His name sends fangirls into a tizzy. Some even veer into the arena of becoming over-protectively territorial. A simple background search on Siwon threw up comments by rabid fangirls who ferociously declare “NOBODY TOUCHES MY OPPA SIWON’S ABS!” (ad verbatim, I swear.)
But, really, who can blame them? His perfectly sculpted face, athletic ability, family background (Dad’s a CEO of a pharmaceutical company), religiousness (Siwon proclaimed his desire to become a Christian missionary after his stint in popstardom) and Super Junior star power all come together to form a perfectly palatable public persona.
And now, he’s also been appointed one of the brand ambassadors for LINE, a mobile messaging app that has taken the world by storm. I had the pleasure to interview Siwon about LINE, his time in Singapore and his upcoming projects. Read on for the interview after the jump.
Popspoken: 안녕하세요, Siwon! Greetings from Singapore and congratulations on being appointed the ambassador for LINE! Where were you and how did you feel when you received the news?
Siwon: I first learned about what LINE is when one of my best friends showed me a cute LINE sticker. It was one of the main characters from LINE and I became a really big fan of it. I was so excited to the ambassador for LINE because I am a fervent user of the application. I really recommend all my fans and other Smartphone users to download and try LINE. I bet you will fall in love with all those cute characters and variety features of LINE.
Popspoken: In the advertisement for LINE, you play a man in a long distance relationship with his girlfriend. As a celebrity who is constantly away from home, this must have struck a chord with you. You have also done quite a few solo appearances around Asia of late. Does it ever get lonely and how do you cope? How have you used LINE in your daily life with friends, family and the other Super Junior members?
Siwon: Because I have a very busy schedule, I always don’t have enough time to meet my friends. So, LINE is the only and the best way to keep in touch with them. I often check the Timeline to see if there are any updates from my friends on LINE. I especially like LINE sticker series. I am a bit shy in expressing my feelings sometimes. So LINE stickers have been helping me to express some of the words I’ve been holding from my friends and family. By using the stickers, now I can better communicate how much I love and thank them.
I spread LINE boom among other Super Junior members, too. [Boom is a feature within the app] They all find it really cute and fun to use. They are now fervent users of LINE. Talking only with stickers became like a trend among Super Junior members. I like humorous characters, so I usually use these stickers when saying hello to my friends through LINE.
Now, I really hope to meet my Singapore fans through LINE. I think Super Junior OA is the best way of communication between me and my fans. Through OA, news on Super Junior is provided in real time. But I think the best part of it is that we can talk to our fans one-on-one when we are in ‘On-Air’ mode. When the ‘On-Air’ light is on our LINE account, it means that we are actually messaging to our fans. We are planning to go ‘On-Air’ sometime soon, and looking forward to have more interactive conversation with Singaporean fans.
Popspoken: Tell us about your favorite part of using LINE. Are there any features of the app apart from the basic instant messaging that you would like to recommend or bring to our attention?
Siwon: LINE has so many cute characters. Also those characters appear in numerous mobile games by LINE, and I believe the readers of Total Girl Magazines will definitely like it. Personally, I am so into this game called LINE POP. It is very fun popping the cute characters of LINE; Moon, Brown Cony and Sally. I really recommend you to try it. It gets more excited when you compete with your friends for highest score. You won’t even notice how much time went by.
There is another game called LINE JELLY. The rule of the game is very similar to LINE POP. Simply popping same coloured LINE characters in a row. Compare to LINE POP, LINE JELLY requires higher attention, so it is more thrilling. You have to try it to fully understand what I mean.
Popspoken: Why is Singapore a key market for LINE? In what ways do you think LINE is better than the other free instant messaging apps out there in the market?
Siwon: Since Singapore has very advanced technologies and catches on quickly to mobile trends, I think LINE is the perfect communication tool for Singaporeans. Also, LINE’s Super Junior OA allows interactive relationship with our fans, so it is very useful and effective communication tool for us. I tried other social networking apps, but I think LINE has the most dynamic and advanced features and functions.
Other than messaging feature, LINE also has numerous games and utility functions. I especially enjoy using LINE Camera and playing LINE POP. I like taking pictures, so I enjoy using LINE Camera. After taking pictures with other members, we have fun decorating it with LINE sticker stamps. We would like to share some of the pictures that we took with LINE Camera through our OA. You will be able to have a sneak peak at Super Junior’s ordinary life.
LINE POP, on the other hand, is a extremely addictive game. When I was shooting the LINE TV commercial, my addiction to LINE POP game was at its peak. If you look at the behind-the-scene clip of LINE TVC, you will be able to catch me lost in LINE POP. I often play LINE POP when I am moving from one schedule to another. It is the best time-killer of all time. Also, since new games are coming out continuously, I never get bored. I have so much fun trying different games.
Popspoken: You were recently a guest for Chanel’s Cruise 13/14 Collection. What did you think about the collection and the location (a former colonial British army barracks)? Did you also manage to steal some time post or pre-event to tour Singapore? Where did you go and what did you think of the city state? Which is your favourite part of Singapore?
Siwon: Every time I visit Singapore I feel that it is a really beautiful and friendly country. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to look around the city then. I attended Chanel’s Cruise 13/14 Show as Korea’s representative. I was very honoured to be here and I really did enjoy the show and my stay in Singapore.
Popspoken: You stumbled into this career, being discovered outside your high school. Yet, you have cemented your position as one of the most talented and incredibly good looking celebrities in the Korean pop industry. What skincare and fitness regime do you abide by? How would you describe your style?
It’s so flattering to be complimented like that. In order to stay in a good condition, I enjoy working out. The most important thing is working out is to do it regularly and consistently. Of course, considering my busy schedule, it’s not easy to exercise consistently but, I try by best whenever I have some time for working out.
Popspoken: You have an inextricable affinity with China, with you being part of Super Junior-M and starring with Andy Lau in A Battle of Wits. What do you appreciate about Chinese heritage and culture?
I think China is a country with long history and rich cultural heritage. While filming the movie, I was astonished by the enormity and richness of its history and culture.
Popspoken: You recently appeared in an episode of Running Man alongside Jackie Chan. How was it meeting the legend in person? Did you watch his movies when you were younger? Do you still keep in touch after the Running Man filming?
I was very honoured to meet the legendary actor, Jackie Chan. I enjoyed watching his movie when I was young. If Jackie Chan also uses LINE, I would love to talk to him through LINE.
Popspoken: What have you been busy with lately? What productions of yours should we keep a lookout for this year?
Super Show 5 is happening in Singapore in July. All the members are putting every ounce of their energy to prepare for the Super Show. I hope many Singapore fans are looking forward to it. I cannot share any other specific plan of my future project right now. However, I would like to share and give back all the love and interest I have received from my Singapore fans!
Watch behind-the-scenes videos of Siwon here: