Press conference for military musical "Voyage of Life" [tentative title]
With the increasing number of celebrity officers serving in the military compared to previous years, the quantity and quality of military-produced contents have been changing. Musical productions in particular have become one of the most representative military contents ever since Kangta and Yang Dong-geun performed in musical "Mine" in 2008. And two years later, the Korean military is producing musical "Voyage of Life" [tentative title] with Lee Jun-ki and Joo Ji-hoon playing the lead roles. If 2008's production 'Mine" was a story about a father and a son, "Voyage of Life" -- produced in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War -- focuses on the "communication between the war generation and the post-war generation."
The story of musical "Voyage of Life" begins on Jangjin Reservoir, an intense and cruel battlefield. After General MacArthur made a successful landing at Incheon in 1950, the United Nations Allied Forces are overpowered by the Chinese military defense and decide to retreat to Port Heungnam. With 14,000 refugees, the United Nations Allied Forces board the ship Meredith, which set a new world record and was registered in 2004 as 'the single boat which saved the most number of lives.'
In the musical, Lee Jun-ki plays the Korean military's second lieutenant Hae-gang while Joo Ji-hoon is cast as the North Korean People's Army officer Jung-min. The two sharpen the blade of each of their ideologies. But later, the two weather the ocean of life as they go through extreme circumstances on the Meredith together. Through three men Hae-gang, Jung-min and Davis (played by Kim Da-hyun) who have different ideologies and belong to different societies, the musical "Voyage of Life" plans to "thank the Korean and foreign soldiers who fought during the Korean War while informing teenagers, who don't even know which countries were fighting in the Korean War, that their freedom and happiness came at the price of sacrifice," as the show's producer and lieutenant major Lee Young-no explained.
Q: You are producing another military musical after making one in 2008. What is your intention of producing this musical?
Chief Director Yoon Ho-jin (Yoon): This year is the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. I just wanted to show the many people who had helped us over the years, that the Republic of Korea which was a land in ruins, has grown this much.
Lieutenant Major Lee Young-no: Last year, I saw a photo exhibition at Cheonggye Square by Doctor Ahn Jae-cheol and it was about the hard times during the Korean War. I was able to decide on doing this musical production with his help. The battle of the Jangjin Reservoir was one of the most intense, cruelest and the most noteworthy battles. The veteran soldiers of the Korean War are currently passing the age of eighty, on average. We don't know how many of them will be alive by the time we reach the seventieth anniversary. I want to. I want to say thank-you to them while informing teenagers who don't know the war about the spirit of sacrifice.
Q: Lee Jun-ki, you are doing your first musical debut in the army. Now that you have done a musical, how do you feel about it?
Lee Jun-ki (Lee): I am well aware that "Voyage of Life" has a positive meaning behind it. But I thought a lot about what meaning it should hold for me as I do it. I think it will be a meaningful experience if is about repaying [the veterans], like a tribute performance, and the audience learns how noble their sacrifice is. I have gained a sense of duty [about doing the show].
Q: For Joo Ji-hoon, you starred in "Don Juan" and this is your second musical. You play the role of Jung-min, who is a villain.
Joo Ji-hoon (Joo): He is described in the story as a villain, but Jung-min and Hae-gang just have ideological conflict and there is no scene where they hate people. In that respect, my character is someone who has to save humanity elements in the story and show why fellow countrymen have to fight each other. As an actor playing the role, I don't think that my character is a bad guy. I think I am the nicest one. (laugh)
Q: Your characters have conflicts in the plot, but how do you feel about each other?
Joo: That is the hardest question. (laugh) Lee Jun-ki and I are of the same age and we met for the first time in the military. I thought Lee Jun-ki would have a hard time because he was the last to join the musical. But although he has the lowest rank, he has such a great personality and is so outgoing that he always sets the tone in group surroundings. He gets along well with people around him, unlike his demure image.
Lee: I think it would have been great if we had met in comfortable surroundings outside the military. (laugh) And Joo Ji-hoon became a first-class private today. It was consoling that he was a second-class private like me, but this morning he came with his first-class rank. I was very depressed in the morning. But first-class private Joo Ji-hoon has a kind heart.
Reporter : Jang Kyung-Jin three@
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@
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