NOT everyone can say they’ve been on a Zoom call with Korean superstar Park Seo-joon, who’s best known for his roles in the sageuk or historical drama Hwarang, the romantic comedy What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, and the coming-of-age dramas Fight For My Way and Itaewon Class. I have, along with 50 or so fans and casual admirers of the Korean actor who is a sought-after endorser and ambassador for several brands in South Korea and the Philippines.
One of these brands is telco Smart Communications (Smart), which recently hosted Smart Hallyu Hangouts. This virtual event featured Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin of Crash Landing on You fame. This time, it was Park Seo-joon’s turn and the telco very kindly invited us, along with other members of the press, to be part of the event in partnership with Viu.
Park Se-joon was launched last year as an endorser for Smart’s Giga K-Video data promo in collaboration with Viu, While the public got to watch Park Seo-joon answering questions from Sam Oh in the Philippines and a Korean MC in Seoul on the GigaLife App, we were on Zoom. It was the same experience (I watched Hyun Bin on the app) except that we got a “photo opportunity” with the actor. It was a virtual one, of course.
“More than just a trend that has seeped into our new digital lifestyle, hallyu or the Korean wave has allowed us to find bits and pieces of happiness and of ourselves no matter the kind of K-life we’re in. Along with our partners at Viu, we’re very excited to launch a new session of Smart Hallyu Hangouts to give our subscribers another reason to smile, feel inspired and feel kilig as they watch and interact with Park Seo-joon,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.
Smart Prepaid and TNT users need only to subscribe to any Giga K-Video mobile data promo to watch the live event. The promo must be active on the day of the event and used to access the GigaPlay App.
Meanwhile, Smart Postpaid subscribers need to use their plan’s data allocation, which they can conveniently track on the GigaLife App, to be able to watch Park Seo-joon and other Korean stars on GigaPlay.
The actor did answer some questions, and thanks to Sam Oh’s excellent translations, I am sharing some of them with you. The questions were included in the different segments of the virtual event.
Sam said, “We asked him about his height because when we look at articles of him after a press conference or whatever, they will always comment a lot on his height. They say they have the ideal height difference with his female costars. We asked him how tall he is.
“He is 185cm tall. He’s not sure who decides that standard of the ideal height difference. Honestly, he says he doesn’t really think about this all that much because he thinks every time there is this new
project, it’s his acting that is the most important thing, so the height is not something he thinks about. But we asked him if this was something that works
to his disadvantage sometimes because he’s tall, and he says, ‘Not really.’ Again, he doesn’t really think about this and I think his fans really just like seeing pictures of him. You know, we like tall men, he is a tall guy, and as fans we just appreciate all sorts of pictures of him,” said Sam.
The actor was also asked about his language skills as he seemed to have spoken Spanish fluently in the variety show Youn’s Kitchen, which was filmed in Spain.
Park Seo-joon seemed bashful about this. He seemed embarrassed about being dubbed a “language genius” by a broadcast program in Korea.
“He says that he’s not really super fluent in any of these languages, especially not on a level where he can show it off, and what we saw in the shows, for him it was really like a mode of survival. He really tried his best and he thinks his fans really just look at all things very positively. He says that when he entered that show, it was Season 2 and he just didn’t want to be a burden to the rest of his castmates. He had very little time, he was told that he was flying to Spain at the last minute, so he took that short time to just learn as much Spanish as he could,” said Sam.
After this, Sam asked Park Seo-joon to say something in Tagalog and he said, “Salamat.”
In another segment, Park Seo-joon was asked what his personal goal in life was.
“Well, there are many, but he thinks that maybe that can all be summed up in trying to be a good person. So Son [Korean MC] asked Park Seo-joon, ‘What is your idea of a good person?’ He says it’s someone who does his work well, it’s someone who is a good influence because he is not blind to the fact that his fans are influenced by him and so he wants to make sure that he is a good influence to the fans, and also in the realm of family life he wants to be a good son. So when he puts all of that together, for him that’s trying to be a good person.”
Park Seo-joon is in Korea after being in England for two months to film The Marvels. He said he was still jetlagged. It’s amazing that despite being a big star, he said he was spending a lot of time on the couch in the living room of his house, which he shares with his parents. Why the couch? This is because if he spends time in his room, he would barely see his parents as he’s returning to England soon to resume filming.