Park Hyung Sik Shares Thoughts About Military Enlistment, His “Soulmates” BTS’s V And Park Seo Joon, And More

On May 8, actor Park Hyung Sik sat down for an interview to talk about his upcoming movie “Juror 8.”

This is Park Hyung Sik’s big screen debut after proving his solid acting through dramas such as “Heirs,” “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon,” and “Suits.”

“Juror 8” tells the story of South Korea’s first trial by jury in 2008. It follows the case of a son brutally murdering his mother, with all factors seeming to point to a guilty ruling.

Park Hyung Sik will play the role of Kwon Nam Woo, who is the eighth juror and is someone who always goes above and beyond. He repeatedly questions the defendant’s self-declaration of guilt and reminds judge Kim Joon Gyum (played by Moon So Ri) of the importance of justice.

This film is his last project prior to his military enlistment. He was accepted to serve in the military police department of the Capital Defense Command and will enlist on June 10.

Previously, Park Hyung Sik featured in MBC’s variety show “Real Men” and earned the nickname “baby soldier.” He stated, “Although I had a tough time filming ‘Real Men,’ an advantage is that I know how it all feels since I was able to go to all different units, whereas [during actual military service], you are solely in one unit the whole time. So I thought I would rather go to a place where I had fun, and a place where I was able to use my talents to their full potential.

He said with a laugh, “I was good at shooting as ‘Sniper Park’ in ‘Real Men.’ People around me told me ‘You should come to this side’ so I enlisted in the unit that welcomed me.”

Regarding his actual enlistment, he commented, “Personally, I didn’t want to make it public, but since it became known, I ended up telling people ‘I’m going’ openly.”

He added, “I wanted to go quietly. I wanted to go without anyone knowing I went or didn’t go. When you say you are enlisting in the military, it feels like a fixed break period. If you don’t know, it’s okay because it feels like the person is active but just not working on a project. However, [if you know the person is enlisting] it feels like the person is locked in because ‘the person can’t be active.'”

Park Hyung Sik revealed his thoughts regarding Im Siwan, his fellow member of ZE:A, who recently was discharged and decided on his comeback project. Park Hyung Sik said, “Siwan has already filmed a lot of movies as the lead role, so I would say I’m not worried. As the younger one, he looked dependable and made me feel secure. As for me, I humbly accepted it since I’m enlisting right after my first movie. He told me time flies [in the military]. Looking at him, it does seem like he was discharged very soon, although it may have felt slow for him.”

Park Hyung Sik talked about his first day of filming. He shared, “I found out that the director selected me for the role after seeing me in MBC’s ‘Real Men.’ He felt a similarity between me and Nam Woo’s character in that we both were learning step by step. It’s been four to five years since filming ‘Real Men’ and now that I’m in my late 20s, I am less pure despite what the director thinks. While digging into my role, the director was surprised when I acted in a more aggressive manner rather than in a pure manner.”

He continued, “The director told me not to dig into the character. I wondered what I should be doing if I don’t dig into my role. After a long meeting with the director, I had a character in mind, but this all fell through during the first filming. My first line was ‘I never knew there was a jury system in our country until now,’ and I had to film 27 takes of this. The director requested I try something different on every take. I went crazy.”

He also shared, “I ended up asking Moon So Ri for help. It was comforting when Moon So Ri told me ‘My debut film was director Lee Chang Dong’s movie and I had to do 40 to 50 takes on one scene. This is nothing.'”

Park Hyung Sik mentioned Park Seo Joon and BTS‘s V as his soulmates, after he starred with them in the drama “Hwarang.” He remarked, “I usually don’t try to do anything to make myself stand out when there are a lot of people around. I’m not the type to get acquainted with people easily. However, I’m not the type to be alone all the time either.”

He explained, “When working on projects, you meet people you can get along with. There are people you keep in touch with effortlessly. I consider the [two] members I worked with in the drama ‘Hwarang’ as my soulmates. I continue to see them, and I tend to say things such as ‘What are you doing?’ or ‘Let’s eat together’ frequently.”

“Juror 8” is set to premiere on May 15.

In the meantime, watch “Hwarang” with English subtitles below!

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