“I have a lot of greed”
A young man with a lot of greed expresses himself busily. In not being able to express everything, he is antsy. But Mark is different. “I like moving more than talking. I have a lot of greed.” In his fourth year of debut, Mark whom is having his twenty-fifth birthday soon, is quietly preparing for the next stage of his own self. Anticipate it.
Note: The ‘greed’ throughout this interview is meant to express one’s will/wishes in wanting to do something.
Mark does not talk a lot. He is as what the other GOT7 members have publicly declared. And he absorbs anything quickly. Firstly, the outfits. As we were shooting, Mark had to put on four outfits and with each outfit, he moves to a different rhythm in front of the camera. He immediately knew what kind of movement would fit a particular styling, what kind of face would be good in wearing a certain kind of hat, and he expressed it. When asked how he was able to do it, with a bashful laughter he replied, “I’m like that? I don’t really know.” Mark doesn’t seem to change or embellish his introvert personality. Instead he uses that disposition calmly. Treasuring his words, he thinks deeply and with all of his strength gathered, he releases it properly. “I can’t just spend my free time like that. I like having to prepare for something.” This quiet young man who finds lying on his bed having a conversation with himself an act that gives him the biggest strength, reveals in words to us (about himself) and it seems like he will achieve more than he has expressed.
AH (Arena Homme): Are you resting well?
MK: Yes. Our vacation is now nearly ending. I think we will soon enter the preparations for our promotions. Throughout our break, I kept attending lessons. Mandarin lessons and acting lessons. There were also times when I just rested.
AH: What else did you do apart from attending lessons? Still since it’s a break, you should play to your heart’s content.
MK: I gamed. Haha. Computer game.
AH: Is it by any chance ‘Overwatch’?
MK: Oh, that’s right. I actually like FPS (first-person shooter) games so this is a little different but it is fun. I’ve been a while since I got addicted to a game.
AH: You lived in LA before you came to Korea, didn’t you? I heard that back then you would always be at the beach during summer.
MK: I’d swim in the sea with my friends and we would also play ball. I would skate board too. When I was in the States, I liked the summer a lot. When school ended, I would call my friends over to swim, I would drive out and we would go to a steak house and eat till we were full… We played around like that.
AH: What was the young Mark like?
MK: A child who couldn’t sit still. I’m always doing something. I’m active. I like going out to play. I’d play basketball and ride bicycles.
AH: Seems like that’s a huge difference from the Mark now. There was a time when Jackson said “(He’s) like an object in the room”.
MK: When I’m at home, I stay still. I’m quiet. I like moving more than talking. I don’t particularly like being noisy. The members say I have nothing to say when they look at me but honestly, I speak my mind. I say whatever’s important. I say whatever I want to say.
AH: You don’t make up things to say right?
MK: Seems like it. If there’s something I’d like to tell someone, I’ll say it. But if there’s nothing worth saying, I won’t say it. There are also times when I don’t say a word when eating with the members. “Let’s go eat,” “Okay” and it ends like that.
AH: Out of the nicknames the fans have for you, one of it is called ‘Mark-stery’. It’s because of mysterious Mark.
MK: Me? I’m mysterious?
AH: Wasn’t that nickname was created because you don’t talk much?
MK: I guess so. Am I mysterious? I don’t think so.
AH: It seems like lately you’ve become proficient with our language and you’ve been expressing your affection the members often. Seems like you put in a lot of effort to be good in Korean.
MK: To some extend? Haha. I voice out my thoughts a little more compared to the past. I used to not voice out my opinions even if I had them. I don’t say anything even when something unpleasant happens. But lately I talk more.
AH: Not wanting to talk about unpleasant things, is that a personality you’re born with?
MK: Yes. Honestly, when I’m not feeling in the best of moods, it is best to be alone. Because I’ll be okay after a while.
AH: Seems like you prefer to observe more than talking.
MK: That’s right. When the boys are playing around, I like watching from the side. Rather than playing along with them, (I like) watching from the side. It’s the same with gaming. I like watching from the side more.
AH: In observing continuously, there would be times when you would discover the fun that the members are having and enjoy it in your heart.
MK: There are times like that. It differs with the situation. What I discovered recently was, I thought Jaebeom was similar to me in which he prefers to watch from the side-lines but it’s not the case. Whenever the boys do something, he pretends to not have interest, pretends to just have a look and suddenly he will go “I’m gonna have a go too.” At some point he would play along and Jaebeom would be the most excited one. It’s fun.
AH: Since debut, Mark’s position has been the rapper. But lately, you’ve expressed greed in singing. What kind of singing would you like to try?
MK: Um. Singing with a feel to it. Not one where I have to scream a high note. Sad things are good too. I think sad songs would be better than upbeat songs. I like ballads so I listen to them occasionally; I don’t sing along, I just put them on.
AH: Not too long ago you said you looked up *NYSNC and Backstreet Boys songs to listen to. Weren’t those songs released when you were very young?
MK: I suddenly had this thought: Which male group’s music had a lot of popularity with the ladies? I wanted to listen to old songs. Out of all of their songs, I only knew the most popular songs from *NYSNC and Backstreet Boys. Listening to them again, there are a lot of good songs. I kept listening to them. Hearing the songs as good songs even now means that they are that strong.
AH: Jinyoung and Jaebeom are promoting as unit JJ Project. You said they have to do well and cheered them on, it seems like you also thought in details about the things that you yourself would like to do.
MK: The things I’d like to do… There are many. I too would like to have a unit with a member that sings (from the vocal line). I’m fine with anyone.
AH: Still, there must be someone whose voice you think matches you the most?
MK: Um.. For me, Jinyoung? I think Jinyoung’s voice and mine match well. I think the style of music that I like matches Jinyoung’s too.
AH: The other GOT7 members chose you as the member with the most greed.
MK: That’s right. I have a lot of greed. I also have a lot of greed when it comes to food. Not the kind of greed where I steal the other boys’ food. I just seem to have a lot of greed whenever I do something.
AH: The Mark I see seems to be quick-witted. I especially have those thoughts when I watch <Law of the Jungle>.
MK: I don’t really know. Am I like that?
AH: Whenever you want to help someone, you can quickly grasp what the other person needs.
MK: Ah, back then it’s because we all needed to survive together. Regardless of what it is, everything needed to be done quickly.
AH: Did you discover your speciality there? What did you think you were good at in the jungle?
MK: I don’t think there’s anything. That’s why I worked hard in helping out. I’m good at swimming but the water was too cold so I couldn’t do it. From the first time in going to the jungle, I thought that I needed to help a lot. Since Byoungman hyung would be having a hard time, I thought that I should offer my assistance properly. Not too long ago, Byoungman hyung contacted me; he said to go to a warm country and to swim (together) next time. He said he would teach me scuba diving. And.. If I do go again next time, I should talk a little more. I think I only diligently worked.
AH: ‘Not much to say,’ ‘quiet,’ ‘lots of greed’ etc. these are all said by other people about you. But putting all of that aside, how would you like to be thought of by other people?
MK: As I am when I’m on stage. I pray that people would not think of GOT7 as a group that does not/cannot do well. I hope we don’t come across that way. I hope people see GOT7 as a group that works hard and does well. And… I’m someone who cannot initiate conversations with people I don’t know. Therefore, I still don’t think people know who I am; there are many times when I walk around on the streets and when people I don’t know recognize who I am and come up to say hello, I get flustered. I don’t know how to answer them. But when those people see me like this, they could think of me this way: “Does he think he’s doing well? I guess he caught the celebrity disease.” But I’m like that because I don’t know what to say or how to answer. Therefore I hope people don’t misunderstand me.
AH: It’s Mark’s 25th birthday in September. If you don’t have any schedules, what would you like to do?
MK: We’re heading into preparations for our promotions so I think there will be schedules. But even if it’s not that, there’s always work on my birthday.
AH: Is it a jinx? That there will always be work on Mark’s birthday!
MK: Ah, it’s (2)PM hyungs’ debut anniversary date. 4th September. Anniversary of their debut. I have to attend that. I’ll have to do something. I won’t be resting.
AH: As expected, truly a personality of someone who can’t sit still.
MK: Haha. I like spending time at home. But I also like doing things. Preparing for things.