Text & Photos: Lee Wei Lin
Videos: Teng Siew Eng
Talk about having an elephant in the room. Officially, Kim Ki Bum is still a part of Super Junior but in reality, the mere mention of the words Super and Junior in the same sentence will probably earn you a one-way ticket into his minders’ bad books.
Questions about the group, including seemingly harmless ones such as “Which member do you contact the most?” were unceremoniously struck off even before he and his entourage touched down in Singapore, but not without a note stating that a blanket ban on questions related to the group, his past activities and singing in general was in place.
To further drive home the point, all one-on-one interviews strictly followed a prescribed list – even requests for the entertainer to elaborate on his answers were flatly rejected – and no questions were allowed during the press conference: all questions were posed by the host.
Granted, his silent and abrupt disappearance from the group activities during the Sorry, Sorry era set more than a few tongues wagging, but the 26-year-old’s focus on acting in recent years has sent out a clear message that he is probably more interested in what he is currently doing. Why then, we wonder (along with everyone else), why managing to broach the subject is as likely as bringing a real elephant into the room. Not that we are blaming the quiet actor – his sincerity when answering questions is apparent when he paused to think before thoughtfully answering them.
Having spent the majority of his time recently in China working on dramas, he tried to tell us with great gusto the Chinese phrase he most commonly uses – one that loosely translates to communicating heart-to-heart – but was met with blank faces due to his slightly-off pronunciation. After trying a few times, he burst out into embarrassed laughter and checked with his minders on how to say it and ensured that we understood him before moving on to the next question.
“I would describe myself as an ‘actor’. I think the word represents me best and that’s why I can only think of this right now. I’m usually very quiet and I don’t move around a lot but I can show the most of myself when I’m acting,” he philosophised, emphasising that his first love is indeed acting. Having debuted in 2004 in Korean drama April Kiss, his passion for acting took the backseat when he joined then-project group Super Junior 05.
Letting out a chuckle when he heard the word ‘super power’, he went on to share that the super power he would like to have is teleportation. “I thought of this a lot even when I was in Thailand and Hong Kong. (I wish) I could just go to different places when I wanted to so that I can see my fans more often,” he mused. “It’s the first time I will meet my Singapore fans and I’m really nervous (because) I want to get to know them and for them to know me as well,” he confessed. We can’t say for sure, but we think that fans have waited for the opportunity long enough that being able to see him is already a small miracle in itself.