– Why did you start acting?
To show myself more often to the public.
– Have you had any special preparation for acting?
At first, I had acting classes but it didn’t help much. (laugh) Because my face looks unique and my voice isn’t ordinary too, I think my acting becomes awkward if I learn and act by the standard from others. So I decided that acting by my own individual style is much better.
– Oh! That seems a very significant enlightenment.
When you learn a foreign language, you have to think in that language in your head. But if you think something in Korean and speak it in that foreign language, it would be hard. It’s the same.
– Do you usually watch a lot of movies?
Korean movies, foreign movies, I watch movies indiscriminately. I can’t go to cinemas though, [I watch movies] at home.
– What movie did you enjoy recently?
<Thieves>. It was amusing.
– What was amusing about the movie?
The characters are all thieves, so they deceive one another. But even so, they are loyal to one another. The story, as well as the twist, were amusing.
– If you could pick one character amongst all, which would you pick?
Ha. That’s tough.
– How about Poppai (Lee Jeong Jae)? The character appears normal and is good-looking but inside, he’s warped since he has an inferiority complex towards Macao Park.
Isn’t he the most evil of all the characters? (laugh)
– But once you know his circumstances, you realize he’s a poor soul.
Right. He’s wretched.
– How are you on the set? The staff might think you are unapproachable because you were an idol star carrying the mysterious concept.
It’s a boast but honestly from the time I’ve started acting, I’ve never been disliked by any of the staff or co-actors. On the set, I have a standard I make use of to see if I’m liked or disliked. If people approach me and gossip about someone else, it’s evidence I am liked. When I was acting in a certain piece, all the staff approached me and gossiped about another actor. I was worried if they gossip about me to others but that was not how it was.
– What is your secret of being doted on by staff in the set?
Not to treat others disrespectfully just because I’m not in a good mood. You shouldn’t do that. If I am in a really bad mood, I get in my car to calm myself and try to maintain a smile in front of co-stars and staff as much as I possibly can.
– How do you let your stress out?
It depends. It could be 1 second or 5 seconds. I just need one moment. If I’m too stressed out, I have a moment’s out-burst then let it go. After which I’m fine for at least a few days. Maybe others think “Uh, why is he angry all of a sudden?” (laugh)
– What do you do when you get a break?
I rest. But I need at least 2 days for it.
– So what do you do if you get a 2-day break?
The first day, I eat and drink everything I want. Then I sleep deeply and don’t wake up until very late the next day. When I wake up, I work out to sweat out everything I ate and drank the day before. After that I return to normal. Therefore, if I get a break of less than 2 days, I never get out of my house.
– You are very strict about self-maintenance. What would you like to eat and drink if you can have a 2-day break right now?
I want to eat meat and drink alcohol. Haha.
– Do you relish working?
I once asked my manager “Do you think I like working or do I dislike it?” He answered “You seem to relish it”. So I said “I knew you would give that answer.” Yes, I really like working. I feel like I get depressed when I’m not working.
– Even if it’s work you relish, when you do it for a living, there are times you get sick of it. Does this not happen to you?
No. I work even when I don’t get paid. Sometimes I impose myself on others and work for them. Funny thing is, when I work for myself – work under my own name- where I am going to be judged by others stringently, I am less careful than when I work for others. I tend to work harder when I help others. I can even stay up all night for them. I meddle in everything until they get stressed out. It’s because they can show 100% if they push themselves, but they don’t and make mistakes. That is why I continuously chide them because it’s regrettable.
– So, why do you not work as hard when you work under your name?
That’s what I mean. I find it funny too. (laugh) WheeSung once said “I think I’m more talented in helping others become stars than making myself a star.” I think I’m that kind of person too. So I will be the vice president of our company in the future, managing all our staff systematically.
– Were you a leader among the kids in your neighborhood as a child?
No. I wasn’t that type.
– Don’t you want to be a leader?
I don’t want to be the leader in JYJ.
– If it’s not a leader of group, you want to exert your leadership in other areas?
Of course I do.
– What words do you hear the most from people around you?
“You are too much.”
– What is “Too much”?
Because I treat them so well when I meet them, but then I don’t keep in touch.
– So you tend not to contact people first?
With some people, I am really good about keeping in touch. Oh, then the ones who don’t receive calls from me will think “Ah, I am not important to Kim Jaejoong.”
– Even if your closet was filled with lots of new clothes, would you still wear your old favorites or are you the type of person who carefully chooses outfits depending on the person you’re meeting, the situation and the purpose of the meeting?
If I don’t have time, I wear anything and leave. But if I have time to spare, I dress carefully.
– The more I interview you, the more I can’t figure out the kind of person you are.
Isn’t it because you have a preconceived notion about me? There are more people who don’t know me than those who know me in the world. I think there are a lot of people who have a distorted view of me. I don’t know what preconception people have of me though. I think this is why I intentionally show different sides of me, to break the preconception..
– So you hate to have your image limited to one characteristic?
Of course, I want to show diverse images of mine. To do this takes time, I know and it’s not easy but… I will have to continuously work at it.
– Now I know! In short, you are non-pop style!
– Is there anyone in your close circle who can guess correctly “Now Kim Jaejoong will behave this way?”
If anyone tries to predict my behavior, I think to myself ‘You’re wrong, dude” (laugh) Rather I am the one who guesses their behavior.
– Even JYJ members can’t predict your behavior?
Their predictions are almost correct. Because we know each other so well. If I think YC will do this, it always comes true 100%. Junsu too. It’s not even worth saying “Junsu is in the palm of my hand’*. (pointing at the fingertip of his index finger) What he does can’t slip from here. (pointing at the fingertip of his ring finger) Shall I say Yoochun also plays in here?
– In reverse, Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu would think ‘Kim Jaejoong is in the palm of my hands.’
Nonetheless, they can’t say my area of activity is at their fingertips. They will at least point to the palm of their hands. (laugh)
– Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu also each act in TV series and musical. What do you say to one another looking at the acting?
We cheer one another. By the way, I think Junsu is really a musical genius. Usually, Junsu speaks “Aw me~! Aw~!” like this, always having very powerful gestures when he speaks and moves. Ordinarily, I find it irritating, (laugh) but when he does that in the musical stage, it seems really natural. He exactly fits the expressive, exaggerated ways of musicals. For Yoochun, if he feels that I am reading him, he pretends that is not so. If Junsu or I say, “Hey, Yoochun. Aren’t you doing this because of that? Honestly?”, he may think to himself “Yes, that’s right!” but he tries to look nonchalant about it. Although he will be caught soon. (laugh) I think Yoochun uses this side when he acts.
– What talent do you think you are gifted with as an actor?
I don’t know.
– Don’t you think you have an inborn talent as a singer?
There is a lot of difference between acting talent and singing talent. But if you ask me what I can offer as an actor, I can say it’s my distinct individuality. Because my looks are unique, I believe I can create an effect if I can take a unique role and act the role well. So, in my opinion, I have to act as a psychopath soon. I hope I will be offered a psychopath role. When acting as a psychopath, I think showing both good and evil sides is important. When I see actors portray a psychopath, they smile warmly and then look threatening all of a sudden, they impress me as really great actors.
*(T/N: When Koreans say they know of somebody very well, they say “She/he is in my palm” which means they watch his/her movements in their palm! But JJ said “JS is at my fingertip” then the area is smaller than his palm, so it means he knows about JS extremely well.)