[Interviews] It’s raining Min-ho.
MANILA, Philippines - As an actor, Lee Min-ho broke out on Philippine TV as Gu Jun-pyo in Boys Over Flowers and Perfect Match. More recently, his fans saw him on City Hunter, in a darker role as a son hell-bent on avenging his father’s death. It’s not the role you’d usually associate Min-ho with. Although his towering six-foot frame can be intimidating, his smile is disarming enough to make you think that you could take him home to your family as your future husband.
He’s in town this week as Bench’s latest Global Benchsetter, joining fellow Koreans Siwon and Donghae of Super Junior, who also visited Manila. With a “Fun Meet” centered as the highlight of his visit, Filipino fans of Min-ho will finally get the chance to get to interact with him and know him more.
Straight from the airport, Min-ho sat down with Supreme and talked about his wardrobe, being a crossover star, and learning the Filipino martial art of arnis.
SUPREME: For City Hunter, you had to learn the Filipino martial art of arnis. How did your training go?
LEE MIN-HO: I trained for two to three months. It was a very fast kind of martial arts where there were a lot of rapid hand movements and it attacks the pressure points [of the body] but so far it seems like the best exercise for me.
What makes you think your TV shows make for a crossover hit across Asia?
First of all, I find it really fascinating and surprising that my work is shown all over Asia and a lot of people can relate to them. There is a language and cultural barrier, but to see that it’s so well loved by everyone makes me very happy. Reversely, I also watch a lot of TV shows from other parts of Asia and I can also feel the happiness and joy that they bring me. So I feel that even if people grow up in different environments, as humans at the core, we all appreciate the same things.
You’re an endorser for a lot of brands around Asia. What made you sign on with Bench?
I thought Bench was a very accessible brand. A lot of people liked it so I thought that since this was my first Philippine project, it would be a good brand to take on first. I also feel that it’s a very global and unique brand so I feel very honored to be part of the Bench family.
One part of being an endorser is seeing your face in billboards, ads, and campaigns. Are you comfortable with that kind of exposure?
I actually saw the huge billboard with my face on it and I felt honored to see that on my first visit here. It made me very happy.
What’s the most common article of clothing in your wardrobe?
I usually prefer dark colored and monotone kind of clothes. Because it’s winter right now [in South Korea], I have a lot of thick clothes in my closet. Usually coats.
Here in the Philippines, a lot of people look up to Korean actors so they also emulate their hairstyles. Do you do anything special to take care of and maintain your hairstyle?
To be very specific about it (laughs), I like to give volume to the sides and the back. It also depends on what I’m working on. It’s usually when I’m in a drama series that I try to change my hair according to the character that I play.
Your work is mostly on TV. Do you ever plan on in making more films?
I’m very much interested in doing movies. I really love watching them. I watch movies more than anything else. But I haven’t encountered a project yet that I really want to do. When I find that project, I’d definitely be presenting that movie to everyone.
What’s the craziest thing that a fan has ever done to you?
I was in the airport and one fan actually pinched my butt (laughs).