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“As I film Heading to the Ground, I feel myself maturing”
With his transformation into an actor still ahead of him, U-Know Yunho, the leader of Dong Bang Shin Ki, expressed these thoughts.
As U-Know Yunho takes his first stab at a traditional acting role in MBC’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama Heading into the Ground, he said in a recent interview, “Like the drama’s title, I feel like I’m also ‘heading into the ground.’* However, I’m usually pretty fearless. That’s why I like the title.”
U-Know Yunho may be a big star as a lead member of Dong Bang Shin Ki, a group that has conquered Asia, but as an actor he is a rookie in his first role in Heading to the Ground. That is why from the moment he was cast, he threw himself into preparations and approached filming with more passion than anyone, explained the producers.
A Heading producer said, “When U-Know Yunho was staying in Japan for singer activities, he spoke on the phone with the writer for as much as six hours to analyze his character. On the set, he had close discussions and conversations with the PD to grasp the acting and worried extensively.”
Heading to the Ground tells a miraculous success story of a poor but passionate soccer player Cha Bong-kun (U-Know Yunho), and also paints a picture of human triumph out of a low-class life. The drama premieres next month.
Following is a series of questions and answers with U-Know Yunho and the producers.
What do you think now, after being cast and working a month into filming?
After filming late into the night and going home, I find it new and exciting, so I want to go right back to the set. These days, I’m completely absorbed into the character, and I’m living as though Cha Bong-kun is really me. When he’s shown as poor and good-for-nothing, it’s so different from my usual appearance that I shock myself. [Laughs]
Also, I really like every member of the staff, which may be why I’m enjoying being on the set so much. Heading to the Ground is a drama where everyone in the staff is a main player. I’m just the representative in front who acts.
Of everything you’ve done so far, which scene is the most memorable?
There’s a scene were I fall into the Han River at a depth of 5 meters. While I’m sitting on the land by the river, a ball comes flying at me and I head it out of instinct, and fall into the water. Not only is it deep, I was weighed down by weights, and since it was my first time in such an extreme experience, it stands out in my memory. A lot of staff members worked hard on the filming and I felt I’d accomplished something.
Have you ever experienced a “heading into the ground” before?
Of course. I’ve done it so much that I can’t remember each time. [Laughs] Isn’t the very act of me taking on an acting challenge an example of heading into the ground? To be honest, I’m pretty fearless. I don’t get very afraid. That’s why I really like the title.
Heading to the Ground gives me the feeling of maturing. Even as you grow, there are certain rites of passage you have to go through. When the drama is over, I will feel as though I’ve grown along with my character, Cha Bong-kun.
What is the response to your friends about your acting?
My friends say it’s fun, but ask if it’s okay for me to ruin my image like that. My parents told me to enjoy myself as I act. My fellow entertainers encouraged me to go for what I wanted to do and act to my heart’s content.
What would you like to tell viewers before the drama premieres?
I hope they will watch and accept my acting. And look forward to me playing this passionate Cha Bong-kun character, with an open mind… [Laughs]
A success story of a mediocre soccer player who becomes a member of the national soccer team through the power of love!
U-Know of TVXQ is cast as a hot-tempered soccer player!
Actress Koh Ara portrays a charming sports agent!
Actor Lee Sang-yoon plays an evil lawyer with a brilliant mind!
Pursuing love for all it's worth!
Cha Bong-gun (Soccer player/U-Know)
He kicked around a soccer ball with all his might since he was a young kid and became a soccer player at a league team with a dismal record. He has a knack for always being at the right scoring position and has a powerful kick. Yet his life away from soccer is full of trouble. Due to his hot temper he is always getting into fights. One day his team is disbanded and his professional career as a soccer player becomes precarious. Then a sports agent named Hae-bin appears in his life. The bitterness he has towards Seung-woo turns for the worse when they both try to win Hae-bin's love.
Kang Hae-bin (Sports agent/actress Koh Ara)
She's the daughter of the president of a chaebol that owns a soccer team in the K-League. She's an avid fan of sports. When her dad disappoints her by having an affair with his secretary, she moves out of the family home as soon as she graduates from college. She finds a job at a sports marketing firm and works as an agent for soccer players. In the male-dominated sports industry, she is scorned and belittled since she's the only female sports agent. While constantly bickering with Cha Bong-gun over little matters, she gradually falls in love with him. She sets a goal of making Bong-gun the most marketable player in soccer.
Jang Seung-woo (Attorney/actor Lee Sang-yoon)
He was admitted to a prestigious university with the highest score among his freshmen class. He later became the youngest person to ever pass the bar exam. He has never lost any competition during his life and has supreme confidence of his abilities. He is admired by everyone and there's one girl he truly loves. That girl is Hae-bin. But Cha Bong-gun, a mediocre soccer player, tries to win Hae-bin's heart. How dare he! He boils with anger when he sees Hae-bin looks at Bong-gun affectionately.
Oh Yeon-lee (Nutritionist for soccer team/actress Lee Yoon-ji)
She is a childhood friend of Bong-gun and they went to the same elementary school as kids. She works as a nutritionist for a soccer team. She has a crush on Bong-gun but doesn't have the courage to confess her feelings to him. She's an lovable liar.
^Yunho's ideal girl has straight,dark long hair, a clear complexion, and is tall (Ara's 169 cm or 5'7'')...I'm surprised nothing
has been going on yet(if you know what I'm mean..*nudge nudge*)
I've waited two or three weeks...and it's still not subbed.
Since it's not subbed, you'll have to make do with this summary
The cast of HTTG (actually the literal translation is "heading to the bare ground") are there for the drama poster photoshoot.
Announcer says it's charismatic Yunho and cute Ara doing a variety of poses.
Yunho says they're hanging on trying trying not to fall (two are trying to survive).
Yunho says Bong Goon does not have anything but he is passionate and really loves soccer.
Ara says that her character is "dream hyebin." She runs around 365 days doing things to be sports agent.
Announcer says Sang Yoon's character is the cold lawyer who is Bong Goon's rival and Yoonji is the close friend of Bong Goon.
Announcer says drama is a romantic comedy between Bong Goon and Hyebin.
Female announcer introduces the cast of HTTG. Announcer tells Yunho isn't this his first drama. Yunho says yes. Question pops up on screen asking Yunho how he feels about it. Yunho says he feels just like what the title says, he feels as if he is heading to the bare ground. (witty Yunho coming out. he really is good at interviews) Announcer then asks about other members said to him. He says they told him they think he'll do alright and it gave him strength. Announcer says he must fit the character. Yunho says he does cute things (like Bong Goon-I really think Yunho and Bong Goon are very much alike and that's why he is able to relate to his character so easily) and gives the example where he says he doesn't just say "ogamja" (literal translation is 5 potatoes-not sure if it has some other funny meaning) but he says "ogamja" in a really cute way and this is when the announcer spazzes over his cuteness. Yoonji says that they have lots of ngs because of this (cuteness) because everytime Bong Goon acts cute, the fans all go aah o~ and they have to shoot the scene again.
Announcer then moves on to Ara and says that she heard that the two guys fight over her in a love triangle. Ara says yes and that she's happy. Announcer says her happiness shows on her face. Announcer then asks what does she call Sang Yoon (there is 9 years age difference). Does she call him ajusshi? Sang Yoon ajusshi? Doesn't Ara just call him oppa? Ara agrees and says that Sang Yoon jokes around and is really fun. Sang Yoon then says that Ara calls him funny oppa. (He's teasing her)
Announcer then moves on to Sang Yoon and asks if he's aware of Yunho's fans. Sang Yoon says that's why he's trying his best. Announcer then tells Sang Yoon to say something to Cassies and he acts nervous and unfolds his legs and they all laugh as his acting uncomfortable and getting serious. (I don't think Yunho particularly liked the announcer mentioning Cassies because she made it sound like or gave the impression that Cassies were to be feared should they not treat Yunho right-at least that's the impression I got by looking at Yunho).
Announcer then moves on to Yoonji and says that Yoonji hosts entertainment relay. She then asks Yoonji which show does she like more, entertainment relay or section t.v. and that's when they show Yoonji and announcer aplogizes for putting her on the spot. Announcer then asks HTTG is (fill in the blank)? Yoonji says HTTG is like a cure all. Everybody is impressed with her answer. Yoonji then says that if you have troubles, HTTG will cure it and that all of them are really trying their best for the drama.
Ara then says at the end that she hopes that while people watch HTTG, they'll be able to feel laughter and love and asks people to show lots of interest.
Credit:lovelyyunho @ Soompi
BONUS: "Sorry, Sorry" Chicken Yunho Version
I just noticed, Go Ara's name sounds like "Koala". LOL.