The word “Sang-namja” [t/n: it’s like the guy being the perfect combo between manly and sweet] seems to have been prepared for Lee Soo Hyuk (25, real name: Lee Hyuk Soo). It’s not only about his looks, it’s in his cautious way of speaking or in his attitude. Everything about him feels impressive. This man has a charm that cannot be explained in one word. Very stange.
Lee Soo Hyuk recently played the role of prosecution investigation officer Kim Soo Hyun who helped procuror Jo Hae Woo, played by Son Ye Jin, in her investigation in KBS Mon-Tues “Shark” (writer, Kim Ji Woo; director Park Chan Hong) which finished airing recently. His character had remarkable sociability and was easy to get along with and there was no upsetting situation that could get him mad. With his forever smiling face, he listened courteously to what others said, was also scary so he had the trust of his colleagues. He was a hoo-nam [t/n: basically a gentle and sweet guy].
In the latter half of the story, he became the lead reversal character who encircled Han Yi Soo (Kim Nam Gil), which caused the curiosity from the viewers. Besides, he perfectly performed the role of the character who turned the story’s dark atmosphere around as he built up a sweet love storyline with Han Yi Hyun (Nam Bora), Han Yi Soo’s little sister. Because of that, when an episode was over, the three hangul characters Lee Soo Hyuk was high on real-time search rankings of portal sites. It showed the hot reaction of the viewers toward Lee Soo Hyuk.
Lee Soo Hyuk said he was even more thankful for such reactions. He’s very pleased of being given the chance to be part once again of a good project. However, as his true identity was revealed in the latter half of the story, his scenes increased and the filming schedule was hectic and there were many things he was sorry about.
“There was no time, my number of scenes increased and I struggled a lot with expressing the character’s emotions. There was pain from his past, so he was a character with depth and things kepts happening, so it was hard to express all of this. Especially after Nam Gil-hyung finds out the truth, there was a scene where they talk or the roof scene where he forgives him, when I read those scenes, they were very powerful, but I think I wasn’t able to convey this emotion. I wanted to do well, so it’s unfortunate,” he explained.
The combination of writer Kim Ji Woo and PD Park Chan Hong rose to fame through dramas “Resurrection” and “The Devil”. Because of that, “Shark” created big expectations and became an issue since the early stage of production. Lee Soo Hyuk auditioned thinking that this was definitely a drama he wanted to be a part of, he said it was a honor for him to work with them.
“I know that if you count for all the characters, hundreds of people auditionned. That’s why it was an honor for the rookie actors to be chosen because this was a very good drama. Besides, I was already a fan of the writer and the director.”
All through the interview, Lee Soo Hyuk showed to his heart’s content the respect he has for Park PD and writer Kim, the affection he has for the other actors like Kim Nam Gil. “The atmosphere on set was really great. Everybody took good care of me,” he recalled. “Our director is a perfect sang-namja, he has a big heart and takes care of every single one staff member. He tries his best to memorize all the names, he even asked the names of the people from my personal staff. He’s a real man and is sharp like a knife. When we were filming, when we were resting, many jokes were exchanged and it was fun,” he said as he talked non-stop about his good memories.
Because until now he had played many characters who don’t speak or who are geniuses, playing Soo Hyun in “Shark” was really new to Lee Soo Hyuk. Sometimes he was the romantic guy who knew how to frankly express his feelings to Yi Hyun. Sometimes, he was the charming cute guy jealous because Yi Hyun only cared about her older brother Yi Soo. Although he seemed indifferent, when you know better, the heart-warming side of his personality is actually very similar to the real Lee Soo Hyuk.
“I hated looking like I didn’t know what to do in front of the camera before, now I’m more comfortable about that. And when I read the script, everything was written very precisely. I was able to know exactly what the writer wanted, so I simply acted according to that.”
However, he said that he felt ashamed by the dialogues with Yi Hyun to the point that the lines themselves made him cringe. When asked if he has no aegyo in real life, Lee Soo Hyuk was very embarassed as he said “I don’t know. I’ll say I don’t.”
“Of course, I treat nicely the person I like, but I can’t do it like Soo Hyun. It’s embarrassing. It’s okay if I do it as a joke, but talking like this while looking seriously at the other person, I really can’t do it.”(laugh)
Lee Soo Hyuk has always enjoyed watching movies ever since he was a kid and dreamed of being an actor. In 2006, he debuted as a model in designer Jung Wook Joon’s fashion show. Through the mask of rarety and freshness as well as the body he was born with, Lee Soo Hyuk got recognition as a top model and went for the actor title he wanted so much through the movie “The Boy From Ipanema” in 2010.
Then, with KBS drama special “White Christmas”, SBS’ “Deep-Rooted Tree”, MBN “What’s Up”, and “Vampire Idol” as well as movies “Runway Cop”, “Scary Story 2”, he’s building up here and there his filmography. As he added “Shark” to the list, he keeps growing a little bit more as an actor.
“I have absolutely no regret about started acting. Of course, it’s hard and difficult most of the time, but when I watch the final result, I’m happy and I’m happy when people say good things about me. I really enjoyed filming “The Boy from Ipanema”, but while filming dramas like “Deep-Rooted Tree” and “Shark”, I’ve come to understand step by step how hard acting is.”
“I don’t want popularity fast. Of course, I’d be happy to be popular, but I have no intention of being famous through TV shows or for reasons beyond my own ability. I think that doing something through motivation consumes your energy and is hard,” he revealed.
Lee Soo Hyuk’s low and deep voice had this lingering strong feeling. The path he must take as an actor is still long and rough, but Lee Soo Hyuk who is standing on this path is strong inside like an ironclad pine tree. Because of this, he worries that he’d be harmful to others and is careful about his manners and his words. His driving force is to live up to expectations and to keep striving forward by being even more humble.
“In the interviews I did at the beginning of the year, I said I’d like to do three projects this year. I’ve already done two, so I have one left. I want to show a good image through a good project. Besides, I’m currently preparing the fashion program “Style Log” with Hong Jong Hyun. I’m working hard on preparing this, so please anticipate.”