Drama Entertainment’s Biggest Trend of the Times – Joo Won
Returning to the musical stage after a hiatus of 4 years
The incantation “I want to go back to the stage” rings again and again.
His dream? “To be a teacher kind of actor”
Even when I was filming a drama or movie, I would always miss the stage. It’s like a spell chanting “I want to go back to the stage; I will definitely go back on stage.”
Through the musical <GHOST> which will start it’s official run on the 24th November, Joo Won returns to the musical theatre after a hiatus of 4 years. In an interview on the 4th, he explained the reason why he returned to musical theatre. To this reporter who asked “Do you think you are a musical actor?” Joo Won expressed “It’s difficult to answer this question,” he thought for a while before answering “When I acted in various genres, I don’t seem to have the kind of fiery passion as I did when I immersed myself in a musical. On this basis, I think it is more accurate to say that my dream is to be an excellent musical theatre actor.”
From <Baker King Kim Tak Gu>, <Ojakgyo Brothers>, <Bridal Mask> to the most recent <Good Doctor>, Joo Won’s dramas have all hit the range from 20 to 40%, making a name for him in drama billing. He also had a strong presence in the variety show <1N2D>; we can say he is the biggest thing trending now. Joo Won debuted in 2007 <Altar Boyz> and through <Singles>, <Grease> and <Spring Awakening> he has carved a name for himself. In these 7 years, spanning across dramas, movies, variety and musicals, crisscrossing various fields, his skills as a performer has been rising up steadily. How did he manage to propel himself to become a force to be reckoned with in just one stride? Let us find out from the people who have worked with Joo Won before.
An actor who came into being through hard work and an actor who is like a lottery ticket.
Joo Won said “I am just serious, like anyone else.” But those who know him said his type of industriousness is seldom seen. Lee Jung Sub PD who directed Joo Won in his debut drama <Baker King Kim Tak Gu> said: “Once the filming commenced, my initial rejection of Joo Won was slowly dissipated by him and vanished.” PD Lee had once objected strongly against the casting of Joo Won whose acting has yet to be tested. But he also spoke about how the shift in his view of Joo Won came about: “In one wild joyride scene, we had to use a stuntman because Joo Won didn’t have the license. However, once I shouted “OK”, Joo Won actually got out from the car.” PD Lee recounts what Joo Won had said then: “Although I could only watch from the side, at least I got to see it once for myself. In the future if there is a joyride scene, I would know how to drive. With this thought, I sat in as the co-driver.” PD Lee expressed: “Joo Won is basically different from other people; he will succeed in the future. <Kim Tak Gu> might have been a lucky strike to Joo Won but to me, he is the lottery ticket.”
PD Jung Tae Young from the musical <Grease> also praised Joo Won for his seriousness and steadiness. Reminiscing, PD Jung said: “Amongst all the actors, Joo Won’s house is the farthest, yet he would always arrive 1 hour before the practice session started. After he cleaned up the place, he will practice by himself in front of the mirror.” The representative from “Musical Heaven” who discovered Joo Won from <Altar Boyz> use the baseball game to describe Joo Won: “He is not a batter who hits 1~3 with inconsistent scores but he is the type of batter who consistently maintains above 2~5 hits. He has a very strong heart; his singing on stage is very smooth. This is something which cannot be achieved without regular rigorous training. “
The Joo Won in Everyone’s Eyes
“The hardworking batter who maintains hit rate of 2 out of 5”
“Impossible not to be fall for his innocence and sincerity.”
“Totally unchanged by fame”
Child-like innocence like Peter Pan
Joo Won said: “My desire for love is very strong like that of a child. If someone dislikes me, I would mind it very much and I won’t be able to concentrate on other things.” Those who have worked with him, like him very much, saying “He is like a child.” <1N2D> Park PD said Joo Won’s greatest charm is “innocence.” PD Park: “Usually Joo Won cries easily but during the surprise birthday party that his hyungs prepared for him, he actually restrained himself from crying. Although he knew that if he cried, the result will be better, he controlled himself and did not cry. He is different from other variety stars; he will not think of deliberately staging a certain scene.” Joo Won said: “Hyungs do not know the fact that I am leaving the show. If I cry, they might see through it so I endured with all my might.” Ivy who acts as Molly in <GHOST> talks about Joo Won’s huge appetite: “Joo Won loves to eat; his weight once topped 90kg. He nonchalantly said that he once ate 40 hamburgers with his hyung. Joo Won is pure and innocent; he doesn’t give much thought to his image.” PD Kim of <Spring Awakening> said: “Joo Won’s pure and innocent looks like that of Peter Pan’s, has caused everyone to fall head over heels. This is Joo Won’s innate ability. In the rehearsal studio, the person closest to Joo Won was my 4 year old daughter. From this I can see Joo Won’s pure innocence.
The Star With No Celebrity Syndrome
Those who know Joo Won have regarded him highly for remaining totally unchanged even after he got famous. Park Ran Ju who appeared with Joo Won in 2009 <Spring Awakening> said “Initially I thought that after Joo Won oppa became a top star, it would be very difficult to contact him but whenever I have a new show, he would be the first one to call and encourage me.” Lee Chang Hee reunites with Joo Won in <GHOST> after 7 years since <Altar Boyz> also commented of Joo Won “He is a star who behaves unlike a star.” He said “7 years ago, Joo Won would always wear sports attire to the studio Although he is very handsome, he would not dress up. Recently, his popularity soared and he still comes wearing simple clothes. When the other actors hear him telling them ‘Hyung, you are really awesome, when I can be like you, hyung?’ everyone got very flustered.” Assistant Director Lee Ji Young of <GHOST> also said that Joo Won does not put on airs of a celebrity at all. He does not act like a top star but as the maknae of the group. She laughed saying “I once requested him: “Maknae, please bring my car from the car park.” PD Park from <1N2D> said: “Because of his busy schedule, Joo Won felt really bad that he was unable to go for his morning soccer session with the neighborhood ahjussis. Joo Won has not the slightest Celebrity Syndrome.
Although it seemed that Joo Won shot to become a top star overnight, behind the success he remains the same. Without a break in his work, he has held on to his own style in these 7 years. Now, Joo Won remains as busy as ever, persevering in the path which he has chosen. He said: “I am already thinking of what project I should take on after the completion of <GHOST>, it looks like it is not time for a break yet. Though it is physically exhausting, I will myself saying let’s step it up and continue.” When asked what his dream is, he replied: “To be a teacher-like actor. I will act until I am worthy to be called a teacher by others, as well as being a teacher to the junior actors. My dream is an amalgamation of the two.”
Chinese translation: answnsdnjs on Joo Won Baidu
English translation: mrdimples on joowoncutie.wordpress.com