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Please Call Me ‘Jitterbug Bi’

Posted August. 19, 2003 21:53,   


“How should I say? High-class gigolos feel filled with vitality? A combination of virtuous face and immoral body?”

PD Lee Hyeong-min gives comments about Bi as above.

Pop singer Bi (21) makes his debut in acting as the star ‘Sang-du’ of new 16-volume KBS 2 Monday and Tuesday drama ‘Let`s go to school, Sang-du!’ (Script by Lee Gyeong-hee, production by Lee Hyeong-min) on the 15th , following the completion of ‘Scent of Summer’. He appeared for a single shot in MBC Thanksgiving day Special parody drama ‘Haejeok (Pirate) becomes King of Disco’ last year, but this is his first serial drama.

The hero of ‘Let`s go to school, Sang-du!’ is an ‘immoral guy’ as in the title of Bi`s first song ‘Bad guy’. He is playing a role of a gigolo who lure missy ladies in their 30s and housewives in their 40s or·50s. However, according to assistant producer Gwak Jeong-hwan, Sang-du is “a shrewd and snobbish character who makes others feel pity after getting aware of his behind story; a playboy who has sad back appearance.”

Sang-du is a single father. He is luring rich woman with flashy dancing skills to earn medical fee for his young daughter. He also enters high school as late learner in the age of 27 to see his first love Eun-hwan, who is math teacher in the school.

We interviewed Bi at KBS annex on the 13th when he had his first script rehearsal. He was wearing plain flower patterned shirt, but we felt the scent of floral type perfume from his body.

― Bi`s image is good-natured and bright. I am not sure if mean-spirited facial expression during acting is suitable.

“It is time I should get out of shape now. I will not consider hair style of make-up at all and go on simply and decisively.”

― You dance jitterbug instead of your sexy and powerful dancing in the drama.

“I don`t know about jitterbug steps, but didn`t learn individually. With music, I can make it with the step. It may be difficult when it comes to salsa dance……”

― Do you think you possess a strong point that housewives might like?

“I have more fans in their 20s and 30s rather than teenagers. Other singers receive candies or chocolates for presents from fans, but I get more ‘expensive’ ones such as underwear, watch, or clothing. (smile)”

― This is your first debut for acting. Is there any hardship expressing a middle-depth character with thoughtlessness and sadness together within?

“My partner Gong Hyo-jin teaches me well. She tells me in detail how I should act differently according to Sang-du`s emotional changes.”

―There is scandal with Gong Hyo-jin.

“Since I am such a poor actor, the author told me to accompany Gong Hyo-jin and learn from her. Maybe that is the cause for the scandal.” PD Lee Hyeong-min gave reasons for why woman are so excited about Bi, “It is the desire to deviate from mannerism of a ‘perfectly good-looking’ male figure.” and that, “Post-modern image with young-looking smile and comfortable facial expression with muscular body and low-tone voice is the substantial qualities of Bi.” Upon this evaluation, Bi said, “Maybe it`s because I do not talk very much and have simple character. I cry at sad times and laugh at happy times. I don`t think much if there is confusion.”

Bi was ‘queasy’ during script practice. He looks at a woman in her late 30s for a chance and approaches saying, “What made my ‘honey’ get so mad?” and changes attitude and accent immediately saying, “Nothing…. You look really sexy today,” when the woman sharply responds “What?”.

The production staff made a brief comment on Bi`s first script acting, “To regard his acting as a song, musical interval and rhythm are unstable, but with abundant and excellent emotional feel.”

Seung-Jae Lee sjda@donga.com