[Interview] Kim Jaejoong, “It would be better if I just get scolded” (Interview ①)
This interview is separated into three portions: Part One is about Jaejoong’s acting, Two being the story about JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong and Part Three is of Kim Jaejoong as himself.
The day of the interview was very hot and humid, to the extent that if you walked a little bit, you would sweat all over. And it was that day I met the Kim Jaejoong who finished all filming for MBC’s Dr. Jin, shed the heavy period drama hanboks, and returned to a 26-year-old while wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt.
Jaejoong’s greeting was “Hello everyone, I’m Kim Jaejoong”. And my first reaction was, “Why is his skin so fair…Does he not get tan?”
Dr. Jin was the first period drama for Kim Jaejoong, and he very honestly confessed his fear and unfamiliarity towards period drama at first: “Because it was my first time, I was very nervous and scared. Before we started filming I didn’t know what to do, nor did I have any confidence and was very fearful for the consequences if I didn’t act well.”
Kim Kyungtak is not a simple character, he was abandoned by parents, friends and lover. Kim Jaejoong talked about Kyungtak’s character: “All the other characters have their own thoughts and beliefs – Lee Haeung has a lot of desires and Kim Byunghee has immeasurable ambition – but Kyungtak’s only thought is ‘people who belong to me are to be protected by me’ and does not have a lot of ambition or desires. When everyone around him are working hard for their ambitions, Kyungtak just wants to protect; when all other characters are looking at their own world, Kyungtak is the person who looks at himself from far away.”
There were also a lot of tears, “at first I thought he was a very cold character, but later on in the drama he cried all the time, which is really tiring when filming. Because to cry out with all the emotion like Kyungtak requires a lot of focus and effort, and regardless whether it’s acting or not, my heart ached with the character which was a burden on my body.”
Kyungtak’s period drama accent was too strong? It’s possible that due to his fear for period dramas, Kim Jaejoong’s voice became slightly unnatural.
“How do you act in period dramas? How should you alter your accent and tone? I really didn’t understand anything about action or talking in period drama, and since Kyungtak is a military officer and everyone said that he should be very handsome and cool, I just thought I needed to act power and charming. However, when I finally watched my own acting, I decided that I need to erase those two things and put something new into the character.”
Kim Jaejoong also very honestly talked about the things that idols cannot let go when acting. Kim Jaejoong knew a long time ago regarding the fact that a singer’s stage is very different from and actor’s drama.
“An actor needs understand how to let go of himself, but I don’t think I ever can. Because I didn’t debut as an actor, I really wasn’t able to completely immerse myself. For instance, the thought of ‘making myself look really handsome’ has been bothering me since the beginning, but I didn’t realize at first that I would look much more handsome if I let go of myself and act with all I have.”
In fact, Jaejoong did not let go of himself when acting for ‘Protect the Boss’, and thinking back on it, he felt regretful: “To shed oneself completely has been difficult for entertainers who went from being a singer to an actor. On stage, we have to exhibit the perfect and most handsome self to make the audience satisfied, but in acting it’s very different. Letting go of myself and show the inner self is really challenging. It’s easy to correct my own mistakes, but to drop all of my strong points and immerse with acting is a very difficult thing. However, the more you can let go of yourself, the easier it is to immerse into the character, so I should let go more often in the future.”
A lot of people praised Jaejoong’s acting, but some sunbaes said that “you shouldn’t always get praised”, and Jaejoong thinks the same: “It would be better if I just get scolded, at least I would get peace of mind. Some people criticize my acting due to my looks, I will work harder and show a better self to them.”
Having to look objectively has his own acting and admit shortcomings is not an easy task, so Jaejoong’s courage really left me a deep impression. “How could I score my own acting?” Jaejoong said, “I just hope that everyone can see how I progressed, that’s all.”
Jaejoong also conveyed his hopes in acting: “I don’t have to be the main character, but if I could take part in various types of characters, I would be happy even if it’s just a small role. I also want to continue working hard on acting. It used to be the case that I only can sing and dance in front of audience, but now I want to challenge acting in front of audience.”
[Interview] Kim Jaejoong, “I Want to sing on public broadcast” (Interview ②)
To be honest, I don’t usually listen to music from JYJ, since I thought they were fairly similar to other idol groups, but after I saw their concert, I suddenly felt that it’s a shame I watched it on my own…
To be able to write their own music, to balance singing and dancing, to execute a perfect performance, I was really impressed by these aspects of JYJ. This makes me feel even sadder that we are unable to see JYJ’s stage on public broadcast, to enjoy their performances with more people. I think, regardless of the reasons behind it, this is not JYJ’s loss, but the loss of the audience.
So I couldn’t help but ask Jaejoong this question: “It has been a long time that you were unable to perform on public television, how do you feel when watching other singers perform?”
Jaejoong thought about it for a bit, “that I want to go on stage?” So I asked again, “do you want to perform on music shows?” Jaejoong answered, “I do very much. After talking with other singers and hoobaes, I discovered that JYJ has become a very odd group. To hoobaes, we are sunbaes with the so-called rarity. Since we are unable to perform on television, hoobaes found it rare and amazing when they see us in person. When they hear JYJ has come out with a new album, hoobaes also download and listen to our music.”
Even though Jaejoong cannot perform on television, he is still very much updated and cared about the recent pop music: “Our manager really likes to listen to SISTAR, so I listen with him. Their songs are very nice and SISTAR are great singers. Regarding male groups, I recently saw BEAST’s stage on Inkigayo, their new song is really awesome.”
Kim Jaejoong also never slacked on composing, even during the busy film schedule of ‘Dr. Jin’, he continued to compose. Did Jaejoong find inspiration during the filming of ‘Dr. Jin’ as Kyungtak? Kim Jaejoong answered, “I wrote a lot of very sad music, so I deleted them because they were way too depressing.”
“For the purpose of letting everyone hear our new album at the beginning of next year, we are preparing right now.” I hope they JYJ and Jaejoong’s situation will change by that point. No matter how long I think, I always feel that it would be a shame to watch JYJ’s stage by myself.