Former SF9 member Rowoon was recently interviewed by AnOther Magazine, opening up about his career as an idol and actor.
The interviewer noted that Korean has become increasingly popular to learn, according to the language-learning app Duolingo. Rowoon commented that he felt proud that so many people are appreciating Hangul.
This is something I feel proud of. I think the Korean alphabet, Hangul, is beautiful, and I’m grateful that other people perceive it that way too.
In the same paragraph, AnOther Magazine wrote that Rowoon “questions what drives people to become superfans of South Korean actors and idols, to disappear into the fantasy fed to them.” Before theorizing, Rowoon noted that he might have a controversial “hot take” regarding the topic. Yet, he continued, explaining he believes it could be related to loneliness.
This may be a little dangerous to say, but I think it’s about loneliness. That’s how I feel, honestly. I think it’s a contradiction, because at the end of the day, it’s a form of consumption. Once you try to find a reason for it, it turns into loneliness.
Following this, AnOther Magazine touched on not just fans… But sasaengs (stalker fans).
Like many celebrities, he’s had his share of unhinged levels of stan-dom, a no-win zone of obsessive love, and hate. The former has given rise to stalkers – a commonplace problem for most K-pop idols. But it’s the latter (which has included endless, depressing dogpiling about everything from his appearance to his acting skills) that has most affected him.
— AnOther Magazine
Rowoon revealed that initially, he used to feel hurt by criticism. Now, he chooses to view all forms of attention as somewhat beneficial.
It used to be very hurtful, so now I just treat it as more attention. It keeps me on edge, alert and hard-working.
Overall, Rowoon recognizes that his fans find comfort in his work and vice versa. They both can find meaning in their lives through the other.
For the most part, he sees his fans find comfort in what he does as a singer and actor, and ‘there’s a sense of a mission and responsibility knowing this. I always ask myself, ‘Would there be meaning to what I do if these people didn’t exist?’ For them, I feel like I need to live my own life to the fullest. I used to feel a lot of pressure from fame but now I just try to enjoy it.’
— Rowoon via AnOther Magazine
Rowoon once felt pressure from stardom but has learned to enjoy it.