Saturday, June 14, 2014

[Interview] Super Junior’s Ryeowook Speaks on Negative Views on Idols Performing in Musicals

SUJU’s Ryeowook has completely fallen for the charms of musicals.

Taking on a new challenge, Ryeowook has been cast as the lead character ‘Ryu Soon Ho’ in musical Goddess is Watching.

It is not extraordinary for an idol to perform in musicals these days but Ryeowook’s newest challenge in the musical brings a new level of significance to the audience, the fans, as well as to Ryeowook himself.

Idols normally knock down doors to musicals with popularity and fame as their weapon.

The production company also cast idols for musicals held in grand theaters since they can bring in more fans.

But Goddess is Watching is different.

It′s a musical being performed in medium sized theatres, holding only about 600 audience members.

Moreover, since the musical was first performed in 2013, it has never cast any other idols. It signifies a project that requires stable acting and concentration. And so when Ryeowook was cast in it, both anticipation and negative comments were inevitable.

Meeting with Newsen recently, Ryeowook honestly shared his humble thoughts on the mixed views on idols performing in musicals.

“This is my third musical project but I began to have different thoughts and feelings by doing Goddess is Watching. To be honest, I felt like performing in musicals was like an extension of my activities as a member of Super Junior until now. I’ve also focused more on singing rather than acting on stages. But for Goddess is Watching, I tried hard so that I’m incorporating singing into my acting. I also took away a lot of the singing techniques. I thought I needed to show my improved self in order to have the fans and the audience continue to watch me.”

He put it down humbly, but Goddess is Watching has been gathering many positive reviews.

It was not an easy task for him to gain such feedback as an idol, acting in a project with many maniac fans. Ryeowook started the musical with a certain level of pressure and concern.

“Goddess is Watching is a project that received so much love until now. I felt pressured. I even worried, ‘What if I ruin it all…’ The audience has a certain image of ‘Ryu Soon Ho’ in their mind and I was worried whether I could fulfill their expectation. But I was able to overcome thanks to the co-actors around me. Actually I heard that there were many negative comments about me being cast in Goddess is Watching. I didn’t try to look for the negative comments but Jae Kyun, who has been double cast for the same role, encouraged me saying, ‘hyung… Don’t read those comments. Don’t mind them.”

Even though he lived many years as a member of global idol group Super Junior, Ryeowook was more humble and sincere than anyone else when it came to musicals.

“I think I would be the same way to be honest. If I was paying the same amount of money, I would rather watch a performance by a talented actor rather than a shaky idol. I undoubtedly feel pressure over letting down the audience, after creating a big issue by being cast in the musical. But I think people’s concerns and anticipation are all part of their interest in me. If the people who are anxious about me could come and watch… I thought that it is my job to change their minds by doing my best. That’s how I started and I did my best. I would run to the studio when I had no other schedule and when I did, I would talk to the other cast members and the staff on the phone… So each performance was enjoyable but regretful at the same time.”

Ryeowook confessed that he organized his own schedule for the sake of Goddess is Watching, proving his serious mindset in joining the musical. In the end, he brought out positive feedback praising his performance, that surpassed expectations.

Meanwhile, Goddess is Watching premiered on April 26 and will continue until July 27.

Photo credit: Story P


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