Q. What kind of character is Huh Youngdal in MBC <Triangle>?
Huh Youngdal is the rebel of casino world in Kangwon-do. He’s infamous enough that if someone in town doesn’t know him, that person will be considered as spy. He uses all kinds of tricks to swindle money and there isn’t a day he doesn’t cause trouble. However, though he has to live away from his parents and brothers since his childhood, he still has a positive mind. If I exaggerate a bit, he’s a candy-like character.
Youngdal, who, with the dream of becoming Casino Hold’em champion, causes trouble every night in casino, is somehow adorable. After meeting his brothers, while taking revenge for his father, he starts to nurture ambitions instead of chasing after a pipe dream, in order to protect people around him.
Q. Any reason for choosing a lower-class gangster?
Huh Youngdal who has experienced all sorts of hardships and is trying to achieve his desire and dream is very human. Don’t you think? It gave me a familiar and comfortable feeling; and that feelings I got from the character melted into the script, too. The roles I have taken so far are the characters whose life is far different from mine. I especially looked forward to how Youngdal would change after meeting his long lost brothers and the person he loves. I think episode by episode, I understand Youngdal better and make him my own.
Q. Because you determine that you need a transformation in acting? (T/N: the reason in choosing ‘Youngdal’ character)
To be honest, to act in a sageukdrama like in Dr. Jin , I also had to pluck up the courage. But even at that time, I didn’t attempt a “transformation in acting”. I wanted to well digest the character and make it a character which reinvigorates the drama. I had such ambition as an actor. Same with this drama. I had a strong will of creating an awesome character. Instead of “break the stereotype of Kim Jaejoong”, I wanted to expand my limit as an actor. Actually, I was offered several roles in modern dramas like Cha Muwon in Protect the Boss. At that time I declined because I was preparing for my solo album but in fact I was greedy to try a new role. I wanted a vibrant and human character. That’s the way Youngdal is.
Q. Any special effort to play a real “scoundrel”?
In Triangle, I discuss more with co-actors and try to exchange feelings. A senior told me, “I don’t think there’s a rule to play the gangster role. Just live as Youngdal who is a scoundrel. Don’t think of the reason why he talks that way or acts that way, you’ll become him.” As per those words, I don’t create Youngdal’s gaze or tone, I just try to make the viewers think “Ah, so he’s Youngdal” when they look into my eyes and hear my voice.
Q. I heard that you tried to gain weight for this role.
I tried to lose weight because this is a character that has grown from a tough life. But not long before the filming started, PD-nim told me that it would be better if I put in some weights. The result is, in the early phase of the drama, it has become a hotter topic than I thought. However, I lost weight again shortly. I only had 5~6 hours to sleep in four days. Since he filming schedule of this drama is harsher than the others’, I don’t have time to gain weight.
Q. How is acting with Lee Bumsoo, Im Siwan?
Since this is the second time I work with Lee Bumsoo sunbaenim after Dr. Jin, there’s nothing unfamiliar. This is the first time I meet Siwanie but I think he’s very nice. As a singer, he’s my hoobae (junior) but as an actor he’s earnest and somehow off the wall, which is very cute. We talk much about each other’s character and story and cheer up each other. Because we enjoy the filming, the atmosphere between the staff and the actors is really nice. I’m thankful toward Siwanie.
Q. Recently the brothers has reunited and your ‘tears’ acting became hot topic.
I’m very thankful that the viewers watched it with generous mind. I also cried in the scene where I received hypnotherapy to regain memory. The memory of parting away from brothers came up and I wept while being hypnotized. After the ‘cut’ sign, the emotion still lingered and I continued to cry for a long time. I had to film next scene but my eyes and my face swelled up. I remember that I had to try hard to cool it down with ice.
Q. I think it’s not easy to break the prejudice against idol-turned-actor.
Well, it’s right to use “idol-turned-actor” though. It’s not a wrong term. However I think I should do something to make a positive change to its image. Also, I think no matter where I am and what I do, I just have to get on sincerely and steadily with it. Therefore, rather than think about breaking the prejudice, I think about living as Youngdal first.
Q. Despite your enthusiastic performance, the ratings of Triangle are not very good.
Even so, it still increases. When it decreased, as the male lead, I felt responsible but as we’re trying our best, it raised again steadily. It taught me a precious lesson. The ratings change depending on how immersed the actors are on the filming set. As I’m more vigorous, discuss much more with the actors and try harder, better result came out with the support of PD-nim and writer-nim.
Q. Many actors joined your agency. I wonder if you communicate with big sunbaenims.
Our company has team workshop every winter. The artists who don’t have schedule all participate. At the last workshop we went hiking with Choi Min-sik sunbaenim and Seol Kyungku sunbaenim. Lee Jungjae sunbaenim and Jung Woosung sunbaenim came to my house and we drank wine together. I have a drink with them sometimes. Of course it’s nice that they give me fair words but it’s great that I can feel and sympathize with their down-on-earth image and life. Sunbaenims.. no… hyungnims are very nice. I’m happy that the number of hyungnims in the company increased. They’re like my real brothers.
Q. Now I would like to ask some personal questions. How are the pets that you have been raising?
I only keep a brown poodle named “Hiro” now. Filming this drama, I have to leave him at my manager’s house. I miss him a lot. Even so, when I come back after working hard, it’s a comfort to see him greet me. It’s good to commune with animals.
Q. I see that your muscle lines are still there. How do you manage your body line?
The lines are there but I don’t have time to build muscles. When I was active as singer, because my genre is rock, I almost completely got rid of muscles. When started filming drama, I built muscles again but now my schedule is very tight, I don’t have time to work out. However, I still run (treadmill) and ride bicycle regularly. I’m thinking of doing strength exercise before JYJ activity started.
Q. I think you’re too busy to date but just to be sure, don’t you have a hidden girlfriend?
Ha ha ha. A hidden girlfriend? Even if I had, she would have run away already. Well, not only do I stay up all night for a whole week without resting, I also have to prepare for JYJ’s activities. The team even jokingly said that we didn’t have to pay for room charges. The filming don’t end at night and start again in the morning. We do film overtime, working at night everyday. I barely have time to clean myself up at the sauna.
Q. You will stand together with JYJ again and enlist soon, how do you feel?
We have finished filming the MV and shooting for the album jacket. The recording is also almost done. We worked together after a long time, so we enjoyed it without caring about time. And as expected, just the thought of meeting our fans as JYJ on stage makes my heart flutter. It’s a pleasure to work. In our first meeting for this album, we said, “Let’s make the music in the way we, who living this moment, feel comfortable, the kind of music that we can call our own.” “Let’s put down the thoughts of overdoing just because this is our album after a long time.”
Q. I wonder what kind of music it is. Any message for your fans who have been waiting for you for more than 2 years?
The album contains music of several genres. And the majority of lyrics were written by us. We also added some songs which fit the concert atmosphere (T/N: literally, thinking about the concert, we also added some songs). Since it has been a very long time, I think this album is meaningful as itself.
Q. Please tell us about JYJ’s activity plan.
Firstly, we have 2014 JYJ Membership Week at the end of July. After the official release of the album, we will start our full-scale Asia tour with comeback concert in Jamsil. We’re going to meet our fans in Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, etc.
Despite his busy schedule, actor Kim Jaejoong came to @Star1 for shooting. While waiting for him who has firmly positioned himself as a member of JYJ and an actor, I thought that I wanted to right away look at his sculpture-like face through my camera lens. I’m not sure if he knows that heart of mine, during the photo-shoot, his eyes was only captivated by the puppy. There isn’t only me who wanted to be the puppy for a moment.