On a past episode of Knowing Bros, K-Pop stars INFINITE‘s L, Super Junior‘s Heechul and former SM Entertainment actress Go Ara talked about what the managing agencies expected from them early in their careers.
As L and Go Ara began showing their natural, fun personalities on set, host Kim Young Chul wondered how L changed a lot, by reminiscing back to early on in L’s idol career when he didn’t talk much.
L explained how his now former agency, Woollim Entertainment, requested that he maintain a mysterious vibe, to go with his set-up reputation of being the handsome but veiled member.
Don’t other agencies do this too? Mine gave me a ‘concept’ to follow. I was supposed to be the mysterious one.
L wasn’t allowed to talk much, or even be seen laughing.
I couldn’t even laugh. If I had to, I would turn around and laugh in secret. If I did anything that would “break character”, I got into a lot of trouble with the agency.
Actress Go Ara also talked about SM Entertainment, where she debuted in 2003 and remained in contract for 13 years until she moved to Artist Company.
She looked back to when she first debuted, when the agency requested her to be a living doll.
I was asked to live like a doll. I was supposed to look and think like a doll. I wasn’t allowed to talk.
— Go Ara
Super Junior’s Heechul, from the same agency, agreed that SM Entertainment requested its artists to keep in certain characters set by the agency.
Heechul shared, “Back when I used to have long hair and dance with the fan, I was in China with Super Junior for an interview.”
The agency told me not to talk so much because it would break my reputation in China as ‘the queen’ of the group.
So Heechul, the queen, had to remain in character by keeping silent and hidden behind his fan!