Lee Jong Seok is the rising star in the drama Secret Garden, and curiously he’s got an interview with asiae – a 20 questions sort of thing.
Biggest takeaway? He doesn’t sing! Well, he does – but his voice isn’t good enough so he doesn’t do the actual singing for his character Sun.
Say whuuuuuut? And ugh – he’s younger than me.
I was born on September 14, 1989. I am originally from Yongin and I began to live on my own in Seoul since high school after entering a performing arts school.
I am the eldest of two sons and one daughter. My brother is two years younger than me and my sister is four years younger. It is really funny when I think about how we used to fight slapping each other’s heads. (laugh)
I’m very shy. I couldn’t even raise my hand to do presentations in school. I’m usually the one who calls people up or visits them when I become close with someone. I am really close with a senior, who is preparing to become a singer, from my high school and we usually eat out a lot near my house. Who pays? I always pay for us two. (laugh)
My father was strict only towards me. I think he was displeased with me because I am the eldest and I am quiet and timid compared to my siblings. It’s not as bad as it was before but I still can’t look over to the main room when my father is there because he is scary.
There is nothing that I haven’t learned to do when I was younger. I learned how to play the piano, do taekwondo, draw and play baduk [Korean chess]. I somewhat liked to play the piano but I was forced to take taekwondo lessons. I once got in a car accident on the way to taekwondo and I tore my cruciate ligament. I was glad thinking that I didn’t have to go to taekwondo anymore but as soon as I was released from the hospital my father told me to go back.
My brother ended up having to stay put and just study all the time because I got into a performing arts school without studying. I get all choked up and feel sorry towards my brother when he says “I haven’t thought of anything else because I spent all my time studying.” He would have been good in sports because he is taller than me (I’m 186 centimeters tall). He didn’t do so well on his college entrance exam last year so he’s studying to take them again. He’s at an academy all the time and he comes home every once in a while so it feels like he’s on leave from the military.
I thought I was the only grown up when I was in high school. I also drew a line from my friends, telling them that they are still young, and didn’t hang out with them. I really regret doing that. I don’t have any friends in my phonebook that that I can call up for a cup of coffee.
I worked as a model for six years and my parents were extremely frustrated since its a job that doesn’t involve that many TV appearances. I moved to Seoul on my own just to pursue my modeling career and there was a time when they [my parents] told me to just enter the military since I didn’t have anything to show for what I have done. But they’re really happy now.
My skin is on the white side and in order to look manly, I tried tanning but it didn’t work out. I just turned red. Lately, I have been working out and when I take off my clothes you can see my muscles pumped out but since my body is really white…you can’t really tell.
I went through a hard time last winter. I didn’t meet any of my friends and just stayed home. I was accepted into an agency that was for actors but I didn’t know what do because I didn’t get a gig for three years. I just waited patiently.
I think my character Sun from SBS’ drama “Secret Garden” will move in with Oscar (played by actor Yoon Sang-hyun). Personally, in order to increase my appearance on the show I hope that things work out between Oscar and Sun instead of with Yoon-seul (played by Kim Sa-rang). (laugh)
The synchronization rate between Yoon Sang-hyun and his character Oscar is 100%. His voice and reactions are rather loud and he is the best at creating an amicable atmosphere on set. I heard that he even went around asking who Sun is even before I started going to the set for shoots.
I also keep getting caught up with Yoon’s acting. Sun is someone who is quiet and will blurt out what he wants to say but I hadn’t realized that my tone of voice was getting higher to become like Oscar’s. Yoon advised me that I should speak more rudely and be less tense.
I don’t sing in “Secret Garden.” The person who actually sings is new singer Lenny. Sun’s singing skills has to be extraordinary for Oscar to be enamored by it so I had received singing lessons since my singing isn’t that great. But you don’t become an expert in a day so we had to use a voice over singer. Many people like Sun’s singing ability so I’m worried on how viewers will respond when they find out about this.
I took the college entrance exam this year. I haven’t gotten my results back yet but I want to major in something related to movies. I haven’t had much experience in theater or this genre and I am interested in acting in a movie later so I feel that majoring in movies rather than theater will be better.
Whenever I go in for my acting lessons my teacher says “Oh, the star is here” and when I miss classes because of my busy schedule she jokes around saying “Oh, how busy must our star be to skip out on classes?” It is because of the popularity of “Secret Garden” and every time she does that I ask her to stop. I get stressed out about it because I know that I am not that popular right now.
I get noticed by 2 out of 100 people when I’m walking down a street and they say “Oh? It’s the guy from ‘Secret Garden.'” But I haven’t signed any autographs for them. I haven’t come up with a signature yet because I didn’t think I would be signing autographs anytime soon. (So when will you sign autographs?) When 80 out of 100 people notice who I am. (laugh)