Fans of Lee Min-ki already know of the actor’s penchant for music — he’s sung on a movie soundtrack, performed live onstage, and recorded a single (listen below). Therefore, it’s not such a surprise to hear that he’s got a debut album in the works, which is called “No Kidding” and goes on sale on August 11.
“No Kidding” will be Lee Min-ki’s debut not just as a singer but as a musician; he’s been working on developing his piano and guitar skills for several years. His title song is “영원한 여름” (Eternal Summer) and has already completed filming for its music video.
With this project and several films releasing in close succession, this is going to be one mighty busy summer for Lee Min-ki. Check out the short interview below the jump.
SONG OF THE DAY
FreeTEMPO & Sheean – “Power of Love” feat. Lee Min-ki, reposted from a prior post. [ Download ]
Next he’ll release the survival thriller A Million, which boasts a large cast and an interesting hook: reality show contestants are brought to an island to compete for 1 million dollars (or 1 billion won, per its Korean title “A Billion”). The contestants — which include Park Hae-il, Shin Mina, Jung Yumi, Lee Chun-hee — soon realize that the producer is unhinged and the game is more dangerous than they’d realized; playing the producer is Park Hee-soon, who does unhinged so well.
On the music front, Lee Min-ki will be performing a showcase at the music festival Beach Party Week & T, taking place at Busan’s Haeundae beach (the same beach from which the movie derives its name). The festival runs from August 3 through 9, while Lee Min-ki will perform on the 8th.
Here he talks about his role in the recently released Haeundae:
Your swimming skills are impressive.
Lee Min-ki: I learned for three weeks at the National Fire Service Academy. At the initial meeting, I said I could swim in the ocean, but I found that the ocean was pitch-black and scary. Later on, I swam with a rescue group from Gwangan Beach to Gwangan Bridge. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get to show everything I’d practiced.
How did you come to take this role?
I enjoyed reading the script. I liked that it showed these people living like real people do when the tsunami suddenly hits. At first, the character seemed like your typical blunt Busan man, but that impression changed as I worked. The director told me he wanted me to show a pure, naive side to the character.
There are two scenes that show your lips being bitten by your partner Kang Ye-won. She said, “Lee Min-ki’s lips are in tatters.”
It hurt. We had to shoot that several times, so being bitten, then bitten again, hurt. After filming ended, it felt like my lip was flapping in the sea breeze. [Laughs]
Being from [the southern province of] Gimhae, you must have found it easier to use the Saturi accent.
It’s true that compared to how hard my sunbaes worked, it was a lot easier for me. It was similar to me looking at them and thinking, “Ah, that’s how you show facial expressiveness with the Seoul dialect.” But the worrisome part was thinking that since everyone knows I’m from this area, I’m in trouble if I go wrong at this point.
Even from the perspective of natives, my sunbaes’ Saturi accents were excellent. Sol Kyung-gu hyung would hole up in his room every day, listening to the recordings and sighing, “This isn’t even English or French, and I’m struggling so much with this Korean language.” The result of that struggle came out well.
You’ve shot a lot of projects lately, but compared to when you were called “Korea’s Younger Boyfriend”* the reaction has been relatively quiet.
(*”Younger Boyfriend” refers to his image playing the younger boyfriend to an older woman, as in Dal Ja’s Spring.)
There are people who give me recognition. Of course, we don’t do this to work alone and clap for ourselves alone. I’m grateful if many people give me credit, but that’s not something I can accomplish with my own talent.