INFINITE’s Sunggyu Chats About “Kinky Boots”, Possibility Of Playing Lola, And More

He hopes to continue to pursue acting in the future.

INFINITE’s Sunggyu, who took on the role of Charlie in the musical Kinky Boots, felt that “this role was more than just a singer or a musical actor, but a big challenge to myself.”

| Woollim Entertainment

Sunggyu expressed that playing a role in this musical was “like the biggest miracle in my life.”

I believe that I experience many things and grow each time I take on a role. With this role I have now, I was able to think more about the musical and the message it holds and have learned a lot throughout this process.

— Sunggyu

Kinky Boots is based off the real success story of Steve Patman of the Brooks Shoe factory in Northampton, England in the 1980s. Sunggyu plays the protagonist who tries to save the shoe factory.

CJ ENM participated as the global co-producer of the musical and unveiled its first license premiere in Korea in 2014. This past August marks the fourth season of the musical.

| CJ ENM

Sunggyu debuted as INFINITE in 2010 and first started his career as a musical actor in 2012 with Gwanghamun Sonata. Sunggyu commented, “I’m really happy when I am performing and singing on stage. I feel alive when I am on the stage.”

On the other hand, Sunggyu has also expressed that he gets quite nervous on stage. “I always try my best to be free on stage.”

Below is a Q&A held with Sunggyu.

What is the reason for choosing ‘Kinky Boots’ as your first job after being discharged from the military?

After first encountering the world of musicals through Gwanghwamun Sonata, I naturally became interested in other works. ‘Kinky Boots’ is a musical that you can gain strength from after watching so I was attracted to it. The message the musical gave was so good I had no choice but to choose it. Of course the numbers were good too.

How did you join the musical?

I was offered an audition by the production company by chance. I filmed myself singing and acting in front of the production crew and sent the video to the original production team in the United States. I jumped for joy after hearing the news that we would be working together.

What kind of work did you put in in order to play your character well?

This is a given but I practiced on my own even before we started practicing. I remember practicing really hard because I also had to send videos to the original production team. Charlie’s role was much harder than I anticipated it to be so I had to practice vocalization and acting. While drawing up the situations of Charlie, I thought about whether or not I had similar experiences and tried to reflect and show myself through Charlie.

It seems like you received a lot of help from Lee Seokhoon, who played the role in the previous season.

Yes I did. I received a lot of help from him. Seokhoon gave me a lot of strength and courage. Anytime I was stuck on a difficult part, he would always be there to consult with me. I had many conversations with him and I would like to take the time now to say thank you to him. I am also very very very happy to have met such a good brother.

| CJ ENM

Are there any parts of Charlie’s personality that are similar to yours?

Charlie has never felt passion not even once throughout his life. Then he finds the passion of life after meeting ‘Lola’, someone who is confident in front of the world. And he starts running towards it. Just like Charlie, I too am working hard in order to chase after my dreams.

As Charlie, what strengths do you think you have?

Charlie is an ordinary character that you can see in real-life. I think that’s why there are many similar characteristics to me, and I think that is my strength.

During practice and performing, what is the most difficult part?

Truthfully, I sleep very late and wake up late too, so it was really difficult for me to wake up in the morning for practice. I really struggled trying to change my daily routine in order to maintain a good condition for practice. The most difficult part for performing was also maintaining my condition.  I use up a lot of energy on stage so whenever I finish a show and return home, I am totally knocked-out. It is important to distribute energy the right way since the performances are conducted with long-term breathing. Having good energy and being in the best condition for every performance will always be the most difficult part.

Please let us know what you want to focus on the most while acting

Charlie, who lived a boring life without passion, suddenly takes over his father’s shoe factory and meets Lola and begins to change. He also risks it all to try and go to Milan and ends up in a rut. He also gets mad at the shoe factory employees and Lola but I want to help the audience understand why this was his only choice. Of course that doesn’t mean that what Charlie did was good (laughs).

How would you express the different actors playing Lola in one word?

That is a difficult question but I guess Euntae would be pretty, Jaerim would be sexy, and Hongseok would be tough and powerful.

| CJ ENM

Just as Lola inspired Charlie, is there someone who influenced you over the past ten years as an artist?

I have loved the band Nell since I was young. A lot of people know that I am a long-time fan of Nell. Thankfully, I was able to work with Nell after I became a singer. I am always thankful to them as I have learned a lot from them as they helped me grow my dreams of becoming a singer.

Last month it was the 300th episode of ‘Kinky Boots’. What was the team atmosphere like?

Apart from it being the 300th episode, our teamwork is always the best. Everyone performs with a happy heart for each performance. I performed the first show which was the 299th episode and Seokhoon and Jaerim performed the last show which was the 300th episode. As always, we all performed with joy and happiness and gratitude.

Do you have any desire to try and play the role of Lola?

Lola’s role is so charming and is a role that I would like to try one day. However, I am not confident in taking off my shirt (laughs).

The performance industry has gone through difficult times due to COVID-19. The meaning of getting on stage during these difficult times must hit different.

Honestly, I wasn’t very comfortable performing this time around. I know that it was difficult for the audience to come to the show during these times. All the actors including myself worked hard to give more strength to those that came to watch our show. We hope that those who watch our show can receive great comfort and strength.

| CJ ENM

What kind of comfort does ‘Kinky Boots’ give during these hard times?

Everyone is going through hard times right now and we hope that those that watch our show will be comforted and have a good time. A lot of people have been saying that it’s been a long time since they were very happy and had a good time after watching the musical. I feel really good when I hear things like that.

Let us know the difference between watching the show as an audience and performing as an actor on stage.

Watching the show as an audience allows you to see the complete performance and have fun watching it. But as someone who performs the show on stage, I understand just how much hard work and effort went into making this musical happen. Being behind-the-scenes, I can see all the staff members who are working hard in order for the audience to see a complete show.

Is there anything that a senior actor said that stuck with you?

I remember one senior who told me ‘energy is important’. I thought about being an actor with good energy and am still working hard to become that.

| Woollim Entertainment

Do you plan to continue acting on stage in the future?

If I have the opportunity and if it’s a show that I want to do, I will put my fears aside and take on the challenge.

What type of actor do you wish to be?

I want to become an actor that can show a multitude of different sides. I also want to become an actor that can comfort and give strength to others.

Source: inews24

Infinite