Shin Jae Ha Explains His Tendency Of Playing The Villain, Personal Acting Philosophies, And More

Actor Shin Jae Ha sat down with Esquire Korea to talk about his return to acting with “Crash Course in Romance” and “Taxi Driver 2” and the new approach he’s taking toward his profession.

Starting off by talking about the massive success and infinite praise “Crash Course in Romance” has received, Shin Jae Ha could only describe it as a huge relief.

“My character Ji Dong Hee is one who has a big turning point [in the show]. That secret was revealed in episode 12, and I got messages from so many of my friends and family.” He added jokingly, “It was to the extent I posted on Instagram saying, ‘I got more messages than I did on my birthday. Should I go into the mountains for the time being?’ It was at that time that I realized just how popular the drama is.”

For anyone who’s a fan of “Crash Course in Romance,” the bond between the cast, both on and off screen, is more than obvious. Shin Jae Ha took the opportunity to praise his co-star Jung Kyung Ho.

“We tried to bring different energies from the very beginning,” Shin Jae Ha explained. “For example, Jung Kyung Ho made an effort to stand out on purpose, and his speech and facial expressions were very humorous. Meanwhile, I slowed down the tempo and worked to keep the balance. There were also so many ad-libs.” He then went on to talk about a scene that features the two humming. According to the actor, that scene was 100 percent ad-libbing, with none of it appearing in the original script.

Shin Jae Ha is a very passionate actor, yet he revealed that he doesn’t like to get too deeply immersed in his characters. “In the past, there was one time when I was so immersed in my character that it took me a long time to get over it even after work had ended,” he admitted.

The actor is well-known to have played similar roles to his somewhat twisted character in “Crash Course in Romance,” such as his role of Seo Jin Mok in “Page Turner” and Yoon Pil Woo in “Welcome 2 Life.” When asked about whether he has contemplated his reason for accepting roles similar to Ji Dong Hee, he answered, “I started thinking about that when I was doing ‘Crash Course in Romance.’ I couldn’t find the answer on my own, but the director and other senior actors told me things like, ‘The [characters’] appearances aren’t overly obvious,’ and, ‘I like it because it feels like good and bad coexist,’ and I’m just so grateful for that. I think that’s a huge compliment as an actor. Because of that, I’m receiving a lot of love that I hadn’t before.”

Shin Jae Ha also stars in the second season of the hit drama “Taxi Driver,” where he plays the role of On Ha Joon. “It’s like this in ‘Crash Course in Romance’ too, but On Ha Joon is another character that has a huge twist. Depending on how you look at it, he appears a bit more like an actual villain. If you focus on the character’s duality and the pain that’s hidden within it, this drama will be a lot more interesting,” he explained. “There’s so much that I’m itching to say, but I can’t say anything else,” he added humorously, staying mindful to not accidentally reveal any spoilers to viewers.

He also mentioned how he was originally nervous to start working on a drama that was filled with so many action scenes. However, Shin Jae Ha didn’t hesitate to talk all about how fun filming was after he practiced and collaborated with the other actors on set.

But what viewers might not know is that Shin Jae Ha was actually working on both “Crash Course in Romance” and “Taxi Driver 2” around the same time.

“It was physically exhausting,” the actor admitted. “Looking back though, I think that being so busy actually yielded a better result. Because of my busy schedule, I didn’t even have time to sleep, so I just went in with the very core of the character and story.”

Shin Jae Ha’s pictorial and full interview can be found in the March issue of Esquire Korea.

Watch Shin Jae Ha in “Taxi Driver 2” now on Viki!

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