121009 [TRANS] Interview with 10Asia: Eunhyuk, “Whether it is a variety show or dancing, nothing should be done excessively.”October 9, 2012 at 2:11 am | Posted in Eunhyuk, Interviews, Wonderboys | 22 Comments
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He is not a leader nor a maknae. He does not act nor is he a main MC. And yet, he has succeeded to be one of most known members of Super Junior. On stage, he is the rapper that holds the center, and on variety shows, he interrupts like a ninja and shoots his sense of humor like a spy. The reason why others can listen to him when he says that he knows how to slowly and constantly improve in the fast-moving industry is not because that sentence is well worded but because he shows this through his slow, not exceptional, but calm and orderly steps that he took for the past 7 years since debut to get to where he is now. He has learned to give up to get to a higher place tomorrow. This is the conversation with Eunhyuk, who has transformed to a professional celebrity.
Q: You are very active in variety shows. You must feel the popularity yourself.
A: I think I was more comfortable because I was with my members. When I am by myself, I get shy but with members, the experience itself is very fun. When we were on JTBC Shinhwa Broadcast, hyungs were there and it was so much fun that I want to do like Suju Broadcast later.
Q: Especially on Radio Star, you weren’t very upfront and yet the timing was great.
A: I really wanted to be on Radio Star because Heechul hyung said that I should be prepared because I was going to be the MC next. (Laughs) I was preparing and thought that this would be my chance. But when I was actually on the show, the things I say and the stories that I tell are not the ones that I prepared. During our debut days, we planned everything for variety shows from the performances to the things that we were going to say. But, if we do things just as it is, it is more natural and we realized that unexpected things can happen as well. If I was funny on the show, that would mean that that was my… natural sense of humor? (Laughs)
“To be loved constantly, you need to push and pull.”
Q: If you were not prepared, that must mean that your original character is reflected on the shows. Are you the negotiator in the team?
A: Yes. I don’t talk much but listen to others first. Usually, Teukie hyung wraps things up, but I try to negotiate both sides when needed. That’s why on shows, I cannot talk very well. Teukie hyung would set the story up, then Shindong hyung would continue on and I would comment here and there. I think the combination of us three was great.
Q: Were you held back a bit because there were so many unique members in your team?
A: First, my personality is very shy. I can only talk with the members so freely because I have spent many years with them. But, if I were to talk to strangers on shows, I am very quiet. I am trying to change my personality a bit.
Q: On SBS Strong Heart, the guests change every week, so it seems that you feel sorry or shy when you say some mean things to them.
A: I think that’s why it’s good. People have told me that because I look shy, they cannot hate me when I say mean things, so I try to make use of that. (Laughs) I guess they can’t hate me, so I can do more.. .
Q: But you relentlessly make fun of yourself. You call yourself an anchovy?
A: That’s because I really don’t mind. I like being comfortable with others. I think anchovy is a very comfortable and friendly nickname. It’s not just anchovy but world anchovy, so there is nothing bad about it. (Laughs). I think character is very important in variety shows. I think it’s good that I have my character with that nickname.
Q: I think if you keep doing variety shows, you will not only understand your character but also your role. It must not be easy-going back and forth between the prey and the predator.
A: I think I’m a genius (Laughs). Others have told me that I am doing well, but I monitor a lot. And I always think that I should not cross the line. I think if you draw the line and cross it, there will be no next. If I show my 100, then people will be able to predict me and I don’t like that. I think it is scary that once a celebrity has been used up, they will become old. I think to be loved constantly, you have to push and pull. So, I try to show about 60, 70 of me, so that I don’t show my everything at once.
“I wear size 100”
Q: Now you are able to analyze entertainment industry, but I heard that you were not one of the variety show members in the beginning.
A: In the beginning, I was to be just a … quiet and serious rapper. But, things changed in the middle. My first variety show was back in 2006 on SBS Full House. I was supposed to be a guest member but became a permanent member. I love to prank and play around with people I am close with. That side of me, I think came up on the show. When we were trainees, we would copy a variety show and I would always be the main MC. But, I don’t think I was able to hide my playful side.
Q: It must have been confusing between your given role versus your playful side. But, in the end you chose your playful side.
A: In the beginning, it was very confusing. But, as Kyuhyun said on Radio Star, for celebrities to do what they want to do, they first need popularity. If I want to do my kind of music or dance, popularity is important and that’s how I realized that I needed to do variety shows. After I have realized that, it was not stressful. I feel like variety shows suit me and now my goal has changed to becoming an MC.
Q: Since that is your dream, it must be discouraging when you do not get much reaction from your comment.
A: But, it usually works. (Laughs). I make decisions quickly and I am able to look around a bit, so I think I understand when a comment is not going to be funny. When on a show, a member might ask me about what they want to say, then I would find the right timing for them to say it. I think it is better to say what matters, even though you might not get much spotlight, than to say something awkward and make everything awkward.
Q: I think you are someone who does not overdo think but is very logical.
A: I don’t like overdoing things. On Radio Star, I said that I wear size 95 very loosely, but I actually wear size 100. When I go to a clothing store, they give me size 95, but it’s very tight. My trainer told me that people actually think that I am like an anchovy and why I tell people who I am but I was just going with the flow and trying not to overdo anything. Nothing should be overdone. When I exercise, I don’t try to make big muscles, but smaller and more natural ones and even though I am interested in fashion, I don’t try to stand out.
Q: That’s why you’re not in the top most good looking members but one with the most charms.
A: My face is just right. It is not too good looking but not too bad looking and that’s why I think my face and atmosphere changes a bit with each concept. I think others think that I am also because I laugh frequently. Thanks to that, I have a lot of wrinkles. I laugh very easily, and because I am on shows very often, wrinkles around my eyes are increasing.
Q: You might be worried about around your eyes, but your view must have expanded because of variety show.s
A: If I did nothing but Super Junior related things, I would develop much slower. Through variety shows, I have met different people and have heard different stories and I think because of that my thoughts have changed. I think I would have been very stubborn to do my kind of music and my kind of dance. But because I have met so many people, I think I have learned much and learned the importance of working the crowd.
“I think it is just a bit more important to look cool while dancing.”
Q: I think it is also the time to guard what is important to you while doing all these different things.
A: I think that’s dancing. Variety shows are a medicine but also poison to Super Junior. There are people who view us as comedians and do not think of us as singers. There is a very fine line between a funny person and a ridiculous person, so often times, I am very cautious to not cross that line. But, many sunbaenims tell me that if I work hard on stage and on shows, then people will eventually accept me. And it seems that people have accepted us since we have worked so hard. This will be the homework for me, but I think it is just a bit more important to look cool while dancing.
Q: I think because of that, the performances seem to be centered around you, especially during SPY.
A: Being in the center for a group is very important. That’s why in the beginning, it was the good looking Siwon who was in the middle, but I really wanted to dance in the center. I felt like I was being unnoticed among so many members. It is very difficult to divide the parts amongst us. If a song does not have a rapping part, then I worked hard to sing something. That’s why I tried to participate as much as I could and I think my parts are increasing a little. Actually, until recently, I did not like dancing on variety shows. I did not want to look funny while dancing but because it was variety show, I had to be funny. But, in the end, I think it does get unappreciated.
Q: I think devaluation comes from the lack of updating rather than skill. Everyone knows that your schedule is very busy.
A: Right. We never have time. Trend is very important to dancing and I want to know that trend but I do not even have time to have lessons. That’s why, before Sorry Sorry, I took lesson by lessening my schedule. That song did very well, and our schedules became even busier and I was not able to improve as much as I wanted to. I couldn’t do much about that, and I was thankful of that situation but it’s something that I wish I managed better.
Q: It is important to do well in the circumstance given.
A: Before, I was stupid and I would just do whatever I could. I practiced all night to show something through dancing, but my health was damaged and I was not able to do my schedule. That’s when I thought that I should do just enough. I started to control myself to do just enough. Honestly, it is not something that I can show by just dancing and doing nothing else. It is important to balance everything that I need to do as a celebrity and as an idol.
Q: It is amazing how realistic you are when you have fans not only in Asia but also in Europe.
A: Our team members always have a sense of disparity. It was like that before we debuted, and it is still the same. We always feel that we are lacking something and that we need to be desperate. That is why we do not want to end anything. When we have a concert, Teukie hyung would gather us to his room. Even if we do not have much to say, we would talk all night because we do not have that much left and that we would not be able to gather that many times from now on. We would talk about lasting as long as possible and things that. I think that connects us and we bond much like that. Teukie hyung did that very well.
Q: Your role in the team must change when the leader enlists.
A: I don’t know yet, but I think about it a lot. Each member must feel responsible to lead the team, not as a leader or as a hyung. I try to negotiation things when arguments happen and like that, I am slowly forming my role. I look at comments often and I have learned much about the flow. I have become immune to bad comments as well. I have been preparing for the empty seat that Teukie hyung will leave behind in the variety shows when he enlists. Since last year, I have left the radio DJ and have left SBS Starking to stand on my own without Teukie yung. I don’t know if hyung is hurt about it, but because I have been with him on all the shows, I thought that I needed to practice being away from him. I cannot get used to it yet, but recently, new people have come to our company. Hopefully, that has increased my chances of being partners with one of them… I am anticipating.
Q: In the industry, and since you are in a big group, you seem to keep your pace rather than comparing yourself with others.
A: I think that’s just my personality. I can get competitive and do not like to be compared to but I do not get excited about those things. And as I have been in Super Junior, I have decided that achieving something as a team is more important than trying to show that I can do something. I want us to survive as long as Shinhwa sundaenim, no even longer and win. We sometimes joke around and ask what else could we possibly do if we left Super Junior or did not even become a Super Junior in first place. But, I think we need to think about that. The members are people who shine because they are Super Junior. I think those kind of thoughts keep us moving.
Q: You do not overwork nor do you stand out. Do you get angry easily?
A: No… except when I’m eating. It’s strange, but even though I do not gain weight, I am very protective of my food. Members often tell me to look less serious when I’m eating. That’s why if I ever do a show related to food, I will work very hard. Really.
Translated by Jee (@jeee54)
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