IS: Who is your favourite athlete?
KHJ: Kim Yuna. I fell under her charm while watching her compete in the world championships last year on TV when I was staying with SS501 in Japan last year. It was impressive to see her not get timid but confidently express herself although she was facing stiff competition from people like Japan’s Asada Mao. Even when she slipped on the ice, she maintained her composure, got up immediately, and put on a skating performance. That scene is unforgettable to me. Although she is younger than me, I could learn from how – no matter what the circumstance – she approaches everything that has to be done with the confidence that she is world-best.
IS: Who do you want to meet the most – in Korea or abroad?
KHJ: Definitely Seo Taiji. I listened to a diversity of music since I was young, but I admired and was envious of foreign music; particularly the rock genre. Seo Tai-ji & Boys’ “I Know” (”난 알아요”) was my favourite song when I was a student. I was extremely surprised that music like this came out in our country too. Upon hearing “Ultra Mania”, I made up my mind that I had to become a singer. I want to [meet and] say hello to the senior I respect, and also discuss music [with him] afterwards.
IS: Is there a skill/talent that you’ve worked on fine-tuning since you were a student?
KHJ: I played bass for a band during high school. I’m pretty good at guitar. If there’s a certain new theme (motif) that comes up, I enjoy expressing it on the guitar. I like the guitar so much that during my stay in Japan, I spent an entire day searching to acquire a rare guitar.
IS: Who is number 1 on your cellphone speed dial?
KHJ: I’m not smart, but I generally memorize the phone numbers that I use. I don’t specifically set speed dial.
IS: Which objects do you always carry around in your bag?
KHJ: Contact lenses and solution, a razor to shave my facial hair (five o’clock shadow) that has a bluish-greenish tinge, an extra pair of underwear and socks for overnight filming shoots – that’s all.
IS: Is there an actress you’d like to star opposite?
KHJ: Lee Hyori nuna. She was my ideal woman before I debuted as a singer, and following my debut, she is a senior I’m grateful to for giving me a lot of counsel. I want to show Hyori nuna that I’ve grown enough to work on something together with her.
IS: Is there a place you’d particularly like to go on vacation? Who do you want to go with?
KHJ: I’ve lived by Songpa-gu since I was young. They’re friends that I’ve spent most of my life with. I fear nothing when I’m with these friends. I want to go on a vacation to outer space with my friends and take on a new challenge against the limitations of life. Has this become too unbelievable?…
IS: What is your life motto?
KHJ: “Since you were already born, you should work hard to make your name known, help your less fortunate neighbours while living a life that earns respect.”
IS: Do you have any jinxes, superstitions or customs?
KHJ: Not any jinxes; I could say it’s a habit? No matter where we go, I think I always pay for the meals. When I get stressed, I go on fishing trips or listen to music.
IS: What will you do if your parents oppose your marriage like Boys Over Flowers‘ Gu Jun Pyo?
KHJ: I’ll push forward with it. I’m prepared to take responsibility for my life and am ready to stand up against my parents if it’s somebody that I believe I’ll spend the rest of my life with.
IS: What is your drinking capacity? Which alcohol do you like, where do you drink and with whom?
KHJ: I drink a lot. Soju. The location does not matter. With members [of SS501] or friends. A simple food cart (stall) is okay. [Grilled] pork and kimchi with soju is the best.
IS: What is the one biggest difference between before and after appearing on Boys Over Flowers?
KHJ: The age range of people who recognize me has widened. The character of Ji Hu itself has been an instrument (opportunity) for another Kim Hyun Joong to be born.
IS: A life crisis – when was the most perilous time so far in your life?
KHJ: When climbing up and coming down [Mount] Halla San on our farewell vacation on MBC’s We Got Married. It took five hours to go up, and 2 hours to come down. I thought it would be easy to climb, so I rashly ran up like a man, but my breath filled up to my chin. When coming down, I didn’t think I’d be able to get down if I paused at all from running, so I ran down without a break within two hours. In the end, I got to the sleeping quarters and passed out without even being able to film the final (closing) interview.
IS: If you get 10 billion won in your hand from winning the lottery, how would you distribute the spending?
KHJ: I’d give 5 billion won to my parents and 1 billion won to Lee Ho Yeon, the president of DSP Entertainment. I’d give 2 billion won to the less fortunate, and I’d like to share the remaining 2 billion with my friends.
IS: Do you have a secret to skincare? What is one skincare requirement for skin like a white gem?
KHJ: I receive treatment from the dermatologist often. Is my answer too honest? Keke (ㅋㅋ) I try to always wash my face cleanly (well).
IS: Do you have any sleeping habits?
KHJ: I sleep only in my underwear. I can’t endure heat, so I’ve slept wearing just underwear since I was little. I like wearing just underwear to sleep because I like the cool, soft feeling of the blanket touching my skin.
IS: Have you ever left a comment (reply) on the Internet?
KHJ: I don’t read negative comments about myself much. There have been times when after reading people’s assessments of me on fan pages, I have written my own opinions. Sometimes I post my feelings publicly, other times I post them privately. I often write harsh critiques of myself as well. I use Daum on the Internet frequently.
IS: If you get a girlfriend or if you have one now, is there endearing nickname you want to call her?
KHJ: I [would] just call her by her actual name. Unlike Ji Hu, I do not have a meticulous or gentle personality. I would like my girlfriend to be a person who is as comfortable as a friend.
IS: Approximately when did you date your last girlfriend? How long ago was it, what age and what occupation does she have?
KHJ: We broke up right after I debuted, haha (ㅎㅎ).
IS: If you get a girlfriend, what kind of present would you most want to receive from her?
KHJ: Actually, I’m more familiar with giving gifts rather than receiving them. Even if there was something I wanted to receive, I couldn’t tell her and just bought it myself. To that person I’m most grateful towards, nothing I give would be wasteful.
IS: Name a characteristic that you’re jealous of from each F4 member.
KHJ: Min Ho’s height, Beom’s maturity, Joon hyung’s personality?
IS: If you were given a perfectly [schedule-]free day, what would you want to do?
KHJ: I want to sleep the entire day.
IS: (Who manages your income?) How do you manage your income?
KHJ: I’ve held part-time jobs since I was young, so I automatically managed my own income. My parents trust me
IS: So far in life, what has been your greatest fortune?
KHJ: That I have my “testicles” friends that I’ve known since elementary school? Also, the fact that I’m a member of the group SS501.