China-bound Korean actor Ji Chang Wook learning Mandarin

Actor Ji Chang Wook (right) in Healer.
Actor Ji Chang Wook (right) in Healer.PHOTO: KBS WORLD

Singapore - Korean actor Ji Chang Wook went undercover as an entertainment reporter in the drama Healer (2014 ). However, if he could be a reporter in real life, he would not want to interview celebrities. "Stars don't have a very interesting job," said Ji, 28, in jest. Since he is in show business, he would rather interview someone from a different industry. 

"It could be a reporter, a teacher, a farmer or a policeman. I'd like to find out about someone in a different occupation, what their life is like and what challenges they face," he said in an interview with local media. 

He was in town on Sunday as the brand ambassador of Japanese bath foam Shokubutsu. He also met fans at a public meet-and-greet at Suntec City in the evening.

The dapper Ji started out as a theatre actor before hitting the jackpot with his TV role in the family drama Smile Again (2010). The versatile actor’s notable roles include a laid back emperor in period drama Empress Ki (2013) and a mysterious delivery man in the thriller Healer (2014).

The popular actor is making inroads into China. He released a Chinese EP titled Be With You last month. He will be starring in a new Korean-Chinese production My Male God. 

The hardworking Ji has been trying to picking up the Chinese language, but admits his level of conversational Mandarin is like that of a child. 

He said: "It's a new language that I'm learning. I'm not as fluent in Mandarin as compared to Korean. It can be quite frustrating. I carry on a conversation with the linguistic ability of a three-year-old. 

"Thankfully my colleagues in China appreciate the effort that I put in trying to speak in Mandarin. They often find me adorable, so I try to make the most of it."

nggwen@sph.com.sg