[Interview Part I] Lee Seung Gi is Not Humble; Just No Time To be Prideful
Your mom’s friend’s son (umchinah), a model student.
One of the few Korean celebrities who is beloved by all from children to grandparents.
A multi-entertainer who is able to excel in music, acting, and variety.
This is Lee Seung Gi.
After debuting in 2004 with his first album A Moth’s Dream he has released a total of five albums, including 2011’s Tonight.
He then challenged himself with his first acting project in MBC’s New Nonstop 5, following it up with being Hwang Tae Ja in KBS’ Famous Princesses, Sun Woo Hwan in SBS’ Shining Inheritance, Cha Dae Woong in SBS’ My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Lee Jae Ha in MBC’s The King 2Hearts.
Not only that, he was active on KBS’ 1 Night 2 Days and hosted on SBS’ Strong Heart, making it incredibly difficult to list all of his activities.
Often viewed as half-witted but loved for being reliable and well-mannered, Lee Seung Gi was able to escape that fixed image by transforming into the snarky and immature Lee Jae Ha in The King 2Hearts.
As there’s a saying, ‘A person who has robbed before knows how to do it,’ we were curious if this snappy character of Lee Jae Ha was difficult for someone who was always dubbed as trustworthy and a model example.
“I did as it was written on the script. Everyone has a good and bad side. It’s a matter of the bigger side being projected on the outside. When things don’t go my way or when everyone’s working and there’s someone playing, I also get very cranky and bitter. (laughter).”
Especially in the beginning, Lee Jae Ha received a lot of criticism for showing ridiculous actions that were extremely difficult to understand.
To this, Lee Seung Gi replied, “There were parts that I also didn’t understand.” There were many viewers who even turned the channel because they couldn’t stand Lee Jae Ha’s annoying actions.
“Although the character is hard to relate to, it is the actor’s strength that persuades the audience. I think Lee Jae Ha is understandable after going through such situations. Because he showed us those kinds of images in the beginning, his actions in dealing with national problems as a king have validity.
Even with Lee Seung Gi’s effort and transformation, The King 2Hearts wasn’t able to receive good results during its fierce competition with SBS’ Rooftop Prince and KBS’ Equator Man.
As he has been receiving good feedback each time, it’s possible that the model student Lee Seung Gi was disappointed.
“I think it’s because we didn’t tell the story that viewers wanted to see. There are things that the staff wants tell and things that the audiences wants to hear. When these two things are met at the same point, the cinematic value and popularity rises. The story of the North and South Korea unification was fresh, but I don’t think it was a topic that most people comfortably related to.”
During the interview, Lee Seung Gi didn’t hesitate when answering each question, but was still able to give a straightforward and well-thought out answer.
Humility and politeness oozed out from his actions. After debuting at a young age, surrounded by seniors, Lee Seung Gi, who has quite a number of juniors now, managed to still have the same personality as when he first began.
“I always think like this. Humility is important. When a person doesn’t see another who is better, he becomes prideful. For me, there are always amazing people around me, even when I’m acting, so I’ve never had a chance to be prideful. However when needed, I do charismatically push for my opinions. But for the most part, humility is the key.”
This interview is continued in part II, which can be found here.
Photo Credit: Kim Byung Kwan
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- Lee Seung Gi 20120611