picture credit: @taehyung_tokki
Fan Account by @gilaswan
Joo Won’s press conference for Yong Pal in Singapore, hosted by ONE TV Asia @ Grand Park Hotel, Singapore on 10 Oct 2015 @ 1445h
Joo Won’s press conference to promote Yong Pal with ONE TV Asia was held in a private dining room within Mitzo Restaurant & Bar. The room had been cleared of its tables and in their place a small stage was set up with the ONE TV Asia Yong Pal backdrop. There were an estimated 40-50 people in the room, mostly from the press with some from ONE TV Asia’s media partners such as Starhub and Singtel.
At 3pm, Joo Won arrived through a side door to the room (one wonders if that door actually led to the stair well or some service passage because it was essentially the “exit” from the room) with Park Hye Soo, their interpreter (who was very pretty!) and ONE TV Asia’s host for the afternoon. The session started with the usual pleasantries – it was his first trip to Singapore apparently, and Park Hye Soo’s second (she had visited with her family before).
The opening question was directed at Joo Won, asking him about how he had found the filming experience for Yong Pal and if he could identify the most difficult scene that he filmed, what it would be. He said that there were so many scenes that were challenging, particularly when at the beginning of filming, he was in almost 55 out of 60 scenes that had to be shot. In addition, there were more action scenes at the start of the drama, and naturally those took more effort to shoot. However, Joo Won added that if he had to choose a scene, it would have to be a driving scene where there were multiple cameras attached to the car he had to drive. The cameras actually obstructed his view, so it was very difficult to film the car chase scenes.
The host also asked the all important question about how well Joo Won was resting now that the drama is over, after all, everyone knew about him having lost 7kg during the filming of Yong Pal. Joo Won laughed at the question and assured the press that he always regains the wait he loses, particular because following the end of filming, he becomes less active and gaining weight becomes easy; he was now watching his diet.
Then the host asked questions that had been earlier submitted by members of the media. I didn’t manage to record every question asked, nor did I record everything he said for the clips I recorded – I spent more time looking at Joo Won instead. Hahaha… I did capture the interpreter’s portions though, so that no one has to attempt a sub on this one
Joo Won was asked about how it was acting with Park Hye Soo in the drama
Qn: what advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
This was cute. Just before I captured this portion, Joo Won was all, “Hmmm… ah… gawsh… that was some 14 years ago now! I need to think…”
Joo Won was asked how he felt about taking up another medical drama
Joo Won’s parting words to Singapore Media
Joo Won really looks good in person – photos do him no justice. He is as tall as his bio states him to be and as cute as all of us imagine he is. I’m not sure if his basic personality is one that is relatively low in energy, but I did get the impression that he was tired. Despite apparent fatigue, he maintained a sincere and unassuming disposition which was absolutely charming. In all a very nice way to have spent my afternoon.
Personal thoughts on Joo Won following his press con in Singapore on 10 Oct 2015
I’m looking at the presscon photos, some taken by media people who went, and I’m still finding it very surreal that I was actually there…
My friend (with whom I went) and I spent the afternoon thereafter repeatedly talking about why we thought he seemed so charming in person. With all those cameras clicking away and hands with other digital devices up in front of me, it wasn’t always easy to catch a clear, unobstructed view of him despite being in such private, close quarters with him. But oh, when I did – there was a moment when I decided to put my smartphone down and just look at him, soak him in – and I think at that moment the room just fell silent for me as I tried to absorb his voice and details. I have never seen any other Kdrama star before in person, so I don’t know how he compares with them, but at that press conference yesterday, Park Hye Soo simply faded. Not to discount her acting in the show or her lovely voice for the OST, but my friend and I agreed she was very plain in person and lacked that presence that Joo Won has. The moment he walked into the room, despite his quiet demeanour, you could tell – “Joo Won is in da house!” It was a working event, so there were no screams and yells. As quickly as everyone filed in, everyone filed out post event. But amidst the non-stop sounds of cameras going off, I swear you could hear people holding their breath when he stepped in.
Joo Won has a certain presence I would say. Not an imposing one, but his presence could be felt but not one of arrogance. If you couldn’t get any more clichéd than this, he fit perfectly the descriptor of “the strong and silent type”. At many times through that short 45 minute conference, he fiddled with the mic and looked at his feet a lot. As the interpreter rattled off, you also got the sense that he wasn’t always with us. But somehow those actions did not make him come across as aloof as some stars might make you feel. With Joo Won, those acts somehow made you just feel sorry for him – at those moments I just saw fatigue in his body language. Not the negative sort of fatigue though. Just the kind of tiredness I think a schedule like Yong Pal’s would put him in. It didn’t feel like he has had rest despite the well-rehearsed words of assurance he gave the press. And you feel sorry for him. Then when based on fan accounts of his fan meeting whereat he seemed livelier and more energized, I actually found myself feeling even sorrier for him. I remember at one point during the conference when I was just concentrating on looking at him, I just wished I could give him a hug and tell him, “There, there… Rest will come shortly.” Regardless, you can tell Joo Won was grateful for it all. Therein lies that humility. He was grateful that he has fans outside his native Korea – something I believe he never expected to have. He was grateful he was being recognized for his work.
I’m no fangirl – I was there because I had the opportunity to go and I was encaptured by him sufficiently through Yong Pal to want to not let such a rare opportunity to see him in person go to waste. And life is exceedingly busy this period, so all logic actually pointed to me not going. But I’m glad I went in the end on my husband’s encouragement (thank you hubby from heaven!). It really was an enjoyable event.