25 questions for Korean superstar Lee Min Ho
MANILA, Philippines — Lee Min Ho may be considered a “superstar" for his wild popularity across Asian countries, but the actor-turned-recording artist sees himself as any other average person.
"I think I’m really ordinary. I’m a 27-year-old young man, and as many others out there, I like sports, I like going out to eat something yummy. I’m very normal," he said.
The South Korean actor’s statement came only hours after his arrival in the Philippines caused a stir at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) late Thursday, with hundreds of screaming fans welcoming him for a second time in the country.
Having first visited Manila in November last year for a “meet-and-greet" with his Filipino fans, Lee, this time, is set to perform in his own concert as part of his “My Everything" tour.
To be held at SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday, July 6, the concert is presented by local lifestyle brand Bench, which has Lee as one of its celebrity endorsers.
On Friday, Lee sat down with ABS-CBN News’ Gretchen Fullido and “Bandila" anchor Boy Abunda in separate interviews to relate his experience in the Philippines so far, and why, precisely, he decided to venture into a recording career despite admittedly not being a singer.
Lee, who was last seen on ABS-CBN as the lead star of the action series “City Hunter," also discussed what his fans can expect at his concert, and what’s still ahead from him as an actor.
Question: How does it feel to be back in the Philippines?
Lee, through an interpreter: Last time I was here, I was very, very touched by the fans, so immediately I thought, I wanted to come back. I’m very happy to be back. It hasn’t even been a year, but I’m very happy to be back.
What is it about your Filipino fans that you love the most?
I feel that my Filipino fans are very innocent, very passionate at the same time. When I was here the last time, I saw that, and I really wanted to come back to see that again.
This is your second time in the Philippines. Have you ever tried any Filipino food?
When I was here last time, I tried adobo. That’s the most memorable one. I tried a lot of Filipino food, but I can’t really remember except adobo. So this time, I plan to take my time, enjoy the Filipino dishes and try many other different food as well.
What about vacations? Have you been anywhere else in the Philippines?
No, just Manila. I’ve heard so many good things about the beautiful islands of the Philippines. Last time I was here, people were telling me about Boracay, but not only Boracay. I hear that there are many other beautiful islands, so I plan to go island-hopping very soon.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in music?
I first became popular when I was doing “Boys Over Flowers" about four years ago. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of fan meets. In occasions like this, I would sing once in a while to entertain the fans, and I wanted to… this is not a serious pursuit, to become a singer. This is really more of a gift I wanted to give to the fans. I wanted to sing my own songs and give that as a gift to my fans, and that is what this album is about.
Which song from your album are you dedicating to your Filipino fans?
My song called “Love Motion." It’s a fast dance track, and I feel that the Filipino fans will really like it.
What can we expect from your concert on Saturday?
I will be performing seven songs, four of them are ballads, and three, more upbeat dance tracks. That’s what the fans can expect.
So far, what has been the craziest experience you’ve had on tour?
The first time see my fans stood up during a show, because there’s a song in the album called “Love Motion," it’s a very exciting track. I’ve never seen the fans stand as I perform. So I felt, “Oh my gosh, I actually have the power to make people stand up!" It was really nice for me to experience, to excite my audience.
If you can sing a duet with another singer, who would it be?
My singing isn’t at the level of a singer, so I feel that the professional singers wouldn’t want to have a duet with me! Maybe not with professional singers first. I’ll have to practice, and what I would like to do is pull a fan on the spot during a concert and do a duet with a fan.
How about a Hollywood or Filipino star you’d want to work with?
First of all, I feel there is so much I have to improve as an artist. It doesn’t really matter to me what the nationality of the star is. It’s hard for me to choose, because there are so many talented people out there, and I want to wok with so many of them. But if I had to choose, one that comes to mind, and one that I’m personally a fan of is the part-Filipino singer, Bruno Mars.
As an actor, what is the role that is closest to your heart?
Every project that I do, there is a certain affection that I feel with every character. But if I had to pick one, it would be the character that I played in “City Hunter." That character is very memorable for me, because at the end of that show, there was a scene there where I just kept crying and crying, thinking of my father. That scene is very close to my heart.
After “City Hunter," what is next?
I just finished shooting a period piece called “The God." And then the next one, I’ll be shooting starting next month, is a teen romance TV show called “The Heirs." I play a 19-year-old high school student. This is the first time I’ll be wearing a uniform again after “Boys Over Flowers," so I’m excited, and for the fans as well to see it.
How do you take care of yourself?
I’m actually in preparation for the new show, because I’m going to start shooting soon. I have been working out. It’s not really a diet, but I avoid food I probably shouldn’t eat. Nothing too extreme, but I do work out.
What is your favorite food? Your comfort food?
Sweet or spicy?
Rice or noodles?
Action or drama?
Curly or straight?
Make-up or no make-up?
Acting or singing?
What is the best thing about being Lee Min Ho?
First, it’s fun, because I get to do a lot of new things. I encounter a lot of new experiences, so it’s fun.
If you were to describe your life in one word, what would that be?
This is very hard (laughs). Very hard… “Dream." Because I feel that everyday, something unexpected happens. Everyday, I get to experience something new, so it’s like a dream.
What is the song that best describes Lee Min Ho?
"Almost Paradise." The song is close to my heart because it’s part of the “Boys Over Flowers." I feel like it’s a song that I can use to make an appearance, where I can just pop up, and that song will play.
Who is your everything?
It would be No. 1, the people who make what I do possible, the fans, my family, and the people around me who I care about.
You are in paradise. Who is with you?
This is so hard! (laughs) Alone. I don’t know how big this paradise is, but if I brought everybody who is special to me, it might get crowded. It’s hard to choose.
What’s your message to your Filipino fans who are excited to see you in concert?
Here I am again for the second time in the Philippines. I hope to see everyone there, we’ll have a great time!