The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] As a monster fan, Lee Jin-uk takes prides in ‘Sweet Home 2’ role

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Dec. 21, 2023 - 12:47

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“Sweet Home” (Netflix) “Sweet Home” (Netflix)

Netflix Korean monster series “Sweet Home” launched its second season on Dec. 1, but the story remains unfinished, with a third season set for release in summer next year.

In season two, Lee Jin-uk plays liquidlike monster Jung Ui-myeong, inhabiting the body of Pyeon Sang-wook, the contract killer portrayed by Lee in the first season.

“I’m personally a big fan of animation and ‘creature’ genre flicks. As an avid watcher, I really liked how I came to act as both a human and a monster,” Lee told The Korea Herald in an interview in Seoul on Dec. 15. "I feel proud of it."

As shooting for the second and third seasons completed earlier this year, Lee understands his shorter-than-expected appearance in the second season.

“Of course I always think that there were more parts of my character. I wish my character appeared the most in each episode. But one thing for sure is that there will be more parts of me in the third season. It was intended like that,” said Lee, adding that his favorite part in season two is the climactic confrontation between Sang-wook and his rival Hyun-soo (Song Kang).

“But when you look at it, ‘Sweet Home’ is not just about monsters threatening humans. Sometimes, it is the humans who are more monsterlike and crueler than monsters. When you think about it, humans don’t need to be the owner of Earth,” he said.

Lee Jin-uk (Netflix) Lee Jin-uk (Netflix)

Because he was playing Ui-myeong inhabiting the body of Sang-wook, Lee said he had to make sure he did not appear to be acting as Ui-myeong.

“I thought it would be unnatural if I just acted like Ui-myeong, copying his voice or way of speaking. I called Kim Sung-cheol, who played Ui-myeong in season one, and asked him to read several lines of the script during the early part of shooting to get a sense of what kind of character he is. Then I focused on portraying Sang-wook, whose consciousness is captivated by Ui-myeong,” said Lee.

Lee, noted for his short but attention-grabbing appearances in romance films and melodramas like “The Beauty Inside” and “Doona,” said “Sweet Home” was a challenge as well as a thrill.

“To be honest, I find the action ‘creature’ genre more fun to shoot. I’m actually just an ordinary person who can’t be as sweet and romantic as my characters are in romance and melodramas. I still cringe when I think about acting that kind of character,” said Lee, adding that he is a very “dry” person.

“But now I understand the needs of the audience, who leave desperate comments on my Instagram to do more melodramas. After years of experience as an actor and going through various personal events, now I think I can portray characters in heart-wrenching love stories,” Lee added.

The second season of “Sweet Home” released on Netflix on Dec. 1. The third season is slated for a 2024 summer release.