이준기 on MBC Goldfish Talkshow with Kang Hodong
1. Jun Ki allegedly spent 4 months of his tuition fees when he was still studying in Busan institute instead of paying up. He said he spent it clubbing and having fun. When the school called up his father about the non-payment of the fees, his father did not punish him or be very angry. Instead Mr. Lee lugged bags of coins worth of 4 months' fees and paid to the school. He wanted to let Jun Ki see that the coins were very heavy for him and to let him think about it. Jun Ki knew he had made a mistake.
2. Jun Ki met Robert Harley in Busan and when he went to Seoul, he stayed in Robert's house. He was supposed to stay temporarily for about 10 days..but it stretched into 2 months.
He felt he was overstaying and decided to look for a room to share. He had to work part-time while he studied in Seoul and it was a very hard time..on days his meals were only rice and kimchi.
3. He went for 50 auditions ( back in 2001?) but was rejected. One day Jun Ki attended an audition (talent-scouting) fair and he signed up with his resume with the hope that some agency might hire him. Kim Woojin happened to be there..busy with some filming and he saw Jun Ki..asked "Is this a new boy". Jun Ki introduced himself, presented his personal resume and Woojin gave him his namecard. However after a month, Jun Ki did not receive any phonecall. So he went to look for Woojin's office with his namecard. The receptionist asked him .."Do you have an appointment?". Jun Ki replied, "No, but I have his namecard !". And his first break into modelling was with actress Kim Heesun in a fashion magazine shoot.
4. "King & Clown" PD Lee Joon-ik refused to let Jun Ki interact with his manager and staff or others on the filming set. Jun Ki had to shut himself in a lady's room because of his role as Gong-gil..to immerse himself totally in his acting.
5. Jun Ki admitted that after he became famous..he did date a girl but the relationship did not work out because of his work. She was not from the Korean entertainment circle..just a normal girl.
6. During SBS Drama Awards in December 2008..Jun Ki performed the gag parody with Lee Moon Shik on stage.. Iljimae "Yongi's abuji". He did the naration from his seat and later joined the parody team on stage. After the show..he felt pleased that he did well..but his manager and staff thought otherwise. They told him that he should have just done the naration (commentary) and not be onstage ~~ What a letdown..keke ^^
7. Jun Ki said he worked part-time in a Seoul bathhouse and one day he was beaten up by a customer and he came out crying ! However he expressed happiness over being a Seoul man~~ (Seoul resident)
8. Another version from baidu about Jun Ki being beaten : He worked part-time in a bar and because he offended a customer, the boss slapped Jun Ki. But he was penniless and needed the money. The boss was kind and paid him his salary.
9. Jun Ki tried changing his ID in order to gain employment in Busan because he was still a student..but failed several times. His dad objected to his dream and ambition to become an actor and told him that he had to support himself if he insisted. Jun Ki even rehearsed at home and Mr. Lee asked "What are you doing? You can put this away". However after his fame from "King and Clown", his dad understood why his son chose this path.
10. Jun Ki was nervous..and Kang Hodong said..your hands are trembling ! Jun Ki said he has lots of worries..even he could not sleep because of his appearance in the MBC talk show..but also because he was nervous about meeting Sunbaenim Kang Hodong. Jun Ki told them he watches the show all the time..even KBS show "1 Night, 2 Days" in which KHD also stars in. Then he was so cute and asked..Is saying this OK on MBC ?" And that yyoung guy (from KBS Music Bank) also joined in and announced.."Music Bank !" All of them laughed. Talk turned to Jun Ki's career and his roles in movies and dramas. KHD said..Look at your hands..the scars. Jun Ki replied.."there are more on my body. But I am happy if during work, I am hurt here and there. I am weird, right ? For having this kind of feeling." He went on to describe one particular tough scene in "Time of Dog and Wolf" where he had to do 23 NGs as he refused to use double for his stunts. That famous scene when he was driving on the road at night and "Kay" regained his memory. Jun Ki had to avoid a truck coming in the opposite direction and crashing the car against the rails. There was also discussions aboutt KHD impersonating Jun Ki in that pomegranate drink CF in the past. It was so funny.
Hodong then said "Jun Ki is the actor that is hard to see appearing in entertainment shows, right ?" Jun Ki replied, "When I watch these entertainment shows, I feel that one has to be forced to accept dialogue and to return dialogue non-stop !" Kang then touched on his sensitive issues like Jun Ki saying " Japan is my country".."I like men"..but because of time constraints (lack of time), he will skip these topics. Next they discussed about how he came to Seoul.
When he was in 2nd year of high school,his dream was to be a computer programer..but after watching a particularr play (Hamlet?) Jun Ki told his father he wanted to be an actor His father strongly objected but told him, OK, I will give you one year to do what you desire..after that, you have to re-sit for your college exams. But Jun Ki spent his money having fun instead of paying up to the school. The school told his father about the unpaid fees. Mr. Lee was not angry..just told Jun Ki to sit down..and then started putting bag after bag of coins and told him to pay up. Jun Ki had to take a bus to school with the heavy bags of coins to school. He felt that he had done a bad deed towards his father. Then Jun Ki was seriously thinking of enrolling for acting courses and his father said.."You can try this...but you have to earn for the fee and pay it yourself". So Jun Ki naively thanked his father, went out to look for jobs..but those days only students above 19 can work. So he took out his personal particulars and did some alterations..hohoho..he committed a criminal offense by doing this kekeke. Kang Hodong was totally shocked and asked the younger audience not to do the same thing. This scene was so funny. Anyway, he managed to fool people and got good paying jobs. However his applications for the arts courses were rejected again and again. Jun Ki wanted to enroll in a better college like Seoul Arts College but it was difficult...and his father asked him.."Enough of this..what are you doing ?". Kang Hodong and co-hosts and Jun Ki were laughing so hard..keke. Jun Ki said.."I found it hard to understand too, I thought I did pretty well so far ~~" He said he really worked hard..to improve his skills, his physique and even learned dancing. Then he went with friends for demonstrations for acceptance into college. He was asked if he was fully prepared and Jun Ki said he was full of confidence. However upon entering the room..and after greetings..he was asked to show his acting skills. Jun Ki said..oh, demonstrations..please wait..and he huffed and puffed and forgot his lines..haha kekeke. He said he was only filled with motivation. Then he told his father, "I am sorry, let me take the challenge one more time." His father told him.."you'd better give up and go study properly." But he did not want to give up his acting dream..He did not like studying but was ashamed to face his dad. Not that it was a must for him to be a star but he wanted to be an actor. He went to watch stage plays and were totally captivated. He said he thought it over and felt this was not right. Even though he was being a little unfilial towards his father, Jun Ki decided to leave for Seoul..and stayed with Robert Harley whom he met when Harley was working in Pusan radio station. Robert was much older than Jun Ki and both of them have been friends for 8 years on till now. Jun Ki wanted to learn English from him so he asked to stay at Robert's house for a while. Robert told him that you looked capable..so try hard at talent auditions. So Jun Ki stayed for 2 months but unknowingly was a burden to Robert. Jun Ki was only focused on learning to be a newbie in the acting arena..so he was unaware of the problems he caused while staying there. Robert asked him.."Jun Ki, your parents won't worry about you?" Robert then told him about his own financial hardship and shortage of food in the house. There was even no rice left..only some kimchi. Jun Ki said that he really caused food shortage..and was apologetic to Robert. He decided to leave and look for another place to live..and started looking for work. His first job was in building with the billiard room on first floor and bar on the second floor...owned by the same man. Jun Ki said..during winter the water froze into ice and during summer..there were lots of rats and cockroaches in the building. Sometimes he heard them moving in the ceiling. But he said he felt happy because he was a "Seoul" person and his wages were not bad too.
JK : After work, I would step into the room and switched on the light..and there were cockroaches on the ceiling. The cockroaches started falling off the ceiling and because of this, my skin became very sensitive for 2 years. But in actual fact, I felt happy because it was like staying in a hotel room. While cleaning the pool tables, I would think.."I am blessed..I am a Seoul person now." My salary was also good, so I was lucky.
KHD : A handsome boy like you..would be attracting customers with a bell in hand on the street."
JK : I did not do that... because of my pride! (Everyone bursts out laughing)
JK : After 5 months of working there, I felt lonely. Suddenly I asked myself, "Why did I come to Seoul?" I should quickly take part in talent auditions..so as to report good news to my family fast. I was extremely stressed and was in a piteous situation too. Despite objections from my parents, I came to Seoul and suffered hardship alone. All for what ? As I was asking myself and pondering..there was this weekend in the shop and a table for 4 - 5 persons was near the window. Tables near the windows were usually popular on weekends. However at that time, only two people were seated at the table. I went over and said to them, "I'm sorry, but could you change to another table? I will give you special discount because today is weekend." Suddenly one of them acted crazily and said.."Lousy service, what are you doing ? Call your boss over." And he was swearing crude words (here Jun Ki said.."xxx", he was cute). I began to lose my temper too and fought with the customer. My boss who heard the commotion, came over and while apologising to the guest, he slapped me across the face..shouting, "Get out ! get out !" But how could I just walk out, I needed money for my livelihood. I told him.."You want me to leave, pay me compensation fee" (KHD, JK and the other 2 men - don't know their names - all burst out laughing ~~) Why ? I had no money on me.
JK : My father gave me 150,000krw for my expenses and I was thankful to him. I had to save up my money to register at agency. So I left the work place with the 150,000krw to try and look for a management agency to sign me on. But none accepted me. So I went to Dongdaemun and took 5 namecards. That day someone approached me and gave me his namecard and I thought, "Ah, at last some one noticed my charming face !" The person said to me that while I was fine..my looks and my voice, I was told to improve on my accent. Also I had to undergo training but I had to pay for the training as a newbie. If I became a star, they would help me with big effort put in...but before this, I must be prepared. The asking fee was 20 million krw but I needed to pay only 12 million won..huge discount of 8 million won. I was told to inform my parents and to let them come over. Then I asked, "I could really become a star ?" But I did not fall into the conman's trap..the main reason was : I had no money (Laughs)
KHD : What if you had the money?
JK : I would pay him. Even though later I knew it was a scam, I thought regretfully at that time, I would pay if I had the money. During this period of time I did not contact my parents. Because of this matter, I actually opened up my mobile phone... then shut it again.
KHD : If your parents knew it was a scam, what would happen ? (They burst into laughter and Jun Ki bent over while laughing). To the viewers here, who aspire to be stars, Korean management agencies do not require payment. Please take note of this.
JK : However there are many people using this scam to do bad things. Do not ever be taken in (cheated) by giving money upfront. After this incident, I went online and found a friend who had no money to attend acting institute. Finally we got together and borrowed a studio to practise. It was a happy time. We trained till late at night and even slept there. It was a must that what needed to be done should be done as soon as possible. If this time, should I be rejected during admission application, I would obediently listen to my parents. So I only applied to Seoul Arts College. If I was rejected, I would return to my homeland. My parents had already waited for 2 years. I did not return home even once, only occasionally called home. I dared not look at the list of successful candidates on the notice board. Instead I went to gaming center to use the internet, and I saw my name on the list, I had passed the entrance exams ! I was so happy and I immediately called my parents. For the first time in 2 years, they praised me...they said, "You have grown up now. We find it hard to believe that you did this to realise your dream." So I was extremely delighted because I could go home to see my parents...see their faces and report to them. I felt good that all my past investment with time and personal abilities had paid off.
KHD : Your dream is to be an actor, did you look for a management company?
JK : I've been participating in talent auditions. I went for more than 50 auditions and within a year, even though I was shivering with cold during the severe winter, I still went around looking for that opportunity. Seeking for anyone to support me. I had a slight lucky break when I went to an audition (talent-scouting) fair. Many movie companies were setting up booths. I also visited the management agency area. Anyone can sign up with just a prepared resume. Anyway I signed up but was constantly rejected. Just as I was making the last round and going to leave, I reached the last production company and was determined to succeed. There was an interview going on with TV cameras...from a TV station. Management agencies would be there to discover new talent. Then a manager came over and said before the TV cameras.."We're from Mentor company". So I quickly rushed over and stood in front of the camera and earnestly demonstrated my skills. The reporting host exclaimed : Ah... this is Mentor's new guy.
KHD : (shocked) Really ? Really ? Was there such a scene shown ?
JK : Yes, but it was not easy to locate the programme. The telecast date was 28 July.
KHD : Which year ?
JK : 2001
KHD : 28 July 2001 ?
JK : The filming showed my auditioning act and the manager saw the clip (Here JK imitated manager's pose..arms folded across chest and one hand clasping his chin..everyone laughed. A clip of Kim Woojin on SBS show was revealed on 27 July 2001, he was standing by the TV camera while Jun Ki was doing his act.) Woojin was smiling and thereafter, he gave me his namecard saying.."We will contact you" and then he left. I kept watching the clip for a month. Even though I only appeared very briefly in the whole show, I felt great because it was my very first TV appearance.
KHD : Was that namecard of any use ?
JK : No immediate contact at all and I was thinking, "What is going on?".
KHD : He gave you the namecard because of TV exposure, but for Lee Jun Ki, it was a challenging exposure, right ?
JK : I felt that brilliant moment disappearing. I must go towards this opening of that door (opportunity), so I went to the company with that namecard. The auto door opened and I stepped in. The receptionist asked, "Do you have an appointment?". I said "Yes, I do." She asked.. "What is your name ?" I told her..I'm Lee Jun Ki. She said,,"but the appointment list does not have your name." I took out the namecard and said, "I have an appointment." Then the office door opened and someone walked out and smiled at me. The man said, "I cannot recall your name, but anyway, do come in." He could not remember me but was impressed that I came personally to seek him out. I was told that they will try their best, and if an opportunity turns up, they will contact me again. I waited for about a month before I got the call. I was told to try for an audition. Following that were some magazine photoshoot.
KHD : Looking at your profile, your very first project was not a Korean drama.
JK : Yes, it was a Japanese movie.
KHD : That was rather special, in your life.
JK : After I joined the agency, I went for auditions but most of the time, was rejected. Manager would keep asking them..why was Jun Ki not accepted? The manager went to many production companies..placed my resume on their tables. It was so coincidental that a PD from one Japanese company saw a recorded tape of my audition. Read my resume and felt that I was suitable. The PD said my looks is Oriental, quite charismatic. I wanted to try for it..so after 2 takes, I got the role. However, there was also a Korean movie, seeking new face. I was also accepted for a role in that new generation movie. It was incredible that two roles came at the same time. Although taking that Korean movie role would pay quite well, right from the beginning, that Japanese PD came to look for me to discuss. He was also concerned about me. Therefore I wished to work with him and so I chose that project. I abandoned the Korean movie and went to Japan.
KHD : Before that, did you go abroad often ?
JK : That was my first trip overseas, I was excited.
KHD : From countryside to Seoul, now going overseas.. like a dream
JK : At that time, I thought we must take off our shoes before we can board the plane ! (Laughs)
KHD : Your agency supported your decision ?
JK : Not fully supported me. Because there was hardship within the agency. My acting fee was only about 5 million won, and after dividing it out..we got very little money. And I only brought along 200,000won to Japan. So the manager went with me to Japan for only a day to attend meeting and after that, he returned to Korea.
KHD : So you were alone ?
JK : Yes, but it was fine because someone found a room in a motel for me.
KHD : I onced lived in such a motel, the room was very small
JK : Yes, small but comfortable, it was great!
KHD : Here is the wall, make a turn and another wall !
JK : Right... wall to wall and a TV.
KHD : But it was amazing there was a toilet in such a small room.
JK : You need to move like this to close the toilet door (Jun Ki made a funny demonstration..laughter again)
KHD : I ever went into the toilet and was stuck inside...could not come out (more laughter)
JK : But I was already there, it was a tough time but after filming, I only went back to the motel room. The movie company only gave me 3000yen everyday for food and expenses. It was about 28000 to 30000krw. So I saved up the money, not eating much. I used 200 to 300yen to buy food, there was good food at the convenience stores. I bought these food and on weekends, used what I saved to go out alone and play.
KHD : Agency signed the contract..didn't they supplement your pay?
JK : It was beyond their means, we fully understood the situation. It was a tough time for the agency too.
KHD : A mutual acceptance?
JK : Yes, I also hoped that the management company could expand faster. Then I can live better, but before it happened, it was fine to be alone then.
KHD : You had trust.
JK : At least I was still working, not easy to be able to act in front of cameras. As such, it was fine in the movie and also doing work.
KHD : Filming in Japan? Working even though you don't know Japanese language?
JK : Yes.
KHD : You were born to do menial work?
JK : For my self satisfaction. As long as I was needed, I would do the job, even though not much. But I treated this as part of life's experiences. I might be dropped by management company, so it'd be better to work and study at the same time.
KHD : Having enrolled in college, you did not ask for money from your family upon your return to Korea ?
JK : No, since I was 19, I did not take money from family. Not even once...because I was capable, no reason for me to stretch out my hand, asking for money.
KHD : That manager never turned up right till the end?
JK : The week before filming wrapped up, he came. When I heard he was coming, I was happy. Someone I know is coming to Japan to see me, I was very happy. Then in order to treat manager-hyung properly, I saved up my money and did not eat. On that morning of day off, with a backpack, I took the subway and showed hyung around. Visited exciting places wherever we could.
KHD : Wanted to go sight-seeing with manager ?
JK : Yes.
KHD : The relationship between manager and actor was changed?
JK : Haha..yes, it was a happy time.
KHD : That manager, if he sees this telecast now, his ears would twitch ? What are you looking at ? (Jun Ki was laughing and turning away)
JK : He's here now (screen showed Seo Heechul's face)
KHD : Ah..manager, together in Japan..(Heechul nodded his head) That manager at that time is still with you now ? Wonderful.
JK : My staff remains the same. For 6 years..till now..the same.
KHD : So the work in Japan was completed? After your return, after going through some tough time, along came the movie that changed your life. The movie that everyone knows very well..."King and Clown". The relatively unknown Lee Jun Ki got the role of "Gong-gil" in "King and Clown" How come you had such good luck ?
JK : It was certainly unexpected. During that time, the agency was not doing well and my work got lesser and lesser.
KHD : To what extent was the bad situation in the company?
JK : I also did not know.
KHD : So bad that you had to go filming overseas alone, manager could not be with you. And then it got worse ( JK kept laughing) Only one person in the company?
JK : We were so poor that we could not afford to pay the rent. Because I was so hungry..wanted to go with manager to eat rice vermicelli. But his wallet only had 20,000won
Other co-host (MC of KBS Music Bank) : Why like a drama script ? (Hodong rolled over with laughter..JK banged his fists on the table..laughing so hard, all was laughing)
JK : At that time, only property was a motor bike. In order to take care of one's own actor, manager-hyung said.."Let's go eat rice vermicelli". So we had the most delicious rice vermicelli. It so happened that two entertainment reporters were also eating there, we knew them. They invited us over to join them and wanted to talk to us. They said, "It's like this...there is this new movie to be produced...called "King and Clown". They are looking for new actor for this role. And the role is intensive, why don't you guys try for it? Next day we went to the movie company and took back the script.
KHD : Really ? It was not a pre-arranged meeting with the reporters. Just a chance meeting while eating the noodles. Only had 20,000won..what to do ? Never mind, let's go eat. Coincidentally met the reporters who gave you the info ?
JK : Yes, they felt I was suitable because of my Oriental looks.
KHD : Because you are adorable
JK : When this movie became a success, everyone said.."beautiful, beautiful." But I felt that my face is unique, rather than beautiful
KHD : Amid this talk, do you know what grabs my attention ? Who paid for that meal ?
JK : We each paid for our own food. Actually since they gave us the info, we should treat them, right ?
KHD : Of course !
JK : We had our own difficulties
Guy in blue : It's funny, but also feel like crying.
JK : During the audition, it was clear that this role was not only an intensive one, but also the main role. So many new actors were eager for it
KHD : Only chose one among the thousands of applications ?
JK : It was really competitive, anyone would want this role. The script became well-publicized. It attracted all kinds of actors. To be able to act in the movie..it was a space for one to broaden and display one's acting skills. As compared to the box-office sales, to a new comer..this was a very exceptional experience.
KHD : What is most important here is for Lee Jun Ki to tell us the secret behind this outstanding casting success.
JK : Three auditions for the role and within a month of the schedules, I told myself that I would go for it with 100% of my life. But management staff was worried it would be too difficult for me. I was not joking about it, I said, "I'm not joking...and unconditionally willing to gamble with my life. Just then, the script came out, I crazily read it through thoroughly, memorized the whole script. Then I called up my friends and acting coach to seek their opinions. Because this role was extremely feminine, so had to act out the role as such. Even though I had no money, I bought stuff to transform myself gradually, change of hair style..step by step. Every single detail to complement my acting skill to immerse into the role. Really gambled with all that an actor had. Added the acrobatic arts I learnt.
KHD : You used your acrobatic arts training ?
JK : Whatever it was, I just did it. However, one thing I was sure of, among the group of newcomers, no one could beat me. No one was more prepared than me, not only memorizing the script..from the first audition, I was also training up my physique. I was so happy when I passed the 1st audition. For the 2nd audition, I started practicing playing the drum. Since already practiced, why not just beat the drum ? Next, I tried changing the lines in the script. I was really hanging in there till the end. When the PD asked me why I was like that, I told him my points of view. I said.."King and Clown" would be better this way. This particular scene was not so good, we should try it this way. Then the PD said to me. "Why did you think in such a way?". And he started laughing..."haha, this fella...short-listed." So I passed the 2nd audition.
KHD : What was the ace up the sleeve for you in 3rd audition ?
JK : To be able to use my movement (gestures) in the movie. I would display it all during the audition. Like those scenes in the "King and Clown" movie, involving musical instruments and dance, those were what I displayed during the audition
KHD : So you acted like that ?
JK : There were others...such as the scene of me standing on my hands and opening my thighs, everyone was shocked ! The PD and the panel of judges were shocked. It grabbed huge attention. Spectators applauded and asked me, "How did you come up with this act ?"
KHD : What was your inspiration then ?
JK : During that moment, I thought standing upside down was a good idea, so I used it. Never knew that it was so well-received. However it was unbelievable when in the evening..the phone call came.."We decided to use Lee Jun Ki, please come to assistant PD's house for a drink." Just that, a call to inform me of being selected.
KHD : Wow, hard work, hard work...the long road to success (Everyone clapped hands) You met many people, like Robert Harley..also cockroaches in the motel room. Living life as such, and thereafter going to Japan. And also eating rice vermicelli...and also motor bike..then came upon "King and Clown" and finally acting in "King and Clown." Breaking the 10 million viewership. Finally gotten the Gong-gil role..a phone call for casting. Following that..other auditions.
End of Part 1 (telecast on April 29 2009)
KHD : You'd be curious about the opposite sex, you long for a love relationship
JK : Constantly curious about it.
KHD : If the person I like appears, it would show in my eyes (screen image of heart signs on his eyes shown ~~) But I would really like to experience that kind of love.
KHD : You should have your ideal type?
JK : If I ever meet her..girl older than me or...same sex...
KHD : Same sex ??? (shocked) Come on !
JK : Same sex..ah, no..no..! (he stood up to protest..hilarious reactions from the others too^^)
KHD : Yea, yea..celebrate ~~ celebrate ~~ (KHD and co-host - guy with bow tie - jumping for joy and hugging and Jun Ki laughing so hard)
JK : Don't fool around, please.
Guy in blue (with guitar) : Really never expect such a shocking revelation
JK : I also do not know what I said just now..same age ! same age...'dong' (as in dongsheng- sister or younger girl). Why so many 'dong'...(he was laughing so hard and KHD too, rolling on the mat)
JK : Dong..dong..dong..dong ..(Jun Ki pointing his hands and fingers above his head..so cute) I like
KHD : Although you don't mean that (same sex)..but have you ever received an admiration from the same sex (guy)?
JK : When I was filming Virgin Snow in Kyoto, Japan..I was riding a bicycle and I stopped at the bicycle stand and another guy was behind me, stopping his bicycle. He spoke to me in Japanese, "Oh, you are very attractive." Then he gave me a namecard, saying "I am interested in you. I often frequent at this bar, want to go for a drink and chat?" I went like.."huh? what?"
(everyone burst out laughing) But thinking back, it was an interesting memory. This was the first time it happened to me. I am not pretty.
KHD : But among the four of us, you are the prettiest
JK : Of course (more laughter)..the way you said it.
KHD : Who is second prettiest ?
Guy in blue : Of course second is me.
KHD : Your looks..how can you be pretty ?
Guy in blue : Compared to you two.
KHD : Next, we come to Lee Jun Ki's most important segment, "Japan is my country"..what had happened here ? Extreme expression by your own willingness ? If not, do you admit it was your slip of the tongue ?
JK : Now in my present situation, it is an extremely important issue. However at that time, I was only joking with my friend. On the internet..don't we leave messages in each other's homepage ?
KHD : Was it a past recorded message ?
JK : Yes, later...fans...
KHD : It was not in your personal homepage ?
JK : Yes, it was my friend's homepage. Our own private messages and also our full conversations. But one particular sentence was taken out and made into a major issue. Following this, there were many news reports...it seemed like I was making a public statement. Such words like "Japan is my country" were publicised. Some people said, "What ? Lee Jun Ki is an ignorant person." The topic turned into a much bigger issue, I felt like I was hit on the back of my head. I said to myself, "What do I do now?". The phone kept ringing non-stop. This had to happen after record-breaking box-office sales of 1 million. Really, one bad wave following another. But this also brought attention to me personally.
KHD : How did you look at it?
JK : Immediately I wrote an article concerning this issue that brought up such a huge response...personally I apologised. Inside my heart I thought as such and quickly wrote a long article of remorseful apology. However this article to apologise brought in more controvesy. Because those words were misinterpreted as to be my own admission.
KHD : It felt like you made a mistake?
JK : Yes.
KHD : Did you regret it?
JK : Yes, I did regret it. Although regretful, before I thought that as a public figure..what I said had caused such a big misunderstanding. I would not be able to appear in public events like before. Whatever it was, after becoming a public idol, even though those were not what I said..but when it became a major upheaval, I had to apologise for it. Like me or not, there were people who liked me for my frankness, who understood me, I should change their opinions, right ? So I felt that I should bear this responsbility.
KHD : Lee Jun Ki became the No. 1 most disliked celebrity among the reporters...and in such a short time too.
JK : Yes, it turned out like that.
KHD : Did you hear about this matter? Do you admit?
JK : Yes, I admit. For a time, I was very arrogant and could not adjust to being a hot property. My head swelled. And my friend came to Korea, he said, "Here it feels like Lee Jun Ki's country." Everything about me...like CF, posters, my frequent MV..Lee Jun Ki's CF. That's how I had this feeling.."really, it's like this."
KHD : It was exactly like that, wasn't it ? Created such a big issue, like in a dream, could not see the deepest depth?
JK : Right, I came this far and never expected this to happen. It was like a drug. These things..you get more addicted to them. In fact, could only be drugged deeply, no way to return to a normal mental stae. When much media attention was on me, I had no way to endure it. Furthermore in those days, I had to accept around 12 hours of interviews everyday. In the beginning, I would say to reporters, "Please give me more advice, thank you." But after a few days, the same kind of interview with the same kind of questions, I felt frustrated. So when they asked me, "Jun Ki ssi, after acting in "King and Clown", how do you feel ?" From the beginning I would say to reporters, "I'm very happy." Then in the end I said, "It's good...what about it?"
Co-host : What are you doing ? (More laughter)
KHD : So that reporter was only among the hundreds of reporters who met Lee Jun Ki...and that reporter...
JK : Was hurt by me...
KHD : Because he met you for the first time and felt that you were...
JK : Yes, after that half of the reporters became anti..said LJK has no manners. Word spread and eventually people distanced themselves from me...Lee Jun Ki, ..who do you think you are ?
Co-host : What were you doing ? Who did you think you were?
JK : Things did not develop the way I expected. Initially I wanted to be a star, experience the feeling of being a star. But the fear started appearing. Wait...this wasn't like I thought it would be, something went wrong? It turned out that I wanted everyone to see me as an actor gradually training up his acting skills. To act in a good project, therefore I worked very hard in "King and Clown". But suddenly the friend who dreamt of becoming a star..I was not even prepared, not yet adjusted, so could not be considered a good actor. Such fear was scary.
KHD : In the midst of all these, "Fly Daddy" became acceptable to reporters ? The box office sales...
JK : A flop
KHD : You experienced box office flop.
JK : That time the fear was so real and so many fans left me because of that.
KHD : Coupled with this fear, comments that your popularity had dropped.
JK : Because of such comments "Popularity had dropped", I felt that I could not make it. It was like I was forced into a corner..no way out. I suffered a lot..at that time....
KHD : But after having met with box office flop..your feelings at that time were..?
JK : Instead I was relaxed..naturally I felt apologetic towards the production company (Loud laughter)
KHD : What ???
JK : (waving his hand in denial) No, not like that..it was a pity regarding the movie. Everyone had such great expectations from me, also confident that I could do something. If I failed..I told myself even if I had failed once, it did not matter. But such a mindset would be short-sighted. In addition I could not concentrate, so this project did not work out. During this time I was confused, could not be immersed into my role. I thought that I should not continue like that. So I quickly adjusted my inner turmoil. Also the verdict to myself.."You really cannot make it ! You need to buck up !"
KHD : Told yourself?
JK : Yes.."You are too intoxicated" Now everyone gives you all that love, because they pay attention to you, not because of trust in you. If you really want to do something, you must forsake everything else..and start to seek what you pursue." Needless to say..if I'd wished to become an actor, I must work hard for a good showing. Then gradually if people likes your outer appearance, your image and to subsequently like your character role, then probably I have succeeded ! Thereafter during filming, I did it this way.
KHD : Due to this setback, you returned to the small screen (TV). Like " Time of Dog and Wolf", "Iljimae"...these 2 dramas' high ratings had proved to be a precedent for your sustained popularity. Going through this tumultous period, Lee Jun Ki has now become a product guarantee. How do you feel ?
JK : First of all, reporters were assured about me and fans who were disappointed also returned. Especially my message board were "cleaned up". I was happy. Before that, among the 1000 to 2000 odd messages, there were around 1200 nasty messages.."Urgh..like a girl..so gross !" But now..pretty clean board. No matter what, an actor wants to express fully in his acting..then be recognised. When I followed my goal diligently and doing well, people started to accept me. I could feel this and the feeling was wonderful !
(May 18 movie clip was shown and commentary from actor Aung Sungi : Jun Ki prepared well, whether it is Lee Jun Ki this person or Lee Jun Ki the actor, he is really a friend. Jun Ki does everything carefully, after completing his work, he could changed the atmosphere. He deserves the title "Star with outstanding acting ability."
From PD Kim of drama "Time of Dog and Wolf" : Emerging from the dark shadows..the superb innocent star..box office sales, acting skills, real feelings..he has all these. He became a trust-worthy actor..but also a greedy man..Lee Jun Ki" )
KHD : Before talking to you, I did not know you're such a straight-forward man.
JK : Everyone who met me would have said this.
KHD : Jun Ki-ssi, I saw last year's award ceremony.."Yong-i's abuji" became a hot topic issue for discussion. Never expected that Lee Jun Ki would be so comical.
JK : I watch all the comedy shows...every week. Initially I thought of doing the comical act..but the producer told me that the sunbaes would perform such act. Then I said, " I also want to perform." During the rehearsal, the people with me dissuaded me from doing it. "Jun Ki..why are you doing this. There is no need to do so." But watching the sunbaes putting in much effort during rehearsal, and I was only doing the commentary.."Yong-i's abuji"..only such commentary
Co-host : It's like, it's like...very great ! great !
JK : I know, I will do it like this..in the end they allowed me. But when I got the script and having read it, I gave this impression of being great. The sunbaes were on stage working hard for the comedy act and I was just sitting there only. Therefore I gave a phonecall to the director, "Please arrange another short parody. I will come to the meeting." Later I said I wanted to wear the mask, also discussed what to do when on stage. Anyway, started all over again. On that day, at backstage, management staff and people I know..their reactions were, "Oi, side commentary was not bad !" However when I went onto the stage, "Why is Lee Jun Ki like that ?" Even the stylists said.."Oh, crazy Lee Jun Ki, crazy !" At the end of the act, I went backstage, happily said, "So great ! so great ! You all were happy too?" Manager's face was like he had eaten sh*t...a really 'black' face, really!
KHD : "Face like having eaten sh*t...first time I heard such a phrase on TV!
JK : Saying this is like concentrating.
KHD : What would the audience say after seeing this?
Co-host : "What are you doing ? Right now I am going to eat...what are you doing ? "(The group laughed so hard..Jun Ki fell backwards laughing and then stood up..sat down, laughing and banged his fists on the table)
KHD : Anyway, this became a topic. Lately Lee Jun Ki recommending any hilarious comical ideas ?
JK : Recently there is "Make-up Room".."You are evil" These are quite interesting...on location sites, I would use them..make everyone happy.
KHD : Normally you would serve your duty towards your fans?
JK : Yes, I will
KHD : For your fans..also for audience who had waited two weeks for Lee Jun Ki, can we ask you to sing a song? Can we?
JK : Singing...what should I sing?
Co-host : Sing whatever song you sing in the KTV
JK : Recently I went with friends for drinks and often sing trot songs.
KHD : Lee Jun Ki singing trot..ah..this is something new for our ears.
JK : Manager is having that "look of having eaten sh*t" (Jun Ki turned to look at Heechul, then laughed)
Co-host : Audience will think "What on earth are you doing?" (More laughter erupted)
JK : "Mujogeon" (the music started, he picked up the microphone and started singing)
KHD : Ya..sang very well, very well. When will Lee Jun Ki sing trot on TV?
JK : Suddenly I am delighted.
KHD : Your hand even drew circles ( Jun Ki was singing and his hands doing circular motions)
JK : Actually I already like dancing. Suddenly wanted me to sing, so how should I perform ? Eh..I..what did I do?
KHD : "Kneecap guru" is ending soon, how would you rate yourself?
JK : I really want to do more, really. It's very interesting. And my friends said, "If you go on variety shows, it would not be the same." Really interesting.
Guy in blue : Then I let you play for 2 more weeks ? I will not say that I'd want to be on variety shows anymore. I am still working. (Loud laughter)
KHD : Next is most important moment, tell us your dream
JK : I have already received so much love, from now I will start to build up everyone's confidence in me. Hoping that I will not betray the trust everyone has for me, to be a responsible artiste. To reach this goal, I will continue to work hard. In the future, will give all a pleasant surprise, hope that everyone will greatly anticipate it.
KHD : Now we will solve Lee Jun Ki's worries. Lee Jun Ki, are you already tired ? Only a few years and already tired ? In the past there were sunbaes who went throught hardship and appeared on "Kneecap guru" Do you know who did ? ( 3 senior actors were named ) Facing these 3 sunbaes, we give you 3 seconds to think it over. Do you still feel tired ?
JK : No, I do not.
KHD : In the future our Lee Jun Ki will face more challenges. Will these self-imposed worries increase ? From rough life to a consummate actor..in 20 years' time, no..30 years' time, you will be more dazzling. Because you are greedy Lee Jun Ki, hereafter you must maintain this greed, to live happily even when you face difficulties. Finally we shall convey our best wishes to Lee Jun Ki. (Jun Ki's face on the world map was shown) Similar to Kim Haneul's worldwide stage presence...like flying the "flag of excellence", I also believe that the day to plant Lee Jun Ki's "flag" worldwide is not very far away. Lee Jun Ki..the dazzling actor who portrays his character roles well. Able to command a huge following world-wide..forever !