[Interview] 10asia

Credits: 10asia
English translation: tenshi_akuma


In fact, I was honestly afraid to interview the strange creature who calls himself “Prince of Asia.” On the contrary, the conversation with him was quite fun. He is Jang Keun Suk, a frank and open guy who showed us both his strong and weak points as honestly as possible. His fans describe him as the most lovely and brilliant person. If I add one more to it, I will describe him as the most honest person. Actually he has a good figure, but he is a rare and remarkable young actor who shows us what JKS is plainly, which is quite different from many other actors who show their best side and hide their worst side from others. He shows his true self such as he yawns openly when he finds it boring. I’m happy to share our exciting dialogue with you.


— I think your latest movie “You’re My Pet (YMP)” is not a proper title. I would rather name it “You’re Jang Keun Suk.” Lol. In the movie there is full of your charms such as dancing, singing and cuteness usually shown at your fan meetings held in Asia.

JKS: When I accepted the offer, I thought the setting and the character I would act was most needed for me at that time. Because most of the character I acted before were hurt mentally, so when I acted them, I had to direct a defiant look at others. On the other hand, when I acted In Ho (the lead character of YMP), I felt as if I were playing naked in front of the camera. A review described my acting of YMP as “Isn’t still enough to fall in love with JKS?” and I admit it’s true. In Korea we have recently used the expression “the acting withers up viewer’s arms and legs (meaning of the exaggerated and artificial acting).” In fact, this YMP is a kind of movie which intends to make viewers react so. That’s why I dealt with the shooting not to get beten by the unreality. I was sure if I had felt ashamed of the character, I would have gotten funny looks from the viewers. So I was determined to act it boldly from the beginning.


I like human watching when I get on trains.

— How did you feel when you first read the script? I think YMP has various aspects as a film. How did you prepare for the character?

JKS: To be honest, I found a lot of questions about the script. I had a good impression about the character and the overall feel of YMP, but there were too much fantastic elements. I prefer realistic movies, so I discussed a lot with Kim Ha-neul and the director how to act realistically under the unrealistic scenes. At first, the director planned to shoot fantastic and beautiful scenes, but I didn’t understand at all why I should act like this. As the script couldn’t been rewritten at that time, he gave me extra time to prepare for the character. He asked me how I wanted to act, so we discussed and built up the way to act on the set. YMP is not only an interesting but also a witty and rhythmic movie.

— I’m afraid that YMP is not a type of movie that everyone, except your fans and women, can enjoy watching it simply. Some people said that it is disrespectful of men’s human rights. What do you think about acting Momo not as an actor but as a man?

JKS: I don’t think I have to respond the claim. Personally I rate authoritarian men lower in attractiveness. In my opinion, I found men who has many faces and flexibility attractive. For example, when he is in love, he not only shows manly side to her but also says “I’m sorry” first. In Momo’s case, he is good at showing his winsome look. Because if not, he can’t eat his favorite dish, an octopus-shaped sausage for supper… Lol.

— What kind of men do you think you are?

JKS: I was asked the same question on Twitter the other day. (While searching Twitter with his mobile phone…) Let me see it must be a recent one… uh! I found it. “I am attractive, intellectual, and critical. Besides, I have cuteness and act unpredictably. In addition, I am an honest man. I think I am a man who can’t be explained in a word. Lol.”

— Do these splendid modifying words describe yourself of today? Or ideal yourself you want to be?

JKS: Most parts are what I want to be so. In fact, I’m not sure what I am. I believe that personality can’t be defined as one color. I am looking for my original and unique color. In fact, one of the reason I chose a career in acting is that I can change myself from character to character within the framework of works. Recently talent agencies have forced their actors to follow their plans blindly. I don’t think it’s good for them. In my opinion, the most important thing for an actor is that looking for myself to know what is necessary for acting. So I like to say “hi!” to people I don’t know on the street. I like studying the way people walk and watching people on the train. The sleeping form of people on the train varies. I really enjoy watching it.

— I think you are a kind of person the agency finds difficulties to manage. Because you won’t accept their plan blindly.

JKS: That’s why I established my company. Lol.

— How about now?

JKS: I feel comfortable and happy. I sometimes feel lonely because I’m alone and considered as the weak in the showbiz, but still I prefer my life today. As for me, life just following someone is not worth living.

— Do you still sometimes feel you’re weak?

JKS: Struggle for power always exists in the business world. It’s impossible to avoid the relationship between the staff I work with as well as that between big companies and mass media even if I don’t like it. So I’m really satisfied with this situation that I can do whatever I want to even if I sometimes feel it’s beyond my ability leading more than fifteen employees.


I’ve worked in showbiz for 20 years. 15 years of them were like training period.

— I think you clearly understand what you want to do now, what you have to do now, and what you can do now. You told me the reason why you chose YMP now because you are in 20s and it’s the best time to act in such a sweet movie.

JKS: It’s rare in Korea that actors who are 25 or under have the box-office revenue. And it’s common that the scripts and genre given to actors in my age are so limited that we often have to wear school uniforms. Under these situation the movies I appeared on before were not so successful. I’ve been evaluated with a promising actor, but there were no hits in my films and dramas. But from now the script given to me is expected to increase. The genre and character given to me will also increase. I don’t want to say YMP is the movie in which I tried my luck when I’m 25. I can act freely and jokingly now because I’m young, but when I’m in 30s and become a real and mature man, I’ll get more chance.

— I think the real winner is JKS yourself. Actors usually don’t like to express themselves because they have to act various characters, but you chose to express real JKS. It’s totally different from others. Do you have any anxieties that you might be typecast and can’t act characters you want to in the future?

JKS: Each Character in productions exists as the character itself. It’s an exceptional case that the character in YMP is quite similar to me. Usually characters and JKS exist separately. On the other hand, I’ve recognized that I’m considered as a boom. However, I’m not satisfied with this situation because I haven’t been recognized as a good actor yet. Never once! After I appeared on a Korean popular talk show “Kneedrop Guru “, JKS has become more popular as a unique character, but I believe that the best life as an actor is recognized in production. And I admit the fact that I might lose popularity easily like the crush of the bubble even if I am in fashion now. That’s why I knuckle down to even trivial works. I’ve spent my life proudly. If I were asked by me if I had no regrets in my life, I would absolutely answer “No!”

— You’ve attracted attention not as an actor but as an entertainer, but it’s true that you’ve tried to act in various genre year by year. You’re a multi-talent entertainer, but at its heart is always acting. That’s because “an actor” as a career might have a bigger meaning to you than we consider.

JKS: There are two reasons. At first, I feel more catharsis when I’m acting than I express myself in front of the camera. Secondly, I sometimes sing and dance, but compared to people who choose it as a career, I’m not so special. I just know how to sing, but don’t understand the song deeply. But as far as acting is concerned, I’m confident in myself not to lose the competition against some actors for acting the same character. Because I’ve been an actor for 20 years. Examining it with a clear head, 15 years of them were like training period. Everyone has watched my acting since I was a child actor, but I wasn’t sure what I was doing. But after I became twenty years old, my life has started in a new stage.

— I was honestly surprised to watch “Hwang Jin-i”, “Hong Gil Dong”, and “Beethoven Virus”. You had a proof presence even against Kim Myung-min.

JKS: But I made a crucial mistake in the drama (Beethoven Virus). I rushed to be a mature man. I had my hair cut short, grew a beard and built up my body. It’s like I played a trick on me. When I was 22 or 23 years old, I persuaded myself that I was already mature. I didn’t want to be treated like a child actor any more, so I pretended to be strong and manly, but it was my failure. I should have prepared myself for learning how to act from senior Kim Myung-min at that time, but I was foolish enough to compete against him.

— Usually it’s hard for us to speak our mind even if we admit the failures. But it looks not difficult for you to speak your mind.

JKS: I am always practicing to see myself objectively. There is another JKS next to me, who listen to I am speaking now. When I open my big mouth or tell a lie, another JKS scolds me. I’ve trained myself as follows. If JKS after 10 years says to me today, “Stop shuffle dance!!”, I think dancing shuffle now is not right. Because I’ll regret after a while. On the other hand, if dancing shuffle now makes everyone smile and entertain, I’m sure JKS after 10 years will say to me, “It’s OK because you’re 25 now. But when you’re 35, you have to decide how to behave properly.”


I prefer to pursue an exciting life, not a steady life.

— In short, living as JKS means to develop JKS while simulating your character. I’m afraid that even if you develop yourself as you intend to, people around you may not understand you properly.

JKS: That’s why I found it really interesting. It seems simple, but in fact, it’s difficult to make myself understood. No matter how hard a twenty-years-old man makes efforts, I am, after all, a twenty-years-old man. I may be lucky and talented, but I can’t beat seniors who live much longer than I. On the other hand, I can honestly say that I want to be a prince of Asia. This is simply because I am still young. So I can say that as many times as I want. The reason why I said that my dream was becoming a prince in the world is not because just to accomplish it as my dream but because I want to show many people the process of my struggling to make it come true. I may fail and fall, but once I decide to walk a thorny path, I have to step forward while taking a splinter out. I’m not ashamed to fail or give up. Even so, I’m just irritating myself. I’m not scared of being seen my failure by others. I may fall and get injured. At times like that, please cheer me up. Of course! You can ignore me. I can bounce back. I’m a super positive person!

— Everyone is inclined to behave too carefully after making a mistake. Making a mistake may not be shameful, but hurtful. Has your bravery as if there were nothing to be scared about been built up since you were a child actor?

JKS: No matter how hurt I may be now, I experienced the worst time before. I’ve lived in severe times. I started to work as a child actor because of making money. I’ve been talking about the past over drinks with my parents lately. When we moved up to Seoul, we were on the breadline. Compared to the hardship at that time, I have little to fear now. Because I never want to go back to that days again, I’ve tried to live straight, not to be twisted. If not, I may hit the lowest point again. I wonder that days makes me pick up on positive vibes.

— Your positive and honest personality seems to attract Japanese people. The former Korean star came to Japan after they gained popularity in Korea, but you don’t trace it and have carved a different way to fame. What do you think about it?

JKS: I think it’s a challenge. A challenge I have to struggle against. In Korea I haven’t had any blockbuster representative works. There were no dramas which exceeded a viewing rate of 30 percent and no films which drew more than 2,000,000 spectators. But I made it in Japan earlier than in Korea. A huge hit of “You Are Beautiful” totally changed what I have been doing in Korea. That’s why it remains a challenge I have to overcome. There is one idea that I just continue to work in Japan because I’ve succeeded in Japan, but I am a Korean and I have a strong desire to be recognized in Korea. I want to enjoy acting at ease, but after YMP I am busy shooting “Love Rain” now. I have to carry out this challenge.

— What kind of drama “Love Rain” is? The director, Yoon SukHo, was said to be very careful to have actors and actresses express their inner feelings according to his previous works.

JKS: “Love Rain” describes two types of love. Until the fifth episode, the setting is 1970s. People at that time were living bitter days and cautious about love. It describes analog love of my parents’ generation. Today we can tell our love with mobile text-messaging easily, but at that time they had to wait for their loved one just to see her in front of the school for more than an hour. It’s inconvenient, but I feel it’s so romantic. I think their love is much purer and kept pit-a-pat much longer than today. From the sixth episode, digital love is described as a symbol of modern days. The character I act is a challenging person and sometimes doesn’t hesitate to do what he wants to. As for me, acting two persons in one production gives me a big chance and challenge.

— I think what motivates you now is your tireless energy. But this energy came out because you are young. When you get older, it’s natural that you lose the energy. When the time comes, what kind of competitive characteristic which is different from now do you think you’ll have?

JKS: Experiences. I’ve learned how to bounce back from a setback since I started to work for 20 years. So I don’t want to walk on a guaranteed and less enjoyable track. I want to try a new thing. I want to try even a seemingly reckless attempt. If so, I have a chance of encountering my representative work which symbolizes “Prince of Asia” much earlier. In this way if I can become “Prince of Asia” I’ll be happy. But it doesn’t seem interesting that everything goes well without accident. Why do I have to take a direct route? I think going a long way round is often fruitful. I want to enjoy walking whatever route. Everyone were surprised when I chose “The Case of Itaewon Homicide” because it looked the last movie to be expected. It was fun. If everyone thinks that I always choose a unique road and wonders what kind of road I will choose next time, I dare to show them what I do best such as YMP. I may possibly choose to act a zombie or a killer next year. I don’t want to be considered as a fixed image. I prefer to pursue an exciting and challenging life.

— I hope there are another JKS in Korea.

JKS: There are many actors like me. Lol.

— Yoo Ain? Lol.

JKS: Well, Yoo Ain and Kim SooHyun. “Wandeukee” was really an interesting movie. A player detect a player. Yoo Ain is a player, indeed. We’ve known each other since we were in high school, but we’ve been too busy to keep in touch. Now we just say “hi!” when we meet at the awards ceremony. I was wondering that he would do something interesting, and he did in “Wandeukee” as expected. Just like Yoo Ain has “Wandeukee”, I have YMP. And I want Kim SooHyun to catch up with us soon! I want him to overtake me and inspire me. Lol.

32 thoughts on “[Interview] 10asia”

  1. Honestly it took several days to finish this translation. It was tough for my poor skill, but still I wanted to share this interview with you. This original interview (Korean version) was released on Nov. 17, 2011, and Japanese translation was out on Dec. 23, 2011. After I came back to Japan, I found this Japanese translation and decided to share with you. Japanese translation was not perfectly understandable, so some parts were difficult to understand even the content in Japanese. But I hope you’ll enjoy this interview. Sukkie spoke openly his mind. I like him much much more than before reading this interview. I miss him badly now… I wanna see him and say “You’re special!” *sigh… love… sigh*

    • thanks a lot…at my old age I am trying to look for a job just to save for a trip (if ever) to singapore in time for his next cri show…(i think my older sister will roll up her eyes once she finds out, he he he

    • Can’t thank you enough for such a wonderful translating this piece of interview and letting his English literate Eels learn more about him. He’s already a Prince in our hearts.

    • Sukkie is very lucky to have eels that are equally brilliant like him. And as to my life of being an eel, I can’t imagine how hard it will be for me to understand a single word from him without your help and the rest of eels who put so much effort to translate/subbed JKS works and interviews for our better understanding. I will be forever grateful to you especially and aphrael.

  2. Wow…. Tenshi you are really incredible, Sukkie is lucky to have an eels like you.
    Thanks dear……..
    Sukkie you are awesome….don’t worry you will be the “World Prince” soon.
    Such an honest, cute, talented , humble and cool guy like you deserved
    the best.

  3. thanks so much for the translation, tenshi! i love this interview as with all his interviews because there are no pretenses when he speaks his mind. that’s oneof the things i love most about him. he is so transparent that you will never be left in the dark, guessing what it is he’s not saying. i really love his sincerity and frankness, seldom seen from people in his industry as they always have to protect a certain image. each and every interview just makes me love and admire him more and more.

    with all his great talents and wit, he is well on his way to being “World Prince.” the fact that he knows how to look back at where he started, learn from his experiences, and weigh all the options laid out before him, he will achieve his goals and dreams in to time.

    • Tenshi, thank you for the translation.

      Reading this interview makes me recall Director Yoon’s Love Rain interview in which he commented that Keun Suk is (I quote) open, honest, unique and is always himself.

  4. Kaori-chan.. now I know why you were missing for a few days here ^_^ When I see the length of the article.. I told myself this is another tough translation work and you must be like aphrael when she spent 12 hours at the keyboard.. really a BIG THANK YOU again… I’m still half way reading this and continue after sending this note to you…

  5. Thank U Tenshi for the translation, all the efforts put in- i enjoyed this interview so so much 🙂 i always enjoy his words of wisdom, his candidness and how he brings across his thoughts in an interesting manner.
    honestly, a person who doesn’t know JKS would never have believed this is spoken from someone who is only 24!!

  6. Thank you so much Tenshi for your time to translate this one of my favorite interview of him. Actually I have read this one in English version before. I have found it on the 10Asia English website, but I don’t mind and love to read it again here. If you want to refer to yours, here are the links. Your English is very good. I came from a non-English background as well and I fully understand sometimes how hard to translate just one word or one sentence because you just can’t find the right one to match the original. The key to improve is practicing and practicing. I have lived in the English world for 12 years, I am still everyday I feel I learn something new about English, even from my kid.

    Part I


    By the way, how are you doing? Are you still going back to Canada for more studying or you will stay in Japan? Are you gonna go to the YMP show? I think is not in the city where you live. Recently, I think eels world miss Prince J so badly. Is kind of bit quiet but we all know he is busy even he didn’t show much in public, because he always has projects going on.

    Thanks again Tenshi. You are such a good asset to international eels world.

    Take care of yourself. Hugs to you.

    • sukkiefanNCUSA, thank you for sharing the site. I didn’t know that they have already had English translations. Actually this translation was a big challenge. On my way to and from work, using iPhone, I translated them little by little. As all you know I’m not a professional, just an English learner, but whenever I translate some interview about Sukkie, I always try to deliver what he tries to tell us (Of course, with a lot of my imagination!) with my full of love using English. I can’t translate the article immediately, easily. I try not to translate it word by word, so I’m always thinking how I can make sentences in English properly. It’s very tough but I enjoy it because I feel as if I had a conversation with him directly! Lol.

      Anyway, about me, I was back to Japan and started to work completely. I took only a two-months paid holiday for studying abroad. I gave up attending YMP event held in Osaka. Because I have to save money and concentrate on joining his 20th anniversary show held in Korea this year. I really miss him, but I decided I should be patient this time.

      • Hi Tenshi, how lucky you are that you may attend to his dinner show. I wish I could, I wish I live in Japan or Korea, I wish I have the money that I can just hop on the plane and go to see him. But I will feel happy too that if you can go, at least we know we will have a great fan account after that. Sorry, I self assign you a tough work. 😛 But you know how many eels here are looking forward to that.

        May I have your email address Kaori Chan? I would like to send you something to let you take a look.

        You can email me to springyq@hotmail.com. Many thanks for that.

        I hope if one day I go to Japan that I can meet you. Is so nice to know a bit of you from this blog. 绊 is the word here too for all eels. 🙂 Friendship forever.

  7. this is my favorite part: “The reason why I said that my dream was becoming a prince in the world is not because just to accomplish it as my dream but because I want to show many people the process of my struggling to make it come true”

    -waaaah!~~~ this is the reason why like JKS..
    thank you tenshi for translating this.. 🙂

  8. this is my favorite part: “The reason why I said that my dream was becoming a prince in the world is not because just to accomplish it as my dream but because I want to show many people the process of my struggling to make it come true.”

    –waaaah!~~ this is the reason why i like JKS
    thank you tenshi for translating this.. 🙂

  9. thanks so much, tenshi for sharing this to us…want to tell you, i like your translation better..! hehe.

    aah..what moved me the most here..”Compared to the hardship at that time, I have little to fear now. Because I never want to go back to that days again, I’ve tried to live straight, not to be twisted. “..or in other translation “I chose not to go down the wrong path ’cause I don’t want to go back to where I was.”..there, i felt how deep his childhood experiences were to him, that he chose to turn 360 degrees..

    and here: “If everyone thinks that I always choose a unique road and wonders what kind of road I will choose next time, I dare to show them what I do best such as YMP. I may possibly choose to act a zombie or a killer next year. “..lol!!!

    • I feel the same way, you know one thing that when Tenshi translate, I think because she is an eel, he knows Sukkie better and understand him better, and I think as she said she was struggling because she was trying to find the right word that when people they can really get what Sukkie was trying to tell. Is hard to do translation when you are perfectionist, because the moment you translate, there is something would get lost in it, unless the person speaks directly in the same language. Even that, sometimes we can have hard time to understand.

      Tenshi dear, thanks.

  10. Such a witty, wise, and wonderful young man! Love his frankness and super positive power, he’s remarkable. But I still wonder how he manage his words and feelings in every interview, coz sometimes the questions bring back the old memories and hurt him 🙁

    And tenshi thanks for the translation, don’t feel uneasy coz you’d translated it with love 🙂

  11. Tenshi dear, thanks for your efforts. Truly a remarkable young man. To be so mature and so decisive at his age is amazing. His parents must be proud. Heck, even I am proud of him. More power to you Sukkie!! We’ll always be behind you.

  12. Dear Tenshi,,
    I’ve read the 10 asie korean version but i like yours more n i understand why..because u translate with love! Eel’s love 😉 tht”s why it touchs the hearts 🙂
    Thank You..kamsahamnida!

  13. ”an honest man is the noblest work of God” ..That’s why I really admire JKS, He is really different from other actors ,so if there is a chance to meet with JKS I will sincerely say” wiether you fail in whatever obstacles you encounter, YOU’RE ALWAYS BE MY STAR IN MY LIFE !”

  14. thanks a lot for the translation! you help us to understand more our dear Sukkie 😀 . By reading this I like JKS more every day. I hope he succeeds in every goal he stablishes for himself.
    I’m from Colombia and would love to see one of his shows one day, that would be a dream come true! he has such a good energy that makes me want to dance and enjoy more.
    JKS fighting! hehe

  15. I’m so inspired with all his words… it only shows how intelligent he really is… it gives me more reason to continue to support you JGS…. i can feel your truthfulness and kindness in almost all your interviews… I WILL KEEP ON SUPPORTING YOU TILL THE END… NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS SAY TO YOU OR EVEN JUDGE YOU… WE “EELS” WILL ALWAYS BE HERE FOR YOU!!! LOVE YOU SO MUCH SUKKIE OPPA!!! ♥♥♥

  16. Thank you Tenshi for the translation. Sukkie never ceases to amaze me. This is why I’ve come to love him and continue to love him as each day passes. And it is a wonder to me until now why most of the people in Korea don’t understand him, when we see him so clearly. 🙁

    He is such a remarkable and wise guy, and he is one smart and brilliant actor, which I know he knows that it hurts him that he has no hit in Korea yet. 🙁

    Nevertheless, I know his eels will be behind him all the way. I truly adore him because he is true to himself and to people. Unlike other actors who shows people what they want to see but is totally different in reality.

    I’m hoping we’ll get to see him when we go to Seoul this August! Love you Sukkie and will support you all the way. And I will be here beside you as long as I live! ♥

  17. He is definitely unique. I admire an actor who shows his true color. That is why he is also my idol. JKS continue to inspire us with your life. You are my inspiration. You said you might be misunderstood after your fuji tv documentary. But you are not. Your fans love you more for being honest about your strength & weakness. It just shows that you are one of us in spite your achievement. And I love you for that. Please take care of your health. We will always pray & support you. Fighting!

  18. I really enjoy reading the interview of jang geun suk; he has such a charisma not only when he was acting but also making his eels impress with his real persona that not all actors are like him. He is so honest and transparent unlike other actors who hiding their true colors. I like his ‘FREE SPIRIT’ which not all people are able to do so, he has so much energy and seems not afraid of anything; it is really amazing and at some reason I impress on him and might be ‘envy’ on him to be success at the earlier age.


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