[Interview] Lee Jong Hyun Changed His Mind about Acting through ‘A Gentleman’s Dignity’
CN Blue debuted in 2010, and in just two years since then, it’s managed to become a band that can represent Korea in the world.
The Lee Jong Hyun that I had met just after the band had released its first album in January that year was a very quiet little boy.
Most of the reason he was quiet was because he was trying to fix his Busan dialect to a Seoul one, of course, and the Lee Jong Hyun that I got to know after that was a pleasant and stereotypical guitarist with a hot temper. More than anything, he was stubborn and held a great conviction toward music. This was why his sudden digression toward the small screen felt all the more unfamiliar.
I met with the Lee Jong Hyun who had acted as Kim Do Jin’s (Jang Dong Gun) son Collin in the popular SBS drama, A Gentleman’s Dignity, for the first time in a long time. He said he didn’t get much sleep the night before because he had been with his cast for the A Gentleman’s Dignity after-party, but his smile still shone with the sweetness it always had.
“Before my appearance was confirmed, I felt awkward around the fact that I would be appearing in a drama, but my members gave me the courage to take up the challenge. I was hesitant thinking that I wouldn’t be very good [at acting], but they gave me the confidence to try it out. I’m very thankful toward them for that. If I didn’t take up the offer then, I would never have known what these emotions are or what acting is like. (Laugh)”
He used to be a musician who was somewhat hostile toward acting, but he changed completely after getting a taste of what acting is like.
He was changed, changed enough to say, “I shudder at what would’ve happened if I hadn’t taken up this piece out of hesitation.”
A Gentleman’s Dignity was that effective in showing Lee Jong Hyun what acting is like, and how overwhelming an experience learning something new can be.
Many singers act and sing at the same time, but it wasn’t easy for Lee Jong Hyun to strike up a deal with himself and try out something other than music. A Gentleman’s Dignity broke everything down for him. Now, Lee Jong Hyun is determined not only to stand onstage as a singer, but also to put together an impressive filmography as an actor.
“I feel that with A Gentleman’s Dignity I killed two birds with one stone. I was able to start off successfully as an actor because the drama was so popular, and I was also able to let a lot of people know that I’m originally a singer because my OST [for the drama] did so well. I am a member of CN Blue, but not many people could recognize who I was. In this sense, the year of 2012 will be an unforgettable year for me.”
Lee Jong Hyun added that his “meeting with A Gentleman’s Dignity was an unbelievable bit of luck,” and also that he was “thankful to be with such great people” for his first piece.
“I felt that I’m a very lucky person,” he said.
The biggest difference between the Lee Jong Hyun of the past and the Lee Jong Hyun of the present was that he didn’t hesitate anymore in trying to learn new things.
“I learned how important it is to be ready for challenges when I thought of what would’ve happened if I hadn’t been in A Gentleman’s Dignity,” he said.
He said that every moment, he’s hit with a new wave of happiness at this sudden stroke of luck. Now, he dreams not only of being an unforgettable singer, but also a colorful actor. He’s only 23 years old; this boy’s climb to a new world has just begun.
Photo credit: FNC Music