‘Unlock the boss’ is Chae Jong-hyeop’s first handmade result. The director, who discovered a rookie with signs of great success, threw the ingredients with a ‘tuk’, and Chae Jong-hyeop risked life and death. However, he gave himself a rather harsh grade of 30 points, saying that the result was a little disappointing for self-evaluation. When I asked him why he was so mean, he pointed out the essence of an experience that is more valuable than numbers.
Chae Jong-hyeop established himself as a leading actor through the ENA Wednesday-Thursday drama ‘Unlock the Boss’ (script Kim Hyung-min, director Lee Chul-ha). Based on a popular webtoon of the same name, it is a comical thriller depicting the cooperation between a president (Park Seong-woong) who gets caught up in a suspicious incident and gets trapped in his smartphone, and a job seeker (Chae Jong-hyeop) whose life changes after he picks up the smartphone.
In the play, Chae Jong-hyeop showed an ever-changing face as Park In-seong, who went from being a job seeker without an answer to becoming the president of a company overnight. He portrayed the situation of a clumsy protagonist in a rapidly changing situation in three dimensions, and he was good at comic acting, which he was challenging for the first time in his life. He also drew favorable reviews for his skillful romance with love line Jeong Se-yeon (Seo Eun-soo).
Chae Jong-hyeop expressed regret, saying, “Sometimes, after finishing a project, he used to express that he was sad. But these days, I don’t want to say goodbye to ‘unlock the boss’ to the extent that I feel sad about that word.” “First” is important to everyone. The same was true for Chae Jong-hyeop. He said, “He gave me a precious experience of acting most freely among all the works so far. I want to say thank you again.”
The preparation process was not easy. The work that put him in the mainstream is the SBS drama ‘Stove League’. He left a strong impression on the minds of viewers as he played Yoo Min-ho, a promising pitcher who is naive but passionate. At the time, Chae Jong-hyeop devoted himself to practicing all-out pitching to imitate the form of a real baseball player. Afterwards, he was selected for the lead role in the badminton-themed work ‘Going to You at 493 km’. He warmed up once again and relieved the burden and tension before filming by practicing badminton. This time, ‘Unlock the boss’ was a little different. Since he was a foolish job seeker and the president of a company pursuing justice, he did not have clear preparations to decorate his appearance and put his energy into, such as baseball and badminton.
Chae Jong-hyeop shrewdly looked at him. He said, “All of my previous works have been given material or time to prepare diligently for anything. I have played the role of an athlete a lot, so I could ease my mind a little by practicing and preparing for sports in advance. But this was not the case with this work. , The director also gave me infinite trust, saying, ‘Please do just that.’ I don’t want to, but I looked around because I had no experience in related departments or theater companies. I sought a lot of advice and tried to empathize as much as possible.”
Park In-seong transforms from a job seeker to a boss due to a fantasy situation. However, Chae Jong-hyeop continued the character’s nature as it is, instead of a dramatic hot performance in a two-person role that completely transforms and takes form. He said, “This is the part that I focused on from the beginning. I wanted to show Park In-seong, who is a job seeker thrown into a fierce world, but does not live while doing medicine. A character who is slow and somewhat clumsy, but has a straight mind. As the name suggests, one personality is “I wanted to meet viewers with a character with a growth story that could be received. I didn’t want to act like a completely different person in the position of president. I wanted to portray President Park In-seong, who is somewhat dumb, but has a good personality.” Viewers clamored, “It’s frustrating, but I can’t hate Park In-seong.” This is proof that Chae Jong-hyeop’s operation worked properly.
There was another tricky homework for ‘unlocking the boss’. In the play, Park In-seong has numerous conversations with Kim Seon-joo, the real boss who is locked in a smartphone. Not in real life, but through smartphone CG. Accordingly, Chae Jong-hyeop had to perform passionately against chroma key props, unable to actually face his senior Park Seong-woong, who had to look into each other’s eyes and create synergy. He said, “I only had one breath with senior Park Seong-woong. I was very sad and worried. I had a lot of worries. I asked the director every time. On set, I asked the production team to match the lines instead.”
Then, “The director reassured me, ‘No matter what Chae Jong-hyeop does, Park Seong-woong will do it for you, so take it easy.’ He got angry, cried, shouted, and spoke seriously while holding the chromakey props to add graphics. .It was very difficult to act alone, and it must have been even more difficult for Park Seong-woong, who acted after seeing my acting.”
Like this, the expectation of ‘I’ll leave it to you’ is directing that may make some people feel scared or feel heavy on their shoulders. Chae Jong-hyeop felt burdened and responsible for the request, which was filled with only blank space. He said, “It is true that the expression that my shoulders were heavy and the burden was heavy. After that, a lot of responsibility followed. ‘s trustworthy eyes, the eyes of the staff who love Inseong I’m acting more than anyone else. I’ve always lived listening to the story that there is no answer to acting. The words I had forgotten for a while crossed my mind. I gained trust, and I gained trust in this acting I was delighted that it was a work that gave me the gift of unforgettable experiences, memories, and memories, regardless of grades.”
When asked about his satisfaction with this performance, Chae Jong-hyeop shook his head in regret, saying that only 30% was left unfulfilled, but smiled, saying that there were 70% left to accumulate. He said, “If I had to express my level of satisfaction in numbers, it would be around 30%. When I started, I aimed for 120%, but I can’t lie because my angularity is the best in my eyes. It was clearly visible. I wanted to take it off.” He added, “I wanted to take off the shame Chae Jong-hyeop was feeling on the screen and tell him to do it again. It always leaves me with regret. It is my honest feeling that I want to film again.” Nevertheless, he affirms, saying, “Like In-seong Park in ‘Unlock the Boss’, who completed his growth story through twists and turns, this stinging opportunity in my acting life will remain as an experience.”
‘Stove League’, which became a stepping stone, and when asked about his mindset that has changed from his previous minor role, Chae Jong-hyeop said, “If I had only thought about myself, now I have to think about everything. It was very different to have to look at all the characters. .In ‘Stove League’, I only looked at my role, Yoo Min-ho, and the characters facing Yoo Min-ho. Now, I hold my head high and try to look at 1-10.” Conversely, when asked about the things that have not changed between then and now, “My thought was, ‘If this is a vinyl record, let’s never scratch it by my mistake.’ thought,” he said.
Chae Jong-hyeop says that it is still amazing to see works that find him. They don’t stop at this, and they constantly ask questions because they want to get the other person’s wishes and answers. He said, “I’m just so grateful. I’m a person who always wanted to be busy. I was hungry every day. ‘How would it feel to debut?’ ‘How about acting?’ ‘What if I’m busy?’ I was thirsty in my imagination. It was so much fun to play a small role, and I wanted to keep doing it. So the current situation is just amazing. I always ask. When I meet him, I keep asking ‘why’.”
“Most of the directors who gave me answers so far said, ‘I think I can show another side of actor Chae Jong-hyeop.’ I try to interpret that there is no clear feeling left by Chae Jong-hyeop.”
Finally, Chae Jong-hyeop said, “I received a wedding book as a gift from director Lee Chul-ha. Looking at the writing, it said, ‘Is it a good place for me to stay?’ When I think of Hyeop, I want to give him a warm sensibility,” he said. “I want to act like that steadily.
iMBC Hoyoung Lee | photo source iok
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