Friday, December 18, 2009

Hyun Bin's Song Picks

If you define being in your 20s as being ‘full of energy’ and ‘rashness’, then Hyun Bin could not be said to be in his 20s. When he was 22-years-old, he was Kang-gook who could curl up in front of the only man who ever accepted him in MBC TV series “Ireland” and at 24 he was Tae-woong in KBS drama “Snow Queen” who could not easily say the words ‘I love you’ because of a friend who died. And although for the first time he laughed and became angry, expressing his emotions outwardly in MBC’s “My Name is Kim Sam-soon,” he stood out because he calmly talked about his brother’s death on Sam-soon’s boat. He was the same in “Friend, Our Legend” as he stood in the midst of violence. That is the path Hyun Bin has taken as an actor ? portraying the maturity of a man in his 30s with his deep eyes and lonely-looking grin rather than the youth of a man in his 20s.

Hyun Bin showed fans another side to him with his recent film “I am Happy”. Choosing to take on the role of Man-soo with which he has no commonality to seems to be proof that Hyun Bin may be entering round 2 of his acting career. He had the determination to “try hard although not confident of doing a good job”, concentrating on the smallest details such as the timing he would shake his finger, and found fun on the set he felt was “suffocating”. He is now waiting to turn a new chapter after having asked himself the ontological question of ‘Am I happy?’

That is why the fact that Hyun Bin is only 27-years-old still comes as a surprise. Unlike many actors in their 20s who like to reveal themselves, Hyun Bin has kept himself entirely concealed in the characters he has played. Viewers only become more curious to know what his average day is like. That is why 10Asia asked the music he enjoys listening to when he is alone. It may not be everything, but at least a peak into his daily life.

1. Damien Rice “O”
The first musician Hyun Bin mentioned was Damien Rice, an artist frequently mentioned by many actors. Hyun Bin chose songs “Amie” and “The Blower’s Daughter” as his favorite songs from Rice’s album “O”. “’The Blower’s Daughter’ was the soundtrack in movie ‘Closer’ too. I really like both the music and the movie. The soothing sound of the acoustic guitar makes you feel calm but I think I listen to is a lot alone over a glass of wine or beer. (laugh)” A man standing on a desolate field sways from the breeze. And he hears a voice from nearby. This image itself produces a gloomy feeling but the lyrics “I can’t my mind off of you” shakes the listener’s heart even more.

2. Jason Mraz “Mr. A-Z”
He may have revealed his fit physique in KBS TV series “The Snow Queen” and may be a member of the celebrity baseball team Players, but the ordinary viewer may not easily relate the word ‘athletic’ with Hyun Bin. However, he is in fact a workout mania and will “stretch while listening to Damien Rice or Jason Mraz”. It is because their soothing voice and melodies helps to ease the body of tension. His song choice “Bella Luna” in particular was also used in the MBC drama “Soul Mate”. “I like K-pop songs too but I tend to listen more to American pop… I think it’s because I’m the States because of my movie,” Hyun Bin said. So we asked him if he understands English better now. He responded with a smile, “It hasn’t made much of a difference.”

3. Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow”
If Hyun Bin stretched out while listening to the two songs aforementioned, now it’s time to run. “The beat in the song makes your own heart beat faster. That’s why I listen to it a lot when working out. I can’t even tell how time flies when I’m listening to it while running on the treadmill. I was in Busan once and I had never ran like that before during an hour-long period. I’m going to try it again for an hour and a half.” The Black Eyed Peas album “The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)” that the group released for the first time in four years, topped the Billboard chart for 12 weeks straight. They have also seen explosive popularity in Korea, performing at the Pentaport Rock Festival and holding two concerts in the country.

4. Lee Seung-chul “Part 2”
27-year-old Hyun Bin, often called a so-called ‘grown-up youngster’ and mostly has older friends around him, chose Lee Seung-chul’s songs as his next pick. Hyun Bin could have mentioned Lee’s more recent songs such as “Never Ending Story” or “Love is Difficult” but instead turned to his older songs. “I’m not from his generation but for some strange reason, I find myself listening to old songs. I think my friends have had an influence on me too. (laugh) I actually don’t know the more recent songs too well. I think it’s because I always listening to the same songs or I just listen to the ones already on my i-Pod. I have to get in my van to listen to the more recent songs. (laugh)” Lee’s “1st Album Part 2” is a masterpiece which does not contain a single song that should go to waste.

5. Boohwal “Lyricism”
Lyrical ballad is actually the genre that suits Hyun Bin’s image. In that regard, Boohwal’s 10th album fits Hyun Bin like a suit. “I can just picture the emotions one is feeling while watching the person that they love leave them in ’Imagine’. And I really like Jung Dong-ha’s vocals. I also like the song “I remember” from their 25th anniversary album. I guess this is the most recent song. (laugh)” Some may know Kim Tae-won as the ‘granny’ on variety shows these days but without him, the group’s leader, Boohwal would have not been able to last for 25 years and create songs which leave lasting emotions.

Reporter : Jang Kyung-Jin Photographer : Chae ki-won Editor : Jessica Kim

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