“The Glory” Actor Jung Sung Il Gets Emotional While Sharing Stories Of His Difficult Childhood
Jung Sung Il might be enjoying a lot of recognition from K-Drama fans now for his role in Netflix’s hit series The Glory, but the actor has had more than his share of struggle and pain to overcome in his past.
On February 1, Jung appeared on the tvN variety show You Quiz On The Block as a guest and shared some of the stories of his difficult life as a child for the first time. When the hosts asked how he got into acting, he replied that when he was young, he had no dreams since he “was so busy trying to live and survive.” At that time, his mother was very sick and had to be away for treatments, while his father was hardly ever home.
When I was in the 4th grade of elementary school, my grandmother had difficulty moving. So my sister, who was also an elementary school student at the time, and I had to take care of even her urine and feces.
—Jung Sung Il
So, he and his elder sister lived with their grandmother. But she was also too sick to take care of them, and they ended up having to care for her instead. Growing up in such circumstances, Jung shared that his elder sister stepped into the parental role for him.
Since my parents weren’t around, from a really young age my noona was almost like a parent to me.
—Jung Sung Il
Jung then recalled one particular incident that brought tears to his eyes. He shared that while waiting for his sister to come back from school, he had to resort to drinking puddle water to fill his stomach.
You know how the sidewalks in a playground sometimes have potholes, right? I had nothing to eat or drink before noona came but I used to be very hungry. So, I would wait for the dirt in the pothole water to sink to the bottom and then drink that water.
—Jung Sung Il
He added that though he could have gone around asking for something to drink, it wasn’t a one-time affair, and asking others every time made him feel guilty. When the host, Yoo Jae Suk,asked how his sister reacted to this, Jung said, “My sister would scold me saying, ‘Are you crazy?’ and ‘You should have waited for me to come.'”
The actor was visibly emotional talking about his elder sister, who had to take on so many responsibilities despite being a kid herself.
My sister used to make me delicious food with just the ingredients we had at home. But she is only two years older than I am, so she too was in elementary school at that time. And that breaks my heart. I was young too but my sister was also a baby. But she never cried in front of me.
—Jung Sung Il
Things seemingly got better during his high school days. That’s when his mother came back home and suggested that he go to college. It was his sister who pushed him to pursue fine arts and performance art.
Netizens are touched by the stories Jung shared and praised both siblings for their perseverance.
- “His acting always has this classy aura to it, a kind of vibe that you feel like you can’t just approach… Now I see that it comes from a depth within him from experiences beyond our imaginations. Thank you for growing up into such a great man.”
- “Despite such a difficult upbringing, he grew up to be such a kind, upright man. You can tell how much work his noona put into raising him right. Now that you’ve suffered a life’s worth of suffering in your youth, I’m sure only happy days await you ^^”
- “He may not have had good parents, but I’m so glad he had an amazing noona to look after him. His noona was so young herself… I wish you a happy life full of gratitude for her!!! 👏👏👏”
- “His noona is amazing 👏”
- “His face doesn’t show a single hint of the struggles he went through…I hope both his noona and Mr. Jung are just met with happiness going forward~”
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