I would like this article, which gives quite a detailed account of the press conference, to be my last post wrapping up the entire event, so that I don’t continue to blog bits and pieces of news. Also, I added from many sources various video clips and also some pictures that Sukbar eels touched up themselves, so that these pics are of higher resolution than what the Japanese media released. In fact, some Sukbar eels are grumbling about why Japan, being reputed as the maker of cameras, are releasing media photographs which are not of high resolution (haha~).
Apologies in advance if I’m not able to give proper credits (they’re all from various eels in Sukbar) due to the length of the post and well, I get confused sometimes taking from various sources. Anyway, just to say that I’m very thankful to various sources for providing the information and the lovely pics. If I duplicate any pic or video, sorry. Am getting tired after a long day and my mind’s not focusing …
I do have some thoughts arising from the article, but let’s discuss them later, shall we? 🙂
On 3 March, the Korean version “You’re my Pet” press conference was held at the South Park near Ibaraki Airport, with the main characters Jang Keun Suk, Kim Ha-neul and Choi Jong Hoon and the director Kim Byung Gon in attendance. This is the first time that a Korean movie press conference is held at an airport and at an outdoor location; even the media found it a refreshing experience. Like the audience, almost all of the media rushed there from Tokyo, and most took the chartered coaches provided by the organisers. Some reporters commented laughingly that “this interview feels like an outing”.
The press conference attracted nearly 16,000 fans to compete for the 3,000 admission tickets. Before the start of the event, many groups of fans waited along the road, with the majority of the fans carrying placards and props in support of Jang Keun Suk. Upon questioning, the reporter found out that these fans did not get the ticket and specially came to catch a glimpse of their idol. It was estimated that there were 4,000 fans waiting outside.
“You’re my Pet” is one of Yayoi Ogawa’s representative works, which won the Kodansha Manga Award 2003 and in the same year, it was adapted as a drama, with Jun Matsumoto and Koyuki as the male and female lead Momo and Sumire Iwaya. The plot describes a romantic budding love story when a talented and beautiful career woman lives together with a younger man whom she keeps as a “pet”. The novel “master and pet” angle of depicting a relationship between a man and a woman gained favour with many readers and has been called a modern woman’s fantasy. In the upcoming Korean movie adaptation, Kim Ha-neul takes on the role of Sumire whose strong exterior hides her uncertainty when it comes to matters of the heart. By chance, Sumire meets a classical ballet prodigy Goda Takeshi (acted by JKS), who moves in to stay with Sumire as a “pet” and accepts the perfectionistic and compulsion-disorder Sumire with a generous heart. Both gradually mature in the process of healing their hurt.
When making their stage entrance, JKS was busy waving to fans and he didn’t hear the crew calling his name several times. It happened that he was standing in Kim Ha-neul’s position, causing the actress to look at JKS for a few seconds. After a while, JKS heard the crew and made space for Kim Ha-neul.
Asked for the selling point of “You’re my Pet”, the director said that he hoped the Korean adaptation would expand on the original theme so that people in different countries would identify with the story. He had visited Ibaraki last year to inspect the outdoor filming sites but he would not reveal the filming locations now in case fans arrive in big batches and obstruct the progress of the filming. However, the director did mention that some filming would take place at parks, hot spring and other scenery spots which would definitely not disappoint the audience.
Kim Ha-neul praised JKS for having “pet” qualities
Kim Ha-neul, who is busy with her current movie “Blind”, came especially from Korea for the press conference. Wearing a light blue embroidered short dress that showed off her shoulder and long legs, she exuded an air of simplicity and elegance, but was the most sympathethic figure that day because the weather was a cold 10 degrees despite the sun. Kim Ha-neul shivered occasionally but continued to flash her smile despite almost becoming a frozen beauty.
When asked for her impression of JKS as this is their first collaboration, she said that she knew about JKS’ outstanding acting skill. “In fact, I’ve watched his dramas and arrived at the same conclusion. He has the qualities of a pet – very cute.”
Having watched the Japanese drama “You’re my Pet”, Kim Ha-neul felt that it was “very interesting and the female lead is full of charisma”. She is confident that she will be able to present a whole new character imbued with her own characteristics.
JKS’ “pet declaration” excites fans
It is not exaggerating to say that the fans present composed of 99% eels (a name for JKS fans), and thus JKS could almost be considered the host. Acting as Ibaraki’s “image promotion ambassador”, when JKS learnt that the local specialty product is fermented soybean, he reminded the audience to “buy the soybeans before going back”. His cute declaration “I want to become everyone’s pet” also generated a lot of screams from fans. Despite his humorous antics on stage, when talking about his impression of Kim Ha-neul, he suddenly became quite serious. “As an actor, she is my senior. I’ve seen many of her works. She is most suitable for the female lead role in “You’re my Pet”. I think I can learn a lot from her, and I’m happy to be her ‘pet’.” Despite the two-month countdown to the start of filming, JKS seemed to have immersed himself in his character already, showing an ambiguous liking and respect for Kim Ha-neul.
As his character is a ballet dancer, JKS had started related dance practice from last year, but he has not practised much in the last 3 months. The translator had just said “I [JKS] cannot do those moves, such as leg-splitting, that I could do previously” when JKS who is conversant in Japanese immediately rebutted, “Not that I cannot, just that I cannot do it as beautifully”. He also made fun of his situation, “The director is the one who should be the most worried about my situation now (referring to unfamiliarity with dance)”, and everyone laughed at his comments.
Choi Jong Hoon: Clueless about 1st acting experience
For Choi Jong Hoon of F.T.. Island, it is his first time acting, and he said that acting in “You’re my Pet” is a good training opportunity. Standing beside him, JKS could not refrain from adding, “After Choi knew that he was included in the movie, he called me many times, asking ‘What do I do? When is the press conference? How do I act? How do I practise from the script? Quick, help me!’ ”
JKS continued, “I told him that if he wanted my help, he has to reward me with wine.”
The emcee asked Choi whether he would feel pressurized pitting his acting skills against two seniors Kim Ha-neul and JKS. Choi replied, “With both of them in this movie, it is enough for everyone else to feel confident about it?” JKS quipped, “Maybe it’s not enough. Oh, right. As a singer, you are my senior. In return, you must help me.” (referring to his musical debut on 23 March.
At the end, Choi said that he would do his best in acting and said “Fighting” in English, and JKS corrected him and said that wasn’t the way it was said in Japanese. The frequent joking and quipping between the two revealed their congenial friendship.
JKS “angry” with Ibaraki official – cute expression sets cameras flashing
Blowing kisses, covering his eyes, pouting, breaking into laughter, modest, extroverted, reserved …. seeing JKS definitely is a cause for cameras to keep flashing. At the press conference, JKS was still the one who was best at creating the atmosphere. During the event, an Ibaraki offical said that through “You’re my Pet”, he hoped more people will get to know about Ibaraki, which is a prospering agricultural area just second to Hokkaido, just as he had watched “IRIS” (filmed in Akita, Japan) which had increased the popularity of Akita….. The official had not finished saying when JKS put on an “angry” expression and pretended to act jealous (why didn’t the official watch the dramas of the actors here on stage?). Fans in the audience immediately got JKS’ meaning, and the official apologised hurriedly, “Sorry, I said something inappropriate” and everyone broke out into laughter. Another incident showing JKS’ frankness is, when the director said “I felt that this casting is the best”, JKS added, “I also think so”.
During the hand-moulding procedure, JKS pulled off his ring and commented that the mould felt like mochi. After he pressed his hand hard into the mould, he retreated to the back and was enjoying the moment with a “I’m so handsome” expression on his face when the emcee said, “JKS-san, you have left your ring here.” JKS took back his ring in a mock angry expression which had the audience laughing.
Despite JKS’ humorous antics, he can be quite philosophical when answering questions seriously. He said, “This year, I’m going to become a singer officially and hold my Asia Tour, but compared to these, to perform in front of the camera as an actor is still the happiest thing for me. I will work hard in my acting.”
In consideration of the audience sitting at the back, the organisers had come up with the idea of the 3 actors going around the audience in a convertible. JKS and Choi were sitting at the back of the convertible and kept waving to the audience. The convertible drove at a slow speed, and reporters had to follow the car and take photos. The car stopped for a minute, and a reporter took the chance to call out JKS’ name. JKS responded and posed for the reporter, and even said to him, “It’s cold, right? Everyone is turning into ice”. The reporter didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
After the press conference, the actors would meet up with the local government officials and accept media interviews on 4 March. Kim Ha-neul would then return to Korea on 4 March to continue her filming, and JKS is scheduled to return to Korea on 6 March for commercial promotional event before flying off to Europe on 8 March to shoot his photo-book.
Of note is that the Korean “You’re my Pet” shoulders the important responsibility of promoting Ibaraki to tourists, so major Japanese television stations sent their teams to the press conference to cover the event, and Japanese TV station NHK also gave a timely report on the press conference in the evening. When JKS participated in the movie “One Missed Call” many years ago, he didn’t like preserved soybeans and dried plums, but now he is already a Japanese cuisine gourmet.
“You’re my Pet” is scheduled to start filming in May and go on screen in Korea in November 2011.
Credits: ediepig @ Youku
Credits: mihodog @ Youku
Credits: mihodog @ Youku
Credits: mihodog @ Youku