Lee Jong Suk L’ Officiel Hommes (Oct 2016) Interview Translation- Part 1
I prefer characters with stories behind them. Only when it is like that, the significance of the character can be demonstrated, viewers can also empathize with the character more easily. For the work itself, I attach great importance on whether it can be analysed differently when it is thought about again. I mean works that can be reviewed again. Compared to a pure love ballad, that is more interesting. I think the process in which the actors can communicate and discuss with each other is important.
L’ officiel Hommes (LH) first congratulates you on successful completion of the drama W. Before W’s filming, I saw a report about you revealing your worries about the difficulty of this piece of work. However, it remained as number 1 in Wed-Thurs drama slot and obtained its success. In reality, what is the difficulty during filming?
LJS: Yes. The most confusing thing is the fast pace of development, it is hard physically but I am constantly troubled about whether I can explain the character’s emotional development adequately. From episode 11, I thought about, “What should Kang Chul who made everything into a dream be like?” At that time, the acting is really difficult. The first time Kang Chul realised he was a character inside a comic, I decided to show the way he poured everything inside out with his impassioned speech. The second time of his self realisation, I showed a bit of his rational side. I asked myself the question “What if I am Kang Chul?” non-stop, and that is the answer and the result. The emotional expression of the female lead in the drama was also difficult. Because a lot of the emotional development is omitted, I went through great troubles throughout the whole time on how the acting should be done, how the viewers would accept it.
LH: After all the worries, the result is very successful. How did you overcome the difficulties？
LJS: I relied a lot of Han Hyo Joo-ssi. She looked at my acting from a very close distance, when the person who was looking at my eyes said it, isn’t that close to the true answer to a certain extent?
LH: Are there any specific examples?
LJS: In episode 7, the time when I went to find the female lead who saved me after I died. In the confusing situation, I acted in a way following my heart, and our opinion differed. Going through complicated and subtle emotions, I showed tears in my eyes, should I call it conflict with Han Hyo Joo-ssi who could not understand that? And by the way, Han Hyo Joo-ssi is a frank person.
LH: Then isn’t that all the more helpful when you act?
LJS: Very occasionally I felt a little bit sad but when I looked back, it is of great help. Actor Han Hyo Joo-ssi is really a great person.
LH: What is the part in W in which you like your acting the most?
LJS: In episode 5 the scene when I met with the creator. I have prepared and practised for a long time. I got greatly enlightened with respect to acting. The lines were long in the first place, I even practised the subtle movements of my face, and prepared calmly and meticulously. After it was finished, I felt great about myself.
LH: Most of the dramas and movies you were in obtained good reviews and even good ratings. I think you have good eyes for choosing good works, usually what is your choice based on?
LJS: I heard a lot of people saying I choose my works well after W. Generally I just read the script and choose the drama, it is very difficult in reality in TV business to be able to choose after reading more than 4 episodes of script. Therefore, I tend to concentrate on the character. I like it more when the setting (of the character) is special.
LH: I think you have acted in a lot of particularly difficult roles. From the lead in webtoon W who crosses between different dimensions, swimming athlete in No Breathing, person with super power in I Hear Your Voice, face reader’s son in saguek movie Face Reader, someone who cannot even see what is in front of him towards the end. Don’t you want to stop doing these tough roles for a while?
LJS: I don’t want to do. Just joking. Even though it is tough physically, I think it is because I search for characters with deep emotions, that is why it became like that. Only when there is a story behind, the significance of the character can be demonstrated, only when it is like that, viewers can also empathize with the character more easily. I can also think about it once more.
LH: Which is the hardest character you have done up till now?
LJS: For the body, No Breathing’s Woo Sang. For the brain, Dr. Stranger’s Park Hoon. The frequency of Park Hoon’s appearance approaches 90% and there were a lot of lines and I had to memorise even the medical terms, so it was hard.
LH: Even when you have done a lot of really difficult roles, because of your good looks, you still have the pretty boy image. Have you ever find this image a burden?
LJS: The older I got, the more it becomes a burden. Actually I wish for this macho masculine image, but I can say there is a bit of limitation in the hardware? I was thinking whether I can really do masculine roles, wanting to find the answer, it is one of the reason why I chose W. I wanted to confirm my own possibility.
LH: What is the common point for the works you have done up till now?
LJS: Works that can be reviewed again. Compared to a pure love ballad, that is more interesting. I think the process in which the actors can communicate and discuss with each other is important.
LH: What is the comic like thing that actor Lee Jong Suk dreams about?
LJS: I want to say really cool things, but I will just answer frankly. A few days ago, I had a fan meeting, I felt really happy. I am not this type of person usually, I was thinking, “There are so many people who love me?”, and I was touched. I hope I can feel this sort of happiness in my daily life in the near future. It looks like that I easily say to fans “please be happy”, but I really mean it.
LH: For a drama, when and what sort of part will you give an evaluation on?
LJS: I think it should be judged as a whole after it ends.
LH: Is W’s ending satisfactory for you?
LJS: Actually a bit unsatisfied.
LH: Up till now, among all the works you have done, which is the most attractive role for you?
LJS: The role of Park Soo Ha in I Hear Your Voice. I really wish to do it during that time because there was almost no fantasy stories then.
LH: I think you really like fantasy. Seeing your playfulness in filming locations, I think like that even more.
LJS: Of course I like it, but that is absolutely not the reason why I searched for these roles. (Laugh) Drama itself is fictional anyway. I just think fantasy genre is a bit more interesting. I swear. Having said that, I have never done a role which is easy.
LH: Let’s talk more about W. A lot of people gave W praises and found it really interesting because of the “unpredictable development process”. What is the viewing point for W in your opinion?
LJS: I also agree to that part to a certain extent. The development in W is fast by nature, it is not ok even to miss even one episode of it. I think it is a very important element in drama. Because the story continues to be very unpredictable, if (the audience) watch it again after knowing the ending, they may discover important elements they have missed before. I mean it is more interesting when (the audience) go deeper and pay attention to the relationship between the creator and the creature.
LH: W became the victor in the Wed-Thurs drama rival war. I think there is psychological stress on oneself caused by this way of competition, what sort of effect is there?
LJS: Above all, because competition with a close friend was incited in public opinion, that is a bit hard.
LH: During the filming of drama, you need to pick up a tough schedule that normal people may have difficulty in imagining. When it is really tough during filming, what do you want to do the most? Are you doing that now?
LJS: I often think about resting at home. However, even when I can make arrangement to do that, I cannot rest well.