IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lee Joon-gi


Thanks to fans' votes, Lee Joon-gi outlasted 63 other K-drama stars - many of whom are Korean television's top stars - to win last year's Battle of the K-drama Stars, making him K-drama Fizz's Top K-drama Star.  It is now time to get to know our top star.

We've asked his fans - the people who know him best - to help us complete his profile.  We want to know everything about him and his K-drama career.  Every little detail!  Let's create and build his K-drama Fizz profile together.  In the coming days and weeks, we will be updating this profile as the information comes in.  We want to know everything about his personal life and his career as a K-drama sensation, so please share with us what you know in the comments section below: What was his debut in K-dramas?  Which was his favorite role to-date?  Does he own pets?  Does he have a favorite vacation spot?  We want to know it all!  Let's begin...


Full Name: Lee Joon-gi
Place and Date of Birth: BusanSouth Korea on April 17, 1982 (He's an Aries!)

More to come...

Comments

  1. I cannot find any eng sub for his interview way back 2009 with this GURU show..
    Here's a not too long short story of how LEE JOON GI started.. want to share it with you so you will be motivated and inspire to achieve your DREAMS!
    20090429 LEE JUN KI MBC GOLDFISH TALKSHOW WITH KANG HODONG
    1. Jun Ki allegedly spent 4 months of his tuition fees when he was still studying in Busan institute instead of paying up. He said he spent it clubbing and having fun. When the school called up his father about the non-payment of the fees, his father did not punish him or be very angry. Instead Mr. Lee lugged bags of coins worth of 4 months' fees and paid to the school. He wanted to let Jun Ki see that the coins were very heavy for him and to let him think about it. Jun Ki knew he had made a mistake.
    2. Jun Ki met Robert Harley in Busan and when he went to Seoul, he stayed in Robert's house. He was supposed to stay temporarily for about 10 days..but it stretched into 2 months.
    He felt he was overstaying and decided to look for a room to share. He had to work part-time while he studied in Seoul and it was a very hard time..on days his meals were only rice and kimchi.
    3. He went for 50 auditions ( back in 2001?) but was rejected. One day Jun Ki attended an audition (talent-scouting) fair and he signed up with his resume with the hope that some agency might hire him. Kim Woojin happened to be there..busy with some filming and he saw Jun Ki..asked "Is this a new boy". Jun Ki introduced himself, presented his personal resume and Woojin gave him his namecard. However after a month, Jun Ki did not receive any phonecall. So he went to look for Woojin's office with his namecard. The receptionist asked him .."Do you have an appointment?". Jun Ki replied, "No, but I have his namecard !". And his first break into modelling was with actress Kim Heesun in a fashion magazine shoot.
    4. "King & Clown" PD Lee Joon-ik refused to let Jun Ki interact with his manager and staff or others on the filming set. Jun Ki had to shut himself in a lady's room because of his role as Gong-gil..to immerse himself totally in his acting.
    5. Jun Ki admitted that after he became famous..he did date a girl but the relationship did not work out because of his work. She was not from the Korean entertainment circle..just a normal girl.

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  2. 6. During SBS Drama Awards in December 2008..Jun Ki performed the gag parody with Lee Moon Shik on stage.. Iljimae "Yongi's abuji". He did the naration from his seat and later joined the parody team on stage. After the show..he felt pleased that he did well..but his manager and staff thought otherwise. They told him that he should have just done the naration (commentary) and not be onstage ~~ What a letdown..keke ^^

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    7. Jun Ki said he worked part-time in a Seoul bathhouse and one day he was beaten up by a customer and he came out crying ! However he expressed happiness over being a Seoul man~~ (Seoul resident)

    8. Another version from baidu about Jun Ki being beaten : He worked part-time in a bar and because he offended a customer, the boss slapped Jun Ki. But he was penniless and needed the money. The boss was kind and paid him his salary.

    9. Jun Ki tried changing his ID in order to gain employment in Busan because he was still a student..but failed several times. His dad objected to his dream and ambition to become an actor and told him that he had to support himself if he insisted. Jun Ki even rehearsed at home and Mr. Lee asked "What are you doing? You can put this away". However after his fame from "King and Clown", his dad understood why his son chose this path.

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    10. Jun Ki was nervous..and Kang Hodong said..your hands are trembling ! Jun Ki said he has lots of worries..even he could not sleep because of his appearance in the MBC talk show..but also because he was nervous about meeting Sunbaenim Kang Hodong. Jun Ki told them he watches the show all the time..even KBS show "1 Night, 2 Days" in which KHD also stars in. Then he was so cute and asked..Is saying this OK on MBC ?" And that yyoung guy (from KBS Music Bank) also joined in and announced.."Music Bank !" All of them laughed. Talk turned to Jun Ki's career and his roles in movies and dramas. KHD said..Look at your hands..the scars. Jun Ki replied.."there are more on my body. But I am happy if during work, I am hurt here and there. I am weird, right ? For having this kind of feeling." He went on to describe one particular tough scene in "Time of Dog and Wolf" where he had to do 23 NGs as he refused to use double for his stunts. That famous scene when he was driving on the road at night and "Kay" regained his memory. Jun Ki had to avoid a truck coming in the opposite direction and crashing the car against the rails. There was also discussions aboutt KHD impersonating Jun Ki in that pomegranate drink CF in the past. It was so funny.
    Hodong then said "Jun Ki is the actor that is hard to see appearing in entertainment shows, right ?" Jun Ki replied, "When I watch these entertainment shows, I feel that one has to be forced to accept dialogue and to return dialogue non-stop !" Kang then touched on his sensitive issues like Jun Ki saying " Japan is my country".."I like men"..but because of time constraints (lack of time), he will skip these topics. Next they discussed about how he came to Seoul.

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  3. When he was in 2nd year of high school,his dream was to be a computer programer..but after watching a particularr play (Hamlet?) Jun Ki told his father he wanted to be an actor His father strongly objected but told him, OK, I will give you one year to do what you desire..after that, you have to re-sit for your college exams. But Jun Ki spent his money having fun instead of paying up to the school. The school told his father about the unpaid fees. Mr. Lee was not angry..just told Jun Ki to sit down..and then started putting bag after bag of coins and told him to pay up. Jun Ki had to take a bus to school with the heavy bags of coins to school. He felt that he had done a bad deed towards his father. Then Jun Ki was seriously thinking of enrolling for acting courses and his father said.."You can try this...but you have to earn for the fee and pay it yourself". So Jun Ki naively thanked his father, went out to look for jobs..but those days only students above 19 can work. So he took out his personal particulars and did some alterations..hohoho..he committed a criminal offense by doing this kekeke. Kang Hodong was totally shocked and asked the younger audience not to do the same thing. This scene was so funny. Anyway, he managed to fool people and got good paying jobs. However his applications for the arts courses were rejected again and again. Jun Ki wanted to enroll in a better college like Seoul Arts College but it was difficult...and his father asked him.."Enough of this..what are you doing ?". Kang Hodong and co-hosts and Jun Ki were laughing so hard..keke. Jun Ki said.."I found it hard to understand too, I thought I did pretty well so far ~~" He said he really worked hard..to improve his skills, his physique and even learned dancing. Then he went with friends for demonstrations for acceptance into college. He was asked if he was fully prepared and Jun Ki said he was full of confidence. However upon entering the room..and after greetings..he was asked to show his acting skills. Jun Ki said..oh, demonstrations..please wait..and he huffed and puffed and forgot his lines..haha kekeke. He said he was only filled with motivation. Then he told his father, "I am sorry, let me take the challenge one more time." His father told him.."you'd better give up and go study properly." But he did not want to give up his acting dream..He did not like studying but was ashamed to face his dad. Not that it was a must for him to be a star but he wanted to be an actor. He went to watch stage plays and were totally captivated. He said he thought it over and felt this was not right. Even though he was being a little unfilial towards his father, Jun Ki decided to leave for Seoul..and stayed with Robert Harley whom he met when Harley was working in Pusan radio station. Robert was much older than Jun Ki and both of them have been friends for 8 years on till now. Jun Ki wanted to learn English from him so he asked to stay at Robert's house for a while. Robert told him that you looked capable..so try hard at talent auditions. So Jun Ki stayed for 2 months but unknowingly was a burden to Robert. Jun Ki was only focused on learning to be a newbie in the acting arena..so he was unaware of the problems he caused while staying there. Robert asked him.."Jun Ki, your parents won't worry about you?" Robert then told him about his own financial hardship and shortage of food in the house. There was even no rice left..only some kimchi. Jun Ki said that he really caused food shortage..and was apologetic to Robert. He decided to leave and look for another place to live..and started looking for work. His first job was in building with the billiard room on first floor and bar on the second floor...owned by the same man. Jun Ki said..during winter the water froze into ice and during summer..there were lots of rats and cockroaches in the building. Sometimes he heard them moving in the ceiling. But he said he felt happy because he was a "Seoul" person and his wages were not bad too.

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  4. JK : After work, I would step into the room and switched on the light..and there were cockroaches on the ceiling. The cockroaches started falling off the ceiling and because of this, my skin became very sensitive for 2 years. But in actual fact, I felt happy because it was like staying in a hotel room. While cleaning the pool tables, I would think.."I am blessed..I am a Seoul person now." My salary was also good, so I was lucky.

    KHD : A handsome boy like you..would be attracting customers with a bell in hand on the street."

    JK : I did not do that... because of my pride! (Everyone bursts out laughing)

    JK : After 5 months of working there, I felt lonely. Suddenly I asked myself, "Why did I come to Seoul?" I should quickly take part in talent auditions..so as to report good news to my family fast. I was extremely stressed and was in a piteous situation too. Despite objections from my parents, I came to Seoul and suffered hardship alone. All for what ? As I was asking myself and pondering..there was this weekend in the shop and a table for 4 - 5 persons was near the window. Tables near the windows were usually popular on weekends. However at that time, only two people were seated at the table. I went over and said to them, "I'm sorry, but could you change to another table? I will give you special discount because today is weekend." Suddenly one of them acted crazily and said.."Lousy service, what are you doing ? Call your boss over." And he was swearing crude words (here Jun Ki said.."xxx", he was cute). I began to lose my temper too and fought with the customer. My boss who heard the commotion, came over and while apologising to the guest, he slapped me across the face..shouting, "Get out ! get out !" But how could I just walk out, I needed money for my livelihood. I told him.."You want me to leave, pay me compensation fee" (KHD, JK and the other 2 men - don't know their names - all burst out laughing ~~) Why ? I had no money on me.

    JK : My father gave me 150,000krw for my expenses and I was thankful to him. I had to save up my money to register at agency. So I left the work place with the 150,000krw to try and look for a management agency to sign me on. But none accepted me. So I went to Dongdaemun and took 5 namecards. That day someone approached me and gave me his namecard and I thought, "Ah, at last some one noticed my charming face !" The person said to me that while I was fine..my looks and my voice, I was told to improve on my accent. Also I had to undergo training but I had to pay for the training as a newbie. If I became a star, they would help me with big effort put in...but before this, I must be prepared. The asking fee was 20 million krw but I needed to pay only 12 million won..huge discount of 8 million won. I was told to inform my parents and to let them come over. Then I asked, "I could really become a star ?" But I did not fall into the conman's trap..the main reason was : I had no money (Laughs)

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  5. KHD : What if you had the money?

    JK : I would pay him. Even though later I knew it was a scam, I thought regretfully at that time, I would pay if I had the money. During this period of time I did not contact my parents. Because of this matter, I actually opened up my mobile phone... then shut it again.

    KHD : If your parents knew it was a scam, what would happen ? (They burst into laughter and Jun Ki bent over while laughing). To the viewers here, who aspire to be stars, Korean management agencies do not require payment. Please take note of this.

    JK : However there are many people using this scam to do bad things. Do not ever be taken in (cheated) by giving money upfront. After this incident, I went online and found a friend who had no money to attend acting institute. Finally we got together and borrowed a studio to practise. It was a happy time. We trained till late at night and even slept there. It was a must that what needed to be done should be done as soon as possible. If this time, should I be rejected during admission application, I would obediently listen to my parents. So I only applied to Seoul Arts College. If I was rejected, I would return to my homeland. My parents had already waited for 2 years. I did not return home even once, only occasionally called home. I dared not look at the list of successful candidates on the notice board. Instead I went to gaming center to use the internet, and I saw my name on the list, I had passed the entrance exams ! I was so happy and I immediately called my parents. For the first time in 2 years, they praised me...they said, "You have grown up now. We find it hard to believe that you did this to realise your dream." So I was extremely delighted because I could go home to see my parents...see their faces and report to them. I felt good that all my past investment with time and personal abilities had paid off.

    KHD : Your dream is to be an actor, did you look for a management company?

    JK : I've been participating in talent auditions. I went for more than 50 auditions and within a year, even though I was shivering with cold during the severe winter, I still went around looking for that opportunity. Seeking for anyone to support me. I had a slight lucky break when I went to an audition (talent-scouting) fair. Many movie companies were setting up booths. I also visited the management agency area. Anyone can sign up with just a prepared resume. Anyway I signed up but was constantly rejected. Just as I was making the last round and going to leave, I reached the last production company and was determined to succeed. There was an interview going on with TV cameras...from a TV station. Management agencies would be there to discover new talent. Then a manager came over and said before the TV cameras.."We're from Mentor company". So I quickly rushed over and stood in front of the camera and earnestly demonstrated my skills. The reporting host exclaimed : Ah... this is Mentor's new guy.

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  6. KHD : (shocked) Really ? Really ? Was there such a scene shown ?

    JK : Yes, but it was not easy to locate the programme. The telecast date was 28 July.

    KHD : Which year ?

    JK : 2001

    KHD : 28 July 2001 ?

    JK : The filming showed my auditioning act and the manager saw the clip (Here JK imitated manager's pose..arms folded across chest and one hand clasping his chin..everyone laughed. A clip of Kim Woojin on SBS show was revealed on 27 July 2001, he was standing by the TV camera while Jun Ki was doing his act.) Woojin was smiling and thereafter, he gave me his namecard saying.."We will contact you" and then he left. I kept watching the clip for a month. Even though I only appeared very briefly in the whole show, I felt great because it was my very first TV appearance.

    KHD : Was that namecard of any use ?

    JK : No immediate contact at all and I was thinking, "What is going on?".

    KHD : He gave you the namecard because of TV exposure, but for Lee Jun Ki, it was a challenging exposure, right ?

    JK : I felt that brilliant moment disappearing. I must go towards this opening of that door (opportunity), so I went to the company with that namecard. The auto door opened and I stepped in. The receptionist asked, "Do you have an appointment?". I said "Yes, I do." She asked.. "What is your name ?" I told her..I'm Lee Jun Ki. She said,,"but the appointment list does not have your name." I took out the namecard and said, "I have an appointment." Then the office door opened and someone walked out and smiled at me. The man said, "I cannot recall your name, but anyway, do come in." He could not remember me but was impressed that I came personally to seek him out. I was told that they will try their best, and if an opportunity turns up, they will contact me again. I waited for about a month before I got the call. I was told to try for an audition. Following that were some magazine photoshoot.

    KHD : Looking at your profile, your very first project was not a Korean drama.

    JK : Yes, it was a Japanese movie.

    KHD : That was rather special, in your life.

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  7. KHD : What ???

    JK : (waving his hand in denial) No, not like that..it was a pity regarding the movie. Everyone had such great expectations from me, also confident that I could do something. If I failed..I told myself even if I had failed once, it did not matter. But such a mindset would be short-sighted. In addition I could not concentrate, so this project did not work out. During this time I was confused, could not be immersed into my role. I thought that I should not continue like that. So I quickly adjusted my inner turmoil. Also the verdict to myself.."You really cannot make it ! You need to buck up !"

    KHD : Told yourself?

    JK : Yes.."You are too intoxicated" Now everyone gives you all that love, because they pay attention to you, not because of trust in you. If you really want to do something, you must forsake everything else..and start to seek what you pursue." Needless to say..if I'd wished to become an actor, I must work hard for a good showing. Then gradually if people likes your outer appearance, your image and to subsequently like your character role, then probably I have succeeded ! Thereafter during filming, I did it this way.

    KHD : Due to this setback, you returned to the small screen (TV). Like " Time of Dog and Wolf", "Iljimae"...these 2 dramas' high ratings had proved to be a precedent for your sustained popularity. Going through this tumultous period, Lee Jun Ki has now become a product guarantee. How do you feel ?

    JK : First of all, reporters were assured about me and fans who were disappointed also returned. Especially my message board were "cleaned up". I was happy. Before that, among the 1000 to 2000 odd messages, there were around 1200 nasty messages.."Urgh..like a girl..so gross !" But now..pretty clean board. No matter what, an actor wants to express fully in his acting..then be recognised. When I followed my goal diligently and doing well, people started to accept me. I could feel this and the feeling was wonderful !

    (May 18 movie clip was shown and commentary from actor Aung Sungi : Jun Ki prepared well, whether it is Lee Jun Ki this person or Lee Jun Ki the actor, he is really a friend. Jun Ki does everything carefully, after completing his work, he could changed the atmosphere. He deserves the title "Star with outstanding acting ability."
    From PD Kim of drama "Time of Dog and Wolf" : Emerging from the dark shadows..the superb innocent star..box office sales, acting skills, real feelings..he has all these. He became a trust-worthy actor..but also a greedy man..Lee Jun Ki" )

    KHD : Before talking to you, I did not know you're such a straight-forward man.

    JK : Everyone who met me would have said this.

    KHD : Jun Ki-ssi, I saw last year's award ceremony.."Yong-i's abuji" became a hot topic issue for discussion. Never expected that Lee Jun Ki would be so comical.

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  8. and now lee joon gi is a 40 yrs old versatile actor and he's looks still maintain like when he was started his career! His secret? well he cut carbs on his diet way back 2017 and 2019 rice diet had been cut off too, not only for the sake health but he needed to prioritize his body weight since his more into action scenes and also a jujitsu and taekwondo martial artist as well.. it will give him more advantage and also the effect as he grow older.. he looks younger too.. as for his acting we all hope that one day he would grab an award from BAEKSANG as best actor. I have watched all of his dramas.. hes not only into acting and action but the story plot is amazing as well. Hope the Knetizen should focus more of the acting side of their actors and their abilities as well, the background and the ratio of their acting skills.

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