Jay (Jeon Jihwan), maknae of the five member group, The BOSS, starred in the recent movie Good Friends as Joo Jihoon’s child actor. With his 100% syncronization with the counterpart, he’s grabbed the attention of the public.
In order to find out more about the talented actor-idol, we met him at a café in Gangnam.
Actor Jeon Jihwan, movie is destiny to him.
Q. You starred as Joo Jihoon’s child actor in the movie Good Friends. Because you got the role of a child actor, you had to watch and observe Joo Jihoon [‘s acting/characteristics]. Observed at a close proximity, what is Joo Jihoon’s personal charm?
To be honest, after being accepted after the auditions and before starting the filming, with the exception of the tests and party, I never got to meet him. Despite that, even in the short time we met each other, he would always approach me. Since he is [my] sunbae, and I am [his] hoobae by many years, I thought it was only right that I approach him first. But that wasn’t as easy as it sounded. At that moment [as I thought that], he Joo Jihoon sunbaenim approached me, talked to me, and took good care of me. Though the charismatic side of of him seen and felt through the screen is very charming, the aura you feel when you’re with him is also very charming. I had a chance to meet with Joo Jihoon sunbae with the other The BOSS members, and even the members said Joo Jihoon was very charming and that it’d be nice for me to become like him.
Q. Is there anything in particular that you put a lot of effort into in order to fully digest the character you received in the movie?
Good Friends is the first commerial movie I starred in. I was nervous at the thought more people would see my acting than my precious movies. As I keep thinking to myself about how I can do better, I started to take acting lessons in order to thoroughly analyze the character “Incheol.” From there on, because I had a strong urge to create my character’s personality myself, I spent a lot of time alone, deep in thought. Rather than an “Incheol” forced upon me by someone else’s orders, I thought it would feel more natural to the audience if I expressed the character my way.
Q. Did the filming for the child actors and the adult actors happened simultaneously?
The filming was done separately. The director showed us parts of the adult actors’ recordings to help the child actors get a feel for the scene.
Q. Good Friends is your fourth piece of work [as an actor]. Before debuting in the group, The BOSS, in 2010, you showed yourself to the public for the first time through the movie Golden Generation. How has the present Jeon Jihwan changed from the Jeon Jihwan from five years ago?
Golden Generation is a movie that means a lot to me personally. It’s something I did when I didn’t know anything. I just did it because I liked acting. Compared to me now, I think the me from five years ago was very young and acted because for my innocent desires. Now, even though I’ve studies acting, I’m still very lacking. Even so, I think I’ve developed a skill for immersing myself into a character.
Q. What the opportunity that got you into the movie industry?
My agency’s CEO was a big influence for me for the filming tof he short film, Golden Generation – Coin Boy. my CEO really liked movies and dramas so he went to watch not only commercial movies, but independent films, art movies, and a variety of other genres. It was then he asked me what I thought of acting in a movie. Though music is good too, I thought it was a great opportunity because I felt movies had a great charm of their own. So then, he personally connected me to the director and had me star in Golden Generation.
Q. You’ve experienced something uncommon among rookies, “relay casting.” What happened?
During the preview event for Golden Generation, I met director Kim Jongkwan in a hotel elevator. Director Kim Jongkwan remembered me and suggested me the mid-length movie, Song of the Wind, he was currently preparing. With a grateful heart, I agreed, and right after the short film, I starred in a mid-length movie.
When it was out of coincidence or fate, during the presentation for Song of the Wind, I met director Yoon Taesik. He came to find me after the preview event. I received yet another suggestion and starred in Director Yoon Taesik’s full-length movie, Sea.
So in the end, I starred in Golden Generation, Song of the Wind, and Sea through relay casting, but at the preview event for Sea, I received another suggestion. It was a thriller movie, but I had no choice but to give it up due to overlapping schedules with group [The BOSS’s] activities.
Q. If you were repeatedly suggested to star in a movie at the preview events, it means you must have popped out to the directors. What do you think it the reason for those director chosing Jron Jihwan?
To be honest, I was curious too, so I asked. The directors said I’m still young and have a lot of learning to do, but they would contantly tell me they enjoyed my eyes/glare when I acted.
The BOSS’s Jay – The members are his family
Q. You are the first and only member in the group to hold activities in acting. You must surely have many thoughts and worries with acting activities. Who do you go to for advice?
I go to my friend who has a lot of acting experience for advice and to talk about my worries. I learn a lot by listening to their stories and the know-hows they’ve learn. The members are in charge of cheering/supporting and monitoring me. They’re a big source of strength.
Q. Have you ever imagined The BOSS 10 years from now?
It’s been over eight years since I’ve lived with the members. During that time, without a change in members, we’ve always ran towards our dream with a heart of one. We always talk a lot about each other. I definitely want to do activities as one family, as one team, without a change, even after 10 years. However, everyone has their own preferences and you have to respect that. I don’t want to corner the members with the title of “The BOSS.” The The BOSS I want 10 years from now is one with members who are enthusiastic about what they do, support one another, and stand together on one stage once in a while.
Q. You’re having lots of activities in Japan. Is there no problems with communication?
In order to communicate with Japanese fans, I did a lot of studying. When you’re having activities there, you get a sense of having to studying the language really hard. When we first went to Japan and started dorm-life there, only one Korean manager went with us. It was really uncomfortable because we didn’t have a translator. It was really difficult then. Since we couldn’t communicate, when we went on stage, we had to do exactly as told and planned. It felt like we were puppets. With our burning desire to show fans our true selves and not something laid out and planned for us, the members all studied really hard.
Even in a situation where we didn’t know Japanese, we’ve even gotten the role as MC in a live broadcast show every Wednesday called Made in BS Japan. Since it was live and we couldn’t make mistakes, we memorized an incredible amount of vocabulary. It was then our Japanese started to get better. Nowadays, we’ve become more confident in Japanese. Depending on the situation, we change up the introduction and even add some adlibs.
Q. When there is a conflict amongst the members, how do you deal with it?
When there’s conflict among the members, it’s harder than anything else you can imagine. So normally, [when something is bothering us] instead of letting it just pile up within us, we let it out immediately. At first, we fought and butted heads a lot. Now that we’ve come to know each other so well, of there is any trouble, we naturally try to understand each other. Maybe it’s because we’ve been through a lot of tough times together, but rather than fighting, we bunch together.
Q. Are you planning on releasing an album sometime next month? What concept are you planning on for the comeback?
We’re planning on a comeback this September. We haven’t set an exact concept yet, but we’re currently discussing it right now.
Translator: master_0304 / Sarah @ Cosmorion