“Discovery of ambition”… ‘Two-job idol’ Eric’s change of heart

Shinhwa’s Eric celebrates his 16th year as an idol, no, ‘pioneer idol’. His talents include his charismatic rapping and dance. He still commands a legion of oppa troopers, and maintains the dignity of a member of the longest-running idol group.

But as the actor Eric… It has been more humbling. Starting with his debut in 2003’s ‘Breathless’, he went on to appear in dramas including ‘Bulsae’, ‘Super Rookie’, ‘Strongest Chil Woo’, ‘Spy Myungwol’. But comments from the public were harsh. He even suffered controversies surrounding his acting ability.

But Eric has changed. Because of the drama ‘Discovery of Romance’. Right from the start he got to know about the essence of acting, and he has found his confidence again. He has received recognition not as an ‘acting-dol’, but as an ‘actor’. Furthermore, he has now developed a passion to become a good actor.

“The moment I received the script, I thought that I had to take on this project. Right from the start I stuck to my guns. I also told the members that I really wanted to do it. And so I acted with this ambition. Perhaps thanks to that? For the first time, there weren’t any bad reviews.

◆ “All this while, there was no pressing reason”

There are no pressing reasons for a person who has somewhere to return to. That’s how it is for Eric, who’s into his 10th year as an ‘acting-dol’. Even though he hasn’t had a hit drama since ‘Bulsae’ in 2004, he had nothing to worry about. He would just return to his day job as a singer. All this while, to Eric, acting was nothing more than a second job.

“Honestly, there wasn’t any great burden. I’m saying this very cautiously, but I thought acting was just one of many occupations. It was something I had to do periodically for the sake of the company. To me, since there were Shinhwa activities… It’s true that my mind was relatively at ease.”

What fired Eric up was ‘Discovery of Romance’. He explained, “Frankly speaking, I didn’t have a strong ambition towards my works or a strong aspiration towards acting. But I changed my mind the moment I saw the ‘Discovery of Romance’ script. I really wanted to be in the drama. It was the first time I ever had such an experience.”

This explains how he was absorbed in the role from the time he read the script. Eric emphasized, “There were many parts where I thought ‘this is my story’ when I read it. I wondered, if I could identify with the role to this extent, how would it be for other people? I wanted to convey the emotions that I felt to others.”

◆ “Somewhere along the line, I discovered persistence”

His ambition for acting was sparked off when he could identify with the character. More than ever, Eric was passionate. He cut down on his sleeping hours, and increased his hours of acting practice. To make Kang Taeha’s lines fully his own, he practiced and practiced repeatedly.

“I’ve never been this persistent about a project before. There were even instances where if there was a scene that I really wanted to do well, I would skip sleep altogether the night before. I prepared each gesture, expression and line in detail. Because I wanted it to be as natural as wearing my own clothes.”

He set a goal too. Which is to achieve more than 90% of what writer Jung Hyunjung has envisioned Kang Taeha to be. Eric explained, “The script was detailed and good to start with. I wanted to convey the feelings that I thought of when I read the script, in a realistic manner. If I could do that, I would really be able to become Taeha.”

Perhaps because of his excruciating efforts, Eric experienced moments when he became one with his character. “As we went on in the second half of the drama, I felt like I was turning into Taeha. Even when filming ended, I wanted to give advice to Yeoreum (played by Jung Yumi). That was the extent of how far I was into the character.”

◆ “Now, I want to be greedy”

The result was that for the first time in his life, he received recognition not as a singer, but as an actor. There were viewers who were afflicted with the ‘Taeha Syndrome’. His jealous gaze when he sees Nam Hajin (played by Sung Joon), his resentful tone towards Han Yeoreum, even the smile that tugs at the corner of his mouth after a kiss has earned him compliments for being really like Kang Taeha.

With all the good reviews pouring in, there’s every reason to be proud. But Eric isn’t so. Instead he says with a smile that he has developed a stronger desire. He hopes to be able to receive the good reviews he received as Kang Taeha even for his next project, to exceed the character.

“What is my next goal? I hope to give a favorable impression for whatever roles I do. To do that, I need to back it up with acting ability and be able to let viewers identify with me. I want to be remembered by the public as a good actor, and a good man.”

Of course, he has no intention of neglecting Shinhwa activities. He plans to balance that with his acting work. Eric added, “Shinhwa is something that I would never separate myself from. It’s a firm source of support for my individual activities too. As a singer, or as an actor, I would like to show the best of me. Please watch over and support me.”

Source: Dispatch

Eric on ‘Discovery of Romance’, “It’s the first time I’ve received such good reviews since I started acting”

Eric has expressed his gratitude for the good reviews he has received for his performance in ‘Discovery of Romance’.

In a post-drama interview held on 16 Oct, Eric expressed his thoughts after wrapping up the drama. “I’m happy that the drama wrapped up without a hitch. We’ve received a lot of love from the viewers, and friends and family have said that they watched the drama and found it interesting.”

“Discovery of Romance is a project that I really wanted to do from the start because the script is interesting. And also it’s a drama that I wanted to express myself well. At first I felt pressured and nervous but now I feel relieved. Since I started acting, it’s the first time we had good reviews and articles from the start til the end of the drama. Thanks to the articles and the reactions from people around me, the acting and the process of making the drama has been very rewarding.”

Source: TV Report

Words of advice from Shinhwa’s Eric to junior idols

Eric, leader of 1st generation idol group Shinhwa, has left some words of advice for his juniors.

In an interview held on 16th Oct, Eric shared his own thoughts on the recent spate of idol group withdrawals and controversies.

Eric’s group Shinhwa made their debut in March 1998 and has remained active for the past 16 years. As part of the so-called 1st-generation idol groups, Shinhwa is the only group to have remained active all these years without any change of members or disbandment.

When asked to comment on the secret to the group’s longevity, Eric calmly responded that “there is only a paper-thin difference”.

“It’s not that we’re especially different, and there isn’t any special secret either. We’ve also faced the same kind of dilemmas that they are facing now. Thinking about it now, just like the good rapport we have with the people we work with, we clearly had some good luck in some areas. Eventually, there is only a paper-thin difference.”

“The issue is whether we hang in there, or whether we insist on being stubborn. There’s nothing different for Shinhwa. It’s not that we’re particularly better people so we give way and tolerate one another, even for Shinhwa we’ve also experienced very stormy times. Fortunately we weathered those times well, and I’m thankful to the members.”

Shinhwa, with its title of being the longest-running idol group, has been referred to the most by younger idol groups, who look to Shinhwa as role models. Though Eric humbly said, “I’m not in a position to offer advice to the juniors”, his heartfelt words about weathering the stormy times can’t get any more touching.

Eric cautiously added, “It’s something that could happen to anyone. Just that at the decisive moment, it’s important to think twice.”

Shinhwa is currently preparing for their new album, and is scheduled to make their comeback with their 12th album in the first week of 2015, their 17th year since their debut.

Source: xsportnews

Eric, “Discovery of Romance is the only drama the Shinhwa members didn’t criticize me for”

Eric shared the reactions of his fellow Shinhwa members to his recently-concluded drama “Discovery of Romance”.

When asked for the members’ responses to the drama, he shared, “They said it was interesting. They didn’t have any specific comments, but this project is the only one that they didn’t have criticisms for.”

“For the works before this, if my habits or tics were obvious or if there was anything strange, the members would point it out. This time round, there wasn’t anything like this and I felt a little bored and unsatisfied.”

Source: MBN

Eric, “The idol actors these days are doing well, Im Shi Wan especially stands out”

In a post-drama interview for ‘Discovery of Romance’ held on 16th Oct, Eric has praised idol actors for their performances, in particular singling out Im Shi Wan.

“The idol these days are doing very well, and it seems that the barrier between actor and singer has been broken down a lot. Nowadays when trainees enter the company, you won’t know what they will become. Depending out what they start out as, now there isn’t much of a great difference between singers who started out as actors and actors who started out as singers.”


“Actually there isn’t much of a significance to these young people. As I get older, doing acting projects while being part of Shinhwa, I can feel a wall of difference between the roles of a singer and an actor. But these days, they have received physical training from a young age, and to them there’s no significance in setting up a distinction between singer and actor. The younger they start out, the better they are.”

In particular, Eric gave praise to ZE:A member and actor Im Shi Wan for his acting skills.

Source: Newsen

Mun Jung Hyuk, “I want to be the first in Shinhwa to get married.. Before 40”

Shinhwa member and actor Mun Jung Hyuk has expressed his envy for younger idol group members who have gotten married or are getting married, “I would like to get married before I turn 40.”

When asked for his thoughts on younger idols getting married, such as Sunye of Wonder Girls, and Sungmin of Super Junior, he replied with an earnest “I’m envious.”

“The Shinhwa members have also reached the age to get married. Rather than to say that it’s because we’re idol group members, it seems like it’s because of our careers as entertainers (that we’ve yet to get married).”

“Even without taking into account the fact that our work becomes difficult after getting married, it’s not easy to meet anyone while holding a job like this. I want to meet and date, if there’s someone nice.”

“I’m not young anymore too. I want to be the first among the Shinhwa members to get married. I have to get married before 40.”

Mun Jung Hyuk will be planning to take a break after wrapping up “Discovery of Romance” and will be resuming album preparations and activities with Shinhwa after that.

Source: Star News