JYJ’s Kim Junsu may not be unfamiliar to you, but he has a new title – musical actor Kim Junsu. It has been 2 years since his debut in ‘Mozart!’. When news of his debut in ‘Mozart’ broke, we thought that he was just venturing into another field, but he went on to act in ‘Tears of Heaven’ and ‘Elisabeth’ and became one of the leading respectable musical actors with star quality. Days before the premiere of ‘Elisabeth’, we met up with a passionate Kim Junsu.
To Kim Junsu, his debut in the musical “Mozart!” was a risky challenge. While experiencing strife with his management company in 2009, he chose the musical ‘Mozart!’ as his first step after eight months of vacuum. He had never been interested in musicals. “In the end, the first musical I saw was the musical that I would act in,”he laughs. But, he emphasized: “If I were to count my biggest challenge in life, it would be acting in musicals.”
“I like the music so I challenged musicals, but I was feeling vague about the unfamiliar genre. After a long time since their last official activity, he was the first member in JYJ to start his activities so he felt very burdened about it. Will I do well when I start acting this art piece? I was very worried. I calmed myself and thought that I have to do well since I had already started.”
However, his worries were unfounded. Tickets of the musical, which starred other musical actors, were sold out early and he was reborn as a musical actor in ‘Elisabeth’. As time goes by, Kim Junsu receives more favourable comments for being a musical actor. “The amount of hardship that I had experienced at that time and the decision to act in musical was difficult, I was able to gain confidence and make a comeback thanks to the support and concern of many people,” he laughed.
“I have never once watched a musical. I must have been roped by musicals since I like them this much. In order to learn about musicals, I have to be fully immersed in them. I want to do my best till the end to reach my ideal since I have already started. It is my task to look at the art piece until I dislike it every time I act in a musical.”
‘Elisabeth’ is Kim Junsu’s third musical and it is one that has received a lot of love for 20 years since its first performance in Vienna, Austria in 1992. It is a musical about the story of ‘Death’ and an Empress who fell in love.
In the play, he transforms again to the role of ‘Tod’, which is also the transcendental ‘Death’. ‘Death’ is a character who seduces the Empress beautifully and sweetly. “As ‘Death’ is transcendental and immaterial, its first appearance on stage is special. You can feel it wherever you are seating at. It is not ordinary,” he said.
As there are almost no lines for his role and he has to use expressions and gestures to express himself, it is the biggest difficulty. “Since there are no lines, it is hard to express my intention of wanting to speak. However, it is difficult as there are no correct answers. I want to know how to view the ability to express unrestrictedly as a strength. It seems that I can enjoy myself on the musical stage now,” he said with gleaming eyes.
As a musical actor and gaining explosive popularity as a JYJ member with many activities, he smiled and said, “I want to grow old in a cool way.”
“I don’t want to be at the top of public interest. Won’t popularity end ultimately? Instead of getting the most popularity, I want people to remember that I am a singer even after a long time has passed. Until I feel that ‘I have done well’”.
The peculiar connection between Kim Junsu and Jo Seung Woo is eye-catching. Both of them are consistent stars who are also South Korea’s musical ticket powers. Coincidentally, Kim Junsu’s ‘Elisabeth’ premiere falls on the same day as Jo Seung Woo’s ‘Doctor Zhivago’ premiere. In reality, both of them exchange messages and support each other’s performances, thus they have a senior-junior relationship. “I got closer to Seung Woo-hyung after watching his performance in ‘Zorro’. Although we talk a lot about musicals, we also often confide in each other. He is a cool and comfortable hyung to be with,” he said.
These are Junsu’s words about them being rivals. “Hyung is the best musical actor and I am just a newcomer who started now. I am honored to be compared to hyung, but I also feel burdened. Please do not compare the two of us from now on (laughs)!”