"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-

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

[Flash Back] Hotelier: the comeback [part 2/2]

"Thank you so much sis BB for sharing with us. After reading this, the more I admire him.  Hajiman, nan BYJssi-lel BOGOSHIPOYO!!!! eotteoke???" *sigh* " hehehe ^__^v

source: bb's blog (thankssssss!!) ^__^

Original in Chinese: Close2yj / 俊心咏恒 loveyongjoon
Translated into English: Happiebb


Hotelier: The Comeback [Part 2 of 2]

His formula to the successful portrayal of the M&A specialist didn’t come easy. In order to better understand the character Shin Dong Hyuk, Yong Joon had a few meetings with the person after whom the character was ‘modeled’ after. Not just to understand the inner world and the thinking of a person like that, Yong Joon had also wanted to try and get more suggestions and ideas from the man. In the end, what he got to see from the real life M&A specialist was a person who’s even cooler and calmer and more competitive than the character, and also the life that he led was an even more exciting and colourful one. Thereafter, all fired up, Yong Joon spoke in such depths with PD Jang Yong Woo late into the night. He went on and on talking about this new role that’s taking shape in his head, he shared with PD Jang the Shin Dong Hyuk as he saw it.

Actually Yong Joon had wanted to pick a role that’s somewhat more relaxed and less serious for his comeback. Of course, that was before Shin Dong Hyuk came into the picture. But after a few rounds of discussions and meetings, Yong Joon came to see the charm of Shin Dong Hyuk and slowly, he immersed more and more of himself into the character.

“I believe that in all of us, there’re all sorts of different feelings and emotions. Some are good, some bad, some are cold and some warm. People say there’re two sides to everything. For me, it’s impossible to play a character that’s totally, completely different from me. So, when I play a character, no matter how slight the similarity, I will still try and find that something in me, no matter how small, that is similar to the character, and then I will magnify it, create and re-create it and then express it. Reflecting back on my performance so far, I think I’ve not played any role that’s got absolutely nothing in common at all with myself. Of course this includes Shin Dong Hyuk, I too am calm and have my own set way of thinking. Ah, I found this trait in me to be same as that of the character, so I used it to express him, to portray him.”

It’s via going through such exercises, sculpting and creation that a clearer vision of the character Shin Dong Hyuk started to surface.

Perhaps he’s left the entertainment scene for too long. When he reappeared in front of the TV camera after two years, that unfamiliarity hit him. In fact he was so nervous he only managed to sleep for an hour the night before the first shooting. What further ‘complicated’ matters was PD Jang’s style of on-the-spot improvisation. If there was something on-site that the PD was not happy or satisfied with, he would immediately make changes to the script and the lines. This was very demanding on the actors, on their ability to react spontaneously and instantaneously. In fact, during that time there was even such a saying: If you’re in a PD Jang’s drama, the smartest way is not to memorize the lines before reporting to the shooting site. Yong Joon who was not familiar and definitely not used to PD Jang’s style was so nervous on the first day of shooting he was practically breaking out in cold sweat.

PD Jang described the Yong Joon as he saw him at the shooting site:

“He’s still rather shy, and he would feel pained over his own imperfection or inability to do something well. Sometimes even when the PD has already said ‘OK’, he would still get mad at himself with his own performance and insist that’s NG and have another take. Then he would even torture himself and say, ‘Why am I like this? I’m as stupid as a donkey!’ Even when all the crew members had already said it’s great, he would still be dissatisfied with his own performance. There was this once we were taking a mini break in the afternoon, I watched his back all alone along the corridor, the feeling… it felt like loneliness…”

When asked about the episode that left him with the deepest impression during the shooting of Hotelier, Yong Joon said, “I’ve many memories, it’s hard to pinpoint one exact one that’s the most memorable. I guess what I remembers the most is how there’s so much improvisation during the shooting, this is something that’s very different from my previous works. Most of the time the scripts were rushed out right from the site, to the extent the scripts were given to us in the form of memos. I had no choice but to study the scripts there and then, and straightaway filmed the scenes. Oh, another thing. Most of the time, TV dramas would be shot at different places, but this drama was shot at only one place. We just kept rushing scene after scene at the same hotel, so I could really feel the pressure.”

Under such intense pressure, Yong Joon said he was very fortunate to have met a brother, a ‘hyeong’ who gave him much help, including ideas and suggestions. That’s the friendly and funny Kim Seung Woo who played Han Tai Jun, the hotel’s general manager in the drama. It was Kim Seung Woo who had suggested that Yong Joon free himself from his perfectionist personality, and helped ease his troubles and anxiety during acting. The two also from a close friendship much like brothers. Yong Joon said, “To me, getting to know Kim Seung Woo-ssi is a fantastic memory. He gave me a lot of help. Although I got to know him through the drama, I sincerely see him as a brother who’s close and dear to me.”

So how did Kim Seung Woo feel about him then?

“We experienced quite a lot during the shooting of Hotelier, and amongst these, the most precious gift was having met Bae Yong Joon. He’s very hardworking and gives his all when he’s working. He’s a man’s man. He’s someone you can depend on in times of trouble. Although he’s a little serious, I hope he can free himself a little from those firm and stern rules and guides. I’m not sure if it’s because of my suggestion, but he seems more relaxed now.”

It was also through Hotelier that Yong Joon met the man who would become one of the most important working partners in his future career – Lee Dong Hoon. Lee was the local production coordinator during the Las Vegas leg of the Hotelier shooting. In order that the cast and crew could complete the necessary filming under smooth and comfortable conditions, he had helped to facilitate and create a very conducive environment. During that time, both Yong Joon and Lee already had pretty good impressions of each other. Yong Joon admired and respected how Lee always gave his all at work, and Lee too liked the professionalism Yong Joon displayed at work, and also his pursuit for perfection and how easy he was to get along. The two men maintained close communication even after the shooting completed and came to trust each other a lot. Later, when Yong Joon left his agency Han Shin in 2004 and invited Lee to be part of the BOF team Lee accepted without much hesitation. He just packed up and left the life he had been leading in the United States for the past ten years and flew back to Korea to start a new career.
--- omitted--

During the time Hotelier was being aired, a renowned columnist once commented in her regular column that Yong Joon is an actor who encompassed both intellectual and sexual appeal. But Yong Joon himself was not satisfied with this. He said what he wanted the most was to be a wise person, but not to look as if he’s a wise person. And he wanted to be someone who’s trustworthy instead of looking sexy or sensuous.--omitted--

When Yong Joon was shooting in the States, he felt a little inadequate about having to recite the long English lines, so he asked the PD if he could have an English tutor. At that time, he had grabbed hold of the PD’s hand with both his big and strong hands and asked with such sincerity that the PD felt how Yong Joon had genuinely wanted to do the scene well. So the PD agreed to use a little of the production budget to engage an American actor to be his tutor.

The arrangement at that time was two hours’ session per day and only for two days. But Yong Joon who had disappeared for his English lessons since lunch time only reappeared at dinner time. And when everyone was out shopping or having their meals, he would be practicing his English, reading out loud again and again. He would ask the American actor to correct his Korean-accented English. Obviously he had paid for the extra lessons out of his own pocket.

When it came to acting, he was always ready and prepared to be humble and not care for things like he’s actually a star already. At that time, Yong Joon had already told PD Jang he would definitely go study English sometime in the future. And after Hotelier, he really did that. He just packed up and flew to the States for short-term courses.

Anyway, even PD Jang could not help but to compliment him when he wrote something for the newspapers, “You’re really a man who keeps his words!”


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