CHANEL Paris-New York 2018'19 Metiers d'Art Show© GettyImages

Park Hyung-sik On ‘Doctor Slump’, Bollywood, Music And More

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Puja Talwar

“Unlike happiness, which felt vague at times, misfortune always made its presence known. I hit rock bottom in the blink of an eye. And failure always went hand in hand with loneliness,” says Park Hyung-sik’s Yeo Jeong Woo in the ongoing K-drama Doctor Slump.

SLL’s recent medical romantic comedy, Doctor Slump, tells the story of two doctors and former classmates Jeong-woo and Nam Han-eul (Park Shin-hye) who reunite after many years. The one-time high school rivals soon realise that they’re in the same boat as both of them are facing a career slump while battling mental health issues.

”Who would have thought the two best students would be taking medicines for anxiety?” questions Jeong-woo to Han-eul. Throughout the drama, the two strike a friendship and become each other’s biggest supporters and cheerleaders.

Park Hyung-sik’s effortless and relatable performance as the confident Jeong-woo, who is grappling with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), has struck a chord with K-drama fans all over the world.

Though fondly called Min Min by his legions of fans across the world, after his turn as the playful CEO Min-hyuk in Strong Girl Do Bong-soon, he has showcased his range as an actor in shows such as Happiness, Suits and Our Blooming Youth.

In an exclusive interview with HELLO! India, he talks about Doctor Slump, reuniting with Park Shin-hye, reviving his singing career and interest in Bollywood.

In conversation with K-drama superstar Park Hyung-sik

HELLO!:Congratulations on Doctor Slump! The show has struck a chord for its message as well as empowering storytelling. What was the one thing that drew you to this show?

Park Hyung-sik: “Thank you! I was drawn to Doctor Slump because I thought the series was funny and uplifting, tackling topics like slumps, burnout and depression without making them too heavy or too light.”

Doctor Slump (2024)©SLL HighZium Studio

H!: One empathised with your character Jeong-woo, a successful doctor and then his fall from grace. How did you get into his psyche?

PHS: “I referenced my experience so far and visited the hospital of the doctor who advised me, observed the surgery, listened to his daily routine and asked questions.”

H!: The drama is all about self-healing and growth, what was the lesson you took away from it?

PHS: “I learned the value of family, the importance of friends, having a positive mindset to protect myself and the ability to love myself.”

 H!:How was it being back on screens with Park Shin-hye 11 years after The Heirs? Both of you have great chemistry. How was it working together once again?

PHS: “It was very nice and fun. Park Shin-hye is a great actor indeed.”

H!:You can switch genres and characters, from Strong Girl Bong-soon to Our Blooming Youth, Happiness and Suits. In the past few years, has your process and method changed, when it comes to scripts and choosing characters?

PHS: “From a young age, I’ve always been curious and liked to take on challenges, and I think that plays a part in my choices of projects. I reckon it’s the things I’ve never done before, new genres and characters that pique my curiosity. Challenges are still scary and intimidating, but I love to take them on.”

 H!:Your characters are very endearing, there is something very relatable about them. Is it important for you to relate to the character on a personal level before taking on a role?

PHS: “I appreciate your kind words. I need to relate to the character and I think, when I take on a role and don’t understand or relate to a character, I can never portray it, so I always try to empathise. I reckon it takes a lot of experience to empathise more, so I always try to build up inside myself.”

H!:What are the most important factors that you take into consideration when accepting an acting project?

PHS: “It depends on the genre of the work, but for Doctor Slump, the message of the drama was the most important factor.”

 H!:K-dramas are hugely popular across the world. Your shows (previous and new ones) continue to top viewing records. Does this motivate you, given the fact that actors now have diverse platforms as well as audiences to bring stories to?

PHS: “Of course, it does. I’m very happy and proud as an actor that Korean dramas are being loved, so I guess I’ll have to work harder!”

H!:There is a lot of anticipation when your dramas come out, given your fandom across the world, does it overwhelm you or make you anxious? How do you deal with your global popularity?

PHS: “Actually, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. These interviews continue to amaze me. I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart. I think my fans love me for what I’ve been doing so far, so I’ll meet the audience with my work as I’ve been doing and thank them always.”


H!: What is a profession you haven’t played yet that but would like to try for a role in the future? Any genre you want to explore?

PHS: “There’s a lot I haven’t done yet in terms of both job and genre. When I’m asked this question, I usually refer to something I’ve enjoyed recently. When I watched the Disney+ original series Moving, I thought a story with superpowers would be interesting. More recently, I watched the movie Oppenheimer and it was inspiring, from the direction to the cinematography to the crazy performances of the actors. I thought to myself, ‘I want to play a role like that someday.’”

H!: When not acting, what are some of your hobbies? Do you have any music recommendations for us?

PHS: “All of my friends play golf, so I’ve started to learn it. I like sky diving. But it’s a hobby that I can’t do often. As for music, I recently worked on the OST for Doctor Slump, so stay tuned!”

 H!:How would you describe Park Hyung-sik the actor, in one word?

PHS: “Positive.”

H!:If you were to meet your character Jeong-woo, what would you like to say to him?

PHS: “You’re doing great and you’re an amazing person. Believe in yourself. No one can take your place. Keep moving forward. You can do it.”

H!:Have you had the chance to have Indian food or watch an Indian film? Would you like to do a Bollywood film someday?

PHS: “I like the Indian movie 3 Idiots. I enjoyed watching it. As for Indian food, I’ve tried curry, naan and tandoori chicken. It’s so delicious! It would be amazing to be in a Bollywood movie! I hope I get the chance!”