PSH at Seoul’s WPS on 1 March 2013
I’m not as crazy about Wm Shakespeare as perhaps an Eng. Lit. major should, but there are a few lines in his plays that I’ve committed to memory. The following from “Othello” (not my favorite tragedy) is one of them.
Othello on Desdemona:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
And I loved her that she did pity them. (I.3.159-168)
Why do I like Park Si Hoo? I like what I see — the way he looks, the way he acts (1. performs in his dramas/movies, and 2. behaves outside his works.)
For all of his fans, PSH is beyond reach, even though the lucky ones among us occasionally get to see him in person (at fan meetings, birthday parties, and other such events.)
Idols are always put on a pedestal, whether literally, like those figures of saints in a church, or figuratively, like the way actors/singers are held by their fans.
But many idols are not saints, as we all know, and that is why it is best to behold them from a distance (where you can’t see everything in HD – high definition^^) Once you see them up close, you discover their physical imperfections (even under make-up).
PSH, however, is a rare one. Everyone who has seen him in person says he looks better in person than in photos or on the big/small screen. That is really strange — to be an actor but to not be photogenic^^
Many star-chasers believe their star is perfect. I’ve never thought or felt PSH was perfect. He’s not the handsomest actor I’ve ever liked (the others are non-Koreans), but I’ve never liked an actor as comprehensively as I like him.
An actor of course should be good in acting, but you’ll be surprised how many actors can’t act. PSH, as I’ve said more than once, is the best Korean actor of his generation.
I also expect my favorite actor to be a good person (even though that really has nothing to do with acting — a good actor can act like a good person^^) From all that I have seen, heard, and read about PSH, he is without doubt a good person.
BUT he is a flawed human being, an angel with clipped wings. The heroes in Greek tragedies all have a tragic flaw — the proper term is “hamartia” — from Aristotle’s “Poetics”. The Greek tragic heroes are all characters of high rank, prestige, and good fortune whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty — the tragic flaw — so that their downfall evokes pity and fear in the audience.
PSH fits into the Greek tragic hero mode, as does Shakespeare’s Othello. “Character is destiny.” (from Greek philosopher Heraclitus). PSH’s character determines his fate. His shortcoming is paradoxically his strength — his trust in people.
He’s a country boy, no matter how acclimatized he is to the big bad city Seoul and how sophisticated he looks. Once a country boy, always a country boy — in the good sense, meaning down-to-earth, honest, forthright, sincere, simple (NOT simple-minded), pure-hearted, guileless, a little naïve, childlike (NOT childish), but most of all, trusting. He trusts people, especially those he knows (or thinks he knows.)
An error of judgment or discernment due to ignorance (of his “friend” K’s motives and A’s scheme) has led to PSH’s catastrophic near-ruin — of his character and his career.
If I liked PSH enormously before, I found myself drawn to this flawed mortal more than ever after his “downfall”. To paraphrase Shakespeare, I love PSH (more) for the sufferings he has endured (and he loves his fans that they did “pity” them.)
The way this young man conducted himself during his ordeal amazed me. In his two appearances before Western Police Station, he was so full of courage and dignity that watching him brought tears to my eyes. Most people would rather there’s a hole in the ground so they could burrow themselves in, but PSH strode purposefully towards the reporters and apologized for keeping them waiting while promising to clear things up with the police ASAP. This must be the most difficult scene he has ever acted in — a heroic performance. He was so thin, hollow-cheeked and hollow-eyed, he broke my heart.
A flawed hero, yes, but still a hero to me.
(Credits: I forgot which of the K-media the photo was from, sorry, but thanks anyway.)
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