.. 그래도 계속 지켜볼 겁니다~ ♪♬

130225 Ha Jung Woo’s self-interview

A completed translation of Naver Entertainment’s Star Column, featuring Ha Jung Woo~

Part 1. ‘Prankster’ Ha Jung Woo.. differentiating himself since childhood

Text by Ha Jung Woo
Edited by Issue Daily chief editor Hwang Yong Hee ent@issuedaily.com
Photographs by Issue Daily, Ha Jung Woo

“Hi, I’m Ha Jung Woo…”

“I thought hard about what stories that would be good to share about myself. After some effort, I finally decided to talk about my childhood, as well as my plans for the future. I’m currently involved in the promotion activities for the recently opened “The Berlin File”, while also filming “The Terror Live”. Erm.. With the last portion of filming remaining, I guess by the time this article is published, the filming should have ended already. The movie is expected to open this year, it is a movie with a similar feel as “Phone Booth” and “127 Hours”. Following “The Berlin File”, I hope you will support for this upcoming movie too. And now I shall start on my stories. And of course I extend my gratitude towards your support for “The Berlin File”, and I hope you will continue showing your support.

In reply to that, many of you may say, “You should be satisfied with what you have achieved so far”, but compared to (the successes attained by) people who have poured in so much blood and tears, I wish to be better than what I am now. Haha.”


~ Editor’s Intro ~

Ha Jung Woo. From minor roles, this guy has slowly and steadily worked his way to become one of the most respected representative actors from Korea. Common adjectives associated with him include ‘Current Trend’, ‘Box-office Hit’, reflecting his current status in the industry. However, he just wants to be called ‘Ha bae-woo’ (‘Ha the Actor’). That’s because that’s what he only wants to be.

No matter what role Ha Jung Woo takes up, he always soaks it up perfectly, fitting the role to a T. Outside of his works, he has a very humane side and approaches the rest of us with a very relaxed and easygoing air. Thus, critics praise him on both himself and his works. He who brings a new confidence to his roles, by expressing the characters in their rawest forms, here’s introducing one of our greatest actors, Ha Jung Woo.

Achieving recognition through the audience’s belief in him as an actor, Ha Jung Woo shall share with us his budding years, his journey as an actor, as well as thoughts of ‘Ha Jung Woo’ the person. //Chief Editor


Ha Jung Woo the boy ▶ Adventures through the whole neighborhood

Prankster Ha Jung Woo! Causing mischief all over the entire neighbourhood

As all of you know, my dad is an actor. The burden of my dad being an actor, I have shed the burden for a long time already. Of course, when I was young, I was always “So-and-so’s son”, even when I was in college, I was always an example of being “OOO’s kid”, and my dad’s name was often mentioned. However, that wasn’t a big deal to me, and I continued to debut as an actor too.

Thinking about it again, it actually seemed pretty advantageous (to have an actor dad). Definitely one of the advantages was the reassurance I got. My dad, who is still very active in his job till today, is a role model to me. Being close to him, I see how his self-discipline and how he takes care of himself (as an actor), how he does his job, and I learn from him. And more than anything, I’m very reassured and grateful to have the blood and passion of acting flowing within me.

When I was young, I played pranks throughout the entire neighbourhood, a true blue troublemaker.

135148983_2-2Me and my brother! I’m on the right! I still look pretty much the same, right?

When I think about my childhood, although my dad was busy, I never ever felt that he was neglecting the family. We travelled a lot and spent much time together. Of course, there were times when he couldn’t attend my first days of school, graduation ceremonies and sports meets due to his schedule, but I wasn’t greatly disappointed about it.

When I was young, I played pranks throughout the entire neighbourhood, a true blue troublemaker.

Even my face spells mischief.

There was one day when it snowed very heavily, and I, together with friends in the neighbourhood, used a tree as upright supports and built an igloo around the tree. It was so big 6 of us could fit in it. Constructed with a lot of snow, the igloo didn’t melt till spring. That had been a really huge tree, but it eventually froze and died (because of their igloo). Thus I remember my parents had to compensate for the tree.

Another time, I played a prank using fireworks and set fire to somebody’s furniture which were waiting for the movers. Everything was burnt to ashes. Again, full compensation was paid.

With regards to my pranks, my parents did not scold me badly about it. Ah, of course in return for burning up others’ furniture, I guess I must have received quite a beating for it, haha. Because it was arson on others’ properties.

There was a time when I was totally fascinated with fire extinguishers, and ended up test-spraying all the extinguishers in our neighborhood. I think we had to pay a lot of compensation for the fire extinguishers. All these incidents happened when I was in elementary school. When I was young, I played many pranks, which were pretty big right? They were of blockbuster standards. Hahaha.


Ha Jung Woo the teen ▶ Sports + studies, excelling in both

High schooler Ha Jung Woo, who worked hard in whatever he did!

When I recall my schooling days, what differentiated me from the others was that my parents weren’t forceful or pressuring me on my education. Whatever happened, all the extra tuition I had for my studies, that happened only because I requested for it myself. They never once made me do it.

One more thing that I’m very grateful and fortunate for, is that they never refused to let me do sports like swimming or skiing, during my schooling days, When I was in high school, I joined the basketball team, and even participated in competitions. I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted, which gave me a very healthy schooling life.

To be able to participate in so many sports when I was young, now when I think back, they were all good memories for me.

When I was in high school, I also took part in the Newspaper Squad. The Kyung Hee Newspaper Squad was one of the academically-oriented societies in Seoul High School. Together with the English edition and discussion sections. The atmosphere of the squad was academically-oriented too. The way it works is, when one of us finishes an article written on squared manuscript paper, we would pass the draft to the seniors for review. But I eventually had to drop out of this due to basketball.

When I was in my 2nd year (10th grade), I was the chief editor in the Newspaper Squad, which prevented me from taking part in basketball tournaments. That’s why I quit (the squad). I made the decision because I wanted to play in the tournaments.

Thinking back, I guess I was the type who hated half-heartedness. Whatever I do, do it properly! Whatever I do, I consider it of utmost importance. I still think like that today, like not drinking while having a main meal. If it’s time to drink, just drink! If it’s time for a meal, just the meal! When I have my meal, I don’t drink. When you eat, you must eat thoroughly (?), that’s what I’m trying to say.

While enjoying my schooling days, more carefree and healthy than anybody else, internally I had always dreamed of being an “actor”. But this was not something I could voice out easily.

At that time, if I said I wanted to enter the faculty of theater and film studies, people will have this judgemental look upon me. That’s why although I wished to do so internally, it was hard to express it out in words. My dad couldn’t say it as well. Erm.. I know that this is the same situation today, but in my time, studies, academic ranking, which university you attended, those were very important. Thus, although I had the desire to be an actor, I made a plan where I wouldn’t choose theater and film studies, but instead planned to either study the social sciences, or enter a liberal arts college, whereby after my graduation I could then try for a (acting) talent recruitment tests later.

After hearing about my plans, my mum said, “Why do you have to make such a roundabout?” Her opinion was that if I had the desire to act, wouldn’t it be better to major in something that supports that desire? She gave me much practical and relevant advice.

115400035_5Here’s Ha Jung Woo enjoying his days as a college student! See some familiar faces?

(Hyun Bin the 1st year student on the left, Ha Jung Woo the student council president in the center… ROFL)

On the other hand, my dad was kind of disappointed. He’s the kind who believes in being conscientious and diligent in one’s education, thus he wanted me to go for a typical college degree. I couldn’t reveal my deep inner desires. In my heart, I had the yearning for acting, but the only times I could talk about was with my mum, occasionally. Before I became an actor, I couldn’t talk about my dreams, my goals, nor my plans of being an actor, to my dad.


Eventually, I entered the faculty of theater and film studies, and started on my path as actor Ha Jung Woo. Thanks to my parents’ advice and faith in me, I did not have to give up or regret this choice.

And that’s how the mischievous me spent my youth and student days healthily, with much freedom. I spent my college days striving for my dreams. From the past till today, when I watch the theater performances by seniors Lee Bum Soo, Kim Suk Hoon, Kim Sang Kyung, Kang Sung Bum, who are all also in the industry, I continue to be inspired towards my dreams of being an actor.

And thus I end Part 1 of this self-interview. In the upcoming Part 2, I will be writing about what I think of “acting” as well as other thoughts about the works I have participated in so far. Stay tuned~

Specially brought to you by Ha Jung Woo, for Naver Entertainment’s Star Column~

“무엇을 하더라도, 제대로!

하는 게 중요하다고 생각했습니다.

그건 지금도 마찬가지라 저는 반주를 하지 않아요. 하하.

술은 술! 밥은 밥! 밥을 안주로 술을 마시지 않아요.

한번 먹으면 충분히(?) 먹어야 한답니다.”


[The Ha Jung Woo Food Channel – unreleased Berlin episode]

[The Ha Jung Woo Food Channel – War with Crime episode]

[The Ha Jung Woo Food Channel – legendary Yellow Sea episode]

[The Ha Jung Woo Food Channel – I’m Choco Pie episode]

One response

  1. Pingback: KCC UK's 'Year of the 4 Actors' - The Stars! | The Korea Blog

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