Back with some news from Lee Min Ho and Gangnam 1970. This is a nice article from Dispatch, translated to english for Zinnia from Soompi Forums, I am grateful we have people who can share this information so we can get to know Minho in deep.
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Here is the original article: http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=106&oid=433&aid=0000007862
“To Challenge when applauded”… Lee Min Ho, the weight [he should bear] as an heir of Hallyu
Lee Min Ho. So to speak, he is an heir of Hallyu. He leads an Asian [entertainment] market as the second generation of Korean Wave. He grew to a representative star of Korea, and his value is soaring day by day.
He had become familiar with praises. Praises and applause rather than criticism and reproach ensued. People seldom talked about the path of the actor and the worry for his future. Voices were louder that he should continue the current popularity sticking to safe rom-coms.
His challenge started from here. He wanted to break the preconception of the audiences, challenging his own potentials. The result is the movie ‘Gangnam 1970(directed by Yoo Ha). He took on a rugged role that he had never played before. He changed to a ragpicker, discarding his floral beauty.
“I couldn’t give up on my aspiration as an actor because of an image. I didn’t want to be confined in the words ‘You are the best’ from the people around me. I did think over only what I wanted to do then and what I must do.”
That he should not be complacent about the way things are now. It is the weight Lee Min Ho thinks he should bear as an actor. Lee Min Ho is dreaming of being an actor over a star. That’s the reason he works endlessly. Now his world is expanding little by little.
◆ Challenge to a big screen… His leading role debut in ‘Gangnam 1970’
‘Gangnam 1970’. It is the first movie that Lee Min Ho put his name on as a lead. It was a different path from those of some actors who insist ‘one top’ lead in a movie once they rose to stardom. Lee Min Ho had waited for a proper timing mending his fences through dramas, and he opted for a movie for six years since ‘Boys over Flowers’.
“A movie should send a message [to the audiences] within two hours. I thought I had to be mature enough in advance. The audiences should not be given the feelings that I squeezed [my character] by force. At the age of 28, I think I started a movie with good seniors at a good timing.”
It was not by others’ choice but his own. More than anybody else, he tended to look at himself cool-headedly. He faced the reality deciding objectively what he can do now.
“People around me always tell me ‘You are the best’, and if I were confined in it[people’s saying ‘you are the best’], I would think[or know] that’s really the case. I need to grasp the situation realistically [to decide] whether that’s the case or not. I tend to look back at myself and ask myself. [Only] in that way, I can look squarely at the reality[or the way things are] now.”
◆ Challenge to acting… Focus on emotions, a new approach
It was a drastic step. ‘Gangnam 1970’ is a story about conspiracies and betrayal surrounding the development of Gangnam area. It is a heavy story. And it contains intense characters. His character ranged from a ragpicker to a gangster. He overcame the burden by studying. He [tried to] understand the scripts fully and lighten the burden.
“When actors film a movie, they act fully knowing the scripts. I tried to get rid of my bad old habits. Thanks to [studying the scripts fully before filming], I could act as I felt naturally rather than I made something by force. I could relax.”
The climax is the confrontation scene with Yong-Gi(played by Kim Rae Won) at the end. It is a scene where he had to confront Yong-Gi, nothing short of his own brother. It was a scene where Jong-Dae’s various emotions such as anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration and so on should be conveyed.
Lee Min Ho said, “I mulled over the scene a lot. If I had been Jong-Dae, I would have shed tears a lot. In fact, I cried a lot [filming that scene]. But the director didn’t agree with me. He said it[my crying] didn’t suit the atmosphere of the movie. Talking with the director like that, I could understand the movie [more], and then I tuned my emotions to it.”
◆ Challenge to his image…Transformation[or change] is an actor’s task.
An intense character in a strong movie. It was an unhindered transformation. He had no fears. He accepted it as a course of improving himself as an actor. It’s because of his belief that “It is not right to give up on a role I want to take on as an actor for the fear of my image.”
He compared himself to a book. He stressed “If a book had similar contents over and over again, readers would not read through it. I wanted to be a valuable book. A book people cherish over a long period and want to read again and again. Therefore, I have no choice but to show transformation[or change].”
Once he got confident, he could muster up courage. At one moment, he found himself enjoying acting. It was all interesting to take on a new role and to change into the character. For the first time, it was the moment for him to step forward from a star to an actor.
“One day, I felt it refreshing to take on a new role. I realized myself enjoying it. How long did I feel it? Not long ago. Therefore, I don’t know exactly what I was feeling and why I was feeling it. But one thing is for sure. I enjoy acting.”
◆ The weight upon an actor… The future Lee Min Ho dreams of
When he performed, he gained the energy from his fans. He said he was cheered up by his fans who support him. They are the ones who whip a horse called Lee Min Ho at the same time. When he sees his fans, he feels his sense of responsibility to improve renewed.
“Fans are the ones who give me my confidence. Without them, I would really have had hard time. Therefore, I have to improve myself more. Because I would like to live up to my fans’ expectations. So that they can support and cheer me up continuously…”
He added that he would not avoid coming to small screen. More often than not, some actors are reluctant to come back to drama’s harsh conditions once they tasted the conditions of filming movies. But Lee Min Ho said that he can’t avoid it. Doing dramas is his duty. He said it’s the weight of the crown he wears.
“I’m one of the actors who live in the golden era of [Korean] drama. And I also think I’m one of the front runners of it. I have my responsibility to continue dramas. I will do my best having a good balance between movies and dramas.”
- Credits – Dispatch
- English version – @Zinnia at Soompi Forums