Lee Je Hoon Reflects On His Career, Talks About Hopes As An Actor, And More
Lee Je Hoon recently participated in a photo shoot and interview with lifestyle magazine Esquire, where he talked about his fashion style, reflected on his career, and more!
When asked about his new appearance, Lee Je Hoon said that his hairstyle and facial hair seemed to influence him. He elaborated, “Changes in my outward appearance have a large effect on my behavior or attitude. For example, I usually liked to dress neatly, but as I was filming ‘Time to Hunt,” I wore a lot of street-style clothes both on and off the set. Lately, I’ve been choosing colorful clothes for my new character, like red shoes and things I would never usually wear. I think changes in my appearance are an important step to my character’s development and evolution, and I do have some fun with it.”
He added that his characters tend to leave their mark on him, as he continued to wear street fashion even after his 2020 film “Time to Hunt” had ended filming.
Lee Je Hoon revealed that he has been working out differently for his role as a fighter in his current project and expressed his regret that he couldn’t show off his body in its best state for the photo shoot. Nevertheless, he said that the photo shoot felt like a new experience for him.
He said, “I usually like when they take many shots of me. Rather than receiving the ‘okay’ from a decent shot, I like it when I discover a new side of me by being photographed an almost excessive amount of times.”
Then, Lee Je Hoon was asked about his love for viewing movies in theaters. He said, “I prefer to do so, but I don’t necessarily think that movies have to be seen in theaters. When I was in middle school, I tended to watch movies on television. I had a TV that played video tapes. But as I got older, going to movie theaters became easier, and I started to like that.”
“Lately, I’ve been streaming movies from the internet,” he shared. “Although that has its advantages, it feels very different from watching movies in the theaters. It’s natural for technology to change as time goes on, but I hope the older ways of doing things will be preserved and won’t disappear so that we can enjoy things in various ways.”
He further explained his thoughts on movie theaters, saying that his film “Time to Hunt” is particularly impactful on the big screen. He said, “We worked hard on the audio for ‘Time to Hunt.’ We spent a lot of money implementing Dolby Atmos surround sound, but there are not a lot of people at home who will have the necessary equipment to fully experience the film’s audio. There’s nothing we can do about that, but I recommend to those who will watch ‘Time to Hunt’ now that they make their rooms dark and focus on the sounds.”
Next, Lee Je Hoon talked about his decision to start acting, when he had convinced himself that he would try it out for two or three years and head to the military if his acting career didn’t work out.
“Now that I think about it, I think I wasted more time with that kind of attitude,” he said. “It would’ve been better to just let everything go and throw myself into it, but I tried to create a back-up plan for myself. Of course, that can create a peace of mind, but I find that you can gain a lot from completely putting yourself out there. Even if you don’t receive the results you want, I think that the person who has put their all into it is more likely to achieve something at the next level.”
He then reflected on his career, as more than 10 years has passed since his debut. “I am still curious about myself,” he said. “I investigate who I really am, and I look into what kind of sides I have to me. Since I am an actor, I inevitably have to act as I meet diverse people, but there is only one of me. Even if I can change my style, I cannot change what I look like, and even if my lines change, it’s hard to get rid of my basic habits and way of speaking. In order to show a new version of me, I have to experiment with myself and keep improving. In that sense, I am not comfortable. I am always nervous and anxious.”
When asked if he is still anxious, Lee Je Hoon answered, “I always act as if it is my last project. The public constantly wants new people and new stars, and those stars are constantly appearing. Wouldn’t there be a lot of actors who could replace me? Then I think, ‘Isn’t there something I can do that can’t be replaced?’ I have to continue working with the thought that I want to become an irreplaceable person.”
Lee Je Hoon then talked about his 2017 film “Anarchist From Colony,” which he described as meaningful.
“I was fortunate to meet a great director and to have a role based on a real-life, multidimensional person,” he said. “I think ‘Anarchist From Colony’ was a turning point for me. Before then, I had always checked my outward appearance, but when I was filming ‘Anarchist From Colony,’ I stopped checking myself out, regardless of whether I was rolling on the ground or getting covered in dust because my character is someone who is better off looking more rugged and dirty. I think that’s why I asked to be treated roughly.”
Lee Je Hoon also revealed that he has been taking notes on his own film ideas. “I have multiple ideas,” he said. “I have some stories on the synopsis-level, but I don’t have anything that is developed into a full scenario. I’m not very talented at writing so if I get the chance, I want to pass it on to a good screenwriter.”
Lee Je Hoon explained that he has been writing about a wide range of things, starting off with inexplicable and strange emotions. “I wonder about how those emotions and scenes would be portrayed through video,” he said. “I used to enjoy doing that alone, but I thought that it would be more meaningful if I could share that with someone and make it come to life.”
Lastly, Lee Je Hoon wrapped up the interview by relating his future plans. “I want to create a meaningful and fun project,” he said. “That is my goal and dream. Ultimately, I want to become a person who can continue doing that for 20 years. I also hope that—as a young actor—that version of me can be a source of motivation. Although people may get uncomfortable and think that I’m weird or that I always choose strange things, I believe growth comes from new ways of thinking, and that mindset is what creates an environment for healthy visual art. I think there needs to be more people like that, and there will be. I hope you can watch over my process as I find my place within that crowd.”