"Who are the best in their fields that the heart must come before ability, honor and money... "
"The attitude should be wholehearted and truthful."
-Bae Yong Joon-

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

[Flash Back] Hotelier: comeback after 2 years (Part 1/2)

 "Maybe some of you already read this post before. But I just want to refresh our memories of Hotelier BYJ role as Shin Dong Hyuk in Hotelier was very fascinating So it's very worthy to be remembered... heheh^^... Happy reading everyone!!" ^__^
 source: bb's blog (thankssss!!) ^__^

Original in Chinese: Close2yj / www.loveyongjoon.com
Translated into English: Happiebb
Pics & VODs contributed by: Happiebb

bb: this round, i decided to first translate close2yj's version, she's written two parts. then after that, might do another post encompassing my thoughts on hotelier, as well as adding the tidbits that close2yj didn't cover in her two parts. will also post some behind-the-scene pics later, as well as the pictures that wuri yong joon had supposedly taken during hotelier days.
Hotelier: The Comeback [Part 1 of 2]

In the two years he disappeared from the public’s prying eyes, people had initially thought that was just one of his ‘blank out’ periods. You know, how he would disappear for sometime, then come back to take on a new role in some new drama. They’d thought it was just his habit at work. But more than a year had come and gone, there’s still no sign, no news of him. During this time, there would be the occasional rumor that he’s accepted some new drama or whatsoever, but each time the rumor proved to be just that, a rumor. Slowly, even the rumors stopped, as people started to speculate that he wasn’t going to return to showbiz.

Everyone was guessing and speculating, waiting impatiently for some news. But Yong Joon chose to maintain his usual silence. He focused on nothing else but his studies. As an entertainer, an actor, to go away for such a protracted period of time would be detrimental to his popularity. In fact, once people start to think that an actor is not going to come back, soon this actor will be forgotten. After all, this is showbiz we’re talking about, a place with easy and extremely short memories. There’s always something, or someone new to attract attention. An actor who has no news for so long would have no exposure, no space in the media… soon to be forgotten. You know what people say, out of sight, out of mind.

But the audience and the fans did not forget him. In the many polls and popularity contests, Bae Yong Joon who had ‘vanished into thin air’ for two years still made it to the charts. Producers and directors too did not forget him. During this time, tens of scripts and offers still found their way to him. His manager was extremely frustrated and anxious, he just couldn’t wait to just sign Yong Joon up with something. Anything.

Eventually, Yong Joon’s name appeared on the cast of an MBC drama, Hotelier.

Hotelier first aired in Korea on 4th April 2001. The storyline revolved around the acquisition of an established hotel in Seoul, Walker Hill. You guys should know by now this is a real hotel in Seoul, right? Yea, it’s Sheraton Walker Hill. It’s a fast-paced story that depicted vivid characters and the challenges they faced both at work and in love. In the drama, Yong Joon played an M&A specialist Frank Shin Dong Hyuk, someone who looked cold and proud on the outside, but possessed a lonely soul inside. 

When Yong Joon was asked why he had rejected all the other love calls and decided to star in Hotelier, he had said, “In the past I used to make all the decisions myself. But this time, I decided to listen to the suggestions of the people around me. But most importantly, the director of this drama is someone I personally like, and that’s Jang Yong Woo.” Yong Joon had met with PD Jang a year ago, and PD Jang had noted the details of the meeting on paper, including the date, time, place and the contents of their conversation. His serious, careful and meticulous manner left Yong Joon with a deep impression. “During that time, I had already decided that to work with PD Jang once the opportunity arose.”

BYJ is Back,
Familiar and yet with Something New….

Bae Yong Joon who had been out of the public’s eyes from two years reappeared on the TV screens. Presented in front of the TV audience was no longer the sunshine boy who’s a little rash, a little impulsive. Instead they saw a wise, matured gentlemanly hotel-hunter with keen judgement, Shin Dong Hyuk.

In order to successfully create the image of a successful man of the society, to demonstrate the intelligence and sharpness of Shin Dong Hyuk, Yong Joon embarked on a active exercise regime. In addition to the two-hour basic training everyday, he also did not drink liquor, sometimes not even water, after 6pm. His manager would prescribe diet plans according to his calorie intake and exercise volume each day. If he had to miss any basic training sessions due to heavy workload, Bae yong Joon would still make it a point to jog for thirty minutes before going to bed, no matter how late it was. It was with such perseverance, detemination and strict regime that his weight went from 82kg to 74kg within three months. That lean but muscular body was perfect without even an ounce of fat. Even the men had to be envious. And it was also through his hard work that we got to see that classic swimming pool in Hotelier, you know that scene where it captured all our eyes, our breaths and of course our hearts.


The transformation in physical appearance was just one small part of the whole scheme of things. What drew even more eyeballs was the change in Yong Joon’s entire aura. In a matter of two years, he showed us a Bae Yong Joon who was more mature, more attractive and mesmerizing. The look in his eyes seemed calmer and more confident. The change in him was more than just the path a boy took to become a man.

From his smile, his eyes and his expressions, we could read so much more in this man. Based on his rich life experiences, he was able to create and sculpt himself in the role he was supposed to play. The two years of being a full-time student seemed to have little to do with his showbiz life, but yet it appeared that some deeper things were given a chance to settle down in him and take shape during those two years. Something that went into the essence of the man.

The Shin Dong Hyuk as portrayed by Bae Yong Joon was a man of total charisma and magnetic appeal. His coolness, confidence, decisiveness, intelligence made him stand out from all others. His every move and gesture was arresting appeal in motion. His performance was so convincing that countless TV audience began to see Shin Dong Hyuk as the epitome of a successful man who’s able to move mountains. Shin Dong Hyuk basically gave life, body and soul to the word ‘elite’.

Once more, the TV audience were captured and enraptured by him. Even though Shin Dong Hyuk was the second male lead in the drama, but because of how arresting his portrayal was, it resulted in the culmination of all attention onto Shin Dong Hyuk in the second half of the drama, bringing out the conflicts and the highlights of the plot. He became the star, the soul of the drama. In fact, the scriptwriter even revolutionalized the way Korean drama storylines had always been like. Traditionally, the second male lead, no matter how sincere and earnest and deep in his love for the first female lead, would nearly always be relegated to the role of just being an obstacle to the main couple. But the scriptwriter decided to change the script and Shin Dong Hyuk ended up with the first female lead.

A famous Shanghainese writer described Shin Dong Hyuk as the perfect third party in love relationships, as he embodied looks, wits and real love into one perfect man.

When it was aired, Hotelier did remarkably well in terms of TV ratings, averaging between 20-30%. Its highest was 39.9%. Not sure if you know, but SBS’ Beautiful Days was aired during the same time as MBC’s Hotelier and these two dramas were competing very intensely back in 2001, in fact, the performance of both dramas were quite neck-to-neck. Undoubtedly Hotelier was a success. Bae Yong Joon’s comeback after two years via this drama was a successful one, as he won the audience’s hearts all over again. As with a lot of things are with him, this comeback was a perfect one.

and here i share some of the media pics as well as pics taken from the press conference for hotelier.

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