S Korean actor Ji Chang Wook: Underwater kiss not as embarrassing as expected

S Korean actor Ji Chang Wook: Underwater kiss not as embarrassing as expected
Ji Chang Wook in Empress Ki.
PHOTO: Mediacorp

Ahead of his public meet-and-greet session at Suntec City yesterday afternoon, Ji Chang Wook fielded questions from local media at a press conference and roundtable interview.

The candid star shared his thoughts on his career-defining role as Mongolian emperor Ta Hwan in historical TV drama Empress Ki (airing on Channel U on weekends at 9pm), filming a potentially embarrassing shower scene and kissing two of Korea's hottest actresses.

Ta Hwan goes through a dramatic transformation. He started out as a hapless, cheeky young prince and towards the end of the series, he turns vicious, jealous and violent. Was it tough handling those emotions?

It was not an easy role to play... it was extremely challenging.

I believe it's the kind of role every actor would love to take on. I had to push myself very hard to depict a wide spectrum of emotions, from vulnerability to volatility.

Off set, I had several chats with our director to make sure that my emotions were measured to just the right amount.

You had a memorable scene in which you pretended to take a shower, when in fact you were hiding co-star Ha Ji Won's character in the bathtub from her captors. Was that hard - and embarrassing - to shoot?

That particular scene was followed by an underwater kiss (with Ha). To my surprise, both weren't as embarrassing as I had expected. (Laughs)

It was my first time doing such scenes and it was something new and exciting.

You had kissing scenes with two of Korea's hottest actresses, Ha in Empress Ki and Park Min Young in modern romance thriller Healer. Who is the better kisser?

I really can't compare, as these two TV dramas are so different. The scenario and ambience where we had to kiss were different too. However, I enjoyed acting with both women, they are amazing actresses. I had a lot of fun.

What are the ideal traits you look for in a girlfriend? Are you the kind of guy who will pamper his partner?

If you're talking about physical traits, there's nothing specific I look for in a girl. What's more important to me is if I can connect with her, if we can have a good conversation together and if we share great vibes together.

If we can connect, I think she's beautiful in every sense of the word.

If I have a girlfriend, yes, I will pamper her with sweet, warm words.

Do you have, to date, a favourite role?

That's a very difficult question to answer and I think it will always be the case. Whenever I watch (my) old shows, I always feel that I could have done some parts of my characters better.

This article was first published on December 7, 2015.
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