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[SBS Entertainment News |

(Cannes = France) Reporter Ji-hye Kim] Actor Lee Jung-jae revealed the intense production period of his directorial debut 'The Hunt', which he completed while suffering close to childbirth.

On the morning of the 21st, Lee Jung-jae met at the interview room of the Cannes Pal de Festival held at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in France and talked about the past four years of being obsessed with 'The Hunt'.

It was through director Han Jae-rim that Lee Jung-jae met 'The Hunt'.

The two have worked together in the past through 'contemplation'.

The original title of 'Hunt' was 'Namsan'.

The so-called 'Namsan Project' was started four years ago by director Han Jae-rim and Lee Jung-jae, but it drifted due to various practical difficulties.

The reason this charming work was completed into a movie and reached the Cannes Film Festival was because of director and co-producer Lee Jung-jae's persistence and persistence.

"It was while filming the movie 'Incheon Landing Operation' (2016). Director Han Jae-rim asked one day, "Senior, do you like spy movies?" At that time, I was informed that there was a scenario called ‘Namsan’.

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As the time to purchase the rights approached, Lee Jung-jae asked director Han Jae-rim, "I'm looking for the owner of the script for 'Namsan', can I buy it?"

These words also meant that director Han Jae-rim had plans to make a film.

Director Han Jae-rim said that although the story material is interesting, it is difficult to solve commercially.

Lee Jung-jae said, "From my point of view, if the scenario is well developed (commercially) there would be potential. A director expressed his displeasure, so he said, 'I'll fix it well' and bought the rights. I had no idea,” he said.

After purchasing the copyright, Lee Jung-jae visited director Jung Ji-woo, who made 'Wisdom Teeth' and 'Yooyeol's Music Album', and suggested directing it.

Lee Jung-jae said, "I asked for director Jung Ji-woo because I thought he would fix the screenplay well. But with a budget like this, the story should be focused on attractions, but he said that it would not fit with the wandering of the movie he had made. In the process, he met director Han Jae-rim again and complained, 'I bought (copyright) because of you, and my head hurts.' So one director said, 'Let's do it together.' I received the final answer. At that time, I was also at a loss. So I ended up writing the screenplay."

Although Lee Jung-jae is a veteran actor with 29 years of acting experience, he has never been interested in directing.

He never learned how to direct or write a screenplay.

It was close to a reckless challenge for him to adapt a screenplay that many directors expressed disapproval of.

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Regarding the reason for starting the reckless challenge of 'directing' at the time, he replied, "I started writing because it hurts my pride to give up, and if I don't write the (scenario), I'll have to write the country."

He also introduced a small happening, saying, "I've never written a screenplay, and I'm not used to using a computer, so I blew up what I had written several times in the beginning and repeated Kamurachigo."

The process of writing the screenplay was not easy even as time piled up.

Lee Jung-jae said, "When I'm nervous, my stomach swells. To experience such pain, I asked myself, 'Why do I have to use this?'

It was 'self-esteem' and 'responsibility' that ignited the spirit of challenge.

The project, which started with two minds, was followed by ▲ finding a topic ▲ character building ▲ plotting like any other director’s script writing process.

"The first homework assignment was 'finding a subject'. The theme of the first draft did not suit me. Also, the one-top film of Pyeongho seemed insufficient to be solved as a commercial film. As it is a spy film, there is no choice but to spend a lot of money to produce it. I thought that we should go with two-top and three-top movies. To go to a two-top film of Pyeongho and Jeongdo, there had to be a strong cause for the two main characters to move. It seemed to be connected to the theme consciousness by creating their cause."

As a result of long consideration, director Lee Jung-jae finished with a character drama in which Park Pyong-ho, who worked for the Ministry of Secrecy for 13 years with a mission and conviction, and Kim Jeong-do, who had just joined the military after serving in the Ministry of Security and Security, doubt each other in the process of searching for spies in the organization and then face conflict. did.

Through this, Lee Jung-jae wanted to tell a story about the tragedy and catastrophe caused by false beliefs.

Throughout the interview, detailed explanations about the characters of Park Pyung-ho and Kim Jeong-do were added, as well as the magic mirror scene in the interrogation room, which functions as a symbol, and the direction of the ending explosion scene.

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“Pyeongho and Jeongdo are different from their origins. However, they share the same mindset. Through the magic mirror scene in the interrogation room, we tried to show the two characters’ different but same sides. Pyeongho and Jeongdo are talking through the magic mirror, but I wanted to direct it so that it seems as if he was talking to


Lee Jung-jae responded by waving his hand, saying, "There is no such thing. I want to work harder as an actor."

The reason he waved his hands so much was because the directing process was more difficult and painful than he had imagined.

Lee Jung-jae, who wrote the screenplay while enduring the pain in the stomach, said, "There is a point that becomes the turning point of the play due to certain information, but the scenario did not solve it well, so I ran into a limit. “Are you writing while working?” So there were times when I gave up writing a screenplay. Then, about a month later, I turned on the computer again. The process was repeated and written line by line, and I edited the lines until the filming was over. I went and finished the film,” he said.

When asked about the evaluation of the foreign press, which he enjoyed the most after the official screening of the Cannes Film Festival, Lee Jung-jae mentioned an interview with a French reporter and said, "'Are we talking about not having a dispute based on false beliefs?'

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He also mentioned the official screening of Midnight Screening on the 19th, which was held in the hot topic and spotlight.

In particular, recalling the 7-minute standing ovation, he smiled broadly, "I've never received such a long applause in my life. I was embarrassed and embarrassed, but I was grateful and grateful to the audience."

Lee Jung-jae, who had a successful directorial ceremony in Cannes, will meet with the audience in Korea in August.

Unlike Cannes, where you could only feel the evaluation of the work and the reaction to the movie, in Korea, you will be faced with the numerical result of box office success, so the pressure as a director must be considerable.

Lee Jung-jae expressed his anticipation for the recent thaw season with 'With Corona' and 'Endemic' and said, "While I was here, I heard about the success of 'Crime City 2' in Korea. A good sign that the audience is looking for the theater again. I don't think so. Not only 'The Hunt' but also many other good movies are released this summer, so I'm looking forward to the summer too."

'The Hunt', in which you can see Lee Jung-jae, who is active as a director and actor, will be released in domestic theaters in August.

(SBS Entertainment News reporter Kim Ji-hye)