The lifestyle of Nam Joo Hyuk who is slam dunking toward his goals
What do you usually do on a daily basis?
All my close friends from my neighborhood live next to school. I’m the only one who lives a bit far. Going out is annoying, so I mostly stay at home all by myself. (laugh) My new hobby these days is to go window shopping on my own, so I go here and there. When I’m bored, I go to the basketball court and I exercise. (smile)
Is there no model basketball team?
I don’t know. I think there’s none. If there’s one, do call me. (laugh) I’ve been watching “Cool Kiz On The Block” on KBS2 lately and they play basketball. When I watch the show, I feel like I can do even beter, so my body gets itchy. (laugh) Basketball aside, I also enjoy listening to music. (smile)
Is there a musician you like?
I really like the emotional strings representative Busker Busker. When I go to the noraebang with my friends, we even imitate them. (smile)
You seem to have excellent singing skills.
I’m not good, but I’m not bad either. (laugh) My favorite Busker Busker song is “Yeosu Night Sea”. When I sing it, I don’t know if people sleep because I’m boring. (smile) When I go to the noraebang with my friends and I sing this song, they say they feel sleepy and they turn off the song as soon as the 1st verse is over. (laugh)
Is there no book you enjoy reading?
I’ve been having many miscellanous thoughts these days, so I read books about dreams and future. I read “Don’t Say It Won’t Work, Don’t Say It’s Not”, an essay written by the late Im Yoon Taek who was a member of Ulala Session and I felt many things. I think whatever you do, if you don’t give up, it will come true. Have dreams and soon you’ll have goals. (smile) The question is will you do everything to reach this goal or not. After reading this book, I ended up thinking “if there’s something I want to do, I must definitely try to make it happen no matter what.” That’s why I took on the challenge of the “Model Academy 1-day competition” I talked about earlier. As soon as I read the ad, I told to myself “even if it doesn’t work out, let’s try first.” (smile)
Your life must have changed a lot as you started working as a model, how is it?
Before I became a model, I was only doing part-time jobs because I didn’t enroll in college. I was a waiter, (smile) I also coached a children basketball team too. I taught kids from the upper grades of elementary school to middle school. Kids at this age, they really don’t listen at all. In moments like this, I threw the ball far away and made them go pick it up. We joked around like this. (laugh) It was fun, but I no longer had time to coach them when I started attending the academy, so I quit. (smile)
How about your brothers and sisters?
I’m an only child.
Oh, you’re the one precious son, then. You said your parents were against you being a model at first. They must have been hurt when you said you wouldn’t go to college either.
Indeed. Models get many opportunities these days, but my mom says that it’s a difficult job even for the popular models who earn money. (smile) They were against me doing it because they said it would be hard to be successful. Since I also said I wouldn’t go to college either and was stubborn about it, they must have been quite upset, right? When I told them I wouldn’t go to college, they sent me out and said “come back when you earn money, even if it’s by doing part-time jobs”. (laugh) Although I was their only child, my parents were tough in the way they raised me. (smile) Anyway, I’m earning money as a model now. (laugh)
They must be quite happy now.
Oh, my parents are very happy. When they’re on the phone with our relatives, they brag about it and say things like “I didn’t know Joo Hyuk had skills like that”. I was just an immature son at home. As soon as I’d get home, I’d tell my mom “ah, give me food!” and we’d fight. (laugh) I didn’t listen well either. Me becoming a model so suddenly must have surprised them.
Did you invite your parents to the past 2014 S/S season shows?
My mom worked so I couldn’t invite her. I will invite her for the next 2014 F/W season. She might cry if she comes to the show. (laugh) It will probably be very emotional for her to see me walking like this, me who thought nothing would work our for me? (smile) Until then, to my mom, I was just the “child who goes to school and comes homes”. All I did was just going to school and coming home. (smile) Seeing how I joined the model academy without receiving any help from them and working like that after debuting, it’s something my parents are very proud of. They brag a lot about me when they go out. My relatives are very happy too. No one would have imagined that things would have turned this way for me. (smile)
Seeing your family happy must make you happy too. You’re fully working now, but you can’t experience the campus life. Do you have no regret about not going to college?
To be honest, when my friends all went back to school around March, I was jealous. I asked to myself why I didn’t go to college. I’m working a lot right now, so college isn’t that important for me.
When your school friends see you working these days, what do they say?
They blackmail me and say they will spread the weird pictures of me they have if I get popular just a little bit more, well. (laugh) I believe they’re not like that. I trust my friends. (smile)
Do you often interact with your fans?
I used to check my Facebook messages all day long and also replied to them. However, I can’t really do it these days because I’m busy. I replied a lot in the beginning, so there are people now who say “he has changed since he became popular” because I can’t reply anymore. (smile)
Please give them an explanation today.
It’s really not intentional if I can’t reply these days. To be honest, there were times when I received so many messages that I couldn’t read all of them. And if I reply every day, the mystery is gone. (smiles) I feel like my answer is quite inappropriate. (smiles) What do other people usually say in my situation? Do you have any hint?
There must hints in their interviews. (laughs)
Having fans who support me is something that I always cherish and I’m thankful for. However, I’m a model, so I think now is the time for me to work even harder so I can be recognized for my skills. Having people who still support me is a great strength. Some of them send me hand-written letters, and every time I read such letters, I get very happy. Thank you. (smiles)
Is there one fan you particularly remember?
Since I can’t reply to messages these days, someone wrote on my fancafé “I feel like I want to quit this fancafé”. And I saw that another fan wrote back “think from Joo Hyukie’s perspective. He’s busy, so let’s stay behind him and support him. If he finds out that his fans are already like this, do you know how discouraged he will feel?”. I was really touched. (smiles) I’m not replying to all the fans who send me messages about many things they’re curious about. I was planning to talk about it with Cuvism. (laughs)
When I typed “Nam Joo Hyuk” in the search box, one of the most popular keywords was “Nam Joo Hyuk namchinjjal”. [t/n: “namchinjjal” is like a picture taken in a way that makes it look he’s your boyfriend]
I think my pictures are often called “namchinjjal” because I have ordinary features that make me someone anyone could have in their entourage. (laugh) Some fans request me to upload many pictures. I feel awkward with taking selfies, so I can’t really do it. I didn’t really do stuff like this before, but I started doing it suddenly after I became a model, so it doesn’t work out well. My nuna manager criticizes me a lot for the weird selfies I take. Still, I was complimented recently for my selfies once. (laugh)
Who do you usually get along with/spend time with?
These days, it’s mostly Lee Chul Woo-hyung, Joo Woo Jae-hyung, Hak Soo Rang. When I’m back in my neighbordhood, I just meet my school friends. I’m also close with the hyungs who are in my agency, but we can’t meet each other on our private time that often. We see each other when we have the same schedule. Contacting often the hyungs first isn’t in my nature.
Which zone do you invest?
I’m often at Sadang station. It’s where my bus stop is. If by any chance you greet me at the Sadang bus station, I will shake your hand. (smile)
Hey, what handshake? It’s cold right now, please buy them at least a warm bungeo-ppang.
Ah, right. There are many places to buy delicious stuff in this neighborhood. I’ll be happy to buy you something. (smile)
You probably have a lot of interest in fashion since you’re a model. I’m curious to hear about the style you enjoy.
I like the casual and comfortable style. I reject styles that are complicated or that stand out way too much. There’s not one brand that I like in particular, but I like vintage clothes. There are many great vintage clothes. During the last collection, I bought a vintage mustang jacket and I wore it everywhere. I took many pictures with it and it got known here and there.
What is the thing you’ve been interested in the most lately?
I don’t know… For me, the biggest issue is how I got so many opportunities and got love for it. I think there’s nothing else for me to do but work hard. I must use my skills to make up for all the opportunities and love I received.
The unavoidable question your fans want to hear. What is your ideal type?
I like nice girls. I think it’s quite hard to explain my ideal type. Aside of a pretty face, it’s someone I feel affection for when I look at her. I think there are people like this that you keep think about even if you see them only once. Someone gentle and I’d get along well with. But if I answer like this, you’re going to ask me what triggers my affection, right? (smile) I think the feeling you get the first time you meet is important. I don’t have a girlfriend right now. (smile)
Christmas is near. Are you making plans?
I’ll be playing basketball too when it’s Christmas, right? There’s also an indoor court prepared, so I think it will be a warm Christmas. (smile) I hate going to crowded places because it’s the end of the year. (smile) I’ll just put on the socks hanging on the Christmas tree and I’ll go play basketball. (laugh) I’m trying not to make Christmas too meaningful. (smile)
What will you look like ten years from now?
I will probably do a job that isn’t modelling. If I end up dreaming about being an actor, I guess I might be an actor, I don’t know. And I definitely want to try to create the children basketball team I talked about earlier. (smile)
Please say a final word to our Cuvism readers.
I spent this year as a 20-year old. The fact itself that it is my first year as an adult makes it meaningful. Many things happened suddenly, so I think it was a year of joy too hard to handle for me. First of all, there aren’t many days left before the end of 2013, so I think I must use the end of the year to dwell over everything that happened to me and to become more mature. I talked about many things with Cuvism today. As I’ve been saying until now, I will become a rookie who will work hard to be recognized as a model. Please give me your support. Thank you for all the love you give me. I hope you will spend a warm Christmas and a warm end of the year! (smile)
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com