Tuesday, August 7, 2018

[Interview Translation] Actor Lee Jung Hyun receives praise for his performance as Tsuda in 'Mr. Sunshine'

Q. Many people learned about actor Lee Jung Hyun for the first time through 'Mr. Sunshine'. Please introduce yourself.
  • My name is Lee Jung Hyun, I am a 1990-er. My hometown is Gimje. I majored in Judo at Yong In University and minored in police administration.

Q. If you even majored in it, weren't you basically thinking seriously about the path of a judo athlete.
  • It's an event I enjoyed so I tried hard. But I wasn't super good at exercising and it was my goal to go through college with this sport. Because my household situation wasn't that good, the idea of going to college itself wasn't easy. I thought that if I apply to Yong In University and don't get it, I won't go to a different college but I'll just enlist. Because I got into the school, I was able to go through college. Judo was like my breakthrough during my high school days. At the time, the most successful Judo athlete in Gimje was a teacher at my school, my friends learned a lot of Judo too. I wanted to learn from a good teacher and because my friends were learning it, I was naturally working hard on Judo. 

Q. When did you decide on becoming an actor?
  • After graduating from college, I wanted to find a fun job. At that time, I've tried everything but they weren't as enjoyable as I thought it would be. Being an actor was something I dreamed about when I was younger. Since I was already in Seoul, I decided to take up the challenge. I tried very hard. I thought, why are you scared when you didn't even try it, so I blindly ran towards acting. I started after watching a performance at school and I even attended acting school.   

Q. What kind of work did you do? If your financial situation wasn't how you wished it was, you must not have been able to pick your income, you must have worried a lot. (t/n: The question is basically saying, since he didn't have the best financial situation, he must not have had the luxury to pick and choose jobs)
  • I worked as a personal trainer at a gym, a security guard at the Korea Racing Authority, production staff for dramas, and various jobs for directing teams. While working as a personal trainer, I earned a little bit more compared to others my age, but that money didn't make my life enjoyable.

Q. What was the reaction like when you told the people around you that you were going to act?
  • I didn't tell my friends. I have a tendency to think like an 'outsider'. (laughs) Even if I had friends, I never went around clumped with them. Even during elementary school, I had an introverted type of personality. I still hear that I'm shy. So that's why, my parents and friends all didn't believe me. If I told my parents I was going to act, I think they would've thought, 'Just how long will he do it?'. I think they thought that I would stop on my own after 2 years.   

Q. You must've wanted to show them that you worked hard and showed that you were properly acting.
  • My parents saying, "Try it" was like a driving force to me. There were hard times but I didn't ask my family for help and I lived my hardest. I wanted to show it the most to my parents.

Q. Since you tried acting, were you happy?
  • Yes, I'm happy. There's not a single thing I regret doing in life. I also think it was a good idea that I played sports. It's true that being an actor is hard but I'm happy. To be honest, I feel like I endured it because I have a sports/athlete's mentality. (laughs) It's a very hard job where friends quit in the middle. And I was also lucky. Every time I was struggling the most, a project found me. Even before 'Mr. Sunshine', it was a difficult time, but good luck joined me.   

Q. You played the role of a Japanese in all of 'Anarchist from Colony', 'Imjin War 1592', and 'Mr. Sunshine'. You're proficient in Japanese, how did you learn?
  • During college, I studied aboard in Japan for a year. I learned a lot while I was there. I was also greedy. Since I was already in Japan, I wanted to learn it to the point where I was able to communicate in the language. So I couldn't help but study hard. Even now, I'm capable of normal conversations. I'm still in contact with the Japanese friends I made at that time. I'm thankful for them. When I'm practicing my lines, I ask them when I have questions and I also ask them about my pronunciation and intonation.

Q. It seems like you hear "He seems Japanese" a lot.
  • I heard it a lot in Korea but when I was actually in Japan, a lot of times, I heard people thinking I was Chinese. The first time I went overseas was Japan but when I boarded the airplane, they gave my friend a disembarkation card in Korean and they gave me one in Japanese. I thought that was normal (being given a disembarkation card written in Japanese), so I filled it out while working hard on translating it but I was surprised after finding out my friend had a different form.

1. [+3574, -41] I thought they really casted a Japanese. Wow, I didn't even doubt it at all. Amazing, amazing

2. [+1501, -22] I feel like you're going to become a good actor ^^ Because he really seemed like a Japanese officer who would die for his country, I almost cussed ^^ Let's meet again in a different role~~

3. [+1250, -26] He seriously cunning and killed it at playing a bastard.. I feel like he's really an excellent actor 
↪ [+236, -3] What the... It seems like a compliment but it's kind of weird ㅋㅋ 

4. [+586, -9] I was seriously in awe while watching his method acting, I know for sure he's going to prosper more compared to now~

5. [+283, -21] He looks like he's overflowing with character, I'm supporting you~~~