By Catherine Deen
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia
South Korean singer and actor Jung Ji-Hoon, more popularly known as Rain, visited the Philippines in a whirlwind one-week flurry of activities that included shooting scenes for Fugitive, his upcoming Korean television series and staging his first-ever show in Manila.
Joined by his director and fellow actors Daniel Henney (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), Lee Na Young (“Someone Special”), Lee Jungjin (“Love Story in Harvard”), and Yoon Jin Seo (“The Return of Iljimae”), Rain underscored the importance of hard work.
“As an actor,” he says, “I want to shoot more television dramas to show my capabilities as an actor and what is best in me.”
Rain knows full well the importance of hard work. His first two years in the Korean entertainment industry resulted in two full-length albums and a meaty role in the Korean television show Sang Doo! Let’s Go To School! It was not, however, until 2004, when he starred in the successful romantic comedy series Full House, when his career took off. The hit show aired all over Asia, including the Philippines, making Rain a household name and propelling his third full-length album, It’s Raining, to Asian sales of over one million copies.
“I’m happy and proud of my achievements,” he says.
Six years after the success of Full House, Rain has racked up the kind of international acclaim that other Asian stars usually dream about. He has starred in two Hollywood films – Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin, for which he won an MTV Movie Award – and released five more albums in Japanese and Korean, including his latest CD, a mini-album titled Back to Basics.
Currently in the Philippines to shoot his latest television show, a romantic comedy slash thriller slash drama – yes, apparently, that kind of TV amalgam is possible with a star like Rain – titled Fugitive, opposite Korean ingénue Lee Na Young and Korean-American actor-model Daniel Henney. Set to air all over Asia in the next few months, Fugitive, which may be distributed in certain Asian countries as Runaway, is the story of a private investigator named Jiwoo (played by Rain), whose assessment of a very high-profile case earns him money, a solid reputation, and a one-way ticket to danger.
Rain is also set to deliver a phenomenal performance on September 11 in Smart and TV5’s Intensity! show. Taking place at the SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds, Intensity! will also feature Korean boy band U-Kiss, and Filipino balladeer Christian Bautista. Rain admits that Intensity!, his first show in the Philippines, will give his Filipino fans only a taste of his almost decade-long career. What can they expect at the show?
“Anything,” he says slyly. Considering all his achievements, such a simple and cryptic answer can only be expected from Rain, Korea’s biggest name in pop entertainment.
Photo by AP