He is called the male lead who makes his female co-stars shine. His easy going personality and boyish charm have made Park Hyung Sik a crowd favourite on and off the screen. When he, along with co-star Park Bo Young made a special appearance, reprising their roles as Ahn Min Hyuk and Do Bong Soon in Strong Girl Nam Soon, a spin off of their 2017 hit Strong Woman Da Bong Soon, the ratings saw a spike. (Also read: Exclusive interview with Korean star Lee You Mi: On love for 3 Idiots, Strong Girl Nam-soon and Squid Games’ success)
The actor sat down for an exclusive interview with the Hindustan Times from Seoul.
When asked about revisiting their much-loved characters of Min Hyuk and Bong Soon once again, he says it was also a wonderful opportunity to meet up with his co-star Park Bo Young.
“I met Park Bo-young again after a while. I felt that she was still cute and lovely, but also a more mature and deepened person. In the six years that passed, she portrayed Do Bong-soon so perfectly that it made the passage of time seem meaningless. I could journey back to the past along with her, it was truly an enjoyable time.”
Park Hyung Sik is one of those actors who have quietly yet consistently worked their way up. He made his debut as a member of the K Pop group ZE: A in 2010. His first screen role beyond a cameo came in I Remember You (2012). From being part of the ensemble cast in The Heirs in 2013, it was him as the burdened crown prince in Hwarang and the playful CEO of Strong Woman Do Bong Soon in 2017, which remains a point of recall for many of his fans. Over the years, his mature and nuanced performances in the legal drama Suits and as a detective trying to avert a crisis in the apocalyptic thriller Happiness, as well as the distressed crown prince under a mysterious curse in Our Blooming Youth, have won him critical acclaim. His reserved and stoic characters are a part, it’s also his not shying away from parts alongside strong female leads, which have won hearts.
He is candid when he says “When I choose a piece of work, the criteria may vary depending on the circumstances at that time. However, I emphasise how immersed, empathetic, and entertained I am when reading a script.”
Further adding, he said, “Since the K-drama The Heirs, I have been learning and gaining insights. As time goes by, it seems the naturally accumulated experiences are reflected in my acting. I want to become a profound and good actor, showing many aspects of life”, he responds in all earnestness.
So is there a favourite genre or a dream role? “I also want to try genres like noir or fantasy. However, if a fun and good part which is enjoyable comes along, that would take priority, rather than sticking to what I want to try,” he said.
He has had a busy last few months as he tours across Asia for several fan meetings. With the one scheduled in Seoul on Nov 26, he says it overwhelms him to see the love and support coming his way.
“It amazed me and is also very memorable every time I meet fans from all around the world. Despite different nationalities, I always feel that the love in their hearts is the same. They always bring happiness to me. Whenever I have fan meetings, they often surprise me or touch my heart. I sometimes find myself wiping my tears. I appreciate you, my fans”, he responds gratefully.
With a viewership of K Dramas on an exponential rise in India, Park Hyung Sik reveals he is a fan of Indian food and movies, and would love to visit the country someday.
“I would like to visit India. If I have the opportunity, I want to go! I love Indian food, especially curry and tandoori chicken. I enjoyed watching the movie 3 Idiots.
The actor will be seen next in the medical romantic comedy, Doctor Slump opposite Park Shin Hye, scheduled for early next year. What are his expectations from 2024? “My wish for the next year is for everyone to be healthy and happy. I do hope for everyone to always be in good health and filled with love,” is his heartfelt response.