Dramabeans exclusive interview with SKY Castle’s Lee Hyun-jin
Though SKY Castle has wrapped, that doesn’t mean the SKY Castle fun is over. Lee Hyun-jin played Secretary Jo, the severe Coach Kim’s assistant, and he generously sat down with us for an exclusive interview. Lee Hyun-jin debuted in 2007 in television but his filmography includes everything from dramas to film and commercials. Lee’s next project has yet to be confirmed, but let’s hope we can see him back on our screens sooner rather than later. There are a few spoilers ahead so Reader beware!
To Dramabeans, thank you.
Dramabeans: Secretary Jo mostly communicated through his body language and the way he carried himself. Did you have any particular concerns or difficulties while playing Secretary Jo?
Lee Hyun-jin: At first, not much was known about Secretary Jo–neither his back story nor circumstances, so it was difficult for me to get into character. It was especially difficult to figure out how I should behave around Coach Kim and the other characters. But as the director and I discussed Secretary Jo, it became easier and by episode 12 I knew who he was.
DB: What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Secretary Jo?
DB: How did you keep a straight face in the scene where Coach Kim (played by Kim Seo-hyung) hit you with her bag?
LHJ: At that moment, I just felt so sorry for Coach Kim. So no matter what she did to me, I was ready to forgive her. She seemed so pitiful then.
DB: If you could choose to be any of the residents of SKY Castle, who would you be?
LHJ: It would be Woo Yang-woo (Jo Jae-yoon). He seemed to have the most peaceful life out of the SKY Castle residents. His wife Jin-hee was lovely (Oh Nara) and he had a healthy relationship with his son (played by Lee Yoo-jin) to boot.
DB: Did you think SKY Castle would become this popular when you first signed on?
LHJ: I had a feeling the drama would be somewhat popular when I first saw the script. As I was reading through the it, I found the script very interesting and fun. But honestly I had no idea SKY Castle would ever get quite this popular, it was a pleasant surprise.
DB: Could you share funny moments you had while shooting for the drama?
LHJ: In episode 7, there was a scene where Kang Ye-seo (Kim Hye-yoon) was with her private subject tutors while the tutors were getting told off by Coach Kim. Ye-seo just had a simple line–she told her Korean subject tutor, “It’s okay, it was an accident.” But her facial expression and the gesture she made was so similar to my little sibling that I found it hilarious. But it wasn’t the time or place to break and laugh so I just laughed on the inside.
DB: What do you pay attention to when choosing your roles and projects?
LHJ: In the past, I didn’t look at anything in particular. Nowadays I pay special attention to who will be directing and that person’s directing style. As an actor, I think the director is a huge part of building a character.
DB: Out of all the characters you’ve played, who would you want to be friends with in real life?
LHJ: Secretary Jo from SKY Castle. It’s not because he’s my most recent role, but because he was the loneliest person I’ve ever played. Throughout filming, I thought that Secretary Jo and Coach Kim were the most miserable people in the show. They didn’t have families to take care of them and ultimately they ended up in prison.
DB: Is there anything you’d like to say to the Dramabeans community?
LHJ: Hello Dramabeans, I think some of you may know me through my work as Secretary Jo in SKY Castle, though there may be others who knew of me from my other roles; I want you to know I feel heartened by your interest in me. I’d like to thank you sincerely and I hope you continue to look for me in dramas and films. I wish you and your families happiness, peace, and health.
Also, I recently started an Instagram account (@hyunjinlee_1472). Please follow me!!