Park Hyung Sik, who has already made a name for himself on television with shows like 'Strong Woman Do Bong Soon' and 'Hwarang', has successfully made his debut in the film industry with his new film, 'Juror 8'.
The former idol sat down with MK News to discuss his acting career, his experiences on set, and his plans for his mandatory military enlistment.
When asked about his first experience on shooting a film he stated,
"It was really difficult at first. If you look at it one way, my character is one who causes a lot trouble, so it was hard to figure out how to show his real innocence and truthfulness in small ways to make the audience root for him. I realized later however that the more I overthought my performance, the more challenging the role became. As I spoke with the director more and more, I was able to become focused on the film and the message the character was giving me; and after that I was able to complete filming with lots of energy.
Park Hyung Sik plays the male lead of the film, Kwon Nam Woo, who leads the trial in an unexpected direction with persistent questioning and constant disputing. The character has a strange charm to him that gains the judging eyes of his fellow jurors, but never fails to ask questions again and again until there isn't a shred of doubt in the eyes of the judge and jurors. When asked about the similarities he shares with his character, he stated,
"The fact that I'm not afraid of not knowing, the fact that I'm not afraid to ask questions to the people around me, and my desire to learn what I don't know until I understand it completely, are all qualities I think my character and I share. Even on the first day I came onto set I showed up without an ounce of knowledge of what to expect, just like Nam-Woo. I was nervous and dumbfounded, and I had no thoughts in my head. Eventually, as I listened to my seniors and saw the director's vision, I slowly began to understand the message of the work.
I actually was cast for this role because the director saw me on the variety show, 'Real Men'. He said that he wanted to cast me because of how similar I was to Nam Woo while I was on the show, but between the time I appeared on 'Real Men' and now I've changed a fair amount. I've become more mature and have learned more about the world as I've experienced more of it. Maybe that's why the director told me not to overthink it too much."
He also expanded on his experience as a first-time film actor.
"I personally have so many regrets about my acting, but overall, I think it came out well." he says with a shy smile. "As part of the audience, I was able to receive the director's message as well. I laughed a lot and also cried a lot. The film has fortunately also been well-received since its premiere, and I'm proud that the audience is able to feel the same emotions that I felt as well.
The actor also spoke about his plans to enlist next month on June 10th. On this matter he playfully commented,
"I originally wasn't going to announce my enlistment and planned on leaving quietly, but because people have already found out, I've decided to become very open about it and let it all out."
He continues saying,
"I'm trying not to feel particularly stressed or pressured by the situation. There is bit of curiosity and excitement that I feel about entering into a new world outside of work, which is all I think about. I will do my best to adjust well and do my best while I'm there."
In his last comment of the interview he stated,
"Being part of this film was an invaluable experience that I'll never forget. I hope to learn and challenge myself even more as I continue on this path."
'Juror 8' tells the story of South Korea's first jury trial, where eight citizens from differing backgrounds slowly seek the truth of the criminal case they've become jurors for in their own way. The film premiered in Korean cinemas on May 15th.