Talk about Lee Joon Gi and ‘kkotminam’ would probably be the first come to mind. After all, the Hallyu heartthrob is arguably the Godfather of all flower boys (The King and the Clown, anybody?) – and even has the nod of approval from fellow Scarlet Heart Ryeo co-star Kang Ha Neul, who voted him as the most prince-like amongst the cast. But before you think the actor is anything like his prince charming characters, the 34-year-old is quick to reassure you that he’s far from it. Or is he?
We beg to differ, after meeting him when he was in town for the press conference of his [Thank You] Asia Tour as part of the HSBC Women’s Championship Music Festival. The Korean star was full of cheeky antics as the cameras flashed away at his galore of finger hearts and adorable poses. But when it’s time to be serious, he spared no time in snapping back into professional mode and tackling the questions that came firing up. Here are some of the highlights you’d missed on out!
ON BEING LABELLED AS A HOLLYWOOD STAR
“I’m a little embarrassed to call it a Hollywood debut because it wasn’t a major role, but more of a special cameo. I still have a lot to work on and a long journey to go, but the entire experience was a really enjoyable one. I see it as a blessing and I’m very honoured to be part of the production. Till this day, I still keep in touch with director Paul Anderson and told him to keep me in mind for future works. I’d always drop hints to him (laughs). He joked that perhaps he could create a reboot chapter to Resident Evil where I come back as a zombie or something!”
ON BEING A VETERAN ACTOR ON SET
“I had so much fun filming with the cast of [Scarlet Heart Ryeo]. Most of the actors are at least 10 years younger than me, so I was a little concerned that there might be a generation gap at first. But when the cameras started rolling, we interacted so well together and the chemistry was great. They also brought a lot of refreshing angles and creativity to the set, which was something we all could learn from.”
ON TAKING THE ACTION PLUNGE
“It’s part and parcel of being in action scenes to have minor injuries here and there. As much as I’d like to pull off those stunts myself, I put in ample preparation in order to prevent any potential accidents from occurring. The most dangerous action scene I could recall was from Two Weeks, where I had to be put in threatening situations such as falling into the river, being in car accidents… That was when I thought I should be really careful, if not the investors who have put in money into the production and the fans who have spent time supporting it would all go to waste.”
ON BEING THE PRINCE OF THE GROUP
“I think it’s the opposite. My character as Wang So had the least prince-like traits. In fact, I was really inspired by Kang Ha Neul’s role as the Eighth Prince because he portrayed how a prince should be like perfectly on the show. He has a warm and impressive side to him that Wang So lacks, so I wouldn’t say I’m more ‘princely’ than Kang Ha Neul.”
ON THE FOURTH PRINCE AS A 21ST CENTURY HERO
“If Wang So had a chance to be transported forward in time, I feel that he’d still be a very good-looking character. But because of his aggressive personality, he probably wouldn’t be able to fit into the modern culture very well. He’s the kind of guy who likes to be in control and take the lead, and there’s also an inconsiderate side to him… so he may not be in harmony with the people around him. Nevertheless, I think he’d still be as charming as ever. (Laughs)”
Verdict: Lee Joon Gi’s definitely not your typical actor, but one thing’s for sure: whether he’s saeguk prince, an action hero, or a modern-day gent, he’d be an absolute charmer regardless of his roles. And we look forward to seeing more dynamic sides of him in the future!
Main image credit: UnUsUaL Entertainment