Lee Jung-jae recently became the first Asian to win Best Actor at the Emmy Awards.
Even a world-famous star like Lee Jung-jae had his debut days. Lee Jung-jae’s debut film is “The Young Man” by “Korea’s Spielberg” Bae Chang-ho, who directed “Whale Hunting” and “Deep Blue Night”.
Director Bae Chang-ho gave the lead role in the feature film “The Young Man” to rookie actor Lee Jung-jae, who had no experience other than the minor role he played in the coming-of-age short series “Dinosaur Teacher”. With his debut film, Lee Jung-jae won the Grand Slam by sweeping four big award ceremonies, including the Grand Bell Awards, Baeksang Arts Awards, Blue Dragon Film Awards, and Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.
Lee Jung-jae, who made his debut after being discovered by a designer while working part-time at a cafe, perfectly portrayed the sophisticated urban man Lee Han in the movie. Along with good evaluation that Lee Jung-jae suited the role so well, he strengthened his position as an icon of Generation X.
In fact, it was not exaggerated to say that “The Young Man” was a movie dedicated to Lee Jung-jae. Therefore, the screen times of the female lead and other supporting roles were neither long nor impressive.
The female lead of “The Young Man” was played by Shin Eun-kyung, who was enjoying her heyday with the popularity of the drama “General Hospital”. It is known that the actress refused to appear in the movie at first because the screen time of her role was not comparable to the male lead. Her busy schedule was also one of the reasons.
However, at that time, Shin Eun-kyung’s manager suddenly signed the contract regardless of the actress’ opinion so the director reportedly made a lot of efforts to persuade Shin Eun-kyung.
Shin Eun-kyung did not show up on the first shooting day despite continuous persuasion from people around. She was later hospitalized and the filming for all the scenes in which Shin Eun-kyung appeared had to be pushed back.
Shin Eun-kyung eventually showed up on the set in October, a month after the filming began. Recalling that time, Shin Eun-kyung revealed that she agreed to star in the movie in the situation that she was spending six days a week filming “General Hospital”. The actress also said that she overworked herself to the point that a normal tooth fell out.
In the end, “The Young Man”, which finished filming after many twists and turns, did not gain commercial success but became a memorable movie that helped the Korean film industry discover the X Generation star named Lee Jung-jae.
The movie “The Young Man” is scheduled to be re-released on September 20th after going through the digital remastering process.