Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lee Ji Ah, "'The Legend' is a turning point in my life"

An 'instant star' unprecedented in the history of the Korean entertainment industry was born: actress Lee Ji Ah of the recent series "The Legend."

She instantly became the heroine in an epic drama series with a 60 billion won budget with no acting experience whatsoever. Positive reviews came out from around despite being amongst a cast of big names. With her bright image, she even was able to sign on to be the image models of various commercials.

Lee Ji Ah who was shy and not able to look straight into the camera said, "I am still afraid of the camera." Rather contrasting from her tomboy image that links arms with 'Yon-sama' without hesitation in the series.

"I am actually very shy among people. I'm not as valiant as Soojini. But I am similar to her in that I am straightforward and like to play. Poking the other person while starting a conversation and playing around in the drama is similar to my real self."

Lee Ji Ah gathered the spotlight as Soojini who devotes her loyalty and love to Damdeok (played by Bae Yong Joon). Born with the power of one of the four gods, she not only acted out the melo-dramatic scenes with intricate emotions mixed in, but also action scenes that are difficult for male actors. Thanks to that she became a star 'overnight.'

"I still can't feel it being real. All throughout the shoot I was traveling around different sets, and afterwards I've been busy with interviews and commercial shoots so I never had the chance to see or feel what the response is among the public. But my parents and other people around me have been telling me that they didn't know I would be able to accomplish such a thing."
She was born in Korea but went over to the U.S. in elementary school, later to enter the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. While attending, she went to the audition for "The Legend" being introduced by an acquaintance.

"I didn't exactly dream of being an actress since I was young. Of course I thought it was a very fascinating occupation. Being able to move people through the eyes and actions of an actor seemed truly fascinating to me."

After first being introduced to producer Kim Jong Hak, her casti
ng was determined after 30 or so additional meetings. It was after script reading and other thorough tests.

"I was so happy I couldn't say anything to the people around me. I was afraid that the results would change later on. The position was much too greater than what I deserved but he said he liked my boldness and confidence."

After being cast, she immediately started training in vocalization, acting, character analysis, horseback riding, action, and everything else that is needed to be an actor from the start. She learned how to speak like a tomboy rather than her usual soft-spoken tone and even changed her walking posture.

"At first I was afraid of horses, but now I enjoy riding them. In the series, I was able to act out most of the scenes aside from the very dangerous ones. I even rode the horse myself in scenes where we are going full speed."

However, in the series, she appeared throughout with an image that is hard to tell if she is a boy or girl. She even put on darker makeup to hide her light skin tone. Some actresses may the situation find it rather disappointing.

"After I ate, the area around my mouth became white. Since I had dark makeup on, only the makeup around my mouth came off. But I liked the bright characteristic of Soojini."

There weren't even any true melo-dramatic scenes.

"Can you imagine Soojini kissing? I don't feel disappointed that there wasn't such a scene. There was a scene where Soojini puts armor on Damdeok before she leaves, but I think there was enough of the emotion expressed in that scene. The scene is one of my most memorable, too."

She even was exposed to the possibility of many injuries. Her legs were kicked by a horse she couldn't avoid.

"I was speaking to another actor and should have avoided the horse when it came towards me, but I couldn't. My left shin that was hit was swollen. I could have been hurt greatly."

To her, there is another hurdle she must overcome other than injuries and acting. Co-star Bae Yong Joon. It must not have been easy to act opposite one of Asia's greatest star.

"I lacked in many ways. I did not have enough experience. On the other hand, Bae Yong Joon took care of many subtle things despite his status as a top star. I really felt his professionalism. He taught me many things about acting as well."

She also said the cold weather was one of the hardest things while filming. Additionally, "As this was my first time acting, I got confused within myself after hearing the many advices from senior actors. I regret not being able to absorb everything faster."

Choosing Cate Blanchett as her favorite actress because of her deep and wide acting spectrum, Lee Ji Ah says, "'The Legend' is a turning point in my life. I was able to learn many great things from great senior actors."


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Mayilow said...

i think kim ha neul would have been perfect for the role as because the two looked somewhat alike from some angles, and the first being told is more experience, But all in all, Ji ah did a great job, the scene where she did the black sparrow was totally moving i felt teary eyed,i hope to see more of her dramas and really hope also that her stardom would shine on in the business industry.

elaine said...

you`re so pretty!!!!!!!!!! i like you so much!!!!!!!!!!

elaine said...

you`re so pretty!!!!!!!!!! i like you so much!!!!!!!!!!

jane_simple28 said...

im jane from taguig manila,philippines

i like you a lot !!!

i never been love an actress

but lee ji ah change it

she's unique

Anonymous said...

i'm one of ur fan ur a great
actress hope so we have a asia novela w/Bae Yong-joon
ur too match w/him
plz grant my request?
or u can also visit here in the philippine??

Anonymous said...

wow ur a great artist
i'm one of ur fan
hpe so u can visit here
in the philippines
and ur so pretty damn!

Anonymous said...

you're one of the best actress i've whatched!! hope you make another team up w/ Bae Yong Joon!!
you have many fans here in the Philippines!! love yah!!! continue acting!!

Anonymous said...

Gosh! Lee Ji Ah really is an Artist! and tell you what, you and Bae Yong Joon was the best couple ever! you look good together, hope you'll have more drama series or even movies with him...
you both did a good job!!!

Jereanne Aurelle said...

your so brave, and i like you a lot, hope you can read this simple message, i am your fan, my name is jereanne hope that your good attitute stays,i will always watch you always.............


yenn said...

my idol...lee ji ah is so good in acting...hoping for more love team with bae yong's so romantic seeing a big dan in the philippines of "the legend"'z a great show...all of us like it....hope you visit soon the phillippines....ur the best....

Anonymous said... ur greatest fan lee ji so proud u that ur so brave and graceful ......lee ji ah ...ihave a wish that u and damdeok.... was love and happy ever after and alsoin the legend ..u and damdeok was reality love each other..dnt forget lee ji ah always ''smile'' and i pray for ur carerr and also to damdeok.god blees u...always

myrr said...


Anonymous said...

im one of ur hundreds fans here in phils. hope to see more movies from you with bae yong joon!.. the legend was great! in fact i cant slept at nyt because of that!.. i really really love you! more movies please please.. mwuah! god bless...

suzini said...

hi lee ji ah, im a big fan of yours,,, hope that you will have another series to be aired here in the philippines,, i really love your character as suzini,,

wow,,,the legend is the turning point of your life,,,wow,,,
hows your lovelife?(getting personal?) ell im one of your avid fan here...
hope to see you again in t.v.
take care,,love lots...
suzini is the best

beautiful Lee-ji-ah (",)

joy camille said...

Hi, Lee Ji Ah,. I'm joy camille,. I'm one of your big fans here in the phil,. You know I love korean actors and actress, but you are the most unique, I like you very much!, and your character Xhuizini in The Legend! Hope you'll make more tv series with Bae Yong Joon!!!!! Because you two can create really, really, GREAT CHEMISTRY!!! luv yah!! (".)

Archix said...

This is what i call a girl who is born to act.

jiawern said...

Hi JIah,
me too never been in love with any korean actress
indeed, i agree with jane_simple28
u change it, u really did
hope to see u in malaysia

Anonymous said...

hai lee ji ah your so pretty
hope ur so charming i really like u mwaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh take care of your self