Jung Kyung-ho's Captivating Performance in "Crash Course in Romance" Earns International Acclaim as He Shares Insights and Gratitude
Actor Jung Kyung-ho. ©tvN
Renowned for his versatile acting skills across various mediums, including dramas, movies, plays, and entertainment shows, actor Jung Kyung-ho has recently captivated viewers with his portrayal of "Choi Chi-yeol," the brilliant math tutor in the popular tvN weekend drama "Crash Course in Romance." The drama revolves around the passionate romance between "Nam Haeng-seon," the owner of a renowned side dish store, and "Choi Chi-yeol," known as the "one-shot man" for his quick problem-solving abilities. In a recent interview, Jung Kyung-ho shared his insights into the drama's resounding success, which has gained attention both domestically and internationally, notably through Netflix.
Reflecting on the drama's unexpected popularity, Jung Kyung-ho lauded the exceptional script, which instantly captivated him upon reading. As an avid viewer of almost all the writer's previous works, he was thrilled to be part of this project. The filming experience was equally delightful, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the director, senior actors, and the entire cast. He expressed profound gratitude to the viewers for their support and for embracing the synergy created by everyone involved.
When discussing his decision to join the show, Jung Kyung-ho revealed that the opportunity to work with Jeon Do-yeon, whom he considers a senior in the industry, played a pivotal role. The anticipation surrounding their on-screen chemistry delighted him, and he felt honored to contribute to the drama, which he affectionately referred to as 'The Glory of Family.' Each scene they filmed together brought a sense of accomplishment, further enhancing the enchanting performances that resonated with the audience and contributed to the drama's high viewership ratings.
"There's an old saying, 'The taste of what you know is frightening.' It's a familiar story, but when ordinary narratives converge to create an emotionally stirring experience, it becomes truly powerful. I believe that's what made the drama 'Crash Course in Romance' so captivating. During its airing, I received an influx of messages from friends and acquaintances, perhaps even more than during 'Hospital Playlist.' People expressed comments like, 'It's genuinely interesting' and 'I'm thoroughly enjoying it.'"
The after-school institutions and academies depicted in the show were filmed in the academy areas of Daechi-dong and Mok-dong. The academy where 'Choi Chi-yeol' teaches is located in a renowned academy building, where we filmed with real students. Grasping the mathematical terms while portraying 'the best lecturer' was challenging, so we watched videos of several teachers to develop 'Choi Chi-yeol's' unique way of speaking. Additionally, Jung practiced drawing on a blackboard at home using an actual board, which was unfamiliar to him.
"I don't know if I should mention this, but every moment on set was enjoyable. It was an honor to act alongside Jeon Do-yeon, and I felt grateful and happy every time I approached the director to review the footage after hearing 'cut.' The scene where I draw on the blackboard was particularly difficult to film and remains etched in my memory. As someone who has never taught in front of a hundred people before, being in front of the students made me nervous, creating a continuous experience of tension."
In the drama, the character "Choi Chi yeol" worked harder than anyone else and became the number one star instructor, earning a salary comparable to that of an idol. However, behind his success, he was a sensitive individual with a sharp tongue and battled an eating disorder. There were instances where he struggled to consume certain foods properly, but at times, he appeared as if he was doing a "mukbang" (eating broadcast) when he started eating the lunch box from the "National Representative Side Dish Store" operated by Nam Haeng-seon (played by Jeon Do-yeon). There are rumors of behind-the-scenes stories from the filming with Jung Kyung-ho.
"I also watched the show every week to see my own 'mukbang.' I'm grateful that many people seem to love and take an interest in 'Crash Course in Romance.' Surprisingly, I find myself eating a little bit more often now, rather than being selective about my food. The food prepared by the 'National Representative Side Dish Store' was truly delicious. (laughs) So after filming was over, I would sometimes take some home and have it for dinner."
Jung Kyung-ho, who made his debut as a KBS 20th generation actor in 2003, celebrated his 20th debut anniversary this year. He has created his own unique acting world, spanning various genres, including notable dramas like "I'm Sorry, I Love You," "Time Between Dog and Wolf," "Happy Ending Once Again," "Life on Mars," "Wise Prison Life," and "Hospital Playlist," as well as movies such as "Running Turtle," "Fasten Your Seatbelt," "DAEMUGA," and "Men of Plastic."
"It feels like time has passed by so quickly now that I'm already 40 years old. (laughs) At a certain point, I started hearing people refer to me as 'senior' when I go to the set. I was genuinely surprised when I saw (Roh) Yoon-seo in this work playing 'Nam Hae-yi.' I even thought, 'Could I have acted like that when I was her age?' Nowadays, I feel like I'm learning a lot from my juniors. After all the productions are over, it's the memories of my colleagues that stay with me the most. I believe that good productions are possible thanks to the collaboration of talented colleagues, including actors and production staff."
"It feels like just yesterday when we started filming 'Crash Course in Romance,' but I can't believe it's already finished. (laughs) As spring approaches, I'm contemplating what I need for my next project. Currently, I'm focusing on preparing for my next work, which includes building up my physical strength and practicing dancing.
Jung Kyung-ho's next project is a movie titled 'Boss' (working title), and he is currently in the preparation stage for filming. 'Boss' is a comic action film that depicts the intense competition among gang members vying for the position of the next boss of Yongdu City's largest gang. They are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their dreams. It promises to be a fantastic collaboration, featuring talented actors like Jung Kyung-ho, Jo Woo-jin, Park Ji-hwan, and Lee Kyu-hyung, with director Ra Hee-chan, known for directing 'Going By The Book.'
"To the viewers who loved 'Crash Course in Romance,' 'Choi Chi yeol,' and the 'Yeol-Seon Couple,' I am extremely grateful. As our summer project comes to an end, I bid my farewell, but I hope that the joyous emotions you experienced while watching 'Chi yeol' will stay with you for a long time. Please take care of yourselves and stay well. I will also return with good work. Thank you!"
Interview by Glenda Park, Editor-in-Chief at Avec G.
*This article is simultaneously published in Seoul Wire's 'Glenda Park's Blue Ocean'.
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