Lee Sung Min talks ‘The King 2 Hearts’ and Lee Seung Gi


I can’t imagine Lee Sung Min (44) as anyone else other than Lee Jae Kang, the noble and idealistic brother to Seunggi’s Lee Jaeha.  But his agency recently confirmed that next up, he’ll be playing a doctor in the upcoming MBC Monday-Tuesday drama ‘Golden Time’ starring Lee Sun Kyun and Hwang Jung Eom.  Lee Sung Min did an interview earlier this month, and I’ve been meaning to post it.  He’s incredibly humble despite being such a great supporting actor, and his affection for Seunggi is love…

‘The King’ Lee Sung Min, “I asked why would you use me?” [Interview]
English: LSGfan, Source: MT Star

[April 6, 2012] A few months ago, Lee Sung Min played an odious section chief with bad permed hair on the drama ‘Brain.’  However, he was cast as the gracious, dignified, and even handsome(!) South Korean king in ‘The King 2 Hearts.’  When the reporter confessed, “Honestly, I searched around to see if you had surgery prior to this role,” Lee Sung Min laughed out loud.

“It was hard for me too, and with Lee Seung Gi playing my younger brother, I kept thinking why did the director cast me.  I could be his father, let alone his older brother.”

Lee Sung Min attended the first script reading for ‘The King 2 Hearts’ in his ‘Brain’ permed hairstyle, and was said to have been very nervous.  Having played more ordinary characters in his past dramas (Pasta, Can you Hear my Heart, Gloria), the idea of playing the older brother of Lee Seung Gi, and a king character on top of that, and with top veteran actors involved such as Lee Soon Jae and Yoon Yeo Jung, was unsettling to him.

“It comforted me a little to hear that Yoon Jae Moon would be more my peer.  I worried a lot that they would all be thinking, ‘Why did they cast him as king?!’”

However, the response to Lee Sung Min’s king character was very warmly received.  He said that wearing such formal clothes was somewhat uncomfortable, but experienced great joy while acting.

“Once, I even asked the director, ‘Why did you use me?’ and he just said he thought I would be fun.  Inside, I was thinking ‘What’s up with this guy’ (laughter).  I mean, there are a lot of cool handsome actors.  I thought, there must be some reason he used me, and I thought a lot about what I could do.  And I finally realized, I also have a simple, normal demeanor.  And a king can have that aspect to him as well.”

While his portrayal of a dignified king was charming, what really moved viewers was the tender older brother way in which Lee Sung Min viewed and interacted with his younger brother Lee Seung Gi.  Their warmth and smiles brought great contentment to viewers.  His chemistry with Lee Seung Gi came off as if they could really be brothers.

“Even though it was my first time meeting Seung Gi, it felt familiar.  Through ’1 Night 2 Days’ and seeing him a lot on various program broadcasts, I felt he was someone I had met a lot before.  I was closer with him than with [Lee] Sun Kyun on ‘Pasta’ or [Shin] Ha Kyun on ‘Brain.’  (Lee Sun Kyun, Shin Ha Kyun, and Lee Sung Min all belong to the same agency!)  Since Seung Gi was also very affectionate, and acts with an open heart, it was great.  He did a good job acting.  He works very hard, and also has a good thinking head.”

Lee Seung Min was asked about the most important part in acting.  As if people would say he was not a good hyung, he again mentioned and had compliments for Lee Seung Gi.

“I carefully consider how the other actor is acting, thinking how I can adapt and transform upon meeting that actor.  If I didn’t encounter Shin Ha Kyun on ‘Brain,’ things would not have turned out the same way.  And I was waiting to see how things would unfold when I encountered Lee Seung Gi.  However, Lee Seung Gi as an actor, also thought the same way.  And on top of that, even despite him being young.  Since we didn’t come to the filming set just to do our own parts, we were able to give each other feedback.  Meeting and acting with him was fun.”

When asked what character he’d like to play in the future, Lee Sung Min said he’d like to be in a sitcom if possible, that it seems like it would be fun.

I love the Jaekang-Jaeha brothers!!  Extra bonus is that Lee Sung Min in real life seems a lot like his Jaekang character.  I can’t wait to see how Jaeha eventually develops into a great king, greatly influenced by his noble brother king Jaekang.

TK2H official cartoon fun between Jaekang and Jaeha…

OMG, I could totally see Lee Sung Min being funny on a sitcom.  His expression when he walked in on Jaeha-Hangah’s fridge kiss is UNFORGETTABLE~!!!  I need to see a Lee Seung Min – Lee Seung Gi reunion on some variety show or talk show after The King 2 Hearts wraps!  I miss them together.  Love these cartoon big head cartoons…

English: LSGfan, Images: As labeled, MBC, LSGfan

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3 Responses

  1. Dear Ann, thank you so much! What a great interview and what a great post!
    I’ve never watched Lee Sung Min’s other dramas. So I was properly stunned by his performance in TK2H, so warm, so earnest and idealistic, yet so firmly footed in traditional values. (And yes, he’s very handsome!)
    The part of his interactions with Seung Gi is pure jewel. 1N2D really brings Seung Gi home to so many people, actor colleagues included. Love how both of them consider their acting partners and respond and give feedback. What a fun time both must have had!
    I miss you, Jae Kang! Hope to see you in flashbacks more.

    PS In the fridge kiss BTS, Jae Kang did a funny take (on purpose I think) and Seung Gi laughed so heartily. Evil me thinks he’s happy because one more NG means one more go…

  2. What a great read! It’s really impressive that not only is Seunggi is brilliant onscreen, but more so offscreen! We can never get enough of his co-actors praising him and becoming close to him! It’s amazing how Seunggi just makes people warm up to him. Everytime I see him and Ha JI Won laughing and having fun on the set, it’s just wow! Jae Kang loves him, Lee Seon Jae praises him, Bong Gu is a fan, Ha Ji Won hearts him, PD Lee Jae Kyu adores him…Seriously, who doesn’t like him?!
    An actor who is awesome both on and offscreen, with a handsome face and the sexiest walk to boot, that can only be Lee Seung Gi!

  3. Thanks ! Among all the articles of TK2H seniors who talked about Seung Gi. I really like this one best because it is so insightful about Seung Gi as a person and as an actor. I love that so much love is going around the set, and it is true that one have to give to receive. Seung Gi is one such brave, open and passionate person and because of this, he receive even more love from others. ^^

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