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[Herald Interview] Lee Min-jung wants to deliver heartwarming, universal message through ‘Switch’

Jan. 3, 2023 - 17:41 By Kim Da-sol
Actor Lee Min-jung (Lotte Entertainment)

Eleven years after playing an idol singer-turned-radio DJ in rom-com “Love On-air,” actor Lee Min-jung returns to the big screen, this time as a devoted and loving wife.

In “Switch,” which hits theaters Wednesday, Lee plays Soo-hyun who suddenly has to financially support her husband and A-list actor Park Kang (Kwon Sang-woo) gets in a taxi on Christmas Day and wakes up the next day as his manager, Joo Yoon (Oh Jung-se).

“I think I’m 80 percent like Soo-hyun, but I’m sure that Soo-hyun is nicer as she does part time jobs to support her husband,” Lee joked during an interview on Dec. 29.

When asked why it took so long for her to return to the screen, Lee said she had wanted to do a film that can leave a long-lasting, heartwarming message.

“I looked for a film that contains a message which audiences can emphasize with. When I read the scenario of this movie, I thought it was a very classical comedy with a relatable storyline that can be easily watched,” Lee said.

She added that it is not an easy choice for her to work in films as filming lasts longer than other projects such as TV dramas.

“For me, a movie is like an old book, something that I can keep in my collection and watch again after 10 or 20 years,” she said.

“Simply put, I also really enjoyed the script of this movie and liked the cast lineup.”

Kwon, who stars as Lee’s husband, and Lee’s real-life husband, actor Lee Byeong-hun are close friends.

“Because we have a close relationship with Kwon, I think it helped me to show a more personal side of myself, very free and easy, which is similar to character Soo-hyun. Not only that, director Ma Dae-yun was very open to actors’ improvisations or ad-libs, which is just fun while working on comedy film,” she explained.

Ma and Kwon previously worked together in “The Accidental Detective” (2015), a comedy-action flick.

Like any relatable family comedy film, “Switch” asks What is happiness? What will you do with your loved ones if you cannot see them again?

Lee said just by looking at the poster, audience would notice the familiar storyline, but that was why she chose the film.

“Switch” (Lotte Entertainment)

“Many people have already told me that the movie is too cliche but that’s what I most liked about this movie. People don’t eat kimchi jjigae because they do not know what it tastes like but because want to eat it every day because it’s good. I think a good family comedy is not any different,” said Lee.

“Switch” was inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Mark Twain's “The Prince and the Pauper.”

Lee said she wants to become an actor who does not appear unnatural when playing a character.

“I want to do more films. I personally love classic, heartwarming movies that do not lack humor, but also want to challenge myself shooting a thriller or any other projects that can show different sides of me,” said Lee.