siwon in hongkong

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Interview ELLE MAN with Siwon

Just when Hongkong women are crazy for Korean dramas, Super Junior comes again. Although the senior male group has debuted for 9 years and is no longer Junior, the fans didn’t become weak despite the surge of new Korean boy bands debuting. Instead, they stood firmly on Hongkong’s stage. Their popularity and status remain as Super. Folks still forked out cash immediately when they come to Hongkong for their concert. Among them, Choi Siwon, who has a lot of female fans, arrived in Hongkong a few days earlier than others. Many female fans waited day and night to see this handsome face, to listen to his Cantonese greetings followed by Korean, ‘Hi everyone, I am Choi Siwon.’

This interview was surprisingly done using English. We prepared the questions in Korean, thinking that he will be happy with them but he spoke English to us. The reason behind is pretty direct “I don’t like it when I can’t express myself.” In these 9 years, the Korean has worked hard on his English. “I realized that being able to understand but not express myself is an uncomfortable feeling. So I wanted to learn English well, this is my personality.”

So for the past 9 years, he has been working hard while working in many places. Today his Twitter has more than 4 million followers, he can speak Korean, English and Mandarin. Playing well with languages, he can even speak Japanese and Thai?!

“I asked my friends to help write them!”, this is more reasonable, else this man will be too flawless.

“I want everyone to know what kind of person I am: friendly, interesting and sincere.” So he continued to not depend on the translator, trying his best to express himself, letting others find the real him between the languages.

“Everyone knows that the Korean entertainment industry is very strict with Korean celebrities, fortunately my managers trust me very much; they know what kind of person I am, I like to express myself and they let me express myself freely.”

Debuting in 2005 then he sang and danced. Members of the same group have their own schedules and they sometimes gather to perform together. 2 years ago, he started getting Chinese films and dramas, right now is like half a Chinese industry celebrity. This year, the 10 brothers gathered to have their concerts and also to mark their 9th anniversary.

“I like to be with my partners. After the concert, we celebrated SJ 9th anniversary with colleagues from Hongkong and designers. We had some red wine and visited a pub I like very much in Tsim Sha Tsui. Then we had some soju and beer, we are always like this when we have beer, drink it in one shot!”

He also joked that 9 years has too long. “I don’t want to play with them, haha! I see them too much, and we are starting to get old, what is there to play,…”

He was gesturing a lot when talking about it, he treasures them even though he said 'no’.

“We have very different thinking but we chat a lot, I prefer to be the listener. If I am to choose the one that I communicate with the most, it will probably be Leeteuk, we get along well, he is the leader.”

Especially recently he has been working a lot on movies, “Everyone has a kind of connection in the movie industry, our thinking is the same.” He is even a workaholic that doesn’t want to rest.

“I will prepare for the next job if I have no work.”

Each SJ member will have holidays of a week to 10 days every 6 months. Siwon’s habit is to keep his behaviour in check even during play. “I only rest during my holidays, have some beer or champagne. Going to a party and getting drunk is not relax, I think resting for 5 minutes or 30 minutes after work is relaxing. Am I weird?”

This is the 2nd time for Siwon to be on the cover of ELLE MEN. He expressed that he is more excited this time than previously when the shot was done in Korea, and the staff in Hongkong is friendlier than those in Korea. A total of 6 sets of clothes, separated into the 1st and 2nd half. Half of them are flowery and the half is classic winter wear. It is obvious that Siwon prefers the latter, he become more enthusiastic as the shoot continues.

“I don’t like shopping, but I will get those clothes that can be worn for many years. Like the sweater and shoes that I am wearing now.”

The shoes that he is wearing now were bought from USA and he has been wearing them for 8 years. He will definitely wear them every time he goes overseas, the reason being he wants to give each of them a story.

“Like this bracelet, it was handmade by a man in Isreal, there is only one in this world, it’s unique, seeing it is like seeing the shadow of the designer and his thoughts.” Every time he wears it to a place, it will have another story. More importantly. the clothes must fit, the colours are important too, you will never be bored with black, white and blue.

“Of course this doesn’t include handphones. Handphone is the only thing that I change often.”

He doesn’t care too much about fashion, or actually he just looks good in everything he wears. Or maybe we can put it this way, he doesn’t want to own things without thoughts, just like his love.

 Previously when we interviewed Siwon on ELLE MEN, Siwon said that he is too busy to date. This time he has another explanation, “I have time for dating but I didn’t come across someone that I want to love; The person I am waiting for, the person that I want to love, my ideal type, is someone that will treat my family well, and someone that has good relationship with her family. She will be a good bridge between my family and her family.Yes, I have always been waiting.”

Romance has always been a taboo for Korean stars. So it was surprising that different members are revealing their relationships this year. Like SJ’s Sungmin who is getting married soon. Everyone is concern about their romance and everyone said that Siwon’s is the top choice as a boyfriend for girls. This is undeniable, but we are surprise that he is more like a good husband.

“People in this generation often only care about their own work, only think about themselves, neglecting their family, no time? No. No heart. They didn’t love their family life.”

Indeed, he is a family man, 2 bonus points added to him for bringing his mum to Hongkong this time.

“I wanted to see her more, both of us are busy but we try to see each other and spend time together; I always want her to come see me if I have performances overseas.”

Most importantly, it’s for his mum to take a break. “Women, especially mothers, need time for themselves, because they often take care of the family and accompany husbands, they will want to have more private time.”

How can this man worry about not having love?

Lastly we talked about this year’s Christmas. He already answered before I get to ask, “Christmas working, no vacation!”

It’s time to work again, reminding us, “You know there are many awards ceremonies and performances in Korea during this time of the year. Right now I need to prepare 1 Chinese drama, 4 movies, the concert tour which just started, 2 albums and other schedules and CFs, so… no time!”

Doing volunteer work with family and then have lunch together, play with his dog Bugsy… maybe all these can only be done when he retires. When talking about Chrsitmas presents, he gave a surprising answer. “Presents, it will be the best to give money! My family will like it very much (joking)! Especially for mum. I will give her shopping vouchers or air ticket but the best present should be spending Christmas with them. Fans don’t have to give me presents, just give me a receipt of donation for charity.”

Recently I saw a Korean variety show, Super Idol Chart Show, which shows that Siwon is very popular among Korean females between the age of 30-40. He laughed upon hearing this… “I should tell them 'Are you free tonight? Give me your number, I will call you (in Cantonese)’ of course I am grateful to them!” Siwon attracts noonas? He said he is just growing up with fans, just like the sunbaes Jackie Chan and Andy Lau, growing up and getting the acknowledgement from the elders. This might be the moment that Siwon has been waiting for.

trans credit: luv_opera

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「Fan Account」 A fan noticed @Siwon407 jogging on the road and told the translator to warn Siwon that it’s dangerous. The next day, Siwon went to the gym and bought a treadmill (omg, BankWon) Also when he was jogging, he kept greeting the people, as long as anyone look at him, he will wave warmly. Including cyclist, drivers, dog walkers and even the dogs. 

Credit: 我不是刘婧
Translation by: @Luv_Opera