Sunday, February 27, 2011

King of reversals: Park Shi-hoo interview

He’s one of those actors whose buzz you don’t really get…until you watch him in something, and then you’re like, who IS this guy, and can I have MOAR, please? Park Shi-hoo steadily made his way up the actor food chain with family dramas and daily shows, (or as the second lead in dramas like Iljimae) until his starring role in last year’s cult hitProsecutor Princess, which wasn’t so hot ratings-wise, but had a rabid fanbase whose fervor knows no bounds. Seriously. It’s sometimes scary.

And then at the turn of the new year, he began as the second lead (again) in the workplace drama Queen of Reversals, with Kim Nam-joo and Jung Jun-ho. The show kept getting extended, and extended…and then ratings kept on rising, and rising…and the more screentime he got, the better the drama was, and the more his character romanced the heroine, the more we HAD to see what happened next. It’s actually a case where an extension allowed time for the second lead to be developed as a character…and paved the way for him to get the girl. (And keep fans from posting angry comments, I daresay.)

This is an interview conducted at a theater where he watched the last episode of Queen of Reversals with fans, a thing he likes to do.

How do you feel after having watched the last episode with fans?

I think watching the last episode with fans really remains in my heart. I like it because it becomes a happy memory for me.

There are a lot of fans here. How does it feel?

I’m thankful for fans from Thailand, Japan, everyone who flew overseas to faithfully cheer me on. I’m so touched by them. And now, even grandpas and grandmas recognize me. Lately, young kids all the way up to older people are sending me love. I’m so thankful, and amazed.

Queen of Reversals kept getting extended. Wasn’t that hard?

It was not unlike doing two dramas. Truthfully the shoot was really hard. It was like being drunk on sleep for one hour, every three days. It was a really tough decision to extend from 20 episodes to 30. But our team’s vibe was so good, and the chemistry between the actors was good, so we were able to finish the series out in good spirits. If there’s one downside, it’s that I’ve shot this drama for so long that I think it’s going to be hard for me to break out of Yong-shik’s character.

In this drama you earned a new nickname. What do you think are your best traits?

I think they’re looking favorably at me working hard on my role. In the case ofQueen of Reversals, in the beginning my character was cute, and then in the latter half I had sadder scenes, and lots of scenes where I got to confess my love. I think fans are responding to the sadness in my character. Is it because they felt sorry for me? Haha. Personally, I like the nickname “꼬픈남” best. [kko-peun-nam, as in 꼬시고 싶은 남자 = a man you want to seduce] I’ll always work hard in my future projects, to keep fans’ expectations rising.

How was your chemistry with onscreen partner Kim Nam-joo?

Shooting for a long time with Kim Nam-joo sunbae made me realize that she’s such a warm sunbae [senior colleague]. I learned a lot from watching her look after everyone, from the cast to the staff. I also think that we were able to make a good drama with over 30 episodes because we worked well together. I’m thankful for that.

Your last kiss scene became quite the subject of conversation.

When we filmed the last kiss scene, the director was crying. He said, “When you cried, your sincere emotions came through, and it made me cry.” I was so grateful for his words.

From the beginning of the drama your character’s fashion sense was on display. Do you have a personal interest in style?

I like sunglasses and scarves a lot. I used a lot of my own sunglasses on the drama shoot. When styling, I like to make a point with fashion, like a prop.

What genre do you want to tackle for your next project?

I want to try something that I’ve never been able to show before. A manly role in a noir film would be good. I also get told a lot that I’d be good as a vampire, so I want to try that. Should I try a horror movie this summer? Haha.

The most memorable fan you’ve met today?

Someone with a physical disability came all this way, and even brought me a present. I felt such warmth today. As much precious love that I’m receiving, I want to keep working hard to give back more.

Any goals for the new year?

Queen of Reversals went on for a long time, but my fans cheered me on without rest, so I’m grateful. I think on an actor’s journey, the saying that you “reap what you sow” isn’t really right. I think it’s more like, “You have to work hard to reach that critical point, and only then will results show.” So you could work hard until 99, but if you don’t do that last 1 percent, everything from 0 to 99 could go to waste. I’ll try my hardest to always show you my best.

credit : girlfriday@DB +as labeled

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