So most of you know me as a total Gong Yoo fangirl by now, and while the Gong Yoo love is still firmly in place, I do also have a lot of love for Jang Hyuk.
In fact, Jang Hyuk holds a pretty special place in my heart.
I once was a pretty big Park Shi Hoo fangirl, and Jang Hyuk was the one who managed to unseat my Park Shi Hoo love and get me to cast aside my Park Shi Hoo fangirl loyalties, which were, once upon a time, pretty strong.
Once I discovered Jang Hyuk, I was pretty fixated and proceeded to spend the next 7 months of my life spazzing over him. Until Gong Yoo showed up on my screen and stole my heart.
It’s little surprise, then, that my second k-love confession post is about fabulous, delicious Jang Hyuk. ♥
Come squee, ogle and swoon with me ^^
FIRST ENCOUNTER: TREE WITH DEEP ROOTS
It was February 2012, and I’d heard so much good buzz in the dramaverse about Tree With Deep Roots that I decided that I should check it out, even though it didn’t sound like my kind of show at the time.
I loved Tree, and while I didn’t fall for Jang Hyuk right away, I was very, very impressed with him.
I found him completely committed to the role and I believed him every second of the way.
I loved his onscreen intensity, which you can see just from these couple of screencaps:
Yes, there was a brief shirtless scene, but it did nothing for me, and I was more taken with Jang Hyuk’s delivery.
I didn’t think his delivery was as nuanced as it could have been, but what Jang Hyuk lacked in nuance, he totally made up for with his magnetic screen presence, oodles of badass charisma, and a complete commitment to the role that was devoid of vanity.
I was never tempted to think that this was Jang Hyuk in character; I was instead led to accept, without doubt, that he was the character. Which is a type of brilliance all its own.
I promptly added Jang Hyuk to my list of actors to watch, and decided that I would check out Chuno sometime, just to see him.
FALLING HARD: CHUNO
Edit: You can also check out my more recently written Chuno review here.
Despite the dusty, rough surroundings that had initially turned me off the idea of Chuno, I found that it really was beautifully shot, and absolutely lived up to the reputation of being glorious.
The cinematography was glorious, yes, but really, so was Jang Hyuk in it.
Jang Hyuk in all his swaggering, magnificent glory, combined with gorgeously shot cinematography? Definitely worth watching in HD 😉
In terms of my enjoyment of Chuno, let’s just say that I basically ate up Jang Hyuk’s presence onscreen. I found him so lovely to watch that he made up for anything else that may not quite have made the mark.
For a good chunk of the time in Chuno, Jang Hyuk walks around either shirtless or almost shirtless. And I found him mesmerizing and completely hawt.
Just take a look at these screencaps:
Hot, hawt man ahead. May cause spontaneous combustion, ovary explosion or related affliction. View with care!
Oh. My. Word.
That muscle definition. Those pecs. That badass smirk.
Such a sizzling hot man. Rawr.
I couldn’t take my eyes off him; I was completely mesmerized.
But wait. There’s more.
Jang Hyuk is knee-bucklingly – and I mean knee-bucklingly – sexy when he moves.
First, the swagger. It is seriously one of the sexiest things about him.
He has a loose-limbed way of walking that oozes cool, and yet amid the looseness of the swagger, his muscles have a definition that usually only comes with flexing. It makes it seem like he’s so ripped that he doesn’t need to flex to achieve drool-worthy definition. It’s there even while he’s swaggering languidly. Yum.
Second, the badass, badass fight moves.
Jang Hyuk has a black belt in Jeet Kune Do, and it totally shows. He is completely at ease kicking ass, and you just have to see it for yourself to appreciate what I’m saying.
Check out this (non-spoilery) Jang Hyuk cut of Chuno, in all his kickass, swaggering glory:
While the story in Chuno faltered in places, the beautiful cinematography, the lovely music, and most of all, Jang Hyuk’s swaggering, intense, manly, swoon-inducing onscreen presence sustained me through the show.
Gorgeous, gorgeous manly man whom I found so beautifully intense. Umfft. ♥
AN EXTENDED JANG HYUK KICK
Clearly, Jang Hyuk had captured my attention Good. And. Proper. I soon went on a Jang Hyuk kick, trawling the net for information, photos and other Jang Hyuk tidbits.
Here’s a rundown of my discoveries.
Five Senses of Eros
I discovered that Jang Hyuk had acted in Five Senses of Eros, which I’d watched long ago before I’d known who he was. I decided to re-watch it just to see him again.
It made a big difference to the watching experience, I have to say.
I hadn’t thought much of His Concern, the story in which he’d acted, coz it was a short story of a man who meets a woman on a train. It’s very introspective, with a lot of voice-over by his character to show us what he’s thinking the whole time.
On the re-watch, I found it much more amusing than before, coz this time I already had a Serious Appreciation of his hotness. To see such a hot man puzzling over how to approach a woman that he finds attractive, and bumbling over his words was rather cute.
Context is always everything.
I also found that Jang Hyuk was not just a good fighter, but a good kisser too. And quite hot, even without his mane of glory.
Those kisses – and Jang Hyuk – had me breathless.
So. Very. Sensuous.
Dance of the Dragon
You know, as a focused k-fangirl, I don’t really keep tabs on my local entertainment industry. So imagine my complete surprise when I checked Jang Hyuk’s filmography, only to find that he’d acted in a Singapore-Korean collaboration, titled Dance of the Dragon. I was like, Wha?
I hadn’t even heard of the movie when it came out in Singapore. Yes, that’s how detached I am from the local entertainment scene.
But I looked for and watched Dance of the Dragon, all so I could see Jang Hyuk.
Jang Hyuk playing a dancer who tries to learn to be a fighter?
I found that really amusing, coz in reality, it was the other way around. In Real Life, Jang Hyuk’s a fighter who had to learn how to dance for this movie XD
Ironically, this meant that he had to look like a beginner in martial arts when he’s actually very good at it, and look proficient at dancing when dancing was the thing that was really new to him.
It was a little odd seeing him dance, but he really did well, I must say. He was often called on to dance, but imperfectly for the most part, and he would have to emote from a wide range in the process.
Here’s a quick peek, both at the dancing and the martial arts bits:
The film wasn’t an action show nor quite a dance show. It was a character showcase, and I thought Jang Hyuk did beautifully, with not much dialogue written for him.
That was my favorite thing about that film: Jang Hyuk’s portrayal of his character.
He was able to convey a lot about his character without having to say much, and I loved that.
I also stumbled on a tidbit one day while surfing for something else, that some fangirls had even seen him eating at a food court in Singapore while he was here filming the movie.
They reported how focused he’d been during filming (they’d signed up as extras), how devoid of star airs he’d been, and also how frustrated he had been with himself while trying to master the dance moves he was supposed to execute.
Aw. Love the fact that he’s down-to-earth and doesn’t have star airs. ♥
Another discovery I made is that Jang Hyuk starred in a 2008 drama titled Robber or Robbers. Although I’d already started watching dramas in 2008, I’d never heard of this drama.
Even though this drama didn’t get a lot of attention and was more of a melo than a rom-com, Jang Hyuk’s character was supposed to be suave and cool and I definitely wanted to see that.
So I checked out Robber, and was rewarded with more Jang Hyuk hotness. Even when the scene wasn’t supposed to showcase his hotness, I found myself swooning at him and practically wanting to jump him 😛
Memorably, there was a scene where he got to showcase the ridiculously difficult one-thumb pushup.
Yes, you read that right. One-thumb pushup. And he even did several for the camera.
My word. Isn’t it just crazy badass that he can actually do that?!
Of course, when he wasn’t doing crazy badass things like that, he was also very appealing:
Roguish and caddish, yet sometimes thoughtful and pensive. The eye candy was quite good in Robber.
Nowhere near Chuno standards, to be sure, but not too bad at all, especially for a Jang Hyuk-hungry fangirl.
Still strong on my Jang Hyuk kick, I next checked out Thank You, where Jang Hyuk plays a badass rogue doctor.
So cool. And so hot.
First of all, he cleans up quite nicely:
Then he’s the kind of badass rogue doctor who stitches himself up:
And then there are the shirtless scenes:
Plus, he got to be both badass:
I was completely smitten.
Of course, while all this drama-watching went on, I also amassed quite a lovely collection of photos of this lovely, delicious hunk of a man.
And I found some lovely gems, to be sure.
First of all, let’s look at the shirtless ones, coz I know we’re all looking forward to those 😉
Here we go, oodles of shirtless Jang Hyuk for you:
What did I tell ya?
Jang Hyuk is ripped, sculpted and tantalizingly delicious, isn’t he?
But again, in case you might be thinking that I only appreciate a half-nekkid Jang Hyuk, let me share some yummy clothed Jang Hyuk with you.
Here he is, all casually yummy:
Umft! So delicious!
And then here he is, being all badass in general:
Mmm. Yes, do rip your shirt off, Jang Hyuk sshi ^^
But wait. We’re not done with the goodies just yet!
Here he is, all nicely cleaned up:
And then here he is, wonderfully lovely and pensive:
By this time, it was September 2012, and I had started to watch Big.
Most of y’all know what happened when that happened.. I was completely charmed and mesmerized by Gong Yoo.
Still. Just because I’ve decided that Gong Yoo is my big k-love, doesn’t mean I don’t have room for Jang Hyuk.
I mean, not only is he a full-on, everything-into-the-role, no-vanity intense kind of actor, he’s also smoking hot and completely swoon-worthy, with sexy, manly charisma just oozing out of him.
I mean, seriously. Take a look at him:
LJHLKZJHGKLJ ZDHGLKJ DFHLZGKIHKJLKSDJBLKAEH IWUHT IAHGLASJK
I have no words.