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Last Scandal, a weekend TV drama, airs on MBC at 9:40 pm. Actor Jung Jun-ho plays Song Jae-bin, a movie star, in Last Scandal, and we were able to catch up with him at the press conference for Last Scandal that was held on March 4th at the Dream Center in Ilsan, Korea.
- Could you tell us about the character you play?
Jung Jun-ho: First of all, I would like to thank everyone for coming here on such a cold spring day. I play a snobbish character called Song Jae-bin who also happens to be a movie star. My character can't forget his high school sweetheart and in the very first episode, he meets her for the first time in 20 years. But it turns out that she changed a lot appearance-wise and personality-wise, and this disappoints him a lot. I actually had a real-life experience like that when I went to my high school reunion. I met the girl who I used to have a crush on back then and found out she was married with two children. She looked very different from how I recalled her. So I can totally relate to the situation that my character is in. Eventually, my character finds true love after meeting his high school sweetheart and changes his old ways. I play the love interest of a 40-year-old housewife and rekindle a youthful romance with her. I expect our show to do pretty well. Perhaps, viewers will get to see one of my finest performances ever. (laughs)
- Why did you choose this role?
Jung Jun-ho: Choi Jin-shil gave me a call one day and suggested that I take the role. Without reading the script, I told her I'd play the role. When I got the script later, I loved it. As an actor, I?ve still got a lot to learn and to have someone of her stature to personally call me and offer me a role is a great honor. I admire her for that. I don't think I could ever do that myself.
- What was hard about playing your character?
Jung Jun-ho: I didn't find it hard to play my role. Since my character is a movie star, viewers will get to see the kind of life that actors live. You'll see typical things that actors do in their lives and careers. My character is constantly working out to stay in shape and he'll also have his personal assistant in tow wherever he goes. The times when he goes to publicity events and behaves around the movie set are pretty close to reality. His personal life is also shown in a gritty detail. I sort of felt that the show was revealing too much stuff about the lives of celebrities. Shooting each scene is a breeze and I'll try to deliver a fine acting performance.
- In the show preview, we see you get slapped by Choi Jin-shil. How did that feel?
Jung Jun-ho: In scenes like that, most actresses will hesitate to slap their co-stars. But Choi Jin-shil slapped me so hard on the first take that I got a little agitated about shooting future scenes like that in upcoming episodes (laughs). But to be honest, it's easier to work on the set with her because she likes to keep it real. I was impressed with how she just goes ahead and does things with such confidence (laughs). I hope she'll continue to do a great job for the rest of the season.
- You play a snobbish celebrity but tell us what you're like in real life.
- Jung Jun-ho: I treat people with respect. Don't I? (laughs) You need gravitas and a commanding presence in this business in order to survive. So wherever you go, you have to be confident and have a swaggering attitude. Some people will view you as being strong while others will take it the other way and say you?re being cocky and rude.
- You said you were planning on getting married someday. When will that happen?
Jung Jun-ho: They say I'm always in the first row of a group photo taken at a celebrity's wedding. (laughs) I guess I'll just have to work less and spend more time looking for someone special.
- You haven't been involved in any scandals so far.
Jung Jun-ho: I was caught several times having lunch or dinner with a female friend by the paparazzi. But somehow it never broke out into a scandal. I think I'm a good actor. (laughs)
- We heard that you substantially lowered your acting fee. How much are you getting paid?
Jung Jun-ho: I lowered it to the figure that the production company was offering me. As I get older, I somehow keep giving in to other people. (laughs) Starring in a TV show means more to me than money. Of course it's great to make some money in the process. (laughs) Because A-list actors are asking for a lot of money, it's getting harder for the studios to hire good supporting actors. You can't make a decent TV show with just the leading actor. I'm aware that there are a lot of obstacles that studios face when they're making a TV show for the networks. So I think actors should try to understand the plight of the studio and share the risks. If actors and studios give in to each other's demands a little then I think the business environment will become healthier for everyone.
Birth date: October 1, 1970
Debut year: 1995 (24th Class of MBC)
Awards: Best actor award at 28th Hwanggeum Film Awards (2005),
Best new actor award at MBC Broadcasting Grand Awards (1996)
Filmography: Righteous Ties (2006), Another Public Enemy (2005), Marrying the Mafia (2002), My Boss, My Hero (2001), Anarchists (2000)