ELLE: Last night, there was filming for the whole night as well right? Recently, you’ve been acting as Han Siwoo in the new season of the popular drama “God’s Quiz”
Donghae: Although I have not seen the previous series, just the occasional once or twice, I felt like it gave the same feel as a movie. I wanted to act in a medical crime-solving drama, but it did not have the kind of dialogue I had expected, the lines really are a mouthful. What to do… that’s why during breaks, when I’m driving, or when exercising, I am always practicing by myself.
ELLE: You also acted in the film “The Youth”, which was displayed at the Jeonju International Film Festival in May. It’s surprising that you’ve chosen a non-commercial film to make your movie screen debut.
Donghae: I’ve always been more interested in independent films. I know the wife of Kim Jinmoo, the director of the film “The Apostle, and it was she who told me that the Director had been preparing a new film, and so I then received the script. No matter how big or small the audience is, I still wanted to act (in it).
ELLE: And so it has turned into a really great experience.
Donghae: It was really very interesting to shoot. For just a single scene, everyone was discussing together, repeatedly shooting that single scene, to go through this painstaking process actually has its charm of a sort. I understand the feelings of movie actors now (laughs). This is the 5th episode of the TV series now, I still feel that when I appear in roles on TV, it is really magical. Actually, the fact that people know me is magical in itself. Compared to the other members, other than performing in music shows within Korea, there are not many other activities.
ELLE: Regardless, you’ve been part of idol group Super Junior for almost 10 years! Compared to those more mischievous members, you have a kind of “old town” feel
Donghae: I didn’t intentionally mean to make this sort of image. I was always like this. I don’t like to drink alcohol, and going clubbing is not agreeable with me. I do not like these kind of impolite things. I am very respectful towards my brothers, I always listen to what they say.
ELLE: So regardless, where does this psychology come from?
Donghae: My father always said that to me. Regardless of where, I should always set an example, in the first year of junior high, when I entered SM as a trainee, I alone was collecting the bowls of other people, Leeteuk-hyung saw me like this and asked “Who are you? Who asked you to collect the bowls?” and I said “My father taught me like this.” After that hyung always took care of me and went around everywhere with me.
ELLE: In such a highly competitive entertainment environment, there also be a time when you lose right?
Donghae: Of course there is. Especially since our group, there are so many members, all 13 members want to wear nice shoes but when they cannot wear it, they will give it to those who can wear it and garner a bigger reaction. Although I would also like to be a bit more handsome, but compared to what I have to put on, it’s a dead end, I’m the type of person that would take a step back. When having an interview together with the members, I don’t talk much either. There’s always been a big number of members who are good at talking anyways.
ELLE: Do you not feel that you are too handsome and unable to come outside?
Donghae: Ah, it’s not like this. It’s because members take care of each other. That’s why SJ has been able to last until now. If there is a member speaking, we will all listen. If there is something sad, it is better for them to say it out loud rather than to hide it, there really are very little quarrels, and when there is, they will always nicely reconcile. All the members have been together since our teen years, loving and hating together, everything has already been seen and heard. We really are like brothers.
ELLE: I heard through “Grandpas Over Flowers” that you became very close with Park Geun-hyung. It’s surprisingly that you’ve been able to become so close with such a senior actor.
Donghae: I’m the youngest one back home, I always make the elders spoil me. Because we have filmed together before, Park Geun-hyung is really like my grandpa. We met up not long ago (takes phone out and shows a picture of them together), we will go out and eat together once or twice a month, always chatting together.
ELLE: But many people do not abide by “let’s eat together”, those kind of arrangements?
Donghae: We do not have those compulsory kind of arrangements. But sometimes I will suddenly realize: “Ah, last time I said we could eat together but I never contacted you, I’m just like those kinds of people who give empty talks”, at this time I will immediately send messages to the other person. When these situations happen with people I’m not particularly close with, it really isn’t a joking matter.
But I have become older, and often go overseas, I don’t think this way anymore. When overseas, males and females speaking together is not really that natural, when you meet for the first time in an elevator, they will say “that t-shirt is very nice, where did you get it?” Previously I would feel like it would be a misunderstanding if I said it like this, that’s why it’s better to just not say anything. It is better to grow closer together first.
ELLE: How do you become close?
Donghae: When I see new groups on music shows and such, I will first say (to them): “I saw your performance, let’s go and eat together”, when I was younger I thought about this, in case I was to also become a popular idol in the future, that I was to be someone who would greet others first, to call out their names first. That’s why when I see the company’s trainees, I will call them to line up one by one and ask their names.
Although I cannot directly teach them how to sing, how to play the guitar, I will just ask “What do you want to do?”, and then invite them to go out and eat. Although these are just small things, it’s easier to become closer with your seniors. I know it because I have also gone through this.
ELLE: You’ve became an idol with a generous heart
Donghae: There was a lot of pressure in my early 20s, when I was very young and fit, when I did something wrong I would even hit the bed (laughs). But after enduring it once or twice, I started to smile and apologize first, and so I have the temperament of someone who will reconcile quickly. The death of my father also had a great impact on me. Father really wanted to support us 5 as a family, and he died as a result of too much pressure.
Regardless of wealth or not, it is a thing of the past and I do not really want to think much about it. There will still be a lot of pressure during filming, and I will feel very unhappy when I did not do well.
In my heart I will cheerfully think “If I do well next time, it will be fine!”, and so it has become a lot simpler.
ELLE: What do you do in your spare time then? You don’t drink, nor go to the bar.
Donghae: Making music, exercising, watching arts and design, and I also like photography.
Last year’s winter just because of taking photos, I travelled to New York by myself. New York’s Christmas is very romantic.
ELLE: Taking photos? Compared to taking photos, you seem more adept to have photos taken.
Donghae: Playing around with the camera, I want to take photos which contain my emotions inside. The biggest reason is because I don’t have a lot of photos with (my) father. I have a lot of photos with (my) mother, in the future when I have a family, I want to become the kind of father that does a lot for his family. Compared to the usual of buying presents, I prefer things which have sincere emotions put into them. It is more romantic that way.
ELLE: This spring, the sub-unit “Donghae & Eunhyuk” was formed and had an individual Japan tour
Donghae: There was a total of 22 concerts, on the last concert, I even cried when I was reading out a letter that I had written for the fans. We wrote the song for our solo stages during concerts, and it was after then that we formed a sub-unit and released a Japanese album.
In fact Eunhyuk and I aren’t really counted as the members who sing the best in the group, and so we were joking around with the fans, saying that they didn’t come to watch us sing, but rather to watch us talk, and to just watch us be together. Really thank you all so much.
ELLE: SJ’s popularity overseas is really unimaginable
Donghae: There are a lot of “original” kinds of records, and we have also won a lot of awards. Because no matter where we go, the venues are always packed with fans. Even if we are tired, we will still be full of energy onstage.
We receive energy from the audiences! A lot of things I am able to experience with my eyes, no matter how much you try to describe it, if you do not see if first hand you will be unable to fully understand it.
I’ve never once thought that I want to be born again. Things like being short, I do not care about (laughs).
ELLE: Talk about the recent events, about the comeback of the first generation of idols
Donghae: Ah, I almost want to cry! I was in Japan when I heard news about GOD’s comeback, and posted “Thank you for coming back” on SNS. Although FTTS sunbaes are SM’s seniors, I did not know them personally.
This time, I got their phone numbers through a friend, and so I sent them a message. I said that I wish they would be able to continue releasing good songs in the future, and also hoped that we would have the opportunity to become closer. I think that regardless of whether or not they are the best at the present day, it is really cool that they are writing their own history.
ELLE: Don’t know if it’s because you’re baby-faced, but you’re already 29 right? What if someone asks you about what you must do in your 20s?
Donghae: It should be “love”? Although you can like someone in your teens, when you are in your 20s, you are truly able to love someone, to be able to feel pain, to love and be loved, because love can also hurt, and so you will be able to learn ways to cure the pain, and through these experiences you are able to become more mature.
ELLE: Such an unexpected answer. For idols, is love one of those forbidden matters?
Donghae: I have not had a lot of experience and so that’s why I have this kind of view. Who would understand how to love? Additionally, I really want to be a good husband, a good father. I want to become a romantic husband to my wife, to be a good friend to my children. Although I do not know when this time will come, I have already started to look forward to it.
ELLE: Right now, are you satisfied with the image of yourself?
Donghae: Although it feels like I’m being conceited, I feel that so far I maturing well in regards to my age. For people like me, the type of person we will become as we reach 30 or 40, I am really looking forward to it. It’s not that I feel I am the best right now, but I am very content, and very thankful to the present.
When I am tired, I will think about the people who are still working hard in order to get these kinds of opportunities. Along the way there are too many moments when you cannot sleep, when you feel very emotional and sensitive, and during these times I will go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and say to myself: “Is this the best that you can do, if you fall down now, you will be nothing” and then I will have a change of heart.
ELLE: Do you still remember what you said when we met a few years ago?
Donghae: I said that I wanted to become a singer, to do acting, and they have all been achieved. First I worked hard to get close, just like when you like someone, you get close to them, as if to make their heart waver, and you do not care about the failures and humiliations along this journey.
Whilst I was still in the practice rooms, Director Kang Jaekyu came to the company, and there was an opportunity to greet him, so I prepared a few lines and went to meet him. Although I was not that good at acting, I thought maybe there will be a time where I can meet the director, and I so I will show him the things that I have prepared. The result is not important, I will feel very proud if I am just able to have the courage when the time comes.
ELLE: So you’re dream now is..
Donghae: I would like to act more, and there is another, although it is just an “idea” for the moment, I would like to live the life of a wanderer. In my favorite movie “Titanic”, Leonardo’s character wandered the whole world with his sketchbook, I also want to live this kind of life.
ELLE: It looks handsome because it’s in a movie, actors always look like they are enjoying it.
Donghae: Is that so? I only have the performing arts in my life. Although I do not regret it, there are times where I feel that it is unfortunate. That’s why in the future, I wish to experience more kinds of different things.
The more things to bind me, the more hardships to experience, the better. My family used to be quite poor, and so I can definitely understand those who have the same situation I had. Thus, in the future, I wish to be able to resonate better with people, and to be able to listen to more stories.
Picture Credit: Heira
Korean to Chinese Translation: 掌心witheunhae
Chinese to English Translation: mish_shellx
Posted by cmkish0w (http://worldwideelfs.com)
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