[Interview Part II] Lee Jong Seok Says He Can’t Call Himself an Actor Yet
Out of the cast of ‘R2B: Return to Base’, Jung Ji Hoon (Rain) and Lee Jong Seok were the only ones who hadn’t served in the military yet. It must’ve been hard because it was a military film.
“I was told off by Yu Jun Sang sunbaenim (senior) at first because I said ‘annyeonghaseyo’ (hello). He told me to say ‘annyeonghashimnika’ (more formal). I read my script a lot because my acting wasn’t very stable, and Yu Jun Sang sunbaenim gave me a lot of advice. I’m so thankful. He kept giving me chances to speak up at the stage events when I couldn’t seem to find the right timing, too.”
What kind of senior is Jung Ji Hoon?
“He’s so cool. I was so happy to be acting with him while looking into his eyes. I dreamed of becoming an actor since I was in middle school thanks to Jung Ji Hoon hyung (big brother). He was so cool in Full House. I was so happy to be acting with someone I liked that much.”
How did you like ‘R2B’?
“I don’t know what I should say film-wise, but I do believe this film will help develop the videos of Korean films.”
You like acting so much; why did you prepare to debut as a model or idol group member?
“I signed with the wrong agency. I prepared as an idol group member for three months and then quit. I couldn’t bring myself to do it among team members who had been preparing for two years. I signed with the agency because it said it would help me act, but it didn’t keep its promise. I never thought of modeling, either.”
You’re hosting SBS’ ‘Inkigayo’ now. That’s not acting.
“I tried it out thinking maybe it would help me fix my shyness, but I still haven’t fixed it. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I ended up doing it anyway. It’s been three months but I still feel awkward.”
It’s amazing how you can act when you’re so shy.
“Oddly, it’s okay when I stand in front of the camera, and not people. I become nervous when there are more people around.”
You don’t seem very talkative either.
“That’s right. I felt uncomfortable as Choi Kyung Sub in Korea only because I had to use the North Korean form of speech; his personality is more similar to mine. My hobby is to watch dramas or films at home. I’m not a very good drinker, either. I don’t have many friends who are my age because I was active as a model since I was little.”
What type of role do you want to try in the future?
“I want to be a melancholy character in a melancholy film.”
You’re an actor who grows very quickly.
“I want to do more acting. I’ve been on break after shooting three pieces at once. It’s only been a few months since I’ve started resting, but it feels like I’ve forgotten how to act. I’m a person who still needs to continue filming and working hard.”
What kind of actor do you want to be?
“My long term goal is to become an actor who can introduce himself as ‘the actor Lee Jong Seok’. Now, I can’t say that because I’m not as good as that name. I also want to be an actor who can’t be replaced, an actor who’s good at acting, an actor who has an image only Lee Jong Seok can put on.”
Photo credit: Hea Jung Min