[November 2009 – Singles] Lee Sang Woo – A life of slow passion – Interview

Singles - Lee Sang Woo

With characters like Gu Se Joo in “First Wives Club” or Yoo Hyun Soo in “The Road Home”, he often played the warm-hearted guy women dreamed of, but Jin Hyuk, his character in “Searching for the Elephant”, is a bad guy. He has a secret relationship with his first love who is his friend’s wife, but from his point of view, he calls it “pure love”. Should we day that he became a bad guy because he was too much of a romanticist?

Jin Hyuk appears as a financial expert after being not being seen for a while. There’s a mystery feeling around him. Did you worry specifically about something for this aspect?

I don’t know if it goes as far as “mystery”, but since the character is a financial expert, I did study this field. I tried to do dit personally. There are also scenes in which I do taekwondo, so I also learned taekwondo.

There are a lot of intimate scenes since it’s a movie for adults only. Was there no burden about acting with so much skin exposure?

I always have many topless scenes in each project I do. It’s either a swimming pool scene or a shower scene. This time, I also have a bath scene, so you only see my upper body. It’s only because I was embarrassed to step out since I had been too busy to work out properly.

You shot a lot of weekend dramas and daily dramas.

The acting and the characters for weekend dramas and daily dramas are a bit different from the trendy miniseries. It’s about portraying daily lives, so it’s hard to show dramatic acting and I think it can make you crave to portray charismatic actors or to show bold acting. I’m a little bit slow in anything I do in my daily life. I’m slow to get close to people, I’m slow to warm up, I’m a bit slow to adapt to a new character. Weekend dramas or daily dramas usually last 6 months, if they’re long, it can go up to a year, so I think it’s a better match for me. I’m lacking a lot, so I chose long dramas that are better for my acting style. I’m acting with a “learn-things-step-by-step” mindset.

You debuted in 2005 and the number of projects you did wasn’t little.

I worked without taking a break. None of my projects were exceptional, though.

What’s your standard to choose a project?

There must be three to four things. Until then, if one of them was there, I’d do it anyway. Then I realized that if two things were there at the same time and I chose according to my own preference, it’d fall flat midway. I look more at the overall story than the character. As for movies, I like thriller movies or mysteries.

You give off this model student who studies well vibe, or an elite vibe. You don’t seem to have this actor vibe, how did you become an actor?

A friend introduced me to acting. The actor vibe? I really don’t have it. I’m really an introvert. When I was in school, if I had to stand up and do a presentation in class, I didn’t go to school the day when it was my turn. I hated having other people showing me interest, I hated having people staring at me. I stammer, I’m slow. I’m much better today. I started acting to improve myself.

You speak slowly. Do you usually have a slow reaction to things you don’t know?

I kind of think a lot and my reactions are a bit slow. Even worse, in the past, I was sleeping at a friend’s house once. My friend told me to get up and I bumped my head against the furniture because I was trying to pull the carpet I was sleeping on. The average person would said “ouch” right away, but I said “ouch” only 5 minutes later.

Are you the attentive type toward your girlfriend?

Being sincere is the only wayt to go, right? I used to think that words weren’t important, but I think expressing yourself appropriately is important. You end up having regrets afterwards otherwise.

What’s the biggest bad boy aspect of your personality ?

I’m always trying to match anything she wants, but there are times when I must do the things I suddenly want to do. I’d be having a drink and I’d miss my girlfriend. If so, I’d say to my girlfriend to see me no matter what she’s doing. If we didn’t really get to speak on the phone and I want to see her, I must see her right away.

Have you already been hung up on love?

No. It’s really sad. When I was in my 20’s, I definitely tried to find this kind of endless love. I definitely want to experience it in the future.

What do you believe is “pure love”?

Love with no calculation when you’re young. As people get older, they change. Women become more realistic. I don’t know if a first love is remembered through a feeling of innocence. A love with no condition, a love with just this feeling of excitement and happiness. Depending on how you see him, Jin Hyuk’s love is a “pure love” in the movie.

How is it to be over 30?

It’s nice. How should I put it? I feel like I’m aging as I should [t/n: he actually uses a metaphor that would be like “fermenting just fine”]. Until my mid-20’s, I lost interest in anything I did. I just did things or not. During the second half of my 20’s, I thought about my career and told myself “if you have disgraceful thoughts, it won’t work”, “if you do things this way, it won’t work”. I think I gained something like sincerity and a sense of professionalism about my work.

What is the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done so far that would make you go astray?

I never went astray. I don’t think tissues should be thrown on the ground, so I even carried mine to throw them away at home.

What kind of kid were you?

I was the Casanova of my neighborhood until elementary school. I loved girls. I was popular. However, it was all over as soon as I started elementary school. I was awkward in front of girls, so I avoided girls until high school.

What gave you the biggest sense of loss in your life?

I’ve loved gold ever since I was a kid, so I collected pure gold when I was in college. When I had money, I bought gold and I ended up gathering all the gold I had to make myself a heavy gold necklace. It weighed 60 dons [t/n: 225g] I was so happy. When I was wearing this necklacr, I felt like I owned the world. I had it on me when I slept, but I felt like it gave me nightmares because it was too heavy. Despite having nightmares, I was stubborn about it and wore it all the time, but I lost my precious necklace just 4 months after I got it. Losing this 60-don necklace, I think it was the moment that gave me the biggest sense of loss in my life.

If you were not an actor, what would you have become?

I studied food engineering. I ate a lot of nutritional elements good for the body, so I wanted to be one of those who created them. Many of my classmates work in pharmaceutical companies or laboratories, pharmaceutical selling companies. I guess I would have been working at a pharmaceutical selling company if I weren’t an actor.

Are you happy to be an actor?

When I started acting, I only filmed once or twice a week. Looking at the leads who spent nights filming until dawn for a few days, I wondered if I’d be able to do the same. I was worried and jealous, but I think it gave me an energy that I didn’t think I had to the point I’m actually too busy now. Being able to act, although I don’t get to sleep, this is something that truly makes me happy.

Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com


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