Actress Lee Yeon Hee Discusses Leaving SM Entertainment And Her Different Character Images

We can’t wait to see all of the different characters she wants to explore.

Actress Lee Yeon Hee teamed up with Arena Homme Plus for a pictorial and interview. In the interview, the actress talked about leaving SM Entertainment after 20 years.

Leaving SM felt like graduating from school. It was a natural thing and a beautiful parting. I wanted to get new, positive motivation by joining an agency that was dedicated to actors.

—Lee Yeon Hee

In early 2020, Lee Yeon Hee announced her marriage in her fan cafe. She said, “I hope the public sees me as actress Lee Yeon Hee rather than anyone’s wife or someone who has a husband.

Yeon Hee was very timid at the start of her acting career. Many directors cast her for pure roles because of her “first love” image, but she admitted that she wanted to tell them that she has other sides as well.

In SF8: Manshin, Yeon Hee played Toh Sun Ho, a rough and wild character that rode a motorcycle and was very different from any other role she has played.

It’s a tough, noir drama. I liked how the director Roh Deok saw me. She saw my filmography and knew that I want to challenge myself. Other directors would have asked me, ‘You’ve only played innocent characters, will this role be okay?’ But she didn’t look at me like that, so I was happy.

—Lee Yeon Hee

She also discussed her upcoming movie New Year Blues, which tells the story of four couples who must overcome different fears and problems during the beginning of a new year. Her character is Jin Ah, a woman who worked hard all her life but went to Argentina without planning. Lee Yeon Hee shared that she was once like her character.

I’ve been working hard since I was young, but I burnt out in my mid-20s. I did my best, but I was stressed because of the way people perceived me. I wanted to go somewhere no one knew me, so I bought a ticket to Paris without a manager. I really enjoyed it, and I was happy. After that, I went to Paris every year until COVID-19 happened.

—Lee Yeon Hee

At the end of the interview, she expressed her desire to play unique roles, especially those that are different than what she has already done.

I want to play a realistic, everyday character. I think that’s the foundation for growing as an actor. In Chungking Express, Faye works at a fast food restaurant and is really charming but realistic. I want to play someone like her or a rich character who doesn’t care about others.

—Lee Yeon Hee

Source: Arena Homme +