Note: Ji-Myung’s (이지명) Final Performance as Billy was in Seoul on February 25, 2011
Debut: August 11, 2010 (Seoul)
Total Performances as Billy: 46.5 (includes 3 partial shows credited @.5)
At 13-years- old, Ji-myung Lee was the only one of the original four Billys with prior experience in musical theater. His resume includes playing Young Simba in the musical The Lion King in 2006 and Young Prince in The Last Empress in 2007 and 2008. Although he had some dance training prior to auditioning, the strengths he brought to the role of Billy Elliot are acting and singing.
His experience in theatre was a big asset for preparing for the role of Billy. In an interview with the magazine Elle, he said “Ballet is a bit difficult for me but acting, hip-hop, acrobatic and tap dancing are fun. The other three boys don’t need my advice or anything, but I sometimes help them out a bit. For example, you need to imagine you are making a parabolic sound when you speak or sing. It would hurt when you just shout it, you know, that kind of thing.”
Here’s a video clip of Ji-myung appearing in The Lion King in 2006:
In addition to being the only Billy who had experience in doing musicals, Ji-myung was also the only one who never had any experience in dancing. However, as he is a fast learner and has always shown a competitive spirit throughout his young life, and in his days preparing to be Billy he made great dance progress with the help of the choreography team. Along with his strong stamina and flexibility, the creative team at the time pointed out his powerful moves as one of his strengths. “No one can beat Ji-myung when it comes to the power he bears,” HunJae Chung, co- choreographer, said during an interview with PlayDB.com. Therefore, the choreographers added more street, hip-hop and acrobatic moves for JiMyung’s ‘Electricity’.
Ji-myung was also considered as the Billy who had the closest image to Jamie Bell’s Billy in the original movie. Co-executive Director JaeHun Hwang said, ” With his age, personality and other things combined, Ji-myung shows the stubborn side which a kid of that age can have.” In addition, Ji-myung is strong at expressing tough and in-depth emotion.
In September of 2010, Ji-myung appeared on a children’s TV program and performed “Electricity”. Here’s a video of that performance: