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2005 o. 2006 ? - Interview with Rain's father
PostPosted: 03.06.2008 20:07 Reply with quoteBack to top

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Exclusive Interview with singer Rain's father

Singer Bi is crying. Bi who got his "Artiste of the Year" award lastyear December 30th during the 2004 KBS Music Award ceremony said,"Thank you to those who helped me fulfill the promise I made to my mother who is now in heaven".

Tears streamed down his cheeks as he said this.

Three years ago, Bi made a promise to his mother at her dying bed, "Iwill succeed". It is un-imagineable how he felt then, how at the momentwhen he was given the award, between Bi�s promise to his mother and hisexcitement of becoming the best singer, his tears flowed for his motherwho is unable to witness his success, and the pain of losing a lovedone.

Bi's mother, who was worried for Bi up to her last moment, 2004 was the year when countless people fell for your son!

With the serial drama, Full House, Bi was also presented with threeother awards in the KBS actors' category. His acting skills wereconsidered recognized in this aspect as well.

It was at the KBS Music Award that this artiste who debuted just threeyears ago was given the highest honor of the "Artiste of the YearAward".

But his award was celebrated with tears. Unable to stop his tears, Rainperformed his encore performance, "It's Raining", with his head downmost of the time.

From the outside, he looks like the son of a rich man. With hiswell-built figure and splendid dance steps, he has captivated thehearts of fans from the age 10 to age 60. But what kind of a journeyhas he traveled to get to where he is?

After the award ceremony, we went to Bi's house at Seoul, Mapo. At thetime when we visited, only Appa Jeong was at home. "I don't think myson will be willing. I have not done anything for him", Apppa Jeongrejected our interview politely at first. However, under ourpersuasion, he finally relented and started talking about the journeythis father and son has traveled together.

"When I saw my son receiving the award on TV, I cried too. There was animmense pain in my heart. I knew why he was crying. When he finallycame home holding his award very late that night, I held him for a longtime, relaying what I felt to him."

Bi's mother was tormented by diabetes for a long time. As Appa Jeong'sbusiness failed, her condition grew worse. At that time, Bi was still anew-comer under JY Park's training. During a visit at Bi's place, JYPark learned about the condition of Bi�s mother and sent her to SeoulUniversity Hospital, saying "don't worry about money". But Bi's motherinsisted on checking out of the hospital, saying that she didn�t wantto add pressure on her son. She finally passed on in December 2002.

"That was the most difficult time. When my son was training hard tobecome a singer, my wife passed away due to worsening of her condition.I went off to Brazil in hope of earning money. But I didn't find anyjob and finally had to come back, drifting around for a while. Inbetween, the amount of money earned was negligible compared to mywife's medical expenses. You can imagine the difficulty then. Duringthat period of time, my wife became blind due to the complications fromdiabetes. In the long term, her other body functions will also start todeteriorate. Because of that, my children did not receive one cent ofpocket money at that period of time. To think of it now, I feel anincredible amount of guilt towards my children and wife."

Appa Jeong always felt that if only his career did not fail, his wifewould not have been subjected to so much stress and leave the world sosoon. Because of this burden of guilt, Appa Jeong gave up his habits ofsmoking and drinking.

"After my wife passed away, my son and I did not talk for a period of 2years. Except for some routine daily exchange, we did not know what tosay to each other. Both understood the pain that each other was goingthrough, and they did not want to remind or be reminded of it. Sosubsequently, the words became lesser. As a father, my guilt grew dailyin the face of a silent son."

Bi's mother said this even at her last moment, "You must do what you want to do". She was always worried for him.

"After my debut, when I become a top singer, I will bring my award toyour grave". This is Bi's promise to his mother at her death bed. Afterhis mum passed on, he practiced like mad in order to succeed; workingso hard it was almost scary.

3 years ago, he started receiving good feedbacks with the song "Badguy". "After my wife left the world, the family spilt up. I worked atsomebody's millhouse, while Bi stayed at the hostel provided by JYPEand led his life. It was later that I heard he was eating instantnoodles every day for months and practicing his singing and dancinglike crazy. It was heart-wrenching for me."

"When he needed his parents by his side most, I did not give him any help."

After receiving the award, Bi went straight to his mother's grave atGyeonggi-do. Even when his schedule was packed, he will put work asideduring festivals or the anniversary and go to the grave with his familyto visit his mother's grave without fail.

"On normal days, he will visit his mother's grave alone once a month.When I look at my son and compare him with other young men of his age,he is much more matured. Missing his mother so much, he has everyreason to blame me. But recently, he has been keeping me company a lotwhen I�m at home alone. "Don't cope up alone at home. Go visit yourfriends or go exercise," he'll say. My son can't stay at home and restfor even one day. He'll usually come home only at 3, 4am in themorning." It is Appa Jeong�s wish to make his son a nice, hot meal.

Seeing how hard his son is working to death trying to achieve hisambition, Appa Jeong feels that it is not untrue to say 10% of hisachievements come from his talents, and 90% from his hard work. When hesees how hard his son is working, he wishes he could help a little. Buthis son always finishes he own stuff and think of what he needs to doin the future.

"When I was young I didn't work as hard as my son. Sometimes I want tolead my own life, sometimes I want to have fun with my friends. This isthe normal characteristics of young people. But my son, he keepsthinking of the future. Sometimes when he is resting at home, he'llkeep saying he feels unease and then runs off to his practice studioagain. I can't even stop him. This is when my heart aches for him."

Bi went to Rome with his fatherand sister on 17th Jan. They stayed there for a week befoe coming back.With regards to his son's popularity with the ladies, Appa Jeong isreally surprised. Sometimes he goes online and is amused by themessages in benamoo caf�.

Onstage, Bi captures everybody's unwavering attention with his sexydance steps and his enigmatic, unique voice. But he is never satisfiedwith himself and diligently strives to be better. Some housewives watchBi on TV and forget to make dinner, causing them to quibble with theirhusbands. Some even went to the TV studio just to see him. But Bidoesn�t just shine as a singer. He is just as outstanding playing hisroles in Sangdoo and Full House, getting great comments on his work andperformances. Some even say he's the homerun of box office hits.

Why is it that Bi doesn't tire? Is it so his father can have some special and unique tonic? We're really curious.

"Ah..my son is already busy enough with his own matters. Imagine howtired he'll be if he has to worry about mine too! He always tells me torelax, and is afraid I'll feel lonely by my self at home. Last yearwhen he had to film his drama serial, I was so bored at home I actuallyfell sick! I never used to watch TV, but I watched every episode ofFull House without fail. From then, TV became my life! (Laughs)"

Bi's father has already been resting at home for one and a half year.He was running his own millhouse and cakeshop until Bi was in juniorhigh. At one time, they even had two houses. But all these ended duringthe IMF. He tried many other careers after that, but did not succeed.

Although his son did not request for him to not work and just stay athome, but seeing how hard his son works, he hopes to help a little bystaying by his side. So Appa Jeong gave up working abroad. He hopes tomake up for the time Bi needed him but he was not there.

"Whenever I say to take care of him, he'll ask me to first take care ofhis sister, who will be taking her entrance exam soon. Of course, thisis because Hana is his only sister, but it is also because at hismother's deathbed, she told him, "I'm leaving your sister to you". Hissister is retaking her exams now, and she is similar to her brother inso many ways, so she wants to get into the drama and movie major inuniversity. But the course is incredibly competitive. Although she isretaking her entrance, it still remains if she can get in or not.Anyway, I got to go do something of my own after she gets intouniversity. I'm only 50 year old. Can�t stay home the whole day at thisage."

"The family trip to Italy on 17th Jan. Having ended his publicityactivities for his third album, Bi is busy preparing for his first soloconcert. He is going to release a single album in Japan in Feb nextyear, and will be going to Japan to promote this single. World-renownedfashion design, Armani, also extended his invitation and invited Bi torepresent Asia in his fashion show, saying he'll be designing somethingespecially for Bi then. Armani went considered many Asian artistes andfinally decided on Bi based on his looks and charisma. On receiving theinvitation, Bi said it's a good opportunity for the family to go for atrip together. It has been a long time since the family went on a triptogether, and he doesn�t when they�ll get the chance to go holidayingtogether again if they don�t do it this time."

But they're embarking on this trip soon, and Appa Jeong is growinguneasy. During the course of interview, he seemed to have relaxed quitea bit now.

"I must share with my son the words I did not say during this trip. The feelings I bottomed up for so long."

Seeing that he is starting to open up, I asked the question I've beenhesitating to ask. Appa Jeong is only 50 year old. Has he consideredremarrying? Has Bi ever encouraged him to do so?

"When I think of my wife, it's impossible for me to think ofremarrying. I didn't know of how dangerous diabetes was at that time,and went working abroad leaving her here alone without enough to coverher medical expenses�my son has never talked about this topic. AlthoughI don't know how life will be after my two children get married, butthere is no such intention to remarry now."

In Appa Jeong's mind, the first priority is his daughter's entranceexam and his son's matters. Although this is something in the future,he hope to see Bi complete his remaining two years in the university,and after his military services, meet a nice girl and build a happyfamily.

So what kind of a daughter-in-law does Appa Jeong wants? Having createda dream-like couple in Full House, I asked him if Song Hye-Gyo is thekind of daughter-in-law he wants. After all, it's because of theirover-whelming chemistry and compatibility that tabloid news of themdating emerges.

"It is perfectly natural for two persons to grow close together becausethey work together in the film day in day out. Whether they aretogether or not, he did not tell me. I only know they are very closefriends. But of course, having a daughter-in-law like Song Hye-Gyo inthe drama is good�cheerful and healthy."

Appa Jeong believes that his son has a clear direction of what he wantsto do, and will work hard towards it. He also believes that his sonwill eventually meet a nice girl of his dream.

Although the conversation seemed difficult at the beginning of theinterview, but as we ended up chatting openly and sincerely for a longtime! Of course, during the course of the interview, Appa Jeong keepsreminding the son he is proud of , "Just like the motto he made beforehe debuted, I hope he works hard and persist till the end, and stay asa humble person." With the strength of his family love with Bitreasures so much, I hope he strives forward courageously and meet noobstacles in his career path in 2005!

credit: Sammi-biwithrain
Kr to Ch trans: mynld
Ch to Eng trans: Rayndrop

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