TV man Hong Suk Chun is different from his cheerful and easygoing image. In real life, he’s very delicate and meticulous. It’s the reason people around him often call him perfectionist since he’d rather cut off on his sleep time or his vacations than being negligent either for a TV show, family matters, his cooking business or a performance.
Recently, Hong Suk Chun added a musical to his already busy schedule. In the musical “Nunsense A-men” which is about male nuns, he plays the role of Leo [t/n: or Rio? Romanization and I don’t mix], the youngest nun. TV and business keep him busy non-stop for the end of 2013. “The pleasure I get from performing on stage is like a drug,” Hong Suk Chun said with a bright smile as he was in his waiting room, wiping off the sweat after his “Nunsense” performance.
“To be honest, people around me told me I was crazy. They asked me why I would do a musical when I’m already so busy. But musicals make me high, it’s like a drug. There’s always something going on, always something to think about. Seeing the audience’s faces, being on the same stage as young actors bring out a very good positive energy.”
To the question “is there a particular reason for him to do “Nunsense” out of the many musicals out there”, Hong Suk Chun replied that “it’s true that people my age are limited when it comes to casting opportunities, but the “Nunsense” musical CEO personally came to find me and offered me the role. Seeing his courage, I didn’t think about my salary and decided to accept the role.”
When we met Hong Suk Chun, 10 months had passed since his “Healing Camp” episode was aired on SBS in March. At that time, he was moved as he explained: “I think that today many people genuinely acknowledge me”. After that, he joined the “Witch Hunt” variety show on jTBC and even got nicknamed “Top Gay”.
About how he lost his name because of the nickname “Top Gay”, Hong Suk Chun said: “saying the word “gay” itself wasn’t easy before, but recently I had an ajumma walk up to me and ask me if I was that Top Gay, so people’s perception changed a lot. I’m really thankful for that.”
Before the interview, Hong Suk Chun revealed carefully his plan of running for elections. To the question “how detailed his plan is”, he replied with the most serious expression we had ever seen from him until this moment. “I think it would be a bit complicated to plan something for next year, but I’m thinking about running for a local election in 5 years. I’ve been living in Yonsan-gu in Seoul for a long time and sometimes I think to myself that I’d do better if it were me running things. At first, I was half-joking about it, but now I’m putting together a plan one thing after another. As Yongsan-gu is Seoul’s core, won’t the smallest change would lead to greater change on the scale of the Republic of Korea?”
Hong Suk Chun revealed his “everybody wants to live in a happy world” vision. The time it took him to get closer to this universal wish through pain wasn’t short. “By running for office, I think I will give strength to people who are discriminated against or are neglected. I don’t want to be the head of the Office who only uses the money for election and doesn’t know people. Although it makes me nervous, my wish is to take on this challenge with fun.”
A bit more concretely, there is one issue we asked his opinion about. It was “same-sex marriage”. Recently, movie director Kim Jho Kwang Soo and company CEO Kim Seung Hwan said they were preparing legal actions to legalize their marriage. This brought more attention to the issue of same-sex marriage. About this, Hong Suk Chun honestly confessed: “I really support Kim Jho Kwang Soo-hyung who is my trust-worthy sunbae from the movie department of Hanyang University, but to be honest, I have never thought about marriage in my entire life because I thought there was a long way to go before talking about it.”
From TV to business, performing and even politics. It’s been 13 years since Hong Suk Chun became the first Korean celebrity to make his coming out and he is spending this year busier more than anyone else. As he considered that “tears and sadness are life’s luxury”, he endured his own pain and overcame people’s cold perception. His existence itself gives strength. He became an unique character of the TV world and he has another reason to look forward for the future.
As there’s little time left before the end of 2013, Hong Suk Chun said that “losing someone I loved” was his biggest regret this year. This was the down answer of the one who had chosen “love” as his best goal back in an interview in March. “I made my coming out to find love. I guess it’d be fair that my goal in 2014 would be also to find love,” Hong Suk Chun brightly and confidently said as he shared his clear view of 2014. Hong Suk Chun who is overflowing with humanity is looking forward to find again a beautiful love.