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BEST known for being the leader of popular boy band SS501 and his role in the hit TV drama Boys Over Flowers, Korean actor-singer Kim Hyun Joong will be in town next week as The Face Shop’s new ambassador.

In this interview, the 24-year-old heart-throb discusses joining Korean idol Bae Yong Joon’s artiste management agency in June, his rebellious childhood and his views on love.

 

You’ve said before that your role model is Bae Yong Joon. Now that you’ve joined his company, how do you address him?

I call him Yong Joon brother. I can’t just call him Yong Joon, right? Calling him boss would be very weird too.

 

What was your first impression of Yong Joon?

The first time I met him, I was very nervous. When I saw him get out of the car, I thought he had a lot of charisma. He seemed like a king.

Because I had often read reports about how he had a certain air about him, in the beginning, I didn’t dare to say much in front of him.

But after getting to know him, I realised that he’s someone just like me. He’s not the arrogant type.

 

Do you meet Yong Joon often?

People may think Yong Joon acts like a “mysterious” person who does not mix with people often. But it is very much the contrary – he hangs out with his friends a lot.

We are 14 years apart in age but we get along very well. I meet up with him about two to three times a week. We would sit in a cafe and chat about random stuff such as TV series plots and music.

Sometimes when we drink, we will even talk about our experiences with our ex-girlfriends.

 

Is it true that you’re a good boy athome?

When I was in primary school, I was indeed a very good and responsible student. I even won the Best Pupil award quite a few times.

But I started to change when I was in secondary school. For example, when my parents drove me to school, I would pretend to walk through the school gates but sneak out later to find my friends.

My friends were very into music. It got even worse when I grew older. I joined a band and quit school.

My parents had violent objections to my decision so I moved out of my house.

I found work at a restaurant selling fried chicken and used the money I earned to buy a guitar. At times when I ran out of money, I would even resort to busking.

My teachers never gave up on me though. So with their encouragement, I eventually went back to school and finished my studies.

And because I “entered society” earlier than the rest of my peers, I find that I now know how to live my life more responsibly.

 

Are you someone who will give up everything for love?

I once dated a singer for about five months.

At that time, I did not like keeping our relationship a secret. So I would often go out with her for movies and meals.

I’m the kind of person who will put everything I have into a relationship. I also believe in love at first sight. If I like someone, I won’t hide my feelings. I will chase the girl passionately.

I like girls who are cool. For example, if we were together and I received a call from friends asking me to go for a drink with them, she wouldn’t mind if I left her to join them.

 

Do you like to exercise? How do you maintain your physique?

I exercise every day and play soccer.

If I carry on with my current exercise regime, I will be able to maintain my physique.

I actually believe that I will be able to maintain my current physique even when I hit 40.

 

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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