After the interview with Kim Junsu, a passage from Alphonse Daudet’s came up in my mind. I was thinking about the most beautiful of all stars that had lost its way and fall asleep on my shoulder. In 2010, Kim Junsu who had always been shining everywhere, every time, and who seemed to be endlessly so high and so far away became a falling star and appeared in front of us with <Mozart!>. Instead of words, the songs he sang became tears and those tears became fertile material to the strong roots that would begin to grow on the ground. Moreover, when the audience saw Kim Junsu throw 120% of himself into Mozart, crying out ‘Can’t Escape my Destiny’, they finally started to see him as the way he is. It took him 7 years to find his name and open his heart. If this interview is meaningful, it’s because it lets you hear about all those years through his own voice.
10. You have the premiere of your third musical <Elisabeth> ahead. Comparing to the time that you have started while knowing nothing, did you get to feel more comfortable.
Kim Junsu: I have practiced everything but I haven’t stood on the stage myself yet so I don’t really know. At the premiere <Mozart!> I realized that the rehearsal and the real stage were totally different. The communication with the audience, the lighting, the stage setting, all are different. Fortunately, now I can make a rough sketch in my mind, ‘this kind of feeling will come out in this kind of ambience’.
“Nowadays I only listen to musical to the point that it becomes big problem”
10. When you began your musical career with <Mozart!>, you must have been disconcerted yet found it amazing.
Kim Junsu: It was the first time in my life. I was very unfamiliar with this genre itself. I have heard a lot that the audience and the persons concerned didn’t have a very good point of view about entertainer doing musical. Therefore, I was also curious about how people would see me. However, the music (in musical) was like a new world to me. There was an atmosphere and a magnificence that I couldn’t feel in pop music. The best thing was that, in musical, all are live music. Since then, I started to go watch musicals when I had free time. I only listen to musical to the point that it becomes big problem. I have been heavily influenced (Laugh)
10. How did you felt when you watched musical as an audience for the first time?
Kim Junsu: I watched (Im) Taekyung-hyung’s first performance. Although Taekyung-hyung is a veteran, when he came out as Mozart, I shivered. I had this kind of thought, “When we were practicing, hyung committed mistake in this part” (laugh), which made me anxious. However, as hyung safely overcame it, I sighed with relief. I also wondered how I would do on stage. I was worried about myself too. Ahaha. That time, wow, my nerves were so on edge.
10. It seems that you couldn’t watch it as 100% audience.
Kim Junsu: Because there were very difficult times. It was my first activity after a gap of 6-8 months. In fact, when a person or a group does something for the first time, it’s all difficult and tense. Plus, it was an unfamiliar genre that I have never tried before, there were a lot of pressures.
10. I wonder how you started a work that you didn’t have any kind of experience nor feeling about.
Kim Junsu: I rejected [the offer] twice. The first time I had a talk with CEO Eom Hong Hyun, I said, “I can’t do it.” (Everyone burst out laughing) After that, he contacted me again and told me to listening to the music first. I watched the DVD and ‘Can’t Escape my Destiny’ caused a commotion over me. I was like, ‘This kind of music exists!’ (Laugh) Even so, I still said that I couldn’t do it. But after reading the script, I suddenly wanted to do it.
10. Was there something that make you decide to do it?
Kim Junsu: I know that many people said Mozart was a genius composer who has earned a lot of money and had everything. Nonetheless, maybe as a person who also works on music, I saw myself in him who thought that being genius was unhappy. All the lyrics were my heart, were the real story that I wanted to tell. At that time, I couldn’t directly tell that kind of story but I felt that I could sing it out. It made me want to sing.
“I still shed tears every time talking about <Mozart!>”
10. Debuted as a singer, you have sung many songs. Even so, it seems that you have approach the lyrics in<Mozart!> in a particularly intense way.
Kim Junsu: At that time, I was singing about the pain in love. What could an 18-19-year-old boy know about love? (Laugh) Still, the lyrics of TVXQ’s Japanese songs such as ‘Forever Love’ were good. I really liked it when I could convey the emotions that I felt through the song’s lyrics. The songs of <Mozart!> were like that. When I read the lyric of ‘Golden Star’, something burst inside me.
10. What kind of lyrics was it?
Kim Junsu: Worrying about the Prince, the King made the wall higher and firmly closed the doors. But the Prince dreams of the world outside the walls. It says that if you really want the golden star, you must step out to the world beyond the walls. Love is not the imprisonment; love is something that sets you free, this kind of lyric.
10. It seems that it gave supportive strength to both you and Mozart.
Kim Junsu: I was healed while performing. ‘Golden Star’ was sang by the Baroness who acknowledged Mozart’s talent. Actually, that scene only required that Mozart would show such and such kind of feeling. I should have just innocently said ‘Dad, please hear this story’ but I always cried. Although I told myself, “You can’t cry. You can’t cry.” as soon as I heard the lyric, I couldn’t [hold myself from crying]. When I sang ‘Why don’t you love me’, I also cried so much that it interrupted the singing. Talking about that still makes me shed tears.
10. At that time, your situation and the contents of musical fit together. Those true feelings outstood and even some audience who had antipathy toward idols doing musicals began to become interested.
Kim Junsu: I didn’t get to play the leading role after passing through a series of steps. I became Mozart as an idol star. That was the reason I have tried not to do it. If I was a musical actor, I wouldn’t surely have felt that happy about it. Therefore, I hesitated a lot. But I really worked hard with the thought that if I approached it seriously and sincerely, regardless of whether I did it well or not, people wouldn’t hate me. In addition, the actors tried to teach me. Thanks to them, I could focus in performing.
10. What was the reaction of other JYJ’s members who was also in the same situation with you?
Kim Junsu: (Park) Yoochun and (Kim) Jaejoong-hyung also cried while watching. Musical is musical but I think that, regardless of whether I did well or not, they were deeply moved of the fact that I have achieved something. I was the first one who stepped out among 3 of us.
10. It must have been hard to let go of Mozart, as you once said, “<Mozart!> is more than just a musical to me.”
Kim Junsu: ‘I am music’ was the song about the happiness of expressing what you feel through music. Mozart sang that song even until the moment he died. It was really sad. I think I did musical because it was <Mozart!>. Till the day I die, without regard to whatever role I might play, I can say that <Mozart!> was No.1. It’s because I like that musical and because it gave the me, who had no confidence in anything back then, courage and hope. Before, when I was asked who the person I respect is, I used to say that it was King Sejong. I’m sorry but now I’ll say that it’s Mozart. (Laugh)