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【Press Conference】“The Man Who Became the King” Lee Byung Hun, “The similarities between a king and a working actor are…”
【January 29 Tokyo=KEJ Hyejin Koo / Photo=Chang Dong Yeop / Translator Eunbee Kim】Actor Lee Byung Hun held a press conference at The Peninsula in Tokyo on the 29th promoting his latest movie, “Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King”.
At the center of a press conference containing over 200 total media outlets, actor Lee Byung Hun made his first appearance of the day in a sleek gray suit that was covered in a checkered pattern. His initial greeting to the public was, “Being that this is my first press conference in Japan as well as my first press conference regarding a movie in a while, I am both happy and extremely excited,” eliciting the laughter of the audience.
Lee Byung Hun intricately balances two polar opposite roles in this work that clearly displays the actor’s capabilities, playing the strange King Gwanghae as well as the modest common man Ha Sun. This is the actor’s first attempt in playing a historical role. He had said, “Although this is my first time playing a role in a historical piece as well as my first time playing a king, I have never avoided a historical role. I chose to take on this project not because it was a historical film, but because it falls away from the genre and really truly is a fun and interesting story.”
Following its release in theaters this past September, the film set great records after falling to third place after the movies “Thieves” and “Monster”, and especially set a record as the number one film in the historical genre. In response to the entertainment factors for the film, Lee Byung Hun said, “This is a creative take on what could have happened during the 15 days that are missing from history. I believe that viewers will be stirred to experience some type of catharsis after watching the film.” The actor also said, “Because the audience at the premiere in LA seemed to enjoy the film despite the huge cultural differences, my hope is that the audience in Japan will enjoy it just as much. Please watch the film with the thought of how you would feel if you were placed in the shoes of a king.”
In response to the question regarding the similarities between an actor and king, Lee Byung Hun responded, “Knowing that you will be receiving the gaze of everyone along with the fact that you must lead a limited life are some of the similar aspects of each life. However, while kings are to think of the citizens under their rule before making their decisions, I believe the difference lies in that actors must rely on their own conviction when making decisions,” revealing the more hidden aspects of the life of an actor.
In regards to his comedic half within the film, Lee Byung Hun commented, “I believe the funny and strange Ha Sun and I have some common characteristics. I was able to bring out some of my inner personality to show to viewers by playing this role,” revealing some of his own attachment to the character.
After completing the press conference, the actor stayed briefly for a photo session with an exhibit displaying the actor in his Gwanghae attire. Lee Byung Hun is planning on attending the signing ceremony held by Japan Premier events at the Shinjuku Baltic 9.
“Gwanghae, the Man Who Became King” will be released in Japan under the title “The Man Who Became King” on February 16th.