So now that we all know and have seen Rain‘s acceptance speech for the Biggest Badass Award at the MTV Movie Awards, let’s see what he says about it in his own words.
Rain had an interview with 10asia and he spoke about how proud he was in winning the award. While it isn’t an Oscar, it sure is pretty big for him because it definitely establishes him as an action star in the minds of many Americans (and perhaps some overseas fans had a hand in the voting!). Nevertheless, I didn’t understand his joke (and I even watched a rerun of it on TV) until I read this interview.
Though I commend him in his achievements, I must say he really needs to practice harder – get to Lee Byung Hoon levels maybe – before he makes another acceptance speech in front of a crowd as hard as the one at the MTV Movie Awards, because that award show is all about how many f-bombs, witty remarks, and damn good jokes you can make while you have your two minutes on stage. I’m not saying he should curse his head off – but it’s a tough crowd to please.
But he does get pretty deep when he speaks about the future of Asians in Hollywood, to which I once again applaud.
The following interview is only an excerpt.
10: In your acceptance speech, your comment about your “ass” [as in “Biggest Badass Star”] was very witty. (laugh) Still, I have to ask you once again how you feel.
Rain: I feel really great. More than anything, I am glad that I was able to fulfill the promise I made to my mom. Ten years ago, I told her that I would win an award in the U.S. with something great and that promise was fulfilled. So personally, I am overwhelmed. Secondly, I think it will help me a lot with my future activities. I can’t believe that I was a part of such a huge, entertaining award show like the MTV Movie Awards. In a way, you could say that it is something that would happen on a fictional news coverage. (laugh) So I’m really happy.
10: At the MTV Movie Awards, you said to the audience, “Why so serious? Enjoy.” and you even wanted to do “the otter dance.” [One netizen in Korea recently posted an animation video in which an otter imitates the dance routine in Rain’s “Love Song.” After the video became popular among fans, Rain publicly said that he would do “the otter dance” if his song reaches No. 1 on a televised music show.] Recently, it seems like you have loosened up and become humorous when dealing with the public.
Rain: I don’t think I need to be serious anymore. It has been ten years since I started working under the name Rain and I have really been through all kinds of things during that time. I often thought that there is no point in going though all that if I am not enjoying the process. And this is something I have felt for a while but I think it is best to be honest with the public. And that is how the otter performance came about as well. Honestly, what good is winning No. 1 for me? Of course, I would be very grateful and happy but I think it is good for idol group singers or other people to win. I wanted to pay the fans back for still paying so much attention to me. It was like a promise or a special fan service. (laugh) I had seen the otter video, so I was going to prepare a mackerel and perform with it on stage, but my manager forgot about the fish. I said that I would do it next week, but I was disappointed because somebody else took No. 1 the following week. (laugh)
10: After a certain point in your career, particularly after “Ninja Assassin,” many people predicted that you would be working more overseas. But you are still releasing an album in Korea, leading a busy career not only as a singer but you also decided to appear in the drama “The Fugitive.” What does Korea mean to you at this point in your career?
Rain: If I wanted to make money, I wouldn’t have worked in Korea. Rather, I would have performed concerts in China, Japan or U.S. and shot dramas or movies there. But I don’t think a person should forget where he comes from. I think that is more important than making money. Like the saying goes, that a frog should remember his tadpole days, one should not forget where he had his first success. It is a part of my life and what I do in Korea, where I first became successful, could still spread throughout Asia. What I did recently is that I came back to my old house to live. (laugh) It is useless to achieve great success outside when you can’t take care of your family first. Of course, the American culture is still the center of the world but it will gradually shift to China and Asia. And the center of Asian culture is Korea. If I always keep my family intact, I will get along fine with my first cousins and then with my second cousins as well. (laugh)
10: You are not a just a star. You have a strong image as someone who works incredibly hard and achieves an enormous success on your own. So your fans call you “Rain The God” and support you 100 percent, but the general public feels a distance from you because of that very image.
Rain: Actually that is part of the reason I am working harder in Korea. Because I don’t want to be too distant from the public. Of course, it is not because I am worried my popularity will decrease or that I will be forgotten. I have become a professional entertainer in Korea, which has allowed me to work in bigger waters. And so I don’t think it is right to disappear from the public and promote a mysterious image after I have made it. I would rather be the kind of celebrity who feels familiar and close, someone who talks and greets his fans when they talk to him. It is only when Korea approves of me that I can do well out in the world. Somebody said that the human race is not categorized as blacks, whites and yellow people but as the blood types A, B, O and AB. The old racial distinctions are going to disappear and I want to represent Asia and even more, I want to be able to work regardless of race. And in order to do that, I think that there should be no distance between myself and my family — my fans, that is.
10: So then, this win is going to help you a lot in representing Korea and becoming a global star.
Rain: Chinese stars like Jackie Chan and Zhang Ziyi have won at the MTV Movie Awards, but I am the first Korean to win so I really want to brag about this one. (laugh) In the past, I always said that I was incredibly lucky to achieve my successes but this time I really believe that I worked very hard. And it is an award that is given by the fans. I really wanted to win it, to be honest.
(Note: Actually he’s not the first Korean per se to win – Ken Jeong won an award before him. However, if you want to argue that he’s the first Korean-born, and not Korean-American, to win, then yes – he totally beat out Lee Byung Hoon’s role in “G.I. Joe”. [come to think of it – Lee’s role was pretty bad ass too…])
10: But winning “Biggest Badass Star” could increase your fame but could fast consume you as the typical Asian action star.
Rain: Of course I am worried about such possibilities. It is a big stereotype to think action films when you think of an Asian actor. But I don’t think there is anything you can do about that. And you don’t frankly need to hide the weapons that Asian actors have. We do have a talent in making action films and martial arts is an Asian culture so I don’t think you need to work at hiding it. I think that in about ten or twenty years, when the Asian market has grown a bit more, there could be a romantic comedy movie about an Eastern man and a Western woman.
10: Do you think Rain will still be standing in the spotlight when that happens?
Rain: I don’t think a miracle is something that happens but something that you create. Nobody makes it happen for you, you just make it happen yourself. Some people say that I am going too fast and others say that I am too lucky. There are even those who tell me that I take on too many things, but if you focus and work hard, you can make everything happen. It is better when you have luck but I think you can make it happen even when you don’t have luck on your side. In fact, this is a story for a romantic comedy that I am thinking about these days. An Asian man and a Caucasian woman fall in love, but the thing is that the man doesn’t speak English very well even though he lives in the U.S. So he starts learning English from the woman, all kinds of things happen in the process and they fall in love. If I continue meeting many people through the human network that I am building, keep throwing ideas and discuss with them, won’t myself and the next generation be able to have access to make that kind of a movie? (laugh)