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[ENGLISH] Vogue Jan 2015 Interview, Part 2 – Lee Seung Gi’s Delightful First Experience

Velvet cocktail jacket and turtleneck knit, and handkerchief are all Tom Ford, tweed checked suit and oxford shoes are all Thom Browne, socks are Happy Socks.

Vogue Korea, January 2015
Lee Seung Gi’s Delightful First Experience (Part 2)
English: LSGfan, Source: Vogue Korea

More so than the kids of the 90s, it’s a more daring place for elementary students these days.  The movie trailer begins with a sunny question posed by one of the young students Junsoo teaches. “Teacher! Did you watch <Architecture 101>? Then, is Teacher’s girlfriend also a bitch?” It’s as if flying rocks strike the tender heart of this bachelor teacher. Even more painful is the fact that the ‘bitch’ is still hardly yet his girlfriend. “I too saw that movie. But Junsoo is not as naive as Seungmin from <Architecture 101>. The original [Love Forecast] script called for him to be a foolish goofball, but things changed a bit as the character was reflected by me. He’s simply a dense guy who doesn’t really know a woman’s heart. Honestly, most men are like that. Goes the same for player guys who act as if they know everything.”

Toward guaranteed insurance boyfriend Junsoo, beautiful weather caster Hyunwoo sends neither green nor red signals but only ambiguous yellow signs. Thus this simple-hearted guy who only knows the direct straight path can’t help but be confused. Even though booming klaxon ringing rage is often directed toward the other guys hovering around his girl, ultimately, it’s only his heart that gets chaotic and noisy.

Lee Seojin is also one of the love rivals. Although he is a miserable wretch drinking a hand-ground millstone Americano coffee while worrying about the day’s meal as ‘Seojin-ee’ in <Three Meals A Day>, he transforms into a charming city guy when he frees himself from the restraints of tenant farming and the Kangwondo area Oksunbong remote mountainside. In the movie, Lee Seojin makes a special appearance as a work sunbae who has an affair with Hyunwoo (Moon Chaewon).

“There is a loyalty between us, but Director Park Jinpyo also strongly wanted Seojin hyung. Among middle-aged actors in Korea, Lee Seojin is the only one who can act sexy like that! Upon hearing that, it really seemed so.” In real life, who would be the winner if the two men battled it out for one woman? “Between me and Seojin hyung? Whoa, hyung is really charming. He has characteristics I don’t have. He is the same from every angle. I too, really like that manly aspect about him. Merely because he’s not in his 20s like me. Hehe. Ultimately, it’s probably a difference in our preferences?”

Triangle pattern knit is Paul Smith, leopard print cotton shirt is Pushbutton, camouflage print wool pants is Beyond Closet, socks are Happy Socks, black shoes are Camper, lined mug on top of the books is Cornishware. 

To repay his charming hyung for his hard work [on the movie], Lee Seunggi visited the remote mountainside of Oksunbong where Jackson the goat and Mingkey the puppy, and chickens were all playing and running around. And he experienced sorghum field hell. “The timing wasn’t good. Of all occasions, going when all the sorghums had to be severed… Why did I go at that time?” He breathed a low sigh. On top of the heavy snowfall from two days prior, it was also about 10 degrees outside. The wind chill temperature was even lower. “I thought I was going to die. I still feel like my back is going to break.” Naturally, it’s not that he’s regretting it. “Since I’m a person who’s used to doing this kind of work, I have to do it. I am, after all, a member of the original slave-group. Haha.” (here, ‘slave-group’ is a play-on-words for ‘girl-group’ and refers to his time working with original members of variety program ‘1 Night 2 Days’)

Maybe the life of a slave was his fate. In <Love Forecast>, Moon Chaewon is his new owner. Unrequited love, expressed in a more positive way, and there is no other ’18-years a slave’ like him. Life is hard for him as he accepts her drunken frenzies and follows her every order. There’s also a scene where he piggybacks a drunken Hyunwoo. “Well, that was okay. Since I work out a lot. Ha ha.” He has already worked with Moon Chaewon through drama <Brilliant Legacy>. However, the situation is 180 degrees different [in this movie]. In that drama, Moon Chaewon played a character who had a one-sided love for Lee Seunggi. “That’s right. This time around, I fully suffered.”

From the perspective of this same-aged friend, Moon Chaewon’s personality is very similar to that of Hyunwoo in the movie. “Will she throw a fit and get mad if I say it like this? But there’s an antithetical charm within Chaewon too. She’s also a friend with a lot of aegyo in real life.” Overheard are reminders of Kyunwoo and his girlfriend from <My Sassy Girl>. As expected, after reading the script for the first time, Seunggi said he was reminded of that movie. “However, those thoughts never came to mind after filming finished and I saw the edited film footage. Upon seeing that, I yelled out ‘Bravo!’ There truly is a color which is particular only to our movie. It will become a very different kind of romance movie you haven’t seen anywhere else.”

Despite the filming being an all-location shoot without sets, fans of Lee Seunggi found the location shoots and frequently supported him through fan unions. “By and large, how did they know and find you?” “Well, as I see it, fans rank first place in intelligence information.” Even active in various charitable and donation activities in the name of Lee Seunggi, these passionate fans have showcased a parade of snack trucks, thoughtful presents, and much more. There were events all the time as if each day was a very special day.

“They prepared gifts for the staff such as meals, mugs, and USB sticks, each item engraved with themes from the movie. At Chuseok, they also sent individual wine bottles with every staff member’s name written on them. After feeling so touched each and every time to the point of exhaustion, I’m still really so deeply moved.”

With talk of fans coming out, there’s another thing Seunggi didn’t mention. On location, Director Park Jinpyo, his tongue hanging out, would say this was all unbelievable even if this was [Seunggi’s] first movie. It was also a cultural shock for staff who had worked on movies for 20 some years. In awe of the overwhelming sincerity of the fans, staff said “It wasn’t to this extent even when working with idol actors.” Word on the street is that one has to work on a movie with Lee Seunggi at least once. This was the new world. Lee Seunggi made an inwardly proud expression in regards to the love and strong dependable support from fans.

To be continued…  Final part of the English translation forthcoming.

Images: As labeled

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13 Responses

  1. Im so proud of fellow sirens <3, i don't like in Korea and so i'm so regretful i can't give this kind of support but i'm so happy seunggi is so well loved and taken care of by his fans. Seunggi and Airens are both amazing! Hope the movie is a HUGE success. Seunggi oppa fighting!!

  2. “ Word on the street is that one has to work on a movie with Lee Seunggi at least once.”
    If I didn’t remember wrong, when Seung Gi filmed drama King 2hearts, the staffs also said like this. Kekeke. And I also remember an account from a man who worked in a band and a staff who worked in the music industry said that they were so moved after attending his concert that they wished they could work together with Seung Gi at least once in their career too. As they said, it’s because it was the 1st time they saw a singer, more than that a top star like Seung Gi to say thank you officially to even all the staffs on an own concert stage in front of the audiences like him. Or on other radio programs, a senior choral singer who co-worked with a lot of famous singers and idol groups praised that Seung Gi was the “king of sponsor”, “king of manner” since not only sharing all the foods and other stuffs from fans with the staffs he worked together but even sharing he stuffs which he received from the sponsors too such as foods, discount coupons, ect, he also sahed with them without a hesitance too.

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow!

  4. hey, thank you for the translation. So proud to be an Airen thought I can’t offer much help.
    By the way, his birthday is approaching. Is something organized by official Airens? We would like to know, to participate even the slightest! Anything for Seung Gi <3

    • There is a birthday celebration fund raising event held by the official fan club. From the announcement (in Korean) I am not sure if only the official fan member can participate. Let me find out more.

  5. Thanks for the translation.
    Can I make a request? I’m curious to know how the press/critics respond to Seung Gi’s first movie and his acting, can you translate some reviews if you have time. Thanks in advance.

    • I’ve been reading the early reviews (the movie was screened to the press only a day ago) and they’re all really positive. yay! [EDIT note – totally positive and complimentary for individual acting from Seunggi and Chaewon and their great chemistry – unanimous best part of movie! yes! but kind of meh on some aspects of the story, particularly that the ‘some’ was not really typical ‘some’ relationship where it’s two-sided and the role of the other characters in relation to main two leads)

      We’ve known from the start that the female lead, Hyunwoo (played by Chaewon), has a very striking personality — just like classic American rom-coms where the female lead is typically the sorta crazy but lovable girl. The reviews noted she’s done a great job of showing a different side since she’s usually done more non-comedic roles.

      And we’ve known that male lead, Junsoo (played by Seunggi), far less boisterous of a character but very much the anchor of the love and relationship story the movie rests upon — similar to male leads in American rom-coms where the guy is the heartwarming best friend who ultimately wins her heart. And the reviews noted Seunggi’s done a great job acting this role naturally and that his first screen debut is off to a great start.

      As this was his first movie, and movies are in many ways different from dramas, it’s great to see no negative comments on his acting.

      At the same time, this is a genre Seunggi is comfortable with and has proven to do well, so we’ll have to wait and see when he takes on a different kind of movie role :)

      I think it was really smart of Seunggi to be selective in choosing a role that was well suited for him in his movie debut. As most people know, he likes to take his career step by step. And compared to other peer stars, the pressure and standard the public has for him to produce results and reflect a certain image is high… so hope the movie garners good buzz heading into opening day next Wed.

      The movie has HUGE competition up against literally two of the top veteran film stars in Korea (Ha Jung Woo and Ha Ji Won) and plus their movie is not a rom-com love/dating film, but a feel good family movie. So if Seunggi and Chaewon can compete with them through their rom-com (genre which usually struggles in Korean box office), then that in itself is very HUGE.

      More than that, if Seunggi can make viewers see Junsoo and Hyunwoo only and their sweet relationship — despite a certain sub-set of recurring annoying ridiculous-looking voices spamming public comments and online searches, trying to butt into Seunggi-Chaewon’s movie and their great chemistry! — well, then, Seunggi seriously should be totally lauded!!!

    • As for criticism, there really hasn’t been much. I saw one review that said it was a little long. Another that said Seojin’s line form the trailer about Hyunwoo being like shrimp was quite cheesy.

      But I’ve seen a few articles not too keen on the portrayal of the younger guy love interest for Hyunwoo (played by JJY).

      • Some of the critics have also pointed to weakness in the story as to whether the relationship can be defined as ‘some’ when Junsoo is more so in a one-sided love with Hyunwoo early on. ‘Some’ typically describes a mutual feeling of confusion and excitement.

        I guess Hyunwoo could argue that she’s been in a ‘some’ relationship the whole time but just didnt realize it.

      • Individual acting and combined chemistry of Seunggi and Chaewon seems to be the highlight, making the movie worth seeing just for that.

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