Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
Ji Chang Wook began his acting career in 2008 with an independent film Sleeping Beauty. Since then, he worked on broadening his field by appearing on drama My Too Perfect Sons and musical Thrill me. Then in 2010, he first played the lead role through drama Smile, Dong Hae, making his face known.
Ji Chang Wook rose to stardom with Smile, Dong Hae, but the images of the character Dong Hae was so strong that in an interview, he jokingly said that he considered changing his name to Dong Hae. Thinking that he needed to break away from the images of Dong Hae, he played his first villain role in drama Five Fingers and received favorable reviews. In 2013, he met MBC drama Empress Ki and challenged a new transformation, solidifying his position as a trusted “go-to” actor.
In Empress Ki, which told the story of Ki Seung Nyang, who went from low-level palace woman to Empress Ki, he played the role of Yuan Emperor Ta Hwan. After getting embroiled in the power struggle of the ministers, Ta Hwan recovers his authority with the help of Ki Seung Nyang (Ha Ji Won), but ends up wielding tyranny because his love for her has gotten too big. Ji Chang Wook portrayed Ta Hwan, who showed distinct emotional shifts, with many details. Especially, he showed flawless performances in the scenes where he reveals his lunacy after being blinded by jealously. The character of Ta Hwan that initially faced difficulties in casting, fully came to life after meeting Ji Chang Wook.
With his passionate performances, Empress Ki revived the MBC drama, which was unable to escape from the slump at the time. The drama surpassed 20 percent viewership, and Ha Ji Won, who played the role of Empress Ki, won the Grand Prize at the MBC Drama Acting Awards later that year. Ji Chang Wook was also recognized for his acting prowess by winning Excellence Award and successfully broke away from his Dong Hae images.
He also led drama Healer to success with Park Min Young, receiving positive responses at home and abroad. He became the next Hallyu Star, following Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun, and entering the mainland of China.
After joining the army in 2017, Ji Chang Wook was discharged not long ago and returned to the small screen with Backstreet Rookie. Unlike his previous strong and charismatic roles, he plays a clumsy and comic role, presenting a whole new side of him.