Kpop Herald Recognizes Jang Keun Suk’s International Fans in Interview
On Thursday, May 19, 2016, Kpop Herald asked its readers to submit questions to them for an eminent press conference with Jang Kuen Suk and Yoo Jin Goo for #Daebak, the newest SBS fusion seguek drama offering. Unlike previous fusion segueks, Deabak (aka Jackpot or the Royal Gambler) is the story of a real prince, the son of King Sukjong, who died shortly after his premature birth (Yeonigso) and, through the creative imagination of the screen writer, takes the viewers on an adventure of what his life might have been had he lived as an outcast prince who was born too soon. His being born too soon casts a pall across his life and the lives of his mother and brother, the future King Yeoning, as well as causing political factional fights for his father, King Sukjong. Nevertheless, this young prince grows up as Baek DaeGil, never knowing his royal heritage and endures unimaginable hardships, loss and tortures…until the day arrives when he learns the truth. The story supposedly pits two brothers, Yeoning and DaeGil, against each other for the crown while at the same time showing how similar they are. They are, in every sense of the word, close friends and comrades in their fight against the political and economic corruption and injustice that infects Joseon society in the late 1600s and early 1700s.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Kpop Herald chose three Eels Family members’ questions for their article from the hundreds they received. Two of the questions are from residents in the USA and one from Australia. Two people asking the questions are members of The Eels Family (TEF) as well as being members of EelsUSA. EelsUSA is a recently created Jang Keun Suk fan club exclusively for United States fans of Jang. Although not yet certified, it hopes to become a subsidiary club to The Eels Family which is one of the main Jang Keun Suk international fan clubs. The Eels Family membership comprises fans from all over the world, including Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Central and South America, Canada and, of course, the United States. TEF boasts a membership in the thousands and is constantly growing as Jang’s reputation for music and acting spreads across the planet with lightening speed…and access to his concerts and acting performances became more accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The third TEF member who had her question answered is a long time fan of Jang Keun Suk from Australia where he is well-known and much admired.
The first question mentioned in the article came from a Jang Keun Suk fan in Kentucky in the United States. Her question was, “Your growth as an actor is apparent when watching Daebak. Though maturity is sure to have played a role, to what do you attribute this growth? Have you had to do anything in particular to prepare for this role that you haven’t done to prepare for others?
Kpop Herald edited down her question, but, nevertheless, posed it. You can read his answer in the published interview. He went on to respond to the two other equally complex questions posed by TEF and USAEels members. The mere fact that Kpop Herald chose questions from TEF and USAEels points to not only his worldwide appeal but also the native intelligence and curiosity exhibited by both The Eels Family and EelsUSA members. His “pretty boy” image not withstanding, they exhibit through their questions a desire to know the person behind the celebrity image and his motivations. Japanese fans have long been privey with the person behind the personality of Jang Keun Suk’s public image, but rarely has the rest of the globe had a peek into his world in a language they can understand. Kpop Herald chose to step outside of traditional boundaries by not only asking for questions from across the globe but also choosing questions from those international fans. That change is unique amongst Korean media and signals a recognition of Jang Keun Suk’s international fame and stardom that extends well beyond the accepted boundaries of Asia.
Here’s hoping that the rest of the media, especially in Korea, takes note that Jang Keun Suk is a highly respected and admired international actor and singer who shines a bright, glowing light on Korea.