Lee Joon Gi just slapped his assistant. Twice, to be exact. Okay, before you think that the Korean actor is as twisted and ruthless as Prince Wang So, his character from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, relax. Joon Gi and his assistant are merely hamming it up for the camera. See, Korean stars can be fun too!
We're at the very atas Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa to meet the 34-year-old actor-singer, who's in town for the HSBC Women's Championship Music Festival. In person, Lee Joon Gi looks a lot more delicate than he does in photos and on screen. Like a flower that would wilt the second someone touches it. His jawline, though, is so sharp, it can probably cut diamonds.
He comes across as very laidback, like he has just taken a nice long nap. He’s also courteous, almost too courteous. But not in that stiff, overtly-civil way we’ve come to expect from Korean stars, mind you. There’s just something very grounded about him… not that we’re saying that other stars aren’t, of course.
8 DAYS: You recently made your Hollywood debut in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. How was it like working on an American production compared to a Korean one?
LEE JOON GI: I was very inspired by the environment where all these creative minds come together to create all these productions. At the same time, being part of the movie gave me the opportunity to interact with Hollywood stars and actors and actresses from around the world. I was really inspired by their goals and mindsets. Before I ventured into Hollywood, I was more focused on my career in Korea. But, now, I think that maybe I should dream bigger and expand overseas.
The movie was shot in South Africa. What was one thing you had trouble adjusting to?
I’m not a picky eater. I have an appetite for international cuisine (laughs). But we stayed there for more than a month and kept eating the same food. After eating steak every day for a week, even though it was delicious, I started missing Korean food. But South Africa has the best seafood! (Laughs)
The director picked you for this role ’cos he was impressed by how dedicated you are to doing your own stunts. Why insist on that when a lot of Hollywood stars use stunt doubles?
Since my role was only a cameo, I really wanted to give it my best. So, I worked hard coordinating the stunts. Personally, I love doing my own stunts. Back in Korea, the stunt team jokes that I’m stealing their jobs (laughs).
Did you get injured on set?
That’s part and parcel of filming action scenes. I had injuries here and there, sure. But if i didn't have them, I’d feel like it wasn’t a real action scene. At the end of the day, when I see bruises on my arm, I feel like I’ve achieved something (laughs).
PHOTOS: CHEE YAN