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Actor You Need To Know: Lee Minho

An actor, a singer, a model, and an entrepreneur. This South Korean star is a huge success story. His phenomenal success as ‘Gu Junpyo’ in Boys Over Flowers established him as a Hallyu star and created another Korean wave across the globe.

Debashree Dutta Jan 18, 2022

Still from King:The Eternal Monarch: Photo courtesy of SBS

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After a series of minor roles in dramas and movies, in 2009, Lee Minho bagged the lead role of ‘Gu Junpyo’ in KBSBoys Over Flowers. Based on the Shojo Manga of the same name, the widespread success of this television series cemented Lee’s status as one of South Koreas top actors.

Boys over Flowers – Photo courtesy of KBS

Following the success of Boys Over Flowers which kicked off the 2000s Hallyu global takeover, Lee starred in other romantic comedies like Personal Taste, and super hits like City Hunter, Faith, and The Heirs. He lent his voice in a song with Harlem Yu and released his sophomore EP Song For You in October 2014. With Yoo Ha’s gangster movie Gangnam Blues, Minho made his breakthrough in feature films, proving himself worthy of lead roles. The film was a commercial success and his portrayal of ‘Jong Dae’ established him as an action hero giving way to action comedies like Bounty Hunter and Legend Of The Blue Sea in 2016.

After completing his mandatory military service and three years of hiatus, Lee Minho returned to the small screen in 2019 with King: The Eternal Monarch. A fantasy romance about two parallel worlds– the republic of modern-day South Korea and the other, the Kingdom of Corea, a constitutional monarchy where King Lee Gon (Lee) tries to shut the door between the two worlds.

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Slated to release this year, the Apple TV+ series Pachinko (an adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel of the same name written by Min Jinlee) will see Lee in the role of ‘Ko Hansu’– a charismatic merchant with connections to organized crime and gets involved in an illegitimate romance with dire consequences. According to the novel, ‘Ko Hansu’ is influential, manipulative, and a control freak. In an interview with Esquire Korea, Lee described ‘Ko Hansu’ as “a villain by all means.” This will be his first venture as an antagonist.

Lee was appointed the PR ambassador for the state-run King Sejong Institute. The organization under the ministry’s control operates around 170 Korean language centers offering Korean language and cultural education programs for foreigners across the globe.  The foundation released a video on the beauty of Hangeul—the Korean writing system featuring Lee, who has been promoting the Korean language and Korean culture ever since he was selected as the brand ambassador.

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