JAEJOONG (HERO) CHALLENGES ACTING
Telecinema [Postman to Heaven] Press Conference
Loved by all of Asia, Jaejoong (Hero), a member of the popular, 5-member idol group TVXQ, challenges acting with his debut work as the male lead for [Postman to Heaven], which is part of the Japan-Korea collaboration [Telecinema7]. Jaejoong stars opposite cute actress Han Hyo Joo and they create a love story that is both innocent and fantastical.
On 9 November 2009, 4pm, more than 100 of TVXQ’s fans (or more likely, Jaejoong’s) gathered outside the CGV theatre in Seoul. According to a source, fans started showing up at noon and the crowd started building up from 2pm onwards. In their hands, they carried flowers, placards and gifts, letting us see their deep love for Jaejoong.
In fact, there was a lot of concern amongst the media on whether Jaejoong would attend the press conference for [Postman to Heaven]. Due to his dispute with Korean management company, SM Entertainment, together with TVXQ’s Xiah Junsu and Micky Yoochun, there were suggestions that Jaejoong might not attend the press conference. However, Jaejoong not only attended the press conference, but he also showed enthusiasm from start to finish, and expressed his passion for his debut work in acting.
Before the movie was screened, Jaejoong, stepped on the stage with Director Lee Hyung Min to answer questions, and like all new actors he was unable to conceal his nervousness. Bathed under all the spotlights, Jaejoong started speaking and said, “Since it’s the first time I’m attending a press conference (screening), my heart is beating really fast. This is the first time I’m standing alone in front of the cameras, so I’m nervous as well.”
Following that, he also said, “This is a piece of work that is constantly in my mind even after we wrapped up filming last year, so if everyone feels happy watching it, I will be really happy.”
After the screening, the interview and photo-taking with Jaejoong, Han Hyo Joo and Lee Hyung Min was the highlight of the press conference. During the question and answers, Jaejoong spoke about his determination, “This is my first time acting and it’s a fresh challenge… If given a chance, I will always try my hardest to do my best.”
Faced by requests to pose intimately for the photos, the two leads could not hide their awkwardness and caused everyone to burst out laughing.
On 11 November 2009, [Postman to Heaven], which depicts a dream-like love story, was released as part of the Japan-Korea collaboration project. After it was released, due to the support from Jaejoong’s fans, even though there were few screenings, they received fantastic support. Also, [Telecinema7] was a much talked about collaborative project which involved top Korean stars and the best Japanese scriptwriters and Korean directors.
7 works, including [Postman to Heaven], were released as part of the collaboration:
5 November 2009 – [The Relation of Face, Mind and Love], Lee Ji Ah and Kang Ji Hwan
11 November 2009 – , Big Bang’s TOP and Seungri
19 November 2009 – [Triangle Bell], Ahn Jae Wook, Kang Hye Jung and Lee Soo Kyung
26 November 2009 – [Paradise], Kim Ha Neul and Ji Jin Hee
3 December 2009 – [After the Banquet], Shin Sung Woo and Ye Ji Won
10 December 2009 – [A Stone’s Dream], Cha In Pyo and Kim Hyo Jin
–Please share your thoughts as well as greet everyone.
Lee: With such a concept, a collaboration between Japanese scriptwriters and Korean directors, although I had many worries about how it would turn out, in the end I took up the challenge and tried. Even though this is my first time working with Jaejoong, but I worked with Han Hyo Joo during [Spring Waltz], so I went into filming with an easy and happy heart.
HHJ: I had a lot of interest in something like [Telecinma], therefore I decided to accept the challenge. Although the story and the feelings are somewhat like a fairytale, sometimes it seems like fairytales are even closer to real life happenings than novels; isn’t that so? To me, this movie is like that.
JJ: This is my debut work in acting and it’s a challenge that is new. I received a lot of help from Han Hyo Joo and the director and completed this piece of work, which holds a lot of meaning to me. It’s the first time I saw myself appear on the big screen in the cinema, so I was really nervous. But I’m really thankful that everyone laughed a lot as they watched this movie.
–It seems like the script was specially written with Jaejoong in mind. Why is that? Please tell us if the scriptwriter and the director had any expectations from Jaejoong.
Lee: Although I’m not sure with regards to the scriptwriting, but it was decided from the start that Jaejoong would play the role of ‘Jaejoon’. Before this project, I wasn’t very aware of TVXQ, but during filming, I memorised the names of all the members and I could understand a little on why the scriptwriter chose Jaejoong. While Jaejoong was doing his Asia tours, he was really busy and he would come once they ended and completed 4 weeks worth of filming in 2 or 3 days. Even with his packed schedule he made time to go for acting lessons, so there is this regretful thought that if only he could afford to spend more time on it, he would have been even better.
–With Jaejoong as a member of a popular group, isn’t it hard playing his lover?
HHJ: In the beginning there was a lot of pressure but it gradually lessened and completely disappeared towards the later stages of filming. I have to say that Jaejoong’s fans and staff took care of me really well and it was a very enjoyable filming process. What’s noteworthy is that Jaejoong’s acting skills was explosive and his reaction and adaptability was really good, and I think he has a lot of potential from here on.
–How do you usually prepare yourself?
JJ: I started preparing when I received the script. At that time, it was also a really busy period due to promotions for [Mirotic], and I allowed everyone to see me when my performance level was not at my best, so I felt really apologetic towards the director. If time had allowed it, I would have done better in terms of preparation. I wasn’t able to do that this time, so it’s a little regrettable.
–Most singers use their actual name when they act. What is the reason for using your stage name “Hero Jaejoong” for this movie? Please also tell us if you’ll continue to challenge acting in future.
JJ: I wasn’t the one who decided to use the name “Hero Jaejoong” on the poster, so I’m not too sure about that as well. Whether I will continue to challenge acting, that’s also something that I can’t say for sure right now. I think it’s more suitable to say “If given a chance, I will do my best.”