JYJ Kim Junsu, who has been Reborn as a Box-Office Star
Is it that the bitter hardship has instead given him the opportunity to train. He has been reborn from an idol star into the icon of the world of musical.
“It is because of the fans who have always loved me and supported me. Please know that I am always remembering this thankful heart. I want to show you myself who is trying his best.”
Kim Junsu (24), who has transformed from Xiah Junsu of TVXQ to a musical actor, had grown up a lot in just a year. I met him in a café in Kangnam, Seoul, on the 11th.
“After I finished the second musical ‘Tears of Heaven,’ I gained a confidence in musicals. At first I was worried whether I could do well because it was an original musical, and also I hesitated because the training duration was also short. But I worked up the courage to go into it. Above all, I really loved the songs of the composer Frank Wildhorn.”
He said: “It was a valuable experience because I was able to stand on the same stage as the internationally-renowned musical actor Brad Little and to learn a lot (fro him). He laughed brightly: “Because the market for musicals is smaller in scale than other popular culture industries such as the movie industry, and it is an honor if it could do well by my giving it a positive effect.”
It was he who had left TVXQ with Kim Jaejoong and Park Yoochun last year after undergoing a conflict with the agency S.M. Entertainment on contracts. He conquered those hardships and pains by challenging himself with the Musical ‘Mozart’ last February. Following that, on February of this year he stood towering as a blue chip (T/N: In the US, the word “blue chip” is used to describe a stock with a stellar reputation). In particular, the performance in which he appeared as the male lead Jun sold out within 2-5 minutes of the tickets opening for sale. It also made topic of various conversations by having the tickets be traded at 3,000 USD online and the like.
This is a win-after-win that is enough to make one feel the words “turn evils into blessings.” The recently-released live performance recording “Kim Junsu Musical Concert—Levay with Friends” amazingly sold 40,000 copies within 2 weeks of release. Further, group JYJ, which Kim Junsu formed with the former TVXQ members Kim Jaejoong and Park Yoochun, also sold out their first concert of the World Tour held in Bangkok, Thailand, on the 2nd and 3rd. Kim Junsu has many occasions to celebrate—he was also chosen as #1 in a recent survey to score singing ability of domestic idol group and members by 10 active vocal trainers.
“To be honest, I did not know that I’d come to love musicals like this. I don’t like dramas or movies but I find musicals to be so fun that I go to see them whenever I have time. Whenever I watch them I feel respectful and I feel pride at the fact that I am doing these musicals. I plan to keep on being a singer and a musical actor in the future as well.”
Kim Junsu said: “As a singer, it is fine if I express myself through singing. However, in a musical, that you must sing with the sensibilities of the role that you’ve taken on is difficult but also is electrifyingly attractive.” He, who is currently attending his fourth year at Myungjee University as a Musical major, pledged: “I will try my best in order to act to the extent that I will not suffer by comparison to real musical actors and not because of my popularity as a singer.”
It is the evaluation of the musical industry that even though many male idol stars have jumped into the musical field having their popularity on their backs but it is rare to have a success case that is due to abilities like that of Kim Junsu. It is that Kim Junsu has high probabilities to progress into a star who does not pale against Cho Seungwoo because he has excellent abilities in singing and dominating the stage as a musical actor. The popular Broadway actor Brad Little said “Kim Junsu has the ability to act naturally and communicate with the audience on stage” and the composer Frank Wildhorn also did not spare his praises, saying “if opportunity allows I would like to get him to stand on a stage in Broadway.”
“To be honest, I am a longtime fan of Hankyoreh (T/N: this newspaper). The first time that my name was published with my name on the line, was it 5th grade or 6th grade, was with Hankyoreh. SuJu (Super Junioer)’s Eunhyuk and I performed as the youngest dance group in Korea called SRD (Song, Rap Dance) and Hankyoreh reported and wrote an article for us. It is the first article in my life that was published with my name on the line so I still have it.”
Kim Junsu let out a pregnant remark and grinned. “Hankyoreh, please always spare your strength for justice.”
Translation credit: JYJ3