10: You seem to have a vibe that's different from other celebrities your age. Even at year-end award events, you didn't seem to quite fit into the category of idol stars.
Lee: You're right. I felt that at the end of the year. The singers were all sitting together but I felt awkward being there. Amongst the idols, plus I'm not really that with anyone in particular. And the idol singers dance too so I wouldn't really get to perform with them either.
10: Does working alone, separate from people your age, influence your work? You seemed to be a bit uneasy in responding to another actor's lines in comparison to when you lead a scene alone in SBS TV series "Shining Inheritance."
Lee: It's because my acting wasn't good. And I'm the type that practices a lot so I had gone over my lines numerous times. I memorize my lines perfectly to make up for my acting but that doesn't always mean I'll deliver them perfectly either. But I wouldn't think of that and just pour out my lines, even after making a mistake. Because that's how I rehearsed. (lauigh) I think that's why my acting may have seemed awkward. And I'd be the clumsy character on a variety show at 6:30 p.m. then a son of an heir at 10 p.m. so I think that didn't help in getting viewers into my character.
Lee: I like to be natural. People see me as Lee Seung-gi so when I did "Shining Inheritance," I think it was good that there was some of me in the character rather just being the plain bad boy. People have already seen the me at 6:30 p.m. I think I'd be driving viewers away if I was greedy and declared that acting is something completely different.
10: But a variety of responses come out depending on the success or failure of every realm of the entertainment industry you work in. For example, if your drama does well but not your music, they'll still say you failed.
Lee: I honestly had expected my fourth album to do better so the result wasn't as satisfying. But before that, "Will You Marry Me" received great response, much more than I had expected. I think there are times that something will work out better than you expected or worse. In the beginning I would feel good after hearing a compliment and then disgruntled after being criticized. But I don't think I should be swayed by it.
10: You were very popular last year -- doesn't that pressure you?
Lee: I'm always the same. I wanted to be the same person I was when I first debuted so that's why I kept working hard on "Two Nights and One Day" after "Shining Inheritance."
Lee: People like Kang Ho-dong and baseball player Park Chan-ho say they want to do all that they can, while they can, rather than quitting at one point and becoming a legend. They want to keep going till there is no lingering emotion left. It's the same for me too. And I still have about ten years left to become their age so I'll work hard for the time being.
10: Many mothers pick you as the ideal son for your trustworthy image. What sort of atmosphere were you raised in?
Lee Seung-gi (Lee): They never set any restrictions. But no matter what, they did not like me sleeping over at someone else's house. So even in college, if I hang out till late with my friends, I would still go home to sleep.
10: Isn't it hard being a celebrity and a college student at the same time? You graduated without taking a single leave. Are there any special memories you have from that time?
Lee: College went by in a flash. I wanted to enjoy it more but I couldn't get the best of both worlds. I didn't have time to hang out with other students or anything.
10: How do you put up with stress? There must be times you get frustrated or mad being a celebrity.
Lee: I don't get stressed too seriously. I would if something big happened to me but I think I usually don't have that many problems. And thankfully enough, the real me is not even interested in the things I can't do because I'm a celebrity. Things such as going out clubbing or enjoying drinking. If I do end up doing something and it becomes a problem, then I'll have to accept the fact that it is a problem.
|Lee Seung-gi [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Lee: I really had to practice a lot for that because there are no ad-libs. I had actually prepared the dance for my concert but luckily, I could show it on TV too because every broadcaster had been planning on creating segments to pay tribute to him. There was a moment when I felt I was pretty good but the president of my company said I should try harder. (laugh) I think my choreographer saw more hope in me this time too so he kept pushing me and I think that's why it was able to be received well.
10: You must've spent a lot of time alone at the year-end award ceremonies since you're a solo singer. Are you close to any of the idol stars? Many people are curious to know whether you're good friends with female idol singers too.
Lee: No. I realized at those events that there isn't any idol singer that I'm very close to in particular. I might've been in trouble had MC Mong not been there. (laugh)
10: Is there anything else you're working hard at? You seem to speak Japanese quite well too.
Lee: I might get to expand my career overseas so I'm learning other languages whenever I can. But they're just basic conversations.
10: Do you still workout? You showed us some nice abs in "Two Nights and One Day". They're still there, right? (laugh)
Lee: Of course. (laugh) I continuously workout since even if my abs aren't that obvious, I'll be able to make
10: I heard that your dream was to a politician when you were young. Is is still so?
Lee: No. It was just one of those things kids say when they're young. (laugh) And the ones who didn't have a dream in particular would say they want to be politicians or run their own business. (laugh) So that's why people think my dream is to a politician when I get older. But it's not like that at all. It was what I wrote as my dream job when I was young.
10: Then what would you have done if you didn't become a celebrity?
Lee: I hadn't thought about what I would do though I did think a lot during my teens that I would want to become an architect. I wanted to make and build something.
10: You're becoming an all-around entertainer but a lot of fans are also worried that you may lose your main focus as a singer.
Lee: I don't want to deny that. I had originally wanted to become the best in each and every realm of the industry but I've given up on that dream now. I think I'm an entertainer. Of course I want to be good at singing, acting and variety shows but if I can't, I want to work hard at my singing and acting to maintain a level singing that I won't be ashamed of.
Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer : Chae ki-won email@example.com
Editor : Jessica Kim firstname.lastname@example.org, Lee Ji-Hye email@example.com
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