they needed the most, the reply was they were cold. Blankets! Hence I donated 15,000 blankets then – this was so much more practical compared to money. Many people will measure status or success through money, but that is not true, and I understood this fully when approaching my 30s.”
04
JKS last drama was 2014 KBS’s Beautiful Man, basically he has no drama for 2 years, and he himself is fully aware, but he has high expectations for his drama.

“Korean showbiz is a double edged sword. The drama I chose will be associated with money, and anything that is associated to money will be a danger in this era; an actor should focus on acting, and not distracted by counting money on the calculator. Looking back the past 5 years, I was able to spend ample time reading through and understanding the script for ‘You’re Beautiful’. However, after that, it was all about the millions of dollar that are appearing before the eyes. Capitalism in this society is inevitable, but being a cultured person (being in the world of arts) and to be shaken – it all boils down to self. I was 25, 26 years old when I became ‘Geun-chan’ in Japan, and earned millions in a year, that really didn’t help me (rolled eye).

Japan to me, was medicine as well as poison to me. My life was very lonely then, and had no one to turn to. I have no intention of entering China. The China market to me is too huge. Compared to acting in a Chinese drama, I felt I should first focus in Korea – to first be accepted and win the hearts in Korea before pursuing China, this will be the correct order. It’s more natural and unhurried. One can’t eat tofu while it’s hot, otherwise, will just throw it out.”

JKS indicated that his activities will mainly be in Korea this year~
“I received a lot of love in Japan, and held many shows, but I didn’t gain much, and did not earned a lot of money. Why? I always want to give the best stage to my audience, and will invest a lot on the stage designs. I wish to film better dramas in Korea, but now I have higher expectations hahaa — to film drama that will be successful.”

Being a Korean star, JKS who earned lots of love from his fans also talked about the danger in changes.
“I understand myself better than anyone, my looks, and my weakness, and know where my problem lies haha – so I am continuously learning. I usually do not hang out with other artiste, as those around me get hurt easily (laugh) Those who watched me play and play along will be in trouble, and naughty JKS will not allow his friends to get hurt. I have my own way of handling crisis. I do not have any issues in the society, no drink driving nor gambling nor drugs. I will stick closely to principles, and my managers around me are always there to ensure that too.”

For the past 5 years, JKS was probably an alien, not a Japanese nor a Korean.
“Wherever I go, be it long or short hair, male or female, Geun-chan or JKS, I got really confused myself, and I got lost in the dramas I filmed, and the news I read from Naver is all about properties. I had the fun I wanted, now I want to focus on the reward in the path as an actor – my 20 years is liken whisky which is fermenting – although not sure when it can be consumed.”
05
JKS doesn’t like dating but think marriage is good.
“Dating? I wish to date but am too busy, I don’t even have time for friends. There is a line in drama ‘Marry Me Mary’ which I fine very appropriate “You can’t like me”, and I said that to girls I met, but they would look at me strangely. I wish to get married soon, to have my own family. In my memory, when I was young, we were a loving family and have many happy moments. When the day arrives where I have my own family, I want to create the same. I already had my fair share of fun, those night clubs etc. are too dangerous.”

JKS has a new found friend to fight loneliness, his cat KiKi.
“This cat looks like a tiger (laugh). I was lonely one day and went to the pet shop thinking I will buy a cat, and all looks very cute as they would come running towards me. Only KiKi didn’t come, really has a character like me. She is a female cat, hence when there are girls who came for gatherings at my place, she would bite them and run away. I find a lot of fun watching KiKi, she loves to throw tantrum, and as a result I have neglected Suni, Suni’s position has been replaced by KiKi~~”

Although he was to be recognized as an actor, but as a musician, his dreams for music is the same as the past.
“Music has never been a mistake, as there is no time limitation, I can write in the car, when I am drank, but I can’t for TV drama, as that requires the coordination from the whole production team, to be completed in the film set and broadcast from the TV station. In comparison, music has more freedom, so I find it very attractive and meaningful. Deep in my heart, I want to act at all times, but that is not something I can decide. But music is different, I can do it anytime anywhere, and one who possesses talent in music cannot stop once started. Music is an avenue for me to vent, most people in Korea didn’t know I am into music as well, but in Japan they would identify with me since Deep, Band and EDM are doing music too.”

Why develop in Japan?
“Let me now explain why I headed to Japan. When we went to Seoul while dad was a cab driver and mom a dishwasher, I took on an undergarment advertisement, but we were still poor when I was in middle school. I had to decide whether to select science or art stream and since middle school, I was determined to go overseas to study as I was often made fun by schoolmates for the undergarment advert. They were all taking pocket money from their parents while I was already earning a living for my family, yet they kept making fun of me and I was upset. In the end, my mom had to set aside some money, I requested that she sent me to England or America to study, but we didn’t have enough cash and could only go to New Zealand.

The school is in a remote area of New Zealand, and there were only 5 Koreans in the school. I had more interactions with Japanese friends during sports and activities time. I had intended to go there and learnt English, but ended up speaking Japanese more fluently. At that time we shared about each other’s culture, I got to know about Takuya Kimura, he was acting in a drama at one moment, and appearing in a variety show the next day, and become an MC in another day. I was surprised, culture shocked! The structure in Korea at that time is such that an actor can only act, a singer can only sing – so I was thinking to myself I could do everything if I were to go Japan. In 10 years I have to go develop in Japan. I achieved my dream to have a show in Tokyo Dome in 9 years’ time. Truly thankful~”

JKS shared his secret recipe to becoming Asia Prince in Japan.
“People thought I became famous in Japan over the night because of a drama. That is not incorrect, but I also made a lot of preparation prior going to Japan. I first visited Japan when I was 20, brought with me 500k Korean won. I was able to converse freely in Japanese then, speaking the language of the land I first visited. People were shocked “oh, he could speak Japanese” – hence I understood then, if I continue to work hard, there will be results. I also started learning English at that time. Who knows I may go America one day and could use it? But at the moment, my focus will remain in Asia. I want everyone to think of Jang Keun Suk whenever Asia is mentioned.”

“The next 10 years will be recovery for me, and I will do my best to be an actor till the end.”
And he has another goal. That is to groom ‘Asia Prince junior’. He wishes to develop the next generation through his own personal experience.

“I have 7 goals in the next 10 years. One of them is to groom ‘Asia Prince junior’. Be it an actor, or a singer, I will help path the way. There is no pre-requisite. Only requirement is to work hard. Follow me step by step and be prepared to work and learn hard. A singer will have the exposure to perform along with me on my stage in Japan; if an actor, we can also act together in the same show. I wish to mentor JKS2, JKS3.”

The future of Asia has just begun.
06
JKS message: To STARNEWS readers! May you have a lot of happiness of New Year!

Share on Facebook
Did you like this? Share it:

51 thoughts on “[exclusive article] Jang Keun Suk “I was an alien””

  1. Thanks ss Hazy and ss Tenshi,
    Every time, I read the interview of Jang Keun Suk, so great, how an intelligent star!
    We can’t find the second artist with many interesting like him.
    Thanks all Eels always support Suk on his own road. Zikzin in 2016. ^_^

    Reply
  2. This is such a treat…what a good interview…in a very very long time.
    This man really has substance. A lot of new insights…

    It pains me to read (althought as an eel I already know) that he had such difficult time and a lot of pain and despair…his own people who made/make him a laughing stock..humuliated and degraded him …and instead of being upright..giving him all the blame to carried.
    This tells me how great a man JKS is and how small and narrowminded those people are. Wonder what those who laughed at him have become..but more important we know what our Asia Prince has become 🙂
    A good, giving, caring, loving…very beautiful(inside out) a multi talented and intelligent
    compassionate man..

    The past has hardened him but luckily for eels did not break him…It only made him very very strong in mind and in principles..and we can have nothing against that 🙂 <3
    Let's ZIKZIN and keep running with him in 2016 …wonder what he has planned for this year since he said he will focus on Korea!!
    I did not choose wrong to love and follow this man..Eel for life!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. I am totally impress.. not as a fan ,,.. but a normal citizen living around Asia… That perseverance and goals JKS has been set in 10 years time.. I pray to God for JKS strength and health… those goals are quiet hard.. but who knows.. as A fan I do hope He would be able to do great things .. as he said.. HE WANTS THE WORLD TO HEAR HIS NAME … REMEMBERING ASIA.. 🙂 Stay well… Happy New Year .. fellow ASIANS!

    Reply
  4. He’s really an inspiration to us.. What a great interview, he once again showed us how smart and deep he is as a person! He’s compassionate, purpose-driven, humble, and sincere.. GOD ever Bless you this 2016 and beyond Keun Suk-ssi.. Zikzin!! 😀

    Reply
  5. Thanks for transalation,I admire him personnely for not feel ashamed of being poor,his talent will show to the world sooner or later,we will be with you till the end ,love you forever

    Reply
  6. Am so inspired by his obvious intelligence and willingness to share his life with us. As others have said, I am proud to be an feel and happy to be able to start 2016 feeling closer to him.Hazy and Tenshi, thank you so much for the gift you have given us!

    Reply
  7. Thank you for the English translation. It really helped me to understand more fully this very talented and introspective man. I appreciate him even more now.

    Reply
  8. Dang!!!! All I can say is “SPEECHLESS!” this is kid is full of substance, maturity , and intelligence, and not to mention hard work! A true example of the cliche never judge a book by its cover. Im so proud to be one of his eels and ashamed at my self at the same time… I am older that him but the way he talks speaks so much maturity…and to this I have so much respect.

    Reply
  9. Thank you very much for the translation.
    This article helped us to know him more.
    JKS is very transparent and open about who he is and what are his life experiences. He never put up a front. One quality that is truly admirable.
    He knows exactly what he wants and will definitely do what it takes to reach his goals.
    Very inspiring.
    GOOD LUCK in all your endeavours. All the best. ASIA PRINCE..you’re the Man!!

    Reply
  10. When people succeed, is has nothing to do with luck…it’s about hard work, determination, dreams and those dreams directing them into goals and finally achievement. Our prince has worked really hard to get to this point. Respect it’s what he has finally reaped after so many obstacles. With so many stones throwed at him, it only increased his abilities and determination. He’s built his castle.

    Reply
  11. This is a remarkable and very important interview – honest, insightful, and full of content. Thank you so very much for translating and posting, Hazy and Tenshi.

    Reply
  12. I introduced this wonderful translation of the interview with JKS to Team Produce 101, ‘coz JKS referred to the program and his role as MC and mentor for the show.
    Thank you so much for the great translation!!

    Reply
  13. Thank you for a wonderful translation! That is quite a bit of hard work translating many of the complex ideas. Thank you tenshi dear.

    Reply
  14. I had shared my feeling in ECI already, so I would to share it again over here. I love reading JKS’ interviews. All his interviews show his intelligence and wisdom thoughts….and never bored!! Many people if put aside bias or dislike feelings, by reading JKS’ interviews they should learn and gain something from him or learn about surviving life with whoever or whatever crisis or issues society throw at you. When he doesn’t have film work in 2 years, instead of complaining mad at the society and dying slow death at home do nothing, JKS used the 2 unwanted year to complete his Master Degree. BRAVO!!! Love his fighting back life crisis spirits!!! Awww…he hits the bullseye true when saying he doesn’t many artists as friends because most of the artists friends will be hurt associated with him or some friends only befriended him for benefits!! Feeling sad for him beings lonely. But on the good side, being JKS, naughty and all, is the envious of many artists I’m sure. He is free to do anything he wants…and most of all, he never have to pretend to be all goody person or always show goody boy image all the times!! I love the JKS image, “what you see is what you get with JKS”. In the past, I used to think to myself, why can JKS behave good like other artists so he can gain some love from the public?!! Now I think about it, I don’t think I follow him this long if he is like other artists!! Yeap.. Even though, JKS image is double edged sword, I still won’t prefer him being anything else but being who he is in the past and now!! I’m sure I will love JKS future image too….Director Jang!!!

    Reply
  15. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article… I always love his interview, he’s a good, smart and talented young man❤️

    Reply
  16. Thank u tenshi and hazy for sharing this good article’s..JKS really inspiring me to keep confidence to my self..his story so touching in my heart…i’m so proud as an eel of him…let’s keep zikzin and always follow him till the end..

    Reply
  17. JKS,you are trully an amazing person, a beautiful man, inside and outside. I’m really thankful for finding you as you are now my reason to smile, trough your music and acting I have the strength to believe in me again.God Bless you.

    Reply
  18. Wao.great interview….he is an inspiration to make u work hard for your own goals. I saw his old interview too. They all are also great. So focused, kind and hard working person he is. He is awesome. I will work hard too , to meet him some day.
    thanku for translating☺☺

    Reply
  19. Thank u Hazy Lee & Tenshi for bringing us such a wonderful interview update about JKS with perfect translation, for foreign fans. Before reading this article, I’ve never thought of trying hard for my family as a 21-years-old girl. I admire him as he pointed out how he try hard for his family as a young boy. I m totally impress. Last 15 minutes ago, JKS is my Super star. But now, JKS is my hero!!!I really feel sorry for his loneliness. I wishes JKS oppa to be happy and win a big success in next 10 years. He is the perfect and kind-hearted man.

    Reply
  20. Not only word smart, my Sugar acquires multiple intelligences. Such a people smart man. As he is approaching his 30 I wish him all the strengths not only within himself but all the love and support from people around him near and far to just protect him and guide him towards his goals in life. I will just simply love and adore this man forever.

    Reply
  21. You are truly a star.
    You have most of my respect as you worked hard since young and help others in need.
    I love you even more

    Reply
  22. I love his interviews,he is such a wise young man,i cried reading this interview,thinking he suffered a lot in this life,but even he passed all that,he started again and again like the ave fenix,thats why i admire him so much.Thanks again Hazy Lee and Tenshi .

    Reply
  23. Wise beyond years. A young man with substance and pride. I wish more people were like him. Luv you such much, here is a tear from me to you love.♥♥♥

    Reply
  24. .after reading it,it made me cry tilL n0w my cry never stop..I was s0 shocked about his past time before he became a great actor-singer..he makes me really inspired..I’m only 14,and i want to use it to become succesSful..before i read it,alL i want when i gr0w up is to earn m0ney like him in his y0ung age but n0w i deffinitely kn0w,Everything in this world is n0t alL about m0ney. Thanks to him,he let me realize what i supp0se to be….May God guide you and help you always my prince…^^

    Reply
  25. Thanks! Many, many thanks for translating and posting! What a joy to read this interview! For me it was a joy in addition! I had the opportunity to sip every word and understand the depth of thoughts expressed because I have endeavored to translate this interview in my native language, in order to enjoy as many interested people. So much maturity, so much depth … That does not surprise me but it impresses me to tears …Thank God because I understood from the first moment that he is a special person and I followed him with confidence!

    Reply
  26. Thank you for giving all eels inspiration and happines as always. I will support you all the way. Take care and always stay smiling.

    Reply
  27. Well, my dear Sukkie, your ruthless sincerity brought you here. I can see from your words that you’re finally at peace with yourself. You started to accept what life wants for you and you started to accept yourself as you are. You realized that being so harsh with yourself is not the way to go. Your attitude is more relaxed and if you keep following this path I can assure you that you can accomplish much more that you can even imagine from the life. You also realized that the money is not everything. They’re nothing more than a tool to help us live in this world, so it is good to make money, but the focus should not be on making them. The focus should be on yourself, loving you and being in peace with you, who you are and what you are doing just right NOW. You have to live the moment. You have to be more forgiving with yourself when there are moments where you couldn’t achieve what you wanted. Or when life is giving you everything but nothing of what you desire. Or others. Or the work you’ve done believing that you could have done more…But I could see that you understood that too. You also realized that there are moments in our lives that we simply cannot control. In that moments you need to let yourself in the God’s arms to take you where He wants to. Truts me, He really knows what’s best for you! For all of us, actually! And if you stubbornly continue to stand against it you will only get pain, sufferings, barriers and hardships. Life can be much easier if we were willing to relax in every domain. Only when we slow down and relax we can see clearly what we should do or if it was something good or not. The society made us think that running for acquiring stuff, and titles, and God knows what else, is good and that’s the way we should be. But the truth is always hidden from our eyes. And it often does not coincide with what society gives us…Being forgiving, loving, detached and grateful for yourself, your work, everyone and everything in every second of your life is the key to stay you up and finally get to where you want.

    Money will come for sure when you put passion and love in what you do and when you share your passion with everyone. You already know that and you already do it. As for feeling yourself so lonely…Sukkie-ah, you’re not alone. You never were. You have God by your side. You just have to trust Him. He is always there…And you have me:-) Although I can’t be physically beside you, I am with my soul and my heart. I always were and I always be. As I promised you. And you have your eels too…

    No matter how you look at it, you will realize that it must being so. You realized that you need it to be there to learn everything that it was supposed to be learnt and to become what and who you are now: YOU. A beautiful man…You realized that everything, good or bad has the purpose to bring you higher and higher. To elevate you…

    Thank you, Sukkie-ah, thank you for everything! I understand…I love you!

    Reply
  28. Hola Jang Geun Suk

    Si ves mi mensaje puedes please enviar un saludo a tus admiradoras como yo que te siguen desde Mexico

    Regards & kisses 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Comment