The Beijing News printed a full page article about Sukkie today. It is a mainstream newspaper, one of the major papers in Beijing printing 650,000 copies daily. Thanks Wen for the translation!
Original source: The Beijing News
English translation: Wen Lee from ECI
Photo credit as tagged
Korean eyeliner pretty boy Jang Keun Suk has returned after two years. His comeback new TV drama ‘The Royal Gambler’ (Jackpot) premiered on 28th March in Korea and immediately rated No.1 amongst dramas of the same time slot in the first week. In the drama, JKS’ change from his past pretty boy image shocked those who know & like him. One has to know, his name used to be linked to references like ‘prince’, ‘pretty boy’, etc. He’s always wearing long flowing hair, spoke in a low voice, and he might leave behind a nice scent when he walked past you. But this time, he’s changed totally. Unkempt, even ate live poisonous snake. So real that fans were crying ‘heartache’. So in trying to prove his acting skills, does he have to act with his life imitating Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant?
It was a real poisonous snake he ate but only with its fangs removed
The Royal Gambler (Jackpot) is 24 episodes shown on Mondays & Tuesdays on SBS Channel, lead actors are Jang Keun Suk & Yeu Jin Goo. The drama is about Prince Young-Su (played by JKS) who was deserted in the countryside after birth. He was brought up by his gambler adoptive father & became the No.1 gambler in Joseon. He vowed to revenge after his adoptive father passed away mysteriously and then he accidentally found out his own background. Yeu plays his younger brother. The drama claims to be the historical version of SBS’ 2003 drama ‘All In’.
In the episode already shown, Young-Su was very poor, being beaten & thrown in mud flats were normal. In this week’s episode 6, there was even a scene of eating live poisonous snake. According to information, the snake used in the drama was a poisonous snake. Its fangs were removed prior to filming. JKS did not hesitate in eating it. As soon as this scene was aired, Korean internet was shocked, claiming JKS ‘changed the general public’s bias towards him with his acting skills’. The director also said ‘eager to see JKS’ growing up’. And many Chinese fans not only admired his professionalism after they watched the drama, they were crying ‘heartache’ for him.
How popular is JKS?
Japan printed postage stamps for him.
JKS debuted at 5 years old & started shooting for advertisements very early in his life. In 2006, he entered Hangyang University to study Film & Theatre. After that, he appeared in KBS historical drama ‘Hwang Jini’ & became hugely famous overnight. At the time he was only 19. After that, he worked in movies ‘Baby & I’ etc firming up his popularity, becoming one who others had high hopes amongst the young‘Chungmoro’ hopefuls. In 2009, his acting career reached the peak with the drama ‘You’re Beautiful’, even stirred up another round of Korean wave in Asia. Even if you cannot remember the storyline, you won’t forget his ‘eyeliner pretty boy’ image. Those few years, you can see his advertisements everywhere in Japan’s commercial centres. Korean media claimed his popularity in Japan surpassed Bae Yong Jun. In 2012, Japan Post released postage stamps in commemoration of his 20th anniversary. That was the first time Japan released stamps for a Korean artist.
Before The Royal Gambler was aired, fans from 35 countries including China, Japan, France, England, Mexico etc put out advertisements for the drama, could see posters from the drama on buses, airports, building billboards, & even shopping trolleys one can see JKS.
Where has he been for the past two years?
Studying and helping juniors.
In the second half of 2014, there was a ‘scandal’. According to Korean media, after investigation by the national tax office, JKS was suspected of ‘evading tax’, amount involved was 2 billion Won. The Korean public never liked artists who did not do the right thing with their taxes. After a few months, the incident exploded in Jan 2015: JKS’ part in ‘3 Meals a Day’ were all edited out. Although afterwards it was proven it was only a mistake by his agency, but it seriously affected JKS.
In that year, JKS chose to go to school. He completed his masters studies in Film & Theatre at Hanyang University. ‘There are a lot of very good students in my class, I can only work hard, surely I can’t rely on being a Hallyu star for the rest of my life?’ During this time, a competition programme ‘Produce 101’ invited him to be MC. JKS declined citing he was busy with his studies. The production side said they could wait. In the end, he was moved when he knew he could give lessons to the trainees. After the show was aired, ‘Produce 101’ became the hottest variety show topic in Korea from 2015 to 2016.