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[K-Star’s Best Character] Jang Dong Yoon, Going from Honorary Citizen to Leading Actor

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Kim Hoyeun

Jang Dong Yoon debuted with the 2016 web-drama Women at a Game Company, playing a game developer Gom Gae Bal. The following year, he mentioned how he started his acting career at the press conference for Solomon’s Perjury, the first project with his lead role. He caught the robber with his friends and got on the news as one of the honorary citizens. That being the case, the casting director reached him when he spotted him on the news. Even his debut story is like a movie. 

Credit: JTBC

Jang made a surprising transformation when he played Jeon Nok Du. The character was a man who dresses up as a girl and enters the widows’ world in The Tale of Nokdu (2019). He put his best effort into playing the role to make the “cross-dressing” less noticeable. Thanks to his efforts, he won two honorable awards. He first won the Excellence Award (Actor in a Mini-Series) at the 2019 KBS Drama Awards. The following year, he received Best New Actor (TV category) at the 2020 APAN Star Awards.

Credit: KBS

There are various voice tones to women. Still, he focused on acting in his natural voice instead of making high-pitched tones. When the director told him to “walk like a woman,” he reportedly answered, “There is no such thing as walking like a woman.” Just like Whisper’s “Like A Girl” campaign, he gave us a reminiscent of redefining the term “like a girl.”

Surprisingly, he happened to play Kwon Seung Chan. The character was an introverted boy who grew up listening to his father’s lecture about how “men should be tough” in his previous drama Just Dance (2018). While secretly watching the dance sports class, the character expressed his desire to become a dance class member through his dance. He illustrated a figure who goes beyond the stereotypes imposed on gender to find himself with this role. 

Credit: Smile Entertainment, Contents Panda

In the movie Beautiful Days (2018), he played Zhen Chen, a Korean-Chinese college boy who sets off to find his mother that abandoned him years ago. He flawlessly showcased the emotional performance of a teenage boy who lived an eventful life. With the 23rd Busan International Film Festival’s opening film, Jang left a solid impression with his first lead role. 

Credit: SBS

Following his latest military thriller drama, Search, which aired last fall, Jang Dong Yoon will return with the new fantasy action historical drama. Set in the worldview where zombies emerge in the Joseon dynasty, SBS’s Joseon Exorcist depicts people’s struggles against the evil spirits. It will premiere on the 22nd. Jang turns into Prince Chungnyeong, who is determined to save his country and people. In this series, he will join Kam Woo Sung and Park Sung Hoon. And by the end of this year, he will greet the audience with his voice acting in the animated film Tae Il (literal title), based on Jeon Tae Il’s life. Jang Dong Yoon, who wishes to be a true actor, is moving forward sincerely even today. 

 

Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

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