Through almost two years of shooting, I hear that they have become ‘comrades’. In the drama, the �Four Gods� protected the leading character played by BYJ. Just like their roles in the drama, while radiating the strong personality of her or his own, each one has deepened the bond.
Interviewer: Rumi Hayashi
�It is actually very difficult for the co-stars to become close to each other through a (piece of) work.�
This is what BYJ (35) said while he was in Japan. A highly competitive Korean entertainment world, where one�s ability is stringently examined. This remark must reflect his true feeling coming from his own experience of having played the leading roles for fourteen years since his debut.
For BYJ, the leading actor of the drama TWSSG which took about two years of shooting, it has become a special piece of work in that sense.
� �Through this work, I feel like I’ve got real younger brothers, younger sisters, and an elder brother. From this aspect, the shooting was a lot of fun.�
The story of the drama is that Damdeok , a king of Koguryo, through the fateful encounters with the reincarnations of four gods, getting over the difficulties, grew to be a real king. How Damdeok would build the bond with four gods is one of the highlights of the drama.
Among the ‘Four Gods’, the appearance of another great new face got into the news. It is Lee Philip (27) who played Cheoro, the reincarnation of blue dragon. He first appeared wearing a stern mask. When the mask came off from his head, there was a handsome young man with long hair, which excited female viewers in Korea and he was overwhelmed with interviews and commercial endorsement offers.
Philip also stood in front of the camera for the first time. He is second generation Korean-American. After graduating from Boston College, he has a unique career as a businessman who specialized in IT management in graduate school of George Washington University. PD Kim selected a new face because he didn�t want to give mysterious Cheoro a stereotype image.
�Becoming an actor has been my dream since my childhood. I ventured to turn to an actor because I thought I could go into business later on and then my whole life has changed. Through the drama I learned Korean culture and history, which was very good. �
With twinkling slit eyes, he speaks in a deep voice. He is fresh and polite.
�Though Cheoro was unable to fulfill his love, he kept an eye on his love silently and I was attracted by this. After fully understanding the concept of my role, I studied how I should express it with subtle movement of my eyes.”
In the latter part of the drama, his sad love inspires viewers� emotion.
�Cheoro and I are similar in that we are single-hearted (bb: i suspect the writer is trying to say he’s got an one-track mind and very focussed on one thing at a time…?) To a woman, however, I think he is just one-sided.” (laughs)
When the shooting first began, he was not fluent in Korean and often got confused and it was BYJ who helped him.
�I learned from him not only an attitude towards acting, but also a lot of techniques. At first I had no idea which part of myself, my face or my whole body, was being filmed. So he taught me steadily from the very beginning, on how I should do to look good or what I was requested to do. He is gentle like a real brother. �
While they were in Japan, he constantly stayed close to BYJ, who hadn�t recovered from his leg injury and (Philip) extended a helping hand to him.
BYJ celebrated Philip�s birthday on May 26 at his restaurant. The rest of the ‘Four Gods’, Oh Kwong Rok, Park Sung Won were also there and they drank till the next morning. Those four are really good friends even now.
�While shooting, I was able to go through numerous experience, but the biggest pleasure was that I could meet all those seniors and build such a relationship as a family.�
Asked about the highlight of the drama, however, he answered as follows:
�It is the scene that I appear. (laughs) I became confident by appearing in a work that expands to Asia. There are lots of actors who are handsomer than I am, so I would like to be an actor who can act with his inner feelings without depending on his looks.�
original in japanese: AERA 2008/07/14
scanned & posted by: miemi / byjgallery
translated into english: cloudnine / bb’s blog
credits/source: @ Soompi Forums, Philip Lee official thread