With the flood of media interviews SeungGi did earlier this month, I have no doubt that he talked until his lips were dry. But fortunately for us, the flood of interview articles that came out afterwards have given us a lot of new insights into the heart and mind of SeungGi. I sincerely apologize for not being able to translate any of them. But thankfully, Ay has stepped up to help translate from Chinese, and she seems to be a pro at this. 😀 She picked this article because she thought it was very insightful and important. Enjoy!
This year is the 8th anniversary. So far, it has been a smooth ride and there has never been a time when he needs to envy others. He won the newcomer award in his debut year; his appearances on variety shows are always the talk of the town; he became the lead actor in his second drama role. He is an exemplary of the most outstanding in the entertainment business. Now Lee Seung Gi has grown from nation’s younger brother into a prince with an influence that cannot be underestimated, even by himself. As the saying goes, ‘you win some, you lose some’. As ‘star’ Lee Seung Gi rapidly rises in the limelight, ‘ordinary person’ Lee Seung Gi is kept under wraps. He is like a mannequin in a show window, whose sole purpose of existence is for the world to see.
“Looking back, it seems that I do not have anything outside of my life as an artist. Private life? It has long been gone, of course. Unknowingly, I have given it up. And that’s how I get to where I am today. ‘How should I show myself to everyone?’ seems to be the only thing I think of.
Lee Seung Gi resents the idea that luck or talents has a part to play in his success. To him, he got there by taking things in strides, giving his best efforts at every step. He experienced disappointments and depressions. But he had to keep them deep within himself without letting anyone know. Although people had all along believed that his road ahead would be easy, that was actually the time when his illusions were shattered.
PRINCE LEE SEUNG GI In 2004, not long after he was called ‘nation’s younger brother’, he was also called ‘the model student’, ‘a real man’. Lee Seung Gi was synonymous with a likeable star. These had nothing to do with luck. They came from hard work. In fact, in fulfilling everyone’s expectations of him, he has given up a lot, including his private personal time.
UP | Nation’s Darling: “Actually people did not call me this when I first started. In order to build the image that I now have, I tried hard being a singer, an actor and a variety show host at the same time. Many people did not think I could do it. So I had to work extra hard, to the extent that I had to tell myself that I must have the strong desire to give my very best. I think that was the time when I first laid the foundation.”
“Now I see the benefits. More and more people are asking for me, especially after I left ‘1N2D’ and ‘Strong Heart’. I was not in any variety shows. During that time, I received many invitations to variety shows. What’s amazing was that I even had offers from movies. I was both in awe and grateful for having received so much love.”
DOWN | Self-complacency: Honestly, sometimes, I am burdened by the thought that I have to manage my image well and this thought can be restraining. In fact, up until one or two years ago, I really did not have a personal life. Going out with friends could be nerve-wrecking and uncomfortable. I kept saying that if I went out with friends, I might become distracted and that would set me back in my work. “
“After that period, I somehow slacked a bit. It was particularly serious when I was hosting ‘Strong Heart’ on my own. Everyone told me that I was good and I really began to feel like I was a prince. But when I saw myself cheekily holding my head up high at the year-end award shows in complacency, I realised that I could not go on like that anymore. At that moment, I began to re-discover myself and it was then that I was handed the script of ‘the King2hearts’.”
ACTOR LEE SEUNG GI | ‘The King’ is a return to the beginning. It is also a gift.
Through this drama, Lee Seung Gi formally joins the ranks of widely recognised actors, working alongside well-known actors like Ha Jiwon and Yoon Je Moon in memorable scenes. Unfortunately, this time, he was not able to achieve the impressive ratings he had attained with ‘Brilliant Legacy’ and ‘My Girlfriend is a Gumiho’. The ratings went from 19.9% on opening night to a 11.8% in the final episode.
UP | Lead Actor: “I felt the charm of drama in TK2H. This was also the first drama in which I felt confident about my acting. So far, acting has not been really difficult for me but my acting has not been exceptionally spectacular either. However, this time, not only did I get good reviews from people around me, but I myself was also very happy with my performance.”
“In this project, I really felt the joy of acting out inner emotions. People are human because they experience a variety of emotions-happiness, anger, sadness, joy. Lee Jaeha is such a person, someone who is filled with emotions. Although the lines were long, I felt great saying them out loud. My confidence grew spontaneously. I even thought, ‘Now I can lead a drama on my own.'”
DOWN | Ratings : Compared to my previous dramas, the ratings of this drama is a bit below expectations. When the ratings was sliding, we tried to find the reasons for it. Probably, it was because this is not a drama that people can easily relate to. The subject matter and the theme are not what you would normally find in dramas and it might be too heavy and depressing for those watching it.”
“I know that product placements in the drama caused a lot of controversy. At that time, wasn’t it called ‘Donuts’ Dilemma’? I did not think it was a bad thing, probably because the donuts were a surprise in a depressing drama (that’s why it was so controversial) But wasn’t that a good comic relief? And from the production standpoint, there is a practical need to have product placements too.
STAR LEE SEUNG GI | With TK2H, Lee Seung Gi took a firm step forward on the road of an actor, laying a strong foundation and moving closer towards being a multitalented artist. But frankly, there is still 2% of regret. Compared to being an actor and a variety show host, being a singer seems to have drawn less attention for him. Although he has continued making music and releasing CDs, the fact remains that the reception has not been overwhelming and a breakthrough is needed.
UP | Multitalented artist : “I have always wanted to be an all rounded artist. To be one, I have to be exceptionally successful in every field, right? Right now, I am still lacking in many ways. I have a lot of catching up to do. Presently, I have gained some experience in being a singer, an actor and a host and if I keep going, I will get to be an all-rounded artist someday.”
“I don’t want to speculate if I could do it. In this drama, Teacher Lee Soon Jae taught me a lot of things. He is very involved in TV dramas and stage plays and also gives lectures at schools. But he is still very energetic. I was amazed that he almost did not have any NGs. I kept thinking if I could do the same when I am at that age. I decided to try. I will not confine myself to a goal. I will try different things in areas that are within my ability.”
DOWN | Being a Singer “I know very well that compared with being an actor and a host, being a singer has not generated as much attention for me. If you ask me for the reason, I guess it has to do with the change in people’s choices for music these days. The recent trend is that music is for ‘seeing’, not for ‘listening’. Music that is visually stimulating with a strong rhythm is more preferred. The massive popularity of idol groups is another reason.”
“I am still thinking what I should do. Teacher Lee Sun Hee once said that music will keep reviving itself and told me not to give up and to continue with my own music style. Once, I discovered that a singer by the name of Epitome Project was the No. 1 searched item. He is someone who can make music that can be listened to. Then it dawned on me that I have to make music that people like to listen to, just like before.”
source: dispatch via nate
Korean-Chinese translation by achoi @ China Cafe
Chinese-English translation by Ay (special contributor to Everything Lee Seung Gi :P)