Rookie Lee Soo Hyuk went through the movie debut rituals.
Known for his relationship with Kim Min Hee, he played a teenage boy who treasured the pain of his first love in the movie “The Boy From Ipanema” that came to life with the support of the city of Busan and the city of Sapporo in Japan. The film received the critics’ award at the Jeonju International Film Festival and the CGV Movie Collage award before its premiere on November 4th.
Ever since he was a kid, Lee Soo Hyuk dreamed of being an actor. He started his model activities during his second year of high school, so he didn’t go through any particular process of preparation, but his acting dream kept in a corner of his heart kept growing. “I didn’t have any particular reason for wanting to become an actor. I always thought that I’d like to work in something related to movies because I’ve loved watching them ever since I was a kid. I was young, but I have clear memories of choosing a movie/video with my father and going to the movie theater. Living this kind of experiences when you’re young would secretly influence you, right?”
Coming into the spotlight as a model with this unique mysterious aura and charisma, he used the word “different” to express his feelings about the challenge of acting as he said filming a movie was more different from his model activities than he thought it would be. “When I tried to put together my modeling activities and my acting activities, I actually experienced both and, while they both belong to the entertainment industry, I realized that they were two completely different fields. Walking down the runway requires acting at some extent, but the way you express yourself or what you feel is very different. I think it’s a job completely different from just standing in front of a camera and I think I felt like I was starting over with a new mindset.”
During the press conference that took place on the 19th, Kim Ki Hoon who directed “The Boy From Ipanema” revealed that he chose Lee Soo Hyuk because he fell for his unique aura. It is rumored that, while he was working on the scenario, he saw Lee Soo Hyuk and finished writing the scenario with him in mind. “The director told me he emailed me the scenario, but since it was an email address I didn’t use, I didn’t know he had sent me the scenario. He came to my agency later on and we had a meeting. I was looking for a scenario that would be able to let me express myself and I totally felt like “The Boy From Ipanema” would suit me. The director and I have similar codes and similar interests.”
The filming for “The Boy from Ipanema” took place in winter and summer last year. Six months were necessary to complete the animation part and now the movie is ready to be revealed to the audience. The image of Lee Soo Hyuk who seems to come out of a romance manhwa going back and forth between imagination and reality, between the real world and animation, creates this dreamlike atmosphere. Does he have any worry now that the premiere is almost here? “To be honest, I didn’t think as far as the premiere. What I can say is that I was happy to have the lead role in a movie and I did it because I liked the character. Seeing good reactions from the audience during the film festival and the upcoming premiere in movie theaters make me very happy.”
It was his first movie, but Kim Ki Hoon worried about many things when it came to Lee Soo Hyuk and gave him room to find his own interpretation. Lee Soo Hyuk shared many similarities with the boy’s character, so he said he was able to feel at ease while acting.
“The director told me “I think your understanding of the boy will make things better”, so he let me decide for many stuff, like the way I delivered the lines, the mood, my voice tone. I’m a rookie who began as a model and who just started acting, so while I wasn’t able to be on the verification stage yet, he placed a lot of faith in me. Thanks to him, although it was my first movie, I was encouraged to give my opinion and participate actively during filming. The fact that the boy has many thoughts, thinks so importantly about the past, his attitude toward love, there were many things similar to my personality, so I was able to relate to him.”
In order to play the boy who carries a surfboard and walks around the seashore, he learned surfing for 2~3 weeks. Since his character keeps swimming in the sea to find the door leading into other people’s dreams, there wasn’t a day when he could stay dry.
“We filmed at a Namhae beach. It’s hard to find waves to ride over there because the waves are small. The director also thought it was unfortunate since I had purposely practice for this, so he added unplanned scenes later on. It was short, but I still got to film scenes where I surf. For the scenes I shot in summer, there wasn’t a day when my body got to stay dry. The weather was so hot that we decided that I would always have my body wet while filming. For a few months, every time I heard the word cut, I’d feel like a plant because my body was dripping water all over the place.” (laugh)
Lee Soo Hyuk was cast for writer Song Ji Na’s drama “What’s Up” that is in pre-production and is filming diligently right now. This campus drama will depict the challenges and love lives of students in a musical department and he will have a love line with Jang Hee Jin. He just finished his big screen debut. While adapting quickly, he’s broadening his activities with each step he takes.
“As I’m filming a drama these days, I’ve been feeling how dramas and films are two very different things. When I was shooting the movie, there were no sunbaes, it was also Kim Min Ji’s first movie, and so we had to figure out everything on our own. Because of that, I spent a lot of time talking with the director and the filming went on at a slow pace. However, I can see that filming a drama goes faster. There are a lot of characters, so it’s like my brain is exploding. When I finished filming the movie, I thought “now I know a little”, but right now I feel like I’m wandering again [trying to figure out how to do things].” (laugh)
More than what anyone can think, wether it was his days as a model or today, Lee Soo Hyuk says he wants to keep his own personality and his aura. Now he’s making his first step as an actor, will he be able to become an actor different from the rest, like he hopes to be? As he complies to this interview with his deep gaze and his deep voice, the rise of another model-turned-actor star is anticipated.