The TV sensation "Descendants of the Sun" was a jackpot for the otherwise less known actor Jin Goo.
He made his acting debut with the SBS hit drama "All In," starring Lee Byung-hun and Song Hye-kyo, in 2003, receiving wide media attention for his superb childhood role of Lee's character.
But the media splash didn't last long. His presence has been weak during his 14-year acting career.
"I admit that I'm really elated because this is my first time to receive such a hot response. It's like I'm getting another chance to start anew, really," Jin said during an interview with a group of reporters at a cafe in Seoul on Tuesday.
The mega-hit drama "Descendants of the Sun" has skyrocketed him to stardom both in South Korea and China since it started being shown simultaneously in the two countries about a month ago.
The KBS 2TV series is about a doctor and an Army captain who fall in love as they try to save lives in the fictional war-torn country called Uruk.
Jin plays Seo Dae-young, a reticent but warm military colleague and friend of the drama's main character Yoo Si-jin played by Song Joong-ki.
"'Descendants of the Sun' is getting a hotter response than 'All In'," he said. "After all those (hard) times, I'm now on mind control in order not to be swayed too much by feelings."
As for his master sergeant character, Jin said his real-life character as a person is not as masculine and strong-minded as Seo.
"I don't have the overpowering personality that my TV and film characters have," he said. "I also have a weak element in me, which leads me to cry often."
Jin was the last to be cast for "Descendants of the Sun," according to the actor.
The 35-year-old actor said he wanted to appear in the drama after reading the storyline by chance.
"I rushed to the show's producers, eager to land a role only to find that there was no place for me," he said. "So, I thought they were lying to me when I suddenly found out I was cast."
Jin has partnered with actress Kim Ji-won, who is 12 years his junior, to play a secondary couple in the series that is as popular as the leading pair.
"Kim looked great as she performed the role of Yoon Myeong-ju, and the character she plays is lovely. I also feel sorry and thankful to Yoon," he said.
When questioned about his chemistry with actress Song, Jin made clear he felt happy for being on the same screen with the big star.
"Song is a star that I just look up to. The fact that I was on the same screen with her made me feel that I have made strides," he said. (Yonhap)