Shinhwa means Friendship, Longevity, Together Forever no matter what. Friends who will always be there for each other, no disbanding, whatever the problem is they will discuss it among themselves. I miss these "Dorks" and hope to see them again on stage soon........
Shinhwa member Kim Dongwan (32) and the actor Kim Dongwan are two different people altogether. Although he’s an idol star with the popularity that has hordes of fans running after him, when one meets him as an actor, he is all seriousness. After completing his military service late last year, he chose to work on the musical ‘Hedwig’ and the drama special ‘The Vertex’. He challenged himself with ‘Hedwig’, the transgender role that’s not easy even to veteran actors, and then went on to play the independence activist and poet Lee Yuk-sa in the Liberation Day drama special ‘The Vertex’. The route he has chosen to take can’t get any further from the recent trend of idol stars playing the male leads in sweet romantic plots. “I like the expression ‘actor of life’. It’s not wrong to say that acting should be natural like living. This year, my goal is to complete the outline of the actor Kim Dongwan.” With his shock confession about breaking up with his girlfriend, whom he dated for a short while, because he was too focused on the musical, shows that he has completely gone into ‘actor mode’.
Q: ‘Hedwig’ and ‘The Vertex’ are difficult projects. How did you come to the decision (to work on those projects)? A: I chanced upon these two projects after I completed my military service and had a thirst for acting. I was even more attracted because these two characters are strong and difficult to portray. As much as it was difficult, I was looking forward to the opportunity for me to grow and develop. Of course it was difficult. I’m just thankful that the opportunity came my way.
Q: You played a transgender in ‘Hedwig’. A: Actually in my acting projects so far, bits and pieces of Kim Dongwan come through every now and then. But in ‘Hedwig’ I can’t show even one second of myself. Because he’s a transgender. His gestures, expressions, how he blinks, all these have to be done like a woman. I put in so much effort that even though the performance has ended, I sometimes get shocked when I find myself still moving like a woman. Moreover men usually sit with their legs apart, I was like that too but after ‘Hedwig’ I often sit in a coquettish manner with my legs together.
Q: You played the role of the poet Lee Yuk-sa. Were you interested in poetry or history to begin with? A: No. I didn’t have much interest in poetry and when I was still studying my least favorite subject was history. Although I know the name ‘Lee Yuk-sa’, I didn’t quite know who he was. At first I was attracted by the interesting script. As I was acting I realised, “This is how you learn about history”. It would be an exaggeration to say that I’m conscious of history but I will think about why future generations must know about history. Because we have to know about the people who protected the way we live now and we have to live with dignity.
Q: You seemed to have become more serious than you did before you went to the army. A: Rather than becoming more serious, I think I’ve become less impetuous. I take things more easily too. Even if I see injustice I control my anger better than before. Haha. Before going to the army I was always impatiently thinking that I have to achieve something quickly. But after completing my duties I can’t achieve anything if I’m impatient. The fundamentals are the important things. So when I have time, I read and I travel, and I think about things a lot.
Q: During the filming of the drama, did your colleagues see you differently because you’re the singer Kim Dongwan? A: No. It was like that in the past, but now they see me as their colleague. When I was filming for ‘The Vertex’, the feeling of camaraderie was even stronger. Compared to miniseries, one-act dramas are filmed under even harsher conditions. Perhaps because we all have to overcome the difficult filming together, everyone treats me with ease as a fellow actor.
Q: I can feel that your ambition for acting has become stronger. A: This year I would like to be recognized as an actor. That’s also why I chose to work on ‘Hedwig’ and ‘The Vertex’. I’m at an ambiguous age right now. I’m not a newcomer and it’s been some time since I started acting. It’s strange for me to take on a young idol role too. I have no other way than to rely on my acting abilities.
Q: You’re a big senior among the idols. Thoughts of yourself back then must surface when you look at the idols these days. A: When I see the juniors I think to myself, “It was really hard for us then”. Haha. Although we suffered because we didn’t get to sleep, there are more fun memories than difficult ones. Actually back then we’d take time off from our schedule to go out to drink and play. Things like work were instead like the remaining stuff.
Q: You’re already in your 30s. It should be time to think about marriage. A: I want to get married at 35, and have a child born in the Year of the Goat, like myself. But I don’t even have the time to meet girls. To be honest before taking on ‘Hedwig’, for a short while I was dating someone I was introduced to. But because I was too focused on the musical, we drifted apart, and things naturally ended.
Q: I also hear that Shinhwa will be making a comeback next year. It’s already been 13 years, what’s the secret to the group’s longevity? A: The members are all hot-tempered so we fought a lot. But we’re also impetuous people who can’t hide things so we’d just meet and work things out. The most important thing is not to take sides. We aren’t people who think highly of ourselves and try to split the group. Looks like that’s why we haven’t split. Haha.
Q: Shinhwa Company has been established too. A: It’s a company that belongs to us, where the members are the major shareholders. President Mun Jung Hyuk (Eric) has worked very hard. We don’t know if the company will turn out well. Maybe we might even fight from the start. Even so, with Eric’s leadership, I think things will go well. I smile just thinking about our activities next year. It’s going to be really interesting. Not too long ago, Junjin and I were just saying, “As Shinhwa, let’s not just make do with things, we have to play like we’re crazy.
Q: What are your plans for the rest of the year? A: Before starting on Shinhwa activities, I’m thinking of doing another acting project. I’m mulling over a few drama scripts now. I want to act about life. It will even better if it’s a drama like “Three Families Under One Roof” (an MBC morning drama that ran from 1986 to 1993), that talks about the lives of ordinary people.
I’m here! I hope you can appear right away. I hope I can recognize you at once without any doubt. Don’t feel sorry if I can’t recognize you straightaway. While I can tell right away whether or not you’re from our country, it’ll be funny because I’ll have to find out whether or not you’re mine (meaning: whether or not you’re the one I’m looking for). I hope I can find out everything just from the way you talk, just from your expression.
Singer Kim Dongwan shared his worries with Osen in a recent interview, “I would like to get married in 2 years’ time, but I’m worried about whether I’ll meet a nice girl.”
“After I get married at 35, my next goal is to have a child born in the Year of the Goat, when I’m 36. Lately my biggest worry is whether I’ll meet a nice girl. As I get older, I become more picky instead, and I’m also worried about whether I’m a good man that nice girls want to meet.”
Sharing his difficulties, he added, “Actually privacy is very important to me, and I prefer work to love. I’m more like a cho shik nam* (herbivore guy) who enjoys things like having meals cooked for me. When I do surveys, the results indicate that I’m a cho shik nam. Even if I’m in a relationship, I’m a “boyfriend who’s like a sister”, I have a lot to talk about and I share very minor details. I try to change but I’m born with a character that’s hard to change.”
Since young, his ideal type has always been “girls who are likable”. He said with a laugh, “Rather than a girl with a distinct personality whom everyone finds pretty, I prefer a girl who leaves a good impression, without double eyelids, who’s a little indistinct. But lately I haven’t had the opportunity to meet girls. I get recognized so it’s not easy to go on blind dates either, I really don’t know what to do.”
Kim Dongwan recently played the poet Lee Yuk Sa in the MBC Liberation Day drama special “The Vertex”, and has earned praise for his sensitive portrayal. He is also wrapping up a successful run of the musical “Hedwig” in which he plays the titular character. He will continue with acting activities in the 2nd half of the year, and will make a comeback next spring as part of Shinhwa.
Credits: Osen + Absolut Shinhwa
*cho shik nam (herbivore guy) is a slang term that comes from a new phenomenon in Japan that refers to men who do not show off their masculinity. They’re passive about sex and relationships because they’re too busy and aggressive when it comes to their own hobbies, interests, which are often considered “childish.” They’re “rebels,” don’t have money-driven careers and don’t really care about pursuing women.
I hope you will keep this thought in mind and support Yeseul. From my perspective, Yeseul isn’t the only actress, and honestly I’m not scared of the powerless salaried on-set staff either. I only wanted to highlight the standpoints of the cast members and staff who are of a lower level compared to the lead actress, and clarify the groundless accusations against them. Although Ye Seul did make a mistake, but since no one can be perfect I hope as a fan you can be her source of strength right til the end. For me, at today’s gathering I plan to speak to her in private and give her a harsh lesson as her oppa, and just like before I’ll accept her again. Since she’s already back, even on the set the staff won’t be looking at her in a bad light. All has been cleared up. The upper echelons at the TV station and the production company, unlike us, is another story altogether. I hope that you can see this incident simply as a girl who made a mistake, had an argument with the people around her who were upset and then resolved things; and that this won’t be exaggerated and misunderstood. ‘Spy Myungwol’ has encountered many ups and downs, and ratings are very low, but everyone on the set, including Ye Seul, will once again work hard together to make it work. The reason is because of the people, even though there may not be many, who love and watch the drama. We hope there will be no more disruptive rumors made by external parties, to keep us all going strong.
Ps– This is all for the disagreement and reconciliation in this incident, and I hope it won’t be brought up anymore. I’m sorry but I have to retweet this again. Any further misunderstanding and speculation will only serve to dampen the morale of Yeseul – who has returned with a heavy heart – and the other cast members and staff who have decided to accept her and move on. Just think of this simply as: a girl’s mistake – the aggrievedness of the other colleagues – the girl’s apology – a chiding from the oppas – reconciliation, that’s what the truth is. Please stop speculating! Let’s just film the drama!!
RT @mylovesunToT: @miclarge1 Please just stop it.. I don’t know if those were heartfelt words but she’s someone you work together with, and honestly I don’t see anything other than you playing up to the staff and director to gain their favor. Though she’s already being criticised heavily by the public, you still have to interfere to this extent. I’m unimpressed by your disregard for your fellow colleague.
Fan: Oppa, people believe that self-praising Kakaotalk screencap ㅠㅠ I’m really upset looking at that, it’s clearly not Oppa ㅠㅠ Can’t you say on Twitter that that’s not real? ㅠㅠ
Eric: Looks like I have lots of work today huh? The font and background in that KakaoTalk is diffeent from the Shinhwa Kakaotalk chats that I’ve uploaded from before so it’s confirmed to be fake. I was informed that there would be a news article (for clarification), isn’t there one? The dinner gathering was supposed to be held once Myungwol-sshi arrived at 5pm, but she went straight to the TV station to apologize, we’ll have it tomorrow instead^^
Fan: I read your heartfelt message. As a citizen I couldn’t understand this big fuss and I found it noisy and annoying.. Because I noted the three views or points about improving the drama production environment, I started to understand many parts of it. It’s a well-written essay. Thanks for showing us the facts.
Eric: My opinion could be wrong or different, but more that anything else the “FACTS” that I was trying to say, to remove the misunderstanding against the staff and the writers, is the truth. I don’t know how to prove it, but please believe me~