2AM member/solo artist Jo Kwon, currently starring as the lead character in the first ever Korean version of the musical 'Jamie', opened up about his special relationship with the musical, his aspirations for the future, and more in a media interview.
'Jamie', based off of a true story, tells the story of a 17-year old high schooler whose dream is to become a drag queen. Jo Kwon, who revealed that he saw audition flyers for 'Jamie' while he was still serving his mandatory military service duties, said, "I felt like I would regret it forever if I didn't audition for 'Jamie'... I'm 32-years old now, so I thought that if I didn't get to work on this production while I'm a little younger, while people still tell me I look young for my age, then I would really carry the regret all the way to my grave. I auditioned with unwavering determination."
Jo Kwon then shared that as much as he received compliments for suiting the role of 'Jamie' himself, his own mother is strikingly similar to the character Margaret - Jamie's mother in the story. "My parents came to see the musical about 4 times. My mother is the Korean Margaret, she's my mentor. She was by my side all the way when I was training to debut as a singer. Her eyes are always puffy from crying after the shows... I was proud when my parents told me that they were moved by the show," he shared.
Next, Jo Kwon discussed his love for high heels, just like his character Jamie. "I have about 15 pairs of high heels on display at home. I don't really wear them except when I'm dancing, but when I look at them, I feel empowered. Like a superhero who puts on his cape and goes from a normal person to a superhuman being... I've liked them since I was a kid. There's a part in one of the songs that I can relate to. 'Do you remember when we were young? We tried on all of mom's clothes from the closet. It's a game I want to play forever'. I get choked up when I sing that part. I was the same way."
Finally, Jo Kwon shared his aspirations as a musical actor as the leading male star of 'Jamie'. He relayed, "When it comes to musicals about queers or drag queens, like 'Jamie', 'Priscilla', 'Kinky Boots', or 'Hedwig', I wish my name would always be mentioned right alongside those titles. I want people to say, 'Of course, Jo Kwon has to be in this musical'. When I first started doing musicals, I said I didn't want to be tied down to just similar genres, but now I prefer to stand on a stage where I know I fit in and I know I can shine."
Meanwhile, Jo Kwon has starred in numerous musicals including 'Priscilla', 'Chess', 'Evil Dead' as well as the ROK army musical 'The Promise Of The Day'.