Seems eminently possible that fest organizers had no idea that they had a superstar in their midst.
On the other hand Rain (real name Jung Ji-hoon), the biggest thing in Asian pop culture these days is camped out on an upper floor of the Berlinale Palast for five days and by all accounts is having a great time not being mobbed.
Capable of selling out Madison Square Garden several times over, the 25-year-old Korean performer is huge in Asia and pretty popular elsewhere. He interrupted his 12-country world tour “Rain is Coming” to be here with Park Chan-wook’s Competition film “I’m a Cyborg, but that’s OK.”
“We planned a gap in the schedule, but I’m still surprised to be here in this festival with my first film,” he said while braving a slight cold.
There is no reason Rain won’t reign elsewhere. Away from his high-energy, minutely-choreographed performances, he appears to be bright and engaging. He dresses with a studied casualness too: sparkly jacket, designer shirt, teamed with an understated tie and handkerchief combo and a hunky oversize watch.
“I already knew director Park and accepted the role blind,” he said.
Having done so, he engaged in some extensive research of mental illnesses, learned to yodel and play ping-pong and said he enjoyed his educational journey almost as much as the shift of his acting career from TV to film.
“What I discovered are that people with these illnesses are often more innocent and pure.”
A charmer with an international film career ahead of him? “I haven’t decide what my next film will be. I take these things one at a time.”