What is the most memorable thing you did with the children?
KANG SEUNGYOON: “The first experience lasts forever. The most memorable moment with the children for me was when we rode bike with them and took them to the sea. That was the first such moment with children for us, so they are very precious memories. You can check details in the show. (laugh)”
NAM TAEHYUN: “I had my first experience, too. I tried kite-flying for the first time. That was super fun. I really enjoyed it just like the kids.”
When you first heard about the concept of the show, I think you compared it to “GOD’s Child-Rearing Diary” show.
SONG MINHO: “People keep asking me if this show is like that ‘Child-Rearing Diary’. Now that we’ve shot this show, it is totally different from that show.”
Is there anything you can say ‘this is Half-moon Friends’ distinctive advantage’ when compared with ‘Child-Rearing Diary’?
KANG SEUNGYOON: “Well, first of all, our kids can talk very well.”
SONG MINHO: “The format itself is completely different. We’re the teachers and friends of 10 kids, so you can see much more different stories than from only one kid.”
LEE SEUNGHOON: “As we’re teachers, we spent some time with parents, too, visiting the kids’ homes. In the process, we naturally came to know in what kind of environment the kids are living. I think it will be fun to see each kid’s stories.”
SONG MINHO: “I think viewers of different age groups would like our show. It can appeal to not only our fans in their teenage years or twenties, but also parents who are raising kids.”
NAM TAEHYUN: “We got training as we had to teach children. The guests who gave us the training are famous people. You’ll be surprised. You can really look forward to it.”
LEE SEUNGHOON: “We got so surprised to see famous celebrities whom we saw only on TV. At that moment, I felt like ‘Oh, we’re really doing this TV show with JTBC and I felt so good.”
KANG SEUNGYOON: “WINNER with children and WINNER preparing the next day’s classes after all the children went home are different. I believe that will be the interesting point for viewers.”
Honestly, what came across your mind when you first heard the title “Half-moon Friends”?
SONG MINHO: “I knew the fact that the title was decided to be ‘Half-moon Friends’ because we had to stay with the children for half a month. The staff explained that to us.”
KANG SEUNGYOON: “I liked the title as it had double meaning. Half-moon indicates that we would stay with the children for 15 days and its image is well matched with children’s innocence.”
What was your first encounter with the kids like?
KANG SEUNGYOON: “We didn’t know anything about each other when we first met. I didn’t know what to do, so I was kind of shocked.”
SONG MINHO: “I’m a shy person, so I also didn’t know what to do at first. I thought I shook off my shy personality much after I began my career, but still, it was not easy to stay with children.”
NAM TAEHYUN: “I really liked those 15 days. Ever since I became a grown-up and began working, it has been hard for me to calculate consequences and act logically always. But, children are not like that. They like what they like and they hate what they hate, so I could speak the same language with them. I think I’m still like a child. I was really comfortable with the kids, it was just like playing with them. One thing difficult for me though was to wake up early in the morning, because I had to get up by seven or eight in the morning and get to work. Usually, I work at night and sleep in the morning, so I experienced kind of jet-lag.”
What was your daily schedule like?
KANG SEUNGYOON: “We got to work by 9 o’clock in the morning at the latest, and had morning meeting between ourselves. Then, we checked notes from parents and children came by 10 o’clock. After a playing time in the morning, we had lunch, then had afternoon classes. After kids went home, we prepared for the next day’s classes. Then, we left the daycare to prepare classes with experts.”
You held concert on weekends despite such hectic weekday schedule!
LEE SEUNGHOON: “We felt so confused. We were teachers and spent our weekdays with kids and then we had to turn ourselves into cool singers on weekends, to say ‘I love you fans’. Then, on the next day, we had to become teachers again. That was really confusing for us. Actors say that it is hard for them to get out of the character they acted for some time being, and we were the same. We even felt somewhat awkward at weekend concerts.”
Did the kids recognize their teachers at the concert?
LEE SEUNGHOON: “My hair was set for concert and the kids said my hair looked wet and awkward. We tied the kids’ shoestrings and helped them go to bathroom, while preparing ourselves for the concert.”
KANG SEUNGYOON: “I realized the power of habit once again.”
You stayed with the kids for only 15 days, did you really build friendship with them?
KANG SEUNGYOON: “If you thought 15 days were too short to build friendship, you’re wrong. I was really touched by some unexpected things. I was personally concerned about whether I had to create a good image for the broadcasting, but children opened themselves up first, so I just opened myself up, too. I was just so fascinated by the kids. I’m not sure whether the kids were fascinated by me, though. (laugh)”
What did you newly learn from doing this show?
SONG MINHO: “A lot. I completely didn’t know how to treat children. I newly learned that from the show. I stayed with the kids for 15 days and now I’m confident in how to deal with children. Now, when I come across a kid near my home, I confidently initiate conversation with them.”
KANG SEUNGYOON: “I now have same understanding with parents. (laugh) When I come across parents with young kids in elevator, I talk a lot with them.”
SONG MINHO: “Now, I can more easily communicate with kids. First, I ask them ‘how old are you?’ When they say how old they are, I can see what things they like.”
KANG SEUNGYOON: “Unintentionally, now I can better communicate with people from wider range of age groups.”
I guess your ideas about marriage have changed, too.
NAM TAEHYUN:“To bringing up a human being requires a perfect preparation, commitment, and responsibility, I guess. Before I get such full commitment, I can’t become a parent. If I come to face such situation without any preparation, that will be really hard.”
You know how to change diapers now.
NAM TAEHYUN: “I built some know-how. I gave a small mission to disperse kids’ concentration and then changed the diaper quickly.”
Do you think you’ll be a good father?
KANG SEUNGYOON: “I came to know the stories of the kids with whom I spent 15 days together and in the process, I imagined ‘I would do these things to my kids’. To some extent, I’ve become confident about becoming a father.”
This show was 100% shot before broadcasting. It is a rare format.
KANG SEUNGYOON: “I would be grateful if this program draws big attention and if many people watch it, but we’re not expecting that. Regardless of the success of the show, it was a really precious memory and experience for us. I hope the sincerity of the show can be well-expressed to viewers.”
NAM TAEHYUN: “I hope our sincerity could be well-shown on TV. I thought the producer of the show was really respectful, when he said he wanted to shoot the show 100% before the broadcasting, because staying with the kids for entire 15 days without break in between would be better for sincere communication with them. So, I guess you’ll be able to see many interesting and touching scenes in the show.”