Full English translations by ohmygeona Please credit when taking out of the blog "It feels rewarding when I'm able to ha...

[TRANS] Actor Lee Kyu-hyung's Interview with The Star

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Full English translations by ohmygeona
Please credit when taking out of the blog

"It feels rewarding when I'm able to have a good influence to society by using the best of my abilities."


He was asked to tell a story of when he felt his popularity.

"During the middle to last part of our filming, we've gone to Hannam-dong for some drinks. There are times when people pay our bills and just disappear. They must have felt bad because we're prisoners. (smiles) An employee suddenly gives us a few bottles of beer and says, "Those people ordered it for you" or they would greet and say "We're enjoying the drama". One time, (Park)Hae-soo Hyung and I were having meat and soju when the ahjusshi from the table beside us asked for a picture saying his daughter is a big fan. I'm the type of person who doesn't take pictures when I'm drinking but he said 'My daughter has a disability but she's very happy when she watches your drama', we were touched and took a picture right away. When we were about to leave later on, we were told that they already paid our bill. It must have been expensive though."

Haerongie is a unique character who's been called 'cute drug addict'. Haerongie's cute gestures, way of speaking, and expressions were inspired from a cat. "It's a different tone from [my] usual tone. It's not a lisp. Once I got it set up, it wasn't that hard. I had more things to concentrate on than other actors. Depending on the effect of the drugs that comes and goes, I have to adjust it. It changes a number of times in a day so I worried a lot about how I'm going to connect them together. Even Director Shin Won-ho said 'I'm sorry' and ran away although I haven't read the script of the next episode yet. When I asked him why, he said, 'It's going to be hard to act."

Director Shin Won-ho who directed the 'Reply' Series is known for being firm with actors starting from script reading. However, while filming 'Prison Playbook' he said, "Because there's room to make and express the characters, I didn't get involved."

"We see each other on set with complete images. When there's a difference in interpretations, we talk about it thoroughly and film but other than that, the characters and emoting within angles are completely up to the actor. I was surprised when I saw (Kang)Seung-yoon and (Jung)Su-jeong's acting. When I saw Seung-yoon acting, I thought 'He's not an actor by trade and have not acted before but he's good'. Su-jeong matches well with her character. It seems that agencies are all doing acting training nowadays."

To the extent of calling it 'Shin Won-ho Magic', a majority of actors who have appeared in Director Shin Won-ho's dramas have said that they have found their 'life's character/role'. We asked if there's something special about Director Shin Won-ho.

"Usually, the writer, director, and editor are different people but with Director Shin Won-ho and Writer Lee Woo-jung, they do the preliminary and on-site inspections and even the prison interviews by themselves. When they film, they know well what makes a scene funny or what kind of angle to capture. They even edit in the editing car beside the set without sleeping. Who else can do that?"

Haerongie (acted by Lee Kyuhyung) is an immature son of a rich household, a habitual drug user, and is in the sexual minority. Despite these shocking set-up, he received a lot of love from the viewers. Because of Haerongie's personality that says whatever he wants, he gets knee kicked by Munrae-dong or he fights with Captain Yoo like they were kindergartners. That's how he naturally showed off bromance chemistry with the 2B Room 6 inmates.

"[I/It] was really comfortable with (Jung)Hae-in. I love drinking and Hae-in also knows how to enjoy his liquor. He's innocent, nice, and have good acting sense. I work well with Hae-in so we got called Yoo-Yoo Couple but we match well in reality too.

Even so, the most crucial thing was the scene where Haerongie did drugs again right after he got released. The viewers who expected a pink-coloured (happy) ending for Haerongie were in total shock.

"I think the viewers will also think later on that 'it was right'. If it didn't end like that, I think we won't be able to show the dangers of drugs. If it ended with a drug addict who received love despite using drugs like that, [people] might think lightly of drugs. [He] needs to be shown suffering. These days, if you go studying abroad, it is said that you can easily encounter drugs. You can get addicted without thinking much of it saying since everyone does it, I might as well try it too. Because it's hard to end the addiction, it's showing that we should not even start using it. Dramas have great ripple effect. In that sense, I think it was a good ending."

We asked Lee Kyu-hyung to imagine the ending to Haerongie who got sent back to prison through a sting operation as soon as he got released.

"I wish that his mother who has a strong personality will use a large amount of funding to hire competent lawyers of Kim and Jang to file a lawsuit against the sting operation. The solution is not putting him in jail but for him to get proper treatment. Also, Ji-won will endure with him by his side. Sometimes, Je-hyuk Hyung will come to lend his knee. Min-chul-ssi will come and say 'I'll kill you if you do it again'. I wish it would be a happy ending where his fellow inmates will help him overcome it. Even I got annoyed at the sting operation when I read the script. Did a guy who endured so hard have to do that on the day he got released? It had to be done to raise the dramatic tension but since it's my imagination, I can think of it the way I want to. I would like to employ about a hundred lawyers. (smiles)"

Lee Kyu-hyung showed a positive response regarding a 'Season 2'.

"If they ask me, I'd come running. In my opinion, my story has already unfolded so it would be difficult to be the main character. Director Shin is the type who looks for new actors so it would be an honour [for me] to appear even as a cameo just like Sung Dong-il and Kim Sun-young sunbae-nim."

Lee Kyu-hyung who just finished 'Prison Playbook' is now looking at a variety of work. He's not only getting offers for roles similar to Haerongie's but he's also getting a lot of offers for new characters that can show a different side of him.

"I am appearing as a cameo in tvN's 'Everyone's Romance'. It's an ordinary man who likes someone, a role I've never done before until now. I'm reviewing dramas and movies right now but I haven't decided on anything yet. I'll decide on my next project first and if my schedule after that allows it, I would like to do [theatre] performances alongside it."

Lee Kyu-hyung started acting in Daehak-ro at age 25 and he's passionate of acting more than anyone else. He said that this is a time when he has to give back the love the public has given him. What kind of actor does he dream of becoming?

"An actor you can trust to watch. Since I'm given the opportunity to act, I want to show the images of me that I have yet to show to many people. People who watch 'Prison Playbook' say 'Making a living is hard but I only wait for Wednesdays and Thursdays' and 'Because of Haerongie, I got to laugh to my heart's content'. When I see such response, when people get to relieve their stress while watching me act,  I think that I have achieved my goal as an actor to an extent. It's also an honour to be given a role like in 'Forest of Secrets' that reminds people of their social consciousness. In that sense, I think I would feel rewarded when I'm able to have a good influence to society by using the best of my abilities."

Source: here