Exclusive| Lee Jung-jae on Star Wars role: I tried to understand the mindset of the Jedi

South Korean actor Lee Jung-jae has several firsts prefixed to his name. The actor created cinematic history after his Emmy award win, bagging best actor for Squid Games in 2021, making him the first Korean actor to win the honour. He is now the first Asian actor to play a Jedi Master in the Star Wars universe.

Lee Jung-jae will be seen in Star Wars.
Lee Jung-jae will be seen in Star Wars.

With an illustrious career spanning three decades, it was the 2020 mega-hit Squid Game which propelled Lee Jung Jae to International stardom, and there has been no looking back since. In Disney+Hotstar The Acolyte he is Master Sol, a revered and experienced Jedi Master who embarks on investigating some dark crimes unfolding in the Star Wars galaxy.

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Speaking exclusively to HT City on a Zoom call from Los Angeles, the actor confesses that being part of the Star Wars franchise was nothing short of a dream come true for him. As Master Sol encounters a formidable foe from his past, Leslye Headland’s directorial delves into the inexplicable High Republic era in the Star Wars canon.

“The timeline of the Acolyte begins 100 years before the existing Star Wars stories now. I tried to understand the mindset of the Jedi. What did they think, and feel within this context? Leslye Headland the director and I had countless discussions about the story, and I was impressed with her vivid imagination. She explained the connectivity between all these characters over time. Though crafting the character of Sol was not easy, it was an extremely gratifying experience for me as an actor.”

Also Read: Squid Game season 2 first look: Lee Jung-jae returns as angry Seong Gi-hun, threatens mysterious caller

Lee Jung-Jae — who shot to fame as the stoic bodyguard in Sandglass ( 1995) received accolades for his performance as the man who falls in love with his fiance’s sister. The Affair( 1998). Having showcased his versatility across hits such as Deliver Us From Evil ( 2020) Hunt (2022) says it’s the most thriving time for him as an actor.

“As an actor one does not always get to choose our roles, rather we are selected. I had always hoped that a good part would come my way. What is of prime importance for me is to showcase my versatility and the ability to perform different characters in various genres as well as reflect varied emotions. I am very grateful I got to play Master Sol at this moment in time and I think my past experiences as an actor have helped me get this part. My endeavor is to constantly push myself, and I hope the Acolyte leads me to garner greater opportunities in time.”

Lee Jung Jae will soon return to screens in Season 2 of Squid Game. As fans await to see what bloody and thrilling challenges await his character Seong Gi-hun, famously known as Player 456, the actor remains tight-lipped saying fans can expect a thrilling show with several plot twists.

“There are several new characters and will be a riveting show.”

As we wrap up our conversation, one can’t help but ask him if he has any commonalities with his Master Sol, who is described as a calm yet forbidding force.

“We both love peace for sure. I hate arguments and confrontations and try to live in harmony with others. I think there has to be a minimum of respect between individuals. It is my effort to avoid making things difficult or uncomfortable for others, Sol is very righteous and has a standard of morality, and I believe I do too”, he says with a smile.

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