The article is taken from dramabeans.
It’s safe to say that Gu Family Book turned Choi Jin-hyuk into an overnight star, even though he had steadily been acting for the better part of a decade and had leading roles in other dramas.
Choi Jin-hyuk was so winning as the romantic gumiho mountain spirit who suffers a tragic fate after falling in love with a mortal that his fame spiked instantly despite a mere two-episode guest appearance (although he is slated for a reappearance down the line).
In the following interview(s) (cobbled together from several separate articles), Choi Jin-hyuk talks about the role, his acting style, and his struggles getting to where he is now.
About taking the part in Gu Family Book, Choi said: “I read the script with such enjoyment. I decided to take the role no matter what, thinking that I might not get to encounter another role playing a male gumiho. However, I was aware that I was inadequate to the task. As a result, I worried that I might falter, as though being set in front of a beautifully prepared dinner table where all I have to do is dig in, and yet manage not to eat a bite anyway. ‘What if I become a hindrance to a good drama?’ I had a lot of worries, and felt the pressure to set the foundation story for Gu Family Book.”
Although his part spanned two episodes, they were filmed solidly over two months:
“I tend to gradually become absorbed in my roles as I watch myself acting, so it takes a while for me to fall entirely into character. For that reason I felt the pressure of appearing in the early two episodes, and after shooting was over I would go to the editing room to check my performance. I did that again and again, working to become immersed. Even so, I found it quite difficult in the beginning. The worry kept me from sleeping, and in the middle of shooting I even lost hair over it. [Laughs] That’s how keenly I felt the pressure. I think this drama was the one where I suffered the most in all my years of acting. Even more than the physical hardship, it was probably because my liking of the character spurred more ambitions within me to do better.”
Choi said, “Watching my soft-hearted character experience a heartbreaking and unfortunate love felt so much like I was watching my own self, and that made my heart ache all the more. I really want for him to come back alive.”
“As I mentioned, I knew my weaknesses. That was my greatest concern after getting the role. How would I be able to get fully into the character within such a short time frame? How much sincerity could I portray? But everything I’d felt in doubt over disappeared the moment I saw the drama. I was reminded, ‘This is the power of directing.’ I was shocked at how my inadequate acting could be built up so much. To the writer who wrote this beautiful drama, to directors Shin Woo-chul and Kim Jung-hyun, who showed a perfect picture despite my flaws, and to everyone else I’m just so grateful.”