[September 2016 – Marie Claire] Lee Joon Gi – Inexorably – Interview


It’s another fantasy sageuk.

It’s a sageuk, but there are many aspects different from my previous projects. Various characters appear in “Scarlet Heart”. In the past, I mostly played the character leading the story,but this time, the story is about the balance within a large group of various characters. The story takes place during the Goryeo time, and it’s the first time I play a sageuk taking place in this era. It’s also the first time that I will become a king. Personally, I found the royal feud interesting. The drama will try to draw minitiously the royal conflicts and political storms.

You’re probably sad about the fact your filmography doesn’t have a lot of diversity, right?

I’ve mostly done big dramas with a lot of action and various emotions. On the contrary, I didn’t do much drama with a quiet human vibe or romance. I do wonder how it would have been if I hadn’t done a lot of projects like this, but I think my career still turned out well, regardless. I think I wasn’t prepared either to do things like this anyway. What was interesting for me was to create projects based on my strengths. Now, I’ve built up my experiences and I think it made me a bit stronger and more flexible along the way. I’m certain that I will have even more things to show you in the future, so I’m not impatient. As I’m getting older, I will be more mature and will be able to feel more emotions, so I think it’s not too late for me to shoot projects with a different style. As an actor, I worried that my face would looked younger than my peers’ when I was young. However, time went by and I built up my résumé and I think my experiences made me a bit more masculine and mature. There are more sides of me that I haven’t shown you yet compared to what I have already shown you. I portrayed roles using my body a lot, regardless if the plot took place in our era or in the past. I know my strengths and I’m good at acting with my body. I’m good at traditional dancing and action, so it seems that’s the reason I chose these characters. However, I don’t have much time left to use these aspects of my acting. I mean, I’m already in my mid-30’s. I want to do projects where all the things I have can be useful.

You use SNS a lot. Is it to communicate with your fans?

I think communicating with my fans through SNS makes me realize what I must improve about myself or what I should aim for. It’s a space to bring each other comfort. Now, my fans are like precious friends. It’s also a space where I can express how I am thankful to them.

But aside from your projects, we don’t really see you in variety programs or promotional events.

As an actor, I wanted to focus a little bit more only on my roles. As an actor, I think I still have a long way to go and there are still many things I must figure out, and to be honest I don’t really have a good sense for variety programs. (laughs) I think I’m still little prepared. However, promoting a project recquires to approach people in a more familiar way, so now I’m thinking about going on variety programs. I have an optimistic and humourous side, so I think I could be good at it.

You debuted more than ten years ago. As you portrayed a pretty boy, you were the hottest rookie of the industry at some point. If you were to choose the most precious project for you so far?

Each project made me who I am today, so they’re all precious to me, but I wonder if “King and The Clown” won’t be the movie I will remember all my life. If not for this role, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the blessings in my life in the way I’m enjoying them now. Thanks to this movie, I was able to be offered various roles and I was able to spend my life with happy worries. I will keep making efforts to show you more than that. “King and The Clown” is the moutain I must overcome and the goal I must reach.

I sometime miss seeing the Lee Joon Gi closer to our world like during your “May 18” days. Aren’t you thirsty for movies like this?

Of course, I am. However, what’s clear is that there are many sides of me I haven’t shown you yet. The future of actor Lee Joon Gi is promising. I will play in more diverse projects and it will be my way of communicating with the world. I want to quench this thirst now. My life as an actor isn’t something for one day or two days, so I will try to bring variety to my life as I do many various projects. I want to make many projects that will be worth bringing comfort to the audience.

And you’re an actor who hasn’t had any serious scandal so far. It’s not easy to have a quiet life in this chaotic entertianment industry.

When you’re an actor, you must have a sense of responsibility and a sense of duty and you must manage your personal life. Of course, it’s sometimes uncomfortable to live in a world where you walk on thin ice, and it’s hard to get rid of the anxiety. I’ve managed my life intensely for a long time in my own way and this method is now deeply printed in my bones, so I don’t feel uncomfortable. If anything, I think a lot “how would it be if I lived a little bit more like a regular person” or “shouldn’t I do this?”. Being an actor is about being someone who creates a person, and if you can’t live as a person, then isn’t what you portray only fake in the end? These are the thoughts I have.

You’ve lived intensely. You probably felt a slump at some point too.

Before I turned 30, my life story was harsh. I got betrayed by people I had trusted for a long time. Because of that, I was swept away in a lawsuit and lost my assets/fortune. This judicial figth was mentally exhausting and it was a hard time for me. Just looking at this time of my life, I was young compared to now, so I don’t know if this time of my life would have been harder to overcome. Still, thanks to this experience, my mental became much stronger and I think the way I look at life is more flexible and I’m stronger. Don’t they say that God gives you only as much as you can handle? Life is a continuous wave and I think I ride it and learn how to overcome it. The only thing is that I fall behind if I’m disappointed and frustrated. Now, I’m trying to keep a positive mindset to enjoy things. And the one I am right now is happy.

I heard you will be going to a family gathering once this photo shoot is over.

I thought I forgot often my family as I lived my life. I lived only working fiercely, so I couldn’t take care of my parents and my sibling. My parents’ health isn’t as good as it used to be. What is the point of my life if my family isn’t here? If I have no memory with my parents, how sad will I be when my parents leave me? I realized that family is the relationship in which you must know how to express how thankful you are and looking back suddenly one day, I won’t be able to. That’s why I put it into practice. Now, I go to Hawaii with my family every year. Parents and children don’t know each other well just because they’re parents and children. When you don’t spend time together, you may not know each other and just become acquaintances. Now I’m trying my best to create memories to cherish with my family. I want my parents to remember me as a lovely and thankful son they can be proud of.


Marie Claire Korea
Translation: @thesunnytown


2 Comments Add yours

  1. kfangurl says:

    He sounds so down-to-earth and a bit on the serious side, even. Which I didn’t expect, seeing how boppy-cheery he tends to be on SNS for his fans. Love how he’s making more efforts to spend time with his family while he continues to work hard at his art. Thanks for your hard work, Sunny! This was a treat to read, and just before LJK come back on my screen too! Talk about perfect timing 😉

  2. IX says:

    Wow. The last part made me tear up. Reading his interviews makes me appreciate him more as an actor and as a person. I hope everything goes well for you, Lee Joon Gi.

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