SBS’s “Rooftop Prince”, which eventually emerged victorious from the intense competition between the Wednesday-Thursday dramas of the three major broadcasting stations. In the confrontation between the three dramas, which began and ended on the same day and at the same time, there were a lot of twists and turns, but for the final episode, it was “Rooftop Prince” which ended with the highest viewership ratings. At the centre of this drama is Park Yoochun. His acting abilities have been recognised as he played the three roles of the crown prince from Joseon, “Lee Gak”, “Lee Gak who was pretending to be Yong Tae Yong” and “Yong Tae Yong” naturally. He made his transition from a singer to an actor, and this is his third successful production since he achieved much success with “SungKyunKwan Scandal” and “Miss Ripley”. We met with Park Yoochun, the “crown prince” who descended from his rooftop house, at a Western restaurant in Gwanghwamun, Seoul.
-The drama has finally ended with first place in viewership ratings. We were particularly impressed by your tears.
“In the drama this time, there was not once when I had to force out the tears. There were no instructions in the script that said ‘cry’… There were two kiss scenes in the drama, and I ended up crying both times? The first was when Lee Gak admitted that he liked Park Ha. Thinking of how, as the king of a country, he would have to give up many things, I ended up tearing. The second time was during the wedding scene in episode 19, I cried a lot because I felt it was such a pity. Ji Min nuna started crying even during the rehearsals. All the staff excluding the director cried. If I were Lee Gak, I would not have let go for sure. He really is an idiot. In the time when they let go of their hands temporarily, Lee Gak disappeared and returned to Joseon.”
-There was much worry as to whether everything could be concluded nicely since there were many loose-ends to tie up, but the ending received good response.
“It is different from the original ending, but I think it is even better. As everyone may be aware, the wife of the scriptwriter passed on. It can be felt from the script how much the writer misses his wife, because I can understand those feelings, I could immerse myself in the scenes. This is particularly so for the 20th episode. During the after-party, the writer himself also said, ‘It is also my own story.’”
-In the drama this time, you had to use three different manners of speech, Lee Gak’s manner of speech, Lee Gak’s manner of speech as he was getting used to modern life and Yong Tae Yong’s manner of speech. Was it not difficult? Whose idea was in to use the spectacles to mark the transition?
“In the beginning, it was already written in the script for spectacles to be worn, so it was very helpful. Lee Gak and Yong Tae Yong could be differentiated through the spectacles. The modern day manner of speech is faster, while the ones used in period dramas are slower, so it is not easy to mix both. There was quite a bit of difficulty. At the beginning, because I was ambitious, I ended up having even more NGs. I did not want to just get it done poorly.”
-What was the most difficult part and the part which you regret the most?
“Having to work late into the night everyday, and only going home once every week. I would fall asleep without even getting to watch the broadcast. As most of the scenes were filmed outdoors, the filming schedule was the hardest because it was so tight. We almost had broadcasting accidents. I felt it was a bit of pity that aspects such as in the middle of the drama, when Lee Gak discovered that his feelings towards Park Ha were changing, and why his attitude towards Sae Na were as such, could have been developed further. It is a drama that actually requires a lot of expression, but quite a lot of the process was omitted.”
-During this period of time it seems like you’ve totally immersed yourself in the role of Lee Gak. Many people say “Lee Gak” is very similar to how “Yoochun” is in real life.
“Yes. So it felt more comfortable, but at the same time I was more ambitious. When I looked at the script, I was already thinking about how to portray it. I did not feel it while we were filming, but after that I realised that I received a lot of comfort from Lee Gak all the time.”
-Do you feel like you have grown a lot through the production this time?
“During ‘Sungkyunkwan Scandal’, because it was my first production, I did not have time to think much and it was over very soon. During ‘Miss Ripley’, I felt a lot of pressure. During the filming of the first episode, I came this close to saying ‘I can’t do this.’ Even lines that could just be said easily made me think so much. For the production this time, to be honest, I did not think ‘I must do well’. There was no pressure or stress, so I could naturally immerse myself in the character. I had more freedom.”
-What was it like working with Han Ji Min, who is 4 years older than you? Did you see her as a woman?
“Ji Min nuna is really as easygoing as people say. It feels like she’s the girl (older sister) next door? I did not have to intentionally try, we became closer naturally. But on set, I did not call her nuna, but rather as ‘Park Ha’. It is the same for everyone else. I addressed them by their characters, such as Sae Na, Chi San and Man Bo. Seeing Ji Min nuna act, I really did think that if a person with a character like Park Ha’s really existed, she would be very charming. But after filming ends, she returns to Han Ji Min, so it wasn’t much of an issue.” (laughs)
-During the ceremony of the “Baeksang Art Awards” which was held previously, you were together with your younger brother Park Yoohwan, who has begun acting?
“It was a totally different feeling from when I attend awards ceremonies with the members. Seeing Yoohwan doing well along his own path, I can enlist without worries. I plan on enlisting within the next 1 to 2 years. I worry about whether my family will be well taken care off while I am not around, so I am thinking I should take care of everything for them before I enlist. If i were to talk about a dream I have, it would be to attend the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ with Yoohwan one day. I want to work on a project with Yoohwan one day, something like ‘a story of brothers’. It’s like we are not brothers, but acting like we are brothers. In the future, if we become veteran actors, we should be able to do that right?”
-What do you want to do now that the drama is over? Your next project is?
“I spoke with Tae Sung hyung about this before, we want to bring tents and cookware, and tour the country by car for about 1 to 2 weeks. Personally, I hope that be it through television broadcasts, a play, or an album, I hope to come back soon. Without breaks in between, I hope to make a decision by the end of June, then I want to undergo acting training. I guess the role of the bad guy will have to wait. At the filming site, there were young female fans who took a few steps backward upon seeing Tae Sung hyung (laughs). In the future I want to try out the intense role of a bad guy, something like a psychopath.”
-Do you not want to date?
“Hmm, I’m not sure. Someone who is good to my mother? If we were in love, is it not natural to be filial to the parents of both parties? I hope it will be someone where I can proudly introduce no matter where we go. Someone that everyone will approve of. No matter what, because I am an artist, so when we are together I think it is important for her to be able to adapt to the situation. If it is that kind of person, I would have thoughts of going public with the relationship.”
Source : BaiduTVXQ + Sports Kyung Hyang
Translation credits: dongbangdata.net
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