IS Plus is the media outlet that does interviews outside of the norm, which I always enjoy, whether it’s “drinking interviews” or an “SNS interview” like the following one, which is basically a Twitter interview.
This exchange was conducted between the interviewer and City Hunter’s resident justice-seeking avenging hero Lee Min-ho over a few days earlier this month on me2day, a Korean service that’s pretty close to Twitter in functionality.
Hello, this is Lee Min-ho. This is my first time doing an interview through me2day, so it’s new to me, but that makes it fun. Actually, I was using a different type of SNS [social networking site], but recently I started on me2day. While I was doing this interview, the response from you fans has been good, so I found myself going on me2day whenever I found time while shooting City Hunter. These days, I’m really working hard on shoots. I hope you’ll all love City Hunter, which will allow you to see a variety of appealing sides to Lee Min-ho.
On June 4, 2011
Lee Min-ho-sshi, thank you for chatting with us on me2day.
It’s nice to meet you. This is Lee Min-ho. Starting now, I’ll begin uploading the interview in bits when I have time. Please don’t be confused. ^.^
Are you taking any particular care with your appearance or style for City Hunter?
With my preparations for the role, I started with the appearance of agility and strength. I also worked on fitness with the action scene training. Then, as the story began to unfold, I turned to expressing my character Lee Yoon-sung’s inner emotions and his development, like his loneliness and pain and the dual sides of his personality that he uses to cover that up.
There are a lot of action scenes. How much training did you receive? Are there more difficult stunts to come in the future?
Starting with the basic rolls, I moved on to overall physical training and martial arts, and learned a lot of diverse skills. There are a number of unusual sequences hidden in City Hunter like the “spoon action scene.” Please watch for yourselves in the broadcasts. ^^ The first-run broadcasts!
You shot in Thailand for a while. Did you have any difficulties adjusting to weather or food?
I’ve visited Thailand several times before, and I’ve been treated really well so it’s comfortable. There were some really hot days. The temperatures got up to 37 degrees in the daytime, and we all struggled to adapt to it.
How did it feel to ride an elephant? It didn’t look easy, sitting on one without a saddle.
The elephant was so bit, it took several steps to get high enough to sit on it. The broadcast didn’t show this, but I rode the elephant through a river. It was awesome~ Maybe it felt a bond with me, but it used its trunk to spray something refreshing at me, which is when I first realized it was saliva. -_-
Of your projects so far, what character has the image you like best?
Lee Yoon-sung, who I’m busy filming now. Ah… It’s difficulty to distinguish between them. I’m attached to all of them.
On June 5
I can’t think of any particular incident, but a lot of people talk about me falling at the Baesangs. Whew, I was really startled then. But the photos were fun. Ke. Now, it’s become such a good memory.
When you monitor your past works, do you see a lot of differences between now and your early projects?
I haven’t compared myself to how I was at the beginning of my debut, and I usually monitor my scenes on the set in between shoots, but there are times when my expressions come off differently than I think. It’s like recording your voice, and thinking it doesn’t sound like yourself. When that happens, I check carefully to see if there’s a part that’s gone wrong. It allows you not to get stuck looking at it subjectively.
Do you tend to get deeply into character?
I think so. However, after a drama has finished and I’ve rested and moved on to other work, I’m able to shed that character naturally.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working? I wonder who are the celebrity friends you mix with.
There’s nothing in particular that I do, I watch movies and work out and play games. I also go out to eat with middle school friends or Jung Il-woo or Kim Bum, and also my family.
Most of the actresses you’ve worked with have been noonas (Gu Hye-sun, Sohn Ye-jin, Park Min-young). How well do you work with Park Min-young these days?
Is it because I’m still pretty young? I’ve had a lot of opportunity to work with actors older than me. Actually, I shot a CF with Park Min-young when I was 20. Fortunately there are a people younger than me on the set of City Hunter, so there’s a bright atmosphere.
Who’s the cast member from Boys Before Flowers who you’ve called or been called by most recently?
Kim Bum-sshi. Hehe.
What has Kim Bum said about City Hunter?
We both know the difficulties when doing a drama, so rather than talking a lot about it, we tell each other, “Let’s not get hurt, and do our best till the end.” It’s looking after each other. Those words provide a lot of support.
When are the times when you think to yourself that you’re good-looking?
Before filming, after makeup and preparations are done? Keke. Depending on the situation, I might think I look good, and at other times I think, “You’re so ugly.”
While keeping up a busy daily schedule, do you have your own ways for keeping in shape?
When it’s time to sleep, I sleep well, and when it’s time to eat, I eat well. Ah, and I’m really thankful when the fans send their wishes not just to me but to the staff as well. It’s such a support.
On June 6
If, like in your dramas, a woman showed her interest in you who was the daughter of a president, or from a chaebol family, or from a powerful background, what would you do?
First off, it makes me feel good to have someone of the opposite sex liking me. Keke. But, you have to meet people directly, you know? At first, I think I’d just like it. It would feel like the dramas.
Did you eat a proper meal at the set today? What do you usually eat while you’re on set?
Today, fans sent us snacks so I ate those… Usually I’ll go to a restaurant nearby the filming location. If I find a good restaurant nearby, I’ll zero in on it.
Aside from props, did you buy model guns to practice with?
I did. In the original City Hunter manhwa, the lead, Saeba Ryo, uses a Colt Python .357. I have a few in that class. I also tried shooting practice with targets, but cleaning up the scattered BB’s afterward is a chore. Ke. After that, I went to the shooting range for live ammunition.
Do you like toys?
I like them. I like flying helicopters and driving cars. I’m recalling destroying my manager hyung’s wireless-controlled helicopter. Ke.
For gunfights, the Hong Kong noirs of the ’80s were the best. Have you seen the action movie A Better Tomorrow?
Of course. The A Better Tomorrow series, they call it every man’s fantasy. Ke. I remember buying a toy gun to play with and humming the theme song.
After Boys Before Flowers, have you ever walked on a main street without any problem? Have you used public transportation?
At the time of Boys Before Flowers, it was tough. Afterward, I had gone abroad for overseas promotions, and as I was walking with the staff, a Korean person asked, “Aren’t you Lee Min-ho?” “Why would Lee Min-ho be here?” It was fun, and I remember also feeling strange about it too. These days, I can travel around alone fine. Ke.
When you’re not feeling well, what do you do to recover?
When I’m not feeling well, I don’t talk much, but if I sleep I tend to feel better. While I’m working, there’s nothing I can do about it. I try to think of the positive side, and forget about the bad stuff quickly.
Please tell us how you feel about participating in this me2day talk, and also what your plans are for the future.
Wow, I’m more tense than when talking in person. Seeing what I’ve written, I feel really awkward. Keke. I thought I’d be able to do it easily, but it turns out I ended up thinking even more about it. I haven’t written this much in real time before, and it feels interesting and new. Thanks to all the fans who’ve come along the way. For now, my goal is to do well with City Hunter. And later, I’d like to try taking on the challenge of a film.
The following is a set of me2day posts by Lee Min-ho that the article culled into a “Best Of” list:
1. “Today at the City Hunter production press conference, I received some awesome encouragement! ^^ City Hunter fighting!! Everyone, fighting!!” 2011.5.17
Lee Min-ho smiles with a drawing of the original City Hunter manga hero, Saeba Ryo, which he received from a fan. The common “V” pose looks cool when Lee Min-ho does it.
2. “Feels like flying in the sky… It’s dangerous so Do! Not! Try this~~~” 2011.6.1
Lee Min-ho shoots an action scene using a string of nation’s flags linked together. He’s hooked up to a wire, but it’s dizzying to see him midair. Don’t try this at home.
3. “Thanks to fan support, I’m enjoying filming for City Hunter ^^ Thank you for the hot response. Watch the broadcast tonight!” 2011.6.2
Wearing a white shirt and necktie, with bulletproof vest. With goggles too, he looks like an action star for sure.
Tracing Lee Min-ho’s SNS tracks, here are some from the past.
1. “In the elevator, on the way to rehearsal for my fanmeeting” 2010.6.7
A photo shot casually in front of an elevator. Honestly, just holding up a camera to him turns everything into a photo shoot.
2. “I want to go bike riding” 2010.7.1
Lee Min-ho wearing a top hat, on a bicycle, in a meadow while shooting a photo spread. With his tall hat, he looks like a magician.
3. “In Prague” 2010.9.1
A photo shot by a staff member while shooting a CF in Prague last year. It was taken as a souvenir, but it was talked about for looking like a real shot.
4. “Good weather, beautiful Han River” 2010.9.21
Lee Min-ho enjoys riding his bike along the Han River. In interviews abroad, when talk turns to sightseeing in Korea, he recommends the Han River. Lee Min-ho’s “Han Kang love” is strong!
5. “Not long till Christmas~~ Have a nice week. ^.^” 2010.12.19
Last December, a Christmas greeting to fans. How did you spend your Christmas, Lee Min-ho-sshi?
Via IS Plus