Translation of an interview from Lee Joongi’s quarterly magazine. Title as seen on the banner. Due to copyright issues (meh), this post will not contain any of the pretty pictures from the magazine-that-shall-not-be-named.
How have you been recently? Have you been resting and playing a lot?
Yes. I’ve been drinking a lot with my friends, sleeping to my heart’s content, and I also got to exercise. These days, I’ve been preparing for fan meetings and I’ve also been thinking of what performances I should prepare for my fans. I’ve also spent about a month recording an album. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any recording, so I felt burdened and tired initially, but I got to have fun while working in the process. Looking at the finished work gives me a sense of accomplishment. And most importantly, because I really want to return to the filming set that I enjoy so much, I am carefully considering my next project.
Congratulations on winning the Top Excellence Actor Award at the Daejeon Drama Festival. It’s the first award that you’ve won for “Two Weeks”. What did you do after the award ceremony?
It was really a delightful and happy day. Although “Two Weeks” has received much praise, I wasn’t expecting to win because the viewership ratings were poor and there were also other excellent actors who were nominated. I’m really honoured to receive such a big prize. Because I reached Seoul late at night that day, the staff and I had a celebration party with a drink. I think we were really drunk with happiness. I can’t recall much of it…(sweats). The next day, I laid on bed with a bad hangover (laughs).
You are now preparing for your Asia Tour. How is it like practising for your songs and choreography?
Like what I mentioned earlier, I have been doing recordings. I’ve been preparing what to say to my fans and also special performances that I wish to do, but it’s embarrassing to call it a concert or call me a singer (laughs). Rather, please think of my performances as a venue for me to interact with my fans in various ways. That’s why I’ve been thinking of ways that I can communicate more with my fans. Singing and dancing help to relieve my stress, so I’m enjoying my practices too.
In this concert, is there any highlight that fans should look forward to?
Singing drama OST songs or my favourite songs…? It won’t be interesting if I say in detail, hoo hoo hoo. You all should come and experience it yourself! I will sing with my best effort to make this memorable! In any case, let us have fun together!
How long do you stay when you perform overseas? Have you gone sightseeing in the country after finishing your performance? Is there a place that you really want to go to when you visit Japan this time?
Basically, I only stay for as long as it is needed for my performance. I don’t like to remain in the same place even after I have finished my work because it makes me look like I have nothing to do (laughs). That’s why, until now, I always fly home immediately after finishing my work. But this time, I might try to stay on and travel on my own. I always adhere to a schedule, so I don’t know if this is going to work out or not (laughs).
I read in the news that you were very depressed after your drama ended, so how are you feeling lately? Now that you are over 30, you must already know how to keep yourself occupied when you are alone. What do you do when you are alone?
I still don’t know how to keep myself occupied when I’m alone, so I become especially lonely at night. I get insomnia, but it’s very difficult to find someone to meet late at night. When I’m alone, I watch movies or television, read, think about many things, play online games for hours, or I go out for a drive…I sleep with my beloved dogs Joon and Kkabi… Maybe I might develop different kinds of hobbies when I get a girlfriend, but being at the film set still remains the most enjoyable thing for me. I get to develop interests and relationships with people while at work, so I can’t wait to go back to filming again.
You said that you want to go back to Hawaii again with your family for a holiday, so have you been making any holiday plans? What kind of holiday did you have after “Two Weeks” ended?
As there are several pressing matters that I have to settle now, it is hard to work out a schedule, so I had to cancel my year-end vacation to Hawaii for now. But maybe I might be able to go when I’ve decided on my next project after I conclude my fan meetings. I really want to go for a holiday with my family again soon as it leaves me with many memories and renews my heart. I personally don’t like going on trips alone because I get lonely easily (laughs). Somehow, just the thought of travelling alone makes me feel uncomfortable…
To your sister, you are her only brother. How are you like at home?
Like a typical Busan man, I am quite brusque? If not, I am a brother who is very generous with giving pocket money? I am the type who will do anything for my sister. I am worried that she frets over too many things because her brother is a celebrity. Recently, I bought clothes and a car for my sister. I also gave her a credit card. I trust her because she is also a frugal person. But just like typical Busan people, we have nothing to say to each other when both of us are at home (laughs). We don’t talk much beyond what is necessary…However, because both of us enjoy cooking, we will happily cook if we want to eat something. I really love and enjoy such moments!
Do you watch your own dramas after they have finished airing? Please share some of your thoughts from watching “Two Weeks”.
I still haven’t managed to watch “Two Weeks” in entirety. I saw a bit of “Iljimae” and “Time Between Dog and Wolf” recently. I’m envious of myself because I was so youthful and had good stamina back then when I was in my 20s (laughs). Although I don’t know if the depth of my acting has improved since then, my body’s flexibility and speed in my 30s is greatly different from how I was in my 20s. I feel sad somehow…
Have you bought anything for yourself recently? Or is there anything you wish to have?
I don’t really shop a lot, but I’ve developed an obsession with cars recently, so I wish to have a Lamborghini Aventador. Although I’ve thought of buying one, I can only put it on my wish list and have fun thinking about it because it’s such an expensive car.
If you were to film a love story, who would you want to act with?
It would be an honour to act with anyone because I think there will be many things to learn no matter who my partner is. That’s why just imagining it alone makes my heart race. Who would you all prefer me to act with? Give me your recommendations via Twitter, Weibo or Ameba and I will consider. I think it will be especially cool to work with someone from China or Japan in a collaboration! Because I can gain many experiences and precious memories, I want to try out a collaboration project again.
People who love cars will usually remodel or customise their cars. How is your car like?
I think not doing anything to the car is the greatest form of customisation so I don’t wish to do any unnecessary things to my car. I think it is the best in its original state, so the best thing is to clean it well and leave it sparkling clean.
You have many older Japanese fans. Have you dated an older woman before? What do you think of dating an older woman?
Of course I have dated an older woman before. It’s good if the person has deep thoughts, consideration for others and can communicate well with me. Age is just a number to me. Love becomes unconditional when you fall for someone right? I also believe that the right person will appear one day so I have no intentions to deliberately choose someone who is older or younger than me.
There are many who wish to see you film another cool MV like J-Style. Do you have any plans to produce one?
I’m not a singer, so I’m a bit concerned that producing a MV will give people the impression that I’m being one. There are also many who prefer me to focus on acting rather than selling albums. So my priority now as an actor is to get more critically acclaimed projects that will bring in high viewership. However, I do acknowledge that producing MVs do stimulate me, so I wish to take up the challenge again one day.
You are now in the process of selecting your next project. What do you place the most emphasis on when choosing a project? It seems like many also hope that you will act in a passionate love story, what are your expectations?
The most important thing is that the show shouldn’t be something purely for entertainment, but it should be something that resonates with the audience. I think a show that touches the hearts of many is better than one that leaves the audience with nothing at the end. Of course, the basic requirement is that I should find the scenario interesting when I read it. But alas, choosing a project is a difficult thing to do, so I’m having a lot of thoughts and worries about selecting one now. I don’t intentionally stay away from romance and romantic comedies; it’s just that I haven’t found one that is very appealing to me. However, if that is something that fans want, then I will give it greater consideration.
Having acted as a father in “Two Weeks”, what kind of father do you see yourself as in the future?
I think I will be a dad who loves his kids very much. Ah ha ha! What I want ideally is a cute daughter. If I have a daughter, I think I will only have eyes for her and I will live my whole life just for her. Just thinking of my daughter will probably make me happy and put a smile on my face. I want to be a kind and loving father who will devote himself to his family.
What do you think of drama or movie sequels? If there are plans for a sequel to any of your previous works, is there a show or a role that you will want to do?
Up till now, I think all my works have been great so far, but I personally would like to reprise my role of Lee Soo Hyun in “Time Between Dog and Wolf” again. I have an attachment for that character, such that I sometimes think he is still living his life somewhere out there. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out what happened to Lee Soo Hyun? It is also fun to imagine a sequel to “Iljimae”!
There are actors in Korea who wish to venture into Hollywood, and there are even some who have starred in Hollywood films. Do you have any hopes or plans to go to Hollywood?
If I were to describe the attraction of Hollywood in one sentence, wouldn’t it be “the dream of every actor”? And also the fact that a Hollywood film will be seen by audiences all over the world. I think that is a very happy thing. That’s why, if I have the chance one day, I want to take on the challenge to star in a Hollywood film. However, a lot of preparation is required for this to happen, so it is still early days for me yet. If I cannot understand their culture and expressions accurately, it will be difficult for the audience to identify with me. If that day ever comes, I want to fly to Hollywood with my fans and hold a party to celebrate. Till that day comes, please give me lots of support. I believe such a day will come!
How do you plan to spend your Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the New Year?
Although I think I will be spending the end of the year in loneliness again, I am contented that I’ll be able to meet my fans this December. This Christmas, I want to go to a place where there are no couples…(laughs). I might be busy from now till February because of fan meetings.
At the end of this year and the beginning of the new year, what are the three things that you hope will come true?
I hope that “Two Weeks” which all of you loved will get awards! And I wish to create a fun and memorable time for fans at my fan meetings. I also hope to quickly decide on my next project so that I can meet everyone again through my new show in the first half of 2014. I also want to go on a trip with my family soon! (laughs)