The Korea Herald


[New on the Scene] Lee Shin-young does not want to be defined in acting

By Kim Da-sol

Published : June 19, 2023 - 14:23

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Actor Lee Shin-young (Barunson EA) Actor Lee Shin-young (Barunson EA)

Actor Lee Shin-young, who appeared as third-year medical resident Dong-hwa in the third season of the SBS hit drama “Dr. Romantic” that just finished last week, has kept himself busy in the first half of this year.

In the sports comedy film “Rebound,” which opened in local theaters on April 5, the 25-year-old played a high school basketball genius who leads the underdog team as they approach the final round in the national competition league.

“I don’t really set a specific concept or standard to do a certain way or genre of acting. For me, a priority is to show the world who I am and show versatile sides of myself,” the actor told The Korea Herald in an interview conducted in April.

After starring in the hit TV rom-com “Crash Landing on You” (2019), Lee said he was glad to read the script for “Rebound” because it was rare to see Korean films that focused on youths.

“I was always willing to do a film. Director Jang Hang-joon reached out to me saying that my role, based on the real-life basketball player Cheon Ki-bum, suits me, but that I need to practice basketball. I asked him to give me a chance,” Lee said.

It was his first time playing professional basketball and there were problems that couldn’t be solved through short-term training.

“Actor Ahn Jae-hong, who starred as coach Kang Yang-hyun in the film, noticed my struggles. He encouraged me a lot, saying that I can rely on him just like real players do with their coaches on the court,” he added.

Because it was a film featuring six young, brave high school basketball players, Lee said he was also able to enjoying working on set with fellow actors like Jeong Jin-woon.

“It felt like we went back to high school days. Just standing on the street, going to a cafe after sweating a lot on the court and wearing gym clothes, made us laugh and enjoy every moment,” said Lee, adding that many mistook them for actual athletes when they went to restaurants to eat.

Lee, who first became known with the web drama "Just One Bite" (2018), said he didn't intend on becoming an actor in the beginning.

“I wanted to become a model from when I was young but my height stopped at 180 centimeters, which was not tall enough to become a model. Then my teacher suggested I get into acting, so I also chose my major as acting at university,” Lee said.

He picked actors Son Suk-ku and Koo Gyo-hwan as his role models.

“I hope I can meet them and work on a project together. I love their unique feels. I want to be able to give a positive impact to others like they do,” Lee said.

Actor Lee Shin-young from the film “Rebound” (Barunson EA) Actor Lee Shin-young from the film “Rebound” (Barunson EA)

Actor Lee Shin-young from medical drama “Dr. Romantic” (Forest Entertainment) Actor Lee Shin-young from medical drama “Dr. Romantic” (Forest Entertainment)

The following article is the fourth in a series that introduces Korea’s new and emerging actors and directors. -- Ed.