Joo Won “I Met My Dream Love”

November 2013

Does eternal love exist? Perhaps everyone has dreamed of the type of love depicted in novels and films where love never dies, Joo Won is no exception. Through the musical <GHOST> which will premiere this month on the 24th, Joo Won dreams of this kind of love once again.

We met up with Joo Won who returned to the theatre stage after a 4 years hiatus. At the end of last month, the media was invited to the rehearsal and Joo Won displayed the sincere love of the lead character Sam. With his face beaming, Joo Won said “I have been rehearsing lately.” Suddenly hit by a bout of flu, Joo Won had even been to the hospital on the morning of this interview but Joo Won said “Thank goodness, this happened before the start of the official performance.”

Although Joo Won has debuted in the musical <Altar Boys> in 2006, he only appeared in the public’s eye in 2010 through TV dramas. In these 4 years, between his dramas and movies, the musical theater has not changed but Joo Won has.

“I seem to be more proactive now. 4 years ago, I was younger and when I wanted to express my opinion, I was worried if others would think I was stepping out of line. Now, I have become the type who will spontaneously express my own views and the reason is because I want to create a better performance. Unbridled, I freely express my thoughts and the feeling I get is that of fighting a battle alongside with everyone.”

Joo Won muttered, “This time I had wondered if there would be something younger than me but in the end, I am still the maknae,” then he suddenly laughed happily “to be able to lean on my hyungs is also a good thing.” In reality, there is a tremendous pressure being the lead actor of <GHOST> Joo Won said “When I was watching the rehearsals, mostly I see it from the perspective of the audience.” This also shows that Joo Won is always thinking about the musical.

Though it was like a homecoming, there were also some areas which felt unfamiliar. “In the beginning, it was really strange. Although it was clearly an arena where I had been through a lot, it was difficult standing on the stage for the first time. It is not the same as TV dramas, musicals are staged within a confined space. Your entire body is within sight of the audience. Grasping the unique intonation of a musical is also not easy. Although I have not fully overcome it, I was so vexed in the beginning that my head hurt.”

In reality, there was always no lack of musicals which sent out ‘lovecall’ to Joo Won. As the saying  “Return in glory” goes, it is the same with returning to musicals, Joo Won said “I was always looking for a better piece of work,” thus the return to stage was delayed. Joo Won said he selected <GHOST> because of his love for it.

I have watched the movie <GHOST> no less than 20 times. There are quite a number of movies which captivated me such as <Romeo and Juliet>, <The Notebook> and <Titanic>. (Interviewer: Aren’t all these romance in genre?) Yes, they all resonate with my heart. After I watched them, it’s as if I am still immersed in that fantasy. Rather than how I would do it, it’s more like I am starting that kind of dream.

Not wanting to miss <GHOST>, Joo Won took time off near the completion of 7Th Level Civil Servant to participate in the auditions. He received the good news dignified, having gone through proper selection channel. Joo Won said resolutely “The anticipation of standing on stage and the state of half-believing half doubting were all there so I am even more determined to work hard.”

In order to create his own version of the character Sam, Joo Won spent lots of time preparing for the role. “It has been a long time prior to returning to the theatre. It was always meant to be 3 persons taking on the lead role so I had better quickly find a way to distinguish myself from the hyungs.” I do not want to interpret every scene in such a theatric manner. I will still make a little adjustment to those tendencies. I do not want the audience to watch scenes where I get furious or inconsolably sad and feel that it’s too faked.

Joo Won’s wish is to use only movements and voice to convey the pure love of the character. This is something that has never been witnessed before in any production. Among thousands of musical productions, only <GHOST> has depicted a love that is eternal. Towards that sorrowful love, Joo Won was frank, saying that he felt contented to able to portray it.

“Everyone must have dreamed of such a love, right? I have always dreamed of having a love like this. Even now, I want to steadfastly believe. However I was very sad when I began to take reality into consideration. So for a man who cannot forget his woman even after his death, always yearning by her side, I am satisfied to represent such love.

Towards his two co-stars Ivy and Park Ji Yeon who act as Molly in the play, Joo Won said they “give goosebumps” and was generous in his compliments. “Ivy noona is able to give goosebumps to listeners even when she sings those songs which musical actors are typically unable to deliver. I am sure there will be many people who will love this. Ji Yeon not only sings well but I particularly love the way she is uninhibited in her acting.

Joo Won said more than Sam’s cry of hopelessness, it was difficult to act the scene where he silently shed tears at Molly’s side listening to her soliloquy. “If two persons act crying at the same time, the meaning that is conveyed to the audience is direct. But the part where I silently keep watch, if I make the slightest mistake, the emotions conveyed will be inaccurate.

At the end of the interview, Joo Won did not forget to announce “Because I(Sam) am a ghost, you will be able to see me singing on the stage throughout the 2 hour 40 minute long musical play.” He also highlighted to everyone saying “My personal desire is that everyone sees Sam but not Joo Won. It will be fantastic if at the end of the play, the audience takes away the experience of pure love. It’s the kind of love which everyone dreams of but is unattainable in reality. It could be a longing or a kind of “I also have that past relationship before” thinking. I hope everyone is able to grasp that simple and pure feeling.”

Source: News
Chinese translation: 小水 on Joo Won Baidu
English translation: mrdimples on

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