ASTRO’s MJ, Shin Joo Hyup, 2AM’s Jo Kwon, And NU’EST’s Ren Discuss Auditions And High Heels For Musical “Jamie”
Musical “Jamie” (original title “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”) held a press call on July 8 at the LG Arts Center in Seoul, where the four actors playing lead character Jamie opened up about their experience.
“Jamie” is a musical based on the true story of a high school student who dreams of becoming a drag queen, fighting against the prejudices of society to find who he truly is. In the Korean version of the musical, the character is being played by 2AM’s Jo Kwon, NU’EST’s Ren, ASTRO’s MJ, and Shin Joo Hyup.
They were asked how they got to know the role of Jamie, and Jo Kwon stated, “I was in the army, and I couldn’t forget that moment. As soon as I saw the audition notice, I knew that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I missed this opportunity. So I prepared for my audition while I was serving, and because we had to go to sleep early, I’d lie in bed going through the choreography, songs, and lines.” He added, “We didn’t have a full-length mirror so I remember looking at my reflection in a coffee pot to prepare. I wanted to show just how much I wanted it, and I knew that I had heels at home so I grabbed a pair of red heels and took them with me to my audition.” He added, “Being able to play Jamie is a dream for me. I go on stage every time with passion and sincerity.”
Shin Joo Hyup said, “I saw the audition notice go up in January, and I looked up the show on YouTube and watched the original run. That’s when I decided to audition.” He added, “I remember buying heels in Itaewon for my audition. As I’d expected, everyone I’ve met here is so bright and really treasures the show.”
MJ said, “I found the character of Jamie more fun because he’s still a student, and I thought the message of the show was so new and refreshing. I was curious how the character would turn out if I portrayed him, and it made me want to take on the challenge and immerse myself into the role.” He added, “I remember after group practice sessions, I’d stay behind to watch videos of ‘Jamie’ performances and filmed my audition tape. I found that I was able to become more immersed in the character through the audition, so I worked really hard to express who Jamie is as best as I could.”
Finally, Ren said, “I’ve always wanted to show off my talents and charms, but there hadn’t been many opportunities to do that so I was feeling hungry for that chance. I felt like it would be great to be able to properly express my energy through a musical. That’s when I learned about the auditions for this musical, and I worked hard to prepare for it.”
Choi Jung Won and Kim Sun Young play the role of Margaret, Jamie’s mother and his biggest support. They showed their affection for the four lead actors as they said, “They’re so cute, even just looking at them. They have their own unique characters, and they’ve bonded through their innocent and kind hearts. They proudly watch each other rehearse and find each other cute.”
The role of Jamie requires the four lead actors to wear heels during the production. MJ said, “I wore heels for the first time through this musical and on my first try, I couldn’t last five minutes. That made my realize how amazing women are for being able to work all day in heels.” He laughed and added, “Jamie really likes heels and I like soccer. So I put on the heels imagining that it’s like me putting on soccer cleats.”
Ren said, “The heels were really stiff at first, so I was getting blisters on my feet. It was painful and stung. I’d also never worn heels before, so I told myself to imagine that I had become Beyoncé and was determined to work hard.”
Jo Kwon shared, “Through ‘Jamie,’ I learned how to find myself. Throughout the 32 years that I’ve been alive, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to please everyone. So I’ve come to realize that being able to have the courage to take the path I want to take, both as Jo Kwon and as Jamie, without caring about what others think is in itself beautiful.” He concluded by stating, “This musical is the full package with a strong storyline and amazing performances. I hope many people will come see it and feel the message we’re trying to share.”
“Jamie” is set to run till September 11 at the LG Arts Center in Seoul.