IS: Who is the person you want to meet the most?
KJ: I want to meet Seo Taiji – who has been my idol since I was young – the most. Even as an elementary school student at the time, it was apparent that he was leading [Korean] music in a new direction. He was unique, and I was amazed. In spite of the fact that it’s been 17 years since his debut, he continually releases albums and works energetically; I think that he is truly respectable.
IS: Who is your favourite athlete?
KJ: At the peak of my interest in sports, I was manic about the NBA. I liked Michael Jordan the best. His extraordinary skill is one thing, but the fact that even his name itself can give off a strong force also makes me jealous.
IS: What is your life motto?
KJ: My motto is, ‘[It’s more important to] try your best rather than become the best.’ When I was young, I went to a souvenir shop with my parents and got a wood block that was engraved with [that] passage. Although they’re words that I received randomly, I like them.
IS: Is there a skill/talent that you’ve worked on fine-tuning since you were a student?
KJ: I’m most confident in my rap skills, as I am in charge of rapping for T-Max. I liked dancing when I was young, but I don’t think I can do anything special compared to others. I am pleased that I can freely come up with material for when I create raps and write lyrics.
IS: What has changed since you’ve become a member of F4?
KJ: I think the way people see Kim Joon has changed. There are people who are seeing me in a new perspective, and people who are seeing me for the first time. At restaurants, I get warm greetings and cheers from ajummas. Plus, as the drama has gotten extremely popular, I think I’ve been receiving a lot of care.
IS: If you became a chaebol (tycoon) like your character [in Boys Over Flowers], what would you most want to do?
KJ: I would check my bank balance. I think I would feel so content as I look at the amount and think to myself, “So this is how much I have…” Actually, I’m curious if people who really have that much money check how much their fortune is as well.
IS: If you get 10 billion won in your hand from winning the lottery, how would you distribute the spending?
KJ: Initially, I’d like to put it neatly away for savings. I wouldn’t want to spend money recklessly on things that I hadn’t planned just because I got a lot of money at once.
IS: Is there an actress you’d like to star opposite?
KJ: Since I’m still unfamiliar with acting, I haven’t given a thought to which actress I’d like to act with. I’m just happy that acting seems to have given me a lucky break.
IS: Which websites do you have bookmarked?
KJ: There’s no particular internet site that I visit regularly. I just check the internet daily to watch for articles related to Boys Over Flowers, me, or T-Max.
IS: Name a characteristic that you’re jealous of from each F4 member.
KJ: I’m envious of their age and experience. Although I’m the eldest among the F4, experience-wise, I’m just a rookie. Although they are of less years, they started earlier and have more experience. I have the thought that compared to myself, they have more time to show [their work, talent].
IS: So far in life, what has been your greatest fortune?
KJ: I think my luckiest break has been debuting as a singer for T-Max.
IS: When was a critical moment (crisis) in your life?
KJ: The time I spent as a trainee singer was a critical time. It wasn’t so much that we suffered many hardships, but the uncertainty while waiting to debut. Like the expression ‘It’s darkest before the sun rises’, up to the time of debut, it was difficult to not know what would happen.
IS: What is your drinking capacity? Who do you usually drink with?
KJ: My limit is about one bottle of soju. There are many times when I drink soju with the people I lived with and shared joy with during a period of difficulty – my T-Max members.
IS: What are some objects that you always carry around in your bag?
KJ: These days my cellphone is the most important item. I need to take care to have it constantly because I don’t know when, where, what kind of call I’ll receive. I think it’s become more important than my wallet.
IS: What method do you use to relieve stress?
KJ: I relieve stress by letting out roar-like screams. When I was young I used to exercise and play games to relieve stress. However, once I started this work, I haven’t had time to exercise and play games. Hence, I got into the habit [of yelling]. So when there’s stifling or annoying circumstances and I can’t express my feelings, I let out a scream. Sometimes I scream (howl) when something good happens too.
IS: Which three objects would you take with you if you had to be stuck on a deserted island?
KJ: I would have to take my cellphone, mp3 player, and water. If possible, I’d need to contact people; listening to music is a must, and since I’d get thirsty….
IS: If you were given a perfectly [schedule-]free day, what would you want to do?
KJ: Due to the tight filming scheduling, there have been many nights when I couldn’t get proper sleep. Once [Boys Over Flowers] filming is complete, I want to make up for all the sleep I missed.
IS: (Who manages your income?) How do you manage your income?
KJ: My parents manage my entire income. These days I haven’t had many reasons to spend money due to my schedule, so I haven’t been getting much allowance.
IS: Approximately when did you date your last girlfriend?
KJ: I haven’t dated anyone since before my debut.
IS: What do you consider the most when looking at the opposite sex?
KJ: I think the personality of the woman is more important than her appearance. Truthfully, if your heart begins to develop feelings for someone, wouldn’t you be attracted (drawn) to them without specific reason?
IS: If you get a girlfriend, is there endearing nickname you want to call her?
KJ: I’m not very good with using cute nicknames so I tend to just call the girl saying ‘Hey you! (야!)’ or by her name just like a friend.
IS: If you get a girlfriend, what kind of present would you most want to receive from her?
KJ: I would want a handwritten letter from my girlfriend. Not many people handwrite letters nowadays, but I think a letter is the best way to express and store your true feelings.