Although his drama Tomorrow with You has ended its run, that does not mean we won’t be seeing Lee Je-hoon around as much as we did in the last few months. This workaholic guy is still busy jumping between filming his upcoming movie I Can Speak, shooting pictorials here and there, attending fashion events, and participating in charity event under OXFAM Korea. He shot a pictorial together with his label mates, actor Kwon Yul and actress Lee Honey to promote OXFAM’s upcoming event in May, and did an interview for the magazine spread. Enjoy~!
Lee Je-hoon, Between Warming Up and Recharging
Lee Je-hoon, the actor who is busy going back and forth between movies and TV dramas. Although that is the case for him, he still joins OXFAM’s Trailwalker Project, which will require him to walk 100km over 38 hours. We met him, the person who fiercely contemplates his next project regardless of time.
You have become spokesperson and ambassador for various things. Among them, does OXFAM have a special reason for you (to be a part of it)?
Through OXFAM, I had the chance to visit the places hit by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines years ago and join water tank installation project in Africa’s Tanzania, where drinking water was scarce. I don’t want to turn it into events carrying only my name as I participate in those projects. I’d love it if through my personal participation in the projects, it will become a motivation for others to do the same thing. OXFAM is, after all, a widely recognized global relief organization which started out in Britain. Perhaps, my participation could bring in help from more people, so that’s why every time there’s OXFAM event, I’ll actively participate in it.
Will you be joining OXFAM’s Trailwalker Project this upcoming May 20th-21st, where you’ll have to do a full course of 100km in a group of four?
I think this is the first of such event (trailwalker) held in South Korea. I have the stamina and good physical endurance, so I have the confidence to go for it. (laughs) Since it will be a group event instead of a one-man show, it’ll be less lonely. Still, walking for 38 hours won’t be an easy feat, but as I walk, I think it will be good to give a long thought on how I have lived so far and how I will live my life in the future. (Our deep man aka grandpa strikes again!)
Recently, the photo of you sitting together with Kwon Yul and Kim Jae-wook during a fashion show became viral.
I am under the same company (Saram Entertainment) with Kwon Yul and we worked together in the movie Park Yeol. We match well in thoughts and code (…like dress code?) We always congratulate each other when good things happen, contact each other, and meeting each other quite often. But that was the first time I met Kim Jae-wook in person. I am personally a fan of him, so I was overjoyed. He was better looking when you see him in person. (Don’t we all agree with him?)
It seems that you will live just fine as someone who has chemistry with guys. (LOL now I can’t help but recall the Vlive comments asking him to stay single for the rest of his life!)
I am someone who won’t feel uncomfortable no matter whom I am with at the moment. I’m glad if someone in the same place as I am feeling comfortable. Hence, I tend to approach that person first. Regardless of their gender, there are actors I’d like to meet and work together with after watching their dramas or movies, and Kim Jae-wook is one of them.
Your drama Tomorrow With You recently ended its run, right?
It was a project with unique story development and way of filming. Since it was my first romantic comedy, I felt satisfied, but the ratings made me feel a bit sad. Of course, it would be good if more people could watch it each time I work on a project – receiving love is never a bad thing – but that is not enough. There are a few things need to be taken into consideration. I will use the opportunity I gained (through this experience) to complement and develop my acting in my future endeavours. (Always positive about his experience ❤)
Signal was half pre-produced, while Tomorrow With You was a 100% pre-produced drama. As you could only see the viewers’ reaction later, did you have any parts you felt dissatisfied with?
Um…It’s something every actor has to deal and live with. More than that, even if a project doesn’t give someone the opportunity to receive love from or make an impression on the viewers instantly, it’s more important for that project not to be a disgrace to be brought back into attention in the future. Tomorrow With You was my first romantic comedy drama, and I’m confident that I’d feel good even if someone bring it up in the future.
Each time you choose your new project; do you look at it from the viewers’ perspective or just think as actor Lee Je-hoon?
Isn’t it good if it can satisfy both? But then, there are still a lot of experience and variety of genres, including characters that I have yet to explore, hence my will to challenge myself is the biggest factor, I think. I have always been interested in romcoms, so it was a great opportunity to be able to do it this time. I got to experience firsthand, why people like love stories so much. Thanks to this project, I can be more confident when I need to choose another romcom.
What is the thing that moves you?
As I decided to join OXFAM project this time, I started to wonder and worry about this: what can I do as someone who has received so much love from other people? I’m working on being a social influence on a lot of people to help those in need, as well as making world a better place to live in despite the environmental issues we are facing in this age. I think it’s good to be able to play a role in this. Of course, there are people who become my fan because of my acting, but there might be some who watch me and be inspired to give a helping hand. Hence, I’d love it if I could be of help to someone else.
Have you ever contemplated between the image you want to show people and the image people want you to show them?
I hope people just see me as someone who exists in my projects. It’s good if my privacy and my private life aren’t exposed to public. However, it could be a stumbling block too if people, by chance, is too immersed in a particular project I was a part of. I tend to be passive and closed when it comes to those (privacy and stuff), but I’m receptive when it comes to positive projects like this. I hope to see more people being aware of this. When they become interested and ask: “Why is Lee Je-hoon walking 100km for the event?”, I’d like it if they will be thinking of those people who have to walk 20-30km with their bare feet just to get some water.
Among those things you shared about yourself, you said that you are an analog person. You hobby is collecting CDs and LPs,right?
I recently managed to get my hands on the LP edition of La La Land’s OST after much difficulty. I also got Your Name’s CD as a gift. I watched to animation movie and fell in love with the songs. I found out that the composer took the songs from Japanese rock band Redwimps to be used as the soundtrack for the movie, and those songs inspired him to work on the theme music for the movie. I usually enjoy watching movies, but I am someone who enjoys listening to songs as a healing process for me.
We heard about your upcoming movie I Can Speak, which has started filming few days ago (at the time the interview was conducted). You seem to be a productive actor.
I used to believe that I could only work according to my plan, but in reality, that is difficult to achieve. You will receive offers from people and the timing has to be right. I thought that I’d be able to rest for a bit after wrapping up the filming my Tomorrow With You, but I made the decision to join Director Lee Joon-ik’s movie Park Yeol. After finishing the movie, I thought that it’s finally the time for me to recharge, but I’ve never thought that I’ll have return this soon to the site. Of course, it could be a burden to my stamina and lead to exhaustion, but I need to do it because of the sides I’ve yet to show to others. The project itself is fresh, and that feeling makes me confident that I’ll be able to do it. (Yeah, that’s our workaholic man!)
Credit to allure Korea