[Interview] Lee Min Ki Transforms into Killer for ′Monster′
Actor Lee Min Ki previously charmed the public with a soft and cute image.
Through drama Dalja’s Spring and movies A Good Day to Have an Affair, Romantic Island, Quick, Spellbound, Very Ordinary Couple and more, he showed off his friendly charms.
Then he came back with a 180 degree change. In the movie Monster, Lee Min Ki took the role of ruthless murderer Tae Soo. His frightening smile, sharp gaze along with defined muscles send out chills even without a single line.
Perfectly pulling off the killer’s image, one might wonder, ‘Why didn’t he take on a role like this before?’
Lee Min Ki answered, “I think I was more fit for cute and bright characters until now. And it’s hard to come across a role like this when you’re in your mid twenties. I’m glad that I met Monster at a time like this.”
Comparing his character from Very Ordinary Couple to the one in Monster is enough to make one’s jaws drop in disbelief. He has perfectly transformed into a ‘monster,’ succeeding in making a dramatic transformation.
“I’ve always had the thirst for a change,” said the actor. “I wanted a change in the genre, not in my image. That’s when I came across Monster. I can’t say that I didn’t feel any pressure to act as a murderer. So I spent some tough time transforming myself.”
Lee Min Ki’s efforts to transform into a killer gathered much spotlight even before the movie released. In order to have a muscular body, he first gained 17 kilograms, then lost all 17 kilograms, leaving his body with just 4% body fat, in order to show the character’s sensitive and sharp image.
“Taking many soft roles until now, has given me certain habits that those characters carry. And they were not easy to get rid of. So I tried to live as ‘Tae Soo’ before filming began, re-shaping my body and putting all my effort into the transformation. I didn′t sleep well until now and became very sensitive,” said the actor.
Changing the body shape and thoughts within a short time period was not an easy thing for him, but Lee Min Ki did not want to easily give up on the challenge that he brought on to himself.
“Taking the role of ‘Tae Soo’ was a way to test my limits, because it was completely different than my previous roles,” he said. “It was a role that I would one day face as an actor, and even I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. So I took on the challenge with the mindset of thinking ‘it’s either now, or my acting career is over.’”
Monster is a thriller that has both tense and warm elements. What was it about Monster that moved Lee Min Ki’s heart?
“From the time I saw the scenario, I thought the movie was very unique,” he answered. “Thrillers are usually centered around a certain storyline with a twist of events, but Monster was focused on the conflicts between the characters. I thought it was cliché to act in a movie with a perfect and obvious storyline. I felt like this movie had new elements, even though the storyline may not have been perfect.”
As he finished the interview, Lee Min Ki said, “If you expect to see a traditional thriller, you might be disappointed. It’s a movie that you can enjoy, if you watch it without any preconceived ideas. The genre is claimed to be a thriller but it also has elements of drama as well as comedy.”
Photo credit: enews/ Hea Jung Min
- Lee Min Ki 20140322