Friday, July 23, 2010

Park Jae-beom Dances Back Into Spotlight at "Hype Nation" Press Conference

Korean singer Park Jae-beom speaks during a press conference for upcoming film "Hype Nation 3D" held in Namyangju, South Korea on July 22, 2010. [photographed by Park Sung-ki/Asia Economic Daily]

Korean singer Park Jae-beom danced his way back into the spotlight yesterday, making his first public appearance since being infamously ousted from popular boy band 2PM last September. 

All eyes were on the Korean-American entertainer as he showed up, accompanied by his co-stars, crew and director, at the press conference for film "Hype Nation 3D," held Thursday on the movie's set located in the city of Namyangju, South Korea.

Park was met with an outpouring of questions from reporters, who had much to inquire but were politely asked by the film's PR staff to "refrain from asking questions unrelated to the movie." 

Such a request was presumably attempted at blocking them from asking sensitive issues regarding the singer's sudden expulsion from 2PM and agency JYP Entertainment (JYPE) earlier this year. 

It was discovered last September that Park, as a teenager and struggling trainee at JYPE several years ago, had written some negative comments about his life in Korea on his MySpace pages. 
One particular post -- "I hate Korea" -- sparked an immediate outrage toward Park around the country, and within days Park apologized, quit the band and returned to his hometown Seattle. He spent his time in the U.S. putting up videos on YouTube and dancing with his b-boy crew Art of Movement.

With Korean fans pleading for Park's reinstatement into 2PM, JYPE appeared to be working to bring him back to the local music scene. The agency, however, announced in February that it would be terminating its contract with the singer "due to a huge wrongdoing" that Park had committed in his personal life. 

To this day, no further details have been given by JYPE nor Park regarding their split.

At Thursday's press conference, Park spoke with sincerity in his less-than-fluent Korean, answering questions about his acting debut and his character, a b-boy named Darkness. 

"I still don't think of myself as a movie star," said the singer-turned-actor. "When I monitor my own acting, it doesn't make me cringe too much but I still have a long way to go till I can call myself a movie star." 

He explained that Darkness is "not a very good person," adding that he has nothing in common with his on-screen persona except for the dancing.

"I had about ten lines to say [in "Nation"] so it wasn't too much," Park went onto say. "I am going to improve my Korean by doing a lot of script reading and making a lot of preparations... I want to try doing comedy in the future." 

When asked if he had gotten back in touch with 2PM members or other celebrities after he returned to Korea last month, he answered, "I worked out a lot after I got back to Korea... I often went to PC rooms with some kids I know, I didn't contact any celebrity in particular." 

Park returned to Seoul on June 18 and has been filming "Nation," which shoots 80 percent of its scenes in various locations around Korea. 

The film, about a dance contest between Western and Eastern b-boys, will feature American hip-hop idols B2K and Korean b-boy group Gambler Crew. 

"Nation," to be produced in 3D by CJ and Universal International, is scheduled for release next summer.

Reporter : Choi June-yong
Editor : Lynn Kim
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