Wonder Girls Adorn the Main Page of Billboard.com!
‘A light and playful person.’
This is what people usually think when they are asked about actor Lee Chun Hee. This not-so-serious image was probably reinforced by his appearance as the pushover ‘Chunderella’ in the 2009 SBS variety show Family Outing. But, of course, variety turned out to be just variety, as Lee Chun Hee proved to be a different man as an actor.
Lee is back with Barbie, a film about the heartbreaking reality of adoption in Korea. When it became known that the bumbling actor had taken up a role in a low-budget film, despite his ability to carry large-scale films based on his name value in Chungmuro, many wondered why he′d decided to do so.
To answer that question, enews met Lee Chun Hee at the Busan International Film Festival.
The girl group Wonder Girls decorated the main page of America’s Billboard.com (www.billboard.com).
On August 1st, Billboard.com linked a video of Wonder Girls singing B.O.B’s ‘Nothing On You’ on its main page. The link was posted after fans voted them into first place for Mashup Mondays, where Billboard.com spotlights new artists and their music.
Lee Chun Hee Up Close
Lee Chun Hee was an actor who held within him two different images at once. When he was with the child actress Kim Sae Ron, he was a true gentleman. He treated her as if she was his daughter, with kindness in his eyes and speaking with a gentle tone.
But when we started speaking about acting, he became a totally different person. His eyes hardened, and he showed he had his own strong philosophy toward film and acting. His sudden change was honestly, a bit confusing, because he′s mainly known for his sweet, but somewhat lacking, nature.
In the video, Wonder Girls donned casual clothing and sang ‘Nothing on You’ with a band accompaniment. Member Yenny played the keyboard while she sang, and the other members showed off their singing talents through their individual solo parts.
“I felt something well up in my heart.”
Barbie tells the heartbreaking story surrounding a mentally challenged father, his two daughters (The Ron Sisters, Kim Sae Ron and Ah Ron) and their ruffian uncle (Lee Chun Hee). The film’s representatives described Lee Chun Hee’s uncle role not only as a bad person, but as evil trash.
“I was the one acting it out, but I felt something well up in my heart. It felt different from when I first read the scenario. My heart broke thinking that there really could be people who are as bad as he is.’ I think the fact that the role was based on a true story made me even madder.”
Even though many know Lee from his variety stint, he still has a fairy stable place in the film industry as an actor. His name value is high enough for him to take roles in large-scale commercial films, so we wondered why he took on this low-budget small film, instead of going for blockbusters which could really decorate his filmography and cement his status.
“First, the scenario was great. It had a theme that could bring you to tears. Like Gong Yoo took everything into his hands after reading The Crucible, I also wanted to convey the message that things like this shouldn’t happen again.”
The members gave an interview in English post-performance, commenting that, "′Nothing on You’ is a great song and we respect the artists who sang it. After we decided to sing this song, we practiced as much as we could. We are honored to be able to sing this song for you.”
“I’m so thankful and sorry toward my wife.”
We couldn’t miss out mentioning his collaboration with Kim Sae Ron, the child actress of The Man from Nowhere. Because Sae Ron’s recent piece was filmed with Won Bin, Lee Chun Hee had to be compared with the big man. So how did Lee Chun Hee and Kim Sae Ron get along?
“I heard that she was a prodigy since before I met her. Now that I’ve seen her myself I know why they say that about her. I think it’s in her genes (Laugh). She can concentrate really well, and she’s so pretty, I thought I would like to have a daughter like her. Of course if she was, I think I would’ve wanted to keep her always by my side for the rest of my life (Laugh).”
The decision to film Barbie wasn’t an easy one to make. More than anything, he had to leave his pregnant wife, Jun Hye Jin, behind when he left for Pohang to shoot the film. It wasn’t an easy decision to make as a man who had a wife due to give birth in one month.
“It’s my work and it’s my job, so I couldn’t help it, but I was very worried. My wife worried about me caring too much about it and she told me ‘don’t think about coming up to Seoul when you have free time.′ She understands me more than anyone else because she was an actress too. I’m so thankful and sorry toward my wife.”
The sweet ′Chunderella′ was, in truth, as sweet as he appeared, but rather than a fool, Lee Chun Hee proved to be a ′real′ actor, with a deep passion toward his art - the man is no longer missing that 2 percent - he′s definitely all there.
Photo credit: Kim Byung Gwan
Translation credit: Erika Kim
Wonder Girls was also chosen last year as one of Billboard’s ’21 Under 21.’
Photo Credit: Billboard Korea Page and Video Captures
- Wonder Girls 20110802 Nothing On You 20110802 Billboard 20110802 Ye Eun (Wonder Girls) 20110802 America 20110802