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Dara, Nam Joo-hyuk have a blast at PH fancon

Both talk career, fashion and teaming up in a romantic comedy project

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Korean stars Dara and Nam Joo-hyuk had a marvelous time when they headlined a fan conference on July 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Thunderous cheers filled the arena as the two Penshoppe ambassadors, together with Pinoy celebrities and Club Penshoppe PH members Ronnie Alonte, Loisa Andalio, Maris Racal and Khalil Ramos, and DJ Tom Taus, Keiko Necesario and IV of Spades, brought the house down at the event, which also showcased musical numbers and a runway show.

Selected fans also got the chance to play games with the two Korean stars including basketball and reenacting a scene with Joo-hyuk from his drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo.”

Dara was launched as the brand’s endorser in August 2015 while Joo-hyuk was added last year.

“It has been my favorite brand since high school days. I like the clothes and the people. Very easy to work with. It’s been three years,” Dara said at a press conference before the start of the conference.

Nam Joo-hyuk and Dara pose for the camera at the presscon held at the Mall of Asia Arena (Jonathan Hicap)

Nam Joo-hyuk and Dara pose for the camera at the presscon held at the Mall of Asia Arena (Jonathan Hicap)

Joo-hyuk said that when told he would be an ambassador, he was “very happy as I knew I was going to work with Dara. It’s an honor for me to represent an international brand.”

Dara and Joo-hyuk are both under YG Entertainment and appeared in the film and drama versions, respectively, of the webtoon “Cheese in the Trap.”

Dara: From 2NE1 to solo artist and endorser

She started her showbiz career in the Philippines before becoming a K-pop star and debuting in girl group 2NE1.

Now Dara is flying solo in South Korea and and she considers the country her second home, visiting the Philippines few times a year.

She said what she misses most in the Philippines is the Filipino food “sinigang,” explaining that “before I used to miss my friends but now I can call them, text them and video call them everyday. The food is the one I miss the most.”

Asked if she will promote the Philippines to foreigners, she said, “Number one would be Pinoy. I always tell them Filipino people are so friendly. The second one is food and the third one are the beautiful beaches.”

She includes visiting Greece, Egypt and Africa to her bucket list “but for now, I really wanna go to Batanes.”

Dara is also known for her fashion style and for this summer, she just wants to don comfortable clothes. She has different styles for other seasons.

“Lately, it has become hotter in Korea than in the Philippines. (I like to wear) one big t-shirt, like large or extra large. That’s it. No pants. Slippers,” she said. “If it’s spring or summer, I prefer colorful and fresh outfits. If it’s winter, simple stripes. Dark colors.”

In Korea, Dara is on the TV shows “Mimi’s Shop” and “Borrow Trouble.”

“Before when I was in 2NE1, we didn’t appear as often on TV. That’s one of our strategies. Now it’s different. I would love to try everything. Now I’m doing beauty and travel TV shows. Maybe someday I can find a cooking show (although) I don’t know how to cook.”

She said she is open to working in a project with Joo-hyuk such as a romantic comedy. She said she recommended him to Penshoppe and before she knew it, he was signed up as endorser.

“Definitely I wanna do a rom-com (with him),” she said, adding that after the two of them played in different versions of “Cheese in the Trap,” “I hope that next time we will be together in one project.”

Dara described him as “handsome. He’s really nice, friendly. I think it will be fun to work with him.”

She revealed she will have a movie project in the Philippines.

“There were already proposals about movies. They already talked to my management. I’m just waiting for the right time. The leading man had other project. He was busy. When he was already okay, I was busy. Up to now, the timing is the hardest part but I’m looking forward to it.”

Joo-hyuk: From modeling to acting

Nam Joo-hyuk started as a model in Korea before embarking on an acting career starting in “The Idle Mermaid” in 2014.

Among the roles he has played, he chose his character in the 2017 drama “The Bride of Habaek” as his favorite to date.

And if he is given the chance to pick a role for future drama projects, he said, “I would like to play a very normal couch potato who doesn’t do anything in his life. That’s my dream role.”

He also welcomes the opportunity to work with Filipino stars as “it will be an honor to work with Filipino actors in Filipino projects if I’m given the chance.”

Dara and Nam Joo-hyuk greet the crowd (Jonathan Hicap)

Dara and Nam Joo-hyuk greet the crowd (Jonathan Hicap)

Among stars, he admires Korean actor Jo In-sung, his co-star in the upcoming film “The Great Battle” for release on Sept. 19.
“I’ve worked with actor Jo In-sung lately. I admire him a lot because there are so many things to learn from him. I was watching his every move when we were working together,” he said.

Joo-hyuk said he wants to explore places in the Philippines.

“It was always work for me so I never got to go around the Philippines. This time I want to ask Dara for advice on where to go, what to eat and I want to explore more of the Philippines,” he said.

He also wants to have a project with Dara, saying, “I want to do a romantic comedy with Dara. I am very confident that I can make her laugh everyday.”

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