Shaggy hair and beard, low-pitched voice, and loud hand gestures that pop out during conversation. On the 17th, at a performance hall in Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Lee Gwi-woo (60) had the impression of a theater actor.
However, Mr. Lee is a rookie actor in his second year. His late debut has its own story. Until January 2020, he was a uniformed soldier. His last rank was Army Brigadier General.
If you hear that a general in the reserve who finished his 35-year military service has become a theater actor, you may be puzzled by the gap between the two professions. Nevertheless, Mr. Lee calmly responds, saying, “The stage of life has not changed.”
Army Brigadier General Lee Gwi-woo poses during rehearsal for the play ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’. Courtesy of Lee Gwi-woo, former reserve brigadier general
“Past role was a soldier, current role is an actor”
Mr. Lee said, “It is the same as being faithful to the role then and now,” and said, “If my role was a soldier in the past, now it is like an actor.” Commissioned in 1985 as the 41st class of the Korea Military Academy, he was promoted to brigadier general in 2018 and served as the commander of the 7th Artillery Brigade for two years and finished his military career. The 7th Artillery Brigade is a unit that provides firepower support to the 7th Mobile Corps, which is said to be the ‘strongest in Northeast Asia’.
Lee, who opened a new chapter in his life, is standing on the stage of the play ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’, which will be performed from the 3rd to the 21st. His role is two roles, including Lepidus, who formed the triumvirate in the Roman era, and Dolabella, who served as a consul.
Reserve Army Brigadier General Lee Gwi-woo (center) greets the audience after the performance of the play ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ at Hanseong Art Hall in Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul on the 17th.
It was not easy to find traces of him being a soldier at one time, saying he “chooses acting as his lifelong profession.”
“I am doing my best as an actor. He has already submitted nearly 200 applications to get roles in both movies and plays. He has appeared in 17 independent films and 1 commercial film, and this is the second play after the first one in January last year.”
The actor’s path he chose as his lifelong career “I was determined”
Contemplating a fresh start after being discharged, Mr. Lee was no different from other soldiers. In 2020, he said, “Above all, I wanted to find a job that I could do consistently for the next 30 years or more without a retirement age.” As a result, advisory and research-related jobs related to the military were naturally excluded from the list of new jobs. I tried to learn the technique, but it seemed that I couldn’t last long physically메이저사이트.
“It was difficult to make a decision, so I tried subtracting what was left out, and what was left was ‘art’. Many things in the world inevitably hurt or upset someone, but art is not like that. I thought that was also very attractive.”
Even though he decided to become an actor, he was not without a reckless side. He had never acted as a hobby, and it was difficult to say that he watched more plays or movies than others. It was just to the extent that he felt, ‘I can do that much’ while watching the drama. He said, “In May 2020, I went to an acting academy recklessly and ‘honed’ for a year and three months.”
Like an actor who puts his heart into his role… Human life itself is like smoke
Mr. Lee said that while acting, he was reminding himself of the meaning of ‘sincerity’.
“It is said that actors who are good at acting put their sincerity into their roles. There is a saying that ‘the life on stage is real, but rather the life off stage is a lie’. On the other hand, if you see an actor who says he can’t act, sometimes it’s hard to feel sincerity in his lines.”
When I asked him, ‘Was his 40-year military life, including his cadet days, also acting? If you look at it that way, human life itself is similar to acting.” He said, “I did my military life for 40 years with a script I made, and some of them were general roles.”
Reserve Army Brigadier General Lee Gwi-woo poses after the performance of the play ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ at Hanseong Art Hall in Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul on the 17th.
Mr. Lee said that he also realizes again the need to approach people with sincerity as he runs into the younger generation these days. He said, “I’m cautious over three years since I left the military,” but said, “Most of the problems in the military that occur in relationships were caused by not being sincere with the other person.” His diagnosis is that “Conflicts arise when you keep trying to wrap yourself up by adding lies to the role you play, pretending to understand and trying to judge the other person.”
“It’s something I feel in my life at Daehangno. Seeing that I am also free now, I wonder if the uniform and rank were making noise like objects during my military life.”