Chinese translation: 杨嘻嘻miyuki_jks @ Sina
English translation: Aphrael77
These fragments of news come from a Japanese magazine ≪女性セブン≫ translated by miyuki_jks.
JKS jokes, “if fans are searching for a ‘herbivorous man, carnivorous man’, then I am herbivorous by day and carnivorous by night. And in response to the trendy topic of plastic surgery in Korean showbiz, JKS answers the question in a humorous manner, “Looking at myself in the past feels like looking at my own brother.”
[Aphrael77: “herbivorous” seems to refer to more gentle or homely characteristics while “carnivorous” refers to more predator-like, aggressive characteristics]
JKS was born in Seoul on 4 August 1987 and due to his grandfather’s career reaching its peak, the whole family moved to Danyang for the expansion of his grandfather’s business, until JKS was in grade 5 in primary school. In order to understand more about JKS, the reporter went to Danyang to research for information. Neighbours say of JKS, “His round and chubby face in the past was very cute. He liked to use an adorably beseeching tone, and was well-liked by adults.”
At that time, his grandfather was in charge of fish farm management and grandmother in charge of preparing meals in the kitchen. JKS’ mother would help his grandmother prepare meals when she had the time. The task of feeding the fish bait was given to JKS. His little hand clutching lots of fish bait and throwing them hard into the pond, JKS was happiest when he saw the fishes jumping and surrounding him [Aphrael77: no wonder he calls fans ‘eels’ and refers to sharing news of himself as throwing out bait!]
An ex-worker at the canteen remembers the young JKS. “I have not forgotten what JKS looked like when he was flying by on his bicycle, he’s always filled with energy. After school, he often went to the fish farm and did not mind it when there were customers there. He was often lectured by the adults to stay at one side.
Near this street is a clinic, and a female employee says frankly, “Children in the village are generally very shy. If I greet them, they will hide behind (someone) and return the greeting, or answer awkwardly. But JKS wasn’t like that. He was always very confident in saying “Hi, how are you”. So long as JKS was around, it was always especially lively and happy. He is a source of happiness.”
When JKS transferred to the primary school here, he became well-known. From a girl in the same grade and school as JKS, “He’s a very handsome city boy. Every day, his hair was combed back neatly with hair gel, but JKS did not put on airs in front of us village kids, and quickly got to make friends with everyone. He was good in sports. When he was running, it was not just his arms and legs moving, even his face was shaking, but he still ran incredibly fast.”
Neighbours say of JKS’ mother, “She was a beautiful woman even when seen from afar, and after chatting with her, realized that she is a cute and gentle mother. She has a mild character. Every time after her mother-in-law finished praising her grandson (i.e. JKS), she would go on to say ‘My daughter-in-law (JKS’ mother) cooks very delicious food’ or ‘she is very virtuous’ and such, and often praised her.
JKS’ primary school classmates envied him for having such a mother. “Very trendy and pretty mother, now I still remember her! During the sports meet, his mother took out from her handbag a packed lunch box, the likes of which we had only seen before on TV… in the eyes of the children, we thought of her as ‘the rich man’s wife’. This is JKS’ most beloved mother. He often called ‘oma’ as he ran into her arms, and sometimes even beseeched his mother to carry him. His mother would also call him ‘keunsuk-a’.”
In 1997, after JKS’ first drama “Selling Happiness”, his next drama “Hug” was already scheduled. From a guy in the same grade, “In school, everyone gave him encouragement. The teacher would also say in the broadcast ‘Today the television drama that JKS is acting in will air at what time, everyone, please remember to watch’.”[laughs]
JKS and his mother would take around 2 hours of travelling in order to reach the filming set, and another 2 hours to return home. When they were alone in JKS’ room, his room door would be closed. The day would be a day of reflection. His mother would take on the role of a guide and tell JKS “you should do it this way” or “this feeling would be better at that point” etc.
In the late 1990s (1995 – 1999), JKS’ wealthy family ran into financial difficulties. JKS’ parents were busy with their career and had no time to accompany JKS to the filming set in Seoul. “During this time, JKS would carry his own heavy schoolbag and with only 10,000 won (~ US$9.20), he would take the train and subway to the filming set by himself. JKS’ mother could not bear to see her son go through such exhaustion and made a decision to return to Seoul. In order to let her son become a real actor, she enrolled him in a performing arts school in Seoul, and the family of three moved back to Seoul. Although Korean society is based on academics, the grandparents were open-minded. From a family friend, “The grandparents believed that if their grandson really had talent in this area, they should groom his talent over his academics, and hence they sent the family away.”
From young, JKS’ mother had told him to “treat people with a genuine heart”, so JKS who had stepped into society earlier than anyone else always displayed the genuine side of himself no matter whom he met. But when he opened his heart 100% to others, he was often seen as a fool by others. Once when he was 10 years old, he trusted too much in someone and was betrayed; after that, he became depressed. Only when JKS grew up did he tell this incident to others. (source from a Korean scriptwriter)
Just as his acting career was about to take off, JKS chose to study in New Zealand after his high school graduation. “Of course, I’ve heard him say that he liked learning language since young. His mother was naturally very worried about JKS living alone outside, but from a long-term perspective, it was a form of training, so she did not object. Maybe because JKS wanted to leave Korea, and leave the narrow social space he was in!”
In New Zealand, JKS had a happy albeit brief time. No one recognized he was an artiste, and he didn’t have to care about how others looked at him. After senior high graduation, JKS initially planned to go to England to study at a university, but he was invited back to Korea to act in drama “Nonstop 4”. This drama became very popular in Korea and received favourable reviews, and for a period of time, JKS was touted as a promising newcomer. For JKS, even if he started learning after 20 years old, it was still not considered late.
Reality is cruel. Before this (Aphrael77: ?), when people heard JKS’ name, there were those who walked past him without any expression. When JKS went out with his showbiz friends, he had experiences where he was the only person whose signature was not requested. “Unable to use language to describe that kind of feeling. Memories buried deep in my heart.” Facing obstacles in his life for the first time, it was a problem that he was unable to express.
[To be continued if the Chinese translator continues!]