“I want to keep moving forward”
This picture is perfect. This interview is perfect.
From THSK’s leader to actor Jung Yunho, Uknow YunHo, who is gradually getting used to standing alone, now stands before a Marie Claire’s camera at a station in Hong Kong. Even though he dislikes innocent and naïve idealists, this youth, who chose an unusual route in life, still keeps his focus ahead while he continues to enjoy running on without feeling tired.
Even if we can use our eyes to see, and our ears to hear, how local artistes are welcomed abroad, it is difficult to experience and understand it realistically. While we know how loved THSK and Uknow YunHo are in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and other countries, the degree of passion is a fact that we can never estimate or affirm. As such, for Marie Clarie’s pictorial shoot, Uknow YunHo, who headed to Hong Kong, was swarmed by fans the moment he arrived at the airport, and the scene was so packed to the extent that one could not have anticipated such a response.
Thinking about this, a few months back, I read a report about how his Japanese fans donated a significant amount to charity in Uknow YunHo’s name. It won’t hurt to treat this as a model response towards turning the culture of the fans into a positive meaning.
Of course, the strength of Uknow YunHo’s image was accumulated through THSK. Just as I thought it would be a great idea to have an idol group whom I can grow old with, the pitied disbandment brought about a huge blow to all the fans.
Also, Uknow YunHo began a new career though the television drama <<Heading To The Ground>>. Based only on the popularity and fame he already had, and with a television drama that was bound to be popular, YunHo chose instead to play a character devoid of luxury and perks, which surprised everyone. Furthermore, the strengths of “Cha Bong Gun”, which was his candid and simple-mindedness, clashed with a part of Uknow YunHo’s image. Thus I was once very intrigued. Not by how easy he made dancing seemed, nor the charisma-filled Uknow YunHo on stage, but what charms Jung YunHo possessed as a person. Whether Uknow YunHo eventually hopes to become an actor, or a singer, or a star, though we may not know now, but the question of whether or not the name of Uknow YunHo, who came from THSK, is effective, the extraordinary ability that Jung YunHo had as a person from the start was what shone forth through this youth.
1. Even though you are unable to experience the vacation mood while travelling to different places because of work, how was the photo shoot in Hong Kong?
“Hong Kong is a place that I’m visiting again after such a long while, and I was very surprised and amazed to see so many fans the moment I arrived at the airport. So I felt a lot of peace and warmth during this period in Hong Kong. Even though we had to suddenly shift our plans due to the overwhelming gathering of fans, to carry out the pictorial photo shoot at 3AM when there was no one around, I was also given the opportunity to walk around the streets of Hong Kong at 3AM. It was a different experience and it made the whole photo shoot more meaningful instead. The beautiful night scene of Hong Kong is really not bad, and just looking at it lifts up one’s mood.”
2. How does it feel to practically experience the number of fans abroad?
“Shocked yet amazing at the same time. Through this photo shoot, I was able to experience all over again, to have a grateful heart; even though we had been unable to come visit, we are really grateful towards how they are constantly always trying to help us, and I’ve always missed the fans.”
3. Do you like travelling? I’m very curious, not about the singer or actor Uknow YunHo, but the type of vacation Jung YunHo personally likes usually?
“I like to travel light. Usually it is to the beach, being able to chat with friends then go on an impromptu vacation is not a bad idea too. It doesn’t have to be someplace very far, as long as it is with people you are close to, then it will be filled with happiness.”
4. Ah, before this, did you have any mindset that I’m someone as ordinary as those my age? Have you ever felt that over time, you drift further from them?
“It has been a long time since I debut, so there’s this feeling of having journeyed for a long time. But when I look around at the people who have walked all this way with me, then I would think that I’m not an artiste, rather, I am a normal youth. I meet up often with my childhood friends, and when we meet we would chat about our dreams when we were younger, or what we look forward to in the future. There are also friends who are much older than me, I talk to them quite often and we’re pretty close.”
5. What type of person do you like? As a man, what do you feel makes a man look good?
“Be it as a man or as a person, the type that I like is the same, which are those whose words are consistent with their actions, and who are people of their word. I don’t like to mix with people who constantly uses excuses to justify themselves, or with those who try to justify their wrongdoings into being reasonable. What I feel is cool are people who don’t forget their dreams and ideal even as they grow old. That is because I’m someone who constantly looks ahead and run towards it with my best, so I am not easily distracted, nor do I stop to take a rest. While this is quite regretful, this is a character trait that has already been formed so I have no choice.”
6. What is the one other thing that you never tire of other than work?
“It differs from time to time, I will never tire of vacations and exercise. There are times when I feel like riding a bicycle to Bundang, or have a casual drive up there; I have also walked a day along the railway track.”
7. It would be quite shocking if we were to bump into Uknow YunHo while walking along a road. What do you do when you are alone?
“Read books, or watch movies. I read whatever I have on hand. Novels, comics, economics-related books, I even read encyclopedia (laughs). I don’t have any particular genre of movies that I watch; I like to watch them all. It is the same for music, from the latest trend to old pop, I am the type who listens based on how I feel that day. And thinking about it now, even though I haven’t really been there before, I think I have always had a particular vacation plan.”
8. What have you been doing a lot recently?
“As there are works that are currently in the planning process, so I want to give my best in that. After filming the video that is being screened at the Republic of Korea Pavilion during the Shanghai EXPO, I have this pictorial photo shoot in Hong Kong, and both of them, amongst the other works, are all very new to me, which is good.”
9. Do we call you UknowYunHo now, or Jung YunHo? Which one do we use?
“Isn’t Uknow YunHo Jung YunHo? I think both of the names are me, so it’s okay whichever way you call me.”
10. Was it very tough trying acting for the first time? Did you enjoy it as much as performing on the stage?
“Obviously I would feel it was tough as it is something unfamiliar, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Compared to the acting skills, where there are minor parts that I have to work on, it was mostly a period whereby I was able to understand better and learn from the life experiences of the elders, and it was also where I became affiliated to Lee Yoon Ji, who is elder than me.”
11. What goals do you have as an actor?
“I hope to become an actor like Johnny Depp. I feel he is a truly talented actor with his own unique characteristic trait, and who constantly brings a new image of himself to us.”
12. How does it feel, being away from the other THSK members, and having to work alone with people whom you don’t know? Surely you will feel scared and lonely?
“I would be lying if I say otherwise. But I won’t feel helpless or hesitate because of that. Be it in new things, or new people, if we don’t take them seriously, then we will never be able to go near it, become friends, and this is also the reason why I’m always sincerely and seriously giving my best to everything and everyone. In this way, even if the matter does not work out, you can still earn a friendship.”
13. On screen, you leave an image on everyone that you are someone who is very honest.
“Being an artiste is a career that you can never always keep your honesty. It is not easy to maintain your honesty all the time. Because (at any point of time) there can surface a misunderstanding that is not true, so I am working very hard to learn how, while standing on the foundation of honesty, still say words which I can take responsibility for. I hate regret, so I want to do my best to practice what I preach.”
14. Are there any differences between the Uknow YunHo who we see on screen, and the Jung YunHo in actual life? In short, what do you think is the biggest misconception people have about Jung YunHo?
“I am very thankful that everyone thinks I am manly, that I have charisma, and that I am someone with leadership skills. While I do possess all these, in actual fact, in front of people whom I am closer to, I am someone who is quite flighty and I am quite the slapstick. Even though sometimes during work, I get teary, or I give my all and work hard to achieve perfection, normally however, I am someone who is quite bubbly and mischievous.”
15. Including overseas activities, be it in television drama, movie, or music, can you gave a brief description of what you have decided to do in the short term?
“I am someone who gets easily excited on stage than anyone else, so I will definitely continue to do music no matter what style it is. Other than this, there are a lot of other plans. I have lay down a few possibilities, but as to which activities to start on first, that is still in the midst of planning. I should probably be showing a new side of myself to everyone. I hope everyone who has been watching me will wait patiently and be able to enjoy (it).”
16. Right now, do you have any thoughts of wanting to continue to move forward? Also, things that you have wished for initially, will you continue them in the future?
“Of course, even right now I want to keep on moving forward. I am the type who constantly holds on to my dreams, and would constantly vision the future in my mind; this constantly makes me excited. I want to keep on moving forward, after having conquered the mountain, I would be able to see a higher mountain. While I will get breathless or tired while climbing the mountain, I would officially be stronger than before after I have endured those times. As I climb up further, I will see taller mountains, and I will be able to see a wider perspective of the world (and this makes me happy). Right now if I head towards the direction that I want to go, then I will not have any regrets in the future.”
17. Are you contented with your age now, or do you wish for time to pass by quickly?
“While the period now is good, there are times where I wish time would pass by quickly. That is because after I have begun something, compared to the deadline and achievements that I have set out for myself from the start, I am curious to see how many I have actually fulfilled and achieved, so I want to quickly see how I fare then.”
18. I want to know, are there any things that you miss a lot?
“My hometown, Gwangju, because since secondary school, I have been in Seoul to live as a trainee, I miss my family a lot, especially my younger sister. In my memory, there is only the image of her as a primary school student, and how she is now as an adult. While on the surface, I am the elder brother, in actually fact, there were more instances when I have received a lot of encouragement and strength from her, and for that, I feel apologetic towards her. I would like to meet up frequently with my sister, buy good food for her and bring her to places which are fun.”
19. Is there an ideal person you aspire to become, or anything that you wish to have?
“I hope to be a good father. The person I respect most is my father, and I want to be the father he was to me. My dream is to be a father in a harmonious family, and I think this is one of the toughest to do. Also, since young, I have always wanted to be someone who can bring hope to people in desperation, and this mentality has not changed at all. Whether in singing, acting, or even in what I have mentioned earlier, what I have said are those which I am able to do good in.”
20. I feel that recently, you have matured suddenly.
“I hope that compared to the past, I will be able to listen and think more before acting on something. After deciding where to do, there will be no other choice other than believing and trusting in me.”
It’s a little odd seeing them as individuals now, but that’s who they are and that’s how they should be treated. This interview is interesting not only because it’s beautifully executed by both interview and interviewee (the intro blurb is eloquently written and a joy to read), but because it’s executed at an interesting time in Yunho’s career–a time where his solo career has yet to fully launch; a time where he has no image to fill and is therefore free to express himself as Jung Yunho and Jung Yunho only.
Kind of makes me wish Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu were free to do the same. Junsu’s latest interview is cute, but it feels so…forced.