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[Interview Part 1] Lee Seunggi for @star1 Magazine, Dec. 2017 – Still As Ever, Seunggi

[Interview Part 1]

@ star 1 Magazine | December 2017 | Vol. 69
Still As Ever, Seunggi

English translation: LSGfan via @ star1

‘Because You’re My Man’ Lee Seunggi, First Fashion Shoot Post-Military
(Fashion Pictorial & Interview)

Lee Seunggi (30) has really returned as a man. We have watched the fresh-faced boy who ardently cried out “Because You’re My Woman” become a dapper young adult standing out on top as a strong substantial actor.  This young adult with a lot of ambitions didn’t stop with just being a singer and actor, but even went out and enjoyed variety as refreshing characteristics radiating from Lee Seunggi the person were revealed. 

Having crisscrossed and played all over broadcast tv, Lee Seunggi enlisted for military service and then completed his exemplary Special Forces army life ‘nicely.’  Meeting Lee Seunggi after a long time, his face reflected the distinctly sharp muscular lines of a broad man, and his ways and thoughts had become more firmly solid.

Q: It’s been 1 week since you were discharged from the military.

▲ Seunggi: I’ve been super busy.  After resting for 2 days, I went right into digesting my schedule. I’ve been working out and regulating my weight because I’m preparing for tvN drama ‘Hwayugi.’  You could say it’s like the daily routine status of a trainee.  There’s not anything in particular in adapting to everyday life.  These days, I think a lot about the comrades I was together with.  Therefore, I call the living quarters often.

Q: Wasn’t it hard to be with people 10 years younger than you?

▲ Seunggi: I didn’t really sense a generation gap.  To the point that the kids would say it felt like I was the neighborhood hyung. But I was at the top in terms of stamina and if you ask my juniors, they’ll know (laughter).  I had a competitive winning spirit. Not in that I want to beat these friends but moreso a desire to win for myself in the sense of ‘I have to do a good job so that the kids will trust and follow me.’  If your senior only tells you to do something but actually doesn’t do a good job, then that’s not good.  Having experienced army life, I’ve found the best leadership is leading by example.  The senior has to be trusted and respected in order for the juniors to move about well. Therefore, I thought I need to do well in terms of stamina.  But at the same time, when we did strength training, I was in a bit more pain than the other kids come the following day (laughter).

Q: You were exemplary even in the army. Why did you work so hard?

▲ Seunggi: I thought about this for one month while we were doing The Long March.  I actually did all The Long Marches that enlisted soldiers don’t have to do.  At first, I felt like this… ‘Since I came to the Special Forces, everyone will ask me how it was and what I did once I’m discharged, so don’t I need to do something?’  And with that I developed a competitive winning spirit through the Special Forces.  These were trainings I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own for the life of me, were it not for my brigade.  I thought let me leave here with all the experiences I can have, and when my will was at its peak, I communicated my aspirations to my battalion commander.  I said that since I am here, I’d like to try everything possible.  The battalion commander had always said that he wanted to make a lot of memories for the enlisted soldiers.  Saying, “Is that so? I will make for you the true memories I want”… I really received a lot of trainings. ha ha ha.

Q: Have those many trainings become memorable for you?

▲ Seunggi: Memories for a lifetime.  There’s a radius of activities when you’re an entertainer, but I broke through that.  Due to very good fortune and going to the Special Forces, I learned many more things there than in society.  I took on challenges that I had not experienced before, and my limits were continually challenged.

Q: Did you fear that you’d be forgotten by the general public?

▲ Seunggi: Not at all.  Dealing with restricted freedom, those circumstances in general was hard, but it was a time of recovery.  While living as an entertainer for 11 years, I was always thinking about something, concerned by the eyes of others, ‘Will this turn out well or not well?’, ‘How should I go about this?’… I had a lot of worries, but in the army, I never had to think about those kinds of things.  Without exception, we have to all go through the training and discipline.  There are no big worries in itself.  Just ‘What will today’s dinner be?’ ‘Why was there such non-tasty food today? Tomorrow’s breakfast needs to be delicious’… those were the things that were big thoughts.

Q: You can’t leave out girlgroups in army life.

▲ Seunggi: I think the army is the most responsive group to trends.  Even when we’re watching TV, soldiers are quick to pick up on points and are sensitively keen to things.  The rookie girlgroups that soldiers pick to become popular become popular within 3 months no matter what.  They said ‘Isn’t this really fun?’ about JTBC ‘Knowing Brothers’ starting from the first broadcast, and it really became popular quickly.

Q: There were even theories/rumors that you were staying in the army.  Even the people around me would say Lee Seunggi’s time in the army seems to be going by really slowly.

▲ Seunggi:  Starting about 6 months before my military discharge, people would ask why I wasn’t coming out of the army.  When I was on breaks from the army, they’d also ask me “You don’t have that much more time remaining, right?”  Although I had a lot more time remaining in the army to the point that it was cringe-worthy to even say, people would think it was time for me to be discharged soon and there were theories that I was staying in the army, rumors that I was going to be a career army officer, and others.  Hehe.  It means they missed me that much and because a lot of interest alone was shown to me, I inwardly enjoyed it.  And I was also thankful to receive so many welcomes as I was discharged from the military.

Q:  Army experience seems to be a good thing. Your face is more attractive than before you enlisted.

▲ Seunggi: I slimmed down a bit at the last minute.  I lost a bit more weight than prior to enlistment, but it wasn’t enough to come back to TV right away.  I work out a lot without skipping meals.

Q:  When you greeted fans after a long time when you were discharged, your feelings must have been different than any other time?

▲ Seunggi:  It wasn’t important whether there were a lot of people or a small number.  I continually visualized how I would be when I came out. I was hoping that all the thoughts, expressions, etc. I had throughout my trainings would ooze out.  I saw photos or information about my trainings that circulated on the internet and the comments were no joke and I thought, ‘Wow, this has become serious, the expectations are too heavy?’ That’s why I worked out a lot with my military discharge approaching.

Q:  You must have been more concerned than some photo wall?

▲ Seunggi: Yes of course.  On discharge day, I woke up early in the morning while the other kids were sleeping, and stretched, went for a run outside, and jump-roped about 500 times.  I think that’s why my face came out well.

Q:  The discharge speech you wrote yourself was memorable.

▲ Seunggi:  Worrying about post-discharge, I wrote it ‘stitch by stitch.’  As it was a long time since I had been out in society, there were a lot of things I wanted to say and it got a bit long.  And since the fans didn’t know what I had been doing, many were curious.  So I noted what I did as a Special Forces solider.

[English translation of Part 2 forthcoming…]

(coat, knit, pants are Bruno Baffi)


(coat, t-shirt, knit, jeans are Bruno Baffi)


(goose parka, knit, jeans are Bruno Baffi)


(coat and pants are Neil Barrett by Mui, top is 에디션스 엠알 by Beaker, shoes are Paraboot by Unipair)

3 Responses

  1. thank you so much for translating ! <3

  2. I enjoyed reading the interview, the English translation was spot on. Lee Seunggi is such a charismatic person. I can only imagine what it would be like to have an interview with him. Wow. His energy must really be an experience.
    It’s good to know he really made the best of his army experience & made friends too.

  3. He is full of positive energy. He enjoys a lot what he wants to achieve in his career and in his military training. I want to see and meet him personally when taking my vacation this July. Where can I see him?

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