Exclusive Interview: Worldwide Korean Wave Icon Jang Hyuk

Buena Park/Los Angeles, CA (June 22, 2022 LAPost) – With a background as former professional Taekwondo athlete, Korean first tier actor and rapper Jang Hyuk appeared in so many award wining movies and top hit TV dramas from 1997。

Jang Hyuk is recognized by U.S. main stream news media as one of the most important international representative of Korean Wave.

Jang ’s latest movie is American-Korean co-production “The Killer” the story follows a ruthless assassin who goes on a vengeful rampage and shows no mercy to his enemies.

Jang Hyuk, who was recently in the investigative series Tell Me What You Saw and in the movie Tomb of the River. Currently, the actor is best known for his role as Park Gye-won in the hugely popular historical drama TV series Bloody Heart. In The Killer, he showcases his fighting skills once again and plays a character who you’re probably not going to want to cross.

The Killer north America premier was held in Westwood, Los Angeles on June 20 by Asian World Film Festival. The action-thriller will hit theaters on July 13 in the United States.

(Photo Credit: Kathleen Lee)

Richard Ren, executive director of the Los Angeles Post had a very rare chance to sit down with Mr. Jang Hyuk for an exclusive interview when Jang was visit in Los Angeles for his movie The Killer premier.

LAPost: After watching The Killer, many fans feel that this work has many elements of violent aesthetics, which is very similar to Quentin’s work. What do you think of this comment?

Jang Hyuk: Because it’s an action theme, I could see why people describe it’s famous, but like Quentin Tarantino’s action movies I can see that, But what is important about our movie is that while we are doing the actions we try to incorporate as though the actions were part of a dance choreography, so try to incorporate rhythm, tempo, even sound, so we incorporated drums, drumming sounds into it so watching it will be more dynamic.

LAPost: There are a lot of action scenes in this movie, and the actors’ action scenes (fighting level) are also very demanding. Do you feel any challenge when shooting?

Jang Hyuk: I started participating in the movie from the planning part of it to, so when we were designing the actions and designing choreography, what we focused on was diversifying different types of performance, so there are many professionals that took part in this action movie to, so a whole action team was part of it, so having this professional team participating in it, we can do very quiet, but still active actions with the team and we used the technique one scene one cut, where we don’t cut different parts and just go in one cut, and having all those professional teams took  a lot of preparation and that was a challenging part.
Additionally, we wanted to incorporate different sound effects too. Weapons have different sound effects, so there are all sorts of weapons that we incorporated, all of them working together, and I was working very closely with the director of the movie and the martial arts director.

LAPost: What is the special significance of this film throughout your career? What was the most unforgettable feeling during the shooting?

Jang Hyuk: This movie is special to me because I started from the very beginning of the movie. I took part in the planning part of it, so I worked not only as an actor, but as a staff member as well. So also at the end of filmmaking I participated in the editing portion of it, also I worked together with the sound team as well so working together with the different parts of filmmaking was impressive to me. And what’s important to me also as a next step working with a great team like this I want to create opportunities for korean actors that are not well known but have great talents. I want to incorporate their careers in filmmaking as well, so creating this working together environment with people who are not as well known so Korean culture can be spread across further audiences.

What I remember the most about making the movie was not just about making the movie but about how we premiered here in Hollywood and how welcoming the audience was and that was most impressive to me. On monday we had a large turnout of people coming to enjoy the movie, so that was just stuck in my head as the most impressive part of the movie.

LAPost: Do you have any message you would like to convey to American audiences through the release of this film in the United States?

Jang Hyuk: I want my American audience to enjoy great Korean film content. These days movies are made of a lot of computer graphics but our movie is different, such as actor to actor and one scene one cut technique, so that people can really feel the acting come alive. That’s what I want my audience to take with them.

LAPost: Do you currently have any plans for further cooperation with Hollywood?

Jang Hyuk: As the Killer is premiering, opening up in the U.S. I was told there were a lot of opportunities presented to us so I’m hoping those opportunities will become actualized so I can work delivering Korean Content.

LAPost: Judging from the expansion effect of other countries in the US market, Korean movies, TV series/pop music are being widely welcomed in the US. What do you think is the reason for the success? How did South Korea do it?

Jang Hyuk: I think there are some unique aspects of Korean Culture that are well received around the globe so I think that’s one thing. Also compared to the entertainment industry in Hollywood the budgets in Korea are not as high but we have skills to produce great content with limited budgets so I think that’s another aspect of why Korean content is well received.

By: Richard Ren