2009년 5월 14일 목요일

(Dec 2006) Fabulous Magazine Vol.9

In "King and the Clown", Lee Jun Ki plays Gong-gil, a talented, pretty and effeminate clown who has earned the cruel King’s unrequited love. Seeing him off stage is like being in a fantasy. However, I was shocked when he spoke in fluent Japanese, “Please give me a glass of water” because everything seems so natural and appropriate. When I complemented him for speaking fluently in Japanese, he responded quickly by nodding his head, "nan de ya nen!" (meaning Why!) "Okini" (meaning Thanks) "do tu ku de e~" (meaning Please don’t say so), speaking in Osaka slang and childlike smiles. He is shooting "Virgin Snow" a joint product between Korean and Japanese film companies. However, let’s talk about "King and the Clown" first.

Q: You have mentioned in your filming journal that "In the later part of the movie, 40% of Gong-gil’s scenes are always crying". Do you find any difficulty in crying scene? Should there be some changes in your crying face with each tearing scene carried different meanings?

A: I don’t find much difficulty in crying scenes. That’s because I just follow my emotions most of the time. It’s true that each tearing scene is different so it would be a lie if I told you those scenes have not been deliberately planned. However, I was immersed in the character emotionally so I reacted spontaneously when it come to the right moments. Sometimes, I had to calm down, reposition myself and my way of expressing when I found myself too immersed and lost focus.

Q : What do you mean by "focus"?

A: Gong-gil loves both King and Jang Seng. But, to him, the happiest moment is the carefree time he spent with Jang Seng as clowns. Relationship between Gong-gil and Jang send is both love and friendship, it is also built on the spirit of artist.

Q : Mr Kam Woo Sung acted as Jang Seng, Gong-gil’s partner. Understand that during the audition, Mr Kam found that "Lee Jun Ki is not fit for the role of Gong-gil:. Can you reconcile yourself to such comment?

A: Of cos!! Because I was determined “I must put up a good show”. But on the other hand, trying to stay confident, I try not to be affected by any comments. Anyway, I am those that will fight harder and proof to others no matter what others comment.(laugh) I will only think that I am not good if I have tried my best and yet am not satisfied with my own performance.

Q : Where does your confidence come from?

A: Being young. I have nothing else other than being young. (laugh) Of cos, there are plenty substitutes of my age, but I never think they post any threat to me.

Q : With this level of confidence and determination, is it how you pull through during filming even you were injured?

A: Ah, you meant that. I fell into the gap between steps of the staircase, had 13 stitches on my leg and bad hit on the side of my waist. I don’t mean to be stubborn in insisting to continue filming but it’s impossible to have the same feeling if filming was disrupted and resumed later. Therefore, I wanted to continue even I was badly injured, and finished it accordingly.

Q: You have been practicing Taekwondo. Could it be the reason for you being able to endure the pain?

A: Hahaha. It should be the same to everyone. Endurance and determination.

Q: What did you find tough other than injury?

A: Physical suffering is still bearable but mentally strain is more challenging. The most challenging part is to maintain the character of the role and not being affected. It’s really draining to suffer both from physically and mentality. I have ever thought of running away from the scene, even dreamt about it. But, I can’t change my mood and think of things outside the filming scene, as I would lose the feeling and need to spend more time to be back to the role. My experience is still minimum, it’s not easy to control my emotions.

Q : After all the hard work, how did you feel when you first saw the movie on the silver screen?

A: When I watched it for the first time, rather than enjoying the storyline, I felt proud and a sudden lost after releasing. I still cry even when I was watching for the 3rd time. From then on, I concentrated on those scenes without me. After the release of the DVD, I repeated and reanalyzed, “at this moment, I should have acted in this way” etc etc.

Q: How do you feel for being labeled as "A man who is prettier than Lady", indeed, you are pretty in the film.

A: Actually, I don’t feel anything anymore. As compared to then, I am more concerned about acting. Till now, I still find it unbelievable. Sometimes, I still question myself, how did I madk it. But at the same time, I am also very confident to take up the challenge to act in other roles. I do wish to try not only feminine roles like this but also masculine roles. In all, there are some many possibilities.

Q: Understand that, after seeing the movie, your father has approved u "finally becomes a real actor"?

A: My father is a technical man. Most of my family members are from science background and think that man should master a skill in order to survive. To be successful in entertainment or as an actor is always difficult, so they are worried if I can support myself. Therefore, they are against the idea. But with the help of the movie, I finally gain their approval. Even my father did not express himself but I can feel it. Also, I am full of energy after seeing the happy faces of my parents.

Q: Why would you choose to be an actor since you are born in such a family that emphasized so much in technical skills?

A: In the beginning, I planned to specialize in computer engineering but changed my mind suddenly and gave my parents a shock. However, I had made up my mind to leave home and managed to enroll in the faculty of film in university. I took up all kind of challenges. Yes, I wanted to be an actor since I was in year 2 of my high school. I went to watch stage performance [Hamlet] with my friends. It should be the moment that changed my life. I would also like to try the stage performance if I am given the chance.

Q : Height of 178cm is really perfect for stage performance, and quite close to "Hamlet" as well. But before it, I bet you would prefer to play in "Romeo and Juliet" (laughs)

A : Oh that, that’s also not a bad idea. So Aoi Miyazaki will be Juliet (laughs) (just a suggestion.. perhaps you could include the word.

Q : You are shooting "Virgin Snow" together with her, aren’t you?

A : Yes. "Virgin Snow" is a story about the encounter of Aoi, a Japanese high school girl and me, a Korean undergraduate student staying in Japan with a father who is a lecturer, growing up in a complicated family environment. The love story is just like [Romeo and Juliet]. Even the setting of this movie is not from the two families whose hatred of each other, but I have used similar feelings to act. How Aoi feels will be another issue.

Q : Are there many lines in Japanese?

A : We have only finished 15% (till end of Sep), from now one there will be more and more so I practice hard. Watashi(me), sugoku(very), ganbademasu ( working hard) (laugh)

Q : "King and the Clown" has made it big in Korean and created a pretty Gong-gil image. In order to get away from this image, do you think it is necessary to act in more modern dramas?

A : Even Korean now are crazy about it, but basically they will also forget about it in a short time. Therefore, I am not worried that I will be stuck in the image of gong-gil. In fact, I would like to try on all kind of performances. After "King and the Clown", "Fly daddy" a redo of Japanese film will also be screened. A television series will also start rolling by end of this year. No matter playing in what kind of role, an actor should let his emotions to settle and refresh in order to walk further. One will only grow by repeating this process.

There is a determined soul beneath the pretty face. We would definitely want to see more from Lee Jun Ki.

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