Lee Je-hoon: From 4-Month Fasting for ‘Escape’ to Near-death Regret ‘I Almost Died’

During an interview on JTBC’s ‘News Room’ on July 7th, Lee Je-hoon revealed his personal thoughts.

On July 3rd, the movie ‘Escape’ (directed by Lee Jong-pil) was released, starring Lee Je-hoon. The film tells the story of a high-stakes pursuit between North Korean soldier Gyunam (played by Lee Je-hoon) and Officer Hyeon-sang (played by Koo Kyo-hwan).

Lee Je-hoon played the role of Sergeant Gyunam, a soldier in his tenth year of service stationed at the front-line unit near the ceasefire line. Despite the constant danger of facing the North Korean army, Sergeant Gyunam bravely risked his life by navigating treacherous swamps and crossing dangerous minefields.

Lee Je-hoon

He recounted the moment he portrayed Gyunam, describing how he fully embraced the challenge of portraying someone fleeing on film. He poured his all into the role, running, rolling, and colliding to accurately convey the character’s sense of desperation.

During the production, he shared the “most concerning part”which was his struggle to maintain proper nutrition due to the harsh conditions. He compared his character, Gyunam, to dry firewood as he had to endure severe restrictions on his food intake for four and a half months in order to accurately portray the generosity of North Korean soldiers.

When the host expressed surprise and asked how he managed to exert so much effort without eating, Lee explained, “I often felt dizzy. However, every sip of water and every piece of chocolate made a difference. I was fully engrossed in my task and had to appear as a person who could endure without sleep, as it would be shown on a large screen and presented to the audience.”

He expressed with admiration, “Although there may have been flaws in my performance, I approached every scene with no regrets and gave it my full effort. I poured my heart and soul into it.”

In ‘Escape’, Lee Je-hoon is also confronted with a challenge when he becomes trapped in a deep swamp.

Upon being questioned about this particular scene, Lee Je-hoon shared, “I believe I consumed quite a bit of dirt,”before surprisingly adding, “Thankfully, the art department stocked the swamp with some delicious nuts. I found myself enjoying them while filming. Surprisingly, they were quite tasty.”

He expressed his gratitude, noting that he is able to film extreme scenes smoothly and safely these days thanks to the strength of the art and props teams. He emphasized his appreciation for their support.

Lee Je-hoon shared his keen interest in taking on villainous roles. “I have always had a strong inclination towards playing villains. While I have portrayed many virtuous characters, I now crave the challenge of portraying a complex and enigmatic character, one who cannot be easily defined as good or evil,”he stated with a glint of excitement in his gaze.

After suddenly experiencing acute ischemic colitis, he underwent emergency surgery. “I always believed I was taking care of my health, but unfortunately, unforeseen events like this can occur,”he stated.

Before my surgery, I had signed a consent form acknowledging the possibility of death. As I lay on the operating table, my life flashed before my eyes in a blur, like a shooting star streaking across the sky. In that moment, I questioned whether I had truly lived without any regrets. And as I prepared to go under, I couldn’t help but think, “I came so close to death.”

He persisted, stating, “I considered pursuing my passion, which is currently being fulfilled through filming YouTube videos. Although I have a deep love for movies, the unfortunate decline of independent theaters motivated me to showcase their value. Thus, I embarked on a journey to feature these cherished theaters on my YouTube channel. I cannot predict how long I will continue, but my goal is to highlight 100 films.”

The source is from naver.

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