K-pop singer and musical actor Kim Jun-su said the reason he was cast in the upcoming musical “Death Note” is because he was “deeply impressed” by the cult Japanese manga and anime series on which it is based.
“During my student days, I was deeply impressed by the ‘Death Note’ manga and animation. I really enjoyed reading and watching them,” said Junsu, who is known for being a member of K-pop trio JYJ.
“I heard ‘Death Note’ could be adapted into a musical a year or two before (it launched) and wanted to star in it,” said Junsu at a press for the musical, Monday. “I made a request to star in it through my agency.”
The musical adaptation of “Death Note,” which is already underway in Japan, features a genius private detective named L — played by Junsu — and a high school student bent on murder through a supernatural notebook. The notebook grants its owner the ability to kill people by writing their names in the notebook.
Celebrated musical actor Hong Kwang-ho will play the evil high school student, named “Light,” when the musical comes to Korea later in June.
The original cult manga series was published between 2003 and 2006, followed by a popular anime TV series between 2007 to 2008.
The musical, which premiered in Japan on April 6, will run in Korea for seven weeks from June 20. Other actors starring in the musical are Jeong Sun-ah, Park Hye-na and Kang Hong-seok.
“I am practicing hard with top actors. I wish to meet the audience soon,” said Junsu at a press call on Monday afternoon.
His costar Hong said that he was initially prejudiced against Junsu because of his K-pop background.
“I didn’t realize it, but I had a prejudice (against Junsu) for his pop background, but seeing him perform (made me) realize he’s not just average,” said Hong. “He’s not here for no reason. I’m happy to star beside him and am looking forward to the performance.”
Junsu first appeared in a musical in the hit production “Mozart!” in 2010, which was followed by “Elisabeth” the same year.
He also starred in the musicals “Musical Tears of Heaven” in 2011, “December” in 2013 and “Dracula” last year.
He was awarded Best Musical Actor at the 18th Korea Musical Awards in 2012. The 28-year-old star also won Most Popular Musical Actor at the event for four consecutive years between 2010 to 2013.
“Death Note” was coproduced by composer Frank Wildhorn, scriptwriter Ivan Menchell and lyricist Jack Murphy. The musical will run from June 20-Aug. 9 at the Seongnam Arts Center Opera House in Seoul.
By Yoon Sarah (email@example.com)