Updated: Jun 14
9 selected quotes from the 10th anniversary round of interviews Junsu did in August, 2020.
"With the exception of [print] interviews, I had no opportunities to ask people to come see my shows.
When my colleagues went on variety shows to chat and promote musicals, of course I wanted to be there with them.
If I wasn't actively promoting, it's not because I didn't feel the need for it. Sometimes I felt bittersweet watching everyone but me getting invited but every time that happened, I just dug in my heels deeper. I think I made it to this day because audiences recognized that I was giving it my everything every second of the way."
"I have lived every day feeling challenged, nervous and like I had overcome yet another bump in the road. It's been hard but I feel proud that I made it through with integrity.
Even now, chances to promote on broadcast media are rare. I can't help feeling a little bitter because I do want to show people the camaraderie I share with my colleagues on air. So I'm thankful to fans who come see my shows despite this and, because of them, I can't let myself slow down."
"It's hard for the public to come across information about me in a natural way, but when there are people that still buy tickets and come see my show, I can't slow down. I have no choice but to do my best. I am not able to give back anything but I'm so grateful to those who go through the ticket sales, buy tickets and come see me; I want to give them a performance that won't leave any regrets."
"I was extremely nervous because it was my first appearance in 10 years on broadcast TV. I was full of mixed emotions."
"It was so strange seeing [Myungsu & Boom] hyung whom I last saw 10 years ago. It felt like a celebrity sighting. Honestly, I don't think it's right to call myself a celebrity. Celebrities are people you see on TV and as someone who's only been active in musical theatre, I feel embarrassed to be called one."
"I'm not the main attraction on 'Mr. Trot' but I'm very thankful for the success of the show. I'm also satisfied to have had the chance to show the public that I still exist. The entire show has been healing for me. I hope there will be more opportunities to make TV appearances."
"I had given up on broadcast media but after 'House of Sharing' and 'Mr. Trot,' I really want to do more TV.
The producer thought I wasn't making appearances because I "didn't feel the need for it." When he told me that, it felt like a shot to the head. I had been fighting all this time to get on broadcast media.
After a certain amount of time passed, I naturally gave up a little but there were definitely moments when I just couldn't break through no matter how hard I tried. Sometimes, after meetings were done and a filming date was set, things just got canceled. After these things repeated themselves, it was hard to hold on to the fight. I'd kind of hypnotize myself, saying "I'm the one not doing TV."
But without exposure and communication through broadcast shows, people came to form a certain image of me: 'mysterious,' to put it nicely, but also 'cold' and 'unfriendly.' I first came to know about this image in the military. I had no idea this was what people thought of me. When I got closer to the guys I was serving with, they opened up to me and said they had thought I would be scary and fussy and narcissistic (laughs) They didn't know me because they never saw me on TV.
The only times people would hear of me was on the news, about my lawsuit or assets. I think that's why they thought I'd be unapproachable.
It made me want to communicate even more. I wanted to show myself to people as I am. So it was fun to finally get on TV and show myself even a little bit."
.. even with 'House of Sharing,' I was skeptical about whether it would air. I was anxious because I had previous experience with shows not getting scheduled for air time after a shooting date had been set.
Q: You seem welcoming of variety shows. Will you do one if offered?
"I hope for it but it's not easy (laughs). Because I've only been doing musicals and concerts for a long time, I'm open to any show I can show myself comfortably. Being mysterious is not a concept I wanted, it's imposed on me because I haven't been on TV but people who don't know my history or younger people think it's on purpose.
I hope this prejudice will subside once I show myself as I am. It still feels like a dream that I was finally on a variety show.
"I think people have an image of me as being unfriendly because I wasn't seen on TV. I am confident I can change that perception if I can only appear on broadcast shows."
“I have never refused an offer to appear on a show in the past 10 years. I was willing to make an appearance no matter how small the program was.
Some were canceled even after a shoot was arranged. At some point, I had to let go because it hurt too much."
"I'm still the same person I was 10 years ago but people's perceptions of me aren't."
"It was tough not being able to go on TV while I was active in musical theatre. Even when
the production needed promoting, I was unable to find a show that extended an invitation.
I was never able to show my face and say "Please come see my musical."
From the outside, people may think I didn't need to promote because my shows were doing well. But reversely, you could say it's a miracle I made it here without any promotions.
Even my colleagues and producers have told me the same thing, "I thought you didn't need to promote." There's a world of difference between not promoting and being unable to promote. It's frustrating."
"Putting aside how well a production was doing, I wanted to join my co-actors on TV, chatting and spending time together. When all my colleagues were invited except me, it was a bitter feeling. So I gritted my teeth and became more determined to put everything into preparing my performances. I always went on stage as if it were my last time and that's why I am grateful to the fans and audiences. Without them, I wouldn't be here."
"If there's one thing I hope for, it's that this won't be a one-off deal. I'm not even asking to be on good shows. I'd be happy just not to be excluded when my co-stars are invited.
It would be great if the public could get to know me in a natural way, that's all I'm asking for. I think I'm the only actor who worries about this (laugh)."
"I've been asked on shows only to have it canceled, hundreds of times. I've filmed for numerous shows that never went on air. I've been cut off from the public for 10 years but I'd like to communicate with them. I want to show myself as I am. I've only done concerts and musicals; I want to show people Kim Junsu, the human being."
"Popularity is bound to fade. I've been expecting this since 10 years ago so I consider it a miracle I came this far. I've never promoted on air - not because I didn't want to. I was anxious when I was always the only one excluded and I worried that this anxiety would become a reality since 5-6 years ago."
"A lot of people come to the theatre after seeing something on TV, but with me you can only see me at the theatre. So I'm really grateful to the fans who make such a difficult journey.
Every show, I'm thankful for life itself. I'm okay if my shows don't sell out or ticket sales drop. The love I've received until now has already been overwhelming.
I still feel undeserving of the love I receive now. I don't know how long this miracle will continue but I'm thankful for every day. I want to give back great performances that are worth your money."