MBLAQ’s Seungho as Kang Woohyuk in “MOON NIGHT”
Most actors want to be the star or play a kind character. However, MBLAQ’s Seungho is different. In the musical “MOON NIGHT” he volunatarily plays the rival Kang Woohyuk to his group member Cheondung’s lead character Lee Minsoo. He says that if he does his best, he’ll leave an impression on the audience.
In comparison to when Seungho was on MBC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” you can see him concentrate even more on the dance for this musical. To perfect his dance as Kang Woohyuk, he will practice more dances even after the official practice ends. We met with MBLAQ’s Seungho on the 16th in Samseong-dong.
I was offered the same role as Cheondung but I chose to be the rival.
– Before “MOON NIGHT” you showcased your acting skills in the play “Gwanghwamun Sonata” for your Japanese fans.
Seungho: We acted in Korean and there were Japanese subtitles. At first I wondered, “Can the audience really respond to subtitles?”
(In “Gwanghwamun Sonata”) There’s a scene with a student movement. I heard such events have happened in Japan. Since Japan has had such things, the audience responded even better than I thought they would to our singing and acting. Those in the front row even cried. While it’s a pity I hadn’t had the chance to act in a musical in Korea, I was touched that they could empathize with the production overseas.
– You play Kang Woohyuk opposite Cheondung’s Lee Minsoo in “MOON NIGHT”
Seungho: I studied acting in high school and college. Since I went towards being a singer, it was difficult to make my acting just as good. I wanted to just do music. To idols who weren’t prepared, my agency would never say, “Since there’s this production, go and study acting.” For the sake of being in musicals, I had started acting a few years ago. [Translator’s note: He’s saying that by not studying acting, he would never have gotten the chance to be in something like a musical b/c the agency would not even make the suggestion.] 
Actually, it was suggested that Cheondung and I be double-casted as Lee Minsoo. After reading the script and having a meeting with the director, I said, “Cheondung is really suited to being a kind, amazing lead but for me, I’d rather be the rival than the nice guy.” They said it wasn’t a problem. They just said that it might be more difficult. But I think difficulties don’t matter.
– Most people would want to be the good guy but you choosing to be the antagonist is unexpected.
Seungho: On the first day of rehearsals, I saw the entire dance that Kang Woohyuk and Lee Minsoo were to perform. Kang Woohyuk’s dance is one that will succeed if you have passion. Because Kang Woohyuk’s personality is very blunt, he doesn’t come off well. No matter how much of a rival he is, no one is born bad. Even if he has 10 bad points, I want to create an antagonist with one considerate point.
He’s training hard to leave the impression of “Seungho is good at dancing.”
– Concerts are tough but that’s short term. Singing and acting in a musical is like a marathon so how are you managing your meals?
Seungho: I don’t really diet. That’s why when we were promoting “This is War” I was 13kg more than I weighed at debut. The fact that I cut my hair short made me look huge. I didn’t think I was the type to put on weight, but I was fat. I exercised and dieted, which was when I realized dieting was difficult. If I eat a lot, I want to try my hardest to exercise so that I don’t gain weight.
– This year will be MBLAQ’s 5th year since debuting. Do you feel pressured as the leader?
Seungho: In contrast, as time goes on it’s easier to be leader. Since so much time has passed, we know how the other members really feel. Before, we didn’t assert ourselves but now we really understand and rely on each other. As leader, when I say, “Let’s do this” I am really grateful that the members believe in me enough to follow along. As leader, there are times when I have to exert myself. Like when I have to sympathize with each member. For example, since our youngest Mir likes to go the sauna I’ll go with him, or because Cheondung like’s bowling we’ll go play together. If we can get together, we can talk about a lot.
– You appeared in “Dancing with the Stars.”
Seungho: I initially went with the intent to show my stuff as a singer. I thought I’d be able to imitate the dances but it was hard. If there’s no foundation, you can’t even copy the dances. Because of that, I devoted myself to “Dancing with the Stars” for 8 weeks. I’m not really great at dancing tenderly but I’m good at powerful dances. Even though we got 1st place for the direct and powerful paso doble, I couldn’t show the softness needed for the rumba and we were disqualified.
I realized I was unable to make up for what I lack in that kind of dancing. When I think about it I am frustrated but I do remember dancing with enthusiasm. In the end, it was worth doing because I was able to improve myself in dances I don’t normally do. I think anyone can enjoy that kind of good tradition but I don’t think dance sports will get as popular as they are overseas.
– Even though a lot of time has passed since you were on “Dancing with the Stars,” we can tell you hate losing because you still hold on to that frustration. You’re going to do everything you can to act well in “MOON NIGHT” aren’t you?
Seungho: Kang Woohyuk doesn’t just dance, he dances with purpose. The audience will expect me to dance well because I’m a dancer-singer. But there’s probably only one or two people in Korea who are good at all genres of dance. That’s how many dances there are. For the musical, I learned the unfamiliar choreography of my seniors from the 1990’s. Hyun Jinyoung senior’s “You Are In My Unclear Memory” is a song with a powerful and fun dance.
I’m better than the actors who didn’t learn dance but if I don’t try, I won’t dance well. I think I can leave more of an impression that Kang Woohyuk is a better dancer than Lee Minsoo. Lee Minsoo will win in the end but I think the real winner is the actor who the audience remembers. I’m training hard in order to make them remember Seungho is good at dancing. It’s not enough to dance in the practice room. To dominate Cheondung’s Lee Minsoo Team, I’m practicing in secret.
With Cheondung, my ties to “MOON NIGHT” are deep. On Mnet, we had acted together in “MOON NIGHT90.” I acted as Kang Won Rae and Cheondung acted as Koo Jun Yup of the group CLON. Since we’ve come to act together in “MOON NIGHT” I can feel the connection we have with it.
 Regarding this section, I had to explain a bit more due to a comment received at MBA. To clarify, it’s not meant to be insulting or anything to anyone’s ability. I had a tough time trying to translate this because of the nuance. Stage shows are a different experience compared to drama acting b/c it is live so performers have to endure a different kind of pressure. His agency would not flippantly or forcefully tell one of their idols to join a production for the sake of having some of the limelight or what have you. They need to be mentally prepared. It’s too bad something is always lost in translation b/c there are terms that just don’t exist naturally in English. I also forget sometimes that not everyone will read between the lines when I roughly summarize.