Highlights at Lee Min Ho’s Manila press event: Talks about longevity, showing true self

October 16, 2023 - 4:39 PM
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South Korean superstar Lee Min Ho at a press conference on Oct. 15, 2023 (Noel Orsal/Contributed)

South Korean superstar Lee Min Ho appreciates the energy and enthusiasm of Filipino fans — making every visit to the Philippines for the actor.

Min Ho is currently in the country as an endorser of property developer SM Development Corp., which organized a press conference for the actor on Sunday, October 15. 

READ: Lee Min Ho named endorser of Philippine-based residential real-estate developer

Min Ho — perhaps best known among Filipino viewers for playing Gu jun-pyo in the 2008 Korean drama “Boys Over Flowers” —told local media through an interpreter that he “missed” the energy of fans from the Philippines. It’s been seven years since he last visited the country.

“Of course, whenever I arrive here in the Philippines, it’s such a short period, but I always receive a lot of energy from those Filipino fans,” Min Ho said. 

He added: “And ever since my arrival last night by the airport, as soon as I came down the airplane, a lot of people were waiting for me… there were a lot of fans waiting for me outside the airport.”

During the media event, the 36-year-old actor talked about his upcoming projects, the secret to his longevity and what he looks for in a new project.

Here are the highlights of Lee Min Ho’s press conference:

  • Private island vacation

Min Ho shared that he always has in his “heart the idea of going to a very private island and spending time for myself” whenever he visits the Philippines. Unfortunately, his trips to the country are always brief, so he has not had the chance to fulfill this. “I don’t think I’d be allowed this time,” he said.

  • Wants to visit Cebu

Asked what’s the first thing he would want to do in the Philippines if given the chance, Min Ho reiterated: “I would really love to go on a vacation on a quiet island. He specifically mentioned the “islands” of Cebu, “which are very well and very crowded,” as a place he would want to visit. “I would love to go to a secret island alone and spend time.”

  • ‘Show my true self’

Min Ho remains a superstar with high-profile projects — including the acclaimed 2022 drama “Pachinko,” an Apple TV+ series adapted from the 2017 novel of the same name. He says of his longevity: “Whenever I try to do a new project, I do not try to set a new, separate goal or a specific objective that I want to achieve. But I will always try to show my true self and always do my best through these different projects. And I think that helps me a lot.”

  • Setting his standards

Why are Korean dramas — and Korean media in general — so popular all over the world. Min Ho does want to make any assumptions. “I cannot specifically say why K-drama is so loved internationally because if you are to look into that, you would have to ve very technical:” he explained. But on a personal note, he added that “whenever I would receive a new project, my standards for choosing a new project is first identifying how through this what type of culture I could learn, how we can share this. I really wanna see if this is a really good project through the different standards that I have.”

  • ‘Wonderful projects’

Min Ho noted that the second season of “Pachinko” will be released next year. He is also working on a new Korean drama. He hopes fans will be excited for these “wonderful projects” as “we spent so much time and did our best” working on them.

  • Influential project

He has worked on many popular and acclaimed projects since his breakthrough in Korean entertainment in the early 2000s — including 2011’s “City Hunter,” 2013’s “The Heirs,” and 2020’s “The King: Eternal Monarch,” Which is why Min Ho is surprised when people still call him Gu jun-pyo, his character from Boys Over Flowers. “To think Boys Over Flowers aired… was it 13 years go?” he said. Nonetheless, he thinks it’s amazing how “the project that we did so long ago can be continuously influential to other people and also continuously be remembered by other people.”

READ: A new king: Lee Min-Ho’s comeback series ‘The King: Eternal Monarch’ to stream on Friday

  • On pressure

Min Ho said: “I think the good pressure that I received is really helping me a lot. Whenever I would have different projects, I would go to different fields, work with dozens of people or different staff, also use different resources, it allows me to receive this good pressure and keeps me motivated.” —Chuck Smith