You can’t view any Korean TV website without seeing Lee Min Ho’s face splashed everywhere. He is the most popular actor in the Asian market since sliced bread. And with good reason. The man is down right handsome, in a broad appeal sense. His features remind me of someone who’s ethnicity is mixed, like a Korean-American.
But I don’t believe he is mixed, and I’m sure someone will correct me if he is or is not.
I have to admit though, that I am new to the Korean actors who make all the girls swoon. Actually I’m new to the Korean acting pool period. If you’d asked me before the thanksgiving holiday what I thought about Lee Min Ho, my answer probably would have been “Lee Min Who?”
His fan base is ridiculous. On DramaFever.com, his fan page boasts over 40,000 fans. While that might seem like a small number, everyone else’s numbers are about 10% or less of Lee Min Ho’s. Even the popular Park Shin Hye has about half Min Ho’s numbers at about 24,000 fans on DramaFever.com. He leads at Facebook as well, with over 11 Million likes on just his official fan page alone compared to Park Shin Hye’s 9 million likes. There’s no arguing, he’s popular.
When you look at Lee Min Ho you can see why. Yes, his boyish good looks is the key, but he SEEMS to have an easy going personality as well. Of course I don’t know him personally, AT ALL. But sometimes you can get certain vibes from people just by how they carry themselves. He doesn’t appear to have anger or ego issues like …..oh….let’s say one of the Baldwin brothers.
The Good, The Bad, & The Pretty:
Let’s Start With “The Pretty”
Now my title to this post is “The Good, The Bad, and The Pretty“. It goes without saying Lee Min Ho is “The Pretty” – Sorry Min Ho. I know men hate to be called “cute” or “pretty” by women, but you are, and I don’t mean it in a bad way. When I, and I’m sure other individuals look at Lee Min Ho, I feel like a deer caught in headlights. How can someone be so damned perfect? I have yet to see a bad angle of this guy. He could be asleep on some hay in a barn with drool on his face, laying on – and covered in – cow dung and I’d still think he’s pretty. Sorry to throw in such a description, but do you know many people that looks this perfect? I’m SURE there’s a short list and Lee Min Ho is on it. My guess is when he looks in the mirror he probably has tons of things he’d like to change, but I’m positive I speak for many when I say – don’t touch even a strand of hair. And try to keep the easy going personality. I’d read somewhere that Lee Min Ho said in an interview that his personality is pretty easy going. Nothing’s more attractive than a huge star with a nice personality. I hope he’ll be able to keep that. I imagine he’ll be like fine wine, better with age. As he gets older, maybe a little more buffed, he will only get better, and I’m sure his huge fan base will follow.
I want to make another point here about Lee Min Ho and his looks. I have seen other Korean actors that are actually prettier than Lee Min Ho (is that even possible?) I’m not going to name them, because the sentences that follow will not be a compliment to any of them. These other un-named actors are so damned pretty they look like girls. Some of them are prettier than girls. If I was a super pretty young girl, I would be afraid to date some of these really girlish pretty boys for fear they would steal my mirror, my blow dryer, my hair brush and my make-up. When I look at them I have to look really hard, squint, and concentrate to make sure they are not girls. Lee Min Ho does not fit in that category. He is pretty, but gorgeous, man-handsome, uber-fine, P-H-I-N-E- fine, make your knees weak if you are a young girl fine, boyish fine. I’m trying to make a point clear, forgive the over exertion of adjectives.
Now back to his acting. One of the things I’ve notice when watching his acting is his fight scenes are AWESOME (ROAR!). How he gets it to be so realistic is amazing to me. In City Hunter it was especially good, better than the fight scenes in Faith. Like, I root for his character to punch the bejeebeez out of the bad guys, just ’cause he looks so damn good doing it. As Kim Tan in Heirs he threatened to kill anyone who called Eun Sang’s phone and he kept that promise by finding and kicking the you-know-what out of Young Do. There was also a scene where Young Do locked Kim Tan out of a room while he had Eun Sang cornered. Lee Min Ho displayed a passionate anger while trying to kick the mess out of that door. I was scared for my boy Young Do. When he wasn’t fighting, I still loved his acting. In City Hunter, my favorite scene was when he tossed the apple through the window (not fighting but starting a fight?), the whole boat ride before that, his mischievous grin….OK I’m in deer-caught-in-headlights mode again, someone snap me back to my acting analysis-please!
But even though I loved his character in Heirs (loved the love story, guy gets girl aspect), I appreciated him better in City Hunter. I believe I’ve seen all the shows Lee Min Ho has starred in that have English subtitles – Heirs, City Hunter, Faith, Personal Taste, Boys Over Flowers. If I haven’t please someone let me know.
Now “The Good” is someone that I haven’t spoken about yet on KDramaLovr but TRUST ME, I will be speaking A LOT about this guy in the future. He was bordering on The Pretty but he’s not. (Drum roll) This guy is so handsome, with such an awesome “bod”, that I think I would lose my composure and pee on myself if I ever met him in person – in a cool kinda terrified-deer-caught-in-headlights way, not a screaming fan peeing on herself kinda way! His name is Song Seung Heon (hope I spelt your name right, I’ve seen so many versions: Hun, Hoon and Heun). This guy makes me go all a-flutter, and blushing and I am a brown girl but I’m sure you can see me blushing right now. I am beet red!
This man (you know you’re Phine when I don’t even call you by your name, you’ve graduated to “This Man”) is so beautiful, but one of his many qualities I adore is his eyes. If he were to cover up everything I found attractive and just leave the eyes I would still be in love. It took a long time for me to get over the blinding light of his Phine-ness and look only at his acting, which I think is good. I say “I think” because every time I try to get serious about critiquing his acting, I falter back into the deer-caught-in-headlights mode and I become useless. In my book I would want to meet him instead of Lee Min Ho, and I don’t make that choice lightly. Seung Heon is all man, no doubt about it, and I would like him at 8, 18 or 80 years old. Min Ho is all young man, young girls are more attracted to him. I’m not going to describe what makes me so attracted to Seung Heon, there’s just too much to list and there’s not enough white page to type. He requires his own post, and when I can write about him without having a gush fest, he’ll get that post. I can compose myself long enough to say that he seems to have a long lustrous career. I hope that he is recognized for some of the good shows he’s done. I loved him in My Princess, but my first intro to him was When A Man Loves or A Man In Love, however you want to translate it. His character (Han Tae Sang) was so tender and vulnerable in that series and I constantly wondered if that girl (Seo Mi Do played by Shin Se Kyung) had hit her head on the pavement and lost her mind. Tae Sang tried so hard to win her completely, and Mi Do just never gave him 100%.
I also liked the juxtaposition of his character Han Tae Sang, who started out as an evil little gangster with a bit of a conscience and a heart, who turned into this entrepreneur and business owner who tried so hard to do the right thing and move away from that life. Really nice contrast, and he played it well.
In My Princess he was the arrogantly funny Park Hae Young, and Seung Heon’s acting chops rivaled his co-star Kim Tae Hee. I loved her character Lee Seoul, she made me laugh at just how clumsy she was some times. I loved the two of them together, and I loved how this series ended.
So Song Seung Heon is my “Good” in The Good, The Bad, and The Pretty.
Finally – “The Bad”
Now for The Bad – I saved the best and the “Bad” for last – which is really a “Good” but in a bad, mysterious kind of way. This person wouldn’t be worth the title of “The Bad” if he didn’t have a little bad boy mysterious quality to him in some way. I suppose many of you are thinking it may be Kim Woo Bin but it’s not. I sure have expressed enough bad boy love for Kim Woo Bin. But “The Bad” is actually So Ji Sub. Yes, that manly man with the bad boy scruffy voice and looks, that also cleans up very nicely, and the sexiest side-glance eyes I have ever seen. Unlike Kim Woo Bin – who is bad, does have a gorgeously bad boy deep voice, and is manly, but lacks that ability to be rough, sexy and scruffy (at least I haven’t seen it yet) – So Ji Sub has it all, peppered with a little splash of mystery and tenderness. How he makes that all possible I don’t know. Hey, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t talk about why I swoon over this actor before I talk about his acting, but his acting is off the rictor scale.
I was first introduced to this swooning character by way of a YouTube search for some of the amazing songs I’d heard on a few Korean series. Obviously they are Korean artists, but the language of music is universal, and there was a particular piano instrumental that I was looking for called 6pm Ground. My father was a jazz pianist and my mother loved classical music – I ended up loving both. So when I heard that tune I HAD to find it. Besides, the person speaking in the background had the most calming, beautiful and lyrical voice. I was also intrigued to see what a Korean rapper looked like. His rap style was nothing I was used to with that song, but it kinda reminded me of LL Cool Jay with “I Need Love” …. soft, beautiful, rap. I was hooked. Of course I watched the album’s video, awesome idea to promote an album with a mini movie featuring ALL the songs from an album, instead of just one.
I then researched him some more and found out he’s an actor as well. My first series I watched with him was I’m Sorry I Love You, a dark, tear jerker of a complicated love story. I never cried so much watching a series. Right to the bitter end it was sad. So Ji Sub was scruffy in that show but no less handsome and what an actor. He pulled out all the emotional stops, like only a fine actor – completely immersed in his character – can do. He reminded me of a Korean Johnny Depp – dark, gifted, intense. He appears to be the kind of actor/musician/model that takes his art and fans very seriously, but I feel like when I hear his music or see him act, especially in I’m Sorry I Love You, I see HIS soul before I get lost in the character and forget about So Ji Sub. It feels very deep, and I don’t know or can’t explain why. I’m actually at a loss for words when it comes to him. And yet it still takes me seven paragraphs to explain him!
I also watched him in The Master’s Sun and he completely became Joo Joong Won while I watched the series. I wanted to hit him over the head several times for being so mean (LOL). In the first scene I loved his cold personality, which he played so beautifully that in the first few minutes I was already mad at his character for being so mean to the man’s dead wife’s flower.
To be honest, halfway through the rest of the first episode I wanted to turn it off. I hated the “scary ghost” aspect of the show, and that girl (Tae Gong Sil played by Gong Hyo Jin) was really scary, they did a perfect job casting her for that type show, she certainly has the hauntingly beautiful look. But I continued to watch, mesmerized by Tae Gong Sil’s scariness and So Ji Sub’s acting, and his hands (lot of hand movements from him and his hands are beautiful, I am a big fan of nice “man-hands”). He was the complete opposite of the character he played in I’m Sorry, I Love You. His acting in The Master’s Sun made me completely forget about the sad and twisted love story of Cha Moo Hyuk in I’m Sorry, I Love You, which to me is a sign of a good actor. I also forgot about the artist, the rapper, and the model while watching The Master’s Sun – I just saw an arrogant Joo Joong Won. I didn’t want this series to end. I’d heard he bought everyone gifts at the wrapping of this series. I like this guy’s soul, more than the physical, but don’t get me confused, the physical ‘aint bad at all!!!.
I am now watching him in Ghost and in the 2nd episode, when his character was killed, I actually felt disappointed, because I thought “Oh No, I’m not going to see Kim Woo Hyun anymore?”. Of course the twist to this story is allowing me to continue to see his acting skills.
So Ji Sub gets “The Bad” title, as in “That dude is Baaaad”; bad-ass rapper, bad-ass actor, bad-boy Phine, who seems like someone that feels deeply, and expresses it all in his work and music. So-Nice So Ji Sub 😉
I can’t write something like this without including Choi Jin Hyuk, I just don’t know where to put him. I am impressed with his acting skills as well, though I know you won’t believe it because he falls into the Phine category, but I think if I would put him at a tie with someone on my Good Bad & Pretty list, he would be tied with Song Seung Heon, and my description of him would be the same as Seung Heon….there are too many things to list about this person that I like and there’s not enough white space to type it 😉