[XP Star Talk]: Leeteuk, So Far So Good

XP Star Talk = Reporter Kim Kyung Min

Super Junior, the backbone of all idol groups whom debuted 11 years ago, actually already has a special place in SM Entertainment. Them who went through the uncertainty of whether they could debut successfully, is now a representative of K-POP, and is prospering with many activities.

And within this group, Leeteuk is again a very special existence. He overturned people’s stereotypes about idols, and kept appearing on TV for a long time as someone who does broadcast.

I’ve known Leeteuk for 10 years. Back in my early twenties, it was my first time being assigned as a reporter for one of the year end music shows, and in a certain broadcasting station’s studio, there was Leeteuk, Kangin, Shindong and Kim Heechul, who were all shouting, “Hello hyung”.

A rookie group like that has now walked till their mid-thirties.

The last time I met Leeteuk before he enlisted, I told him, “let’s do another interview within the next 5 years”. I thought this agreement will just float by like a cloud, but it came true.

The 2 hours I spent talking to the 34 years old normal person Park Jungsoo, who has debuted for 11 years, was incredibly enjoyable. I saw his true heart and his life as an artiste, and also his passion for life. Although I didn’t write the transcript for the interview in formal language, throughout the entire interview, Leeteuk very politely used formal language to tell me his thoughts.

Canada rock star Bryan Adams said that he thinks the best album name is <So Far So Good>, so he released an album with this name. As for Leeteuk, I would say that he too, is “So Far So Good”.

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Your enlistment period was really tough. Everyone could understand that it was very hard for you.

Teuk: To be honest, it was really hard. Although there are some things that I can’t say, but I feel that all the things that happened in the past is an experience for me now. Now, I can feel the value of every single day, and I thought a lot about death. I will think, “it’s possible for the people around me to suddenly disappear”. The reason why I work harder everyday is probably because I started thinking of that. Even though I want to treat my mother better, it is not something that I can do very well from the start. But recently, I will ask my mother “how are you?” first. In the past I was always chasing after success, I wanted progress, but now I’ve started to care for the people around me.

-You have changed quite a bit as a person.

Teuk: Perhaps I have become more relaxed? Although right now I will still observe the viewer rates on the second day after recording a programme, but I was more sensitive in the past. All I thought of was that the programmes I did must have high viewer rates. But recently what I enjoy more is that I can interact with other people when recording shows. In the past I’m more of the kind who hides myself, but after army there was once I went to the convenience store on the way home with our manager after a day of schedules to eat the snacks that were memorable to us. It was about 3 to 4am, there wasn’t many people. At that time I told our manager, “hyung, don’t you think previously I led a life whereby I’m always avoiding people? Is this happiness?” That night we also went to other places and ate ddeokbokki, and continued to look for our happiness.

-Let’s first not talk about Super Junior. Is MC Leeteuk doing well?

Teuk: The main thing I do now is MC. But my disadvantage is that I didn’t experience what a normal man would experience in his twenties and thirties. Especially because I’m an idol, I know very well that it’s hard for me to gain the liking and recognition from male viewers. I feel that the only way to make others feel that (I’m) relatable is to have a lot of experience. To accumulate all these experiences, I want to interact with more people.

-Experience? Doing schedules as an idol for 11 years is not easy right?

Teuk: Of course it’s not easy. But what’s harder is to get the public’s recognition. Although idols can rise fast, (we) are not recognised in terms of our depth. Of course, it is something I have to continue work hard about too.

-You have already debuted for 11 years, I’m curious, why did you choose variety?

Teuk: Actually when we first debuted, I didn’t think that I would do variety. When we first started, I liked to play the keyboard and write music, but about 2 months after debut, our manager asked me, “what is your other dream?”. I replied, “I don’t know about other things, I just want to be able to fill my stomach and earn a living”, and our manager then suggested me to do variety. Just like that, the both of us started to go to the different broadcasting stations to greet others, we even said if the group (SJ) doesn’t do well, our manager will go on (the show) instead. (laughs) When we first debuted, we carried the name ‘SJ’ together and went around promoting ourselves. I would always say “Hello, I’m leader Leeteuk”, and suddenly one day our manager gave me a list of variety shows and said, “these are all the variety shows that are showing now, if you were the manager, which show would you pick?” In that list, there was ‘X-MAN’, “Love Letter” etc, and in the end I chose them. But manager hyung showed me the viewer rates for each show and taught me, “you should go on ‘1000 Song Challenge’ or ‘Sponge’ since they have an average viewer rate of about 20%. Only through that will you be able to not only attract teenagers, but also people in their thirties~fourties.”

-I thought you went through variety lessons, but after hearing to what you said, it feels like you went through manager lessons instead.

Teuk: (laughs) At that time, Siwon and Heechul went on X-MAN, Shindong and I were at most just helpers. After that, I went onto MBC’s Star Words. Starting from that show, I went to take part in other shows like ‘1000 Song Challenge’. Just when I began gathering experiences, I joined Star King, and this programme became the turning point of my life.

-Is it because you got to know Kang Hodong?

Teuk: It’s like this. Kang Hodong-hyung was like an active volcano at that time, even though Eunhyuk and I were fixed guests, we were afraid of him since the very beginning. So there was a period of time we worked extremely hard, and one day Hodong-hyung came to our waiting room himself to give us guidance and taught us. We still remember this line that Hodong-hyung said: “Take care of your family. You not only have to take care of your own family, the people around you are also family.” Later on, Hodong-hyung left Star King for personal reasons, and after that, I enlisted too. But what I didn’t think would happen was that one day before I enlisted, Hodong-hyung asked me if I wanted to make my comeback through Star King. Actually the production team asked me if I would like to come onto the show but the company rejected it, but I didn’t expect Hodong-hyung to request for me to go onto the show himself, so I appeared on Star King the day before I enlisted. (laughs) After recording ended, when I was packing my belongings at home, Hodong-hyung called. I told him, “I will do well in army and come back well”, I was surprised that in the end hyung cried. That was a first.

-Leeteuk is the first for Idol MCs. Is there any secret?

Teuk: I am unable to emcee as short and sweetly as a news broadcaster, I’m also unable to be as humorous as a gagman. Even though it’s a bit embarrassing to say this, I think it’s because I worked hard? I would watch the replay of my programmes at home everyday, people always ask, “how do you practice being an MC?” For me, I watch myself a lot. Shows with Leeteuk in them are the most interesting. (laughs) I don’t only watch once, I will watch 3~4 times. I will think, “saying that line at that time was not bad”, just like this, I will reflect on what I did well and did badly. I will also look at my hair style and outfit. Like in “I Can See Your Voice”, because I am given quite a bit of screen time, I will discuss the show with the producers and share my opinions. I also study the other MCs around me, like Kim Sung Joo MC, he speaks differently when he emcees different shows. His tone is different in <Please Take Care of My Fridge> and <King of Mask Singer>, sometimes I will learn from him. From Yoo Jaesuk I learn about posture. It’s not easy to stand straight on both legs but he perseveres and stands like that throughout.

-After doing it for 11 years, how does it feel? I’ve heard that a lot of idols don’t like going on variety shows.

Teuk: About 7.8 in 10 idols don’t like going on variety shows. When you’re a rookie you would want to go, but after 2-3 years you will become the senior or a variety person. But at that time, I felt that I should continue, because at that time, our popularity was not going up but going down, it felt like if I don’t do anything about it, I won’t be able to be an artiste any more, one has to know what is ‘desperation’. Gaining popularity is not about being famous alone, it’s only when your group is popular will you then be famous, it’s something I wish everyone understands. Whenever a production team says “the limit to the number of years you/your group will last is coming, maybe you should stop appearing (on shows)”, I will forget it instantly. I still want to compete with the kids who just debut. As compared to being a legend, I still don’t want to retire to quickly. Giving people the impression of “he used to be great” is something I don’t want yet.

-Don’t you want to rest?

Teuk: Actually before enlistment, I even cried because I didn’t have schedule, I was really a little too much of a workaholic. Up till now, I still feel that recording shows is a very interesting thing. When recording, my legs will ache and when night comes my eyes will sting, but at the same time I can feel the kindness from people. It is not something that one can feel just by doing well in his work or being great at playing chess. When I see the audience and my partner laughing, when I hear the staff say things like ‘you did exceptionally well’, it all becomes my strength and my reason to live.

-Do you still dream of being the second Yoo Jaesuk or Kang Hodong?

Teuk: I had that kind of ambition before, but now I just want to be able to do variety for a long time. But I do want to do a “Leeteuk Show”. I used to think that being No.1 is just purely being No.1, but now I understand that the best is to be able to walk a long way.

-What is Leeteuk’s ranking now?

Teuk: I would say about 10.

-I heard that you will read articles about yourself. Is that true?

Teuk: Yes. I will search for articles with the words “Super Junior” and “Leeteuk”. The reason is because I heard that clicking on the news articles on the website is a great help to the reporter, so I started to open every article and press ‘like’ after skimming through it, sometimes I will post comments too. (laughs) It feels like if from the beginning the replies are all positive, all the comments will turn out to be good , so I give comments, wanting it to have a good start. You ask if it’s tiring? I even got hurt (laughs)

-Even so, I feel that after you’re back from army, you’re receiving a lot more positive comments.

Teuk: It’s not that, the main reason is because there are a lot of girl group scandals. *what he means is that because there’s a lot of scandals so the attention is all on them and not him*

-Since we mentioned this topic, I would like to ask, don’t you get into relationships?

Teuk: Actually about a month after I came back from the army, I had a girlfriend, she’s an actress. But after being together for about 1 month, we broke up. I had to release an album and had to go all over the place for concerts, and she couldn’t understand, now I’m still looking (for a girl). Recently I’ve been thinking about exactly what kind of girl do I have to meet to think about marriage, if you ask me when I’m going to get married, my answer would be for sure not now. They say now it’s the ‘hundred generation’, so the age to get married is slowly moving to 43~45 years old, don’t I still have 10 years left? (laughs) I don’t want someone who is too young, hopefully I will meet someone whose mindset matches mine, a lady who has depth. Maybe a lady who’s 4 to 8 years younger than me? (laughs) Ah, 9 years younger is fine too.

-Lastly, let’s talk about the past 11 years for Leeteuk and about his future.

Teuk: It’s hard to say what kind of MC I will turn out to be. The past 10 years made me who I am today, in the next 10 years I will also work hard to become a better person. I want to become a good person who is able to live everyday seriously and give his best at whatever he does.

 

Korean-Chinese Translation: -AnTeuk- [Please take out with full credit]
Chinese-English Translation: @jungsoostan_

 

News Article: Talented – Caring.. Leeteuk displays the possibility of him being the “Nation’s MC”

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Super Junior’s Leeteuk was the MC for the 5th Gaon Chart Awards which was held on the 17th. Since last year, he was the MC for two consecutive years.

Leeteuk who was the MC together with Girls’ Day’s Hyeri last year, emceed together with Yura this year, who is of the same group.

The award ceremony started at 7pm. Prior to that, Leeteuk & Yura had MC rehearsals from 3.30pm. Because this ceremony is Yura’s first MC stage, it’s for sure that there will be situations whereby she’s nervous, but there’s Leeteuk by her side.

Starting from the rehearsal at 3.30pm until the ceremony ended at 10.30pm, reporters kept close and observed Leeteuk & Yura closely.

Leeteuk showcased his talent and capability since the rehearsal. Even though MC rehearsals are usually only to ensure that the event runs smoothly and are runned through quickly, Leeteuk still analysed each segment one by one diligently. They had more that 4 runs just for the opening segment alone. If he is not satisfied with his MC-ing, he will request to the production team, “let me try again”.

During the rehearsal for the award presentation, Leeteuk once again showcased his wittiness. To that one staff who played the role as the award receiver during the rehearsal, he said, “you look like you lost a lot of weight (because he kept walking up & down the stage)”, “you really received a lot of awards today, congratulations.” With a ment like that, he created a lot of laughter, making the Yura who was at her first try of being an MC laugh too.

During the actual ceremony, every time the MC segment ends, Leeteuk who will be sitting at the waiting area kept flipping through the script. Whenever Yura asks questions, Leeteuk will answer her kindly; When Yura accidentally makes a mistake, he will react quickly and guide her, allowing the MC-ing to go on without any mistakes. Besides that, we also saw how Leeteuk felt how nervous Yura was, and hence let her smell the perfume he sprayed on his wrist, allowing her to put her attention on something else and not appear too nervous.

The Yura who had her nervousness removed because of Leeteuk, was able to whole heartedly cheer during Big Bang’s performance, enjoying her challenge of being an MC for the first time.

After the closing speech by the MCs, although the broadcast was over, “MC Leeteuk” didn’t end there. Leeteuk first thanked the audience with a 90 degree bow. And after that, he ran over to shake hands with the fans near the stage, making poses so that they could take photos, and expressed his gratitude to each and everyone of them.

The Leeteuk who is like that can’t help but make people think of the “Nation’s MC” Yoo Jaesuk or Kang Hodong. It doesn’t matter whether the camera is rolling or not. He will always be showing care and concern towards the guests so that they won’t be nervous and be able to showcase their talent.

As the MC of multiple shows, Leeteuk has already proven his real capabilities, holding his place as “MC Leeteuk” with his professionalism. Talented, caring, and his ability to handle situations during an event; through this year’s Gaon Chart KPOP Awards, we have witnessed again how Leeteuk has what it takes to be the “Nation’s MC”.

Korean-Chinese Translation: Jen @TeukWings [Please take out with full credit]
Chinese-English Translation: @jungsoostan_

Reporter’s description of Leeteuk in his point of view

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The Leeteuk in the eyes of reporters & the Leeteuk whom you see in variety shows are a little different.

Although Leeteuk has always been a person who’s very good at talking and is always smiling, but if you get to know him, you will feel that he’s actually very ‘mature’.

Every time Super Junior has activities, Leeteuk will always be in the toughest spot. Actually in Super Junior’s official activities, the MC is also always Leeteuk. In other words, he should be in a position where he wants to stand out & bring the attention to himself (during official activities), but instead, he as the MC hosts the event well and makes his members shine even brighter. You will also see Super Junior’s members whose personalities are all different taking care of and acknowledging Leeteuk.

Even when he’s not there, there is an atmosphere where everyone trusts him & continue going forward, which is something you can’t find in other groups. But the Leeteuk who is like that is still able to promote himself & crack jokes during activities.

Perhaps fans and outsiders won’t know, but behind the scenes, whenever Leeteuk sees any reporters or broadcast staff, he will be the first to go over to greet them & shake their hand. Even though he’s from Korea’s greatest boy group, Super Junior, Leeteuk is still someone who will greet others with a 90 degrees bow.

As Super Junior’s leader, he is more aware than anyone else how his actions will be reflected on his group.

Humble, mature and responsible; this is not the Leeteuk people normally see on variety shows, but it’s something everyone from the acting & variety world knows about.

Korean-Chinese Translation: Jen @TeukWings [Please take out with full credit]
Chinese-English Translation: @jungsoostan_
Source: @star58681

bird.power IG update with Leeteuk

 
#one-act play# #leeteuk# #kim moo yeol# Reading the statuses uploaded on facebook after a long time, a lot of memories from the past came to mind! During army days, Teukie hyung and Moo Yeolie hyung suddenly transferred into our unit. And during that time too, by chance, there was a army division one-act-play championship. I was in the one-act-play team too. For a whole month, we practiced for it in the morning and at night. We proudly won the second place in front of 500 others! I suddenly miss those times! 

IG: https://instagram.com/p/3ojb4YiCtv/

Leeteuk @STAR1 Photoshoot Interview

 ‘Leader of 10 years’ Super Junior Leeteuk’s youthful summer photoshoot

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At a studio that was remodelled from a house, once entering through the front door, the sound of huge laughter can be heard coming from the 2nd floor. “If I fall down from here, what would you do?” Someone is joking with an excited voice. Walking up the stairs to have a look, Leeteuk is currently posing for photos with half his body leaning on the rail of the balcony. In between flashes of the camera, like a mischievous kid, he’s pretending to be falling over the edge of the rail. This day, the concept of the photoshoot is ‘youth’ which resembles him.

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Q: This year is the 10th debut anniversary for Super Junior. As the leader, you firmly protected and led them to this point, you must feel quite emotional about this.

I really feel like it’s just a number. I don’t really know how the 10 years passed by, time just flowed by in a flash. I can’t really remember the details. Even till now, the day of 6th November 2005 (debut day of Super Junior) still comes to mind, like a rookie. But from some point onwards, at the broadcasting station, the thought of ‘We are the most senior group’ came to mind, and I was shocked by that thought. However, even until now, I still feel like a rookie whenever I go on stage. I really have no idea how 10 years just passed by.

Q: Now, another 10 years is unfolding. As Super Junior, are there any plans that you hope to achieve…

I came across this saying one day. ‘If you work hard in your 20s, you will live comfortably in your 30s; If you work hard in your 30s, you will live comfortably in your 40s’. 20s is the process towards reaching 30s, I devoted my entire 20s to Super Junior. So I feel that a lot of good things will happen in my 30s. Hahaha. I think terms such as ‘the trend’ or ‘golden days’ no longer suit us. It seems that we’re now more like a flowing stream that will flow slowly and steadily for a long time. Junior groups are coming out non-stop, occasionally during an interview, they will ask us ‘Do you think you can win them?’. Looking at how they’re still comparing us to the young and fresh groups, the thought of ‘Seems like Super Junior still has an on-going presence’ will come to mind. I hope to become a group that will receive such questions in the future too. I don’t want us to be treated as mainstream. Once you are treated as mainstream, I think that means that you can be eliminated.

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Q: Talking about the past, there were a lot of talks that Leeteuk is the president of military discipline (means in charge of maintaining the discipline) during the beginning stage of Super Junior. It’s hard to imagine that someone as sentimental and witty like you can be in charge of military discipline.

During the trainee days, I got along well with Eunhyuk at first. I lived at Yeonsinnae in Eunpyeong District and Eunhyuk lived at Ilsan. We took the Number 3 Line train together to go back and forth to the company for practice. Those were happy days where we eat snacks and listen to music together on the train. Seeing as how I was a trainee for a long time, the kids that came in after me often come to me and consult me about their worries. I listened to their worries and also helped connect people that has good feelings towards each other. There were over 100 trainees at that time. And then Super Junior is formed. It’s the first time for the company to have such a huge group, the manager hyung told me ‘The leader needs to stand straight and take up responsibility. You need to become Super Junior’s manager.’ Things that were discussed with our manager in the company, I would pass on the information to the kids. When our group became scattered and lost focus, I would rally the members together. But even so, I don’t think that I was president of military discipline… Haha.

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Q: Will there be a special project for the 10th debut anniversary?

We’re currently planning for a new album. It’s even more meaningful to us since it’s our 10th anniversary. I hope that all members can come together and promote for once before some of them leave for the army. As for when and how we are going to promote, nothing has been fixed yet. Now that Yesung has returned as well, we are currently gathering songs. Please contact us if there are any good songs. Hahaha.

Q: There are an increasingly number of teenagers that are dreaming to be idols like Super Junior. As an idol singer that is at the peak, what would you like to tell them?

I think it’s good to have a go at things that you want to do. You can gain a lot of experiences through the challenges. But nowadays there are a lot of teams that appeared for a little while and then disappeared right away, I’ve also seen a lot of cases where things just take a turn for the worse. So it’ll be very hard to endure it if you don’t have perseverance. I was a trainee for a very long time and I’ve seen friends here and there that gave up on their dream. It will be good to always have a Plan B. I always have a Plan B in mind too. It’s still too young to invest everything into one single place.

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Q: Oh, what is your Plan B?

Um… I think my Plan B is to be a MC. Truthfully, I have no confidence in doing business or other similar stuff. I think giving lessons to others based on the experiences that I went through might work as well. Helping to form and produce idol groups or teaching know-hows about how to do broadcast? Hahaha.

Q: Seems like you will become a high executive of SM.

Eyy! That’s not true. I think that it’ll actually be hard to get close to the friends below you when you are bearing the title of high executive. Also, position will change a person, and I might become different too. So I think my current position is good. I think the moment you receive special treatment, you could get eliminated. I still put in effort to talk and exchange thoughts with the trainees I used to train together with in 2002.

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Q: You are very active in various variety programs. Seems like doing broadcast quite suits you.

For me personally, doing programs is really fun. Even before I went to the army, I said before that ‘Doing programs is how I relieve stress’. After going through a lot of hardships in the army, I really get to know how huge the happiness is to be able to do programs. Although recording programs is tiring, you get to feel ‘Ah, I’m still living and breathing’ when doing it. It really gives me happiness. I’m definitely not just purely recording the programs. In the past, I’ll worry about it, ‘Ah~ There’s a recording tomorrow. It’s going to go on for a very long time, right?’. But I won’t be like that now. I’ll even send messages to our writer noona the day before the recording, and ask ‘Who are the guests tomorrow?’. Like for Mnet’s <I Can See Your Voice>, I even introduced my friend to go on the show. So that we wouldn’t cause bother to our writer noona, I gave my personal email to those friends so that they can send their profile to me and I’ll then pass it on to the producer team. Not just purely recording the show, but also contributing this and that ideas to the show, this makes me even happier.

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Q: You’re currently doing <I Can See Your Voice>, SBS <Star King> and other shows. Except those, are there any other variety shows you would like to do?

I really want to try and do foreign programs. Not long ago, I suggested such an idea towards Mnet. It would be nice to produce <I Can See Your Voice> in various countries, while only changing the cast. Because the format of the show is really good, I think it would work out well in any country in the world. Through that, I would like to go overseas and try to host a foreign show. Hahaha. I also want to do outdoor variety programs. I actually have an idea about that. Film the entire process from start to end of learning a new language of another country. Once you learned the language, you directly go to that country, carry out a mission and then come back. If you succeed, then you start to learn another language and go to another country… There’s also another one that I’m planning. Hahaha. I personally like the show <Top Gear Korea> by XTM. Um, how about making a third-class version of <Top Gear Korea>? Call it <Low Gear>. Hahaha. People will expect really cool cars in the show, but when you pull away the curtain that was concealing the vehicle, it’s actually a tractor or a three-wheeled bicycle. Hahaha. Also, recently there are a lot of cool chefs appearing on TV, I would like to try and do a cooking program too.

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One afternoon in May where warm spring sunlight shines down, Super Junior’s Leeteuk came on set with smile in his eyes that brightens the mood of the set. He, who is showing his youthful smile that suits the photoshoot concept, greets and takes care of all the staff members, giving us the first impression of ‘As expected, Leeteuk’s behaviour’. Even when we request him to express difficult emotions and do tough poses, Leeteuk still goes along with all of it with a smile. It’s probably because of this behaviour that never changed since his debut that we can once again anticipate for his peak even though he has already reached the top.

Q: Oh, can you cook well too?

Fairly well. I enjoy making jjajangddeokbokki. Hahaha. Basically, you put a bit of ddeokbokki seasoning, stir-fry the ddeok, and then put in ramyeon together with those. I often make this for the members. They told me that it’s delicious. I’ve also made cream spaghetti for them before.

Q: You really have a lot of ideas about programs.

When I was in the army, I really thought about it a lot while watching the TV. In the past, I was always aiming for more, stuck in my own world and racing forwards without regards for anything else. But starting from a certain point, I learned to take a step back and see the bigger picture. My thinking changed a lot after that.

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Q: Would you like to try acting too?

If there’s the chance, I would like to try. I actually received a lot of offers. But no matter how you look at it, my MC and variety image is really strong. So I do feel quite burdened regarding acting. Not too long ago, someone I know asked me how I feel about acting in a web drama. When it comes to really doing it, I couldn’t muster up the courage. If someone ask me to act, I would like to try it someday. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a lead role. I like taking things one step at a time. I do yearn for drama and movies. I did a musical when I was in the army too, it was quite fun.

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Q: People are prejudiced towards idols and think that idols gain the opportunity to appear on variety shows without much effort. From starting to appear on variety until you grabbed hold of your own place, you must have went through a lot.

I think being an idol, those prejudice is something you couldn’t avoid. But truthfully, if the so-called variety idols don’t do well on the show, they wouldn’t be able to receive attention too. To shake off the prejudice against idols, compared to anything else, you yourself need to put in a lot of effort. It was the same for me. But in the past, I wasn’t able to go on popular variety shows like <Love Letter>. Siwon and Heechul already went on such programs from the very beginning. At that time, I started by going on MBC’s <Sunday Star Wars> that was shown on Sunday 9am with people who are quite old. When the other kids were going on popular programs, I was playing music and informing people about traffic condition on TBS’s traffic program. At that time, our manager hyung patted me on the back and told me ‘You’re the type that takes a step at a time and slowly work your way up. It’s good too to appeal to the older general public and let them know you. Look ahead to the future.’ Looking back now, those words were right.

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Q: Are there any variety artists nowadays that made you go ‘Oh, look at this person’ and feel like they are worthy of being a threat?

Truthfully speaking, I’m not very good at doing variety. I just work hard at it. I’m well aware of the fact that I’m not funny. Hahaha. I’m not someone who can say something extremely hilarious on the spur of the moment. I worry about what others feel too, ‘Oh, if I do this, will I make them unhappy?’ There are a lot of other people who are funnier and can do it better than me. I’m just someone who works hard persistently in that area.

Q: Not long ago, Choi Siwon got eliminated from <Infinity Challenge> Sixth Man project. Is there anything you would like to say to him?

Hm, I should invite Siwon to come on <Star King>. Hahaha. Actually, when our members all gather together, Siwon is the most interesting and fun one. Things like the fortune cookie photo that became a huge topic after Siwon went on <Infinity Challenge>, have actually been spread around ages ago in Super Junior’s group chat.

*Star King is broadcasted at the same time as Infinity Challenge

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Q: How are you doing recently? What do you do when you’re not recording programs?

I work out every day. Even on days where I have recording, I’ll definitely go and exercise after that. I also go to the sauna too. I’m the type that normally goes to the sauna alone, but I occasionally go together with SHINee’s Minho. Not long ago, I was sitting in the sauna bath and EXO’s Suho and Sehun came. It’s quite embarrassing to meet when we’re naked so I was pretending that I didn’t know that they came, but the kids ran over and greeted me without hesitation. I wanted to leave quickly because it was embarrassing, but D.O appeared from another side and greeted me too. Hahaha.

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Q: What do you mainly do for exercise?

I mainly do aerobic exercise. I walk, go cycling, and also lift weights. I do it every day. I also sometimes go and play basketball because I like it. There’s a basketball team formed among the employees of SM. We all wear the same uniform and go to the basketball court of an elementary school to play basketball. Sometimes we play against other small teams too.

Q: You showed your fantastic abs before in your previous photoshoots. Are you still constantly maintaining them?

Do you want to try touching them? Hahaha. They’re still here. In the past, I built up my body because I wanted to show it off. But nowadays, I do it to build up my stamina. I also work out because I feel that as you age, it doesn’t look good if you’re too skinny.

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Q: Since you’re doing programs, skin care is something that you can’t avoid.

I didn’t do any surgery or receive Botox treatment. Hahaha. I just do skin care by washing cleanly. When I go to the sauna, I’ll use oil, cream, cleanser and a few other stuffs too. I use cream with steam towel to do cleansing for my face. Two or three times per week, I apply cleansing mask and go into the sauna. I also do hair and scalp treatment and go into the sweating-room. I do sit-ups there too. Hahaha.

Q: Starting from cleansing, you seem to be even more meticulous than girls. Nowadays guys actually do even more body management?

Hahaha. It seems like I have to keep on doing management. I like to eat ramyeon twice or trice per week. But if you eat food like ramyeon, you’ll definitely gain weight. After eating, I go to exercise and then I eat again and go exercise again… I keep repeating that. If I eat a lot, I’ll keep thinking that I’ll gain a lot of weight so I couldn’t just stay put. Actually, I wanted to go buy and eat ddeobokki yesterday. I keep pondering whether to eat it but I know that I have this photoshoot today so I refrained from it. I worried that I might become swollen today if I eat it. Hahaha.

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Q: How do you spend your leisure time? Do you go out and drink with your friends?

I can’t really drink. Even so, I still go to drinking parties. Sometimes when we have drinking parties among our members, even if we haven’t drink at all, we can still chat away and play crazily like we’re drunk.

Q: Do you watch TV programs or movies a lot?

Nearly all TV programs that I watch are those that I appear on. Hahaha. To increase the viewership ratings for my program. Once the broadcast starts, I’ll make an effort to watch it LIVE no matter what. I’ll send messages to the PD or writers real time to check the ratings. In the morning, as soon as I wake up and open my eyes, the first thing I do is check the viewership ratings. Is this the mindset of the producers? Hahaha. The ratings for <Star King> slowly increased too after I returned to the show. Even though I shouldn’t care too much about the viewership ratings, but if it even increases by a little bit, it’ll become my vitamin. Because everyone will gain strength from it.

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Q: As Super Junior on the stage VS MC Leeteuk, they seem to feel quite different.

On the stage, I’m the main star. But on programs, I become happy seeing the happiness of other people. On the stage, I receive the spotlight and fans go wild for me. I’m extremely happy just for being able to sing and dash on stage. Because even one gesture from me will give fans something to laugh and cry about. For broadcasts, even though I’m not the main star, I feel satisfaction from listening to the stories of other people and seeing them being happy. To be honest, it’s true that I like being on the stage more. But if in the past, I did things that I like to do, then in the future, I think it’s right for me to do things that I can do well. Also, there are a lot of people who can sing and dance well. Our Super Junior members aren’t perfect in everything either. I know that even if I keep singing, I wouldn’t become someone like Yim Jae Beum sunbae-nim. I think it′s also a skill to be able to look reality straight in the eye and move forward according to that.

Translated by: Jen @TeukWings [Please take out with full credit]
Source: http://www.atstar1.com/view.php?uid=201505191431317910