They’re A-list for a reason
Jang Dong Gun
This isn’t too different from the Hollywood system of things, if you substitute “talk show circuit” for the Korean variety programming mentioned below. You know, if an actor or personality appears on Letterman, Conan, or any of the other late-night (or early-morning) programs, chances are they’re hawking something, whether it’s a new movie, new book, new fragrance, new vanity athletic shoe line, new healthy-cooking meat griller, whatever. And similarly, in Hollywood, the bigger the star, the rarer the appearances (and the bigger the deal when they do appear). So to the following, I say, (1) makes sense, and (2) DUH.
Active stars who don’t appear on variety shows…?
“I’m not close with Jang Dong Gun. Please talk with his management.” “Please ask Mr. Jang Dong Gun and get him to appear.” Those are the words of [host] Kang Ho Dong on MBC’s popular program Goldfish. Kang Ho Dong never fails to ask for Jang Dong Gun to appear whenever the opportunity arises or a star connected to him comes on the show. In truth, he’s said that PD Lim Jung Ah is negotiating to get Jang Dong Gun to appear.
SONG OF THE DAY
Rocket Diary – “What You Want” [ zShare download ]
Jang Dong Gun’s absence from variety programs in today’s pop culture is unusual. These days, when an celebrity has a film coming out, it’s customary practice for them to promote them on the variety programs on each of the three major networks.
The reason is because variety show appearances have a rather large influence on the film industry. In some cases, such as with D War‘s Shim Hyung Rae, the appearance creates a huge marketing effect, while others, like Kim Tae Hee, fall short of expectations. However, it’s undeniable that appearing on these shows has an effect on movie promotion.
Criticism over actors needing to appear on these programs for film promotion is on the decline, and thus it’s becoming more common for them to appear around the time of a film’s release.
For this reason, these days even stars like Sol Kyung Gu, who rarely come out to variety shows, have been putting in appearances. However, despite the growing trend, there are some stars who still don’t. For instance, there’s the aforementioned Jang Dong Gun, who doesn’t make the program circuit even when he’s about to release a new movie.
There are others similar to Jang, such as Jeon Ji Hyun, Song Kang Ho, and Lee Byung Heon. After appearing in the drama Happy Together and stepping into the film world, Jeon has concentrated on her projects and promotion for her films without stepping foot onto these kinds of variety shows. With her upcoming movie The Man Who Was Superman opening on the 31st, she’s stuck to her pattern and stayed away from the programs.
The same goes for Song Kang Ho, Lee Byung Heon, Ahn Sung Ki and others. They do participate in interviews when entertainment news programs visit film sets, but they don’t seek out the shows on the broadcast networks.
The reason for this could be that these stars’ personalities don’t mesh with the characteristics of these variety shows, or that they feel that it’s burdensome to have to delve into telling stories, but depending merely on the film for success or shunning variety shows works against them.
Oh yeah? Sounds like sour (or bitter?) grapes to me.