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Triple threat Kim Jae-wook

Inch by inch, Kim Jae-wook has been stealing the show in SBS’s Bad Guy, with his deeply layered portrayal of a wounded feral animal, otherwise known as Hong Tae-sung. In a recent interview with 10 Asia, Kim discusses Tae-sung, acting, and his music.

Good acting AND an indie band? Are you trying to make me spontaneously combust from second-lead love?

The 27-year old actor became famous for his turn as Waffle Sun-ki in 2007’s Coffee Prince, having only done a few small roles prior. Although known initially as a model-turned-flower-pretty-boy-actor, he quickly garnered further acclaim for his role as an openly gay man in the film Antique Bakery.

He’s exactly as frank and direct as you’d expect. About being in the spotlight: “In the end people only see what they want to see. The second I realized that, it didn’t bother me anymore. Everyone has that part of them that wants to be acknowledged by a person. It’s enough to go forward with that one thing.”

In Bad Guy, Kim plays second-lead Hong Tae-sung, a lonely illegitimate heir to millions, whose lack of love and affection has led him to a lifetime of destructive behavior. He lashes out like an animal, blind to the effects of his actions on everyone around him, because his own pain is all he can see. Javabeans and I have both noted in our recaps that the character is really the better-written bad guy between the two leads, but it’s no detraction from the actor, who plays it to the hilt.

For the role of Tae-sung, Bad Guy director Lee Hyung-min sought an actor with an aristocratic air, and yet a frighteningly edgy charisma. It’s a hard line to walk, but Kim manages it with a crackling vulnerability to top it off.

Kim says about Tae-sung: “Everyone lives with loneliness. The kinds of loneliness and the actions we take to break out of that pain are varied as well. From Hong Tae-sung’s background and surroundings, you can’t say he’s an adult…he’s too much like a child. His weak-minded disposition, harming himself—these things are true, but I want to put the focus somewhere a little deeper, and I hope that it gets conveyed well.”

He gives careful consideration to his role, while at the same time worrying that these sorts of news bites will influence the audience’s perception of the character. That desire for the work to stand on its own, without pandering to what’s expected of him, can be summed up as the Kim Jae-wook-esque attitude. He is currently focused on the drama, which despite production setbacks, has just now hit its stride narratively. Here’s hoping it continues that way. His next activity? He wants to pursue his music.

He’s known for his acting and modeling, but Kim actually graduated university as a music major, and formed a band with his classmates called I Am the Walrus. “My parents and my older brother like music so since I was young I naturally grew up in an environment where I heard lots of different kinds of music. Eventually I became spellbound by the rock genre. Much like how students now follow idol bands and learn all their dances, I think I naturally wanted to sing and perform music I heard. Truthfully it’s been nine years since my classmates and I first said we would do music together, but we were all lazy about it until we formed Walrus. Last year we stood on stage for the first time in five years, and we went crazy. Originally we were going to work on the single for March, but Bad Guy happened so we had to push it back.”

The only available clips of the band were fancams, since the band is still so indie, natch.

I don’t think he’s going to be the next big thing, musically. But I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t care. He’s got that elusive thing that you can’t manufacture or fake—that “I don’t care” attitude that makes cool people cool, because they don’t try to be overly so, coupled with an earnest sincerity for his craft.

Really, no need to make him so perfect, Universe. It’s overkill.

Via 10 Asia

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so... pretty...

and god, the flannel, the plaid...

*nostalgia-induced brain meltdown*

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Good lord, the man is seemingly perfect!! Gorgeous AND talented? Sign me up!

What an interesting fellow! Love love LOVE him. He has a bright future, this one.

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For the first time EVER, I have second lead syndrome and this beautiful boy is giving it to me.
Character he plays lets face it, can be a complete jack ass, but he’s also so tortured so much in pain, so you can't help fall for him, the vulnerability gets me every time.

Oh God, when he was weeping in his soup, it was truly over for me. OR that look of hope when it seemed his bitch of a step mother was sticking up for him, only to have to thrown back in his face…..Come here, I’ll give you a hug and hell your pain!

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*swoons and collapses*
I haven't even watched anything except the first 2eps of Bad Guy but he had me at Coffee Prince. The totally geeky glasses don't hurt either!

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the hottest thing. my drool dripped to the floor while watching him in Antique Bakery

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first time too had a 2nd lead syndrome....he's given more bad boy vibe than the suppose bad guy and improve so much since Coffee Prince

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o wow...i didnt know he had a band...wow that really increased his appeal a whole...as if it wasnt brimming over the edge already

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In Bad Guy, Kim plays second-lead Hong Tae-sung, a lonely illegitimate heir to millions

i thought his character was the legitimate heir?

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no, his dad had him with a woman that he had an affair with...

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for a second there he reminded me of Johnny Depp! so hotness! looking forward for this guys artwork!

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thats what I thought!

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He looks exactly like Shota Matsuda...wow, he's my fav from Antique Bakery (the yummy homosexual guy...)

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@8 He was born from a woman that wasn't married to his father so he's illegitimate in birth, not to the money. Rather, his half-brother would be legitimate. :)

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@11 oh, right! thanks. :)

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omg, love this guy ever since coffee prince....!!!

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Whenever I see Kim Jae Wook act, the J-drama actor filter goes up. That mix of indifferent arrogance, frank disposition, and shortcake vulnerability? VERY Johnny Boy. This Bad Guy role reminds me of a Tamayama Tetsuji-style character.

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I like his acting , genius

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He is definitely lookn' good, but his growth as an actor/artist is what intrigues me. He is striving for the artist track rather than the popularity/fanboy/cover of every magazine track.

Universe, he is very cool...you done good with this one.

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OMGoodness!! Seriously too hot to handle! So so sexy! I've loved him since "Coffee Prince" too. So glad he became "2nd" lead, although he kinda seems more like a "1st" lead now...at least to me ^_~

...and him playing the guitar w/ the band~ *drools*
Anyhoo, love his "love to hate" Tae-Sung character!

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Since your recaps are so awesome, I am going to start watching Bad Guy. Kim Jae Woo stealing the show? Hot damn, where have I been? I gotta catch up!

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@12 Belleza - See, that's what I thought, too! The first time I saw him, I thought he was DEFINITELY a Japanese idol or something doing his Korean debut. You can't believe how shocked I was to learn that he actually wasn't... But I suppose being raised in Japan influenced his attitude or looks...? Or maybe he's naturally like that.

I think had he stayed in Japan he would've definitely gotten picked up by Johnny.

Anyway, the man is so pretty it makes me jealous.

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i have a love/ hate relationship with bad guy, i love that i can't stop watching this drama but i hate that kim jae wook is the second lead~ lol, i feel so bad for his character, i just want him to be happy! XD i so agree that he stole the show. i hope to see more of him soon :D <3 i love kim jae wook~ hahaa

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@ 19 Nhu @12 Belleza

And I think we can all thank the Universe that Johnny never got a hold of him...

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i fell in love with him in cofee prince for his looks. then i watched him in antique bakery and admired him for choosing the role of a gay man and then i noticed he can act pretty well. oh and also saw his scene in dalja's spring. i haven't watched bad guy yet but i plan to, just for him!!!

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Always did love this guy. He's getting better and better and it's a joy to see him act.

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kim jae wok!!! i really like him in coffee prince! and i must agree to what girlfriday said in one of her recap of bad guy, that bad guy is almost a hong taesung show! he almost steal the spotlight from kim nam gil. kim jae wok portrays hong tae sung with so much layered intensity and complexity that you cant help but watch with awe and wonder how he could do that.

i do hope he continue to do well in his next projects!

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I love the pic with his shadow behind him, this guy oozes sexiness without any effort.

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i like him in coffee prince more than Bad Guy
sorry but i dont think that Kim Jae Woo stealing the show its Kim Nam Gil that steal it ;-)

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@21 momosan Yes, so glad that Johnny never got his hands on him.

This star (KJW) has to shine.

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You're killing me here. I really didn't wanted to watch Bad Guy (another melodrama), I really really really do not want to.

[email protected] you for writing such fun caps and making it so freak'n irresistible.... KJW is my only incentive to watch, but I just hate it that he's second fiddle.

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@Dele -- I know! Doesn't he? And he can pull off any outfit without looking like he's trying too hard.

I thought he was Japanese too when I first saw him in Coffee Prince. I watched Antique Bakery for him. I should check out Bad Guy when I get the time.

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I agree with all the others who made the Johnny Boy connection.

I got the Japanese vibe from him since Coffee Prince. I, too, thought he was Japanese. It's that coolness... you just can't conceal it.

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I like his 'don't care' attitude. Truthfully, from a cosmic perspective, nothing really matters.

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@ everyone talking about JE

LOL strangely enough that's the first reason why I liked him - he reminded me of the JE boys I really liked HAHAHA (sadly I have a fondness for JE boys I don't even understand why when most of them can't sing/act/dance...not the way the Koreans have been trained to...). Also he spoke Japanese in Coffee Prince. 'Nuff said. Hot stuff in Antique Bakery too.

...I would claim him as mine, but he strikes me as unclaimable...sigh *melts*...

Good stuff, GF!

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he is one beautiful man

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hotness. he's just too cool.

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I love him in bad guy :)

SPEAKING OF BAD GUY,JUNG SO MIN IS GONNA BE IN PLAYFUL KISS!!!!!!!
I think the show has just redeemed itself ;)

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It's so easy to act cool when you've got the looks that go with the skills. *sigh*

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Oh gosh I love him so much. he's definitely awesome. He was awesome in coffee prince, but phenominal in antique bakery. I havent liked the portrayal of a gay man so much since Jack from will and grace. But him And Joo Ji Hoon were both great man. They had the perfect chemistry that really pulled you into the movie. Go Kim Jae Wook. Gosh even his name is sexy. I wish I was Korean then I could marry him...or atleast have a passionate affair. One can only hope tho.

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hot hot hot... am i going to watch Bad Guy now just because of him? possibly... girlfriday you've infected us with not second-lead syndrome, but Kim Jae-Wook-itis, lol

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he's got a johnny depp-ish air to him.

he's so cool.

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"Good acting AND an indie band? Are you trying to make me spontaneously combust from second-lead love?" WORDS!

I love him as Waffles SunKi but I love him more as the gay man in Antique Bakery... I need to see Bad Guy and listen to his music and my obsession will be complete.

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triple threat indeed! he does have that "i dont care" attitude/aura around him, the kind you can't imitate.

kim jae-wook to me is the quintessential cool boy!

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wow, i've never really expected indie music from him - and good taste too. a lot of beatles covers, and a cover of even 20th century boy haha. my mind is blown.

i guess the image wasn't so much an act then. he always looked a lot like guy-in-a-rock-band. you know. a lot of dark make up, too-long hair, stick thin, the quintessential look of misery.

regardless, he already had my love through his acting. so hot.

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I got the feeling that he's a patient and hard-working kind of artist. Not that he doesn't care but he places his self-value and confidence not purely on others. Go stable and try your best.

Love GF's remark: Really, no need to make him so perfect, Universe. It’s overkill.

Work hard, rest well, enjoy performing arts and life!

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@14 That's why i keep feeling a vaguely Japanese style to this Drama. had no idea why. Thanks.

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Looks plus acting chops = perfect combination!

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Love that last "overkill" line. Bu maybe yoy're right, it is overkill because I saw hi in Bad guy and now I have a full trip to Korea scheduled around him. I WIL SEE YOU ONE DAY kim jae wook!!! LOL

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Kim Jae Wook caught me during Coffee Prince
He was amazingly talented then and only had grown adding on to almost perfection =)

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hot hot hot hot hot hot
i'm also joining most of those "first-time 2nd lead crush" syndrome

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It's interesting how such a beleagured drama like BG has bring the highlight to two of its supporting actors, Kim and Jung. It's not such a jinxed drama after all.

Here's hoping for the best for these two, they really deserve it!

Still, Poor Kim Nam Gil! (yes, I too, need to get that off my chest ^^')

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Yes, Jae Wook is stealing the show in Bad Guy. In the drama, he exudes an aura of being a snob yet you also feel he has a soft heart that is just dormant. He is oozing with sex appeal and just be looking at him and he looking at you, you would know right away without a doubt that he is a MAN!

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