ONE Exclusive Interview - Lee Min Ho

What attracted you to your role in City Hunter? Have you read the original City Hunter manga?
This drama was originally adapted from a famous manga so I was a bit worried. However, I had faith with the director and my agent and had many discussions with them. I was attracted by the story because the drama was shot in a different style despite the serious storyline. It was also very action packed which I was very interested in.

What are the similarities and differences between Lee Yoon Sung and yourself?
There are similarities and differences between the character and myself. Similar to me, the character is not straightforward and is unable to express what is on his mind. That’s because Jin Pyo (the foster father) raised him that way. He’s like that because he’s lonely. Compared to his life, my life is very blessed.

Lee Yoon Sung is a womanizer, are you like him?
This drama does not emphasize on Yoon Sung being a womanizer. Hiding his true identity as a City Hunter, he has relationships with women but you’ll see that he really respects women. For example, in one of the episodes, an action scene with the lady bodyguard expresses Yoon Sung’s characteristics very well.

How did you prepare for your role in City Hunter? What was most challenging while filming City Hunter?
I prepared myself for the action scenes before I even received the script. After I read the script, I tried to understand and become Yoon Sung. Since young, he has been living in a secluded environment his stepfather created. After being in contact with other Koreans, he struggles to fight for justice in his own way. Yoon Sung’s character is very complex and he encounters many different people and goes through many emotional upheavals. To play the role well, I need to have very high concentration. It has a total of 20 episodes so I’m also working on my health and strength to finish the drama without any problems.

Which was your favourite scene in City Hunter?
Right now my favourite scene is when Yoon Sung has a nightmare in Episode 8. The scene expresses the mixed emotions Yoon Sung is facing when he’s torn between reality and the situation he is faced with.

Were there any funny incidents during filming?
There are so many to pick. All the drama crew get along very well. I’m working with many veterans and also actors my age. It is difficult but everyone’s enjoying producing the drama together.

Comparing action and kissing scenes, which is easier for you? Why?
Frankly, no scenes are easy. In action scenes, there is always one person hitting someone and another taking the beating; so it’s very important to collaborate well. Kissing scenes are also hard because it differs with the situation and the emotions of the characters. So, both are important and difficult.

Did you have martial arts training? Did you learn anything new? Did you get hurt?
I learned the Philippines’ Martial art called ‘Kali Arnis’. It’s very swift and it aims for the pressure points so even one move required many practices. I was worried how it would look on TV but many viewers love it so I’m very thankful. I didn’t get any serious injuries so it’s fine.

Is this your first time working with Park Min Young? How is it like working with her?
I met her for the first time 5 years ago in advertisement shoot. And we did a drama together. She’s like a friend so I was worried about the love scenes but we discussed the scenes and had many conversations so being friends worked in our favor.

Was the kissing scene with Park Min Young difficult? How did you prepare for the scene?
It was a kissing scene without any emotions or feelings. It was just an episode that occurred while trying to solve a case as a City Hunter. We discussed more about our expressions and action scenes that were to follow rather than the kissing scene.

What did you enjoy most in Thailand when you went there to shoot City Hunter? Did your fans in Thailand follow you around? What nice things did they do for you?
So many fans visited our shooting site. I was very impressed to see the fans cooperating and trying not to interfere with the shooting. In Thailand, the market scene and the scene in the forest were the most memorable. In the market, I could really experience how the Thais live every day. The elephant ride was great and the sunset was just fantastic.

How do you expect City Hunter to perform? What can viewers look out for in City Hunter?
I hope it will be the drama many people will love. In our society, there are many temptations but also there is also warmth and sacrifices. This is a drama where you can find real warmth and humanity in a man even though he seems strong and cold on the surface.

How has your career progressed after your success in Boys Over Flowers? What are your upcoming projects?
I did a drama called ‘Personal Preference’ after Boys Over Flowers. And I met with the fans abroad, had some magazine spreads and commercial filming. I also took a trip with my family. After City Hunter, I want to take a rest and do the things I want to.

If you were not a model and actor, what do you think you will be doing now?
I think I’ll be a football player. I’ve always wanted to be a football player ever since I was young.

What do you like to do in your free time? What is your favourite food?
I just try to catch up on my sleep in my free time. When I’m not working, I meet with my friends or spend time with my family. My favourite food is meat, barbequed meat.

Have you been to Singapore and Malaysia? Do you have anything to tell your fans in Singapore and Malaysia?
I have visited both countries before. I visited Malaysia two years ago very briefly and I met with my fans in my visit to Singapore. It was too bad time went by so fast.