(left to right) Lee Sang-yoon, Yang Se-hyeong, Lee Seung-gi, Yook Sung-jae at the press conference for ‘Master in the House’ / Photograph = Reporter Jo Joon-won @wizard333

Lee Seung-gi, Lee Sang-yoon, Yang Se-hyeong, and Yook Sung-jae. These four men, who couldn’t be any more different, have come together for the new SBS variety show, Master in the House.

Master in the House is a program about four young men with doubts and questions about life who go looking for an eccentric “master” on their own path. As they cohabitate with each other according to the master’s lifestyle, the four men find wisdom and insight. With it being the first variety show featuring Lee Seung-gi after being discharged from the military, the ratings for the first episode of Master in the House hit 10.4% (based on Nielsen ratings for the whole country) and drew a great deal of interest.

The press conference with the cast of Master in the House took place on the 13th floor of Mokdong SBS in Yangcheon-gu, Seoul on the 5th. Producer Lee Se-young, Lee Seung-gi, Lee Sang-yoon, Yang Se-hyeong, and Yook Sung-jae were all in attendance.

When explaining what led to the casting of these four particular men, the show’s producer Lee Se-young said, “Our starting point for the concept of this show was the following statement: All young people have a question they’re looking for an answer to. We ended up casting entertainers that are working hard and doing well in their respective fields, but we thought ‘surely they have question marks in their lives, too.’”

A number of variety show producers are keeping a close eye on what projects Lee Seung-gi becomes involved in after coming out of the military. “The concept we had for the program was in line with the things that were on Lee Seung-gi’s mind at the time,” said Producer Lee. “He said that he had questions about resuming work after leaving the military. He came on board saying that other people in the military think about the same thing a lot.”

Lee Seung-gi said, I watched a lot of variety shows while I was in the military. It seems like there are now a variety of ways in which these shows make people laugh. There are shows that require in-depth observation; I enjoyed watching simple stories and I related to them too.” He went on to say, I thought a lot about what kind of variety shows I would do once I got out. This is when I got offered to be in Master in the House.”

“With this being my first time doing an observational variety show, I wasn’t familiar with it at first. As I was shooting the show, I thought, ‘How is this going to be aired?’” said Lee Seung-gi. “After I saw the first episode, I thought, ‘So this is how the things I’ve done are going to be broadcasted.’ I think that each person’s individual qualities will come out gradually.” Lee Seung-gi declined to answer questions about the tvN TV drama A Korean Odyssey, which is currently mired in controversy.  

Another thing to keep an eye out for in this program is the performance of Lee Sang-yoon, who has almost zero experience when it comes to variety shows. He caught a lot of people’s attention after speaking seriously about Albert Einstein in the first episode. According to Producer Lee, Lee Sang-yoon was the member that the show spent the most time during the casting process.

“I’ve recently started to feel like something is lacking when it comes to my acting,” said Lee Sang-yoon. “I wanted to develop myself and learn more about the world. Right around that time, I got contacted for the show. I decided to do it because I wanted to meet a variety of people, not so much because it’s a variety show.” Lee Seung-gi made everyone laugh when he said in response, “Thank you for choosing us in order to learn more about the world.”

Yook Sung-jae – the youngest member of the cast who also has a bromance-like chemistry with Lee Seung-gi – revealed that he would be taking a bit of a break after injuring his lower back recently. He explained, “I’ve improved a lot. I think I’ll be completely fine in a little while.”

When talking about his chemistry with Lee Seung-gi while working on the variety show, Yook Sung-jae said, “I think our styles are really different. He  keeps talking about his time in the military, so I just sit back and listen; unable to relate. I just listen thinking, ‘there must be something I can learn from this,’ but I do wonder if I could possibly learn more about him if he stopped talking about the military.”

Yang Se-hyeong is staying true to his role as the program’s “laughter sheriff.” The show is flavored with just the right amount of ad-libs to prevent it from feeling like a serious documentary. Yang Se-hyeong said, “I’m learning how to do shows like this as I go along, so there’s a lot that I don’t know. But I feel it’s most interesting to see someone’s true personality, so I try to emphasize that when I’m doing the show.”

“Since this is the first time that these four people have come together for a project, they’re still green in a lot of respects. But, because of that, we think we’ll be able to show their growth through the show,” said Producer Lee.

Master in the House airs every Sunday at 6:25 p.m.

Translated by Jennifer Earwood