«I am just Cha Eun-woo»
Actor, singer, model, and now photographer. Exclusive interview with the ASTRO's member, now on Amazon Prime Video in Italy with the K-drama «Island
Hey Siri, play ONE by ASTRO.
When Cha Eun-woo appears on the screen, you don’t stand a chance: you’ll be enchanted. And, as the song lyrics say, no matter how often you will see him on your tv, movie screen, in real life at a fan meet, or on a Zoom call, «It never, it never gonna stop».
But let’s go back to the beginning. Lee Dong-min, professionally known as Cha Eun-woo, was born in Gunpo in 1997. He is a singer, actor, model, and artist, too: he has not only incredible visuals but also unparalleled talent. Besides being a member of the boyband ASTRO, he’s also part of the worldwide famous ‘97 line, a group of friends composed of BTS's Jungkook, GOT7's Yugyeom and BamBam, SEVENTEEN's Mingyu, and NCT's Jaehyun.
Cha Eun-woo is now the lead actor in Island, a horror/fantasy K-drama available on Amazon Prime Video (despite the second season started on February 24th, the first season became available today on Amazon Prime Italy) in which he plays the role of Padre Giovanni (Priest Johan), a Catholic priest who performs exorcisms with the noble goal to protect life and purify evil.
Panorama.it interviewed him exclusively.
Nice to meet you. It’s absolutely unnecessary since your Italy fan base grows every day, but can you please introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Cha Eun-woo, and I play the role of Johan/Padre Giovanni in Prime Video Original Series Island.
We are here to talk about Island, where you play the role of Padre Giovanni. A young Korean priest from Italy goes back to South Korea to fulfill a prophecy. How did you prepare for the role?
I looked up a lot of books and movies about priests and visited a cathedral to meet a priest. And I think I prepared a lot of things, such as learning Italian, Latin, and action.
You had to speak ancient Latin, Greek, and also Italian. As Italian, we have to say your pronunciation sounds so natural. How did you master it?
Given Johan/Padre Giovanni’s character set-up, I had to speak Italian and Latin, so I listened to recordings from native speakers and practiced copying that a lot.
In the first episode, you have those big headphones on while conducting an exorcism. Was there any music on? And if not, what is your perfect soundtrack when you want to focus on something?
There was no music on during the shoot, but I asked the director to insert an ASTRO song later. And when I have to concentrate, I listen to music often. I think I find and listen to music that fits the situation, atmosphere, and character.
Your co-star, Kim Nam-gil, previously played the role of a priest in The Fiery Priest. Did he give you some advice?
He advised me on how to move comfortably when walking or performing an action in a long priest's uniform and how to wear a Roman collar.
What was the most challenging moment in filming Island?
I don't think it was hard because I worked with great staff and actors; I think I had fun filming it.
Do you have any fun behind the scene moments you would like to share with us?
We filmed Island all together in Jeju Island, and we ate a lot of delicious food and enjoyed filming. It felt like being on a school trip!
Season 2 is here. What should we expect from Padre Giovanni?
In Part 2, the relationship between the story and the characters will deepen, and the fantasy action will be upgraded, so it will be more fun to see the actors' action acting. Please show a lot of love and interest.
What did your friends say when they watched 'Island'? Were there any reviews or comments from your acquaintances that come to mind?
I felt good since they responded that it was fresh and fun because it wasn't a character or a work of the style I've done so far. They said that the show is also fun because it's full of excitement.
You planned an art exhibition in Seoul. It’s a solo photo exhibition called Archive. Why did you choose this name, and what message do you want to send to your fans through your pictures?
‘Archive’ is literally an archive. I started it with the hope that it would be a time to relieve the fatigue accumulated in daily life and make memories while giving off the feeling of going on a trip together.
Singer, actor, model, photographer... is there something Cha Eun-woo cannot do?
Thank you for looking at me in a good light. I will think of it as a message of support to work harder in the future. Thank you!
What is the thing you desire the most right now?
I prefer to see, hear, and feel new things here and there, so I would like to teleport from place to place.
Now that you mastered Italian, what about holding a fan meeting in our country?
If the opportunity arises, I want to have a fan meeting with my Italian fans.
I have one last question: who is Cha Eun-woo right now?
Well... I think this is a difficult question. I think I am just "Cha Eun-woo." When I work, I try to analyze and immerse myself in the character, and I think that character is also “Cha Eun-woo.”