Park Hyung-sik is back to bring «Happiness» to the Hallyu industry
Courtesy of Studio Dragon

Park Hyung-sik is back to bring «Happiness» to the Hallyu industry

An apocalyptic thriller that takes place in a time in which infectious diseases have become the new normal. Park Hyung-sik chose one of the year's best scripts for his comeback on the screen. Happiness ended last night on tvN, but this drama - produced by Studio Dragon will not be easily forgotten. Not just because it's the first one openly set in a World post-Covid, but because Park Hyung-sik and Han Hyo-joo's chemistry and performances were outstanding. Park Hyung-sik (born in 1991) is a well-known actor and one of the most influential celebrities of the Hallyu Wave. Known for his roles in dramas like The Heirs, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior of Youth, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, and the Korean remake of Suits, he took the role of Jung Yi-hyun after he was discharged from the mandatory military last January. Park Hyung-sik is also one of the members of the worldwide celebrated Wooga Squad, a group of talented friends who become brothers that comprehends actors Park Seo-joon and Choi Woo-shik, BTS' Kim Taehyung, and the musician and produces Peakboy. spoke with him just before Happiness' season finale.

Congratulations on coming back on screen. Can you talk a little about Happiness and your role in it?

Happiness is a thriller drama that depicts a near future where infectious diseases have become the new normal. People try to survive after being locked down in apartments in a large city where class discrimination occurs. I play Jung Yi-hyun, a smart, sincere, and diligent detective.

You play the part of a promising sport talent that turns into a detective. Do you ever want to be an idol, or when you were young, you had another dream?

My dream seems to have changed a lot if I think about it when I was a student. I dreamed of becoming a police officer, lawyer, and even president of the country. Isn’t this quite normal? (He smiles)

Let's talk a bit more about your character. The chemistry with your leading woman Han Hyo-yoo is electrifying. Can you share with us some fun episodes that happened during the filming?

I met Han Hyo-joo at Happiness for the first time. Before Happiness, I thought of her as being a gorgeous and beautiful actress by seeing her in her roles at diverse programs and shows. While working together, I found that she is easy and free to speak and makes people feel comfortable. It was a happy surprise. Moreover, she was so warmhearted, thoughtful, and considerate throughout the whole production process and I feel very grateful for that.

Courtesy of Studio Dragon

You played a lot of different characters. From the naive student in The Heirs to a shiny chaebol in Strong Woman Do Bong-soon and a king in Hwarang. Which do you think was the most difficult one and why?

Every character is difficult in its own way. Whenever I take on a new role, it makes me ponder over and over. If you ask me to select only one in terms of its difficulty, I think Suits might be the one. I played a genius with a photographic memory and that means I had to memorize very long lines in many scenes. It was so hard in itself in addition to my pondering over how to play the character.

You were discharged from the military in January. What's the first thing you did when you got back to your life? And how did it this long time serving the Country change you?

The first thing I did was sleep as long as I wanted. Soldiers have to wake up at a fixed time every day, and while serving in the military, my eyes automatically opened whenever morning came. After being discharged, my eyes opened again but what I saw was the ceiling of my home, not the ceiling of the military barracks. I felt so happy. Serving in the military got me healthier and gave me enough time to spend alone.

You are a member of the Wooga squad. You talked before about your friends in a really soft way calling them "your refuge" and "your soulmates." You share busy lives and fame, but in reality, you are just friends. Like any others. How much is essential for you to have them in your life, and why?

It is nearly impossible to imagine my life without them. They are the ones I can talk to or share anything that I cannot easily spill out to others. They are also the ones who can easily relate to how I feel. Whenever I make a mistake or think about something not right, they don’t hesitate to correct me. Everybody says that one good friend enriches your life. I have so many of them. Nothing will beat this happiness I feel from them.

Covid-19 changed our lives. How did it impact yours?

I like staying at home, so the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t impact me a lot. However, we could not have dinner or drinks with colleagues due to the pandemic, and it was a bit hard. Also, I like to travel, but traveling was not also possible. Quite sad.

Courtesy of Studio Dragon

Back to your work: how do you see Happiness from the point of you of an insider?

Happiness has many dramatic scenes. We have so many great actors and actresses in our show, and I can say that dynamic energies will fully radiate from those scenes. If you focus on those, you will enjoy Happiness more.

I have one last question, and I think it's the most difficult one: who is Park Hyung-sik now?

That was the question I asked myself a lot while serving in the military. Who I am, what I like, and what I want, I thought hard. As of now, I enjoy ventures, don’t refuse to take new things, and love to learn. Our own standards usually change over time as we learn. The more you learn, the more you change. Hope my thoughts continue to change. Also hope everybody loves it.

Courtesy of Studio Dragon

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Marianna Baroli

Giornalista, autore

(Milano, 1986) La prima volta che ha detto «farò la giornalista» aveva solo 7 anni. Cresciuta tra i libri di Giurisprudenza, ha collaborato con il quotidiano Libero. Iperconnessa e ipersocial, è estremamente appassionata delle sfaccettature della cultura asiatica, di Giappone, dell'universo K-pop e di Hallyu wave. Dal 2020 è Honorary Reporter per il Ministero della Cultura Coreana. Si rilassa programmando viaggi, scoprendo hotel e ristoranti in giro per il mondo. Appena può salta da un parco Disney all'altro. Ha scritto un libro «La Corea dalla A alla Z», edito da Edizioni Nuova Cultura, e in collaborazione con il KOCIS (Ministero della Cultura Coreana) e l'Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia.

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