page last modified: 11/9/2013
Jo Hyun Jae was born in Seoul, South Korea on May 9, 1980. He's a Taurus Monkey. He is known to be a very private person and not much is known about his childhood and early life. In an interview with Sports Seoul, he said it was his choice to leave school and "I wasn't interested in studying and I felt school was meaningless for me. I felt I'd be better off working instead. My family was poor but it wasn't because they couldn't pay the tuition that I stopped schooling. It was my own decision to do so. I don't regret it to this day."
When not filming a TV drama or movie, Hyun Jae maintains a low profile, only venturing out for the rare promotion or fan meeting. Although Hyun Jae appears to be shy and unassuming, his words contradict his appearance. He said in an interview "When I meet someone appealing to me, I tend to express myself actively by saying often that I like her." (Source: "Mask" interview, EverJohyunjae, English section.)
This paradox is part of his personality, expressed in shyness and a straightforward approach to people. When asked about the character Andrea in Love Letter in the above referenced interview he said, "Well... The way he talks, and his hard life, the loneliness, the way he loves... how he cannot express his feelings but keeps them buried inside, those things I can identify with." Hyun Jae's shyness is one of the the his attributes that attract. One may want to "mother" him while longing for intimacy.
Hyun Jae's ability to be all things to all people allows him to choose roles of a diverse nature. He does not repeat himself and takes his time in selecting his next role. One only needs to read the fan forums to see that although he is out of site, he is never out of mind. The main curiosity is what will he do next, and more importantly when.
Hyun Jae's characters are complex and expressive. His athletic hobbies serve him well when choosing roles that require physical ability such as fighting and swordplay in Seo Dong Yo and Gumiho. Although he does not speak Japanese, and I'm sure he is learning quickly with all his trips to Japan recently, his Japanese dialogue in Star's Echo was convincing, as was his playing piano in the same drama.
His performance as a pastry chef in Sunshine Pours Down was persuasive. While watching the drama, I wanted to eat cake. For Only You, the director instructed him to be a jerk, and he was, but with a great deal of sensitivity.
Hyun Jae's portrayal of Andrea, the conflicted Catholic priest in Love Letter, was convincing. Although church doctrine as defined in the drama may not be completely accurate, Andrea's feeling of abandonment and desire to replace his mother with the church and love of god, all the while longing for the love of a woman, was expressive and touching. Paradox and conflict permeate the drama. I can't even begin to comment on the ending, "Let's love again." Whatever point the director and script writer were trying to make can be left up to the viewer.
In August of 2008, Hyun Jae entered the Korean army for a required two-year commitment. Many entertainers are given the option to be placed in a special unit where their talents can be used to their best advantage. Those who choose this special unit face less hardships. yun Jae chose not to take the easy way; he served as an army dog soldier in the 2nd battalion. After serving two years, Hyun Jae was released from service on June 19, 2010. Let's wish him the best of luck on his return to civilian life.
Visit Jo Hyun Jae's official homepage for current information. The page includes registration for foreign fans, and includes Chinese, English and Korean text. Not all pages have an English version. For English speakers Simply Jo Hyun Jae is the best source for current infornation. You can sign up to receive email notification when new items are posted.
Advertising Genius Lee Tae Baek is about Lee Tae Baek (Jin Goo) who throws himself into the advertising world without a cent to his name. His rival is the elite Eddie Kang (Jo Hyun Jae) who has swept all sorts of awards in the ad world. Park Ha Sun will play Baek Ji Yoon who dreams of becoming a great copywriter. There’s also Go Ari (Han Chae Young) who gave up her past to pursue her dream of becoming the greatest ad executive.
(Source: Simply Jo Hyun Jae)
Youth Storm (literal translation youth crisis) was flmed in Rugao, Jiangsu Province, China with a cast that includes Taiwan idol actress Kirsten Jen, Chinese actor Lu Yu Lin, and Taiwanese idol actor Wei Han. The story “centers around the students at an aristocratic university in China and their trails and tribulations.” From Viki.com.
Hyun Jae began filming this 33-episode Chinese production TV series on August 10th with a scheduled release in the (Chinese) New Year (2012?). The following synopsis is courtesy of Wuli Jo Hyun Jae: “The story is set in the early days of the Republic of China (1911- ) and is a kind of Indiana Jones adventure about a treasure hunt. The female lead dreams of becoming an “escort” in a kind of security company that provides safe passage for goods and people across the country and JHJ (we think) plays the heir of this company (physically weak so can’t practise kung fu.) She's in love with him but he's in love with a princess of the late Qing dynasty while a bandit fancies her. Lots of emotional entanglement among the four of them while treasure hunt goes on.”
For current updates on Rogue Overlord and Hyun Jae's involvement in the drama, visit Ever Jo Hyun Jae Korea (you will need an account to access the Ever site).
Fantasy, romance: A young woman named Ji Hyun was enjoying absolute bliss as she was about to be married with her fiancé, but her perfect life is shattered in a car accident that left her in a coma. She is given a second chance at life by a reaper, but it comes with a condition: she has to find three people outside of her family who would cry genuine tears for her. In order to do this, she borrows the body of Yi Kyung, a part-time employee at a convenience store. (20 episodes)
Song Na Young and her husband, Jung Sung Min , desperately want a child but her husband is unable to get her pregnant. Her husband's friends decide to help them. But Na Young suddenly loses her husband in an accident and she gives birth to her daughter but does not know which of her husband's friends fathered her child. The father of Na Young's child can either be Han Soo Hyun, Choi Kwang Hee or Hwang Kyung Tae. (16 episodes)
Synopsis courtesy of Three Dads One Mom Soompi Forum
Eugene as Song Na Young
Jo Hyun Jae as Han Soo Hyun
Jae Hee as Choi Kwang Hee
Shin Sung Rok as Hwang Kyung Tae
Kim Bin Woo as Park Seo Yeon
Joo Sang Wook as Jung Chan Young
In an interview Hyun Jae was asked what he thought of Jang. He answered, "In my opinion, he is like God. He is too good to be true, like no human. He always thought about others before himself ."
He went on to say, "While portraying him, I thought, "If I were him, I would have done this." To be honest, my personality is nothing like Jang. He is very generous. No matter how others treated him, he always accepted and was willing to forgive, which is not possible for me. I think no one in this world would be like that."
Han Lee Jun, a rich, self-centered young man, is in Italy looking for his mother. They were separated at age seven, but he does not know why. He meets Eun Jae, a sweet but strong willed young woman who is attending an Italian cooking school. While riding the train to Venezia to look for the woman who can teach her the secret of making the perfect pasta paste with Korean flavor, she meets Han Lee Jun.
Their first meeting is difficult at best, but once Eun Jae learns that the woman she is looking for is Lee Jun's mother, she is willing to help him find her. Their adventures while looking for Han Lee Jun's mother and their one night together touched their lives in ways they did not expect, if only circumstances had not intervened and send them on their separate ways.
Six years later they meet again in Korea. Eun Jae has a six year old son that Lee Jun knows nothing about. Although she has loved Lee Jun for six years, she is unwilling to tell him they have a son, Jin Sohr. Lee Jun has feeling for Eun Jae, but never having loved before he does not understand the emotions he feels when they are together. He only knows that he wants her close to him.
Lee Jun must first come to terms with his conflicting emotions before accepting being a father, but once he does, his commitment to Eun Jae is unwavering. Together they overcome the obstacle of friends and family not wanting them to be together, and through this, they and others are given the opportunity to learn about love, commitment and family unity.
The SBS DVD boxset, while not perfect with it's biggest flaw being a full-screen version, is well done. The English subtitles are acceptable for the most part. The boxset may be difficult to find, but its worth searching for.There are some nice behind-the-scenes in the bonus features that demonstrate Hyun Jae's sweet shyness. Enhanced subtitles for avi files are located in the Hyun Jae media section of this website.
An ancient story told with a new twist, Hong Kong style martial arts. Min Woo is a cop investigating black market sales of human organs. During an undercover bust that goes wrong, he is saved by a mysterious clan also investigating the human organ black market trade.
While doing research at the natural history museum, Min Woo meets Shi Yeon, a curator for whom he feels an immediate attraction. He is not aware that she is part of the warrior clan of the Gumiho, and it is her task to protect her race from those who would harm them.
Shi Yeon is instructed to eliminate Min Woo because he is close to discovering the secret of the Gumiho, but as she is about to kill him she notices the pendant he is wearing, an exact replica of the pendant she gave to her childhood friend. After seeing the pendant, she cannot kill him; she also feels a strange attraction.
The investigation brings to light the complex story of the Gumiho, an ancient fox race with supernatural powers, their coexhistence wiith humans, and the two races struggle for supremancy. Min Woo and Shi Yeon's love will bring to fruition the prophecy of the 1000 year old Gumiho, but many have their own agendas and stand in the way of the prophecy and their love being fulfilled.
Along with Hong Kong style action, the drama is notable for featuring Jun Jin from Shinhwa as heir to the Gumiho leadership, and Uhm Tae Woong as his first lieutenant .
Images courtesy of KBS Korea Gumiho English Site.
The one thing that struck me while watching this drama was how refreshing it was to see Hyun Jae portraying a character who was down and out and a bit scruffy looking. It's amazing how this guy can make short hair look good.
Although subtitles for this drama have been released in many languages, English subtitles have not been available until recently. I understand there is a Hong Kong DVD with English subtitles, but word is the English subs are poor quality.
The astronomical phenomenon of a star's light bouncing off surrounding dust clouds, creating a spectacular light echo of a superluminal nature, is referred to as star's echo. One of the properties of light echoes is that they appear to violate the limit imposed by the speed of light, but this in only a geometric illusion. (Source: Space.com)
Due to a personal family matter, Sung Jae, an artist and musician, leaves the music business to work as a tour guide. He meets Misaki, (Nakagoshi Noriko), a Japanese woman whom he thinks is a bit arrogant, but their meeting will prove to be eventful.
While touring, Misaki's friend is killed in an auto accident. Because she could not return his love, she feels remourse and guilt. Later Misaki's employer transfers her to Korea where she again meets Sung Jae, and although she cannot open her heart to him, she enjoys the time they spend together.
Through there experiences together, they learn to accept what life has given them. Sung Jae returns to his first love, music, and Misaki learns to let go of her guilt and open her heart to another.
The drama is quite good and it's worth the effort to download the 2-episode English hard-subtitled version created by Hanryu Fansubs. (Download at D-Addicts in the torrent section).
If ever there was a drama of unrequited love, this is it. Other than seeing a young and very handsome Hyun Jae, is there any reason to watch this? Maybe it would have been better to call it Fruitless Love.
There are two things in this drama that are noteworthy. Hyun Jae sings in one of the early episodes and he has a nice hairstyle. Maybe that is why this drama is so popular. On second thought, maybe it's that other guy with long hair.
Thanks to Hanryu Fansubs, we can now watch several episodes of this drama with English subtitles. Available at D-Addicts in the torrent section.
At an early age Lee Woo-jin (Andrea), is abandoned by his mother. Although she loved him dearly, she could not care for him and left him with his aunt. The aunt is selfish and treats him with disdain, forcing him do all the work. Woo-jin has faith in God and believes that He will one day save him, as in his favorite story of a rope decending from heaven, providing a path of return. One day his uncle, Father Peter, comes to visit him, and seeing how poorly he is treated, he ask Woo-jin to come to his church and live with him.
Woo-jin asks that he be called by the name his mother preferred, Andrea. He matures and becomes a bright and caring boy. He meets Eun-ha, who is left at the church after becoming an orphan. While in high school Andrea and Eun-ha become the best of friends. Eun-ha realizes she loves Andrea and on the day that she is about to tell him the truth, he tells her that he wants to be a priest.
Eun-ha is crushed by this revelation but vows to stay by his side and silently treasures her love. They go away to college where they meet Jung Woo-jin. The coincidence of two guys having the name Woo-jin is astonishing. Jung Woo-jin recognizes Eun-ha as the woman who without knowing, saved him from suicide, and he falls in love with her, but Eun-ha cares only for Andrea.
A guilt-ridden past and a mother's love, combined with conflicting emotions of earthly and divine love, set in motion Andrea's, his mother's and Jung Woo-jin's paths to redemption and forgiveness.
For many, this it Hyun Jae's most dramatic and emotional role. He captures the sadness, anguish, frustration of abandonment, denial of emotions to the woman he loves, discontent with his relationship to God and the church, his friends, his family, to everything that gives meaning to his character's life.
The soundtrack to the drama is poignant and sad, Andrea's theme in particular. The YA Entertainment DVD boxset is quite good, with high quality subtitles. For the student on a small budget, or for those who just don't like to buy DVDs, the episodes and subtitles are readily available on the web. This drama is a must-see for Hyun Jae fans.
Producer/Director Lee Byung Hun saw Hyun Jae in this drama, and remembering him, chose him to portray Jang, the future king of Baekje, in the drama Seo Dong Yo.
Hyun Jae was in the first 66 episodes of That's Good, also known as Very Good (out of 74). It was after this drama that Hyun Jae began taking acting seriously.
Hyun Jae played the youngest son in Father and Sons and received recognition for this role, gaining his first fan website, Hyunjae Love. (http://cafe.daum.net/hyunjaelove)
This SBS drama is about the lives of students attending the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology. Hyun Jae plays the role of a graduate student.
Romantic comedy; filming began on September 3rd in Seoul, Korea. For ongoing information on “She Lacks 10%” visit Simply Jo Hyun Jae, a blog that features “Anything and Everything” about South Korean Actor Jo Hyun Jae.
The story takes place during the Vietnamese war and GP 506 refers to a demilitarized zone cease-fire front line guard post. I've read that "Hyun Jae is the main character, Sergeant Kwon, who keeps viewers questioning human nature and behavior."
Hyun Jae commented on his character during an interview for InStyle magazine, Volume 7, courtesy of Everjohyunjae:
"This is a thriller movie about mysterious murders occurring at the guard point (G.P. 506) in the demilitarization zone. I play the role of Yu Jungho, leader of the platoon at the guard post, who holds the key to solving the mystery." … "The soldier's role that I play is not only tough, but also silent with charisma."
The film opened in Korea on April 3, 2008 and placed in the top ten releases for the week.
Late 18th century Josun, where rigid Confucianism clashes with a sense of freedom from moral restrictions. Kwon In-ho is attracted to Lee Soh-ok, who is to become the concubine of Madam Jo's husband. Madam Jo uses the innocent and naive In-ho as an object of pleasure as well as a pawn in a game of seduction as she makes a bet with Jo-won, her freespirited cousin, that he can have sex with her if he is able to seduce Lady Jung, a young woman of great virtue.
This Daum Cafe Internet short film by director E J-Yong (this is his preferred spelling), begins in a darkened theatre with dialogue from a Mexican film. A man and woman are arguing, painfully ending their relationship. A man and woman are watching the film, isolated in their own worlds. They can watch a film of passion, but in the real world cannot surrender to it themselves.
Instead, they choose to act out their desires in an unreal world of Internet access and mind control. They pay the price of admission, enjoy their time together and just as easily forget it... or do they? Could it be that the desire to experience only the joy of love brings with it the pain of love?
Timing/QC: Lorac & Seirin
Video Encoding: Seirin
Production Coordinator: Lorac
Although Guardian did not meet with lasting success, having Hyun Jae as a member of this '90s group insured that their music would be remembered. Although the album is no longer in print, the songs can be found on the Internet, and Hyun Jae still sings the occasional Guardian song during his fan meetings.
For a stylized view of the Guardian CD cover art, go to Hyun Jae's art page.