Empire of Lust 순수의 시대(2015) Feature #3: Jang Hyuk 장혁 Actor Feature

Empire of Lust 순수의 시대(2015) Feature #3: Jang Hyuk 장혁Actor Feature

“Empire of Lust” (2015) is a new historical Korean Movie or 사극 opening in March based on the events of the 1st Conflict between the Joseon Princes that occurred in 1398 A.D.

I have a Feature tracing the historical events portrayed in the movie here.

In addition, I have an Actor Feature of Shin Ha-Kyun here.

Since I did that, it would be not right if I did not cover the other male lead who is actually the more famous in the Korean drama world. It is somewhat tricky to call him a lead of “Empire of Lust” (2015) because Jang Hyuk 장혁is a supporting character who is only in the movie for 15 minutes at best.

Well … Empire of Lust 순수의 시대(2015) is Shin Ha-Kyun’s baby to sink or elevate. It would not do much for Jang Hyuk’s career. In terms of Korean dramas, this is not much of a problem. However, Jang Hyuk’s movie profile does need a boost.

The beginning
The real start to Jang Hyuk’s career can be pinpointed to KBS’s “School” (1999) which was a 16 episode teen drama. Jang Hyuk’s role was rather meaty for a novice. He was cast as the “bad boy” high school student of the show’s ensemble cast.

And to be frank, Jang Hyuk has never been able to move beyond that character.

If you think about it, this show was the starting ground of many now famous Korean drama stars. This includes Choi Gang-Hee of “Heart to Heart” (2015), Yang Dong Keun of “Three Musketeers” (2014), and Yeom Jeong-Ah of “Your Neighbor's Wife” (2013).

School” (1999) 

In the same year, Jang Hyuk landed the second male lead in “Into The Sunlight” (1999) starring Cha Tae-hyun,  Kim Hyun-joo, and Kim Ha-neul. He keeps getting cast with the Korean drama stars of the time.

In terms of his movie career, “The Best” (1998) was his first movie as a major supporting role. However, his first big hit was “Volcano High” (2001) starring the young and lovely Shin Mina. I do prefer her a little older though. Jang Hyuk basically established his goofy bad boy persona in this movie.

 “Volcano High” (2001)

With this success, Jang Hyuk got a lead role in a Korean drama “Bright Girl’s Success” (2002) which was Jang Nara’s big hit drama. Jang Hyuk also did not do that shabby as he established himself as a promising Korean drama lead! The two end up costarring again in “Fated To Love You” (2014). I don’t care for Jang Nara at all though.

Bright Girl’s Success” (2002)

The fall and Rise!
Jang Hyuk  next big movie role was “Windstruck” (2004) starring Jun Jihyun who was trying to reprise her success in “My Sassy Girlfriend” (2001). The response to the movie was somewhat lukewarm. This did not really help Jang Hyuk’s movie career.

Windstruck” (2004)

However, what really sunk his career at the time was the military conscription scandal the occurred in the October of that year.  After performing his military duties, Jang Hyuk  had a comeback with “Thank You” (2007) costarring with Gong Hyo-jin. I hear that show is good. Have not seen it yet.

 “Thank You” (2007) 

Since then, Jang Hyuk has actually starred in Korean dramas as the lead every year except for 2010 and 2012. This includes hits such as “The Slave Hunters” (2009) and “Midas” (2011). On the personal front, he got married in 2008.

Midas” (2011)

“Empire of Lust” (2015) and a movie career!
Even with his success with Korean dramas, Jang Hyuk’s movie career as a leading man never really picked up. He had a supporting role in “The Client” (2011) which was the 10th highest grossing Korean move that year. But the movies he was the lead never hit it big. “The Flu” (2013), while coming in as the 14th highest grossing Korean move that year, it was a disappointment. “Innocent Thing” (2014), another movie starring him, barely made an impact on the box office.

The Flu” (2013)

Innocent Thing” (2014)

Thus, Empire of Lust” (2015) is an important movie even for Jang Hyuk. He needs to make an impact!

Thanks for reading this article!

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