Yes, Rain just happens to be my own personal #1 favorite K-Shot of Hot! So, it is apropos I begin this journey with him leading the way! As new as I am to K-drama and K-pop, that is how new I am to Rain. I discovered Rain through the K-drama, A Love To Kill. It was a heavy, emotional and sad drama. But Rain blew me away with his honest and very raw performance. At that point, I had yet to embark upon really getting to know ALL of Rain. The music side, the dancer side, the performer side and the actor side. I have a long way to go and a lot yet to learn and discover about Rain, but I am on my way.
I became enthralled, entranced and engulfed after ALTK! My world exploded and I have not been able to escape the Rain since! In the few short months of my devouring everything I could find on him (and I still find something new every day), an amazing blessing showered upon me when an opportunity was literally placed at my feet to see Rain live, in person. So please, before I go any further, indulge me as I re-live and re-swoon the moments I saw Rain inches from me, up close and in person. OMG!!
Rain attended and performed at the Arirang World Peace Festival in Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. As he is currently serving his mandatory military service, he was in full uniform. SWOON! I traveled from Chicago to DC to see him perform. He only sang two songs — and as greedy as I may have been to want more, I was still THRILLED to see him and grateful for the two songs he shared with us that evening! Talk about a surreal moment. There he was. Steps away. I managed to video his performance with the help of my iPhone. But, unlike most who had their cams rolling for the entire performance, mine is in two parts. Why, you ask?! Well, when the Sergeant made his move to my side of the stage, my world tilted a bit. I nearly dropped my phone hence the abrupt end to Part 1 (which you will see below). Hey…I would like to see how you would fare when Rain is walking towards you singing!! 🙂 Thankfully, I recovered, realized that the recording had momentarily been paused in the ruckus, recouped and was able to capture the remaining glorious moments. (That ruckus, by the way, was the one going on in my head and heart caused by seeing and being in such close proximity to him!) And although the quality is not the best, I will take it, savor it, and cherish it. It was my first attempt at capturing video using my phone and my first subject was Rain. It was a win, no matter what! Frankly, I am shocked I stayed upright, conscious and coherent. Being that CLOSE . . . .uffffft! Those eight or some minutes were heavenly!
So, let’s continue this swoon party, shall we, with my very first K-Shot of Hot: the ever-so talented and gorgeous Jeung Ji-Hoon, otherwise known as Rain. I have no real plan here as to how I am going to set out pictures, videos and/or other media and am just kind of flying by the seat of my pants. I may become more cohesive and organized as I move forward on this blogging journey and then again, maybe not!
Woaaaaah! Nice. Sexy. Handsome. Cute. Two pictures in and I am already in high octane swoon mode! I can look at this man all day long, every day of the year and never grow tired!
Rain The Actor
When I began to really immerse myself in Rain, it became abundantly clear that what we had here was a triple threat. A triple threat in the entertainment biz is someone who can sing, dance and act AND do all three equally well. Because Rain puts his all in everything, it is no wonder that he brings the goods 100% all of the time in all three of those ‘threats.” Inasmuch as I am absolutely enamored of his smooth, husky vocals and fluid dance moves, his turn as an actor really impresses me.
Let’s face it, Rain excels in everything he puts his mind to and does. For his film and drama work, I lean specifically towards two pieces as my very favorites. So I will start with those and work my way down the line in no particular chronological order. Please note that since I am still getting to know him, I have not seen EVERYTHING yet and will leave out comments on those works – but will include some tidbits (pics and/or video clips) so as not to leave them completely out! Must give credit, where credit is due!
I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Okay
Some may have found Rain’s film I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Okay a little too out there to fully appreciate. Was it out there? Yes. Was it different? Yes. And I am not going to go into the details of the film because I am not here to review works but I just want to let you know that Rain threw down a pretty amazing and impressive performance, and if you stick with the film, you may even agree. I happen to think that director, Park Chan-Wook took a sensitive subject matter (mental illness) and coupled it brilliantly with a very unconventional love story. Both lead actors, Rain and Im Soo-Jung were superb. If you enjoy eclectic indie-type films, I think you might dig I’m A Cyborg. I felt Rain’s performance was thoughtful and tender. For his work, he won Best Actor at the Korean Film Awards in 2007 as well as Best New Actor at the 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards. The film won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.
There were many moments in the film that stuck with me. But the following two really leapt out. Left to communicate via cup and string, mentally ill and institutionalized patient, Park Il-Sun (Rain) serenades fellow patient, Cha Young-Goon (Im Soo-Jung) with a song he yodels. Really Rain? You can yodel, too? Yep, that sure is Rain singing! I loved it. Ok…just go with the visuals here — suspend reality a bit and don’t worry too much about figuring out what is going on if you have not seen the film. I just want to showcase that lovely voice of his in a very unconventional genre…yodeling. Nevertheless, he pulls it off with aplomb! That’s talent for ya!
The other moment was…well, the sensuous kiss he delivered. Yes, my knees buckled a bit when I watched this one. I even found it odd that in some cuts of this kiss on YouTube, there is an age restriction. 🙂 Again, suspend reality here a bit and don’t worry about the context if you haven’t seen the film. Even if the kiss was all you were to see of this film, I think it’d be worth it and you’d be satisfied! I read that Im Soo-Jung said that out of all of the actors she has worked with, Rain was the most tender. I think we can ALL agree that he is one very tender kisser after witnessing THIS! He has the most beautiful lips and mouth I have ever seen on any one person, man or woman! EVER! For real! <3
Hands up if you want to be kissed by Rain!! <3
A Love To Kill
ALTK was my introduction to Rain, the actor. What an intro that was!! You have to remember, I was still getting to know him. In this drama, he blew me away. The angst, the pathos, the anger, colliding with falling in love….oh, this was glorious! Some may think his best pairing to date was with Song Hye Kyo in Full House. I don’t know. I will agree that he had some lovely chem with SHK and that they were nicely matched. My fave Rain OTP, however, is his turn with Shin Min Ah in A Love to Kill (unless of course he decides to do a noona drama wherein I am cast opposite him)! Then I may have reconsider that OTP! =^.^= But, I digress….
I absolutely adored Rain’s commitment to this role. His Kang Bok-gu is conflicted, confused, angry and desperate. I cannot reiterate enough how wonderful he was and how well he plays an intense multi-layered character. So good.
And, I loved him opposite Shin Min Ah. LOVED! She is luminous. He is gorgeous. Even at his scruffiest, he is still so easy on the eyes! When he cleans up and dons a suit and tie……swoon into and straight through the ground! This drama is NOT for the faint of heart. There are very few happy moments, if at all. It is heavy, sad, and tragic. I loved it and I loved Rain in it! I won’t say too much more and will just leave you with this lovely video featuring the theme song from A Love To Kill. The way he looks at her….ufffft!
Again….the way he looks at her or any of his female co-stars for that matter…..it’s just simultaneously sensual and disarming!
Seriously, can they be any more STUNNING together? OMG!
In my opinion, he exercised his acting chops to the nth degree in these two pieces of work! [Note: This is subject to change once he has completed his MS and is back in action as I feel there is going to be a whole lot more coming our way from Ji Hoon-ssi!]
Rain playing an arrogant, self-centered actor???! Not our Rain!! But he was believable and when the layers started peeling away from Young Jae, it was then that I felt Rain really began settling into the character. I love seeing a character go through an evolution. Rain is able to bring dimension to his Young Jae which is really nice because it could have been so easy to just play him one way. I think Rain has a way of getting inside the head of a character and this is exactly why he needs to do more acting!
I am currently watching this drama for the first time. I love it, love him and love Song Hye Kyo. They are lovely together and compliment each other quite nicely. I love that Rain towers over her. Actually I love that Rain is a 6’1 tower!!! I don’t know if I am just a freak of nature, but when I watch these romance oriented dramas, I like to figure out when it is exactly that the OTP falls in love. I am not that far into this drama yet, but I think I nailed the moment Han Ji Eun falls for Young Jae. You can refute it, if you want and challenge it with your own guess, but for me, Ji Eun fell in love with Young Jae when she read the note accompanying his birthday gift to her (the mini-voice recorder) wherein he told her to touch hearts with her writing. Yep, I think that was the exact moment. Even though he goes on to aggravate her post-gift, I still say THAT was the moment. It was a tender moment for Young Jae to actually even do that given his overall disdain for her at this point in the drama AND the fact that he is still in love with another woman. I haven’t reached the point in the drama where it’s Young Jae’s turn to fall in love with Ji Eun, so no spoilers, ok?! I want to see for myself. One thing’s for sure, as they spend more time together, I notice Young Jae softening, which I love and which I feel Rain handles quite well.
Song Hye Kyo is a doll, actually, and has pretty good comedic timing! I think they probably had a lot of fun on the set filming scenes like this one:
Sang Doo, Let’s Go to School
Oh Rain, you really fooled me with this one. I was NOT expecting this one to take the twists and turns it did. It was quite an emotional rollercoaster for me, but I hung in there and drank in every last drop. Fooled me right good, it did. Rain, however, was fantastic. He digs so deep during solemn, pensive and introspective moments. I don’t know where he goes, but I love watching him go there. Clearly Sang Doo is masking all kinds of hurt, pain, anguish and loss with humor which lends itself to quite a few over-the-top moments. I can tolerate those moments from him. And, the reason I am able to tolerate it in this drama is 1) he is Rain and, well, that is reason enough for me; and 2) the flip side of those moments (the deep, thoughtful and pensive ones) are so deftly delivered by him. As for the romance portion of this drama, I felt that even though Gong Hyo Jin did not have the level of chem with Rain that say Shin Min Ah or Song Hye Kyo had, I still liked her and I was right on board with her Chae Eun Hwan’s relentless refusal to give Sang Doo up once she caved and realized that she was in love with him, had always loved him, and never stopped loving him. And, the way he looks at his costars……OMG!
My favorite relationship, however, in this drama was that of Sang Doo and his adorbs daughter, Bori.
I about lost my mind when this image popped up on my screen. I loved, loved, LOVED how he teetered in his relationship with Bori between being either a father or almost a petulant big brother. It was a delight to watch him abandon the fact that his character was Bori’s father and engage her in adult banter totally forgetting that she was a 7 year old child! I enjoyed how he could easily navigate those moments. They were honest and believable.
You must have gathered by now that I am firmly set in my belief that Rain is a tenderheart. So far, in all of his work that I have seen, he has displayed this tenderheartedness. I think this is simply part of who Rain is and that is why it is so easy for him to convey it on the screen. Case in point: [SPOILER-ish] His screen daughter is suffering from leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy thus resulting in hair loss. With her permission, they decide that daddy should cut her hair off before letting it all fall out. Such a tender moment in the drama. <3
Yeah….I bawled my eyes out during that whole entire scene. Come to think of it, I cried a lot during this drama. It just hit me in the right waterworks spot, I guess.
Return 2 Base
Ok, let’s forget for a second that this is basically a K-knock off of Top Gun. At first I thought I was watching an exact remake from the motorcycle whizzing along the ocean shoreline to the tower buzz by a ‘maverick’ fighter pilot!! Truth be told, I did not think it was that great. I thought the script was rather weak. There wasn’t really good character development. In fact, it all seemed a bit rushed for me. And maybe it has a lot to do with poor editing. I get the feeling there was a lot left on the cutting room floor. But……it had Rain and Rain was good. There were some good special effects. And visually it looked great. The attack on South Korea was brutal in this movie so much so I wondered how the military was going to muster up a counter-attack! Furthermore, from the looks of things, it seemed as if SK was wiped off the face of the earth yet…everyone came home victorious and I thought…..to what? Again, I must point out, it starred Rain and he was looking mighty fine. Mighty fine, indeed. So I can let this one slide. I hope that when he exhales on July 10 and sits in his living room to go through the stacks of scripts that are most assuredly waiting for him, he reads through them discerningly! Rain certainly has what it takes to be an action hero-like star. He has the looks, the skill, the presence and the physique. But a good script with a well-written character is necessary because I know he can deliver depth honestly with a great deal of nuance. Frankly, I would love to see him do more indie stuff (like Cyborg).
Oh yes…thank you. THANK YOU!! 🙂
I have not yet finished up Ninja Assassin, Speed Racer or The Fugitive: Plan B so I am not going to comment on those right now. I will come back to give my thoughts but until then, let’s at least have a look at him in each role, shall we?
Hello? Hello? Where am I? I think I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! If ever there was perfection folks, you’re looking at it! Now let me go get a paper towel to wipe the drool off my keyboard.
Holy hot badass!!!
You’re welcome!!! SWOON!!!
Ummmm…I think I caught a glimpse of a shirtless Rain in this clip. I grew up watching the Speed Racer cartoon and loved it. Don’t know how the movie version is, but a shirtless Rain could possibly save it for me! <Shallow Noona in the house!!>
The Fugitive: Plan B
I am thinking that it is not going to matter to me what this one is about if he is looking THIS fine in The Fugitive! See how the shallow comes out?! Guilty!!
The hair. The skin. The slow, easy smile. The tux. THE DELICIOUSNESS!
Ok, yes, this has really piqued my interest. I mean, it was on my list to watch simply because Rain is in it, but it looks promising and he looks AH-mazing in it!
Rain The Pop Star
Good lord, where to begin. Since Rain broke into the entertainment business as a singer and dancer over ten years ago now, there is no way to gather it all and contain it in one space!! I am going to go with some of my favorites in hopes that they are among yours as well.
I am not sure if all Rain fans can say with certainty that they recall the very first song they heard of his or video they viewed. I recall mine. The song was Hip Song. The first video I viewed of him performing it, was this one:
I have to ask….how can one man make a plain white shirt and black pants look THAT good??! The first time I watched this (NO LIE) I fell completely off my chair when I saw those hips grind. Is it legal for hips to move like that without some kind of advisory? After I saw this video it was game on in trying to see any and everything this man has done. To this day, I am still discovering something new. I don’t know if there are enough years in my life to see everything – but seeing him in person for those short 8 minutes in Washington, DC trumps all right now until he completes his MS, and makes a stop anywhere in the US when he goes on tour! Just name the time and place 비-씨, I will be there!!!
Oh, I cannot NOT include this particular version of Hip Song because it is, for lack of better terms, SMOKING HOT!
My favorites are many, and even as I continue to search for something I haven’t seen, I tend to return to those choice few that have touched me, moved me and excited me.
Because of You
Rain in a trench coat and hat, working the swag and backed by a live band? This is HOT! There are singers whose voices, when they sing, say ‘I love you.’ When Rain sings, his voice is saying, ‘I desire you.’ Husky, smooth and sexy. There is simply no other way to describe it.
My swoon meter is hitting maximum capacity!
He is definitely a master at the smooth R&B-esque vocals that is for sure! But I simply adore his songs that have more of a pop feel as well. I love the fact that when he performs these pop songs, he seems so genuinely happy and you just look at him and know that he absolutely LOVES what he does. It just oozes from him!
Cute overload? How about that smile? Can you resist it? 🙂
There is nothing more attractive than a hot guy with a playful sense of humor. And, that’s all I’m going to say about that!!
I don’t know who was having more fun here….him or the fans!!!
Instead of Saying Goodbye
One of my absolute ALL TIME FAVORITES! And I absolutely adore this performance! <3 <3 <3
The one that started it all. I love this live version of it and I love the music video for the song, so I am going to post both! <3
Swag, intensity and presence all at about 20 years old! He was destined to be a star.
Ok…so I have two versions here of this one.
Let me preface this version by saying that if Rain sang at my wedding, I would be divorced by the end of the song!!
My absolute FAVE version mostly because he looks sooooooo adorable and hot, his vocals are spot on, smooth and sexy, AND I love what he is wearing (I’m a girl, therefore I am allowed to admire his fashion):
There are a bazillion versions and captures of this one but I just LOVE this performance. Rain in a tux dancing like that?!!! OMG, someone better watch the fuse on that swoon meter because I think it just might blow!! I also love when they show his lovely ALTK costar Shin Min Ah in the audience admiring him! <3
I adore this early video of him all thugged out, hip-hoppin his way through the number. Cannot deny the charisma and rhythm that oozes from every pore of his being! <3
Can someone please tell me how the stage did not blow up from the amount of heat that was generated during this performance? Unreal!
Or…how about this one? Sizzle…..sizzle…….burn!!
I hereby declare Nan a weapon of mass destruction……of the schmexiest kind!
Rain The Model
O.M.G. This man!!
That is a whole lot of hot….let me tell you! Coupled with perhaps his most sensual song (Slowly)…next to Nan, maybe! WOW! <3
It is difficult to wrap my brain around the fact that early on in his career, it was suggested that he have plastic surgery; that although magnanimously talented, he did not have the right look. Completely absurd. Utterly unfathomable. Rain is gorgeous just the way he is! Plain and simple. I bow to him with utmost respect for not letting his detractors get the better of him and persuade him to change a thing about himself. Maybe those attacks simply made him stronger and more resolved. In any event, he is prime model material. Tall and muscular, he is able to rock any look, any style, and any fashion. And, the camera LOVES him! Now, I may be completely biased, but I think he is perhaps the most handsome man I have ever feasted my eyes on! In addition to his incredible good looks, it is his character and personality that will draw you in and capture you. Ask any fan, they will agree. There is more to Jeung Ji-Hoon than simply meets the eye. But…..for the eyes, let’s just feast a bit, shall we?
Then, there’s the smile…..
Some of the most candid moments lie in fancam captures during live shows. You never know what will transpire and there is a spontaneity about those moments that once captured, will never be repeated. The same holds true for pictures. These are a couple of my favorite fancam moments of Rain. I love the fancam stuff on Rain because there can be a flurry of activity surrounding him yet, the fancam operator has one mission in mind…..keep that cam focused on the subject: Rain!
I don’t know why I find this one so sizzling hot, but I return to view this one over and over. Is it the seductive way his shirt is falling off his shoulder? Is it because he looks so incredibly long and lean? Is it the hat? Is it the way he moves? Is it the subtle peeks at his waist while he is dancing? Answer: All of the above!
God bless the squeeing fangirl who operated this cam!
Thanks to Rain’s incredible accessibility to his fans, there are plenty of candid pictures out there as well. Candids are among my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good magazine spread, but candid shots are great because they often capture something far more natural and spontaneous.
Another form of candid that I absolutely love that Rain provides are those dance practice videos that are floating around the net. It is clear that he puts a lot into perfecting the choreography and that he is a technician. Here are a few of my absolute favorites.
Did you catch that total wipe out??!! Bwwaaahahaaaa! Love him! <3
Yes, I see that Chicago White Sox cap up under that hoodie!! REPRESENT! (I’m from Chicago and a Sox fan!!) 🙂
I think it is safe to say that I am not the only one who enjoyed the fact that he practiced this one shirtless! Schmexy!
1.7 million views for a song that isn’t even his????? Show ’em how it’s done, daddy! Oh yeah….
Incredible hard work and amazing dedication. I so admire him for constantly pushing himself to learn more, do more and be more. Not that he isn’t already ALL THAT!!
As I mentioned earlier, there is simply not enough space to contain the magnitude of material out there that can encompass a 10+ year career. My time here merely scratched the surface! So I end by saying that there are so many things to appreciate about Jeung Ji-Hoon, the man known as Rain. He has that rare ability to be sexy, sweet, provocative and adorable all at the same time. For me, his appeal expands far beyond what I see when I watch him perform, or what I hear when I listen to him sing. When I took the time to learn about his history, his journey, his struggle, his life, I discovered a very humble and forthright person. Dedicated and ambitious, his steady focus and unwavering belief in himself are what sets him apart from many. He just refused (and refuses) to give up and lives by the adage to always do your best, no matter what. I like that about him. I like that he doesn’t fear failure, nor is he intimidated by it. He never faltered in believing he could achieve success. I found this interview of him and I go back to it often. I find him to be quite grounded and wise amid the incredible fame he now deals with daily. He is charming and engaging, straightforward and honest.
I have never known anyone in the entertainment field to be so driven. His constant and gracious appreciation of his fans is a true testament to his humbleness and, ultimately, his success. In my opinion, his talent is only a small portion of what draws us all in. Oh yeah, you will definitely feel the pull when you watch him perform. He has a charisma that will not be ignored! Be it acting, music or dance, he has the power to steal your heart and never give it back. Just a head’s up! His appeal is THAT strong! He is, without question, one potent K-Shot of Hot! <3