Park Yuri: from the catwalks to the idol life

First seen as an acknowledged model - he worked with Calvin Klein - now he also is an actor and an idol. While he was walking down the catwalks, he trained for three years under SM Entertainment preparing to be part of NCT. Even though he didn't make it to the final lineup, he was able to debut in 2019 in a duo named “JXR" with Baek Jin. He's active on TikTok, Instagram, Youtube and all the SNS platform where he has million of followers from all around the world. And now he's just ended his first gig on tv. He was part of the stellar cast of Imitation, the k-drama adaptation of a well-know webtoon that tells the story of the lives of idols in the entertainment industry, along with the Parasite's star Jung Ji-so, U-KISS' Lee Jun-young.

Panorama talked with him in exclusive.

Congratulations on your role in Imitation. How was portraying the idol life on the screen too?

«Thank you! For me it was a big pleasure that I had a chance to feel how it is to be the member of very popular K-pop idol group called Shax! The performances that we showed in drama was almost real! And I felt like I was the real top idol on the big stage which was Incredible. My character was Dojin, and I was so happy about the role! Since the producer allowed me to do natural and free acting, so I improvised a lot. So the most of the jokes that Dojin said were from my freestyle! That's why the role was so much similar with myself, I guess. He smiles when he has no idea what people talk about him. That is the same how I reacted when I moved to Korea. And even these days, I just smile, when I don't understand anything, or I understand but don't want to answer as well».

Imitation was already a huge success as a webtoon. What made you choose this kind of story?

«It's interesting question! I got the call from my agency in February 2020, they told me that they got an audition for the new Korean drama. I was really surprised because I never had experience for acting in any movie or drama. But at the same time, I was so excited and happy just to have a new chance for Imitation! And when I got the call 6 month after the audition from my manager. When I heard that I made it, I screamed so loud even if when I was outside. I assumed people around me was so shocked and scared – haha. It became the debut for my first drama! That day was the best day of my life for sure!»

In Imitation, the writer touched lots of taboos of the idols' world, like dating, mental health, etc. Do you find it challenging being an actor and also part of this world?

«It is not easy. Must work harder than just 'hard' to be a part of this world. Must learn, upgrade yourself every day. Never stop. When I started my way of becoming an artist, I was so amazed how strong mental idols have. And I assume, there are so many resolutions that idols must follow and deal with».

You're born in Uzbekistan, you speak three languages, play instruments and also are good at sports. Is there something you can't do?

«Actually, there are so many difficult things which is even hard to try. However, I am willing to learn more skills, experiences, and knowledge. I would love to be better tomorrow than I am today. I am the person who doesn't think before learning something - I just do it! So, I won't regret since I learn something new for sure. I strongly believe that we should not waste our time in our lives since it's just one time!!!»

You are also a model, you worked with Calvin Klein. What's the main difference between being a rising Hallyu star and being part of the fashion industry?

«I would like to say, these are connected! Working in the fashion industry brought me an opportunity to become the part of K-pop culture. As you could see, so many K pop idols are already working with various fashion labels as their ambassadors».

What are you doing right now? Can you spoil us something about your future projects?

«These days I study film making and practice my acting skills for the future projects. And I'm working on my new single album which is planning to be released this year. Producing, directing music video, songwriting - everything I do it by myself. Hoping that people will enjoy it».

What was your dream as a young boy?

«I had so many dreams! When I was a kid, my dream was to become a famous jazz artist. That's why my mom sent me to the music school to learn saxophone. And I was in the swimming team so I wanted to become a professional swimmer and Olympic medalist as well. But I had to when I got pneumonia. My Dad graduated from medical institute, so I wanted to become a doctor like him. So, after middle school, I went to the medical college In Uzbekistan. We had college instead of high school. In the middle school, I danced break dance. During the battle, I heard the song 'Ring Ding Dong' for the first time. That was the day I knew the idol group SHINee! Since then, I was interested about K-pop. And EXO made me to dream to become an idol because of their creative and innovative performance».

Do you have any role models in the industry?

«Everybody in this industry inspires me every moment. So many talented and great artists and I can't choose only one! But I could say My Mom and Dad are my role models».

If you can write your next role, what would it be like?

«If I need to describe my role, I will ask my fans to help me with that. How they see me and what they want me to be! Personally, I really love Korean romantic comedy dramas. Characters are light, bright and funny. And if I had a chance to act in that drama, I will do everything to make my character perfect. At the same time, I love movies that give me inspirations. Especially, the ones' characters have great goals and powerful principles».

Do you have any characters you would have loved to play?

«As you already know, I would love to try romantic role or very strong character. For example, Park Seo-joon's role in 'What's Wrong with Secretary Kim' which very funny and specifically romantic. Or his role in 'Itaewon Class' that never gives up and have strong personality».

Have you ever been to Italy? Your fandom is growing, we can't wait to see more of you.

«I dream to visit Italy! I've never been there! Italian culture and the architecture of the cities are so interesting and beautiful! And, history of Italy is something that I would like to know more! And I am so happy to know that in such a beautiful country there are people who remember me. Thank you so much again I really hope to visit you all in Italy soon».

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