A short interview of Junsu regarding his participation in the musical “Mozart!”. I was actually surprised to know that this is his very first interview in Korea after “Mirotic”. I never noticed that until now.
I’m happy to know that Junsu’s satisfied with his performances as Mozart and and that he’s enjoying this experience. I’m sure this will only make Junsu a better artist than he already is. He truly makes us, fans, proud. :D
“I’d Tell Myself That TVXQ’S Xiah Junsu Didn’t Exist, Only Mozart Did”
Xiah Junsu, Musical Mozart!’s Crowd Attractor
During the curtain call of the first performance, the applause of the audience brought tears to Xiah Junsu’s eyes. “It was my first domestic performance (since the dispute with our agency started), and I was so touched by the fact that the fans still cheered me on.”
I waited for him in one of the waiting rooms behind the stage. They told me that Xiah Junsu (Kim Junsu, 24) always hummed wherever he was. That meant that there was never a second when a song was not on his lips. Sure enough, I heard humming coming from outside the door which was soon followed by his entrance. These days, he is the ‘hot issue’ of the musical industry. This is because he has become a great crowd attractor for the musical Mozart! with it being his first musical acting role amidst his legal dispute with his agency SM Entertainment. He has been getting reviews that he gives powerful performances despite the fact that he is a rookie.
The interview happened under the condition that only questions pertaining to the musical would be asked. This meant that he felt uncomfortable making any references to the dispute with his agency. This was his first domestic interview since ‘MIROTIC’ in 2008. He was careful about what he said but was bright and cheerful throughout the whole interview. When the words “Everyone has cloudy days,” are said, his current situation comes to mind.
◆A stage he longed for= His casting was down suddenly. He was the fill-in for Jo Sung Mo, who had hurt his leg. When the original German composer met Xiah Junsu, he recognized the singer’s vocal talents. “I had always wanted to be in a musical, but I didn’t know I’d be in one so fast. I was expecting it to be around three years later. Last year’s happening arose and I really wanted to get on stage in Korea and that was when this chance came.”
What moved him was the music of Mozart!. “I felt like I’d regret it later if I missed out on such great music. I was captivated by the musician who was happy yet miserable because of his genius.”
◆Not Mozart, but Xiahzart = He decided to take the role but it looked grim for him. He had always been praised highly as having the best vocals amongst idol singers, but the vocalization-respiration-singing style of musicals was unfamiliar to him. Even his husky voice became a dilemma. Amidst his overseas activities, he was given only 15 days to rehearse. And he was acting for the first time. “I was in a situation where even if I practiced 2~3 times harder than others, I would still not be up to par with everyone else. Not only that, the time I was given was short, and I could not change the K-pop vocalization techniques I had learned for so long. After agonizing over it, I decided that I would rather do it in my own style than do it poorly. Since there were four Mozarts, I decided to show my own interpretation of Mozart.” This was the birth of ‘Xiahzart’.
The outcome was beyond expectations. Seo Bum Seok, who plays the role of Mozart’s father, said, “Because he’s never learned to act or actually acted before, he is the closest to what the real Mozart would be like. This was much better than having him overact could have had a negative effect.”
◆Another ‘TVXQ’ = “The genre of musicals maximizes acting with music, and maximizes music with acting. Because I didn’t know how to act, I would think of what Mozart would be like if he was alive today.”
He is rumored to be a carefree person, but he experienced a suffocating tension during his first performance. “It felt like I had gone back to my debut days. Kim Junsu no longer existed, only Mozart did. He and I are similar in that music is everything to us, and that both our pain and happiness come from music. Those were the thoughts I had when I got on stage.”
His first solo performance, he felt very pressured. He had to forget performing as 1/5 as he had done with TVXQ. “When I’m with TVXQ, the other members cover for me when I make a mistake. In a musical, it is a battle that I fight alone. But if I’m late saying my lines, the other person will come in quicker, and if I drop the pace a little, the others tighten it up; we give back and forth like that. The other musical actors have become TVXQ members” (laughter)
◆Idol, fandom = There was a lot of controversy behind his decision. But he had expected this. “As I was an idol taking on the lead role, I could easily become hated in the eyes of those who have been doing musicals their whole lives. But I am extremely lucky. Everyone treats me so warmly and comfortably. There were a lot of embarrassing scenes like the kiss scene and the scene where I had to act crazy, but I was able to pull through thanks to the cast. I am so thankful.”
His unique sociability was a success as music director Lee Sung Joon puts it, “He’s a guy who is the first to strike up conversations with his fellow cast members and make them laugh.” Xiah Junsu said, “There were a lot of fans who said that they watched a musical for the first time and had fallen for the charm of them thanks to me. I’m grateful to know that I helped in expanding the musical market.”
Many are saying that this performance was a ‘performance completed by fans’. This means that the concentration of fans was what took the performance to another level. The worries that young teenage fans would break the mood of the musical were long forgotten. “Our fans know how to act appropriately. They studied the do’s and don’t's of watching a musical that were posted on a couple of fan pages.”
He admitted that before Mozart!, he had never gone to a performance hall to watch a musical before. This was because he had been constantly chased by a long trainee period and a busy schedule. But he feels as though he has already become a ‘missionary of musicals.’ “The more I stand on stage, the more I fall for the charm of musicals. I think the day will come when musicals will have tens of millions of viewers like movies. I hope to participate in another musical.”
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