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February 18 2019


[INTERVIEW] Lee Jung-jae less flamboyant in 'Svaha' 



Lee Jung-jae poses prior to an interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in Seoul, Monday. / Courtesy of CJ Entertainment


By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times


Veteran actor Lee Jung-jae, who instantly shot to stardom with his silent bodyguard role in 1995 drama "Sandglass," has starred in many dramas and films, portraying strong and attractive characters in slick black suits.


Looking at his recent work, the 46-year-old actor seems to have taken off some weight and become "less flamboyant." 


The star of "The Handmaiden" (2010) has appeared in the mega-hit "Along with the Gods" film series as a supporting actor, and in his latest thriller "Svaha: The Sixth Finger," it seems his focus has been getting viewers to follow the plot, rather than admiring the actor himself. 


"Viewers always expect something new. So basically, I tend to try new characters. I've received many offers for manly, strong characters like a detective and a secret agent, but I decided to join this film because I thought as an actor I can bring something new to the table," Lee said during an interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in Seoul, Monday. 


"Pastor Park has been inspired by a real figure, a pastor who investigates various allegations involving cults and brings up the issue on TV shows. After I heard of the character from the director, I was intrigued by the story right away and I thought it would help expand my cinematic career."


"Svaha: The Sixth Finger," directed by Jang Jae-hyun, tells the story of the philistine pastor Park, played by Lee, who runs a research center and tracks down cult groups for money. Encountering murder cases involving a mysterious Buddhist cult called the "Deer Farm" and twin sisters, the pastor strives to find the truth. 


The film's director received critical acclaim for triggering an Occult genre boom in the local cinema scene, with his 2015 box office hit "The Priests" about Catholic exorcism. 


"It is a mystery thriller. Although the film shows elements of Buddhism and Christianity, I wouldn't say it is about religion. In the story weaved like a labyrinth, it takes religion with it," the actor said. "It is actually a story about faith between people."


Lee is taking on the thriller genre for the first time in his 26-year acting career. He works hard to portray the pastor who seems snobbish and skeptical but in reality is a person who desperately wants to see the presence of God with his own eyes in a cruel world. 


Although he is a seasoned actor, Lee said it was hard to find the right tone for his character. "The director said my character should be viewed as light in the beginning. There was a certain tone and nuance the director wanted me to pick up, which was very different from what I did in my previous work. So I initially thought I would catch it with two or three rehearsals, but I happened to do more than that," he said. 


"I try to act reflecting what the director wants me to do to the every detail as perfectly as I can. When I thought rehearsals were not enough, I asked the director to film demonstration video clips. When I was at home, I watched them and practiced acting looking at the directional points, in order to remember that I should not replicate my previous acting style but build an entirely new character."


"Some people would ask why. But I think two heads are better than one and I tend to ask and listen to what others read in my character. I think I should do anything if that can improve my acting," the actor said. 


He said the film is about faith. "There are so many people who sell their stories as truth. A cult member in a precarious situation grabs the helping hand extended out to him in firm belief, but as everything turns out to be a lie, he fiercely fights to undo what he did wrong against an insurmountable evil force. He crumbles evil with his willpower," the actor said.


The film will hit local theaters Wednesday.






[Movie Review] 'Svaha,' horrifying mystery thriller about religious exploitation

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February 21, 2019


HanCinema's News

Lee Jung-jae From "The New World" to "Svaha: The Sixth Finger"


By William Schwartz HanCinema.net




The marketing behind "Svaha: The Sixth Finger" has released stills highlighting Lee Jung-jae's career trajectory. From being a gangster in "The New World" to a prince in "The Face Reader" to an assassin in "The Assassination" to, now, a paranormal investigator in "Svaha: The Sixth Finger", his career has had a lot of variance.

In "Svaha: The Sixth Finger", his latest movie, Lee Jung-jae takes on the role of Pastor Park, a man who is investigating members of a strange deer-related cult. Pastor Park himself is accused of running his own cult, as his teachings get into strange occult territory.


"Svaha: The Sixth Finger" has taken the early lead at the box office going into the weekend. It had 144,495 admissions on Thursday for a current total of 336,683, followed by "Extreme Job" and then "Innocent Witness".


The movie's strange tone has been polarizing, although on balance viewers appear to like it. The Naver user rating is currently 8.58 and the Daum user rating is sitting at 7.9. I will post a more detailed review of "Svaha: The Sixth Finger" on Sunday.


Written by William Schwartz

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February 25, 2019


Film 'Svaha' tops domestic box office [VIDEO]

By Dong Sun-hwa The Korea Times


Occult film "Svaha: The Sixth Finger" has topped the domestic box office. Courtesy of CJ Entertainment


Mystery thriller "Svaha: The Sixth Finger" has topped the domestic box office for five consecutive days as of Monday, mustering over 1.1 million admissions in its first week. 

Released on Wednesday, the 122-minute movie sold more than 660,000 tickets during the weekend. 


The occult film starring first-rate actor Lee Jung-jae revolves around a Christian pastor surnamed Park who bumps into enigmatic figures and incidents while tracking a secretive Buddhist cult. The title "Svaha" is a Sanskrit word used in Buddhism that conveys the similar meaning as "amen."


Watch the movie teaser at: bit.ly/2EwwrSo


Jang Jae-hyun, the director of the film who established his presence with the hit "The Priests" in 2015, said: "In my opinion, 'Svaha' is a classical movie. The viewers may feel they are reading a fictional mystery."


Comedy film "Extreme Job," which has attracted over 15 million viewers and has become the second biggest all-time hit in Korea, was ranked No. 2 at the box office. 


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Shin Min Ah, Lee Jung Jae, And More Gather For 1st Script Reading Of New Political Drama

The upcoming JTBC Friday-Saturday drama “Advisor” (tentative title) is raising anticipation with stills from the drama’s first script reading!

The reading was held on March 26 and was attended by director Kwak Jung Hwan, screenwriter Lee Dae Il, and cast members including Lee Jung Jae, Shin Min Ah, Lee Elijah, Kim Dong Jun, Jung Jin Young, Kim Kap Soo, Jung Woong In, Im Won Hee, Kim Hong Fa, Kim Eung Soo, Lee Chul Min, Jeon Jin Ki, and Do Eun Bi.

After everyone exchanged greetings and settled down, director Kwak Jung Hwan stated, “I don’t believe it only takes a director and screenwriter to complete a drama. I hope that we can all share many ideas that we can incorporate into the drama to create an even better production for the viewers.”

Lee Jung Jae will be taking on the role of Jang Tae Joon, the chief aide of four-time congressman Song Hee Seob (Kim Kap Soo), who graduated at the top of his class in the police academy but turned to politicians as he sought more power. He will be at the center of the drama that unfolds, and his character will teeter along the edge of right and wrong, finding his balance through intuition and cold judgment. This is set to be Lee Jung Jae’s first drama in approximately ten years, so anticipation is high for the actor.

Alongside him is Shin Min Ah playing Kang Sun Young, a first-time congresswoman and speaker of her political party. She is proud of her competency and competitiveness, and she hopes to break the glass ceiling. There will be tension between her and Lee Jung Jae as he is the chief aide to the rival of the senior lawmaker who nominated her for her candidacy.



They will be joined by Lee Elijah taking on the role of Yoon Hye Won, the chic secretary to Song Hee Seob, and Kim Dong Jun playing the enthusiastic intern Han Do Kyung. Others in the cast including Jung Jin Young playing first-time congressman Lee Sung Min, Kim Kap Soo playing four-time congressman Hong Hee Seob, Jung Woong In playing Hong Hee Seob’s aide and head of the district office Oh Won Sik, and Im Won Hee taking on the role of Kang Sun Young’s aide Go Seok Man.

The production staff stated, “Screenwriter Lee Dae Il’s tight script and director Kwak Jung Hwan’s excellent directing combined with the actors’s talents at bringing their characters to life to create an amazing script reading,” and “We’re off to a strong start. We will bring to life the story of people who are the real players in politics. We hope everyone will anticipate it.”

The drama is slated to begin airing in late May.


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March 30, 2019


March Male Advertisement Model Brand Reputation Rankings Revealed

Source: Soompi by E. Cha

The Korean Business Research Institute has announced this month’s brand reputation rankings for male advertisement models!


The rankings were determined through an analysis of consumer behavior, using big data collected from February 28 to March 29. The Korean Business Research Institute evaluated the participation, communication, media, and social values of 50 male advertisement models in order to calculate each star’s total brand reputation index for March.


Gong Yoo topped this month’s list with a brand reputation index of 1,312,399, marking an impressive 158.28 percent increase in his score since January (the last time the rankings were calculated). The actor’s highest-ranking related terms included “heart-fluttering,” “like,” and “cool,” while his positivity-negativity analysis revealed a score of 85.14 percent positive reactions.


Celebrity chef Baek Jong Won maintained his position at second place in the rankings this month, scoring a brand reputation index of 785,214 for March.


Meanwhile, Park Bo Gum rose to third place on this month’s list, scoring a total brand reputation index of 684,332.


Check out the top 30 for this month below!


1. Gong Yoo
2. Baek Jong Won
3. Park Bo Gum
4. Son Heung Min
5. Lee Byung Hun
6. Kang Daniel
7. Ryu Jun Yeol
8. Cha Seung Won
9. Lee Dong Wook
10. Yoo Jae Suk
11. Bae Jung Nam
12. Park Ji Sung
13. Lee Sang Min
14. Kim Seung Hyun
15. Jung Woo Sung
16. Ha Jung Woo
17. Yoo Hae Jin
18. Lee Jung Jae
19. ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo
20. Shin Dong Yup
21. Jun Hyun Moo
22. Kim Jong Min
23. Lee Seung Gi
24. Kim Jong Kook
25. Kang Ho Dong
26. Lee Si Eon
27. Kim Min Jae
28. Park Seo Joon
29. Hyun Bin
30. Shim Hyung Tak

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March 31, 2019


"The President's Aide" Line-up


Source: News1 via HanCinema.net




The new JTBC drama "The President's Aide" has a full line-up.

"The President's Aide" is the survival story of Jang Tae-joon (Lee Jung-jae), an aide amidst the political gamble and fight for power.


"The President's Aide" is produced by Studio And New and directed by Kwak Jeong-hwan. The screenplay is written by Lee Dae-il.


Lee Jung-jae comes back with this drama after his long-run in film with successful hits like "The Face Reader", "The Assassination" and "The New World". He plays Jang Tae-joon, head assistant to a four-time lawmaker. He graduated Police Academy with honors and was a part of the special unit, but he joined the National Assembly for more authority. His strong intuition and cold judgment as well as his competitiveness made his congressman the head of a party. However, he's not satisfied and chases even bigger dreams.


Shin Min-ah's Kang Seon-yeong is an eligible lawyer with experience in hosting a current affairs TV show. She did her best to become the best and she isn't ashamed of her capabilities and achievements. She faced difficult challenges and now she's a role model for other women. However, she doesn't work well with aides and she especially doesn't get along with Jang Tae-joon who takes care of the congressman who rivals the congressman that nominated her.


Kim Dong-jun plays Han Do-kyung, a temporary intern in the NA. He's confused, but his eyes shine and he's bold enough to express thoughts on his mind.


Lee Elijah plays Yoon Hye-won, a young woman whose hard work made her a class 6 aide. Although she works harder than anyone to achieve her goals, she always finds the right path and stays on it. She works with Jang Tae-joon in the congressman's office.


"The President's Aide" comes out in May.

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April 7, 2019


Samsung Electronics head's ex-wife and actor's romance going strong


Lee Jung-jae in a scene from "Svaha" (2019). Photo from Naver


By Ko Dong-hwan The Korea Times


Actor Lee Jung-jae's four-year romance with Lim Se-ryung, the ex-wife of Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, appears to be going strong. 


Lee and Lim, who is an executive director at Korean condiment and food manufacturing conglomerate Daesang, were seen at the international art exhibition "Art Basel" at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in late March. 


YTN reported the couple wore casual outfits, with Lim in a safari-style jump suit. They were accompanied by Jung Woo-sung, another Korean triple-A actor, known as Lee's longtime friend.




Lee Jae-yong and Lim Se-ryung raise glasses during their engagement ceremony in 1998.



Lee debuted as an actor in 1993, while Lim, a New York University psychology program graduate, married Lee Jae-yong, the son of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee, in 1998 and divorced in 2009. They have two children. Lim filed a divorce suit demanding alimony of 1 billion won ($870,000), custody of her son and daughter and half of Lee's 1 trillion won in property.


Lim is the eldest daughter of Daesang's honorary president Lim Chang-wook. She started working in management in 2009.


Lee and Lim admitted their relationship in 2015 after their romance was revealed. 




Source: Jimin Daily

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May 8, 2019


Lee Jung Jae Is Full Of Confidence For Upcoming Political Drama


Source: Soompi by Y. Shin


Lee Jung Jae Is Full Of Confidence For Upcoming Political Drama


JTBC’s new Friday-Saturday drama “Advisor” (tentative title) has released its first stills of Lee Jung Jae!


“Advisor” tells the story of politicians who control the world while standing behind the spotlight and engage in the dangerous gambling of politics. It is also a survival story of the “super” advisor Jang Tae Joon (Lee Jung Jae) who is on his way to having the most power in the nation.


Jang Tae Joon is the chief aide of four-time congressman Song Hee Seob (Kim Kap Soo), who graduated at the top of his class in the police academy but turned to politics as he sought more power. He is trusted by Song Hee Seob for his excellent intuition and cool-headed judgment, concentration towards victory, persistence in finding others’ weak spots, and his ability to come up with accurate solutions. Despite his skills, however, Jang Tae Joon holds a greater ambition in his heart.


In the newly released stills, Lee Jung Jae smiles gently, but also portrays Jang Tae Joon’s confidence and composure hidden behind his calm expression.




The production staff stated, “Lee Jung Jae is perfecting the character of Jang Tae Joon through his diverse charms. It already feels like Jang Tae Joon is actually moving around on set. Please look forward to this new transformation from Lee Jung Jae, who will show off his hot performance by fighting fiercely on the edge of the law and good will.”


“Advisor” is slated to premiere in June as the follow-up project to “Beautiful World.”


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May 27, 2019


Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae Consider "Deliver Us From Evil"


Source: NoCutNews via HanCinema.net




Will the 6 year reunion since "The New World" happen? Actors Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae are currently considering the same piece of work.

Star news announced on the 20th that Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae are currently set on being in "Deliver Us From Evil" and are adjusting the details. The actors' agencies have clarified that they are currently reviewing their respective offers.


If they do star in "Deliver Us From Evil", this will be the first time they reunite in 6 years since "The New World", in which they played Jeong Cheong and Lee Ja-seong.


"Deliver Us From Evil" is an action movie about the desperate struggle of a man who is about to lose everything he wants to keep safe from the last contract killing.


It is the latest by director Hong Won-chan who dramatized "The Chaser", "The Scam" and "The Yellow Sea", was awarded the 2015 Busan Film Critics' Awards Rookie Producer of the Year award, and was officially invited to the 68th Cannes International Film Festival Midnight Screening.

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October 3, 2019


HWANG Jung-min and LEE Jung-jae to DELIVER US FROM EVIL
PARK Jung-min and CHOI Hee-seo also Cast for New Action-Drama from OFFICE Director


by Pierce Conran KOFIC




Stars HWANG Jung-min, LEE Jung-jae, PARK Jung-min and CHOI Hee-seo have lined up to appear in the upcoming action-drama Deliver Us from Evil (translated title). The film is the latest from Office (2015) director HONG Won-chan and kicked off production on September 13.


Deliver Us from Evil follows a man whose life is turned upside down because of a final contract killing that must be performed. HWANG Jung-min of Veteran (2015) and The Battleship Island (2017) and LEE Jung-jae of The Thieves (2012) and Assassination (2015) will lead the cast. Also starring in the film will be PARK Jung-min of Tazza: One Eyed Jack and CHOI Hee-seo, who made waves in LEE Joon-ik’s Japanese Colonial Era resistance drama Anarchist from the colony (2017), for which she earned several Best New Actress prizes from local industry awards.


HWANG and LEE memorably shared the sacred before in the hit gangster saga New World (2013). Earlier this year, HWANG and PARK also appeared together in the occult thriller SVAHA : THE SIXTH FINGER.


Director HONG debuted as a director with the twisty thriller Office, which premiered in the ‘Midnight Screenings’ section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. Prior to that, he had a hand in scripting several major Korean thrillers, including NA Hong-jin’s The Chaser (2008) and The Yellow Sea (2010) and JUNG Byung-gil’s Confession of Murder (2012).


Also announced to be joining the film are cinematographer HONG Kyeong-pyo (PARASITE), production designer CHO Hwa-sung (Inside Men, 2015), composer Mowg (The Age of Shadows, 2016), costume designer CHAE Gyeong-hwa (1987: When the Day Comes, 2017) and makeup and hair specialist SON Eun-joo (The King, 2017). Production will take place both in Korea and Thailand.


Hive Media Corp, known for The Last Princess (2016), GONJIAM: Haunted Asylum (2018) and The Drug King (2018) is producing the title, which will be distributed by CJ Entertainment.

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October 8, 2019


CGV to Screen Classic South Korean Films Through October 27th.


Source: HanCinema.net




In recognition of the one hundreth anniversary of South Korea's film industry, CGV will be running screenings from October 14th to October 27th of various classic South Korean films. However, the films in question will skew toward more recent releases, namely major box office performers of recent years, and some of the more well-known titles from the Hallyu Wave period of the late nineties and early two thousands.


The box office section will feature "Haeundae", "The Thieves", "Miracle in Cell No.7", "The Admiral: Roaring Currents", "Veteran", "Train to Busan", "A Taxi Driver", "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds", and "Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days". The melodrama section will include "The Contact", "Christmas in August", "Bungee Jumping of their Own", and "The Classic". The manly section will include "The Big Swindle", "The New World", "The Unjust", and "Inside Men".


Tickets for these movies will only cost six thousand won, half the price of a full priced ticket. Showtimes can be confirmed on CGV's homepage, and free tickets for regular movies will also be handed out to participants in the promotion.


Written by William Schwatz

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November 2, 2019


2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Betye Saar And Alfonso Cuarón Presented By Gucci - Inside


Source: Zimbio.com


2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Betye Saar And Alfonso Cuarón Presented By Gucci - Inside

(L-R) Guests, Se- Ryung lim, Eva Chow, wearing Gucci, Lee Byung-hun and Lee Jung-jae attend the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

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November 20, 2019


typewriter.gif 18 Seasoned K-Drama Actors Who Always Give Us Butterflies


Source: Soompi by binahearts


We have all been through it. You watch a series or catch a glimpse of an actor who makes your heart flutter and when you look up their age, you’re surprised to see how much older they are. This doesn’t take away from the fact that they are totally swoon-worthy and it makes it all the more exciting when you can look up the long history of K-dramas and movies that they may have starred in throughout their life. Win! Here’s a look at 18 K-drama actors who are a bit older and still manage to give us butterflies.


Disclaimer: The actors on this list are above 40 years old. Also, this list is in no particular order.


searchdoc.gifLee Jung Jae

For as long as anyone can remember, Lee Jung Jae has always been a heartthrob. It all started once upon a time when he acted as a loyal and love-struck bodyguard in “Sandglass.” Things haven’t been the same since.


Check him out in this interview from last year:


That smile, though!


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November 30, 2019


November Movie Star Brand Reputation Rankings Announced


Source: Soompi by E. Cha



November Movie Star Brand Reputation Rankings Announced


The Korean Business Research Institute has revealed this month’s brand reputation rankings for film actors!


The rankings were determined through an analysis of the consumer participation, media coverage, interaction, and community awareness indexes of 50 popular movie stars, using big data collected from October 29 to November 30.


Lee Young Ae, the star of the new crime thriller “Bring Me Home,” topped this month’s list with a brand reputation index of 8,046,382. High-ranking phrases in the actress’s keyword analysis included “Bring Me Home,” “age,” and “mom,” while her highest-ranking related terms included “return” and “appear.”


Gong Yoo took second place in the rankings with a brand reputation index of 5,276,458, while Kim Eung Soo followed in third place with a total index of 4,502,991.


Actress Gong Hyo Jin came in at a close fourth with a brand reputation index of 4,309,452, while Lee Jung Jae rounded out the top five with a score of 4,302,448 for November.


Check out this month’s top 30 below!


1. Lee Young Ae
2. Gong Yoo
3. Kim Eung Soo
4. Gong Hyo Jin
5. Lee Jung Jae
6. Jo Yeo Jeong
7. Honey Lee
8. Kwon Sang Woo
9. Lee Byung Hun
10. Ma Dong Seok
11. Jo Jin Woong
12. Moon So Ri
13. Ha Jung Woo
14. Kim Hye Soo
15. Yoo Jae Myung
16. Heo Sung Tae
17. Oh Jung Se
18. Park Seo Joon
19. Moon Geun Young
20. Hyun Bin
21. Yoon Kye Sang
22. Jeon Hye Jin
23. Kim Hee Ae
24. Lee Sun Gyun
25. Jang Hyuk
26. Son Ye Jin
27. Ryu Jun Yeol
28. Jang Dong Gun
29. Kim Hee Won
30. Kim Nam Gil

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  • Go Seung Ji changed the title to Lee Jung Jae 이정재 - [Movie: Deliver Us From Evil]
  • Helena changed the title to Lee Jung-Jae 이정재

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