Lee Min Ho Interview: The Man who wants to be a better guy as he grows older



Lee Min Ho is the type of guy that thinks that Love at first sight can be so powerful that can be so blinding when one is not too careful. That kind of love is what Lee Min Ho’s character, Kim Tan, showed and expressed for the SBS drama, “”. He admitted that he somewhat resembles the character, but honestly, he says he has such tendencies when it comes to love. Lee Min Ho’s thought is that, as long as a man is sincere with all his heart, it can be seen through his eyes.

But then we thought, everything can’t be seen just in the eyes because people tend to be very pretentious. We asked Lee Min Ho on what are his sincere thoughts on the different views of love compared to his role as Kim Tan.

Finally, Lee Min Ho decided to grant us a chance to see a glimpse of him in an .

Before taking the role as a high school student for “The Heirs”, Lee Min Ho was actually nervous and worried at first, as he thinks that playing as a high school student at his age won’t be very easy. He even asks himself “Will I be alright?” and answers himself in a loud voice with, “I’ll be just fine!”. Despite all his worries, he successfully portrayed his role as Kim Tan and of course, reporters would like to know more about his thoughts now that the drama successfully ended.  The interview went casual and comfortable which made Lee Min Ho very relaxed.

Q: How have you been after the drama?

LEE MIN HO: I cannot sleep properly for days. I have been experiencing insomnia since the drama ended.


Q: Why can’t you sleep well? After the drama, it seems like you’ve lost much weight.

LEE MIN HO:I actually don’t know why. I have lost about 5kg. But I naturally tend to lose weight while I am playing a role in the drama.

Q: Because of the viewers’ reaction toward the hit drama, “The Heirs” left an impression wherein men were perceived to be like the characters in the drama, what do you think about it?

LEE MIN HO: In the first place, I know that I will be chosen to play the role in the drama. (Laughs) However, now that the drama ended, I often think about Kim Tan’s character and it really was genuine.  All the words that Kim Tan has said to his girlfriend in the drama are very genuine like when Kim Tan said, “Let’s just go straight forward”, and “From now on, I like you. This is sincere.” But in reality, it might actually be really hard for any men to express those thoughts to their girlfriends. But when we think about it, those words should really be expressed by people who have extreme and pure love to their girlfriends or boyfriends.

Q: Actually, your character who shows love for Eunsang is okay, however, Kim Tan who passionately loves his brother is a bit different. don’t you think?

LEE MIN HO: Ah! This is absolutely not my style when it comes to treating my hyungs (laughs). But then if I have a hyung (brother/senior) that I truly like, then maybe I can be something like that. What’s a bit shocking though is when I gave my brother in drama, played by Choi Jin Hyuk, a back hug! (laughs). While shooting this scene, we had a lot of NGs (not good) so we had to re-take over and over again. The hugging since then, became habitual.

Q:  Though the drama has successfully ended, however, there was actually something to worry about at first. Your role in “The Heirs” is almost similar to your role in “Boys over Flowers”. But why did you still take that role? What do you think about it?

LEE MIN HO:Kim Eun Sook, the screenwriter of “The Heirs” told me that I will play a role of a rich Highschooler. I actually thought that I have already played that role in “Boys over Flowers” as Jun Pyo. But then, I believe that Kim Eun Sook is a good screenwriter, so I thought it was “good” and started with the project. Last year, I thought of not accepting any acting projects. But, it has changed. I realized that I want to work more before I reach the age of 30. I thought that it would not be a bad idea showing another high school boy side of myself (in drama “The Heirs”) before my 20s end. I thought, once time goes by, you can’t turn it back. I love this job. And I believe that I can show more skills in this project and I want to learn more. We’ve put a lot of effort in this project and I didn’t have any regrets taking it. By the way, playing a role as a rich person is not unusual to me. Playing a role of a rich person is cool because I can possess a lot of money. (Laughs).


Q: So Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) would rather let EunSang (Park Shin Hye) borrow 50,000 won? (Laughs).

LEE MIN HO: Of course. (Laughs).


Q: The screenwriter, Kim Eun Sook, made a famous character in Kim Tan’s image. How do you think you resemble with Kim Tan’s character?

LEE MIN HO: (Thinking) Can you give me more time to think? (Laughs) Maybe, rivalries?


Q: “I Need Romance” screenwriter, Jung Hyun Jung, had a post on Twitter about your acting ability and praised you. He said that you have acted very well and you were able to express deep sadness in your character and you didn’t seem so nervous while acting on it. As Kim Tan, you have showed deep emotions and grief.  

LEE MIN HO: Kim Tan had deep emotions and pain when he was sent to United States and lived there. Though he lived like a happy-go-lucky guy, he still had sadness deep inside. When he went back to Korea, he thought that the pain would lessen but, there were still a lot of problems. In reality, my high school life is almost the same as Kim Tan’s. I also had problems as well as with the joyful side. That’s why I enjoyed playing his role. It is an advantage to me. But eventually, I think the main feelings and emotions of Kim Tan shouldn’t be missed.

Q: What was the happiest moment you had while in the drama?

LEE MIN HO: It is when I practice surfing before the drama had started. It’s because I really don’t like swimming that much, so surfing had been really fun to do. We practice every day from morning until we get the perfect shot for the scene. In my 27 years of existence, I haven’t experienced surfing. I guess that time was a really good chance for me to try it.

Q: Are you quite good at it now?

LEE MIN HO: So so. I’m not so good at it yet. I’m still practicing. It’s different because I used to practice when I was in the United States at Huntington Beach in California. The waves are different. It’s like great waves in the washing machine. Back in Korea, I practice it at Yangyang beach.


Q: The filming of your next action movie (Yoo Ha’s ) is not yet finished. Are you preparing for it?

LEE MIN HO: We will start filming in March 2014, so I will go to an action school for utmost preparation. Director Yooha wanted to film the last piece of this action trilogy well so I really want to prepare ahead of time. (Not very much worried about injury) as long as I do not injure my face.

Q: What are the significant changes after filming “The Heirs”?

LEE MIN HO: Somehow, I thought of trying to love once again. Even though I would like to have that kind of love that Kim Tan had, I don’t know how to express it. However, while working for this drama, I realized, “Oh that’s how love is.” Our screenwriter, Kim Eun Sook, wants me to express that powerful feeling. That pure and genuine love. Everyone is dreaming for that kind of love. This kind of circumstance can make one nervous but if you continue to view love like this, you wouldn’t want to let it slip. As I grow older, it makes me think “why not take the chance?”


Q: So, are you in love with somebody now?

LEE MIN HO: Nobody.  None. I’m pretty sure of that.  Maybe at around 35, I would like to get married and have the kind of love similar to Kim Tan’s. I think I should meet more people to be able to do this.

Q: So, do you want to start being in love?

LEE MIN HO: I want to experience love at first sight. If I found that person, then I think I want to be in love. Even if I cannot say “I like you” frankly (laughs), it seems like I still can express how much I feel.  Actually, before, I couldn’t easily express my feelings out of embarrassment. And also, to my fans, I cannot express well how much I love them all. But, until this very moment, I am still looking for a way on how to express my feelings. Indeed, in the past, every time I hear such stories, I would always want to avoid it. But now, I can honestly express my feelings and emotions.


Q: Then this time, I will start a conversation as if we are in a drinking session (laughs).

LEE MIN HO: Right! Actually, I cannot really drink too much alcohol right now like champagne, wine or beer. Two to three cups of alcohol is enough to make me tipsy.

Q: If you’re out on a drinking session and one question should be answered, to Lee Min Ho, what is the weight of the crown of being a star?

LEE MINHO: Whenever I meet my fans, there are words that were always memorable to me like “Thank you so much for bringing this drama piece to us.” Before, while I was filming the drama “City hunter”, I’ve realized many things about how some roles are sometimes similar to how real people experience. Especially when I did the drama “The Faith”, I’ve seen a lot of people who loved my character here. So I think, my job as an actor is not just acting or making people entertained, but more on giving hope and courage to people as an actor and by means of the roles I portray. Some things get better with age, the things you were crazy for in your 20s might become something less interesting and happy a couple of years after. For me, the weight of the crown of being a star? It’s living your everyday life simply with freedom but still, always have to consider how I would affect other people’s lives.

Q:  Christmas just ended. How did you spend your Christmas holiday?

LEE MINHO: I spent a lot of time talking to my older sister and some friends of mine. I also called some of my close middle school classmates back then to just catch up. These days, my emotional state is quite stressed, so I would always want to tell myself “Fighting!” and get some 6~7 months rest.

Q:  Well, you are more of the quiet type, right?

LEE MINHO: Well yes I am, but, there are a few times in a year wherein there are days that I want more action and excitement. So then generally, I can’t stay calm and quiet all the time.

Q:  Back when you were in middle school, are all your friends boys?

LEE MINHO: Yes. I never had close friends who are girls because I don’t think such thing as a “close girl friend” exists. There will be always a tendency that you’ll start liking her and end up breaking that friendly relationship. Like with Son Ye Jin noona, we only contact each other two or three times a year.

Q: But then, the love chemistry between you and Park Shin Hye in the drama “The Heirs” was so good. How come that there’s no dating rumor that came out?

LEE MINHO: After filming our intimate kissing scene, we also heard rumors but not about our relationship. The rumors were more on like “There’s nothing much in it.” (kissing scene), and we’re just like “What?!”. (laughs)

Q: Rumors around were saying that the chemistry between you and Park Shin Hye is quite good. But Kim Tan has so much people around him that can build such chemistry too. Like his older brother and his mom. Who do you think you have the best chemistry with?

LEE MINHO: Seong Ryung mom! I think we look the best together. The love between Tan and his mother is very adorable. I can almost compare their chemistry with the one I had with Kim Hee Sun noona. What I mean is like, a baby-like couple? As men grow older, a woman becomes more attractive when she has baby-like features and character. I would like to have someone like that. (Laughs)



Q: How do you differentiate your experience playing a role in “Boys Over Flowers” wherein you were much amateur compared to now?

LEE MINHO: Well, there are several differences of course because in “Boys Over Flowers” when there were just four us, felt like we’re just common friends and we’re very relaxed. Now that I’ve matured, it feels a little different but I am still thankful that the mood between our relationships has gotten better.

Q:  We heard that you’re no longer taking Literature Art classes anymore, is that right?

LEE MINHO:  Yeah, I think it would be the last one, really! Well, except when I feel the need to wear some uniform then.

Q: How do you find working with Kim Woo Bin?

LEE MINHO: At first we have this scene wherein we shall stand face-to-face as two of the most powerful guys in school. We have to make intense eye contacts and by then I thought “I think our love triangle with Eun Sang will work so well.” He was overflowing with energy and charm.

Q: It’s undeniable that your popularity is very huge in China. Don’t you have any plans working overseas?

LEE MINHO: First, I would like to focus on activities within Korea. I’m Korean, after all. I’m receiving so much love overseas so after my local activities, I will definitely consider working more outside Korea.

Q: Finally, for Lee Min Ho, how would you think about acting?

LEE MINHO: I think I’m still working on my confidence. At my age which is over 20, I would like to break something new in terms of the art of acting. I think every actor in the age of their 20s is also still in the process of working on their self-confidence.



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