Sunday, October 28, 2012

[Interview] Lee Min Ho-His Own Style Icon (by The Philippines Star)

He turned 25 on the day of the shoot. And as Korean actor Lee Min Ho blew out the candle of the birthday cake local retail giant Bench gave him, we saw a glimpse of the artist as a young man, his personal-public intersecting for a blow’s worth of a few minutes. He smiled easily, laughed with his team. And that was it, the actor engulfed by a flurry of handlers and stylists preparing him for the next shot.

We had traveled more than a thousand miles from Manila to Seoul, Korea, where the photo shoot of Bench’s latest foreign endorser would take place. And for the uninitiated, someone who’s not into the whole Korean craze like me, it was an eye-opener. The Lee Min Ho entourage is a well-oiled machine, one that knows how to protect its best asset. We were told that a) he would not answer personal questions and b) we would only have 10 minutes with him each. But you get it. Lee Min Ho is one of his country’s biggest stars, an actor with so much crossover appeal, he’s crossed over all the way to the Philippines. While Boys Over Flowers is the project he’s most remembered for, he’s also had similar success with headier fare like City Hunter and the drama Faith.

At the shoot, he seemed a sensible fit for Bench. He had an easygoing way about him and an easy smile even when he was surrounded by an army of handlers — perfect for a brand that’s going on 25 itself but has always maintained its humor and relatability.

YOUNG STAR: Your Boys Over Flowers series has a big following in the Philippines. Why do you think Filipinos respond so much to Korean culture?
LEE MIN HO: I don’t think Boys Over Flowers is actually representative of Korean culture. But I do think that it has a side that attracts females. It touches females’ emotions. That’s the common charm Boys Over Flowers has, towards the female viewers.

Do you enjoy doing projects like that?
I think being in a TV show about romantic relationships is something that can be fun, the drama. And then of course, even from the reality, there’s freedom on the show. That’s the enjoyable part.

So what made you sign up with Bench? I’m sure you don’t just sign up with anyone. What about this particular brand?
When I saw the offer from the Philippines, I saw that it’s an international brand. And when I saw the clothing today, I saw that it could be widely loved. It has a youthful feeling and it’s very casual. I think a lot of my fans would really enjoy it.

How would you describe your personal style?
I prefer clothing that has darker colors, a lot of neutrals. I like things that are comfortable and clean, really casual.

What about Bench makes sense with your style?
Well, especially the cardigans that are dark in colors, those are really the ones I personally prefer. Some of the colorful clothing too, actually. Those are things I don’t usually wear in real life, like the colored jeans, but as I was trying them on, I found it pretty fun and enjoyable.

So which of the items were your favorites? If you could recommend a piece to the fans, which especially?
The cardigan that I’m wearing right now, actually. All the cardigans they provided actually, I really like. The colored pants, the colorful jeans I would recommend to my fans.

Do you have style icons? Are there particular people you look up to?
I’m not the type of a person who looks at somebody and thinks, “Oh, that looks good.” I usually try things and see if it looks good on me. I don’t have a style icon.

Now you’ve been going into more serious roles in projects like The Faith. Can you tell us about the show?
The basic plot of the show is I’m from the past and from the Korean dynasty. He comes to the prison and kidnaps one of the talented doctors. The plot’s going to revolve around that so it’s going to be action-packed and, of course, some romance.

What other roles do you look forward to playing?
There’s no particular role I want to play in the future but anytime I receive a script, I try to see if the character’s attractive or someone I would personally wanna play. If I think I can be good at it, then I’ll work on the project.

credit : The Philippines Star via

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