A Stalker's Guide to Ji Chang Wook
As you read my post, I'd like to welcome you all to the wonderful world of Ji Chang Wook. A South Korean actor that has became very famous now, thanks to his latest drama - Empress Ki. I'm fangirling over him for over 2 years now. He can play a good guy or a bad guy or a complex character. He can act and sing. He plays in dramas, movies, and musicals. He is a wonderful actor who deserve recognition. Besides he is humble, cute and funny in real life. For me he is one of best young actors right now.
Here's the list of his dramas that I watched in order of watching...
as Han Tae Yang
He played Han Tae Yang - a sweet, caring and hardworking guy, who wants to set up a vegetable store with his friends. His role here is my favorite to date, because he is adorable and earnest. Tae Yang never complains about his hardships, instead he works very hard to reach his dream. Although many people want him to suffer and fail in his job, Tae Yang lives up to his name which means 'bright sun' and continues to be bright. Although the drama didn't do very well and the plot becomes too crazy, his character is consistent from start to finish. He only loves one woman in his life and wants to be the best vegetable store owner in Korea. His friendships with other bachelors also adorable and sometimes seeing them working in a team together to face many obstacles will bring us to tears.
as Yoo In Ha
Ji Chang Wook challenged himself in the drama Five Fingers by becoming a villain for the first time in his career. He acted as Yoo In Ha, a spoiled brat who used to get all the attention from his parents that own a piano company. But because his older brother, Yoo Ji Ho (played by Joo Ji Hoon) come from a deserted island after his father discovered him, In Ha becomes jealous of his brother. Their rivalry in piano world and love life are the highlights of the drama, along with their very different perspective and lifestyle. In Ha is selfish, Ji Ho is caring and selfless. As we know that an actor successfully plays a villain if he can make us hate him. Ji Chang Wook's character made me want to choke him so badly in the first half of the drama. But ultimately, he learns how to change. He realize his wrongdoings and try to understand people's feelings too. In the end, I cried along with him.
as Ta Hwan (Yuan Emperor)
Actually, he wasn't the first choice for the role of Ta Hwan, the Yuan Emperor. He rejected the role twice before accepting it. Now, blame Ji Chang Wook for making a whiny, pampered and stupid Yuan prince so enjoyable. Ta Hwan is the most wonderful character he played. It takes a great actor to make Ta Hwan at least tolerable and at his best - the most complex character in the drama. Ta Hwan's journey makes Empress Ki much more interesting. He was stupid and scaredy-cat prince when in Goryeo, then became a cute and funny emperor, then a jealous emperor, then loving father and husband, a charismatic emperor, until the writers decide he can be crazy too. As much as I hate his craziness, Ji Chang Wook can play it convincingly and that is what matters the most. His chemistry with co-star Ha Ji Won is also intense and fantastic. Their scenes together are breathtaking and captivating.
Bits of his acting in Empress Ki can be seen in this video below.
as Baek Dong Soo
A lot of people know Ji Chang Wook from his first leading role in historical drama. He stars as titular character - Baek Dong Soo, dubbed as Joseon's best swordsman during the turbulent era of Crown Prince Sado and his son, Yi San (future King Jeongjo). Ji Chang Wook created epic and tragic bromance here with Yoo Seung Ho. They trained together during childhood, then became royal guards. This drama portrays their friendship, rivalry, and betrayal. Their story is the best part of the drama. Ji Chang Wook played Baek Dong Soo with heartfelt and natural performance. He was really good when playing a young guard with little or no sophisticated thinking, then he was excellent to play trained swordsman. He performed many action scenes in this drama. His performance was very well received by the fans.
Here's Warrior Baek Dong Soo trailer if you curious to watch Ji Chang Wook here.
as Song Mi Poong
As I'm writing this, I'm still watching this drama. It is pretty old drama, aired in 2009. Ji Chang Wook played Song Mi Poong, the youngest from 4 brothers. As the youngest one, his character is shy and quiet but he is also caring and attentive. He also looks cleaner than most women, a trait that considered strange by his mother. His character has failed college entrance exam, so he must study hard to retake it. He raises his friend's daughter who went to army and it makes him grow as a person. Ji Chang Wook cried a lot in this drama because his character is so fragile and sensitive.
as Soo Il
Soo Il is a jerk in this movie. He almost rapes his girlfriend because his friends mock him. Ji Chang Wook has minor role in this ensemble movie, yet he can steal the attentions from his viewers with his good acting. He is scared and has identity crisis during the movie. He doesn't know whether it's good to be a good guy or is it better to just let himself be a bad guy. Ji Chang Wook gives Soo Il the reason and motive that makes his character alive. Not an easy feat for a young actor who was just 23 years old at the time.
1. How To Use Guys With Secret Tips (cameo)
Beside doing dramas and movies, Ji Chang Wook also starred in some musicals. In 2013 alone, he performed in musical The Days, Jack The Ripper and Brothers Were Brave. In 2010 he also starred in musical Thrill Me with Kang Ha Neul. Here's a clip of him doing Thrill Me.
Other than dramas, movies and musicals, he also starred in many MVs, T-Ara's Cry Cry and Lovey Dovey. SPEED “That’s My Fault” and “It’s Over”; K.Will “I Need You”; Younha “We Broke Up Today”; Young Gun “I Have To Let You Go”; and KARA "Runaway". He played villain in T-Ara MVs, a rebel student in SPEED, and a sweet boyfriend in other MVs.
A showcase of his acting ability in SPEED - That's My Fault MV.
He also received many acting awards for his performances in various roles.
- Excellence Award for Daily Drama,
- Actor (Smile, Donghae) at KBS Drama Awards 2011,
- New Star Award (Warrior Baek Dong Soo) at SBS Drama Awards 2011,
- Best New Actor for his role in musical The Days at Musical Awards 2013,
- Excellence Award for Special Project (Empress Ki) at MBC Drama Awards 2013.
Well, that's all for my Stalker's Guide to Ji Chang Wook. He is the one of very few actors who, I can guarantee, makes me cry whenever he cries and he really cries a lot in his projects. Almost all dramas and movies of him featured him crying. His ability to cry is not the only one though. He can always engage the viewers with his superb portrayal of each of his characters. He's simply an amazing actor.
If there is an actor or an actress that is worthy of a Stalker's Guide in your opinion, and you have watched enough dramas of his/hers to prove it, please contact Elisabetta about it