Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jay Park: The innocent mind of this shameless man- even in acting

Introduction: The Birth of a Great Superstar - Mr. Idol's Park Yejin, Ji Hyun-Woo and Jay Park

Idols dominate and audition programs are abundant these days. Director Ra Hee-Chan's Mr. Idol explores the showbiz world by depicting the gossips and behind stories of the entertainment industry. Ji Hyun-Woo and Jay Park play the roles of Eugene and Zio, the youths who lose themselves in the reality, unable to pursue their dreams; Park Yejin plays the role of the strict trainer, Oh Gu-Jyu, who brings the two boys together in a group called "Mr. Children" and lets them rise again. Although they said, "You will be surprised when you see the movie," and added repeatedly, "I know how much you are anticipating the movie," the curiosity of these actors, who spilled sweat all summer to film this movie, must be higher than that of the interviewer. The shy Park Yejin, who can't take the initiative to joke around with her younger colleagues first, and Jay Park and Ji Hyun-Woo, who claim "[they've] become more awkward with Yejin noona after the filming." The three cast members of Mr. Idol didn't seem to have stepped out of their characters, who had to exchange more cold stares than warm encouragements.

Jay Park: The innocent mind of this shameless man - even in acting.

"I don't know." When asked about Mr. Idol, Jay Park's answers almost always began with an "I don't know." At first, (the writer) wondered whether it was his habit. But when asked about music and dance, he never answered in such a way thus it cannot be a habit. Jay Park said he could not possibly imagine how his acting turned out in his first Korean movie. He explained that he did not have the time to see how other people acted nor how much of his side as an idol was reflected in the scenario, as he was busy concentrating on his character in an effort to not to be a nuisance in the movie. Though other rookie actors are busy trying to cover up their interview answers, trying to seem like they know everything, Jay Park showed his emotions honestly and freely. "I can't wait to see the finished movie. Then I can talk more about how I was while filming the movie." Ji Hyun-Woo, who also in the room during the interview, said jokingly, "I couldn't watch my first movie; my heart was shaking." But to Jay Park, the curiosity of the his new image on the screens wins over the fear of his first movie.

As widely known, Jay Park entered the actors' world by taking the role of Darkness in the American movie, Hype Nation 3D, last year. But as its release date became unclear due to the the issues with the production company, Mr. Idol will be the first work he will be showing to the audience. In addition, unlike Hype Nation 3D, where its filming lasted two weeks, Mr. Idol really showed the real side of a movie filming set to Jay Park. The role he plays (in Mr. Idol), Zio, is a wordless and charismatic character who is responsible for performances in the movie's fictional group, Mr. Children. Although he didn't have as many lines and had more scenes where he had to express through body language, it was still a hard task for Jay Park, who grew up in the US, to become used to the nuance and emotions of the Korean language. "I started practicing my lines with the director two months before the movie shoot started. Though a lot of my lines ended up getting cut out (laughs). I thought it was better to do well with a small part than be embarrassed, so I practiced, determined to work hard." There is another thing he learned: it was to get used to the long and mild lifestyle of an actor, who must spend a few months at the set and control his condition according to the movie shoot schedule. To Jay Park, who lived in short rhythms as a singer, who expresses everything in 3-4 minutes and finish recordings in a set period of time, three months on the sets felt like an eternity. This is why he frequently whined to Director Ra Hee-Chan, that this is "so tiring" and that "Mr. Idol will be [his] last movie." But the three-months' enduring seemed to have been worthwhile after hearing Director Ra's comment: "There is a scene where Jay says 'Will they come?', while waiting for the other members. It doesn't seem like much, but when I looked at this through the monitor, it seemed like he was really saying like a Korean. It made me feel good."

If one had been following Jay Park with interest, they will not be able to overlook the plot of Mr. Idol. When Mr. Children is enjoying its top popularity, a comment made by the leader, Eugene (Ji Hyun-Woo), thoughtlessly in the past becomes a controversy. The media races to write articles and debate about the withdrawal of Eugene from the group. To (Jay Park), the plot is very familiar as he went through a controversy during his days in 2PM. But Jay Park said, "It's all a past now, and it's no longer a sore spot for me." It is a relief seeing his face truly happy as he talked about winning a b-boy battle in New York in September, and how he is enjoying writing songs and lyrics for the album that's set to be released in November. Not even the apathetic entertainment industry, which turns its back on a person at the slightest controversy, nor the inconsiderate comments from strangers could corrupt the innocence of this young man.

Journalist Jang Yong-Yeop


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