Kim Jae-sung is currently training in martial arts for his next appearance on the upcoming television mini-series Hong Gil-dong, a costume drama.

The actor has yet to make a film but is being tipped as talent agency Yedang Entertainment's next big star.

Yedang is placing Kim in television dramas to show off his acting skills and let him hone his chops: he has also appeared in TV dramas Sisters' Sea and Billie Jean Is Not My Lover.

'I want to be known as a true actor or performer,' he says. 'You take acting classes and train in things - like martial arts and horse riding - but I think rehearsals and actual shoots are where you really learn a lot.'

The 24-year-old had no plans to be an actor originally, and was majoring in environmental engineering when he saw the musical Singin' In The Rain in 2001.

'The charisma of the performers struck me,' he says. 'Not long after that, I happened to meet a TV producer who cast me in season four of the sitcom Non-Stop, and I started the very next week.'

Kim admits to wanting to play smooth leading-man roles, but that he would equally like to play a psychotic or someone with multiple personalities.

'What I like about acting is that you can try on different characters - you can be a rich man or a beggar. For the few months you are shooting you can become a different person, living a completely different life.

'I think it broadens your understanding of people and expands your capacity for sympathising,' he adds.

'I see the Star Summit Asia as an opportunity to make myself known as a newcomer. I would like to let people know there is a young actor out there, diligently preparing and hoping to take on lots of work, including a good film role.'
Kim says he does not want to be just another pretty face.

He is paying his dues and learning his craft, with the long term in mind. 'My dream is to eventually create a theatre troupe that carries my name, ' he says.