Tang Wei Sends Hyun Bin a Message of Support
Chinese actress Tang Wei recently left an encouraging message for Manchu costar Hyun Bin.
The actress attended the press conference for film Wu Xia, a Busan International Film Festival’s Gala Presentation selection, held at the Centum City Shinsegae on October 9 alongside director Peter Chan and actor Jin Chengwu.
H.O.T., the biggest idol group of the 90s, has faded away to become mere memory, but its members are still thriving as solo singers or producers, enjoying their share of influence in entertainment.
Moon Hee Jun, former leader of H.O.T. and current TV personality and solo singer, is one of the most successful of the five members. Recently, he′s even made his return as a solo singer for the first time in three years and seven months. He, however, he hasn′t returned with the rock music he′s so well known for. He′s announced his return as a dance singer with his new mini album Begins, surprising many of his fans.
During the interview, the singer also seemed determined to change his attitude as much as his music, throwing off the mysterious veil characteristic of old-school top idols and giving his most sincere answers to the questions.
The majority of the questions the actress received were inevitably about Hyun Bin. She said, “I heard of Hyun Bin’s enlistment through a news article. I hope he’s taking care of himself.”
When a reporter made reference to her growing popularity in Korea, the actress responded, “I wanted to say that I’m very thankful to the Korean fans who have shown me so much love. I wanted to take this opportunity to say that.” She continued, “I am getting more and more accustomed to and acquainted with the view of Korea when I get off the plane at the [Incheon] airport now.”
In response to a question regarding what the differences were between working with Wu Xia costar Jin Chengwu and Hyun Bin, the actress said, “The difference is that I was able to speak to Jin Chengwu in Chinese, while Hyun Bin and I conversed in English.” She added, “They are both incredibly passionate, and they both have many devoted female fans.”
It was also the actress’ birthday on October 7, and when a reporter wished her a happy birthday, she revealed, “I spent the day with a different set of friends.” She continued, “I celebrated my birthday in Busan last year as well. The cake from Busan was delicious.” And Lee Yong Gwan, the chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, who also attended the press conference responded, “We will definitely prepare something for you.”
Meanwhile, Tang Wei is garnering a lot of attention for her role in Peter Chan’s Wu Xia. Set in China’s Yunnan Province, the film was screened at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival as part of the Midnight Screening program. The film will be released on October 27.
Photo credit: Kim Byung Gwan
From rock to dubstep
"I′m nervous at the thought of standing before the public as a singer once more. The album is overall in dubstep, and the promotional single I′m Not OK is an electronic dance piece. I suddenly took a liking to dubstep while working on band music... so I started digging into that genre. I was reminded of how it was during my H.O.T. days while writing my music and thinking about my performances."
Why did he set down the rock music he had hung on to even in the midst of the malicious comments he was hit with regarding his entry to the genre? Did he finally decide to give in to the negative opinions and release his hold on rock music?
"I want to be comfortable with all types of music. I thought because I had stayed with one genre too long, I had fallen into it too deeply. I wanted to work with music free of genre, so I once said on a show that I hoped someone would throw down a rope for me to hold. I was prepared for this since then."
All throughout the interview, he continued to emphasize that his new album didn′t mark a ′return′ to being a dance singer, but rather a ′challenge′ in the genre of dubstep. That was why, he said, the title of the album wasn′t ′Returns′ but Begins.
On dating in secret
Scandal, the track released as a preview to the entire album, is about the secret love relationships between celebrities and non-celebrities. As the singer himself had been a top celebrity in the past, the song can′t help but be taken as a true story of himself. When asked about the matter, Moon Hee Jun didn′t deny it.
"A lot of stars date like that. If someone asked me, I too would recommend that they date in secret. I don′t date in secret just because I was once a member of H.O.T. It′s because, to be honest, there isn′t one woman in the world who wants to open up her past to the public. Normally they want to hide their pasts and just concentrate on their one man. Though [the lyrics] aren′t very widely relatable, I still believe many will understand what they mean."
He said he had dated in secret even recently, but that he was currently single. The lyrics were written from his own experiences from the past, or from those of his friends.
"It′s not about any one woman. I used some of the stories I heard while talking with celebrities too. The key to dating secretly is that you have to give up feeling ′comfortable′. You can′t do what others do, and you have to do what they don′t. You have to stay in your car, and when you want to watch a movie, you have to go to a drive-in theater."
Will H.O.T. ever reunite?
The reunion of H.O.T. has been a rumor that has followed the members around ever since their disbandment, and a wish that has steadily continued to grow in the hearts of their fans. Hopes that H.O.T. would come together again grew when Shinhwa made a miraculous comeback and rumors flew that Sechs Kies was also preparing a reunion.
The members also felt the same.
"Up until exactly three weeks ago, we were talking about all the details. Some of the members practically coughed up blood in their efforts to bring the group together, letting go of everything else they were doing. We all needed each other. When [Lee] Jae Won was released from the army, we got together for drinks and agreed to come together, and we all cried so hard. I don′t know why we cried. One member said he had been ′so lonely′ and we all started to break down."
The reunion, however, has met many roadblocks. Their changes in status, as well as the problems in their contracts with their agencies, were some of the most important problems posed to them. Though the members continued to talk through Kakao Talk and met up to grab meals together, reality wasn′t so easy to overcome.
"We all share the same view, but it′s sad. Whenever we got talking about our comeback, and about our music, something else would go wrong. The main obstacle was that we were all signed under different agencies. We′ve never been jealous of Shinhwa when we were active as H.O.T., but after seeing them together again we became so jealous and sad at the same time."
Moon Hee Jun hopes people will keep this in mind
In the interview that lasted for an hour and a half, Moon Hee Jun tried to be more honest than any other singer. He tried to talk about everything he could even for the simplest question, and tried to make everyone understand by using as many examples as possible. He first spilled on even the most uncomfortable questions, then asked that the answers not be published.
Near the end of the interview, he sighed and talked about the biggest misunderstandings he′s often met over the course of his career. He also hoped to at least set them right through this interview.
"I′ve written my own songs for 15 years, ever since H.O.T.′s third album, but even composers didn′t know that I wrote songs for myself. It′s hard to write melodies and lyrics, but producing a whole track can′t be done without much effort and study.... I hope more people get to know that I write my own songs and lyrics."
"Ah, there′s another thing. It is true that I had a difficult time when I sang rock music because I had so many anti-fans, but my concerts all sold out, and I sold over 500,000 copies of my album. I did suffer, but I was doing okay financially. Many describe those times as my ′darkest time′... It hurts when I hear that expression. Couldn′t you replace it with something like it was a ′difficult time?′"
Photo credit: Line Entertainment, Kim Byung Kwan
Reach reporter Park HyunMin on Twitter @happygato!