We interview Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Daniel Dae Kim, actors from the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender


Avatar: The Last Airbender | Netflix

Avatar: The Last Airbender It is, without a doubt, a giant franchise. The animated series was released thanks to Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Aaron Ehasz and the chain Nickelodeonand was such a success that it led to other formats, such as comics and graphic novels that continued and expanded the story, a film live action that was not well accepted by the people and, now, in search of redeeming what the renowned director did in 2010 M. Night Shyamalan, Netflix produces another live action, but in series format. under the wing of Albert Kimthe series premiered yesterday, February 22, and all its chapters are now available through the big red N.

We invite you to watch the video interview, or read a transcript of it.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, the new live-action series based on the animated classic, premiered and Noxi (Tomás Pergolini) was able to interview Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Daniel Dae Kim, who play Uncle Iroh and Fire Lord Ozai, respectively, in this new Netflix adaptation.

-Hi guys. My name is Tomas Pergolini. I am representing Infobae and Malditos Nerds.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: -Pleased to meet you.

Daniel Dae Kim: -Pleased to meet you.

—Nice to meet you. It’s an honor, how are you?

Daniel Dae Kim: —It takes a very confident man to wear pink headphones.

—Okay, I accept it.

Daniel Dae Kim: —I applaud it.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: -I love them.

—From now on I am a confident man.

Daniel Dae Kim: -Yes you are.

-Yeah! We have that on camera, right? Well, I have some questions for you guys. First of all, thank you for having me. Thank you so much. My first question is specifically for Paul. Uncle Iroh really is part of the “villains”, but he seems like a very honest person. He has his motivations. What was the process like to find the tone for that specific role?

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: —You know, like everything in the medium, it all starts with the animated series and the fantastic examples that are presented to me there. So that was a foundation, that was the backbone, the plan, if you will. But then we had some really beautiful scripts that were written by Albert Kim and his team of writers, and that really did a lot of the heavy lifting for me as an actor. When you’re given these tools to be successful, it’s great. These raw materials, you’re looking at them, you’re building something with them, and then you add layers after you’ve done your job as an actor and you’ve done your homework, you’re collaborating with directors and producers and then with your co-stars as well and you’re rehearsing. scenes and everything is a very organic collaboration, right?

Because it’s like you’re creating a baby here. And once everything is done and then you add the costumes and the makeup and the hair and then the visual effects on top of that, then you’re really cooking. And so it was really easy, in a sense, to get to the essence of who he really was. Because as Daniel says, every moment, every decision was very thought out with the fans, the original fans in mind. But knowing that we were also doing an adaptation and that we weren’t hired to be, you know, caricatures or just cardboard cutouts or puppets to pretend that we were, you know, just the animated characters. As living human beings, we have to, as artists, bring a little bit of ourselves into that as we make that translation from two-dimensional to three-dimensional.

Avatar: The Last Airbender | Screenshot of the official Netflix trailer

-Thank you. That’s so cool. Daniel, this one is for you. Obviously, you worked on Lost. That’s one of the best series of all time. It’s the series that began as the Golden Age of TV. What’s it like working on a series these days compared to before, and more specifically one that comes from another medium like cartoons?

Daniel Dae Kim: —It is not my first experience, making a live adaptation of a comic or a graphic novel. And I think a lot of entertainment now relies on different intellectual properties and different sources of storytelling. And so, I feel lucky to be able to be a part of giving birth to something like that. Know? It’s nice when you have such good source material that you can exploit it and you can use that as a basis for characterization, you know? It’s harder when you have to search for a character. But when there is something that is there, it is something that you can create, delve into and explore. And that’s what we try to do with our characters.

-How wonderful. This one is for both of you. And it’s a bit of a strange question, but what do you hope people see in both of your characters when they watch Avatar: The Last Airbender?

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: —They are human beings, you know? That’s the most important thing, that we are not two-dimensional characters. Not that animated characters were, but you don’t want to play stark caricatures, right? You want to portray, you know, characters that have real motivations and emotions that are believable or authentic. TRUE? And there’s also that responsibility to the original fans, because you need that familiarity as well. They can’t be so different from the source material that they alienate an entire group of fans.

And so, you know, we have a little bit of that artistic freedom ourselves to play these characters. But at the same time, we really need to be aware and thoughtful about the source material because, you know, Avatar, the animated series, there’s a reason why there are millions of fans behind it, and we’re very protective of that. And it is our job as performers to bring those characters to life, but also to inhabit them in such a way that they are believable characters, that they are human. And I think that just makes the storytelling better.

Daniel Dae Kim: —Yes, no, I totally agree. I think the other thing is that because we’re doing a multi-season show, there are ways we can be similar to the original but also diverge from what the original story or narrative is. And I want to see what happens when we decide to diverge from it a little bit and what the public’s reaction will be to seeing us try to do something different. So I’m excited to see what’s next.

Avatar: The Last Airbender | Screenshot of the official Netflix trailer

-So awesome. This is one of the last questions. This is a really dumb question, but I’m really excited to ask this question. If we were living in a world in the world of Avatar, what element would dominate and why?

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: —I think that, although I am afraid of heights, I would love to be an airbender, right? Just because if you can control the air and you can fly, that’s cool. Because, you know, flying down a hill with your luggage, for example, or going to another country is much better than carrying your luggage up stairs. If you can just climb to the top, it’s much easier.

Daniel Dae Kim: -I agree with that. Who wouldn’t like to fly? But I would add something else. If there was a master of time, that’s what someone who could go back and forward time would want to be, you know? And impose your will on how the clocks work. That would be incredible.

—That would be so, so cool. The last question is, Avatar: The Last Airbender has been so important to so many people and there are so many people waiting for this adaptation. If you could reach out to the fans and say anything, anything you want, what would you say to them who are so excited to see this adaptation of The Last Airbender?

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: —I would say that, you know, I understand the apprehension behind a live-action adaptation for something that is loved, and I know that there have been previous attempts that have not been well received, but I think this adaptation has really hit the nail on the head in terms of to be faithful and pay respect in homage to the source material, but also providing enough twist in terms of new content that original fans will be very, very happy because they will get something they haven’t seen before with the addition of characters a little before the old timelines.

Two slightly different story lines. I think it’s really something for fans to celebrate. It will look familiar to you. You will enjoy it very, very much. And the coolest thing is that it will bring a whole new legion of fans to this beloved franchise. TRUE? And that’s what you want as a true fan. If you love something so much, you want to spread that joy to as many people as you can. And that’s when the fans win, you know, when they’re really, really sharing their love and their passion and spreading it everywhere.

Daniel Dae Kim: —I would just add that, you know, I’ve been a part of shows and projects where fans were disappointed and I recognize that we won’t be able to please each and every Avatar fan. I think it’s more likely. But for those who are interested in watching it and those who really care about this franchise, you do know that there were hundreds, if not thousands of people who were doing everything they could to try to do justice to this story, and they did it carefully and Thought, whether you like it or not, the intentions to do right with the source material were 100%.

-Thanks a lot. You are great. I saw the first episodes and congratulations, they are very good, it’s great. So, thank you for this, thank you very much.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: -Thank you!

Daniel Dae Kim: —Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

-Very much!


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