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Jinyoung Delivers Star Power In ‘The Devil Judge’ And His Song ‘Dive’

Jinyoung plays the idealistic judge Kim Ga-on on the Korean TV drama The Devil Judge. In this dystopian drama Ga-on is one of three judges presiding over televised court trials that let the nation’s citizens vote on a defendant’s guilt or innocence. The court has the power to convict the nation’s corrupt elite, but his senior judge, Kang Yo-han, is a controversial figure. Some people see Yo-han as a righteous crusader for justice, while others are sure he’s the devil. It’s not easy to confront someone so powerful and unpredictable, but early on Ga-on summons the courage to question Yo-han’s methods and rulings.

“It is because he has faith and conviction,” said Jinyoung. “His beliefs are so strong that he is able to overcome any situation.”

Drawn in by the magnetic Yo-han, Ga-on begins to waver between wanting justice and wondering what should be sacrificed to reach that goal. It was this conundrum that attracted Jinyoung to the character and the story. 

“I liked that Kim Ga-On had strong faith and conviction,” said Jinyoung. “I liked that the story is refreshing and powerful and it posed the question of what justice actually is.”

After playing the character for seven months, Jinyoung felt that he knew Ga-on well.

“I tried to understand how he thought and acted,” said Jinyoung. “During that process, I was able to feel his sadness and doubts.”

Despite their characters’ dramatic interactions on screen, Jinyoung and Ji Sung, who plays Yo-han, had a great time working together. Jinyoung previously worked with Ji Sung’s wife, actress Lee Bo-young, in the drama When My Love Blooms.

“While working on When My Love Blooms with Lee Bo-young, we once did a Skype call with her husband, Ji Sung.  I just said hello then, but while working on The Devil Judge, I really got to know him and am very thankful to him.  We had a lot of fun on set and an experience I will never forget.”

Between appearances in dramas, such as He Is Psychometric and Melting Me Softly, Jinyoung works on his music. In July he released the solo single Dive, an upbeat summer song well suited to his appealingly soft resonant voice. Jinyoung composed the music and wrote the lyrics, which talk about diving into love, waiting under waterfalls and the deep expanse of the ocean.

Dive is a song that started while I was thinking of the ocean,” he said. “If you look at the ocean eventually you will also be able to feel deep and wide like the sea.”

Jinyoung, whose full name is Park Jin-young, wanted to be an entertainer at a very young age.

“It was always very natural for me to do things in front of people,” he said. “Therefore, I wanted to be able to perform on stage as a singer and on screen as an actor.”

In 2009 he auditioned for JYP Entertainment, winning first place at an open audition with over 10,000 applicants. He began acting lessons in 2011, which led to his first role in the drama Dream High 2 in 2012. Two years later, he debuted as a vocalist with the k-pop band GOT7, known for hits such as Fly and Just Right. It can be a balancing act but he loves making music and he loves acting.

“Acting is a freedom that has no boundaries,” said Jinyoung. “I like the fact that if you portray your emotions correctly there is nothing you can’t do.” 

After The Devil Judge, Jinyoung is set to appear in the webtoon-inspired TV drama Yumi’s Cells with Kim Go-eun and Ahn Bo-hyun and in the film High Five, an action-fantasy starring Yoo Ah-in, Oh Jung-se and Kim Hee-won

“Both projects have the top directors and actors,” said Jinyoung. “It is an honor to be able to work with these incredible people and I am very excited.”

He’s open to the possibility of one day working in the US. 

“I love movies and would definitely like to be a part of a US production,” said Jinyoung. “Until the opportunity presents itself, I will be working hard to perfect my craft.  I hope you will all be looking forward to my US acting debut.”

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