Lee Jong Suk Opens Up About His Past Turbulent Period, Deep Appreciation For IU, And More

Lee Jong Suk has shared what it means for him to be “looking for the essence,” his heartfelt appreciation and love for IU, and more with Esquire Korea magazine!

In one of the interviews that Lee Jong Suk previously participated, the actor had mentioned, “I am looking for the essence.” When the interviewer brought this up, Lee Jong Suk elaborated on his past statement by saying, “I think [essence] refers to a ‘principle’ or one’s basic ‘ideology.’ I don’t think it’s a bad thing to live while finding and protecting it. But if you take that and force it on others by telling them that they have to live by this too, that’s when you become a kkondae (a term generally used to describe an older person who is condescending or uses age to justify their actions).”

He reminisced, “Now that I think about it, I think the reason I said, ‘I’m looking for the essence,’ was because I was a little shaken around that time. Everyone goes through that period as they enter their 30s. When I was in my 20s, I thought that no matter what I did, people would understand me, but now that I am in my 30s, I think I should treat anyone I meet and talk with more maturely. It’s a time when self-censorship, which requires you to become more mature in everything, occurs. Besides, I think I was contemplating these things because it was the time I was returning after going through a turbulent period of military service.”

The interviewer asked if “that person” (IU) gave him a lot of strength back then. Lee Jong Suk laughed and jokingly said, “Is this how you throw a sudden question just like this?”

The actor continued, “It might sound like a cliché if I say that her existence itself gives me [a place to] rely on and strength. But so many other people besides myself are comforted by her music, her lyrics, and her comforting words. It’s the same for me, too. The only difference is that I receive that kind of comfort while having a conversation [with her]. But above all, we’ve been friends for quite some time, and I find her to be the funniest friend in the whole world. As I mentioned before, when entering my 30s, I was comforted a lot by that person who was my friend.”

Lee Jong Suk also shared, “We’ve been friends since I was in my mid-20s, which means that we met each other when we were quite young. So, when she tells me, ‘You’ve become a lot more mature now,’ I feel like I want to become even more mature. Moreover, I think to myself that I want to become a much better human being than I am now.”

Check out more stunning photos below!

Lee Jong Suk’s full pictorial and interview will be available in the March issue of Esquire!

Check out Lee Jong Suk in “While You Were Sleeping”:

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