Super Junior’s Leeteuk is a Workaholic

“I am. An ordinary man of Korea. Behind the profession of a fancy celebrity, there’s only a person who thirsts for love and wants to succeed.”

Super Junior’s leader has taken to the pages of entertainment and lifestyle magazine 1st Look, where he spoke candidly about his workaholic tendencies, revealing a side to himself that the public doesn’t often see.

Although Leeteuk is often seen cracking jokes on TV, Leeteuk takes his role as a representative of Korea seriously.

“There were many negative comments made when we [Super Junior] were called a national team,” said Leeteuk. “Just like athlete Park Ji Sung of Manchester United gives us pride, I’d like for singers spreading pop culture to be seen in a favorable light as well. There are times when celebrities are belittled. I try to act more cautiously at the thought that I am promoting with the brand of Korea attached.”

And despite the negative connotations attached to being a celebrity, Leeteuk revealed that he understands the importance of putting his best foot forward for the public.

Leeteuk shared, “I posted a depressing entry on my mini homepage one day, and a producer whom I work with on my radio program said if you’re a public figure, you have to give off a positive energy at all times. After that, even if I’m going through a difficult time, I only try to show the positive sides of myself.”

Those who are the slightest bit close to Leeteuk also know that his class clown image is not all there is to the Super Junior member. In fact, he hates drinking and playing games, and if he’s not pouring all of his energy into work, he would would rather stay in and surf the web or read.

Leeteuk said, “I feel so empty when I walk out of a bar with my face covered in oil and the smell of cigarettes on my clothes. I wonder, ‘What have I done? Is it okay for me to be living like this?’”

‘Maybe I’m not ready to take it easy,” said Leeteuk. “I’m most comfortable when I’m working.”

According to the interview, Leeteuk couldn’t even make it through a three-day vacation to Saipan with Donghae and their mothers after the New York concert and returned to Korea.

“Even when I was resting, the only thoughts I had were ‘My program should be going on the air right about now. I have to record my part.’ I called my manager to get me an earlier flight saying I needed to go back to Korea to work.”

With seven years of idol star experience under his belt, the Super Junior member, who has learned a thing or two about the industry, had a few words of advice for aspiring celebrities.

“I want to tell those who dream of becoming celebrities that a genius can’t beat someone who tries hard,” said Leeteuk. “After that, I want to say [to them] enjoy yourself while working. They say someone who tries hard can’t beat someone who enjoys oneself” before adding with a laugh, “I like to read books of famous sayings.”

The complete interview and spread featuring Leeteuk can be found in the latest issue of 1st Look magazine.

Reporter : Nancy Lee (
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