Main lead of the KBS 2TV drama “Boys over Flowers”
The latest heartthrob for Korean women is the young actor Lee Min-ho, the hero of the new hit KBS 2TV drama (airing Mon-Tues) “Boys over Flowers.” His casting as the hero of this drama series, extremely popular across Asia, created a buzz from the start. Any handsome actor would covet the role of one of the members of the “F4,” a group of rich and popular boys at a school where the story takes place.
The Korean cast for F4 was finally revealed and the casting of a complete novice actor, Lee (22), for the role of F4 leader “Gu Jun-pyo” was almost shocking.
The series has kicked off and Lee has literally become a star overnight, silencing doubts of how he would handle the heavyweight role. His name tops various Internet search-word lists and 100,000 fans visit his Internet homepage each day.
The “F4 craze” has hit Korea since the drama series was also made in Taiwan and Japan, and Lee is at the center of it all. But he had his share of trials thus far. He debuted in the 2006 EBS drama “The Secret Campus” but had to take a year off after a car accident. After his rehabilitation, he landed his first lead role in the SBS high teen drama “Mackerel Run!” but the series ran short.
Lee said, “If I didn’t have the accident and continued acting I might not have been able to meet ‘Jun-pyo.’ I shiver at this thought. What I suffered led me to this breakthrough role. I worried about the role because I’m unknown to the public, but of course I was thrilled to be cast.”
But the title role of the super popular Asian drama series is actually a heavy burden to shoulder.
Jun-pyo is the heir to Korea’s number one conglomerate group and a typical spoiled and arrogant character. He is hot-tempered and rough, but also has childlike innocence. A polar opposite of his friend Ji-hu (played by Kim Hyeon-jung), Jun-pyo has his heart firmly set on Geum Jan-di (Gu Hye-seon), the daughter of a working class family who runs a dry cleaning store.
Women viewers empathize with the rich F4 boys doting on Jan-di. They also get to love Jun-pyo as more of his sides are shown and say he is attractive in many ways. Women want to take care of him and be embraced by him at the same time.
He is a high school student in the drama, but Lee is actually on leave from Konkuk Univ. where he majors in cinema/art. What is Lee really like? He said, “I think I’m somewhere between Jun-pyo and Jan-di. I have both sides of them. This cute handsome guy role is unfamiliar though. I can totally carry a pathetic role as well (laugh). But for now, I hope to be Jun-pyo and him alone.”