Blown away by Jang Hyuk

Jang Hyuk oh Jang Hyuk, why must you be THIS AMAZING in Chuno?

This is one post that I have to write no matter what. I mentioned earlier about how I couldn’t put my love for Chuno into words, for the fear that I’d butcher its so well put-together brilliance (tho not flawless). But I just had to break it out today. I don’t care right if I sound crazy. I don’t care if my post comes off as a mess. Heck I don’t even care if I end up not saying anything substantial or constructive about the drama. I just don’t care – because Jang Hyuk’s all I can think of right now.

I just got done with EP 16 of Chuno, easily one of my favouritest episode of the whole drama (discounting Ep 10 of course). And guess what? When I should be ranting about how I loved Un-Nyun’s character development and LDH’s fantastic portrayal of her anguish in this episode (considering my self-professed fangirlism over LDH :P), all I could think of was Jang Hyuk/Dae Gil. Why?

Well, simply because Jang Hyuk just overshadowed everyone else.  He was that GOOD.

I’ve always thought of Jang Hyuk as a fine actor, not the best, but definitely one with massive acting appeal. That said, he’s not exactly flawless, and sometimes tends to over-act when it comes to conveying intense and explosive emotions. However, it is that kind of acting which overwhelmed me in his portrayal of Dae Gil in Chuno. It is that kind of raw acting which made me root for him despite his unruly and menacing ways in the drama. It is that kind of acting which will just make you ache, cry, burst and in the end, feel empty after watching. It is that kind of acting that Jang Hyuk has been delivering so wonderfully thus far (into 16 episodes of Chuno) and is continue to do better and better by every episode.  Chuno, IS definitely Jang Hyuk’s game.

Chuno isn’t exactly an actor’s drama I must say. Ranging from the main characters to the most insignificant characters, most of them if not all pretty much share a somewhat equal amount of screentime in the drama. Even Jang Hyuk/Dae Gil, who supposedly holds the center arc in Chuno along with Un-Nyun/Hye Won (LDH’s character), does not dominate even one third of the drama’s screen time.  It is a small gripe that I have with Chun Sung Il, but still acceptable at the moment.  However, given the short screen time, it is Jang Hyuk who shines the most and Jang Hyuk, who leaves the deepest and most memorable impression.

As mentioned by many of my fellow Soompi Chunoholics, Dae Gil is a complex and layered character marred with flaws and imperfection.  He is our main guy in Chuno, but rarely shows signs of what we call “goodness”. In all sense, he’s a character driven by somewhat improper motivations and always works on spur of the moment impulses.  A character who shows no distinctive signs of being human on the front. And yet within that wretched soul, lies a vulnerability that nobody will ever know or see.  A character drowned by cruelity and brutality of life, you cannot imagine how much more he’s capable of enduring. How much more worst can it get for Dea Gil? From losing his status, family, loved one, to his only companionship, his fellow slave hunters, Wang Son and General Choi, how much more does he have to suffer?

Having said that, I have to say that Jang Hyuk nailed every single trait of Dae Gil on the spot brilliantly. Dae Gil’s irrational and impulsive actions, Dae Gil’s menacing and malicious ways, and even his emotional and heartwrenching scenes.  Every single emotion, delivered with a rawness so gripping and heart-twinging that you CANNOT possibly not feel for his character. Some commented on his overly-exaggerated emotions when shouting and screaming. But I say, with a character surrounded by so much torment physically and emotionally, it’s that kind of over-explosive  acting required. To vent, to unleash and to break it all out. The outward intensities as delivered wholeheartedly by Jang Hyuk, totally called for and warranted.

Another thing about Jang Hyuk’s performance in Chuno is that you can really see the dedication and conviction he puts into perfecting the duality of Dae Gil. When DG stares in anger, or prepares to fight, those gazes alone are already capable of piercing thru one’s soul. When he drops down in despair, he cries like the world’s gonna end, like he will never live again. When he settles down and starts to think about Un-Nyun, you can feel him shiver and tremble. And heck, even when he talks, those gestures, expressions, mannerisms – they just give me goosebumps!  With the finesse and intricacy in every one of those, especially his facial expressions, one cannot possibly not be moved. Impossible!

Take some of his classic scenes in Chuno – the heartbreaking and earth-shattering scene of Dae Gil confronting Un-Nyun’s brother, his crazy mad and tormented scene at the end of Ep 10,  the scene of his outburst of tears and screaming when he saw Un-Nyun and Tae Ha smile so happily, his conflicted expression when he met Un-Nyun for the very first time in Ep 16, and heck even his pained expressions when fighting, all which had been brilliantly acted out by the actor, brought about heart-ache and pain to everyone, including those who don’t/didn’ support his actions or cause. A performance so gripping and haunting (to some I know) that deserved all the accolades and compliments viewers have been showering upon him.

So in any case, given Jang Hyuk’s mindblowing performance in Chuno, it’s totally noteworthy  and deserving that he’s been given a Baek Sang Best Actor nomination. I glanced thru the list of contenders, and with all due respect to the other nominated actors (esp So Ji Sub and Lee Byung Hun, who’re also my favorite actors),  Jang Hyuk totally PAWNS all of them. I came across predictions online, that LBH’s likely to win for his performance in IRIS. But anyone who has watched both IRIS and Chuno will know who’s the better. And who deserves it the most. If Jang Hyuk does not win for Chuno, no other winner, no matter how much I respect and admire them, will make me satisfied. Jang Hyuk ftw! =D

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17 thoughts on “Blown away by Jang Hyuk”

  1. Hi Ripgal,

    Sorry for this late response. Came by your blog the day I asked you for the link. Can’t agree more after reading your thoughts and feelings about Jang Hyuk’s performance in Chuno.

    I’m a big fan of Hyukie and very pleased with his passion in acting is recognized.

    I will check your blog from time to time. Thank you for sharing !

  2. I love reading thoughts and praise about Jang Hyuk from other people because I lack the eloquence to express my admiration of this actor. From the first minute I ever saw him (first episode of Chuno), I was blown away as well.

  3. I love Lee Da Hae and Jang Hyuk. It’s just wonderful and sweet to watch them together. The only complaint I have Chuno is their interactions and acting together are so little. It was also heartbroken for me and my heart sank to the bottom when HyeWon married to TaeHa.

    Many of us think if DaGil and HyeWon will die together is already the perfect ending. Isn’t it very sarcastic ?

  4. I just finished Robbers a few days ago. What a ride! Before, I had some reservations about watching something with Lee Da Hae again (My Girl was cute but LDH’s cutsieness had the tendency to over-do it so that it seems kind of fake) but Robbers pulled me so fast on the LDH/JH ship I almst got whiplash. Great perfomances by both and not to forget the supporting cast. I think, that Robbers is much too under appreciated.
    Someone on soompi once wrote that he/she likes to think that Daegil/Un-nyun are the past life Ohjoon/Dalrae, lol, I always thought about that while watching Robbers.

  5. hahatk, vhc… I agree with you guys. I loved JH and LDH’s chemistry in Robbers. The drama was truly an underrated gem. But I guess some people weren’t able to see thru the cliches and melodrama in it back then.

    I’m also a bit miffed that we didnt’ get to see more DG/UN moments in Chuno. And I read some MAJOR spoilers in the news that both DG’s gonna die? I’m not sure. I anticipated that, but please, where are our DG-UN scenes? Pretty please writer?

  6. When I watched Robbers the first time, the storyline was not very attractive to me. But I love the chemistry btw Hyuk and LDH. Their kisses just melt my heart. I love JH and LDH. The more I watch this drama, the more I like it.

    I couldn’t believe JH and LDH would be starring together again so soon when Chuno was still casting for the female lead. I was so excited and happy then.

    Watching HyeWon married to TaeHa was a big blow to many viewers like me. Don’t know what will happen in the grand finale of Chuno this week since the scriptwriter has been very good at letting viewers down. Anyway, I will have to re-watch Robbers again to comfort my sorrowing heart. I will have to think DaGil/Un-Nyun are the past lives of OhJoon/DalRae. At least, there is a ‘happy ending’ to OhJoon/DalRae.

    1. We’ll mend each others’ sorrowing heart then. >.< Too bad Chuno's ending too soon. It could have been better (with more DG-UN moments!) but I think the writer chose to keep it a men-focused material. Fortunately LDH was able to shine in the recent episodes. And JH? He always does. ❤

      Oh wellz, we can always go back to Robbers if we need our JH-LDH dose. hehehe..

  7. It’s been almost two weeks since I watched my last Chuno episode. I am patiently waiting for the high quality subs (btw., withs2 team, you are amazing!)…I have withdrawal symptoms, in the meanwhile I’m stuffing myself with Jang Hyuk’s filmography (JH-gluttony is my current favourite sin, lol) and I love the anticipation to finish Chuno in one go when all the subs are out…but still, I can’t stop lurking in the soompi thread, trying/not trying to avoid spoilers and somehow, I am frigging afraid about the end. I am afraid of being disappointed…gah.

  8. The ending oh the ending. >.<
    Not gonna spoil it for you, but I can only say that my heart broke. T.T

    Jang Hyuk, the Baek Sang MUST go to you. MUST!

  9. Psst, I’m recapping ep 16 for DB. Since you love this eppie so much, I hope I can do it justice! ^^

    Agree with you that Jang Hyuk is beyond awesome in Chuno. (Still need to watch episodes 21-24.)

    1. OMO, Thundie’s first comment here! It’s an honor to have you drop by haha..=D

      Can’t wait for your EP 16 re-cap!

  10. Hi!!!! All I can say right now is I TOTALLY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE WRITTEN…..JANG HYUK IS THE AT HIS FINEST IN CHUNO!!!!!! I have finished Chuno but I keep coming back and reading everything about this drama and watching every BTS just to feed my addiction of Jang Hyuk and of course my girl Lee Da Hae. Love CHUNO!!!!

  11. thundie :Psst, I’m recapping ep 16 for DB. Since you love this eppie so much, I hope I can do it justice! ^^
    Agree with you that Jang Hyuk is beyond awesome in Chuno. (Still need to watch episodes 21-24.)

    You are still recapping Chuno?! That’s good to hear. I liked your last Chuno recap a lot and I assumed everyone has given up on recapping it since it had been so long.

  12. you know that you said everything I feel about jang hyuk and his character in chuno,it’s like you read my mind and feel my heart that can’t stop beeting from loving jang hyuk,he is defenetly the greater actor I’ve ever seen

  13. Every once in a while I come back to this post which so accurately expresses my own impressions on JH performance in Chuno. I needed it specially now, after the huge disappointed that Iris 2 turned out to be. Im still on Chuno – JH withdrawal since I only watched it late last year. What to do? Ill be reading your blog for recommendations, since you have watched so many k dramas and Im new to this. But how does want overcome Chunoholism? and even worse Hyukism? I need to find someone and something else to obsess about soon!

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