Jang Dong-gun is ready to go again : After falling into a slump, the ‘V.I.P.’ star has finally hit his stride

Home > National >

print dictionary print

Jang Dong-gun is ready to go again : After falling into a slump, the ‘V.I.P.’ star has finally hit his stride


After finding himself in a creative slump, actor Jang Dong-gun is looking forward for his next movie “V.I.P” to hit theaters. [WARNER BROS. KOREA]

Actor Jang Dong-gun revealed in an interview with the Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, that he was going through a creative slump.

He recalled, “It was my first time being in a slump since I began acting 25 years ago. It has come to me regardless of the success or failure of the work.” He is currently waiting for the release of “V.I.P.,” which he has a starring role in. The movie is directed by Park Hoon-jung and hits theaters on Aug. 23.

“In one moment, acting started to become uninteresting and hence, I lost my drive. I also lost interest in myself and all movies. I even refused to watch movies, no matter what others said about the movie,” said Jang.

“I had that period without a concrete reason, so it hit me even harder,” he added. “I didn’t know where to begin. However, I figured out that problems from work can be solved by work. And while filming ‘Night of 7 Years,’ everything went back into place.” The upcoming “Night of 7 Years,” based on a bestselling novel of the same name, was filmed in 2016. It’s release date has yet to be announced.

“I was constantly thinking about what I could do and what I should show more of as an actor, but after filming ‘Night of 7 Years,’ I thought that I could be fresh and different once again,” said Jang.

The actor is back on screen for the first time in three years thanks to his role in “V.I.P.” The action movie tells the story of an elite North Korean defector, played by Lee Jong-suk. He is suspected to be a prime suspect in a serial murder case and is being chased by the police, the National Intelligence Service and the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, each for a different purpose.

When asked whether he showed the movie’s script to his wife Ko So-young, a famous actress as well, and asked for some advice, he said, “I couldn’t show her, but I just let her know that I was cast on this kind of movie.”

“I got the script when I was in China, so I couldn’t show her. However, the atmosphere of the movie is quite different from what I have done in the past. I explained to her that the overall mood is quite heavy and the character looks demanding, so I asked her what she thought about it.”

He further added that he and Ko don’t watch their work because they both feel awkward about it. He said he could not even watch one of Ko’s dramas with her. When he tried to watch the show with her, she refused and kicked him out of the bedroom. But he revealed, while laughing, that he “secretly watched it alone in the living room.”

BY CHO YEON-GYEONG [hong.youkyoung@joongang.co.kr]

장동건 "지독한 첫 슬럼프…의욕·자기애 모두 사라져"

장동건이 지독한 슬럼프를 겪었다고 토로했다.

영화 '브이아이피(박훈정 감독)' 개봉을 앞두고 있는 장동건은 17일 서울 삼청동의 한 카페에서 진행된 인터뷰에서 "25년간 활동하면서 슬럼프는 처음이었다. 작품들의 성패와 상관없이 찾아왔고 처음에는 매너리즘이라고 스스로 진단을 내렸다"고 회상했다.

장동건은 "관성에 의해 연기가 재미 없어지기 시작하니까 의욕도 없어지더라. 자기애도 없어지고 나에게 관심이 사라졌다. 남들이 재미있다고 해도 영화라는 것 자체가 보기 싫더라. 그런 시기가 있었다"고 솔직하게 고백했다.

이어 "어떤 이유에서인지는 모르겠지만 그런 시기를 겪게 됐고 어떻게 풀어 나가야 할지 막막하기도 했다. 근데 일은 결국 일로 풀어야 하더라. ‘7년의 밤’ 촬영을 하면서 모든 것을 다시 되찾기 시작했다"고 전했다.

또 "'내가 더 이상 뭘 할 수 있을까. 내가 할 수 있는 것이 뭐가 있을까'라는 생각이 끊임없이 날 붙잡았는데 '7년의 밤'을 찍으면서 '다시 새로워질 수 있겠구나. 흥미를 가져도 되겠구나' 싶더라'며 "지금은 아주 좋다. 내 스스로가 다시 멋있어지기 시작했다"고 너스레를 떨어 웃음을 자아냈다.

장동건의 3년만 스크린 컴백작 '브이아이피'는 국정원과 CIA의 기획으로 북에서 온 VIP가 연쇄살인사건의 용의자로 지목된 상황에서 이를 은폐하려는 자, 반드시 잡으려는 자, 복수하려는 자, 서로 다른 목적을 가진 네 남자의 이야기를 다룬 범죄 영화다.

인터뷰에서 "'브이아이피' 시나리오가 꽤 강렬했을텐데 아내 고소영에게도 보여주고 조언을 구했냐"는 질문에 "보여주지는 못했다. 다만 '이런 작품이 있다. 들어왔다'고 이야기는 했다"고 말했다.

장동건은 "중국에 있을 때 시나리오를 받았다. 그래서 보여줄 수는 없었다. 하지만 이전 작품들과는 분위기도 좀 달랐고, 말처럼 쉽지 않은 캐릭터, 가볍지 않은 무게감이 있었기 때문에 '어떨 것 같냐'고 물어봤다. '재미있겠다. 알아서 잘해'라고 하더라"고 전했다.

이어 "사실 우리는 연기 모니터를 잘 안 한다. 서로 어색해 하는 것 같다. 소영 씨 드라마도 본방송이 나갈 땐 같이 안 봤다. 오랜만에 하는 작품이라 방에서 같이 보려고 하면 자꾸 쫓아내더라. 거실에서 몰래 따로 보고 그랬다"고 귀띔해 웃음을 자아냈다.

조연경 기자

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)