[ENG] Lee Seung Gi Talks ‘Gu Family Book’ and Acting for ‘Japan Nittele Plus’

*UPDATED with ENG-subbed video

(video: lovelyclover) thx so much!!!! you’re so awesome!!!

English translation of the interview…

[March 2014] Japan Nittele Plus ‘Gu Family Book’ Special

Lee Seung Gi interview (I think this was recorded a few months ago?)

English: LSGfan, Video: Hanrize via Tryp96

(Interview starts @1:50~)

LSG: I play the role of Choi Kangchi in the drama, Gu Family Book. He is part human and part divine spirit beast. He lived his life until age 20 unaware of this, but as he learns that he is not fully human, through the ups and downs, and such as the love beside him, he realizes what it really means to be human. Thus it is a fantasy drama.

(Preparing for Gu Family Book and Kangchi role)

LSG: Since it’s a role in which you have to use your body a lot, I think I put in about 2-3 months of movement and action prep. And beyond that, to fully become Kangchi, what kind of training should I call it? Actually since this hasn’t been common in films or dramas, I acted the role thinking of those heroes from old manhwas I’d seen in the past.

LSG: There was a part of me that went in thinking it would be kind of comfortable to do a sageuk genre… comfortable, meaning you don’t have to change your clothes as often, there aren’t as many location shoots since you mainly need to film in an area with no buildings around! That’s what I thought, but it was a lot more difficult than I had imagined. Of all the dramas I’ve done, I think this was the hardest stamina-wise.

(Embodying Kangchi… and fainting!)

LSG: After Kangchi’s true identity is revealed, there’s a villain named Jo Gwanwoong in the drama. And their lives are connected…

(GFB scene @3:50~ Kangchi drugged and his mother appears)

JGW: So what do you think? Is that monster the person you were searching for?! (The mom is speechless seeing Kangchi chained up). I said, is that what you were searching for?! (Kangchi finally faints… huhu)

LSG: Filming that scene… while there were a lot of hard scenes to film in the drama, embodying that beast side, making those growling sounds… I had to personally make all those sounds and expressions. So after having to use my breathing so much to growl, and also being tied up… being so focused in the acting, I just fainted. In that scene, I’m drugged and fighting against myself not to transform. So I completed my acting part, and then struggled as I fainted. But the director and staff thought, ‘Oh Lee Seunggi is totally into the acting feel of this scene’ and thought I was still acting. And they filmed for about 30 additional seconds… as I was fainting.

(Kissing scene)

LSG: The kiss scene in our drama appears late. We kissed in Episode 17, and compared to most Korean dramas, that’s really late. So perhaps to make it worthy of a late Episode kiss, there was an intensity to it. A long time [for the kiss]. And since I was acting with Suzy and she’s very young and still has that Nation’s First Love image… after that kiss scene went out, I think I got a lot of blame, like ‘How could you do that to Suzy!’ (Hahahaha Seunggi busts out laughing. He so doesn’t take that kinda stupid stuff seriously!)

LSG: At that time, [when filming the kiss scene], we were all really exhausted and didn’t have a lot of time. PD Shin Woochul is the type of director that doesn’t allow for actors to feel shy or timid. He’ll say, ‘Ok time to act, do a rehearsal, put your lips together.’ So, since he developed a tough type of environment, even though these kinds of scenes can be awkward, I think we were able to do those scenes comfortably because of the director.

(Crying scene with Admiral Lee Soonshin)

LSG: There’s a scene where I meet with Admiral Lee Soonshin…

(GFB scene @6:50~ Kangchi tells Admiral Lee he wants to be human)

Kangchi: I want to become a human. Not this kind of partial human, but a complete person. (He breaks down crying and Admiral Lee consoles him.)

LSG: When I say I really want to become a human, there’s a scene in which I’m crying. Wow while doing that scene… there was some of Lee Donggeun sunbaenim advising me too.  But also, I had these emotions brimming inside of me that I hadn’t sensed before and it was a very new experience. Different emotions beyond what I had imagined came out naturally, which allowed me to fall deeply into acting within those emotions. It’s a scene in which I truly cried uncontrollably. Personally, I’m very satisfied with that scene. Rather than satisfactory in terms of acting, but more so recognizing that you can have this kind of personal communion as an actor. And since it was a new experience for me, I really liked that scene.

(What it means to be human)

LSG: That’s a very difficult question. I’m still not sure what the correct answer is. But the message put forth by the writer was~ living together in this world, encountering good people, and communicating with a good heart… that is living as a human, isn’t it? I think that’s the message. And personally, I think this is true~ with people who are similar in heart, exchanging sincerity back and forth as you live life. I think that’s what it means to live as a human.

(Working with Suzy)

LSG: Since Suzy hasn’t had a lot of experience, as she was finding her way in the beginning, I’m sure she experienced ups and downs, but toward the end of the drama, she had developed so much, wow there was really nothing to coach at her side… not that I coached her that much, but when we rehearsed scenes, my input decreased a lot over time. There were a lot of good scenes with what this friend had prepared, toward the end of the drama. So I complimented her a lot about showcasing such development like that and growing so much in the span of one drama.

(Thanks to fans for 2 netizen-voted awards)

LSG: It’s not really the case that your acting would change upon knowing how things end. But since the writer wrote the script with the ending in mind, I think it was a big help for me in playing the role of Kangchi.  To our Japanese fans who loved Gu Family Book’s Kangchi~ Of the three [MBC Drama] awards, two of them were determined by netizen voting, and I believe many of our international fans in Japan also voted, so thank you so much. I’ll just say… I’ll meet you with better acting in my next project.

(Next acting role…)

LSG: Me?  I think it’s time that I take on a more ‘learned’ role. For example, a lawyer or prosecutor. A policeman. These kinds of more specialized roles. Up to this point, my I haven’t had specific jobs, and I’ve played a lot of characters who were often not as ‘learned’ compared to others (Seunggi laughs!).  So I want to play more roles in which the guy has it together!

(Plans for 2014~ singing, acting, variety)

LSG: 2014 is my 10th year since debut. I really thought I would know so much by my 10th year, but this past year, I sensed even more how I was lacking. (he really needs to not be SO humble all the time!) So this year, all the things I’ve done~ singing, acting, variety… If I can, I hope this will be a year in which I can do all three things without resting.

LSG: I think this is a project which helped me to understand acting more deeply. Making me want to act more in the future, in a serious way.  Through Gu Family Book, I think I learned that acting is something you can’t take lightly, that kind of humility.

(GFB scenes @11:45 to close out the segment.  Love this!)

Makes me really anticipate his upcoming drama project!

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the translation, love this interview, here is the engsub

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