[Interview] Lee Byung Hun Says He Added Some Korean Emotions to Storm Shadow.
Cr. - enewsworld
He went from teen star to top actor to world star. Throughout his career, Lee Byung Hun has seen a steady line of ever-expanding titles get attached to his name, and he has returned with another jaw-dropping transformation with the film G.I. Joe 2.
Even those who weren′t his fans before will have to admit that he does indeed stand out, and the increasing importance of his role proves that they′re not mistaken.
"I met with director Jon Chu after 10 p.m. I couldn′t take him to Namsan Tower, and all we could do with so many people after 10 p.m. was to grab some drinks. I wasn′t aiming to teach them about mixed drinks; it just happened. (Laugh)"
Now he can get drinks when he wants, but while he was filming the movie he had to endure a hardcore diet for his perfect six pack. He shook his head thinking about how he couldn′t eat anything he wanted at the time.
"I missed Korean food so much, though even if I had been in Korea I wouldn′t have been able to eat anything. I was only able to eat after I had finished filming scenes where I had to take my shirt off. There was one Korean food restaurant but I only went there after I finished working on that scene. The food gave me a hard time, but I also missed my mother because I had never lived away from my family beofre. She had to come in the end. She cooked Korean foods like galbi and kimchijjigae for me because I had finished filming my shirtless scenes. (Laugh)"
His mother′s cooking wasn′t the only thing that kept him going. The two directors Park Chan Wook and Kim Ji Woon also helped him through the friendship they had shared in previous pieces. The two directors had been preparing their own pieces in Hollywood.
"Once, my filming schedule matched up with director Park Chan Wook and Kim Ji Woon′s. They both said through phone calls or text messages that America and Korea gave different kinds of authority to the director. They both said they wanted to go back. (Laugh) Sometimes we would complain to each other over the phone, and after we finished shooting we met up in L.A. We talked about our woes over coffee. I thought it would have been great if we had been together as actor and director, because that would have caused a nice synergy effect. Since our conditions are improving, soon I guess we′ll get a chance to do so."
The best part about his recent film was that he was able to act maskless. While the Storm Shadow of the previous installment was a figure from fantasy, giving off a sort of dark charisma, this time he became an unmasked human being.
"I felt that Storm Shadow had lived a stifling life ever since he was framed. I felt a release when I read the new scenario. I was touched by the way he took care of his misunderstandings and exploded with emotion. The staff were all surprised when I took the emotions in a Korean way, but later on they applauded me, saying it was a unique interpretation. Director Jon Chu and the producer were very satisfied. In the first film he was always cynical and evil, but in the second he became a burning figure. I thought I would stand out when every other actor is taking things lightly for the popcorn movie, but I′m satisfied. (Laugh)"
His name used to be fifth in line on the ending credits, and this time it′s in the third spot. Though he managed this feat alone, he still seemed to retain his modesty.
"I don′t know if the public thinks I′ve cleared a spot for myself in Hollywood, but I haven′t. My ventures are still in the beginning stages. I don′t know how far I can go with my own skills. I keep thinking, how long will this opportunity last? I don′t know if I′ll be limited to roles that flash six packs and high kicks or whether I′ll be able to take on roles that could be given to other Americans. Nothing is for certain, and I′m still curious as to how this will turn out