When Kim Hyun Joong walked his solo path as a singer there were those who did not believe he’ll be able to cut a wide swath in Kpop. And yet he did it with several music albums out, being in the top of music charts, concerts, harvesting awards. Most of all, he did what he had wanted to do for a long time, go into rock with a real rock band.

They said he was just a pretty face and yet it is the face that help launch the makeup lines for many women and men across the globe.

When he went into acting and even won an award, some smirked it was just a fluke. Even the succeeding drama Playful Kiss was a fodder in attracting more bullets targetting his so-called lackluster performance. Easily the evidence was its low rating as if it doesn’t happen to veteran actors. Some of those who have access to media were merciless. They would time and again harp on that. Even before Inspiring Generation was to go on broadcast the same doubts came out.Why him for such an important drama for KBS? Why spend so much money for Kim Hyun Joong ? Why does the CEO of production have to be interviewed on that aspect? Why did the production company have to entertain such question in the first place?

The answer was predictable : see, we were not wrong in picking him to be Shin Jung Tae -he can do well given the right drama genre. But perhaps the better thing to say is, we were not wrong in choosing him as SJT because it is a difficult role including the risk of alienating the Japanese market. Only an actor dedicated enough will be willing to tackle the role and who understands the risks involved. And HJ is that one.

HJ eats challenge, the harder the better, for breakfast. From the looks of it, it is not an overstatement to say he is an ardent no pain, no gain; no guts, no glory believer.

Ironically, it is not the pretty boy image that stuck into him for quite a while that will serve him well in the acting arena. Even with the few minutes in the two episodes of Inspiring Generation we have seen how being rugged, rough and tough is like his second skin. He can look forlorn, lonely and carries the world on his shoulder. Long winded dialogues are not necessary for him to bring home the point. Yet we can understand his pains and commiserate with him. Though we haven’t seen it yet -he will be soft and tender in love.

Someone said Shin Jung Tae is Kim Hyun Joong; Kim Hyun Joong is Shin Jung Tae. It is not farther from truth.

An aspiration he had long dreamed to happen finally happens. In addition, what will happen, will happen (Murphy’s Law) at the rate he prepared himself. He wanted roles that require thorough preparation not a wall decor or a walking statue.

He’d also like to try a psycho character, and he doesn’t even care if he is not in the lead role. But what he cares about is delivering what is expected of the role and more (his interpretation). And acting to be as close to perfection as possible(getting involved in editing as well).

It is self mastery in his acting and everything else in his life, in his own terms.