Lee Seon Kyun’s Own Midlife Crisis

Thank God Lee Seon Kyun did NOT decide to end his career and even found his “second spring.”

by @sadiesmith from Soompi

Much has been said about IU and how her real life story mirrors that of her character, ie. being raised by a grandmother, similar name Lee Ji Eun vs. Lee Ji An, poor childhood, etc.  However, not many know that Lee Seon Kyun, like his character, also went through his own professional/mid-life crisis a few years ago when he constantly felt “tired, annoyed, and self-conscious” and considered ending his acting career for good.  This was when he agreed to lead a team of 15 actor friends in the first part of 2013, in the frigid temperature of Korea’s winter, to walk 151 km across the country (Penance Road) in 7 days and 6 nights to “to find their true passions and re-evaluate their lives.”

Source: Dramafever (extinct)

Lee Sun Gyun Considers Ending His Acting Career

by Blog Author on Tue, Feb 19, 2013

 On recent SBS Documentary show The March-A Story of Friends, which aired on the 15th, actor Lee Sun Gyun revealed why he had decided to walk the 151km Penance Road. He opened up about his deep struggles with his profession as an actor. He said, “I’m going to turn 40 soon and I am the head of a family. I’ve been thinking a lot as an actor. I didn’t become an actor because I wanted to make money or reach a certain status but these days I’ve been getting annoyed, tired, and self-conscious.” He also admitted that he’s been questioning why he was acting in the first place. Lee Sun Gyun and his friends took a walking journey to find their true passions and re-evaluate their lives. We hope to see Lee Sun Gyun make a healthy comeback and regain his crown as the actor with the most silky voice! Do you think Lee Sun Gyun should continue his acting career? (Source: http://www.news.nate.com)


I am so happy that after that long walk he found his “second spring” of his career so to speak, because the end of 2013 was when he shot A Hard Day, a movie that earned him a Baeksang and restarted his career.  After that it’s been a steady stream of edgier characters, including his first outing in sageuk (The King’s Case Note), as well as a marked departure from romance-focus dramas/movies that so defined his works before 2013.

Here’s a short interview he gave right before the premiere of My Ajusshi in which again he spoke about how he feels the responsibility of being a married man and a father:

Before getting married, I was an outspoken person just like the character “Ki Hoon” in the drama, who does everything he wants without considering or thinking of his family members.  However, just like most of the married men in their 40s and the character “Dong Hoon,”  instead of letting my greed and desire go wild, I pursue a stable home, family, and life.  Though Dong Hoon is much purer and innocent than me, we both enjoy drinking alcohol too.  (translation provided by @4seasonswith IU)

So in the end, I think Director Kim Won Seuk did well by casting an actor who is married with kids, and who even went through his own crisis and self-doubt in an industry that is constantly looking for fresh, new, young, pretty faces and talents.


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