"Scent of a Woman" Singapore Promotions – Interview with Lee Dong Wook


A few days ago, we shared with you a recap of the interview with Kim Sun Ah at the “Scent of a Woman” Singapore Press Conference. Today, we will serve you the second installation – a full recap of the interview with Lee Dong Wook! My first impression of him being cold, expressionless and can’t-be-bothered was quickly shattered when we sat down to interview him. A couple of times, Lee Dong Wook actually noticed that one of the reporter’s phone had stopped recording the audio and he did not hesitate to stretch out his hand to reactivate the recording again. Very nice of him, don’t you think so?

Kim Sun Ah, Lee Dong Wook, Scent of a Woman

Q: This is your comeback drama since your return from military service, so why did you choose a serious genre over others?

LDW: There are other types of romantic and comedy drama genres, but I wanted to choose a drama that can leave a strong impression in people’s hearts and also a kind of memory to people, which is why I chose it. I happened to have the synopsis earlier when I was in the military, and I found the program interesting and fun, especially the fact that I have this co-lead Miss Kim Sun Ah, who was going to act with me, which actually led me to choose this program as well. Before I filmed this drama, I had the confidence that “Scent of a Woman” would be a success, because I felt that this drama would receive love from many people. 

Kim Sun Ah, Lee Dong Wook, Scent of a Woman

Q: After two years in the military service and this is your comeback drama, did you find it hard to adjust to the filming schedule? 

LDW: I think I adjusted to the new environment better than I expected. I can say that when I was in the military service, I used to get up very early and go to bed very late. And the place I had been working didn’t have me on a regular schedule, so sometimes I slept very late, and sometimes I had to go to bed in the morning. 

Q: We can see the great chemistry between you and Kim Sun Ah. How long did you take to develop this great rapport with her? 

LDW: Every drama I’ve acted in, I think I had great chemistry with the female artists. For this particular drama, the situation was different from the others. Miss Kim Sun Ah (Yeon Jae) was suffering from cancer, and we had to act in difficult situations. For that we really had to communicate a lot, through which we became very close to each other. Miss Kim Sun Ah is a charismatic lady, and I was junior to her both in terms of age and in the acting industry. We had good chemistry, and we were able to get very close in a very short while. I don’t know how long it took, but it didn’t take very long for us to be very close to each other. When we went overseas, I think that also made us come closer. We were in love with each other in the drama, therefore I sometimes assume myself to feel that I really love her. That also made me feel closer to her. 

Kim Sun Ah, Lee Dong Wook, Scent of a Woman

Q: We heard that you once spent 10 days without sleep. What did you survive that?

LDW: The filming situation in Korea, when we film, we have to go to such difficulty not to have a proper bed for many days. If I get sick, or I refuse to film because of my physical situation, then we cannot broadcast the drama as scheduled. Therefore I have no option but to act and I had the mission and responsibility to overcome the situation. In addition to the things I’d mentioned, I can say that we have very good atmosphere on our set with all the people, that’s why I could overcome all the difficulties. I did not say I did not sleep at all in the 10 days, I had some sleep in between while we were moving from one point to the other, in the car, also when we were on standby, I have the chance to sleep.

Q: During the filming, you worked with actresses Seo Hyo Rim and Kim Sun Ah. Both of them are different types of woman, do you like any of them or who is your ideal type?

[side note: this question was almost blocked by the interview moderator but Lee Dong Wook said he did not mind answering it.]

LDW: In the role (Ji Wook) itself, of course I prefer Lee Yeon Jae to the role played by Miss Seo Hyo Rim. Miss Seo Heo Rim played the role who is very bad and vice, so I prefer Lee Yeon Jae in the act. However, I don’t dare to weigh the two actresses, who is more ideal or less ideal. In real life, both of them are very beautiful, are great actresses and they have very good characters as well. In the drama itself, Miss Seo Heo Rim is vice and very terrible, and she is not liked by people however her real self is very cute and lively. As for Miss Kim Sun Ah, she is a very nice lady and has a terrific character.

Lee Dong Wook, Scent of a Woman

Q: There was a sexy bathing scene which you were topless. Did you work this body in the army or was it after that? 

LDW: I acted right after I came out from the military service, I can say that I was exercising alot in the military service. Before I return from the military service, I was having a holiday and I used that time to train up myself.

Q: What have you been able to take away from this drama?

LDW: First thing I can say is I realized how precious life is. Also I became very grateful to the fact that I am happy and also those people around me, whom I love very much. I think it is very important to do whatever we feel like doing rather than thinking of what other people may say.

Q: So from the shower scene, do you have any pressure doing it?   Do you think that from now on, in every show you do, is there likely a scene that you need to take your shirt off?

LDW: In fact I can’t say that I like to expose my body when I have to film, because it is too imposing for me to reveal myself. The reason I feel that way is because I have to prepare myself before actual filming starts. I need to exercise alot, I have to control my diet, which is not very good to any human being, and I have to really tolerate, I have to be patient with alot of things. After going through hardship, I can achieve that kind of body. So I can say it is not really pleasant for me to go through that hardship, however, as an actor, I think those scenes can be very important. Also those scenes can appeal to the viewers who like to see me in a different kinds of roles. So I say that I will not reject that kind of proposals if any, I will try my best.

At the moment I’m also working on another new drama, which also requires me to reveal my body alot, and that makes me quite crazy. If possible, I hope that I don’t have to reveal myself too much, then I’ll feel more comfortable.

Kim Sun Ah, Lee Dong Wook, Scent of a Woman

Remember to catch Lee Dong Wook in “Scent of a Woman” on Starhub TV channel ONE (ch 823) every Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:05pm (local time).

Special thanks to SPE Networks – Asia and Integrated Marketing Solutions Group for inviting Soompi to cover the press conference.