Lee Min Ho wants to show you sides of him you've never seen
Have you been missing Lee Min Ho? Right now he is concentrating on his character in the Korean movie Gangnam Blues. Before the release of the movie, how can we see more of him? Thankfully, he keeps on showing up in interviews, photo shoots and fan meetings. Here is the translation of his full interview with the Korean magazine Star1 in its April edition. Let's appreciate his gorgeous pictures together.
This age is for Lee Min Ho. Lee Min Ho, who took China all the way from Korea, became a celebrity that represents not only Korea but also Asia. Starting with Boys Over Flowers, through Personal Taste, City Hunter and Faith to Heirs. He is one of the best actors in their 20’s who has played various characters from a historical drama to romantic comedy dramas. Particularly Heirs, his recent drama, captured Korea, China and other Asian countries. Which charm of his made it happen? What is his secret to catch women’s hearts all at once? Let’s meet Lee Min Ho who arouses our curiosity.
Q. It was your second time to take a rich high school student role after Boys Over Flowers. Didn't you feel burdened to play a similar characters?
A. The character was totally different than Goo Joon Pyo in BOF. The thing they had in common was that they were born into a rich family. Except that, they had different directions from the beginning. I tried to be Kim Tan in advance of starting to shoot the drama. Tan was a high school student that I tried again after BOF so I was curious and worried about my image when I wore a uniform. However, I decided to take it because I thought that the character was what I could play before getting older.
Q. “Do I like you?” The drama’s lovey-dovey lines are the talk of its viewers. What was it?
A. When I received the script, I could feel it was new. There is a way to confess one’s love like this, we can express our heart with this feeling, why couldn't I think like this? I thought things like that. However, when our staff first read the line, they thought that it was a typing error. (Laughing)
Q. How was working with the writer,Kim Eun Sook, who is famous for being meticulous and detailed?
A. She throws a fast ball. I felt it the very first time I met her. I worked in harmony with a writer who treats people honestly. Every time I got her scripts, I insufferably wondered the ending and foreshadowing of the drama. I thought of her as a person of full capacity, who was more than anyone could imagine.
Q. The scene where Park Shin Hye and you kissed was the talk of drama fans. Weren't you ashamed about it?
A. There were many sweet scenes in Heirs. I thought that I had to express Kim Tan through various scenes filled with kisses and small expression of affection rather than feeling shyness. That was my worry. When I shot a kiss scene in the wine storage, the small place was fully crowded with staff. I remember that their eyes went twinkle twinkle above my head, behind a shelf and a door, so how could I feel….(Laughing)
Q. How was working with Park Shin Hye?
A. We already knew each other because we had made an ad in 2009. Shin Hye is clearly her own boss so her likes and dislikes are clear. She works hard with all her passion. And I was thankful that she treated the co-cast and staff well to let them go easy on her. I love pranks, and she accepted it well, so I was comfortable. It was also a great help for my acting.
Q. You got 5 prizes at SBS Acting Awards through Heirs.
A. It was a great pleasure to me. I wanted the drama to get much love, and its production sites to be places where all staff could consider as a festival so I was excited to receive prizes. It was great to feel that people knew how we worked hard for the drama and that we got recognition from viewers. Especially there were 3 prizes given by fans so it was more special because it made me think that I was such a blessed actor.
Q. There are many cast members who are of the same age as you in Heirs. And you guys received mostly good reviews about your harmony. Are you still close to them?
A. We often contact each other but we are all so busy so we don't meet together except schedules related to the drama. I wish we made time for meeting.
Q. In Heirs, there were many scenes filled with sweet acting and lines. Wasn't that bothersome?
A. It was true that I was unfamiliar with that sweet concept and lines because it was so different from my usual experience. However, Kim Tan, who goes straight for his love, could speak up those lines so I thought that I had to take after him. His unquestioning action, it looked cool to me, to a man.
Q. You are unbelievably popular in China, so much so that they call you a male deity and Chinese celebrities envy you. What is your secret of the popularity?
A. From Boys Over Flowers, City Hunter and to the recent drama Heirs, I have been loved by viewers through these dramas and characters that I took in the dramas. I think that that’s Korean dramas’ power. I have introduced myself for three years through various kinds of media in China, and we became close.
Q. Through the wide spectrum of various genres like a teenage love story, romantic comedy, and action drama, you have taken varied characters. Which acting was most suited to you?
A. I think that there are characters that actors can take for their specific age. For me, it’s time to try a new one rather than finding a role which best fits me. I want to try a new role not to be captured by genres.
Q. It’s a similar question: What kind of characters and drama do you want to try?
A. I really want to play a flappy, jobless character who scuffs his slippers. When I watched Kim Rae Won in Attic Cat, I was thinking that I wanted to try a character like what he played in the future.
Q. You were invited to a Chinese national program Choon Wan as the very first Korean guest. The part you appeared in recorded the highest viewer rating in the whole show. What was your feeling?
A. It was really a new experience. First of all, it was my honor to be invited to the show that represents a country, and it was the first time I sang a song on TV. I sang one of BOF’s OST, Qing Fei De Yi with Yu Cheng Qing, I was nervous and also feeling great about singing the song with Korean lyrics. It was such a big and famous stage, and singing a song with someone made me worry, ’What should I do if I make a mistake?’ However, it was already like that so I thought I would enjoy the stage, and I did.
Q. Is there a difference between when you are active in China and in Korea? How different are their tendencies?
A. I don’t feel any difference. In China, sometimes promotion events are progressed in the open air, and at that time I am often worried about fans getting hurt because of a crowd. I am thankful that the hosts pay attention to the placement of staff and bodyguards. Atmospheres are different when I arrive at airports. However, when I make eye contact with fans, the communication isn't different whenever I am in Korea or China. The feeling that a cultural wall is collapsing? I feel that they support me with deep affections.
Q. You are so busy to come and go around the world over Korea and China even if you had ten bodies. The drama finished. What do you want to do personally?
A. With my movie’s shooting ahead, I am doing schedules that I postponed before. Because of that, I am so busy but I think it’s also happiness given to me now. If I can get personal time while I am working, I want to sleep soundly first. And then I want to go around eating delicious food.
Q. The Korean movie Gangnam Blues starts to shoot soon. It is your first time to take a lead character in a movie, and also it has been awhile since you starred in a movie. Tell me about your attitude and current resolution.
A. I will work with the best director and best staff. I also expect myself to see a virile image that I haven’t showed. It’s a new challenge to me. My goal is to hear, ‘Lee Min Ho has a different side too.’ I will do my best to make good efforts.
Q. You are acclaimed that you are the most desirable actor in his 20’s over other actors. What is the difference between Lee Min Ho the actor and the man, Lee Min Ho?
A. I've never dissociated being an actor in my 20’s from myself. I think I am still making progress on learning things, making myself. Challenging and doing everything intensely in my 20’s is what resembles me. Now, it’s time to think, experience a lot, and complete myself as an actor and a man.
Q. You seem to be perfect from every aspect. Do you think so? If not, there is a hidden side to you?
A. I am usually the same when I am in front of a camera or behind a camera. It might be because I don’t have other schedules except work activity. I am an ordinary next door brother that takes a rest lazily and is happy to be with friends and family.
Q. The flow of news about you seems inexorable on the internet and SNS in China. There were thousands of people gathering at a CF location to see you. When did you feel your popularity in China the most?
A. When I shot the ad, I didn’t know how crowd the place was. After finishing the shoot, I was trying to move but the car couldn't go. I only knew there were so many people after I saw pictures from the day. When Choon Wan offered an appearance, I knew the show was famous and huge but I couldn't feel its influence. But after the appearance, I surely realized it. My feeling became different. It’s not only me but also other Korean stars. Nowadays, I realize the popularity of Hallyu. And now I think I should act responsibly to make Hallyu over the world last as long as possible.
Q. Tell me about your next activity plans.
A. I will dedicate myself to shooting the movie Gangnam Blues in April. I am asking your high interest and expectations.