Lee Soon-jae, who believes that the artist who shines at the very over is a true artist, claims that art is something that one must pursue forever. By Kwon Hyuk-jae


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Veteran performer Lee Soon-jae may be in his 80s, but his dedication to lớn acting is still just as strong as that of his younger counterparts.Lee, a familiar face among the younger generation thanks to lớn his turn in the reality program “Grandpas Over Flowers,” is a highly respected thespian who has acted over the past 60 years.Throughout the last few decades, he has taken lead roles in hundreds of projects - hits that include “What is Love” (1991), “Hur Jun” (1999) và the sitcom “Unstoppable High Kick!” (2006) - and is currently starring in two dramas, “Scholar Who Walks at Night” and “Make a Woman Cry.”But even though Lee has become an irreplaceable TV personality, he still visits và takes part in local theater productions in Daehang-no, northern Seoul. He most recently participated in “On Golden Pond,” which ran for about two months last fall. In addition, he is even scheduled khổng lồ direct the play “Hague 1907” (working title), starting Aug. 15.The following is an edited excerpt from an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, an tiếp thị liên kết of the Korea JoongAng Daily.Q. When did you develop a talent for acting?A. I wasn’t a talented actor in my youth. In fact, I’d never even thought of becoming an actor. But after seeing Laurence Olivier star in Shakespeare plays, I thought that maybe acting was doable for me, too. At the time, actors were underestimated. To me, however, acting seemed lượt thích an artistic act, a creation. I actually didn’t have anyone who taught me how lớn act. I just studied acting by myself, và watched various TV personalities on television. I also practiced Korean vocabulary & pronunciation using a Korean dictionary. Before becoming an actor, I worked for a broadcasting department for about a year. But one day, it occurred lớn me that merely earning a salary wouldn’t guarantee me a future, so I went lớn the drama department & asked actor-director Lee Hae-rang khổng lồ give me a role in a drama series, which was the beginning of my professional acting career.

From vị trí cao nhất to above: TBC’s “Live As I Please” (1966); KBS’s “Pungwoon” (1982); MBC’s “What is Love” (1991); MBC’s “Hur Jun” (1999) (2006).


So, I basically began acting out of a desire khổng lồ earn money. My father even personally came to lớn the drama center khổng lồ directly confront me about whether this was the path I wanted lớn take, và I told him that it was the only future for me. In response, my father told me that whatever I choose lớn do, I would only survive if I become No. 1 in my field. Your father’s words turned out to be true.
I’m very thankful I was able khổng lồ look after my parents throughout their lives. My mother passed away in 2008 at the age of 95. If I had been working for an average company, I would have retired by the time , & therefore, it might have been quite difficult for me to lớn properly care for her. But, I was glad I could take responsibility for looking after my mother until she passed away.You have appeared in over 300 projects. I believe acting requires creating something new each time I’m given a new role, & I think making something new is interesting and fun. I believe this is one of the most attractive aspects of being an actor. Some people may say that all the roles that I take on are portraying someone’s grandfather. But I want khổng lồ create something new despite my limited roles. In fact, I always try not to lớn repeat past roles because repeating what one is good at can lead an actor lớn fall into mannerisms & fall behind. To lớn me, acting is my pride. It’s not something that I bởi vì for fun. & when it comes khổng lồ acting, there is no such thing as mastering it. You just have lớn constantly work toward completion. For example, when I’m scheduled to shoot a project, I show up an hour earlier to start memorizing my lines. I repeat my lines over và over again & try my best to concentrate because if don’t, I wouldn’t be able to lớn come up with something creative.What vì chưng you think about young actors và actresses today?These days, there are many young actors and actresses who are not given proper language training, . The Korean language has a lot of synonyms, và pronunciation definitely isn’t easy. But because most idols are paid so much to lớn take part in drama series, the production crew can’t really give them feedback .Why did you marry your wife, Choi Hee-jung, so late?I met my wife after directing a play at the high school that my sister-in-law was attending. My father-in-law invited me over to lớn his house for dinner và gave me movie tickets, which I used khổng lồ go on a first date with my wife. I married her in 1966, when I was in my early 30s, . I couldn’t marry her earlier because I didn’t have a stable income, & was, therefore, not in a position to start a family.

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You will celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary next year. In all that time, you have never been at the center of any scandals or controversy.
Scandal? If I’m ever embroiled in a scandal, I would be kicked out of my house. . Graduating from Seoul National University also influenced my attitude. You worked as a member of the 14th National Assembly from 1992 to 1996. After failing to be elected to lớn parliament by 750 votes, I was finally elected after four years. Nobody applied in Jungnang District, eastern Seoul, where I worked as a local lawmaker. Basically, it was an abandoned district. But I grew close lớn the district’s residents throughout my eight years living there. Even after I quit politics, I still kept in liên hệ with the people there, including Jungnang District’s cultural director and the director of the social welfare council. You currently work as a chair professor at Gachon University, teaching acting despite your busy schedule?Of course. Since I’m not a scholar with knowledge on various acting theories, the only way that I can contribute is lớn teach what I learned through my experience. When it comes to acting, I believe being trained how khổng lồ act is a lot more crucial than learning acting theory. Also, interacting with young people at school is great fun và a joy in life for me. How bởi you maintain your health?There is no time for me to take care of my health. For me, waking up in the morning itself is managing my health.How long bởi vì you plan lớn continue pursuing acting?If I ever start lớn suffer from Alzheimer’s & make mistakes five or six times during shoots, then I’ll quit. But until then, I want khổng lồ continue with my acting career. In my life, there has never been anything else but acting.Korea’s most well-known TV veteran ranks his achievements on the small screenOut of the more than 300 projects Lee took part in throughout his 60-year acting career, he chose five drama series that he described as his best work. From left to lớn right. “Live As I Please” was released in 1966, the work of Yoo Ho, one of the most respected screenwriters in Korea. In the show, Lee portrayed a private tutor working for an affluent family. The second TV drama the octogenarian mentioned, “Pungwoon,” translates as “crisis” in Korean. The historical drama revolved around Heungseon Daewongun (1820-98), the father of King Gojong (1852-1919). Lee noted that he quit smoking after starring in the show, explaining that the lines spoken by Heungseon Daewongun were typically at least four minutes long, và he didn’t lượt thích having a dry or hoarse throat during his delivery. The third drama series, “What is Love” (1991), garnered a nearly 60 percent viewership rating. He starred as the father of the character Dae-bal, receiving critical acclaim for his performance. The drama was written by female writer Kim Soo-hyun, who also penned other well-received dramas lượt thích “Mom’s Dead Upset” (2008) & “Childless Comfort” (2012). Lee’s fourth pick was “Hur Jun” (1999), a historical drama that had a 53 percent viewership rating. He took on the role of Hur Jun’s teacher, Yoo Eui-tae. Lee also chose the sitcom “Unstoppable High Kick!” (2006) khổng lồ be included in his đứng top five, & went on lớn participate in the program’s sequel, “High Kick Through the Roof” in 2009. His comedic role in both shows made him more recognizable among the younger generation.BY LEE JI-YOUNG
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