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Lee Jun-ki says "Hero" is the perfect fit

최종수정 2009.11.18 00:26 기사입력 2009.11.17 23:58

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On set of MBC TV series "Hero"

From left, actor Lee Jun-ki and actress Yoon So-yi act out a scene from MBC TV series "Hero" on set at a dance hall in Seoul, South Korea on November 16, 2009. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]

A TV series airing in the same time slot has surpassed ratings of 30 percent and the actress who had taken on the lead female role pulled out from the drama just a week ahead of its showing due to an injury which continued to worsen. We are talking about MBC TV series "Hero" which is set to premiere this week. Hence the drama may not be under the most favorable of conditions but a somewhat merry atmosphere dominated the set of the upcoming Wednesday and Thursday night TV series. Below are excerpts from an interview with the lead actor and actress Lee Jun-ki and Yoon So-yi on Monday.

Actor Lee Jun-ki [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: It must've not been easy for you having the female lead opposite you change from Kim Min-jung to Yoon So-yi.
Lee Jun-ki (Lee): It's true that I was very frustrated and had a hard time. Both I and the crew were hoping Kim would recover quickly so that we could all start shooting together but she ended up pulling out which was disheartening for me since I'm playing the main character for this drama. But I was able to pull myself together quickly because Yoon made up her mind on this difficult decision. I think I was able to portray my character Do-hyuk better because I got the chance to look back on his relationship with Jae-in.
Yoon So-yi (Yoon): I joined the cast late so I actually felt a bit awkward on set at first but Lee took the lead well. He helped me to get along with the crew, asked me to join in with everyone for meals and even adjusted his schedule for me. I was a bit out of it for the first three days but I've been getting along much better with Lee's character Do-hyuk since then.

Q: The new shooting schedule must be a strain on your bodies as well.
Yoon: What's so sly about the human body is that it adjusts very quickly, regardless of how much or how little you let it go to sleep. (laugh) I'm still young. The psychological pressure is actually greater. The pressure that I should adjust quickly. And we're rushing since I still have a lot of scenes left to shoot so I'm worried that I might miss something.
Lee: I too, am still at a pretty young age so I shouldn't complain about such things. One thing though is that before, I used to show off my physical strength on set but these days, I talk less.

Q: You've gone through sort of an internal disturbance. What's the atmosphere like on set?
Lee: I just enjoy coming out here. It's fun just being on set and I never stop laughing. I feel like I've finally met the perfect fit for me in terms of the role and drama. I try a larger variety of acting for each take than I used to. Before, I used to prepare in advance and just show exactly that but I now try out more things than what I rehearsed using all sorts of expressions and ways of speech. I really want to give as much as I can for this role.

Q: Why do you think you're having so much fun with this?
Lee: It sort of feels like I'm just hanging out on set. I was dashing this way and rushing that way in the beginning which added a bit more of the fun element to each scene and like today, we got to wear disguises for the dance hall scene. Even Mr. Baek Yoon-shik is moving around more for his role in this drama.
Q: We heard that this scene, where you sneak into the dance hall, was shot for the third episode of the drama. Is this when you've become a newspaper reporter?
Lee: No, the scene at the dance hall is an incident linked with Jae-in. I think I'll probably become a reporter from the fourth or fifth episode, acting a journalist at Yongduk Ilbo which speaks up for and is close to the commoners.

Q: What do you mean by saying the paper is close to the commoners?
Lee: You probably already know this but the story is based on the incidents surrounding several small-timers who decide to set up a newspaper. Our competition on the other hand, is a huge newspaper company composed of elites from society. The person who sets up Yongduk Ilbo is not a mainstreamer so he represents the commoners who cannot mix with the mainstreamers. Do-hyuk's heart has been wounded since a very young age but he is a character who is very passionate and confidant.

Actress Yoon So-yi [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: Did you meet with an actual reporter or study characters from other works to play the role of a reporter?
Lee: First of all, our drama isn't about showing how professionally I can portray a reporter's job. I rather thought that my character would be more appealing if he is someone who doesn't think he's a reporter but tries to be one. I didn't base my character on anyone in particular. But I do look up columns or interesting articles to catch the nuance reporters take on for scenes where I'm out to cover a story or try to represent the lower middle class of society.

Q: Which area would you be interested in covering if you actually became a reporter
Lee: I have always wanted to be a reporter for domestic news. Everyone becomes chivalrous at some point during their school days upon seeing social irregularities. I also liked to write back then and running around on my feet. So when I was doing part-time jobs before becoming an actor, I thought I should study hard and become a domestic news reporter if I ever did get the chance to.

Q: Yoon, we heard that you too have always wanted to play your role as a female detective.
Yoon: I made my debut in an action film so I've been very interested in detectives. That's why I looked for a female detective role whose character stands out and I could try expressing a lot with. I wanted to take on this role because my character Jae-in is different when she is working as a detective versus when she is with Do-hyuk versus when she is with her family.
Lee: I looked forward to her action scenes a lot but they weren't all that... (laugh) Although she is pretty good.
Yoon: I underwent training during my final year of high school but my body has become very stiff because I've been lazy for the past five years. I want to be good at the actions scenes but I'm also worried it might leave too strong of an impression.

Q: The atmosphere on set is good and the drama sounds interesting but you must be pressured because KBS TV series "Iris" is taking the lead for Wednesday and Thursday night dramas.
Lee: I think it was two weeks ago? My mind actually became more at ease after "Iris" surpassed a viewership rating of 30 percent. I had actually felt more pressure when it was in the 20 percent-range because playing the main character means you're responsible for the drama's success. But I've become more at ease after "Iris" breached the 30 percent mark because now it means we'll have to be lucky. I think I won't regret it at least if we seek to portray sincerity. I think this has led to us to focus more on making a good drama and not worry too much over how well it does. That's why we don't even need the feel to talk about "Iris" ratings anymore.

Q: Then what sort of drama do you hope "Hero" to be for the viewers?
Lee: Our competitors are all great but our drama too has a genuineness and appeal about it. It will receive great response by viewers who see that in our drama. I'm in shoot these days with the thought that I'm preparing a good gift to present to the viewers. I will do my best so the drama will be remembered as a well-made and fun drama which will linger in people's minds.

Reporter : Wee Geun-woo eight@10asia.co.kr
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@10asia.co.kr
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr, Lee Ji-Hye seven@10asia.co.kr
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>


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