Catching up with Lee Min HoBy Angela V. Ignacio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In a few days, Lee Min Ho will again be breathing the same air as his Pinoy admirers. Cue high-pitched shrieks of delight.
The handsome hallyu superstar, who just turned 26 last weekend, was in town in late 2012 as the new Bench endorser, where he got up close and personal with thousands of swooning Minoz at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Due to insistent public demand, he returns to Manila to serenade—yes, he sings, too—his Filipino fans in his first-ever concert on July 6 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
He has just embarked on a world tour for his new album, “My Everything,” which will take him to 10 cities across Asia and the United States. Initially recorded as a token for his fans to commemorate his seventh year in show biz, the album became such a huge hit that it even topped the Oricon charts in Japan soon after its release, making him the first South Korean actor to land that distinction.
Lee shot to fame in 2009 when he played fearless F4 ringleader Gu Jun Pyo in “Boys Over Flowers,” the Korean live-action adaptation of the popular manga series. He landed other meaty TV roles, starring as ambitious architect Jeon Jin-ho in 2010’s “Perfect Match,” the brooding titular antihero in 2011’s “City Hunter,” and the dashing, long-haired warrior Choi Young in last year’s period drama, “Faith.”
His album “My Everything” contains seven sweet pop ballads, including a re-recording of the piano-driven title song that he originally sang in the “BOF” soundtrack.
In an exclusive e-mail interview, Super picks Lee’s brains about his new album, his coming drama show and what he misses most about the Philippines.
What were your most memorable moments from your first trip to the Philippines?
I was very surprised at how fans in the Philippines welcomed me with a great amount of love when I visited for the Bench promotion. The love that fans gave me always motivates me and made me think how much I want to visit the Philippines again. Some of the memorable things are the smiles and kindness of all the fans and staff while I was in the Philippines.
I heard you ate adobo and loved it. Anything else you’d like to try when you come back to Manila? How about places to visit?
I have tried many kinds of food, but it’s so hot these days so I remember mango juice. I have heard that there are so many beautiful islands [apart from] Cebu and Boracay, so if I have the chance I’d like to visit an unknown island.
You’ve begun your world tour, right? How’s the reception so far?
This is the first album I’ve released and I think it showed new sides of me. The reception from fans was amazing and they keep sending me messages to encourage me. After all, I am very happy to be able to talk to fans with all my heart.
Does the album’s success surprise you?
I was so surprised. I felt like I should keep doing my best not to disappoint my fans who send love and encouragement. As I saw more fans while touring the world, I thought releasing an album was a great idea. I am very touched.
Which song on the album is closest to your heart and why?
I like “Jogak (Pieces).” It’s the song that everyone can sing along to, and it really shows my full emotion.
You have a new TV project coming up. Can you tell us what it’s about?
The new SBS TV show “Heirs” that is going to be aired this year is a teen romance drama. For this show, I am going to be working with director Kang Shinhyo and writer Kim Eunsook. I star as a character named Kim Tan.
What sort of character will you be playing this time?
Last time in “Faith,” I played a general during the Koryo Dynasty. This time, I also go back to the past and will be acting as a high school student. I can’t reveal too much yet, but you will be able to check out the show soon!
What’s it like to be paired again with Park Shin Hye?
I worked with her for a TV commercial a few years ago. This is my first time to do [a TV show] with her. The female leads that I’ve worked with were always older than me, but since she is younger than me, it feels somewhat different and new.
You lead a pretty hectic life. What do you do to unwind or de-stress?
I sleep a lot to de-stress. It makes me feel better … 10 minutes is OK. And I like playing [video] games, as you guys know.
Which ones are your favorites?
I play new games when they come out, so it’s hard to pick. I’m playing a social game in my cell phone these days.
If I challenge you to a round of “Tekken,” do you think your gaming skills could handle it?
I haven’t tried Tekken yet. Maybe I can win after having enough time to practice.
Lastly, any messages to your Filipino fans?
Hello, fans in the Philippines, I am Lee Min Ho. How have you all been doing? I am visiting Manila again to have an amazing time with you all. I will be seeing you on July 6 as a part of the global tour. I am so excited to see you all soon. Please take care till the day I get to see you!
“Lee Min Ho: My Everything Global Tour in Manila” is presented by Bench, in cooperation with Globe Prepaid, LINE, Bench Fix and Oishi. Tickets are available at SM Tickets via 4702222 or www.smtickets.com.