Despite his fame, Korean actor Jung Hae-in says he’s ‘not a Hallyu star’

Nikko Dizon
Despite his fame, Korean actor Jung Hae-in says he’s ‘not a Hallyu star’
The romantic leading man is back in Manila for another fan meeting

MANILA, Philippines – Korean actor Jung Hae-in made a low-key entrance at his own press conference on Friday, September 27, surprising his fans, the media, and even host Sam Oh who was just getting everybody warmed up for the event.

Without any fanfare, Hae-in appeared at the door of the hotel’s ballroom and walked towards the small stage while smiling at everybody. His fans tried to contain their excitement, but how can you not squeal at the sight of Hae-in, looking boyish, handsome, and dapper in his taupe suit?

Jung Hae-in is back in Manila for “One Summer Night,” his fan meet to be held on Saturday, September 28, at the New Frontier Theater. The fan meet this year is part of his “Jung Hae In Asia Tour 2019.” 

This is Hae-in’s second time to hold a show for his Filipino fans. He was here in July last year, shortly after his hit drama series, Something in the Rain (Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food).

Hae-in’s most recent drama, One Spring Night, wrapped up last May.

The 31-year-old is a certified star, but Hae-in was noticeably bashful throughout the press conference. His fans cheered him on with his answers, but he said one question still made him feel embarrassed.

Hae-in was asked, “What do you think sets you apart from the rest of the K-pop and Hallyu stars of this generation?” 

Sam translated his answer: “First of all, I don’t really consider myself a Hallyu star…. I am just grateful that I get to do something that I love. You know, I am an actor and I’m just grateful and glad that I get to do that. It is also very embarrassing for me to compare myself to other actors and say why I am better than them. So, this is a very embarrassing question.”

RELUCTANT HALLYU STAR. Korean actor Jung Hae-in answers questions at his press conference on Friday, September 27, for his fan meet 'One Summer Night.' Photo by Nikko Dizon/Rappler

For his upcoming fan meet, Hae-in said he’ll be sharing not just behind-the-scene stories from his latest projects, but also his “very slightly upgraded singing skill.”

The press conference was a warm up to the big day. Here are 10 things we learned from Hae-in in less than 20 minutes of question-and-answer:

  1. He would love to go to Cebu or Boracay, but he thinks he won’t be able to travel there after his fan meet. He also wasn’t able to do a whole lot in Manila last year because of his tight schedule.

  2. There is nothing else he imagines doing aside from being an actor.

  3. Bangtan Sonyeondan, better known as BTS, is his favorite K-pop group. He listens to them while in transit and at home. Their music allows him to relax and recover after a long day.

  4. He thinks his Filipino fans are a bit shy. But they are very warm and they smile easily. He sees those smiles as soon as he arrives at the airport. It makes him smile when he sees his fans smile. He is always thankful for that very positive and warm energy of his Filipino fans.

  5. It was “surreal” to be on the hit drama series Goblin because he was a fan and a viewer of the show. He also got to see Gong Yoo for the first time in person. He is also now working with Goblin actress Kim Go-eun on a new movie, Tune In For Love.
  6. He had sung off-key at one fan meeting. In another, fans requested him to dance. He gave his best but he knew that “it wasn’t the best dance number” and he was very shy about it.

  7. One of his dream roles is to portray a CEO of a company.

  8. His role as Yoo Ji-hoo in One Spring Night was interesting because he played a father in the drama, which was a “very new role” for him.

  9. He thinks Yoo Ji-hoo is the most remarkable and memorable character he played. Ji-hoo “operates from a place of pain.” The character he likes on a personal level is Seo Joon-hee in Something in the Rain because the character portrayed somebody “who knows how to go about loving someone, how to have love in his life.”

  10. Hae-in is “one big ball of gratitude” today for all the things that he gets to do. And he also feels a “larger sense of responsibility.” With more work and more fans, “the sense of responsibility that he feels gets bigger.”

GRATEFUL. Korean actor Jung Hae-in says he is thankful to his Filipino fans for their 'very positive and warm energy.' Photo by Nikko Dizon/Rappler

Hae-in said “acting makes him happy and it’s something that he enjoys doing.” But that people from different parts of the world appreciates and enjoys his work; that fans gather to see him; and that he gets to be interviewed and people are taking his pictures make him “so grateful.”

Hae-in is excited to do more work to make his fans happy, as well. And he wants to say “thank you” to everybody! –

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Nikko Dizon

Nikko Dizon is a freelance journalist specializing in security and political reporting. She has extensively covered issues involving the military, the West Philippine Sea maritime dispute, human rights, and the peace process.