Viewers have been attracted to the new romantic thriller Healer and finding Ji Chang Wook simply irresistible. However, Ji Chang Wook is not just a pretty face. He has a great personality and works hard to follow his aspiration to become a "good actor."  This up close-and-personal interview took place when Ji Chang Wook had just started filming Healer. Watch the interview to discover why Ji has leaped to be a Hallyu hot star. And he can flutter your heart when he sings a love song.

It turned out that the first thing the interviewer said was "Ji Chang Wook is even more handsome in person." The interview took place in the practicing room for The Days musical. It's a musical that utilized a lot of older but famous songs. Ji Chang Wook sang, of course, in the musical. (A clip of him singing a love song is included in the video.) The story was about security guards who worked at the Blue House. Ji described it as a "warm, touching, and happy comedic musical." 

It's been a great year for him following the successful Empress Ki, a historical saga about a Korean (Goryeo era) woman who became an empress of China's Yuan Dynasty. Ji Chang Wook co-starred with Ha Ji Won, and his role as the Yuan emperor earned him accolades and propelled him to a recognized Hallyu hot star all over Asia. He just returned from a fan meet in Taiwan.

The interviewer asked Ji why Empress Ki was so popular. That's a good question because there are lots of amazing historical dramas produced in Korea, China, and Taiwan every year. What made Empress Ki stand out? Ji humbly said that the story is captivating. He finished the script in one read when he first received it. He added that they filmed in a very happy atmosphere. Ha Ji Won loved to laugh, and her cheerful personality helped create a happy feeling for him.

One of the most thrilling and romantic scenes was when Ji Chang Wook and Ha Ji Won raced horses on the beach. He leaped over from his horse to Ha Ji Won's horse and back-hugged her. This was voted by fans as the most favorite and memorable scene from the drama. Ji Chang Wook admitted that the result came out surprisingly better than everyone in the production team had expected.

The Yuan emperor that Ji Chang Wook played eventually became mentally unstable due to his extreme jealousy and obsession. Fans were really impressed by Ji's performance in giving an emotional yet sympathetic portrayal of the character with a complicated personality. Ji said since historical archives about the emperor were lost, he paid attention to analyzing and studying the inner personality with an inferiority complex that might have affected the character's mental state.

Most of the show was filmed in Hangzhou, China, where there is an exact duplicate of the palatial Forbidden City. His only regret was that because he was busy filming, he did not have the chance to venture out to try different foods and do sightseeing. He was asked about how it felt to wear the fabulous costumes in the drama. He gave an insider's experience that the costumes were heavy, especially with the emperor's crown. He was feeling so uncomfortable that it was even difficult to turn his head. His neck and shoulder hurt after each filming. Eventually he got used to it.

The conversation turned to Healer, his brand new drama. Ji Chang Wook said he was taking lessons in martial arts for the drama, and it was a good fitness routine for him as well. With the story covering social issues in addition to the romance, he felt the viewers should be satisfied with the drama. (Yes, we would agree!)

Watch Ji Chang Wook in Healer:

Ji Chang Wook actually started acting in 2005. His popularity increased when he earned praise playing Dong Hae in the award-winning daily drama Smile, Dong Hae in 2010, and he followed up with successful performances in shows such as Bachelor's Vegetable Store and Warrior Baek Dong Soo, His role as the Yuan emperor in Empress Ki attracted the attention and admiration of fans all over Asia.

Ever since Ji Chang Wook started pursuing acting as his calling, he has continued to challenge himself in diverse roles with projects in TV, cinema, and musicals. He even played a villainous role in Five Fingers. At the age of 27, how does he compare himself with other hot 20-something actors? Ji replied that, instead of competing with others, he preferred to constantly look for ways to improve himself to become a good actor. After studying about veteran actors and discovering that they each developed a unique style in how they approach acting, he gained the insight that there is no set rule to determine what a good actor is. He then decided that the best course of action is to not do whatever a good actor would not do.

What is his dream in life? Ji Chang Wook said he simply wished for a more abundant and happier life where he is not bothered by daily matters but can focus on acting and get along with his production team members. He believed that good things will come when he follows this goal and discipline. (Ah, I'm glad his dream is not retreating to a faraway island so we can still see him in new dramas.)

After watching this up close-and-personal interview, I can't imagine anyone who is not convinced in Ji Chang Wook's determination to hone his craft and become a great actor. I am most impressed by how much he is a "people person" by his frequent emphasis on wanting to be acting in a happy atmosphere.

Ji Chang Wook, fighting!

~ NancyZdramaland

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