[Trans/Scans] Changmin for “CUT” Interview – October Issue (Released on 140919)






[TRANS] CUT Oct 2014 Issue Changmin Interview by Shin Furukawa

* Shown in the parentheses are the direct translations of the original Japanese expression.

** note from me}

In the June, 2014 issue of CUT, Yunho of Tohoshiki talked about his generous/big-hearted and sincere way of life, where he tries his best in keeping his conscience and in protecting his friends, that was also synchronized with (linked to) the character, Do-Hoon, in the drama “ Yawang – King of Ambition”. This time, Changmin of Tohoshinki talked about his naïve yet passionate way of life, where he absorbs/digests all of the happy and sad memories and he takes solid steps up toward his future, that was also synchronized with (linked to) the main character, Min-Woo, in the drama “Mimi”. Both of them talked with words/expressions that would convey us directly about who they are (their personalities), and once again, I understood so well the charm of Tohoshinki that is filled with their down-to-earth human nature, which I could feel from their current stage works and sound sources. While having strong inner personalities, Yunho and Changmin have abilities to make other people happy in each unique fashion. “Cut” will continue to watch (follow) them in their group activities as well as their individual acting activities.

[About memories that I want to forget (do not want to remember)… if I do not have them, then the person called Changmin right now would not exist.]

Q: When you decided to play Min-Woo in “Mimi”… the person has lost his memories without his notion, and you needed to play two different characters for his past and presence time… I think there were many difficulties to clear that you did not experience in your previous career in acting.. What was the most challenging part for Changmin-san in this role?
CM: Indeed.. it is about the same person but there are two different characters. I guess it is a common pattern that a character has an another face or something has changed in his personality.. but in this role, it is the same person.. but he has lost his memories in certain time of his life, and because of that, there are two of him with different personalities.. something along the line.. It was described a little in the script… but including the part that was not in the script.. I needed to use my imagination.. What did happen to him during the period that he does not remember? and what kind of things had he experienced?.. What were the things that he was told by other people?… All of these made him to become an adult who endures such deep sorrows in his heart. Through imagining his past experiences, I also thought not only, “Oh, this happened to him, therefore his personality had changed.” but also something had must happened to him when he was a child and since he had the experience that affected him deeply to make him like this. I thought about the things that had slipped off his mind (memories) and memories in the past, and by doing so I tried to become the character… that was difficult.

Q: Oh I see. In other words, it was such a difficult task for you to imagine the whole picture of Min-Woo’s life. How were you be able to clear/make the task?
CM: For example, he seemed not to be wealthy (poor) relatively speaking.. did he move a lot? Because of that, it was difficult for him when he wanted to make friends. When he wanted to draw pictures he likes, it must had cost a lot ..more than that he anticipated.. What kind of part-time job did he have to make living (money)? How did he gain social skills as he grew up.. I thought about these things.

Q: You are the type who prepares for playing the character through imaging the details of the person’s life, and make your acting look natural (real). In the case of Min-Woo, was there any part of your acting that you were able to make good use of your own experiences?
CM: Instead of saying that I was able to make good use of my past experiences (my life up to now), I felt that I could understand feelings/thoughts of Min-Woo in his adulthood. He has lost the most beautiful and brilliant memories.. his first love.. he was the happiest (**) in his life.. therefore he is in the state of mind where he sees no light.. I think it is natural that such a person is desperate about finding his lost memories when he was the happiest (**). It did not take a lot of time for me to figure out (understand) about Min-Woo’s feeling that he wants to find them.

Q: I think that is it.. to express through acting that he faces the lost memories is the point of the drama (story) “Mimi” and the role needs to express the subtle shift/change of the inner feelings of Min-Woo. But I think Changmin-san is really good at acting something like that.
CM: Oh well, but the reason why I cannot say that I am good at acting is that.. this time.. it was the first drama after a long time/break.. and also I am not like a professional actor who thinks about acting all the time. Therefore, I feel a bit embarrassed/awkward if I say straight that I am good at acting this… Having said that, I wish to make the gap between the people who constantly thinks about acting and myself. Also I want to improve myself in acting a lot.. so I kept thinking only about that/improving myself and did my best for that.

Q: But recently, I think that the world of “Mimi” and something in Changmin-san’s personality are very related/close to each other. When Changmin-san writes lyrics as an artist, I see the theme of facing/dealing memories in the past and solitude appears a lot. Didn’t you feel the moment when something crossed over with your own expression/in lyrics, while playing the role, Min-Woo?
CM: Yes, I felt that sometimes but not so often… without me noticing, I guess we crossed over on occasion. Just like Min-Woo, I wish to face/deal my past incidents and memories… although they are good memories and bad memories.. I wish to accept everything and I hope to do my best to face/absorb them and carry on living.

Q: Okay, then you understood why Min-woo decided to take action (sympathized with Min-Woo who took action) in searching for his lost memories, did not you?
CM: Yes, It was similar when I played other characters.. this time, I began the process of acting through finding something in common between myself and the character. I think that it is the best if I could completely become the character, but.. I began finding something in common between us, a bit by bit, and tried to reduce the gap (distance) between us.

Q: I think the point where Changmin-san yourself and Min-Woo are common is that both of you care about your past and memories. Changmin-san, why do you care about your memories in the past?
CM: Naturally, there are many memories that I do not want to think about.. but I think I need to accept them.. because such bad memories… without them, I do not think the person Changmin now/present would exist. Because I had experienced a lot, I am here. Even that time, it looked bad/terrible.. but after time has passed, I look back.. I found not everything was bad. Therefore, I think that there is no such a memory that you want to throw away/trash.

Q: You live your life while thinking that sadness and pain will become your treasure for future.
CM: Yes, I think that if you can overcome a dark memory, it will become one of your good memories as an experience.

[I think it must be boring to retain a strong personality character from the beginning to the end.]

Q: I really loved the character Momo in Fly with Gold directed by Kazuyuki Izutsu.
CM: Thank you.

Q: He was wild and he was a bit masculine.. He is completely different from this Min-Woo.
CM: Yes he is.

Q: How do you feel about the gap between the sensitive Min-Woo and the wild and masculine character/Momo?
CM: Momo in Fly with Gold has some masculine nature.. but I think he also has the soft side where he wanted to protect his family. The gap is attractive and the each one of these characters has the gap. This time, Min-woo.. to other people, the MinWoo in his adulthood works so hard to look cool.. he is distant/cold.. but he is not able to stay completely cool. Because of that, he decided to look for himself in the past. I think because of the gap that Min-Woo has, the audiences loved him. For example, a very violent and scary person outside his home can be very gentle/caring to his family when he was with them, with mother, he can be an ordinary/normal son.. I think people has a gap like that.. I think the gap makes each people attractive. I think if the person stays being strong all the time (from the beginning to the end), the person is too simple and not interesting/attractive.

Q: Well then, When Changmin-san watches/observes people in your daily life, do you look for another side of the person or.. I should say.. something hidden under the surface of the person’s face..intentionally?
CM: I think I do.. I try to look for that.. although it is difficult for me to do..

[I was a timid and shy student, therefore I had no memory of the first love when I was a student.]

Q: What kind of an experience was it for Changmin-san to play Min-Woo in his high school era?
CM: First of all, I enjoyed very much the atmosphere where I put on the uniform for the first time in 10 years and was going to school. I felt that as if I returned to myself when I was in high school. But in reality, I did not have any memory of the first love. I was a bit timid and shy student.. thanks to this character, Min-Woo, I was able to play the love story in high school that I could not do in my real life.

Q: I think it was worth watching such sweet scenes, but also when I finish watching the drama to the end, I felt as if my heart/soul was refreshed (cleansed). Changmin-san, were you able to watch the drama from the viewpoint of audiences?
CM: The schedule while I was shooting this drama was incredibly tight/hard.. when I finished filming the drama, the feeling of “Whatever it is, it is done!” was very strong. But I think at the end, it is not only about the memory of Min-Woo’s first first love but also the drama conveys the message of “What is your memory about your first love who watches this drama? Were you the happiest (**) back then?”

Q: What do you think you will gain as Changmin-san, as an artist, through playing such a difficult role? (What kind of feedback do you think you will receive as Changmin-san, an artist, through playing such a difficult role?)
CM: When I write lyrics, I write it while picking one thing among many things that I experienced.. and I try to remember how I felt back then while simulating/imagining the scene… But I think I can experience something indirectly through acting. Acting makes possible for me to experience some conditions beyond what I have experienced so far.. and I think such indirect experience will eventually become my own experience and make influence on my lyrics. Of course, I think everything such as reading books, watching dramas that I am not in, and taking a walk benefits me.

Someday the two of them together

In their live performances (concerts), while Yunho keeps expressing his passion towards their fans through his character being naturally innocent, Changmin keeps bringing the temperature in the venue higher and higher (up and up) by exchanging small talks with Yunho in his sharp tongue that makes everyone who first saw him talking like that, taken a back/astonished. In their songs, Yunho frees his empowering personality directly and refreshingly, whereas Changmin tries to find the sincere way of expressing his inner feelings that moves people’s mind deeply, through diving into the depth of his own mind. The two of them, Tohoshinki, are completely different in their personalities and their approaches in communication. But the different forms mysteriously unite completely (make a perfect docking).
How were they in their magazine interviews? Both of them were quite gentle and cooperative. They were very positive, serious and passionate about knowing/learning/finding themselves through interviews. Not to mention about their stances towards their acting careers, they are so much alike, in terms of challenging themselves in their solo activities while sincerely carrying the sign board of Tohoshinki on their shoulders and staying hungry/keeping their earnest passion towards future and their growth/development.

{t/n: **Note: the original Japanese phrase used is “kagayaite-ita”
“kagayaku” literally means “shining””being brilliant” “glowing” “radiant”. when someone is very happy because of his/her success or the person is in love, in Japan we used the phrase that the person was shining, radiating happiness aura..

I thank to my dear friend, Numa-chan (@tatukuma910) for the Japanese text. }



Cut, Scans by Ourchangmin
Translated by @beriko0214
Shared by TVXQ! Express

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