The Korean production of French musical "Don Juan" opens Feb. 6 at Seongnam Arts Center, the first time the show will be presented in a language other than French.
But the musical is gaining attention here for another reason. This will be the musical debut of Joo Ji-hoon, 28, a major heartthrob whose credits include hit TV drama "The Palace" (2006) and film "Antique" (2008).
Joo will be sharing the role of Don Juan with Kang Tae-eul, a rising theater actor who has been active in Japan, and well-known musical actor Kim Da-hyun.
Unfortunately, Joo was unable to give a sample of his Don Juan at a press event Monday as his voice had cracked from excessive rehearsing.
"I`m having a hard time but trying my best to catch up with other actors because I was cast for the show later than them," said Joo. "Currently, my ability has not caught up with my will and passion."
Joo said he decided to try out musicals because he loves the feeling of being on stage.
The model-turned actor said he is still figuring out the genre. As a beginner, Joo said he is just striving to learn and find something common between him and Don Juan for now. Although he still feels like a transfer student, the actor is excited to be part of a working group for the first time in a long while, he said.
Joo has found exaggerating his acting and movements in the show especially difficult.
"But I think doing this show will extend my abilities and break the boundaries that I had regarding my acting," said Joo.
Despite the differences between screen and musical acting, his performance will basically be the same -- genuine and true to his heart, he said.
"I`m sure that it is a going to be a great show which will be full of colors and lights."
Less than two weeks before the opening, the show`s director, Britain`s Wayne Fowkes, said he is focusing on exploring each Don Juan and bringing out their different personalities.
Kang and Kim showcased some of the show on Monday. Kang delivered a masculine and cold Don Juan, while Kim showed a soft yet charismatic portrayal.
"Don Juan" runs from Feb. 6 through March 8. Tickets are from 30,000 won to 120,000 won. For more information, call (02) 501-1377 or go to www.musicaldonjuan.co.kr
By Koh Young-aah