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Oh Ji-ho: “I’m extremely satisfied with this masculine role”

At 33, Oh Ji-ho has acted in a number of movies and dramas, like Super Rookie, Fantasy Couple, Single Dad in Love, and My Wife Is a Gangster 3, but he’s only now coming into hot popularity. Even when his projects have been successful, like last year’s trendy drama Queen of Housewives or 2006’s Fantasy Couple, the attention has mostly focused on his castmates. But he’s shed his prior image (nice, mild-mannered) for a fierce one in Chuno, and it — as well as he — is currently all the rage.

This is your first sageuk. How is it?

“To be honest, I felt some pressure. The general preconception about me was that I wasn’t a good fit for sageuks. I had history with director Kwak Jung-hwan through my previous dramas Single Dad in Love and Drama City, and he was able to find what was inside me and draw it out. Before filming began on Chuno, the director ordered me to empty myself and grow serious. He also told me I’d have to shoot fire from my eyes. [Laughs] It was difficult at first, but now I’ve gained confidence. I think sageuks have a subtler pleasure than modern dramas. Chuno has diverse film locations, such as mountains and fields all over the country and the field of reeds, varied costumes and makeup, martial arts and weapons. It has a lot of elements that excite me.”

Oh Ji-ho has frequently appeared in romantic comedies over the years. In dramas like KBS’s Second Proposal (2004), MBC’s Fantasy Couple (2006), SBS’s Get Karl, Oh Su Jung (2007), and MBC’s Queen of Housewives (2009), he has played characters devoted to the women leads. He said, “After doing romantic comedies, I wanted to do a masculine role such as a noir film, and Chuno fulfilled that wish.”

Could the opinion that you weren’t suited for sageuks be because of your Western looks?

“My looks did limit the characters I could play. For instance, if I played a playboy, I’d come off really sleazy, wouldn’t I? For the five years after I debuted in 2000’s La Belle, I heard that I looked sleazy, and in the four years after Second Proposal that I’ve acted in the comedy genre, those comments have gone away. [Laughs] I don’t think I’ll have to hear that anymore, thanks to Chuno.”

There’s a lot of action in Chuno. Another of the drama’s leads is the slave hunter Lee Dae-gil, played by Jang Hyuk, who has mastered the art of fighting in the streets, while Oh Ji-ho’s Tae-ha character has a fighting background and shows technical proficiency. There are frequent scenes involving fights between them. It’s inevitable that they weather injuries, big and small. On the back of his hand are numerous scars from coming into contact with the end of a sword.

Is acting in all the action scenes difficult?

“Yes, it’s difficult. When I was acting in Single Dad, I did some boxing but this is the first time doing this kind of martial arts. It’s not easy wielding a sword that weighs nearly 5 kg. I had to learn how to ride a horse, too. I started special training before filming began, and these days on days when I’m not filming, I’m constantly at action school. However, my hurting back has improved. It must be from all the stretching.”

You must be pretty competitive with Jang Hyuk.

“Naturally. Hyuk has practiced julkwondo for a long time, and his martial arts skills and body are one step above mine. After I was cast, I spent one or two months trying to catch up to Hyuk and went through some suffering. [Laughs] But Hyuk and I have a really good acting chemistry. We’ve become friends who have a lot of personal conversations, too. This is the first time I’ve realized I could get along so well with another actor.”

You’ve received a lot of praise for your musclular body, and this has been called a drama of “animalistic men.”

“Phew, I tried dieting for the first time ever. In Queen of Housewives my character was unemployed, so I deliberately didn’t exercise and my stomach was slightly flabby, which I had to get rid of in a short time. I worked out and ate only twice a day, going without food at night, and I lost almost all my fat.”

Oh is actually a sports nut. He excells at ball sports, excepting golf. The reason he appeared on the variety program Invincible Baseball Team is because of his love of baseball. He said, “I want to try playing an athlete or a terrible villain.”

But you may not get any villain offers because of your good-natured image.

“In MBC’s Super Rookie, the role of Lee Bong-sam was originally a villain. However, as the drama progressed, things went in another direction, which is entirely my resposibility. He should have become a hateful jerk, but viewers said that watching me made them laugh. [Laughs] If I get the opportunity, I want to try a role of a really bad guy, like Ha Jung-woo played in The Chaser.”

The man who calls himself “someone who puts emphasis on loyalty” also says, “When Chuno‘s filming ends in March, I plan on going on a long trip on my own.”

Via Khan.co.kr

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He excells at ball sports, excepting golf
and he played as pro golfer in Get Karl! Oh Soo Jung

I debuted in 2000’s La Belle
that was his DEBUT? what a choice for a debut.

“When Chuno’s filming ends in March, I plan on going on a long trip on my own.”
why don't you take ME with you? ;)

I like this actor...although mostly because of the superficial reason :P, but yet I endured watching his awful drama, Autumn's Shower.
Too bad I'm not into saeguk, so I don't really interested to watch Chuno.

And strangely, I love his 1st picture above.

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yep, i love his masculine look. it's hot! lol

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Never quite like OJH before. But I think he really redeemed himself a lot in Chuno that I've come to like him. a bit. Hehe.

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Lol at the question about his looks. Every time I see him on Chuno, instead of paying attention to his character's development I think to myself: Oh, his ancestry must be pretty unique.

Haha, wow.

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Mr. Dimples! Just looking at him makes me smile. I love him and love his looks. I've seen him in everything he's been in and I'll watch this too. He's too gorgeous to miss and I hope he does really well in getting more serious roles in the future. He's certainly paid his dues.

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Hearing him speak with his native saturi is even funnier. :P

Oh Ji Ho has certainly stepped up his acting in Chuno. Kudos to him!
I was pleasantly surprised at his performance - especially, the ones without dialogue (like the flashbacks of his family).
But he's still got a long ways to go to catch up to the likes of Jang Hyuk and Lee Jong Hyuk. ;)

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'Fantasy Couple' really got the taste of 'Get Karl...' out of my mouth, so to speak. I watched the two out of order and didn't realize he was the same person. So much more enjoyable in the former than the latter. I developed a crush on him because of Jang Chul Soo but with Chuno's Song Tae Ha, it is full blown love. Chuno is my first sageuk (never thought I'd be a sageuk person) and I am so over the moon about it, and Oh Ji Ho is a big reason for that. He has really improved, stepped up his game in this drama. Emptying himself out and replacing his insides with fire must have really worked because I have spent the last 10 episodes mesmerized by his eyes! I'm so glad he's getting kudos and recognition. Way to go, Oh Ji Ho!

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He's really excellent in Chuno and seems to interact extremely well with the rest of the cast! He absolutely rocked in Episode 10.

Thanks for another interview with one of the Chuno *hunks*!!! :lol::

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What i love about Oh Ji Ho is that he is so honest and humble and to see his acting improve makes me happy. It's great that Ji Ho talked about his Super Rookie role, since it was the first drama i saw with him 3 yrs ago and i knew i supposed to hate his character but ended up love him :D *how i love this drama~ made me want to watch again* /coolstorybro

anyway interesting interview, thanks Javabeans!

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oh ji ho is one hunky manly man with cute dimples to boot. i haven't watched any of his other dramas other than Fantasy Couple and i thought he was pretty hilarious and lovable.

i need to start watching chuno.

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I've been a fan for years!!! Glad to hear he's getting the recognition that he deserves...and perhaps his long trip will include a trip to Vancouver??? *waves maniacally*

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I know him before Chuno, but not really paying attention to him except his good look (he looks like Arjun Rampal-if you don't know him-he is Bollywood actor and model).
Well he caught my attention after I saw him in Happy Together special with cast of Chuno and GOS, he is hunky and handsome YES, but the most outstanding is his CUTE SMILE, and when he laugh, he can melt any girls heart-very rare combination indeed.

And in Chuno, I LOVE his chemistry with LDH, (off screen also). In Happy Together LDH revealed he is a very considerate person-and FYI, why LDH cloth (white handbock) looked so clean, part of it bcos OJH never let her use the portable toilet, he don't want LDH to look dirty, he find a place for LDH to finish her nature call.

Now I beginning to know why women don't like Lee Da Hae, and plus the video below..OJH and LDH ehmm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBtlLw5dlMo&feature=related

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Unf unf, he IS lovely, isn't he? Those halfie men sure do grow up gorgeous. ;)

He sounds like a very sweet and down-to-earth person, actually. The comments about his Western looks being "sleazy" made me laugh a ton.

@12 kiosksuper

LOL at the Arjun Rampal comment.. I recently rewatched Om Shanti Om, so I can totally see it. XD

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I just finished watching Super rookie a few months ago.. and I have to say his acting was quite lacking and he did make me wanna laugh.. LOL.. He improved a lot with Fantasy Couple though. I wonder how he's doing in Chuno. I'm keeping off this drama till the end so I don't have to deal with the torture and agony of waiting every week!!! Plus I have a plate full of other dramas I'm watching including but not limited to Smile, Wish upon a Star, and Pasta

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I just googled La Belle (2000)... Well, NO WONDER people thought he was sleazy... I felt like digging my eyeballs out at the overexposure in that movie... I liked Oh Ji Ho for his image after delving into the comedy genre. Kind of a sweet, sincere and major goofball kind of guy which completely contrasts his hulking size. (His acting however seems sort of tired/resigned-ish though to me... Like why am I here in this fluffy drama as this perfect non-existent male species?) Pre-Chuno of course.

@djes Yeah, I totally forgot he was a pro golfer in Get Karl! I vaguely thought of him as a lawyer in that drama, hahahahha....

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"He should have become a hateful jerk, but viewers said that watching me made them laugh."

LOL. I agree... I almost felt sorry for Bong-Sam (his character).

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I never saw him before, but in Chuno, I love him, totally love him, I'm rooting for him and the girl, always get confused with the names (sorry). But we know that is not gonna happen, he's not the main character. Thanks for the interview.

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Comments/questions like "Could the opinion that you weren’t suited for sageuks be because of your WESTERN looks?" really annoy me - as if the majority of whites (not all Westerners are white) have features like OJH and no other Koreans have such strong masculine features (btw, Ju Jin mo has masculine features and he was perfect for his role in the "historical" film "Musa").

Anyway, while maybe not a great actor, I always thought OJH had the potential to being a top matinee idol/actor (along w/ Kim Sung soo) due to his looks and charisma - he just needed the right project and it seems like Chuno is it.

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I'm absolutely in love with OJH!! He looks so gooood in Chuno....just look at the second picture :) I think he has an amazing look for sageuks and is so PERFECT for the role of TH. Gorgeously built and solid acting. He's such a gentle beast in Chuno. I can't tell you how many times I've watched all TH & HW interactions. I don't seem to get tired watching the 2 of them together. I'm such a TH/HW shipper. I'm rooting for TH to be with HW all the way. OJH well-deserves all the praise and popularity he gets for being superb in Chuno!

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i always think of him as a pretty guy..

and the second photo reminds me of Odagiri Joe..

i should get back to Chuno stat but I was distracted by Kim Bum's Min-jae

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Have always been an Oh Ji Ho fan but Chuno has totally transformed him into an actor to reckon with!!! Can hardly wait for the subs on dramacrazy.net...perhaps you guys can recommend another website w/ english subs???
Thanks for the articles on the Chuno men, JB!!!

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Dude, "but viewers said that watching me made them laugh" I kind of wouldn't laugh about this, if I were you.

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@13 Kender

"Those halfie men sure do grow up gorgeous."

I didn't know of his mixed background. What is his ethnic heritage?

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so he was in my wife is a gangster 3.. i was wondering where i saw him jejeje
:D

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He is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous!!! *faint*

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@ 12 and 13 u guys are so right he does look arjun rampal-esque something similar abt their bone structure i think...anyway both of them are HOT! im still not on the chuno bandwagon yet...have too many other dramas to follow now maybe when the entire series is subbed i'd give it a shot...a pic of the gorgeous mr.rampal follows see for yourselves we kid u not abt the similarity :D
http://image1.indiaglitz.com/hindi/gallery/Actor/ArjunRampal/arjun_rampal02.jpg

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There is something very gentle about him. I never took him seriously because I didn't like his dramas and La Belle was a snooze fest. I did like him in My Wife is a Gangster 3. He looked good in his scenes with Shu Qi. I am glad he's doing well. He seems like such a sweetheart.

He looks South Asian, not western. South Asians have bigger rounder eyes. Like Tony Leung.

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I never had a change to watch any of his drama , but in Chuno his acting is solid , i

like
his character the most , his chemistry with LDH is amazing , i had to praise the director for choosing OJH . LDH will do good in this drama , she is pretty and talented.
This drama will be the big hit .

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"However, my hurting back has improved. It must be from all the stretching."

omg the poor man. his flexibility is SUCH FAIL when you see him on invincible baseball, it's hilarious.

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LOL at Arjun Rampal comparison...I guess they kind of look a like. I would definitely say their career paths are pretty similar. AR's acting has improved in his later projects like OSO and Rock On! And OJH's last project QoH and Chuno have been really well received.

OJH definitely has improved in Chuno though I agree w/hjkomo he still has a little more ways to catch up with JH and LJH. But I'm still really impressed by how far he has come.

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I'm a big fan of OJH, I love his dimples :) I just finished watching him in Second Proposal, which was cute, and had a few hilarious fanservice scenes of him:
http://niko-niko.net/misc/serviceojh.jpg

I'm enjoying is performance in Chuno, however, this may be because I don't understand Korean, so I can't really comment on his line delivery or accent or anything. But he is doing a great job emoting with his eyes :)

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I like Oh Ji ho since Fantasy Couple. Now I really admire him. Love him!! His body has really become ooh! la la! Yes! I noticed those fire in your eyes OJH!! Good work!!! Amazing transformation from his other dramas. His training & workshop really works!!

Some nit pickers comment that Lee Da hee do not listen to directors & do as she pleases. We have heard from Jang hyuk & Oh Ji ho. I would like to hear from Lee Da hae if in fact she ignores director Kwaks orders & do as she pleases. I like LDH as Unyun/HW.

Thank you for Chuno. Thank you for the recap.

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Oh wow, I had no idea La Belle was his debut project. How daring.

To me, Oh Jiho's Taeha in Chuno is the one I'm enjoying the most. He's really graceful and regal but he oozes the 'good' vibe. I find him a little like General Choi, in terms of charisma.

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He's soo manly sexy! I like! Hahaha. =D

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I remember him when he was in Super Rookie. I remember cheering for him too and giggling at one of the funny scenes with him in it!

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He acted really well in Chuno. I can't help falling love in him.

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I'm so glad everyone is seeing what I knew all the time - he is a talented actor. 'Chuno' should start here next week and I cannot wait. I don't see how he would ever be sleazy and I hope I don't see that. I can't wait to see the roles he will be offered in the future. Hooray for JiHo (and he is a really good baseball player).

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OJH....well,who cares if he can't act! Agreed w/others that he only needed a role that could challenge him. Seen OJH in Super Rookie & Single Dad(?). Nice to read all the positive comments about his acting, I never thought he would be in a saguek,but looking forward to watching this drama! Thanks for the recaps.

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@deannadsc
I watch Chuno with sub @ Viikii 2 days after airing. Good enough !

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@ bd #18

I completely agree. I also get comments like that about my features and it's really annoying to have to keep repeating that 1) "No, I didn't have plastic surgery," and 2) "Yes, I'm 100% Asian"

(And of course another thing that bugs is is why those features are now considered more attractive.)

@ Kender #13

I don't think Oh Ji-ho is mixed. I might be wrong but if he is it's probably much less than a half...

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OJH is not mixed at all, nor are Kim Sung soo, Won Bin, Yoo Gun or any no. of other Korean males w/ double eyelids, etc. (celeb or not).

Just like any other group/ethnicity, Koreans come in a variety of shapes, sizes and facial features.

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I love him since 2001 when i first seen La Belle...then continued with all of his series..hope that fate will unite us together.......hihihihihihihihihi.......love u JiHo!

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He said : I had history with director Kwak Jung-hwan through my previous dramas Single Dad in Love and Drama City, and he was able to find what was inside me and draw it out
Indeed, everybody knows he had some personal problem in his previous romance, so the scene he acted it out his emotion the most in this film is the one in episode #4. I see he was crying for the death of his ex and regretting that it happened. This could explain the last phrase he mentioned that he would go for a long trip on his own. This film Chuno had brought back the memory and emotion that he has tried to forget but it would always be there. He got to get away so he could find the way out and be back playing comedy again. You might have noticed that he has never been seen smiling from the beginning of this drama which is unlike himself. But the fact is : nobody could ever forget that lesson in life. The director has seen his true self and let him spilled all his guts out in that scene. So he would not be afraid of and running from his reality. My take.
He is an Aries so big field is his home. The director got to know their Rams and let them roam freely.

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From the moment i started watchin chuno (2 days ago).. i've been trying to put my finger on what i found bout this actor so familiar.

(The same thing happend with Jang Hyuk until i googled him and realised i watched more than half the films he has been in, but since i've been into korean entertainment world for just about six months i didnt recognise him. )

The unexpected Arjun Rampal comparison put the light bulb on :D...haha
thanks!

reading comment section of chuno = very educative

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I love OJH in Chuno. I don't know how many times I repeated all his scenes...:) I thought nobody can ever compete with Go Soo in my heart...but my my...lol

I hope he will have more good projects coming...and maybe a good drama with LDH...they have great chemistry...:)))

Thanks Javabeans...

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Oh Ji Ho is such a handsome, attractive, fine sexy man. But at the same time he's cute,adorable w/his dimples. So he's pretty much Perfect. He's now one of my favorites. Love him. Everytime they show him in "Chuno" I can't help but just stare at his beautiful face(yes beautiful). Also to mention his acting is brilliant in "Chuno". He acts more,more idk what the word is, but I like his acting better than Jang Tyuk(the main actor). Everytime they show Jang Tyuk I'm like ugh show my baby Oh Ji Ho. Jang Tyuk is also fine but nothing compared to Oh Ji Ho(just my opinion).

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Omo, i couldn't even recognized him. He looks so old on those pictures. I finished Queen of housewives today, and seeing him like that, wow. I'm shocked.
Whatever, he's so cute with his dimples *.*

Thanks for all this news xx

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oh, I love OJH, he's so cute, adorable, hot, attractive, humble, shy... wow... he seems like everything ...lol... Love him in Chuno, love his passionate eyes...

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Hi djes (1),

At first, I like OJH also because of his handsome face (Fantasy Couple is the first drama that I know about OJH). And I have watched most of his drama....then I really love this talent guy.

I don't like saeguk drama too!! But after I watch "CHUNO" EP1...I can't stop watching it and I am now really eager to watch the whole story. Chuno is a very interesting saeguk drama; you won't feel bored. So, please try...DON'T MISS THIS GOOD DRAMA...

ZIO fighting!!!!!

Pinky

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I became a Kdrama fan after seeing OJH in "Couple or Trouble". I was switching TV channels when I stumbled upon this drama. I used to prefer American TV movies and soap operas but lately I'm into Korean dramas.

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