Someone who has been 15 minutes with Lee Min Ho said that...
SEOUL — He spoke no English at all but through body language and the friendly smile that never left his face throughout the 15 minutes allotted for Funfare, Korean actor Lee Min Ho beautifully made his point even if, I suspected, the interpreter was missing valuable things in the translation.
Smart in Bench, the brand he’s endorsing, Lee Min Ho was turning 25 (born on June 22, 1987) on the day of the Bench pictorial in this city, not showing any sign of wear and tear even if he was posing this way and that way, changing from one Bench shirt to another, the whole day.
“I feel cool and comfortable in Bench,” he volunteered (yes, in Korean). “It’s very casual, easy on the body.”
He blushed a bit when he blew the single candle on the cake given to him by Bench, acknowledging the cheers from the onlookers around him and capped the day with a heartfelt rendition of Happy Birthday.
This much Funfare gathered from that 15-minute close encounter with Lee Min Ho who’s fondly remembered by fans around Asia, the Philippines included, for his performance in the Koreanovela Boys Over Flowers:
• He wanted to be a football player but he forgot about it when he was injured in Grade 5. It was a blessing in disguise because he found his way into showbiz. Accident-prone, his career was temporarily derailed when he and his childhood friend and fellow actor Jung Il Woo sustained serious injuries in a car accident.
• That same day, the Korean newspaper Joongang Daily reported that Lee’s followers online have exceeded the 10-million mark, according to StarHaus (the company that manages Lee Min Ho), with more than 54.4 million followers on Facebook, four million on the Chinese social site Weibo.com, 600,000 on Twitter and 230,000 on the Korean SNS Web site Me2Day. Most of the fans are Chinese. The numbers are multiplying by the hour and must have doubled by this time.
• Yes, Lee Min Ho regularly communicates with his fans via social-networking sites, updating them on his activities and asking them how they are and tells them honestly what’s on his mind (although he keeps private what he thinks is private, that’s why during the interview, the Filipino journalists were reminded not to ask personal questions). “I love playing online games with my fans,” he said.
• In his spare time, he’d rather stay home and keep himself busy with his computer. He follows a strict diet (eats anything but moderately), loves wrestling and skiing and works out in the gym as often as he has time.
Lee Min Ho said that he has visited China several times, plans to visit Maldives and England — “And,” he added, “I’m looking forward to visiting the Philippines. I heard that there are so many big malls there and so many beaches.”