Jin: I wouldn’t say “rate,” but I personally don’t like strawberry flavor. I don’t like chocolate, but I do like the chocolate flavor. Pretty picky, right? I only found out after debuting. So I cook and make food for the members, and Suga gives me the most detailed review. He says my food tastes the same as the place down the road. I don’t mind. I’m happy to make the food I want to eat, that’s all.
1. We noticed you take a bite of a strawberry-flavored pastry, then leave it. How would you rate the taste, as the best chef in BTS?
1. We noticed you take a bite of a strawberry-flavored pastry, then leave it. How would you rate the taste, as the best chef in BTS?
2. We heard you are really tidy. How do you react when members mess up the dorm?
Jin: I don’t clean anymore. Something competitive has come over me, almost. I noticed the guys don’t do the dishes, so I gave up and stopped doing them. But it still gets to me. I use metal chopsticks because I don’t like the way wooden chopsticks smell, but it’s sad that I can’t use them the way I want. I don’t think anybody else cares but I’m all worked up on my own. Maybe I’ll bring up the topic carefully when the place gets messy again!
3. What scares you the most, even as the oldest out of the Bangtan Boys?
Jin: Bugs and ghosts. I don’t mind seeing a bug but it’s so scary when it crawls up my body. Also I’m terrified of scary movies. As a freshman I bravely went to watch a scary movie with one of my friends who I was still awkward with - and I ended up in his arms. I might faint if we do a horror special later.
4. We’re told you’re a huge fan of Super Mario. Did you know they’re doing a Super Mario event at McDonalds at the moment?
Jin: I heard it starts in June. A friend of mine promised to collect all the editions because there are so many. Since I don’t like hamburgers I don’t think I can do it myself.
5. There are rumors you are an animation “maniac.” Is there a particular one you’re watching at the moment?
Jin: While I do enjoy animation movies, I don’t necessarily like the characters themselves. If you look at Mamoru Hosoda or Hayao Miyazaki’s work, there’s so much that cannot be expressed by real people. So when I watch a person acting, I find myself analyzing the performance, and when I think about how they’re trying to depict a certain character I lose concentration.
6. You might be the oldest at the dorm, but you’re the youngest at home. What are you like as a son or brother?
Jin: My brother who’s two years older always used to be the center of attention, but ever since I debuted I’ve become the “star” of the house! My aunt called me the other day and told me I’m the pride of the family. Nowadays I ask my mom to give my brother more attention because I’m getting more than enough. (Laughter)
7. You’ve already decided the name of your first born. Have you already made family plans?
Jin: I want a daughter first, and then a son. I really want my son to have an older sister (nuna). It’s always been something I’ve wanted. Everyone who has one tells me they get pocket money. My older brother (hyeong) used to take mine! And a while ago I remember being surprised when my friend’s girlfriend said she had to go home and make dinner for her younger brother (dongsaeng). That’s the first time I realized an older brother or sister could do something like that. I want to give my son the name “Yu-Sun” so he gets our family syllable “Yu” in his name. I got the name from Liu Bei’s son, Liu Shan. I remember I was pretty bummed when I found out I didn’t get the family syllable in my name.
8. Despite your delicate look, when do you feel your inner beast unleash?
Jin: I haven’t had that before, but maybe if I appear in a program like SBS “Law of the Jungle!” I might be super tidy indoors but I don’t really care when I go out. Unexpected, right?
9. It can’t be easy attending classes as a university student. What kind of student would you say you are?
Jin: I do take exams. Last Sunday I studied 8 hours for a subject called “Law and the Legal Mind,” but I still don’t get it at all. As juniors and seniors now my friends look really tired all the time. For me university reminds me of the good memories back in orientation week, but my friends are under a lot of stress at the moment due to job seeking.
10. If you could get away right now, what do you want to do most?
Jin: I have a list of restaurants I want to go. I would ask my mom to go with me. Isn’t life all about what you eat? It makes you feel good and everyone suddenly looks like an angel. Man, I’m only happy when I eat what I want. I was watching tvN “Let’s Eat” recently and the noodles looked so good that I went out to get some. But I regretted it right away, since there’s so much MSG if you eat out.
1. You looked super keen to get on the merry-go-around right away.
J-Hope: Well my nickname is “J-Horse” because my face shape is long, so maybe I was happy to find my friends. Hahahaha. I actually loved the merry-go-around as a kid. It’s not much, but I have a lot of fun memories riding with my folks. It takes me back to my childhood.
2. You are also the “hopeful” one in the team. What were you like as a child?
J-Hope: “For school...” I used to be pretty naughty. (Laughter) In middle school we didn’t have a canteen so I climbed a fence. I was diligent about attendance, though. In high school my dad was one of the teachers there, so I wasn’t anything like the kids that fooled around at the back. Not that my marks were good, or anything!
3. Do you have a side that takes people by surprise?
J-Hope: I love romance movies and I’m a pretty emotional person. Sine I was young I remember watching a lot of DVDs because my dad likes movies. He would show me old films and I would watch thinking to myself “what’s going on?” (Laughter) Anyway I think that sort of experience helps me when I’m writing lyrics. The saddest movie I watched recently is “Pain.” I’ve never been to the movies on my own but I’d love to, if I got the chance.
4. Do you like to push yourself to try new things?
J-Hope: Most people steer clear from doing something new. But that’s not me at all. (Laughter) Lately I’ve been thinking I want to learn a new language aside from studying more on music. Especially Japanese and Chinese. The Asian market is important, after all. Hahahaha. So I’ve made a study plan. Since it’s not easy for me to buy a book and study that, I’ve been trying to expose myself to the culture.
5. You broke your tooth in a chicken fight on SBS MTV “Rookie King BTS - Channel Bangtan.” Do you tend to get competitive?
J-Hope: When something’s on the line, I do go all-in. I think I’m more competitive now that I’m in BTS. Everyone’s super competitive. Back when I used to dance and compete in Gwangju I thought it was fine to fail because it was for the experience, but I’ve changed quite a lot. I get competitive when I’m playing games with the members and I think it actually helps us in what we do.
6. Are there times you go quiet even though you seem lively all the time?
J-Hope: I guess when I’m in the studio. Early in the morning just yesterday I had my lyrics checked and turned down. (Laughter) I try to reflect and write about my own story but it’s not easy. Lately it feels like I’ve been falling behind the others. I’m timid that way, so I keep this sort thing to myself.
7. Recently you were pranked on candid camera for your birthday. If you could prank someone else, who would it be?
J-Hope: Definitely Suga. I’m sure everyone else would agree. He’s usually pretty sharp and really hard to trick. I’d like to see him squirm! If we’re gonna fool Suga and make proper fun of him, we’d need to plan big and plan tactically.
8. Are you happy with your current styling, compared to the masked look for your debut?
J-Hope: It’s tough because I need to look after my skin now. Lately I’ve been struggling with acne. I try to be careful with cleansing and choosing the right skin products, but it isn’t really working. I’d love to have “silky-smooth” skin. (Laughter) Oh, and dying my hair for the first time in my life was new. It would be nice to try a funkier look with matching hair and clothes. I love a bright feel.
9. Some call you the next Kwanghee. What sort of entertainment program would you try?
J-Hope: I like shows like MBC’s “Infinite Challenge,” which involve physical activities as well as talking, or MBC’s “Radio Star,” where you’re on a panel and kind of “diss” others. MBC Every1’s “Weekly Idol” would be fun, too. I’d love to shoot with Noh Hong-chul! I prefer shows that are funny in a “freestyle” way rather than following a script.
10. If you could have just one day to yourself, what would you do?
J-Hope: I want to go on a trip and take loads of photos. Maybe since I wasn’t able to travel as a child, I obsess over it. (Laughter) I went on my first overseas trip after the debut as well. We went to Japan and it was the first time in my life I’d been on a plane. We also got an in-flight meal. If I go on a trip alone I probably won’t carry around a camera like Suga, but I’d take pictures on my phone of food, the scenery, and “selfies.” You know what they say - photos are all that last!
1. During the shoot you seemed a bit uncomfortable wearing shorts that reveal your legs. Were you embarrassed exposing them?
Jimin: I don’t mind showing a bit of skin because I’ve done it a lot since the debut. Actually my fans have been asking about my abs, but the truth is they’ve disappeared a little… I’ve started working out again, though! We don’t get a lot of time once we start with promoting, but I try to fit in an evening workout every day.
2. You tend to draw a darker eyeliner out of the members. What do you think is the correlation between eyeliner and inner confidence?
Jimin: To me eyeliner is my life. Without it I might get too shy to dance hip hop. Sometimes when I’m at dance practice without any eyeliner I find it hard to put on a fierce expression, because I look like such a softie in the reflection. (Laughter) But I wonder how to draw on eyeliner? I always watch closely when the makeup artist draws mine, but I don’t think I would ever be able to do it myself.
3. You’ve maintained black hair for a while now. Any plans to change the color or style?
Jimin: I’ve really been into clothes lately, so I want people to say I dress cool, but I haven’t really thought about my hairstyle. I mean sometimes our hairstylist makes subtle changes and I’m pretty satisfied with that. Easy to please, right? (Laughter) I’m more interested in earrings. Not long ago I got my cartilage pierced wrong, and my earlobe is a bit swollen. I hope to try again when it’s better. I don’t want as many piercings as Suga, but maybe 4 in total for both sides. So I just have one more to go.
4. You’ve just turned twenty. What do you think distinguishes a boy and a man?
Jimin: I wouldn’t say I’m a man just yet… but I think a man needs two things. He should carry a powerful aura. And I think he needs to have a good build (laughter). That’s why I’ve been working on my charisma and on building muscle, but I think really the key is to believe I’m the best. I’m not really good at that sort of mindset, so I’ve been trying to focus on improving my actual skills instead.
5. You are known to love superheroes. Who’s your favorite?
Jimin: Out of the “Avengers,” my favorite is Hulk. Most people like Iron Man, right? But I was impressed by how Hulk bashes the enemy without a care in the world. It’s cool how he doesn’t need to be cunning to take control of the situation.
6. All of the members, from the oldest, right down to the youngest maknae Jungkook, say they play the most jokes on you. Why is that?
Jimin: They told me my reaction is funny. Recently I watched a 4D movie for the first time and I was so impressed I exclaimed “the subtitles are in the middle of the screen!” The members were embarrassed for me and laughed a lot. I tried making fun of the youngest out of the group or even J-Hope, but always ended up as the joke. They always have a comeback and laugh, saying “is that all you’ve got?” And I usually lose the argument. So I’ve just given up. All I can do is hope they tease me less.
7. Apparently you are shy but you make it a hobby to win over girls? (Laughter)
Jimin: No way! I mean I could win over our members with a smile, but I’m hopeless when I’m in front of a girl. I don’t know why. I mean I’ve attended co-ed schools in middle and high school where I got along with both boys and girls. I’m probably a typical Busan guy who is really shy.
8. Jungkook, the youngest, always picks you as the 7th best looking in the team. If you could do the ranking, who would come first and last?
Jimin: It does kind of hurt a little whenever he does that, but I reckon Jin comes first, and… (looking at RM) since you look so good lately… let’s just say someone with the initials SJ. (Laughter) I don’t want to be too blunt.
9. Do you see yourself differently to the way others see you?
Jimin: I think people see me as a kid with a lot of extra cuteness (aegyo). But I’m not sure whether I have that in me. I’d say I’m just a kid who wants to look cool? I do admit I am like a kid. I’ve taken so many photos and I do look like one. And when I see myself acting cool on stage I can see how that can be cute.
10. We heard you are a soldier when it comes to practice. Aside from that, do you have any hobbies?
Jimin: I draw sometimes when I go overseas. I didn’t know this, but I think I like drawing before going to bed when I’m in another country. (Laughter) I feel like the drawings are pretty satisfactory. Recently I uploaded one and most of the responses were more like, “Good work. Bububu (ooh jjoo jjoo)!” But it’s just a hobby so it’s not like I try to wow people.
<아이즈> 와 사전협의 없이 본 콘텐츠(기사, 이미지)의 무단 도용, 전재 및 복제, 배포를 금합니다.
이를 어길 시 민, 형사상 책임을 질 수 있습니다.
사진 | 이진혁(Lee Jin Hyuk)
번역 | 심국비(Gukby Sim)