Interview with actor Ji Chang-wook

My name is Ji Chang-wook.
My birthday is July 5, 1987.
I am an only child. I am quiet at home to the extent that I’ll seem brusque. The character Mi-poong that I play in KBS TV series “My Too Perfect Sons” is different from me in both background and personality.
During high school I wanted to work in architecture or engineering for no particular reason. When I was even younger, my dreams kept changing. I wanted to be in the police force, a teacher, a judge, lawyer, doctor and other jobs. Of course, my mind changed as I started to face reality. (laughs)
When I was in middle school, my homeroom teacher would call out the names of the students who ranked within the top 50 in the entire school and they would stand up to receive applause. I was upset that I wasn’t one of the students who got to stand up so from then on, I forced myself to study hard. In the end, my name got called for applause but I think I was too young to know how cool it was to receive applause from my classmates.
When I applied for Dankook University’s department of Theater and Film, I performed a song from the musical “Les Miserables” for the performance part of test. I always had an interest in musicals and I enjoy big productions but I prefer small productions because you’re closer to the audience so you can interact with them better.
When I did actual musicals at Daehakro (the cultural streets) I got into a lot of trouble. At the time I was the youngest actor and I think I let the pressure of being the worst performer get to me. I was supposed to be more open-minded and react to everything but I shut myself off so I think I wasn’t able to show my true potential. I had the hardest time with my musical back then too.
I enjoy watching movies. I don’t favor a particular genre but if I had to pick one, I would say I like thrillers. The most recent film that I watched was “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. Brad Pitt is one of my favorite actors and it received such great reviews in the first place. I think it was a well-made movie.
The director of film “Sleeping Beauty” was my senior from college Lee Hana. She transferred to an academy at one point but I decided to appear in the film based on my trust in her. At the time, I actually didn’t understand the entire film but I discussed with her a lot about my character.
When I shot the commercial for T-Cash, I felt comfortable because there was a flow to it. It was a fun experience. I gave the money I made from that to my mom.
Before being cast for “My Too Perfect Sons”, I auditioned in front of the director and scenarist and they told me that the reason they chose me was because of my seeminly good-natured smile. (laughs)
I learned how to knit and cross stitch to play my character Mi-poong. I’m not the best but I know how to knit a scarf. I can knit one row and purl one row. Cross stitching is easier because you just repeat the same pattern.
I love to exercise. When I was a student, I used to run around with my friends playing soccer and basketball. During middle school, we had a swimming class and I used to swim a lot. Our school gymnasium had a swimming pool on the basement level.
My hometown is Anyang and whenever I have free time I meet with my friends in the neighborhood. We’ll go to street No. 1 and play a game of pool or go to an Internet cafe to play online games. When I meet my college friends, we talk about our hardships at work but if I have personal problems I meet my close friends.
I still play Starcraft sometimes. I’m not the best at it but I like to play. In middle school, I used to watch the Starcraft games on TV. My favorite Starcraft player was Hong Jin-ho! I used to play the Zergs just like him.
If I had free time I would want to learn to play an instrument. I want to learn how to play guitar in particular. I’m not the best player but I enjoy it. And I want to continue to learn how to play piano. I used to take piano lessons when I was younger, but I had begged my mom to allow me to stop because I hated it so much. During school, I used to read the notes, play the piano and sing with my underclassmen but I still lack the skills.
Many people tell me that I look like Jonathan Rhys Meyers. My school friends performed the stage play of the movie “Match Point” and for some time my nickname was Jonathan. (laughs)

Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong
Photographer : Lee Won-woo
Editor : Lucia Hong, Jang Kyung-Jin