[HanCinema's News] Lee Jung-hyun-I Talks About "Sweet Home" and "Mr. Sunshine"
By William Schwartz | Published on
A recent interview has called public attention to Lee Jung-hyun-I, a lesser known actor with minor memorable credits. Among them are "Mr. Sunshine" where he played the Japanese army sergeant Tsuda, and "Sweet Home" where he played Kyungmo. Lee Jung-hyun-I has gained a reputation for playing disturbing, twisted minor villains. Other recent credits include a vengeance obsessed victim of past bullying in "Alice" and a combative high student in "GANG" obsessed with Dragon Ball.
According to Lee Jung-hyun-I, he was initially concerned about what direction his career should take after "Mr. Sunshine" landed him his first great exposure. Lee Jung-hyun-I was also skeptical of the quality of his performance, stating that however much he tried to visualize his character, "bad" was the only real internal thought he could come up with. But he has since taken the casting in stride, reasoning that every story needs a healthy supply of villains.
Many of Lee Jung-hyun-I's characters end up dying- but the actor has learned to relish this, and puts thought into how he can make death scenes properly memorable. Lee Jung-hyun-I has decided that character death is too important for him to want to be irreplacable as he has come up with a noteworthy niche. Lee Jung-hyun-I also struggles with making his characters distinctive every time and avoiding repetition. This keeps the process fun but can make it difficult for viewers to recognize him.
Despite the fatalistic attitude, Lee Jung-hyun-I is distinctive enough that he has been specifically requested. Lee Jung-hyun-I claims that director Lee Eung-bok specifically asked for him to join the cast of "Sweet Home" as a sexual predator. Lee Jung-hyun-I was flattered that the "Mr. Sunshine" director still remembered him all that time later. And despite the brevity of the role, Lee Jung-hyun-I has gotten unexpected attention for "Sweet Home" much as he received it for "Mr. Sunshine" two years prior.
Lee Jung-hyun-I claims that playing so many bad characters has inspired him to be a better person. He says he first started studying Judo to become a police officer before turning to acting. Lee Jung-hyun-I hopes to show a different side of himself at some point in the future. Purportedly Lee Eung-bok has said he'd like to see Lee Jung-hyun-I in a cuter role. But at present, neither actor nor director has a confirmed upcoming project.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.