As the interview progressed, EXO revealed their true colors as artists. What seemed like a group of playful boys gradually transformed into friendly artists and I became curious of the members’ individual qualities. Since there are silent members or members who are not fluent in Korean, I asked distinct questions to all 12 members. There was only one common request. “Brag about yourself,” and as members added nice qualities about other members, it suddenly became a compliment relay. EXO was right, they were indeed ‘like family and like brothers.’
◆ EXO’s leader Suho. (1991.5.22 Real Name Kim Jun Myun)
- Suho, you are the leader despite your age. Isn’t it hard since there are so many members?
Suho: I am younger than Luhan or Xiumin but we get along like friends. I was a trainee at SM for 6~7 years. I learn a lot as a leader from TVXQ’s UKnow or Super Junior’s Lee Teuk. And I’ve been enjoying MBC’s ‘I live alone’ lately. Every time I watch, I think, ‘Ah, it must be hard living alone, it’s better living with 12’ and I become thankful of the fact that we have so many members.
- What is Suho like?
Members: He enjoys the heat. He should turn on the AC! He’s rightful like a textbook. Kind and a good example. He cares for the dongsaengs like a man and swipes his card well. He’s a cool guy living in Apgujeong. He is playful but during times of concentration, he takes initiative as a leader. EXO wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Suho. I (Chanyeol) like him the best out of the hyungs.
Then who is Lee Su Man to Suho?
Suho: To me, President Lee Su Man is my other father.
◆ Baekhyun, the man in charge of high notes (1992.5.6 Real Name Byun Baek Hyun)
- What is Baekhyun like?
Baekhyun: Lame(laughs). I am friendly. I treat everyone comfortably. Social. If I become more familiar with broadcasts, my wit will really shine. I am rather greedy. I want to be recognized for my vocals and want to be in charge of a variety program. Like an all-around entertainer. I want to learn to act too and be good at everything. (Members) Baekhyun is very talented. He’s the most talented person ever.
- In Baekhyun’s related search, there is SNSD’s TaeYeon?
(Baekhyun) TaeYeon sunbae took care of me very well at the SM town concert. I am younger so she really treats me well. Of course, all of us. I am blonde and TaeYeon was blond during ‘I Got A Boy.’ So I think fans think that we match well visually too. But SNSD likes all of EXO. We are the maknae of SM.
- Then what is SNSD to Baekhyun?
Baekhyun: EXO’s reliable supporters!
◆ Muggle killer Xiumin is. (1990.3.26 Real Name Kim Min Seok)
- Xiumin looks a lot like Sohee from Wondergirls?
Xiumin: I think we look alike too. I get surprised by fans’ synthesized photos. We have the same eyes. But if you think about it, she looks like me (laughs). Next time we meet, I will formally introduce myself.
- What is Xiumin like?
Members: Really clean and neat. He sweats a lot and his sweat always drips down like the rain but Xiumin doesn’t smell like sweat but rather smells nice. Interest hyung. He has a special odor to him (laughs). Besides that, he is diligent and takes good care of the other members.
- What are Wodergirls to Xiumin?
Xiumin: Nobody (song title). I’ve actually never met them before.
◆ Top Maknae Sehun (1994.4.12 Real Name Oh Se Hun)
- If you’re the maknae, are you at the bottom of the hierarchy in the team?
Sehun: No! I am actually on level 0. (Suho) Actually I never ask the younger ones to do any favors but when I ask Sehun for a favor, he doesn’t really listen. I do the favors that the younger ones ask me to do. (Members) Sehun is kind and cute. But sometimes he crosses the line and gets hit by D.O. D.O is in charge of punishments in the team (laughs). Sehun is the style to crisscross between lines. As he crisscrosses along the lines, he shakes the hyungs. But you can’t dislike him.
- Then what is Sehun like as a member?
Members: Unlike what you see, he is very attaching. Actually he does well to the hyungs. He doesn’t look like the maknae but he is soft. When something happens, he is the kid that prays for the members before bed. Cute.
- What is Luhan to Sehun?
Sehun: Ah, I get the comment that we look alike, a lot. Our relationship was built upon bubble tea. He’s the person I think of when I drink bubble tea?
◆ The all-around athletic member Luhan. (1990.4.20. Nationality China)
- Luhan and Sehun look alike a lot, right?
Members: They have the same back. Their hairstyles are similar too. Luhan is like the shrunken version of Sehun. We look from the back and think, ‘Sehun is down from being tired today’ but it would actually turn out to be Luhan. ‘Luhan really has his shoulders up today’ and we would look and it would actually be Sehun. Members get confused a lot.
- What is Luhan like?
Members: He plays soccer very well. All-around in athletic sense. He’s handsome and doesn’t act his age and cute and pure but at the same time manly. ‘Luhan’ means ‘Early morning deer’ and his name and appearance match so well right?
- Then what is Saseng to Luhan?
◆ Martial arts boss Tao. (1993.52 Nationality China)
- What are Tao’s charms?
Tao: Rap, Martial arts, singing, body, height….etc except for dance. In the case of marital arts and muscular body, I am the best in the team.
Members: He is very athletic. His diving skills were so shocking. He did so well. Since he is trained from marital arts, he is good at all sports. So he learns choreographies very quickly too. What can I say, a member like an animal?
- What is SM Entertainment to Tao?
Tao: My different parents, a home away from home
◆ Charismatic D.O is (1993.1.12 Real name Do Kyung Soo)
- What is D.O like?
Members: Thoughtful and kind ‘real man.’ He’s rather stoic. His appearance is cute but his personality is just very ‘real man.’ He is persistent, has view and has a dignified personality. He is very dexterous. Delicate and cute.
- What do you think are some charming points from your voice?
D.O: People around me say that it’s easy to listen to. It is carried well in any song. Actually, strangely, I don’t look at the lyrics but only concentrate on the melodies when I sing. So when I got the lyrics for ‘Wolf’, I didn’t think much.
- What is ‘Growl’ to D.O?
D.O: A song that developed EXO after ‘Wolf.’ Through this song, all 12 members upgraded. Both musically and choreographically.
◆ EXO-M’s leader Kris. (1990.11.6 Nationality Canada)
- What is Kris like as, a man?
Members: A fashionable member. He is good at rap and basketball and tall and handsome. Above all, he speaks 4 languages. English, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin. I am envious (Baekhyun). He has a westernized look. I look totally Asian from any point of view.
- You were EXO-M’s leader but are you second tier because of Suho? What is Suho to Kris?
Kris: I hear that sometimes but I don’t have too much meaning in the leadership position. Suho was EXO-K leader and I am EXO-M leader so it’s similar. But sometimes I feel like the leader and Suho just feels like a younger one (dongsaeng). We are good friends.
◆ Happy Virus Chen. (1992.9.21 Real Name Kimg Jong Dae)
- Do you ever get mistaken as a Chinese because of your name? If you had the opportunity to use a different name, what would you do?
Chen: I get mistaken a lot. The name Chen was given by President Lee Su Man but I have never held a grudge against it. Due to my name, I get a lot of misconceptions about my nationality but I take it in a good heart. I am an EXO-M member so I have no complaints at all. But if I had an opportunity, I would use my initials and be ‘JD’, but Chen suits better than JD right?
- What is Chen like as a member?
Member: A very funky hyung. He is so fun and lighthearted. Chen is so much fun to be with. So kind to the extent of being almost stupid. You can sense friendliness through is speech. He is a friendly member who sings well.
- What is Super Junior to Chen?
Chen: Sunbaes that I want to follow. Super Junior and EXO have similar number of members but Super Junior is so popular overseas. Following their footsteps, we want to be the biggest group to survive for a long time.
◆ The fan-caring Lay. (1991.10.7. Nationality China)
- What is Lay like?
Members: He works hard in everything. In dancing and singing and others. He was the main dancer in EXO-M. Lay is musically talented genius. He plays instruments well and also is good at composing. We want to be close with the multi-faceted and talented Lay.
- Do you have any disappointments from the other members?
Lay: For small reasons, I get disappointed but I like to converse so when I communicate with other members, such thoughts disappear. It is fun to communicate with the members.
- What are fans to Lay?
Lay: A very precious happiness. I suddenly pondered about ‘the meaning of happiness’ and I recently felt very happy during a fan sign event. I am happy about appearing in front of my fans on the stage. We can provide strength to each other.
◆ The ending ornament Kai (1994.1.14 Real name Kim Jong In)
- What are Kai’s charms?
Members: He dances well and since he is tan, he is a sexy guy. He’s the coolest when he sweats. His expression and gestures are good so he presents the finale of ‘Growl.’ Kai is stoic as a maknae and very mature. His consideration towards the other members is touching.
- Actress Yoon Se Ah often said that Kai was her ideal type in broadcasts. Do you have anything to respond?
Kai: Thank you so much. I was a ‘big’ fan of SBS’s ‘Gentleman’s Dignity.’ I am usually not a drama watcher but I watched it all. Ms. Yoon Se Ah, I am watching your drama and I will work harder and formally introduce myself in the future!
- What is Kangta to Kai?
Members: Aside from Mr. Kangta the administrator, he looks like the baseball player Kim Joo Chan, actress Ahn Moon Sook, and actor Cha Tae Hyun. (Kai) I want my DNA searched. Just to add, Baekhyun hyung looks just like the comedian Lee Sung Mi.
◆ The man in charge of visuals, Chanyeol 1992.11.27)
- Chanyeol seems to be very in love with himself so please take the time to brag all you want
Chanyeol: I am very bright and optimistic. I like people but above all, I love myself. And I am good with instruments and cooks well. I fix things well so I am the ‘Mida’s hands.’ I have fixed anything broken from computers to electronics. There is a massage chair in our common house and I assembled it together. (Members) He is a jolly friend. He is in charge of the ‘fix-it’ favors in our team. He always does our favors.
- In your related search, Sulli shows up. How was it being ‘M Countdown’ MC?
Chanyeol: We were close since the trainee years. I think a lot of people misunderstand but we are just close. ‘M Countdown’ was fun. I was really shaking but I think I did well (laughs).
- Recently during a radio show you mentioned that you have the best visual within the team and do you still think the same?
Chanyeol: Of course! But that’s my personal thought. I like myself the best (laughs). Actually all 12 of us are good looking. We are all #1 when it comes to visuals.
- What is f(x) to Chanyeol?
Chanyeol: A good companion and sunbae that I spent my trainee years together with!
Credit: translation, dailyexo.tumblr.com, Source: Sports Seoul.