Park Hyung Sik's well-deserved time in the limelight has finally come. After the successful run of Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, which hit 9.8 percent in viewership ratings on its final episode, Hyung-sik is ready for more challenges in his acting career. As a former member of ZE:A, the Hallyu heartthrob has shed his idol image and is now embracing his new role as a versatile actor.
In an interview with Yonhap, the actor revealed that he didn't expect the ratings that they received for Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. He also felt overwhelmed with the love he is getting now, not only from Korean fans, but from international fans as well.
After this project, Hyung-sik shared that it would be interesting to play the role of a psychopath. His manager had joked that he would be really good in this role, as seen in his quirky portrayal of CEO Ahn Min Hyuk.
"I actually want to play one too, if given the opportunity. I might give myself migraines trying to understand and portray such a character, but I think it would be a fun challenge," Hyung-sik said. "I have quite a lot of character types that I want to play, so taking on various genres and roles is what I intend to do, if I can."
Before Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Hyung-sik played the role of King Jinheung in period drama Hwarang. While his role as the hidden king showed a more subdued character, his portrayal of Ahn Min Hyuk was more open and expressive. Dramabeans reveals that Hyung-sik almost did not accept this role, because he wanted to take a break after finishing Hwarang. However, aside from really liking the role that he would play, he also found out that he would be working alongside Park Bo Young.
"I really liked the emphasis on his quirkiness rather than painting him as cool," Hyung-sik said of Min-hyuk. "He's childish but intelligent, and knows how to read people and situations well. He had his own personal trauma, but he doesn't let it show, nor does he let it affect his life…He had so many unexpected sides to him that I found Min-hyuk so cool. I could never expect what direction he would go in."
"That's why I decided to do this show, and then I found out that Park Bo Young was the female lead. I thought I would be really dumb not to take it. People around me were also jealous."Hyung-sik has come a long way since his debut. His earlier projects weren't so well-known. He was actually part of the cast of Heirs, which starred Lee Min Ho. The humble actor reveals that he had received acting lessons while he was filming his earlier dramas, but he could only perform what he learned in class. A director once asked him to portray his character differently and he didn't know what to do.
"I was so embarrassed when that happened that I just wanted to go hide. If I had really studied the character and thought about the life he had lived up to that moment, I would've been able to understand his actions and use that to come up with a different approach, but I wasn't able to."Hyung-sik then resolved to study his character for his next project, Sirius. Thankfully, he finished the drama with no complaints. These days, not only is he studying his role well, but he's also consulting with his acting teachers.
"My teachers also tell me that while lessons are important, real-life experiences are even more so. What I feel, see, and learn from talking to various people are the most valuable. I think what they told me is right."
It could be this kind of dedication to his method acting that has led him to admit that he "loved" his co-star, Bo-young.
"I really loved Park Bo Young. She's that lovable. She really was Do Bong Soon and, because Park Bo Young truly was Do Bong Soon, I loved her. I wanted to love her more but [the drama] unfortunately ended," Hyung-sik said.
Meanwhile, fans of both stars are rooting for them to get together. Recently, the cast and crew of the K-drama went on their reward vacation to Bali. Bo-young even held a broadcast on V Live for her fans, where she happily showed her Bali bracelets. Unfortunately, her video is in Korean with no English subtitles, but those who want to view it, can do so here.
For Park Hyung-sik though, he shares his desire to improve more as an actor, saying that there's still a lot more that he has yet to try.
"As of yet, I find it hard to call myself an actor. I just want to continue having the same passion for acting and singing as I've had up to now. Ideally, I would be as desperate to continue acting in ten or twenty years. That's the kind of person I would like to become."Until then, his growing fan base would be waiting for his next project, be it as a psychopath, like his co-actor, Jang Mi Kwan, or a character from a science fiction. Maybe a Korean version of Firefly as suggested by some fans in Dramabeans, or even Doctor Who. Let us wait and see where his new agency, UAA, will take his career.
[Featured Image by JTBC]