MBLAQ’s member Lee Joon returned to the screen with “Rough Play.” Before promoting as MBLAQ he debuted as an actor playing Jung Jihoon’s (Bi) child part Raizo in “Ninja Assassin.” After that he has polished his acting skill in teen drama “Jungle Fish 2,” “Iris 2,” etc. In this movie he came out as the one top. He must be bearing a burden a bit heavier than his previous work. And wasn’t “Rough Play” a screenplay produced by Director Kim Ki Duk?
The role “Oh Young” that Lee Joon plays is a character that reaches success from a theatre actor to a movie actor and rises to the top, but falls miserably. It is a big challenge for Lee Joon who has been unfamiliar with acting to do acting of opposite extremes. And big-name seniors including Seo Young Hee, Yang Dong Geun, Ma Dong Seok and Oh Gwang Rok take part in it. People are also looking forward to what kind of acting Lee Joon will unfold and show between them.
I talked to Lee Joon whom I met at the press conference of “Rough Play” at CGV Apgujung in Gangnam, Seoul at 11am on 25th about his thoughts on having a leading role for the first time in a movie fallen on his way and the posture that he himself has to have from now on. Director Shin Yeon Sik who appeared with him on this day lavished praises on his acting and his own passion. [The movie] will be released on October 24th.
Q: Movie “Rough Play” is your first leading role in a movie.
Lee Joon: It’s the first time that I come out like this by myself, so it doesn’t feel realistic (laugh). I only feel nervous right now. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I hope it came out well.
Q: What was MBLAQ members’ reaction?
Lee Joon: All of them didn’t believe it. They said, “There are many great actors but why are you the lead?” Especially G.O was like that while encouraging me in the end. He told me to finish it well if I started. I think Mir encouraged me the most. He says on variety shows and in front of the fans that he’s jealous of me, but that friend is a dongsaeng who is cool in supporting me sincerely.
Q: How did you turn out to be in the movie?
Lee Joon: I came out on SBS variety program “Strong Heart,” and at that time Director Kim Ki Duk was also there to promote his movie “Pieta.” Luckily Director Shin Yeon Sik was monitoring it then. After the recording was over Director Kim Ki Duk asked for my phone number. I don’t know the details of the story but it seems that they talked about it beforehand.
Q: Is it true that you said you would star in the movie when it was not even 12 hours yet after you received the screenplay?
Lee Joon: Actually I think I’m not in the position to decide what I would do and what I would not. I’m just grateful if I’m told to. I thought it would be difficult but actually I made up my mind that I had to (be in it) in one and a half hour only.
Q: What kind of actor is Lee Joon?
Director Shin Yeon Sik: In spite of the fact that he’s an idol he doesn’t mind the bed scene and said it was ok if only he was not going to take everything off. Lee Joon is earnest and passionate about acting that can’t be hidden by the movie’s technological elements. I’ve personally met with idols before, but an idol with such a mind was a first and it was a refreshing shock.
Q: If there’s a scene that came to your mind the most when you were working on the movie?
Lee Joon: I filmed the bed scene for 24 hours. During that time I had my clothes off, but because there were female staff I was embarrassed. I had my clothes off for a long time, so while I was getting dizzy it was difficult mentally and physically. I wonder if I was not the first among idols to have an exceptional bed scene. I got a lot of action scenes so they are memorable. I was also scared because of Ma Dong Seok sunbaenim who did mixed martial arts. But since we started filming he did it to the extent of brushing by me technically.
Director Shin Yeon Sik: For me it’s also the bed scene. Ah! This movie is absolutely not an erotic movie (laugh). Lee Joon was like that and I’ve never filmed this kind of scenes either. So I met Director Bong Man Dae* and got some private tutoring. I found Director Bong Man Dae to get help from more directors than expected (laugh).
Q: But you are an idol, so aren’t you worried about your fans’ reaction?
Lee Joon: I feel sorry for my young fans. But I’m a bit worried about the part where those who are adults have to understand and my mom. They will understand me but it seems that it will be awkward and I’m embarrassed (laugh).
Q: In the movie you showed us your good acting of opposite extremes. Don’t you feel something in particular while looking at Oh Young?
Lee Joon: This friend’s early days are similar to my early days. Maybe it’s his attitude towards acting, maybe it’s his self-confidence. But I haven’t been able to feel him out a lot about other points. And I don’t like the appearance of Oh Young falling to the extent of becoming disgraceful at the end. He also became ill-natured and changed because of the people around him, but because I think I won’t be like that I (personally) can’t empathize with him.
Q: How was working with actor Seo Young Hee, Ma Dong Seok, Yang Don Geun and Oh Gwang Rok?
Director Shin Yeon Sik: They are awesome actors and I think I’m brimming over with blessings as their director. I think (it was a piece of work that) I did with the staff and actors who are all humanly nice people. All of them also see Joon as a promising rookie actor and took care of him. It was a nice experience for Joonie and I would envy him if I were an actor.
Q: Which actor gave you a lot of advice?
Lee Joon: Seo Young Hee noona. Before filming the movie I watched the movie “Bedevilled” and she did so well, so I was shocked. That’s why I felt timid but she came to me first, told me I did well and said “fighting!” to me whenever it was break time, so she helped me a lot.
Q: What kind of role do you want to play and what kind of director do you want to work with in your next work?
Lee Joon: Anything is fine if they invite me. I hope there will be a lot of opportunities and I want to do many kinds.
Director Shin Yeon Sik: (After the filming was over) Lee Joon said he wanted to act so much that he even asked for being an extra in the next work. Even though he was the one top it seems that he has the thirst.
Q: Director Kim Ki Duk was in charge of the screenplay and production, but in order to make this movie into Director Shin Yeon Sik’s work what kind of directing point and special features did you use?
Director Shin Yeon Sik: I was worried that he’s a very different person than me so I ended up making a piece of Director Kim Ki Duk’s work. It was also my first time filming the movie while receiving another screenplay. If Director Kim Ki Duk makes movies in a symbolic basis, I basically make movies in a narrative basis. So I worked hard to lead the characters in a narrative basis.
Q: Lee Joon and Director Shin Yeon Sik consider an actor as?
Lee Joon: An actor is a person who acts (laugh). Rather than living (his life) for him he has to become that person. If I played a role of an MC I had to act with my direct experience as an MC. I think he’s a person who doesn’t neglect his job and works hard.
Director Shin Yeon Sik: An actor is me. Acutally a movie does not deal with actors’ lives and inside only. We all live wearing a mask of some role. I’m wearing the mask of a director now but when I go home I wear the mask of a father. I think we live playing a fixed role that life demands at each moment. So an actor is me.
*Bong Man-dae is a South-Korean actor, assistant director, director and scriptwriter who is known as a soft-core porn director (cr. wiki)