“Heuaang~ Suyeonnie hates me”
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Kim Junsu, a member of group JYJ, is chosen as a main character of the Broadway musical Dracula, laying sound foundation as a musical actor.
His success in musicals like Mozart, Tears of Heaven, Elizabeth, and December, has raised him to the rank of a musical actor whom the audience can go see on faith, and now, he is considered as a irreplaceable actor in the musical field.
No one can confine Kim Junsu any more to just a musical actor with the origin of an idol star. In the musical community, Kim Junsu himself is very meaningful in light of breaking this prejudice. Still now, not only the general public but also people in the musical community usually look on an actor with idol origin with a jaundiced eye. Yet, Kim Junsu is the textbook example of an actor who has already overcome all this.
It is because of his irreplaceable ability. His overwhelming power on the stage, his powerful energy as a musical actor, and his ticket power make him be cast in significant musical works one after another.
Who are the best stars in this sector?
Although a lot of idols have deeply infiltrated popular culture, a few are considered undoubtedly triumphant in achieving popular success. With star quality and box-office potential, who are these all-rounder ‘must-have’ idols?
JYJ Park Yoochun has dominated television. Park Yoochun was introduced as an actor through the lead character Lee Sun Joon in 2010 hit drama ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’, and instantly penetrated into the small screen. With regards to Park Yoochun’s acting, Shin Kyung Soo PD of SBS Wed-Thu drama ‘Three Days’ that’s currently airing said, “He surprised me with each episode. The martial arts director also praised his action performance.”
Amongst idol-turned-actors, Park Yoochun’s unrivalled blockbuster power is something to be proud of. A look at the average viewer ratings of the dramas he has appeared in: ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’ 10.1%, ‘Miss Ripley’ 15.4%, ‘Rooftop Prince’ 14.8%, ‘I Miss You’ 11.6%; and as expected, ‘Three Days’ has also been showing stable viewer ratings at above 10%. All five consecutive productions he has acted in have maintained double-digit viewer ratings.
As a Hallyu star, his blockbuster power overseas is also unquestionable. All the productions he has previously appeared in were broadcasted in Japan while the DVDs sold like hot cakes. ‘Three Days’ was exported to China for approx. $50,000 per episode, exceeding the previous record holder ‘My Love from the Stars’.
Another JYJ member Kim Junsu has established himself as ‘box-office guarantee’ in the musical scene. In 2010, he was cast in the musical ‘Mozart!’ which was held in the 3,000-seat main theatre of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts; he made a splendid debut with tickets to 15 performances he appeared in all sold out. His performances in musicals ‘Tears of Heaven’ and later on ‘Mozart!’ encore stage were also sold out, showing off an unrivalled ‘ticket power’.
The production that gave Kim Junsu wings to fly is the 2012 musical ‘Elisabeth’. He won the Best Actor Award at ‘The 18th Korea Musical Awards’ for his role as ‘Death’, receiving recognition for his singing and acting abilities. Professor Lee Yoo Ri from the Department of Musical Theatre of Chungkang College of Cultural Industries commented, “It’s almost impossible to maintain ‘ticket power’ reputation for four consecutive years relying only on his title as an idol. The passion, sincerity, and his own acting style he has built in order to overcome the aspects he lacked in are what placed Kim Junsu in the best position.”
Note: parts unrelated to Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu were omitted.
That’s why Park Gunhyung gave more compliments than advices to Kim Junsu who acted Jiwook, the same role. He said, “First of all, Junsu was under a lot of pressure. Because it was the first time for him to act in a musical with [so much] acting and lines.”
“Was I going to teach him how to sing or act? What the only thing I could do as a colleague was to give him more confidence by saying, ‘There’s surely something you do very well. So you can do it well. I know it. You’ll surely do it nicely.’ I told him a little bit about the tone of his voice, but [I told him] nothing more than that. Kim Junsu accomplished more than I told him. He has his own boldness and because he stood on large stages for so many times, he’s got his guts.”
– I guess lead roles and supporting roles or ensembles don’t have much time to get close.
“If I used the same room with the lead roles, I must have gotten close with them. If not that situation, I’m not really a kind of a person who cares about someone intentionally so… I don’t text or call someone often. However, actors who naturally take care of others get close regardless of what role he or she plays. Not long ago, I texted (Kim) Junsu because I watched the video of him singing ‘An Overly Painful Love is Not Love’ and was touched. I liked (the video) very much. Then Junsu answered ‘Is that really you, hyung?’ That’s the person I am. (laughs)”
– Co-actors know exactly what the personality of star actors are like.
Note: <GOOD-BYE 2013 – BIG 30> is a survey from entertainment authorities concerned with Korean pop culture
27. Kim Junsu = JYJ’s member Kim Junsu is now officially a musical actor. He is the best ticket-power blue chip as well. He made his musical debut in 2010 with ‘Mozart’ and showed off his power by making the last round of 3000 seats in Sejong Center for the Performing Arts theater sell out. From the original musical ‘Tears of Heaven’’s National Theatre to ‘Elisabeth’’s Seoul Arts Center he achieved the ‘Triple Crown’ by selling out all the national and public theatres.
Pop singers in South Korea enjoy taking on new challenges to expand their careers in the entertainment industry into various fields. Musicals are one such avenue. The profession, which requires talent not only in singing but also in acting and dancing, is sometimes considered overly arduous for idols to manage. However, there are a few who overcame these underestimations of idols’ talents and successfully became competent musical actors.
1. Kim Jun-soo (JYJ)
A member of K-pop group JYJ and also known by his stage name Xia, Kim Jun-soo made his debut on the musical stage in 2010 with a leading role in “Mozart.”
Soon he was acknowledged for his skillful singing talent as well as his well-polished acting and dancing skills. He received the “Best New Actor” award at the Musical Awards and the Korea Musical Awards in 2010. Kim continued to perform on stage with “Tears of Heaven” and “Elizabeth.”
Recently, the hallyu star was voted the “idol singer with the most potential to become a musical actor” in an online community poll.
[parts unrelated to Jun-soo omitted]