– Kim Junsu, A New Musical ‘December’
A Jukebox music filled with Kim Kwang Seok’s music, “This is the first time I’ve had so many lines, I tried to surpass my limits”
‘December’, a newly created musical that opened its curtains last month, was the biggest hit in the musical industry in 2013. Not only is it a jukebox musical that brings all of Kim Kwang Seok’s music to one performance, but it also features JYJ’s Kim Junsu (Xia Junsu, 27) as its leading role. The reviews weren’t great at first and the musical wasn’t expected to succeed because, “It’s awkward to see an idol sing Kim Kwang Seok’s songs.” But over 85% of tickets for the 30 Seoul performances were sold, and the musical now moves on to Busan on February 7th. This is where Kim Junsu’s ‘ticket power’ came into play. On the 24th, we met with him at a waiting room in the Sejong Culture Center.
“I suddenly heard the booming laughter of a bunch of middle-aged men. That’s the first time I’ve heard such a sound at a performance.” This was his reply when we mentioned that many middle-aged people in their fifties and older were watching the musical. Though many were drawn to the memory of Kim Kwang Seok, not many tickets would have been sold if Kim Junsu wasn’t great at what he does.
– You have one of the greatest ticket powers in the Korean industry, alongside Jo Seung Woo, who is currently performing ‘Man Of La Mancha’. It must have been a great risk, taking on a musical that hadn’t been proven yet…
“I made my decision to appear in the musical as soon as I heard ‘December’, Kim Kwang Seok’s unreleased song. I believed that me doing my best was what I could do to repay the industry that gave me the opportunity to sing again. I didn’t have any videos to reference, and I had to make my own movements and accents. What was most difficult were the lines.”
– Since making your debut in 2010 with ‘Mozart!’, you’ve only taken on song-through musicals. You have a lot of spoken lines in this musical. The way you spoke was quite unique, and we could feel your sincerity in your words.
“I had always limited myself by saying ‘I’ll try out acting later,’ but I finally broke through that limit with this musical. Gathering up the courage to try made me more confident. Though I don’t have the greatest voice, I will continue to show exactly who I am through my work.”
– Isn’t it strange to be acting inside a 1990s environment?
“At first, the concepts of falling in love at first sight or waiting on the roof of a boarding house were so strange to me. People meet and break up on KakaoTalk these days, don’t they? But once I delved into Kim Kwang Seok’s music and the sentiments of that time period, I could feel the sincerity of those actions.”
– You received loud applause for your rendition of ‘If Only Love That Is Too Painful Wasn’t Love At All’ at the end of the first act. You looked like you were completely into it.
“I thought about holding back and showing false emotions, but that doesn’t happen when I stand in front of the audience. It’s a song that comes after talking to someone who has already died. I put all of my sad emotions into my performance, and I cried while I sang. Doing that drains me and makes it hard for me to stay on my feet.”
– It must have been difficult to take on the role of a man in his forties for half the musical.
“It really wasn’t easy, so I came up with an idea to make it work. I pretended to act like a guy in my teens in scenes where I was supposed to 25, and that made me look much more sophisticated in my older role. In the second act, it was really hard to act drunk because I’ve never consumed alcohol before. We ended up cutting back on the scenes that had me having a drink.”
– Were you happier in your glory days as a member of TVXQ or now?
“Now. In the past, it felt like I was living the life of TVXQ, not my own. When I stand on stage, I can really feel the audience’s support for me. Musicals are so powerful and addictive.”
Since leaving TVXQ, JYJ have been unable to appear on broadcasted programs because of their dispute with their former agency. When we asked him, “But don’t you still want to appear on televised programs?” he didn’t hold back on his true feelings and said, “I really do.”
Translated & Shared by: dongbangdata.net