Celebrity News
Song Seung-heon on acting, ratings, and Dr. Jin
by | August 13, 2012 | 185 Comments

There’s a strange dichotomy about Song Seung-heon that occasionally crops up, and this interview is another example of it.

Essentially, he’ll act in a project and be mediocre in it despite incredible hype, and occasionally even be terrible. I’ll wonder how on earth he got to be as famous as he is, then remember The Pretty, which in his case possesses so much force of its own that it practically has its own entity. There are also the occasional stories hinting at a sizable ego and star demands, and you’ll wonder if he’s some kind of diva.

But then I’ll see or read an interview with him like this one, or the one following My Princess, and he’ll be so self-aware that I find myself confused and reevaluating. You mean Dr. Jin… makes sense? (The person, I mean, sadly not the drama.)

I guess it boils down to: He seems like a nice guy. Still can’t act, although he does win points for (1) knowing it and (2) admitting it. Too bad personality doesn’t always translate into onscreen skills — because you can SEE him straining to act in Dr. Jin, and you want to go there with him, but you just can’t. Especially when the script and the directing are falling to pieces all around him.

Song explained his prior reluctance to dip into the period drama genre: “For whatever reason, I’d had the preconception that doing a sageuk would be boring. I also thought I was still lacking [as an actor] to attempt one. I had thought to try it later, after I’d built up more experience, but I found the premise extremely interesting. Dr. Jin helped get me past a lot of my sageuk fears. I’d like to give a sageuk a proper try next time.”

Calling Dr. Jin his most difficult-to-shoot drama in terms of physical comfort, he said, “This summer was really hot. Filming was extremely taxing. The costumes are hot because they’re Joseon-era clothes, I had to wear a wig… but thanks to Dr. Jin, I was able to feel the fun of the sageuk genre.”

Song Seung-heon had already read the original manga Time Slip Dr. Jin when he’d been approached to do the role. “I was extremely happy,” he explained. “He’s not just a simple doctor, but he gets to meet real-life people in history and see historical events unfold.” AND ALSO CHANGE THEM, YOU DOLT.

Sorry, sorry. Must remember: Song Seung-heon is not Hyuk. Song Seung-heon is not Hyuk.

If there’s anything that gives him disappointment, it’s the drama’s “melo” line, aka the love story between him and co-star Park Min-young.

“In the Japanese drama that storyline is restrained. But our director said, ‘In a Korean drama, we can’t leave out the melo loveline,’ and put it back in. However, the director, writer, and I differed in our opinions of what happens when Jin Hyuk meets Young-rae in the Joseon era.”

Huh. Good for you, Song Seung-heon! I had a feeling the director was the main problem in this drama — if by “feeling” I mean it’s glaringly obvious from every single frame in the show — but who would’ve guessed it was Song wanting more restraint? More purism to the original story?

In Song’s opinion, the central point of Jin Hyuk’s character is: “He traveled to Joseon to save the woman he left in the present, Mina.” Thus in his mind Hyuk wasn’t out to romance anyone else and Song wasn’t thrilled with the director’s insistence that Hyuk falls for Young-rae, but there wasn’t much he could do about it.

He said, “They look the same, but they’re not the same person.” THANK YOU, sanity. “I asked the director, ‘How can they fall in love just because they look the same?’” You would think that would be the first thing a writer or director would consider in a doppelganger drama, but I guess we shouldn’t give the PD too much credit here.

It’s too bad Song had to go with a storyline he didn’t believe in; perhaps if he’d been invested in it, he would have been more suited to emoting their angsty scenes. He said, “Later, I saw that Young-rae had to be saved in order for Mina to also live. That’s an example of the type of melo thing I was a little disappointed in.”

That aside, Song enjoyed everything else about the drama shoot — his fellow cast members, the staff, the filming atmosphere. Asked about his co-stars, he said, “I shot a movie with [Lee] Beom-soo hyung ten years ago called Once Run. We were friendly, too. With this project, though, I sensed a more seasoned Beom-soo sunbaenim than from back then.”

“This was my first time meeting [Kim] Jaejoong-sshi, but I think he’s got talent. We became friendly after talking a lot and sharing our concerns. It’s also my first time meeting Min-young-ie, and after first just seeing her usual bright image, I could see in this drama that she was really good at playing both characters.”

Ratings: “Up against A Gentleman’s Dignity, naturally we lost. But someone said that the people who win medals aren’t the only ones to be praised — those who didn’t win medals also worked hard and sweat blood. You shouldn’t judge merely based on someone not winning a medal. We did lose in the ratings, but the director, writer, and actors all worked hard. We weren’t a so-called makjang drama. We faced difficulties like editing despite the MBC union strike. I have no regrets.”

With two big stars heading those two dramas, there was a lot of pre-show talk about whether Song Seung-heon’s starpower would beat Jang Dong-gun’s, or vice versa. “Just being compared with Dong-gun hyung is excessive. I’m thankful just for the comparison. I didn’t feel any pressure,” Song said.

What about all the criticism about Song’s lack of acting ability?

“I can’t always feel satisfied with my acting. However, in this drama Jin Hyuk encountered a lot of extreme situations, and as a result I was able to show a much more dynamic side to my acting than in previous roles. I feel like I’ve broadened my range a bit. Of course, the disappointment is greater, but on a personal level I’m satisfied that I was able to portray those sides.”

The interviewer asked whether he thought the criticism of his acting came because he was so good-looking (too pretty! too pretty!) even when he “ruined” his image (by dirtying himself and mussing up his polished image). Song replied, “That’s not it. There are a lot of good-looking actors who ruin their images and don’t get criticized about their acting. I have to perform well in order to keep those comments from arising.”

If he were to be given a time-slip opportunity, would he choose to be an actor again? After some silence, Song replied, “Again? Um… I suppose I should answer that I would do it no matter what, right? Hahaha. If I could go back in time, I’d like to try being an athlete, at golf or soccer. Of course, this is assuming I’d be good at those. [Laughs] When I watch [Cristiano] Ronaldo dribbling the ball, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to drive onward like that, feeling that kind of joy. I hadn’t dreamed of being an actor since childhood; it’s something that started from a chance opportunity, so I hadn’t prepared much for it. If I could go back, I think I’d study acting in a more methodical way.”

He added, “I’d also want to go back to my middle and high school years. I was really happy then. High school seems like just the other day, but 15 years have passed by in a blur. My maternal grandmother raised me, and passed away when I was in middle school. If I could go back to that time, I’d want to treat her better — she died of cancer — and later on that was something I regretted a lot.”

Song only recently began using Twitter (on May 31), and now communicates with fans via Facebook and me2day as well. He said, “I first heard of me2day while shooting My Princess and started using it then. I had thought those things didn’t really suit me, but Jaejoong and the others around me use SNS a lot. I hadn’t even intended to change my phone, but I thought if I didn’t get a smartphone I’d get left behind the times. [Laughs] After using SNS, I find that my fans really like it. I don’t use it frequently, but I can see the fun of it.”

He has plans to return to film now that Dr. Jin has wrapped: “I haven’t been cast for sure yet, but I think I’ll be going back to the past.”

Question: As a top star and Hallyu star, what is your final dream?

“Marriage. Hahaha. Deep in my heart, my biggest dream is to raise a happy family with a wife and children I love. It might not be so for an actor, but I think personal happiness is about raising a family. Looking at my friends, they’ve all had babies and are living happily, and I’m envious of that. My ideal type is… as my sunbaes say, the person who makes you feel giddy at first doesn’t last long, and you should marry the person who’s your friend, whom you can talk with comfortably. Then again, there are people who tell me to take my time getting married. [Laughs] If I had to choose between love and work? Without hesitation, I’d pick love.”

Via Mk.co.kr , Part 2, Part 3


185 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. canxi

    Oh. Well, he DOES seem nice. But yes, still can’t act. I would hope he does go and study acting more, though. It’s not too late, and he’s not old–I think he should do it from time to time, if he isn’t already.

    But, am I the only one that feels he seems a little indifferent about it (acting)?

    • 1.1 bjharm

      So he what they call a flower vase actor, pretty to look at but ’empty’ inside , talent wise. Well considering 80% of so called singers in korea are looks and dancing first and singing a long distant third, it not surprising that the same sort of thing it happening now to the Tv drama. Not that he the only male ‘actor’ to get by on being tall, good looking and a great six pack! He has plenty of company..:-)

      • 1.1.1 DangCinDee

        What’s amazing is there are a lot of good looking actors. Many of which can sing, act, dance. Triple threat. It’s amazing that seung has made a career (and rather an above average, over-the-top) famous one…solely on ‘the pretty.’ honestly, that’s some mad crazy talent!

      • 1.1.2 canxi

        Singers are a different story, though. Singers that can kind of sing are everywhere–especially in a group where it may be easier to get away with and members have designated roles sometimes (i.e. someone is just labeled as “rapper” or “lead dancer”).

        But acting–especially if you’re a leading actor–it’s crazy that you can get away with being kind of talented. Not that he is getting away with it, I know he gets lots of criticism, but why does he continue get lead roles? You know, besides ratings reasons. Especially since it’s been years and he hasn’t really improved any. I’m sure there are other actors like him but they’re definitely not as famous as he is.

        So, it’s like what DangCinDee says–that’s it’s amazing he got so far on being handsome alone. And while I feel he knows that he isn’t that great, he still seems a bit indifferent about it. So it’d be cool if he could go and study acting more like he wants ’cause the more you study something you’ll learn if you really like it or not. I just can’t tell if he does or doesn’t. That or maybe he should try a little directing–seems like he would have directed a better Dr. Jin than the actual one.

      • 1.1.3 Jo

        that statistic is pretty arbitrary, but idols are always called “talents” or “idols” and never really “singers” in Korea.
        Song, I would say, is only living off of his fame from the 90s when, literally, all you needed was a pretty face (Even Hyori admitted to this in Healing Camp). It’s like…for nostalgia sake? But people really admire great actors (like the actor from Brain). So that just shows you that Korean people are pretty level headed when it comes to acknowledgement of true talent.

  2. meecheellee


    Sorry, sorry. Must remember: Song Seung-heon is not Hyuk. Song Seung-heon is not Hyuk.”


    • 2.1 AuntieMame

      Honestly, it wasn’t even the Hyuk character. This fiasco belonged to the writer(s) and director.

      • 2.1.1 meecheellee

        Yep. I say this on every Dr. Jin post: The writers were on crack. And maybe it was shared with the PD, no?

        • Eye Candy

          I completely agree. It was the crazy writing and directing. I feel bad for him because I think he got stuck with a very poorly written drama. I don’t think anyone could have pulled his role off because the writing makes no sense…

  3. mtoh

    SSH you’re not an actor but you’re a star.

  4. mystisith

    I can’t hate him. I just can’t.
    But please SSH, stop acting. Do modelling. Become a sport coach if you like to use that gorgeous body of yours. Or become an ambassador for the Hallyu.
    And yes, have a family if it’s what your heart desires.
    I think everyone can testify than the director of Dr Jin was incompetent. On so many levels. That Dr Jin train wreck is a bad melodrama in itself.
    And once again MBC ruins its image with the repetitive strikes. This is getting old and annoying. I’m at a point where I discriminate dramas done by that channel. That’s why I’m going to Faith instead of Arang. The “We are airing a special because of public demand” was a hoax: They are scared of bad ratings/competition and want to do a max of buzz, THAT’S the truth. Oh Lee Jun-Ki, why did you have to sign with them? Don’t you read the news?

    • 4.1 mtoh

      Hahha you have to many faith in faith.

      • 4.1.1 mystisith

        Believe me: I will be extremely happy if i’m proved to be wrong about Arang. And I don’t say Faith will be exceptional: It’s just than the channel which produces it is more “pro” in my eyes. (I talk of 2011/2012 productions).

        • red

          im with you on this one. MBC has had drama hits..mostly of which are sagueks. But on a more general perspective, the other tv stations seem to do it better. I don’t know why or how though.

          • BKS

            MBC only has one drama hit in a year or so, but other stations just do almost everything better. Heck, even cable stations have more dramas that are better than MBC this year so far.

            What did MBC had this year besides K2H?

          • linguist

            @BKS: Ratings monster but subpar TMETS!

    • 4.2 Jesse

      “This is getting old and annoying. I’m at a point where I discriminate dramas done by that channel. That’s why I’m going to Faith instead of Arang.”

      MBC has produced many great dramas in the past.
      Just look at God of War, Great Queen Seondeok, Gye Baek, TK2H and I expect Arang and the Magistrate to be good as well.
      Then again you could opt to watch dramas after they are finished. At least you would avoid getting annoyed by the bad ones.

    • 4.3 JoAnne

      that he would say even this much about the difficulties presented by that team speaks volumes to me now that I am more accustomed to Korean restraint – have always thought he seemed like a nice guy who does not take his pretty boy image too seriously – I have affection for him truly

    • 4.4 bd

      I think SSH would be fine if he just stuck to lite romcoms (where the female lead has the dramatic/emotional scenes) like “My Princess” – where SSH was charming and his acting passable (really didn’t take any note of it which is a good thing) with KTH admirably carrying the role which required portraying more emotions.

      “Dr. Jin” was a mess all-around, including SSH trying to emote exasperation as Dr. Jin (which happened often) by simply closing his eyes (sorry SSH, that’s not acting, or a least acting well).

      Also pretty funny seeing SSH trying to act like his character was in pain (from those headaches) – b/c it was really, really bad.

      Didn’t finish “Dr. Jin” b/c even the unintentional comedic aspects weren’t enough – but I guess I’ll go finish reading the recaps.

      Btw, those Jaejoong fans are crazy (in more ways than one) – they actually think his acting was great in “Dr. Jin” (it did improve, but “great”?).

      But then again, they actually think “Dr. Jin” is a really good sageuk.

      How the heck does it get 4 stars on Dramafever?

      • 4.4.1 Cynthia

        The ‘star’ ratings on the DramaFever site are generated by the reviews that viewers leave on the drama synopsis main page. Individuals award stars and then those are averaged out.

        • bd

          Right – it’s all those blinded by infatuation fangirls who vote and give it 5 stars.

          Same reason why underwhelming dramas geared to the teenie bopper set like “Goong”, BOF, RTP and “Love Rain” get such high ratings.

          Really – “Playful Kiss”, “Lie to Me”, “Big” getting the same 4 star rating as “I Need Romance 2012”, “The Man/He Who Can’t Marry” and “9 End 2 Outs”? – pffffffft

          • blendedcarrot

            I mostly agree with you except for “Big”. Have u actually sat down and invested time to watch this drama?

            It’s really funny and heartwarming, a real pleasure to watch, even after taking its anti-climatic ending into account.

          • MsB

            I liked (not loved) Playful Kiss; did not like most of the others (BOF was my first so it will always be looked at favorably by me). Yes, a lot of ratings is infatuation and I love commenting negatively and get blistering comments left and right but I no longer care.

          • foolmoon

            Well, you have to read how Suju fans praise Poseidon and how good acting of Siwon in it, and all that makes me questioning my own mind! Sigh…
            Now I prefer reading recap and/or review than looking at ratings.

          • bd


            Unfortunately, yes – I did actually sit down and invested time to watch the wreck that was “Big”, in addition to posting often in the recaps.

            I found it neither funny (aside from a couple eps right after the body swap) or heartwarming (more like artificially induced sappiness).

            Just simply, typical bad K-drama w/ cliche filled scenarios, sappy writing (devoid of wit and humor) and stereotypical or “idiot-induced” characters.

            “Big” was so bad that it replaced RTP in my “Holy Trinity of awful K-drama romcoms” – joining SG and LTM (at least RTP had the Joseon Power Rangers).

            And I really wanted to like “Big” since I really like Gong Yoo’s acting and charm (not even that could save this dreck), like LMY and adore Suzy.

            I also really liked the Hong sisters’ previous romcom, “Best Love” which was much, much better written, as well as MGIAG – which despite its flaws was still enjoyable (the power of Miho).

      • 4.4.2 Raitei

        Lol. Those in-pain scenes are funny. I can’t help but scoff/laugh when I see his eyes widening/bulging and him grasping his head because of the terrible headaches.

        The silly drama aside, I have to say SSH is a pretty lovable guy, just not a great actor. He should train more; a lovely face will be more appreciated when it comes with great talent and acting prowess.

      • 4.4.3 Waca

        Personally I didn’t even know who was Jaejoong (I don’t listen to kpop music, that’s why) before watching Dr Jin, but I really felt drawn to Kyung-Tak’s character to the point that I’m still very angry about his fate in the last episode. It sucked, really.

        I do think that Jaejoong’s acting, in the last episodes, was great. He improved a lot since the beginning of the drama.
        I am under the impression that people are a little bit biased because he’s a singer. When I watched Dr Jin, I didn’t know who was actors and who was singers, so I was very surprised to see people would criticize Jaejoong’s acting and not SSH’s. For me, SSH’s acting was ok in the first episode and then went… augh… down the hills…
        But maybe I’m thinking like this because we could feel that Jaejoong was motivated while after reading this interview, I can understand that Hyuk’s sluggishness came from the fact that SSH really wasn’t thrilled by this drama, and for good reasons. It’s funny how I can’t hate him anymore after reading this. I’m even praising him for his comment about the whole Mina-Youngrae ordeal.

        I do agree with most of you people here – the real problem of Dr Jin was the directing.
        Seriously, even actors I felt were good started to annoy me because of the crappy plot that was messing up with their character. For instance, I do believe PMY can act, but she has to be directed well, ’cause here, her never-ending tears spoiled the scenes where her tears were justified.

        4 stars on Dramafever? Dr Jin a good sageuk? Eeek. Just…eek. Dr Jin was just so bad I wonder how the Hell I managed to watch the whole thing. Oh right, Heads’ recaps!!! 😀

        • Alys

          I think most Kdrama fans a little bit (?) strike to idol singer turned out actor/actres since most of them is suck and most of them didn’t even try to pay more attention to attend acting class but can be a main lead but i found not all idol like that some of them is good or improved really good but then doesnt mean they are great untill the point they are as good as a veterant actor/actres since this idol is still a newbie. anyway for me this is interesting to see how far this newbie improved on acting tream and for jaejoong he is lucky coz he spend almost his scene with Kim Eungsoo (act as kyung tak father) since Kim Eungsoo is really good teacher.

      • 4.4.4 Sunflower~~

        Honestly, I’m a DBSK/JYJ fan and I couldn’t even finish ep 2 and I stopped watching. I’m sure there are more fans like me lol ^^ Hopefully~

        Not all fans are ”blinded with infactuation”. It does make the fandom seem worse though lol.

      • 4.4.5 Naz

        @ bd I didn’t care for Jaejoong’s character or his acting in the beginning. However he got super lucky that the writers actually gave him a fantastic and consistent character to work with. As the series progressed I remember thinking to myself that I should probably keep up with this particular actor and then found out he was an idol. I was very impressed with Jaejoong by the end, especially in episode 21. I can’t imagine the kind of stress the staff must have been under to make that episode on time and he did just a great job I couldn’t help but really feel for the character’s loss even though I hated his dad.

      • 4.4.6 Michelle

        What? I’m Jaejoong’s fan and I never though that Dr. Jin was a great sageuk. Jaejoong improved a lot but he still has lots more to do and he knows that hence he never does lead roles. I wish people would stop lumping fans like that.

    • 4.5 Blue

      whatzup with MBC? i dont hear any rumor? can you tell me?

    • 4.6 shiku

      ‘And once again MBC ruins its image with the repetitive strikes. This is getting old and annoying.’

      They were striking for a good cause. They wanted to be able to print/produce unbiased news instead of what the Govt wants them to do. So it’s a good cause!

      • 4.6.1 mystisith

        Precision: I’m not attacking the employees but the heads. I know staff people were/are fighting for the good cause. There is obviously a problem of corruption and management in that company. Someone should have resigned…
        Sadly, everyone pays the price for that mess: The viewers and the people working for the channel (I can’t imagine the atmosphere in the offices).

        • Blue

          So it would affect Arang? i am sorry, i just dont get this issue…

          • mystisith

            Well, Arang is made by MBC, like Dr Jin. When the staff of a TV broadcaster is censored, fired or overworked, it would be surprising if the quality level of the show wasn’t unaffected. Same causes= same consequences.
            If we can’t see signs of the conflict on our screens, then people working on Arang will deserve a reward.

    • 4.7 im_eve

      & to think JUNKI was THE ORIGINAL hero of Faith..some 2 yrs even before the army years agoo 😀

    • 4.8 an

      i can believe my eyes reading this B.S. he is been working for years in dramas in movies and you guys say this things about him. Dr. Jin is one drama, (question did you watch the drama every single ep?)
      have you watch all his work?. i have, almost watch everything. please blame the writer and the director. had he stay in the preferences of his fans all this years if he had not any skills on acting?
      hate this article, and hate people that don’t act or work in this business and judge actors or worst say something nice but without been nice about it.
      Shame on you and this blogger who ever you are don’t use SSH to get attention to your stuff.

  5. aX

    I really wouldn’t mind seeing him act with Son Ye Jin again. I think if he chooses the right drama or movie, then it’s not a complete loss for him as far as acting. With Dr Jin, that was just wrong in so many ways! And it seemed that he didn’t quite agree with with what he signed up for. For one, that’s a red flag. Don’t sign into a project that you don’t believe in…

  6. Mar

    As you noted, his acting abilities are not the only fail for Dr. Jin. I’m glad someone besides me thinks he’s lacking in the skills department. I have no ill will towards the guy but this is my reaction to anything he’s in, “Oh,well, too bad.” After suffering through My Princess (despite the awesome riff when she names who she wants as her teachers), I just decided I’d not invest in anything else he’s in. Gong forward, he’s ever in anything with Hyun Bin or Lee Min-ho, I’m so screwed.

    • 6.1 bd

      As romcoms go, “My Princess” was one of the better ones if you just focus on the romcom elements.,

  7. JIW_sobangnim

    U MA MAN.
    Hey, liking one sidedly for long MAY get you the guy! (Thanks Im Maeahri! 😛 )

    • 7.1 Laica

      LOL. Yeah, he seems better husband-material than leading-man-material.

    • 7.2 Yay its Tuesday

      Oppa~ Marry to me..

      • 7.2.1 JoAnne

        ha! shout out to 1997!

  8. crazedlu

    aw, to his last statement. and haha to this article. fun read.

  9. katiamon

    SSH, you were clever enough to know that the doc was insane but you had to go with it… now, i don’t know if i can criticize you or love you. Man, why are you so cute??? damn it!!!! you are a truly and completely guilty pleasure dude!!!!!

  10. 10 Alys

    Dr.Jin is SSH first Historical drama right? and after i watch dr Jin i can tell “Historical drama” is not his cup of tea, next project he should just stick with melo drama or Romantic comedy drama.

    • 10.1 ravens_nest

      IDK about melo dramas but he should definitely stick to comedy/rom-com. I’ve found him the most enjoyable and least offensive in those. Still he is pretty, though. (Not really enough until I turn my brain off.)

      • 10.1.1 Alys

        “Autumn Tale” is melo drama right? and i kind like him here, he is good in crying scene by the way..

        • hanie

          He is good when he need to look pretty and crying imho. But I still irked that Won Bin lose to him in Autumn Tale.

          • Alys

            about won bin i have the same feeling like you and now i feel like that too for jaejoong (kyung tak), seems like no one can beat SSH to stole the main lead actres attention lol.

        • ravens_nest

          Autumn Tale was a good drama and he was ok but Won Bin blasts Song Seung Heon out of the water. Comparing them is like a crime against KDramas.

          I still maintain that he’s the best in rom-coms. He Was Cool and the lighter rom-com bits of My Princess were his best performances, IMO…

          • JoAnne

            I agree – those are the two that I felt he was perfectly cast and enjoyed them very, very much.

  11. 11 Ivoire

    Thank you! I will go off and read…

  12. 12 mrs_d_4281

    I still love you Oppa. But I can’t bring myself to watch Dr. Jin : (

  13. 13 mrs_d_4281

    I still love you Oppa. But I can’t bring myself to watch Dr. Jin : ( Maybe in the next few months. Ah well…

  14. 14 Kiara

    Please drama Gods let Dr Jin be his last sageuk.

  15. 15 asianromance

    His acting’s so cringeworthy, but whenever I read interviews from him, he’s such a nice, self-aware, and genuine-sounding guy, that I feel really bad.

    SSH must have been more disappointed with the drama that he let on- I mean, having read the manga first and everything. Those who’ve read the manga/novels of film/tv adaptations are usually the most critical of the adaptations.

  16. 16 infinite7l

    I kinda liked him in Autumn Tale? 😛 I thought Won Bin was pretty good there too considering it was before them becoming A-list actors

    • 16.1 Rashell

      Seriously picking between SSH and Won Bin must be rough…the pretty was almost too much.

      SSH seems like such a nice guy, but as others have said he needs to stick to light rom/com type stuff. He was ADORABLE in My Princess. SSH, don’t stretch your acting “range” anymore!!! Just stick to looking pretty and being adorable and you’ll be GREAT!

  17. 17 infinite7l

    “liked” as in I thought he was pretty good.

  18. 18 toritorisan

    That was an interesting interview. Personally, I never thought of SSH as an actor “who can’t act.” He may not be the best actor, but I think he is pretty decent. (I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.) Autumn Story was the first Kdrama I ever watched and both the storyline and his character brought me to tears (I cried like I never cried before). For a drama to do that to me, I can’t say that I wasn’t moved by his and the other cast members’ performances.

    As for Dr. Jin, I think the biggest problem was the writers and director. Knowing what the original manga was like, all the changes they made were ridiculous. Even if SSH wasn’t Jin, but some other “greater” actor playing the role, the drama couldn’t have been saved.

    I hope SSH chooses another comedy for his next role. I thought he was okay in My Princess. Even though his acting may not be the best, I’ll still watch his dramas because he is good eye candy!

  19. 19 dee

    What happened and what issued about MBC?

  20. 20 dee

    What happened and what issued about MBC? I wonder

  21. 21 Lilly

    I think all of the actors were fine. If anything it was amazing how well they carried off a story that left much to be desired in it. The story had too much of what I did not want, medical procedures, and not enough of what I did want , mystery and solving a mystery.

  22. 22 Yuhotarubi


    Sorry, sorry. Must remember: Song Seung-heon is not Hyuk. Song Seung-heon is not Hyuk.”

    I laughed A LOT when I read this !!!

  23. 23 Anvesha

    After these interviews, i feel really bad for him. He tries… He seems pretty earnest and self aware but can’t seal the deal with his acting..

  24. 24 seriously wtf jin and now (really) big

    By the time Jin was over, I was so tired of idiotic Hyuk and his wig and grubby saeguk outfit that I didn’t really want to see any more of SSH. That’s how bad the writing/directing/editing were, they BLINDED ME TO THE PRETTY.
    Now that’s bad.

  25. 25 Betty

    Ratings: “Up against A Gentleman’s Dignity, naturally we lost.” —-> hummm understatement!!!

    I really like SSH, it’s why I stoped watching Dr Jin at episode 4. Yes it was a terrible drama but there is no denying that SSH’s acting was also terrible. It was just painful for me to watch. I prefer to preserve the good memories I had from some of his previous work.

    I like him anyway bad actor or not…

  26. 26 Sam

    Ok, I don’t hate him anymore 🙂

    I have the same problem as Javabeans. I have trouble separating the character from the actor. Because of Dr. Jin SHH was seriously irritating me. But this interview is reminding me why I liked him.
    I really loved Autumn’s Tale. I dunno what happened to him. It’s like it all went downhill after that. But he’s so beautiful!
    I hope he does find a partner and settles down happily. He should stop doing dramas (or just stick to lighthearted ones like My Princess), and just continue modelling.

  27. 27 jyyjc

    Ugh so the director had something to do with the loveline bit. He should just never direct again.

  28. 28 Carole McDonnell

    I think he could grow as an actor. Keanu Reeves has improved…somewhat…and often surprises me when he acts as a bad guy. He seems to be very good at acting when he plays a total creep. So SSH just hasn’t found the right type of character yet. He really does seem like a nice guy, though.

  29. 29 Yannie

    He was way too cute! He’s not the best actor but I totally fell for him in this interview

  30. 30 Suzi Q

    The first drama I watched SSH was in He was Cool which I enjoyed very much. Since then, SSH has done several more dramas in which he was OK, but his acting hasn’t really hasn’t improved.
    He is aware of his short comings as an actor, so why doesn’t he study acting seriously? He seems like a nice person, and it’s kind of harsh hearing the criticisms.
    Why wasn’t he cast in a role like in Gentlemen’s Dignity which would have suited him better than Dr. Jin which I gave up after 5 episodes.
    I like SSH, but he just hasn’t found that GREAT role yet.

    • 30.1 mystisith

      SSH in AGD. The best or the worst idea ever. *Imagining him overacting in the prologue scenes*… Sold! That would be hilarious. For the good reasons.

  31. 31 myoneday

    Song Seung Hyun is definitely a puzzle to me. “Autumn Fairy Tale” was my first ever korean drama. After watching I fell for korean dramas hook line and sinker. Therefore, I think even if a drama is bad I’ll still stick it out for Song Seung Hyun because he was what got me here (12 years later). Of course Song Hye Kyo and WOn Bin was great too but for me Song Seung Hyun’s acting in Autumn Fairytale was exceptional. To this day it still remains one of my favorite dramas if not my favorite. Anyways hwaiting Song Seung Hyun! I hope you go on to choose better projects and meet someone who will give you the happy family you’ve always dreamed of 🙂

    • 31.1 DangCinDee

      I really liked him in autumn tale. Though, mind then, I was around 16 years old and he wad sooooo hot. Time has taken 1 percent of his hotness away. Back then he had my 100 percent vote. Now, around 99. ….but dr Jin. Man. Even the pretty couldn’t save him.

  32. 32 DangCinDee

    Apparently on soompi, dr Jin is the bomb. I gave my slight opinion about the show and all it’s gloriously unnecessaringly disgusting surgery scenes being a bit absurd. And that the plot and characters are ridiculously nonsensical with just way too much crying. Or in seung’s case, trying to cry with eyes closed or eyes opened without blinking for too long that it collected teardrops. Anyways, I commented Somewhere along these lines well…. I received back a lot of backlash. They love the ‘ intricate’ and appealing storyline that reminds them of a Chinese drama “bu bu Jin xin” describing it to be filled with interesting politics and character development. Yeah….

    It’s all the rave on other Forums right now. How? I have no f… Idea.

    • 32.1 Cynthia

      The Soompi forums are pretty much fan-driven sites, so any criticism towards their bias sets them off.

      • 32.1.1 DangCinDee

        Lol yeah. I got scared and ran off. They’re very passionate! Oh my. I just wanted to give an opinion. And open to hearing others. But lol… I got scared off haha

        • Daisy

          Yah soompi would not be a great place to write your opinions. And since Jaejong is in it there’s more crazed fan that would “protect” that thread from any opinions they don’t approve of LOLOL

          • Lydia_12

            Have you go to Dr,Jin soompi thread? you will know who’s the crazy overprotected one between them LOL and last time i come i saw PMY fans blaming JJ fans for Dr.Jin thread moving so slow since they posting to much JJ news untill the point the other fans geeting sick for posting their bias news..sorry but i dont get it….
            honestly all of them have crazy fans and here i means not just JJ but SSH and PMY fans too.

        • foolmoon

          With those fangirls you’ll just never win (^_,^)

    • 32.2 Anonymus

      I would love to read what you have written and the responses, but I’m not crawling through <70 pages of pointless news, mindless praising and fangirling, so what page? 😉

      And Soompi is generally hopeless, nice for squeeing and nothing else, there just isn't any discussion going on in so many threads…

  33. 33 jandoe

    AWWWW he sounds like such a sweetheart and all-around nice guy, clearly aware where he is lacking and that this was hot mess of a drama (which I thankfully never bothered to venture into). Hope he’ll pick a decent project next and accomplishes his personal wish to settle down !

  34. 34 laraffinee

    Ya, he seems like a pleasant enough fellow, but his acting ability is really, really lacking. He is good looking and could probably make a career of just modeling and commercials. If he is serious about acting, he needs some MAJOR training, but training alone can not make a great actor. It takes a great sensitivity to understand the character and to bring that understanding into a subtle expression. I do not think he has that.

  35. 35 pipit

    God. I love him. I really do. And reading an article like this reminds me that he’s just as beautiful inside as he is outside.

    I have tears in my eyes reading “If I could go back to that time, I’d want to treat her better — she died of cancer — and later on that was something I regretted a lot.”

    And with this one:
    “I hadn’t dreamed of being an actor since childhood; it’s something that started from a chance opportunity, so I hadn’t prepared much for it. If I could go back, I think I’d study acting in a more methodical way.”
    I forgive his imperfection in acting skills.

    No body’s perfect. With a face like that which is perfection in itself (can’t take my eyes off his photo in pinkish shirt) I think everyone will demand more from him.

    But I LOVE it when he said:
    “That’s not it. There are a lot of good-looking actors who ruin their images and don’t get criticized about their acting. I have to perform well in order to keep those comments from arising.”

    I totally agree with the view that the best one to marry is your best friend. The one you love and feel comfortable with to be yourself because marriage is not just for a day or two.

    Song Seung Hun if love if what you want I’ll pray that you’ll find it. May that woman is everything that you want. Wish you all the best. Saranghaeyo.

    • 35.1 pohonphee

      Lol Pipit I love him too. With that acting ability and looking how far he gets with his career, I’m pretty sure he has good personality and work ethic. If he doesn’t has it, he won’t be able to survive till right now after almost 15 years, even with that so much beauty.

    • 35.2 jomo

      I wish he could marry BOTH of you.

      • 35.2.1 pipit

        Awwww Jomo. But ameen!

  36. 36 UJ

    Forget abt Dr. Jin, SSH ahjusshi is hot!! :Q___
    Plus he seems like a really humble guy from this interview!

    • 36.1 SJ

      i agree with you UJ he’s hot hot hot! yes he’s a humble guy and i still don’t get it why they think he’s not good in acting! i’m sorry but i think he’s good! i also liked him in AT and MP

  37. 37 Kim Yoonmi

    Stick to rom coms and everything will be OK. Hey, Kim Tae Hee shares the same troubles too… she’s better at Rom coms.

    He’s pretty affable and laid back as well as self-aware, which makes it hard to dislike him. Apparently on the set of My Princess he’d play minor pranks too to keep the mood light which must have been hard.

    • 37.1 bd

      Except KTH was the one who had to do the emotional scenes in “My Princess” and she hit it out of the ballpark.

  38. 38 cv

    HE’s so pretty to look at. ^^

    I didn’t think his acting was that bad at all. More of directing… choppy some parts.

    Otherwise, oh my, I can watch him anytime. 😉

  39. 39 milkmustache

    I don’t like his acting and I probably should hate him, but because of this interview, I can’t. He just seems like such a nice guy. I’m happy that he actually is able to admit that his acting isn’t good.

  40. 40 Cynthia

    What is it with this guy and his interviews?! He comes across as so insightful and sensitive to his (and others) shortcomings when it comes to his skill level as an actor.

    If he has such a clear understanding of where he lacks and/or excells, then why can’t he just acknowledge that he needs to stay in the rom/com productions and then stick to just doing them?!

    He should be smart enough by now to pass on projects where he’s clearly not suited – the horrific Dr. Jin just being the latest. (Jaejoong’s fans are thrilled with the ‘epic’ acting JJ displayed. Well, why not, especially when you’re acting opposite SSH who is in the middle of displaying (as HeadsNo2 so accurately pointed out) the Five Stages of Grief in 5 seconds, accompanied by the pic stills to prove it. Cripes, a stuffed sock monkey could have acted circles around that awfulness. Kudos to JJ for turning in a good project, but he’s still no Olivier.)

    I feel sorry for him – it might be easier if he was immune to his critics (like So Ji-sub who must have a hide of a rhino, except I have the feeling that SJS really, truly doesn’t understand just how bad he is) – but SSH does come off as rather ambivalent in regards to his future in acting. Once that ‘pretty’ fades, I hope he has another road to travel that will make him happy.

    • 40.1 jomo

      He is either sincerely self-aware, really really smart, really really dumb, or the best liar in the history of time.

      I am curious to read which Hand Towel is real – the diva or the one who takes care of the staff?

      Soooo pretty, but I’m not buying his “I’ll work harder” bit.
      He always says that he wants to work on his acting? I feel like Yoda here, Do or do not. Did he say, “Throughout the series, I spent time with sunbaes to understand what exactly it is I am doing wrong,” or “rewatching some of my scenes, I can see what others perceive as overacting, and toned it down right away.”
      No, he never improves over the course of a show.
      At least in the case of idols, you can see progress in their skills. No names, but even those pegged as the worst improved over a 16 episode stretch.
      THT, on the other hand, is the same going in as coming out. He prolly gets worse because he is so tired.

      He seems like a nice friend and lovely family guy, but I think he is very good at working the press and us the audience. He knows his high-end bakery bread, and gourmet quality butter are CVs and endorsements. Ever since the military service fiasco, he has stayed in everyone’s good graces, he intends to stay there.

      • 40.1.1 Cynthia

        Yeah – that’s why I drew the comparison between him and So Ji-sub. They both SAY all the right things for interviews but they must be totally oblivious to the reality that when push comes to shove, they CAN’T act.

        What army fiasco are you referring to? I’m drawing a total blank.

        • jomo

          He tried to avoid military service because of health reasons, but then backed down when either he coudn’t prove it, or there was outcry. I can’t remember now. He eventually went.

        • jomo

          This is a link to a page with a bunch of news stories in there.
          Starts at comment #25.


          Also curiously, there is a story about Tiger Woods inviting him to visit because TIGER’s MOTHER liked him in Autumn Tale. So funny. I can see his mother:
          “Yes, yes, Tiger, honey, you are all that, but he’s SONG SEUNG HEON!!!”

          • Cynthia


            “Song, meanwhile, had admitted his crime last Thursday in a letter he sent to Yonhap News from Sydney, where he was filming a music video for the MBC TV drama, “A Sad Love Song.”

            In the letter, he apologized for his actions and said that he deeply regretted them. “Joining the army meant putting a stop to my acting career for more than two years. I was afraid this would permanently end my career. I was foolish. I am so sorry to disappoint my fans and all those people who cared about me,” he said.”

        • bd

          About SJS – don’t really think he is good-looking, but I guess he can do the whole “brooding guy” thing well.

      • 40.1.2 foolmoon

        That’s a very good point of view.
        Don’t realize those options before. Guess, I get blinded by his prettiness

  41. 41 JG

    Ugh, I can’t like him back yet. I have been too traumatized by his terrible acting and that ugly wig in Dr. Jin. He wasn’t even that pretty!!!

    Still can’t look at his pictures without growling. Must take a long break from my pretty oppa first.

    • 41.1 bd

      I just loved how when the ponytail was attached to the back of Dr. Jin’s head, all of a sudden the hair in the middle and front magically grew as well.

  42. 42 nozomi05

    Is he really known for having a big ego and being a diva?

    From the other interviews I’ve read about him and the interviews that he has given himself, he doesn’t seem such a “diva”.

    He seems a kinda okay guy that knows he got lucky because he was blessed with good looks and was just cruising along on being an actor but now realizes that he could have done so much more.

    I do hope he finds a good role that will challenge him and make him a better actor.


    i couldn’t finish my princess, didn’t watch dr. jin and only watched autumn in my heart for won bin.


    • 42.1 kathy

      Me, too. I stopped watching My Princess by Episode 6, only watched Autumn in My Heart because of Won Bin and I didn’t even dare to watch Episode 1 of Dr. Jin.

      I don’t know if it’s only me but I don’t find him that appealing aside from the fact that he’s acting is terrible.

      • 42.1.1 nozomi05

        So happy that there is someone who feels the same way about SSH.

        Nothing against him really but just too bad that the projects he picks doesn’t really help him act better at all.

  43. 43 DangCinDee

    SooOooo…. How hard is it for him to get a girl? I presume with his stardom that he’s wealthy. Not to mention he has the face of a dozen angel melted into one. I mean, the man is a testimonial of god’s artistic talent at it’s finest. Rich, good looking, rich, good looking, = cannot find a girl?

    Does he have any of those millionaire syndromes where they nitpick and have ridiculous, almost-impossible superficial standards?

    Even so. I’d like to give a go. Is there an application somewhere where I can sign up? seung! I’m 24 years old, looking to marry (you) and mentally available. No signs of the crazies ( unless u count kdrama crazy) . References upon request. Please have your lawyer call my lawyer to set up a date and time for our future wedding.

    • 43.1 Jessica

      I think the hard part is getting someone who loves him for him, and not his stardom.

      Many of us would probably just be in awe of him and not see him like a regular guy 😉

      • 43.1.1 kumi

        That’s the problem of many stars, Jessica.

        But I wish he wouldn’t limit himself with just family happiness.

    • 43.2 jomo

      That’s why he should come to the US where less than half of a percent of the population knows who he is…He could get the normal but handsome person treatment.

      But is that what he really wants? Hmmmmm….

      This would be a great premise for a drama…

  44. 44 dee

    What a great why to propose!!! I will ask my bias too just like the way you do, “please tell your lawyer to call mine to set up the date, oppa!”


  45. 45 dee

    Typo, I mean way not why!

  46. 46 tonbotomoe

    Don’t know if it’s just me but SSH’s looks are not really my taste. Objectively, I find him good looking but not to the extent that would make me drop my panties or anything.

    What authority said that Korean dramas always have to have the “melo loveline” in it? A good drama is a good drama whether it have any traditional elements. If someone needed a formula to make a good drama, they would just be using it as a crutch and an excuse.

  47. 47 Anao

    I only saw him in My Princess and after that I wondered why people criticized his acting so much. I think he was charming and a decent actor in that role, but after seeing a few scenes from Dr. Jin I get it. He acting is horrible in Dr Jin but I won’t hold it against him considering that whole drama is a mess.

  48. 48 red

    He seems like such a nice guy and self aware, I would think twice about a diva attitude rumour.

    Anyway I don’t understand how he is good looking, is he really that beautiful that people will tune in again and again for mediocre acting?

    • 48.1 geekarma

      I think he looks like a nice guy and much as his acting is poor, he’s someone I don’t have to heart to dislike.

      He does look good in suits in My princess. Every scene was pretty to me then esp. with KTH (that woman is a stunner). just a thought.

      cheers 🙂

    • 48.2 jomo

      It wouldn’t be as tough to take that he is just a handsome actor, but they actually gave him an acting award for EofE.
      How do you remain humble, and realistic when people are telling him that he’s good, he’s really really good?
      When he’s just NOT.

      • 48.2.1 Mia

        Actually it is real easy to be ‘humble and realistic’ for these good looking actors.

        Coz for every praise and adoration he gets, he will find just as many if not more running him down with the most stinging of criticism. And hurls of brickbats tend to stick in the mind more than all those raves which tend to pall over time.

        And for such actors, time is always ticking and their agent/manager NEVER fail to remind this to them…..’you are gettig older, your looks are fading, younger and more pretties are just waiting to take your place, you only this much time for such roles before you are consign to ajjushi roles…….etc etc’.

        So it is real easy to be humble and realistic, if not insecure and self deprecating. This sort of industry are not for the faint-hearted, even for the gorgeous looking ones, or especially for these gorgeous.

        • jomo

          That reminds me of the three stages of a popular actor.

          Who is Song Seung Heon?
          Get me Song Seung Heon!
          Get me a young Song Seung Heon!

        • pipit

          The mistake is that most of us tend to think that the famous and beautiful get most of the things easily. And I agree with your example about SSH. He knows how stunning he is but he also knows his level of acting skills.

          What we see is his smiling face and light hearted mood in the interview but deep down it must have hurt to hear those comments. No matter how thick one’s skin is or how indifferent one to criticism is, it must have been difficult to hear how some people simply hate you because you’re not good enough (don’t have enough talent to match their standard).

          And you nail it when you said that the good things that you hear will only last for a second compare to those scathing remarks.

          I could imagine how scary it is for those beautiful above thirty actors/actresses to have their beauty fades and just waiting to get those ajussi/ajuma roles. Especially if their beauty is the only thing that they have.

  49. 49 geekarma

    I really hope he and KTH will be a couple. They are both suited to each other in terms of acting and also in terms of eye candy.

    Won Bin needs to do another drama with Song Hye Kyo where he gets her this time and no dying of incurable what not! period.

    • 49.1 bd

      Based on what SSH has stated in interviews, he seems a bit enthralled by KTH (but what guy wouldn’t?). b

      But I wouldn’t sell KTH’s acting so short, she really did a bang up job w/ “My Princess” so we’ll see if she can keep it up.

    • 49.2 Mia

      It will be good to have a dose of reality to separate the actors from their characters in dramas. Not all are like the main leads in Queen Inhyun’s Man.

  50. 50 abcdefgh

    I love SSH oppa…eventhough..more criticism for you oppa..it means…they are really give their attention to you oppa…hehehe…look…dr.jin recaps are until end…Fighting oppa…i support you..i believe you will show them your best acting in your next drama or movie ^_^ FIGHTING!!!

    • 50.1 Ferrari Spider

      50 abcdefgh …… Yeh! Keep on fighting SSH oppa!

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