The first major opportunity Daesung was given to approach the public was SBS’s variety programme ‘Family Outing’ (F.O.). As the maknae of the F.O. cast, he cooperated with Yoo Jae Suk to create their ‘Dumb & Dumber’ brothers image and was able to gain many fans from various age groups. But it meant more to Daesung personally than professionally.
”I made friends. I’m not really the type to become friends with others just like that, and I didn’t have many celebrity friends. But now I’m happy that I can meet up with say, Chunhee hyung and Hyori noona and we can drink and talk and go to karaoke together.”
Since the programme required them to sleep next to each other, they bonded easily and strongly. Though the ‘battle of wits’ that went on whenever the camera was rolling was so extreme that you could pretty much hear their brains working, watching old folks leading simple lives in the countryside and the song of birds and fresh air that greeted them in the mornings gave them a sense of peace and healing.
”When I first saw Chunhee hyung, he seemed really sharp and aggressive but he’s actually really nice. I don’t even have to tell him my problems, when I’m with him it seems like my stress is gone and I feel better. Jongshin hyung gave me a song for my solo album too. I went to work on my album with him and we chatted and laughed for about 4 hours and talked about music for like an hour. Even the little things we talk about are genuinely precious memories.”
But F.O. has had one bad influence on him. Trying too hard to be funny.
”When we were doing F.O., I liked how we made each other feel good by giving compliments. I was so happy whenever someone told me ‘You were really funny this week’. I think that’s why I started trying too hard. There was even a time when the words ‘You’re funny’ made me happier than being told I was a good singer. But on F.O., if you don’t talk you get edited out so I just started saying everything that came to mind. (laughs)”
He says that being on variety shows taught him a lot about life.
”When I went on ‘Strong Heart’ recently, someone said something that made me think ‘Oh, I see now’. I think I was tired from listening to other people talk for 5~6 hours. Then Ho Dong hyung called me out and told me ‘The people who get tired are the ones who lose in the variety world’. I think that applies for life as well. People who get tired and give up are the ones who lose. Whenever I see how Ho Dong hyung doesn't look exhausted in the slightest even after long hours of filming, I realise ‘People at the top really are different to the rest of us’.”
”Jae Suk hyung is really manly off the camera. On screen he’s really loud and talkative but he’s actually a really gentle and reliable hyung. I was watching the Boxing Challenge episode on ‘Infinite Challenge’ once and it made me so sad that I cried. I texted him saying ‘That was so touching. You’re the best.’ and he called me straight away and said ‘Why is a person in his 20’s sitting at home watching TV, go out and play!’ (laughs) Hyung worries about me a lot. I learn so much from him. The way he treats others, the way he cares for every individual member of the staff when the camera isn’t rolling...Even when I know he’s tired and exhausted himself.”
Daesung treats every one of his experiences preciously and learns even from the little things. It was nice to see this sincere side of him, building relationships with other people in a pure and careful way.
Translation by s.jayx@BBVIP.net