He who was borne as the much well-loved leader of dance and vocal group SS501 in 2005 – Kim Hyunjoong.
Over here in Japan too, he has had surfaced with a major debut in 2007 and sung to aplenty songs and captivated the hearts of many. And now, he is challenging as an actor where he similarly receives much love from his fans.
Last year, he challenged acting for the first time in drama “Boys over Flowers” as the very affectionate Jihoo sunbae where this role had everyone calling him the National Sunbae, proving the high popularity he’s had garnered.
“To me, BoF was a work that allowed me to start developing interest in a new field as an actor. When I was acting it out, this thought always came onto mind, ‘What if I’m Jihoo, how will I react (to this, to that)?’. The more you truly go into studying the character, the more it will actually be reflected in your acting. In addition, with that kind of way, with that kind of attitude where I will want to go further to study a character, it actually really allowed me to discover an unknown side of mine in the sense ‘Oh, I have such a side too?’ that kind. So this has really helped me alot in acting too”.
He is now challenging a new drama ‘Playful Kiss’, in it he stars as an aloof teen with IQ 200, Baek Seung Jo. Despite so, he actually revealed that he originally did not have any thought to take on this role.
“Hahaha originally, I had already decided not to take on any high-school roles again after BoF. (laughs) This may be my biggest disadvantage, but to be honest, I’m one who will be very easily influenced by what others say… Like let’s say buying clothes. When I go to buy some clothes, they may not particularly attract me at first, but if I hear the salesperson or friends around me who say that it suits me, I will then eventually end up buying those clothes. Just like this time’s drama too, people in my agency kept saying, ‘Very good suggestion ne’, ‘If you were to take it on it’ll surely succeed’, etc….And so because of that I ended up accepting this drama already (laughs)”.
This popular role that is highly vyed for by many actors had eventually gone to Kim Hyunjoong, and with that, this truly looks like a Kim-HyunJoong-episode ne.
After deciding to take on this role, he will never look back but will instead try his best to perfect his role — that is him.
If so, how does he then put in efforts into portraying this role?
“First of all, Baek Seungjo is a genius with IQ 200 and higher, so I had to constantly remind myself that ‘I am a genius’ (laughs). Also, because this is yet another manga-adapted character, in order not to tarnish the original image, I try my best to stick as close as possible to the original character. I’m also trying my best to show the kind of charm that only Kim Hyunjoong can possess, even if it may be just one charm. Whatever it may be, I just keep telling myself ‘I am a genius’, which is why I could thus naturally turn into Seung-jo. Yeah, I think of it that way (laughs)”.
[Moving into new agency, a vastly different environment]
Whether it be Jihoo from Boys over Flowers or Seungjo from Playful Kiss, both are roles who initially does not care for anything at all yet eventually falling for a plain girl.
So what is his love exemplar like in reality?
“I’m the practical and strong-willed type. Will fall in love at first sight kind. If I like her, I won’t hide but will tell her instead. The girls I like is those cool type. One who could easily and relaxingly communicate with me, and who could also happily allow me to go drinking with my friends. That is my ideal type”.
Hyunjoong, one who is always so honest in every thing he answers.
Looking at the way he tranquiled manner he answers those questions, I then asked if there has been any difficulty or changes in the execution of work since he has now moved into Keyeast consisting Bae Yong-joon, after leaving his former agency.
“Obviously because I’ve changed to a new agency, my working environment has also changed too. Because of that, I will also feel it’s not so possible to further execute work with those who has previously worked together with me. But then again, if I don’t work harder than now, I will not have any better development in days to come, so I also make many preparations in each area. Only so could I possibly achieve what ever I want to do, that’s how I think”.
Bae Yong-joon who is in his new agency will come out to meet up with Hyun-joong at times, too. Amidst their conversations, Hyun-joong has learnt quite many things as well.
“Bae Yong-joon sunbae is very humane and realistic, and is also a superb person. Though we share talks together, we don’t really talk about any absolutely special topics, but instead some daily life stories. Just that alone I could already learn many ways on how to treat people and attitude on life. I also will want to spread our Korea culture to more and more people in the world, to let them know. Furthermore, sunbae’s self-management is also really thorough; he’s really amazing”.
Though he is such a Kim Hyun-joong, he does not milk down in his body training as well. During holidays, no matter how tired he is, he will definitely go to exercise, this is because he wants to maintain his body shape and fitness.
“No matter what I have on hand, I will go for exercising (laughs), and will also play soccer. Yesterday I had some free time, so I went to kick football with my dancers. Exercising may be really tiring, but in future when I reach 40 years old, my body can still maintain as it is, because exercising helps alot. That’s how I think of it”.
When we hear words like “wanting to show the maturity as a singer”, the concert held last year by SS501 in Japan Budoukan comes onto mind. In the Solo Corner area, that body which Kim Hyunjoong reveals…….. At that split moment when he tears apart his clothing, those shrieks coming from fans fill the entire concert hall…….
“I want to recommend exercising to my fans too. I had seen the documentary my fans made yesterday. In it wrote ‘ahjumma fan’ (middle-aged fans), in Japanese we call it ‘obasan fan’, after seeing, I didn’t really like it. Japanese ahjumma fans often write things like ‘I am apologetic you have such an ahjumma fan’, but I don’t agree with the way they see themselves. If only they could exercise regularly like normal girls do, and thinks of themselves as young ones, it’ll be really good (laughs)”.
“My gratitude towards fans has always been sitting itself deep down there in my heart. The love I get from my fans, I want to reciprocate them all. But not just by words, I want to also express it in my actions and in a concrete manner. I want to reciprocate them like that. Such a thought has always been in my mind”.
Who knows if he will also be presenting any special present to fans in his upcoming DVD photobook to be released end of October. After which, he will also be attending to a charity event “Message to Asia” with Bae Yong-joon at Tokyo Dome on December 14. After current drama ‘Playful Kiss’ ends, fans who have been anticipating his singer activities will also get their wish granted.
“Had sung for Playful Kiss’ OST, and is also doing preparations for my new album. I want to have enough time to go thoroughly prepare for an awesome album. To be honest I am also practising choreography for my new dance songs that will be inclusive in my new album. Though I am focusing mainly on drama for now, I still want to show everyone the side of a singer who has better matured, even if it may be just a little bit. So please, do anticipate much. Same for dancing, I will show even more hype in dancing”.
That one sentence he recalls whenever he is lonely — “So long as you go ahead to do it, you can”
He wants to give this piece of sentence to every friend out there who is in anguish.
Despite hitting the nail, he never does give up finding his road ahead — and that is Kim Hyun Joong.
Be it as an actor, or a singer, he seems to be slowly slowly, little by little, expanding his pavement ahead of him…