Actor Lee You-Jin Takes Home 'Male Rookie Award' after 10 Years Since Debut... "My Goal is to Become an Exemplary Figure in the Acting World"
- Won the 'Male Rookie Award' at the 2022 KBS Acting Awards for his role as 'Kim Gun-Woo', the youngest sibling in 'Three Bold Siblings.'
- Approaching the character of Wang Bitna as 'Straightforward Man' is a trait he wanted to portray as an actor.
- Celebrating his 10th year since debut... his goal is to become someone who leaves a lasting impression as an actor.
Actor Lee You-jin. ©Blossom Entertainment
KBS 2TV's weekend drama 'Three Bold Siblings' concluded last month, portraying the genuine worries and conflicts of each character. The exceptional chemistry among the actors enriched the drama, particularly through the performances of Lee Ha-Na (as Kim Tae-Joo), Kim So-Eun (as Kim So-Rim), and Lee You-Jin (as Kim Gun-Woo), the three siblings who faced various challenges and dilemmas, intensifying the dramatic experience.
Reflecting on the drama's conclusion, actor Lee You-Jin shared, "Filming became a part of my daily life, and it's hard to recall what my life was like before. The eight-month journey of shooting was a work that demanded stamina, and now that it's over, I feel a different kind of nostalgia." Expressing gratitude, he added, "During this drama, when I visited restaurants, people recognized me and offered their support, especially from mothers. It was a new experience for me, and their encouragement truly boosted my spirits."
"The character 'Gun-Woo' in the drama bears similarities to myself. He embodies positivity, proactivity, and a deep love for family. I found him to be a captivating character, emphasizing these admirable qualities, and aspired to be like him. After the drama aired, mothers looked at me with warmth, as if I were their own son. I felt immensely grateful, and I hope to reciprocate their support through future projects."
Lee You-Jin hails from a lineage of actors, with his father being the well-known actor Lee Hyo-jung and his paternal uncle none other than the esteemed Lee Ki-young. This makes his family a prominent name in the realm of acting. The bond within the You-Jin family is characterized by a unique and affectionate love. When queried about his family's response to his work, he amusingly chuckled and confessed, "My dad doesn't really keep up with my dramas, so I'm uncertain about his reaction." This endearingly showcases his filial side as a son who, even in his thirties, still fondly addresses his father as "Daddy."
Meanwhile, his mother, a fervent supporter, found herself pleasantly surprised by the unexpected romantic storyline involving 'Hyeon-Jeong' (portrayed by Wang Bit-na). The drama garnered an expansive and diverse fan base, eliciting letters and messages from fans of various age groups. It was a delightful spectacle to witness even the youngest of fans sending video messages through their mothers. The experience proved both heartwarming and etched into his memory.
In the drama, the trio of siblings, namely 'Kim Tae-Joo' (played by Lee Ha-Na), 'Kim So-Rim' (portrayed by Kim So-Eun), and 'Kim Gun-Woo' (embodied by Lee You-Jin), establish intricate connections with 'Lee Sang-Joon' (depicted by Lim Ju-Hwan), 'Shin Mu-Young' (portrayed by Kim Seung-Su), and 'Jang Hyun-Jung' (brought to life by Wang Bit-Na), respectively. This interplay of characters offers captivating and unpredictable storylines within their respective romantic entanglements. Amidst it all, the youngest sibling, 'Gun-Woo,' with his broad-minded and inclusive personality, actively pursues love.
Scene from 'Three Bold Siblings'. ©KBS
"'Gun-Woo' was renowned for his straightforwardness. I consider myself straightforward when it comes to expressing my feelings for someone, but I can't claim to be as bold as 'Gun-Woo' (laughs). I marveled at his unwavering confidence in delivering lines and making grand declarations. His carefree attitude was something I truly admired, adding to 'Gun-Woo's' irresistible charm.
'Gun-Woo' and 'Hyun-Jung' faced numerous obstacles that hindered their love from becoming a reality. Initially, they were student and university professor, but fate brought them together again as 'Kim Gun-Woo' transformed into a doctor and 'Hyun-Jung' became his patient at the hospital. It's worth noting that 'Hyun-Jung' is also the aunt of 'Sang-Joon' (portrayed by Lim Ju-Hwan). Upon discovering their familial connection, 'Gun-Woo' attempted to suppress his feelings and forget about 'Hyun-Jung.' However, upon learning about her pregnancy, he displayed unwavering determination to shoulder his responsibilities as a father.
"'Gun-Woo' effortlessly weaves humor and wit even in the most serious of circumstances. I often found myself pondering, 'Could I say something like that in such a situation?' However, given that he shouldn't come across as irritating, I had to carefully consider my speech and behavior. These particular traits became 'Gun-Woo's' strengths, which I eagerly wished to acquire."
The drama 'Three Bold Siblings' unraveled a tale of a Korean family, where the eldest sister and brother embarked on a journey to seek happiness. Lee You-Jin, in his role as the youngest sibling and eldest brother, Kim Gun-Woo, masterfully conveyed intricate emotions and flawlessly embodied the character, captivating the hearts of viewers week after week. Actor Lee You-Jin not only shared intriguing behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the drama but also reflected on his decade-long career.
As a weekend drama featuring a diverse range of characters across different age groups, the collaboration among actors such as Lee Ha-Na, Kim So-Eun, Lim Ju-Hwan, Wang Bit-Na, Kim Yong-Rim, and Kim Seung-Su enriched the overall acting ensemble. Lee You-Jin expressed initial nervousness due to the presence of seasoned actors on set, but he soon discovered their willingness to impart wisdom and knowledge.
He felt immensely grateful for their guidance, which significantly eased his tensions. The senior actors' impressive and touching demeanor left a lasting impression. Notably, given the many shared scenes with Wang Bit-Na, he sought her advice frequently. From the very first day of filming, she treated him with utmost humility, fostering a comfortable working environment.
Lee You-Jin showcased his organizing and demolition skills on "I Live Alone" ©MBC
Despite hailing from a privileged background, Lee You-Jin toiled in part-time jobs at construction sites and demolition projects during his lesser-known days, striving to make ends meet. Recently, he captured attention by revealing his meticulously adorned basement studio apartment on the MBC variety show 'I Live Alone,' showcasing his distinct taste in furnishing, financed by his earnings from demolition work. In the latest episode aired on the 31st, he formed a formidable 'demolition' duo with his best friend, exhibiting their prowess in clearing a staggering 350kg of debris and demolishing partitions. Lee You-Jin's appearance, evoking memories of the sweat he shed during his lesser-known days, left a profound impact.
"As the previous year drew to a close, I experienced a significant upheaval of my beliefs, reaching a point where I could proclaim the arrival of 'adolescence.' Although no specific incident triggered this change, I sensed an inexplicable need to reevaluate and rephrase the values I had long held dear. While I cherish and prioritize self-care, I had been leading a relentlessly hectic life, leaving little room for introspection. It was a period when I yearned for a guiding principle to restore equilibrium."
Lee You-Jin, who fearlessly portrayed the character in 'Three Bold Siblings', clinched the Male Rookie Award at the 2022 KBS Acting Awards, marking a pivotal milestone in his 10-year journey since his debut. This achievement proved to be immensely gratifying and served as a transformative moment in his career. As someone once said, "Those who dwell in the past experience regret, those consumed by the future harbor worry, and those who embrace the present find happiness." In 2023, Lee You-Jin resolved to embark on a fresh chapter and vowed to embody the essence of living in the present.
Reflecting on his journey, Lee You-Jin candidly admitted, "When I look back at the time I've lived thus far, there were substantial instances where I was not fully present." Now, he has resolved to embrace the essence of living by wholeheartedly acknowledging the significance of 'now, this moment,' and 'this time.' In these uncertain times, where glimpsing what lies ahead proves elusive, receiving a significant accolade still evokes a mix of nervousness and excitement within Lee You-Jin. It further reinforces his realization of the arduousness of establishing one's reputation. Grateful for the continuous growth, he cherishes the belief that "each passing year surpasses the previous."
"To be completely honest, the mere physical aspect of reaching my 10th year since my debut does not carry profound resonance for me. It feels as though I have been steadily traversing my path, just as I have always done. From this point forward, my aspiration is to become an individual who can positively influence others. Beyond being solely an actor, I yearn to embody an exemplary figure, serving as a role model to others. I harbor a dream of evolving into such an awe-inspiring person. Throughout my life, I have been inspired by observing individuals who prompt the thought, 'I aspire to be like them.' Now, if I can assume such a remarkable presence for someone else, it would be truly extraordinary for me! Moving ahead, I will continue to cherish and seek your unwavering support and love. Thank you!"
Interview by Glenda Park, Editor-in-Chief at Avec G.
*This article is simultaneously published in Seoul Wire's 'Glenda Park's Blue Ocean'.
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