He fell over at the Paeksang Arts Awards. And you'll see a flood of photographs from his past pop up when you search him on the Internet. He also had a girlfriend. And he was unknown for a long time. But that's not all of it. Here is who really is -- from Lee Min-ho until he became Goo Joon-pyo.
Soccer team Suwon Samsung Blue Wings head coach. Lee knows how to write with his left hand because he could not use his right arm for a while after injuring it practicing for Cha's soccer class which he attended for six years. Lee also appeared as a high-school soccer player with an uncertain future in EBS drama "Secret Garden" in 2006 and enjoys playing soccer game Winning Eleven with his actor friend Jung Il-woo. Lee also enjoyed playing computer game Warcraft and stories of his playing still appear on the Internet. He spent his teens like the normal students around him, playing games and managing his homepage accounts.
Director of Lee's agency Starhaus Entertainment. Han says he thought of Lee as a happy-go-lucky type of person when he saw him sleeping sprawled out on the couch of their office. But Lee was not a teenager without worries. Lee decided for himself and managed to persuade his parents during high school that he would become an actor while thinking about his future. That is why, on Lee's school records, his parents wrote that their son's dream was to become a computer programmer in 10th grade, a company employee in 11th grade and then a celebrity in his final year. Han said he trusted in Lee's success from the fact that different from others his age, Lee tried to take his time, one step after another, to become an actor. That is why he gained experience during his career through minor roles in dramas, TV commercials and the transformed version of singer MC Mong after he receives plastic surgery or dressing up as a woman.
Actress. Park and Lee appeared together in several dramas and movies including dramas "Secret Garden", "Mackerel Run" and film "Our School E.T.". They are so close that Lee's nickname on social networking website Cyworld between the two was "You trust me, right?" Lee also appeared alongside actress Moon Chae-won in "Mackerel" and "E.T". They all became the new young stars, with Lee and Park meeting again as winners at the Paeksang Arts Awards and with Moon, shooting a TV commercial. But "Mackerel" is not just a drama Lee appeared in before he got famous. It did not see much success but the teen drama gave the young actors, such as Lee, to improve on their acting. It would not be an overstatement to say that Lee's acting in KBS TV series "Boys Over Flowers" where he goes back and forth between traditional and comedy acting was polished in "Mackerel" and being rebellious toward his mother came from "Secret Garden". That is the reason why there is controversy of the producing of "Boys" but not over the acting of its main actors. It is also the reason why teen dramas should be continued to be made.
Producer of "Boys Over Flowers". Song auditioned over 300 actors before finding Lee for the part. Song said he had Lee audition because he liked a photograph his acquaintance had of him in her mobile phone. Lee won over Song by wearing the same hairstyle as Tsukasa from the original comic book. Director Jeon Ki-sang later said he wondered why such an actor had not become famous yet.
Actor. He is Lee's best friend and the two have also lived close to each other since they were young. They are such good friends that they watched four episodes of Jung's drama "Iljimae" together. Lee said he first thought Jung "looked feminine." The two, who almost appeared together in sitcom "Unstoppable High Kick", became even closer when they got in a car accident together. Lee had to have a 47-centimeter long steel pin inserted into his leg and stopped all his activities for seven months. He said he was able to think about many things while lying in the hospital bed at the time.
Disney's animation character. He is the background image on Lee's cellphone. Or to be more precise, it is a photograph of a human wearing a mask of a slightly somber-looking Mickey Mouse. Lee said he likes it because it "gives off double-sided vibe". Lee analyzed Goo as a character with many loopholes so he expressed him not only as a an heir with a finicky character who likes luxurious things but also as one who can call for food in an unaffected manner.
Member of girl group Davichi. She had been close friends with Lee from a long time ago which was why they were rumored to be dating. Photographs of Lee with his ex-girlfriend, rumors of him dating other celebrities and photos from the wrap-up party for his drama float around on the Internet. But Lee does not fret over these nor do they influence his popularity. The various experiences he went through with friends his own age before he became popular might rather be a precious asset for him. He has become such an expert at dealing with odd situations or questions that he knows how not to answer when asked whether he is dating actress Ku Hye-sun or will say "I'm trying hard" when told he should appear in many commercials to make a lot of money. Such actions or words coming from a star these days is refreshing and could only be made possible in someone who spent many years unknown and had much time to think about himself while experiencing normal life.
TV series director. He produced MBC TV series "Get Up" which Lee starred in. Lee says he learned how to free himself of 'fake acting' in the drama. His acting career took a new turn while playing a high-school student who is unsure of his future. His teary eyes when defying against his mother in "Boys" or the piercing eyes in the first scene of "Public Enemy Returns" were all acting he had shown us in "Get Up". Lee Jae-dong asked Lee to take actual hits in scenes he fights with friends or receives punishment from the teacher, and such experiences taught him how to immerse into his characters. After he was casted for "Boys", he started calling his manager by his title rather than 'hyung' which means 'older brother' in Korean, to get used to his character Goo Joon-pyo. Of course, we cannot say that his acting is technically amazing as of yet. But the reason he can go back and forth naturally between serious and comical acting is because he understands the tone of acting necessary in playing such a character.
Actor with whom he appeared in film "E.T." Lee says he was deeply moved by Kim who always reflects back on his own actions. And just like Kim did, he says it is his dream to become successful enough to fill up an apple box full of 10,000 Korean won cash notes and hand it to his mother. Lee actually did hand his parents all of the money he received upon signing with his agency upon his debut. But Lee has now become a star who, like he says, can and "will appear only in TV commercials suiting his image."
The role Lee played in "Boys Over Flowers". He is called by the name as often he is called by his real name and is so popular that it is impossible for him to eat a meal properly at a restaurant. Everyone is extremely interested in every single detail about him and all sorts of rumors and presumptions constantly follow him around. Some people say he is overrated. And of course, the explosive interest in him will die down one day. His career may never again reach the pinnacle it did while he playing Goo Joon-pyo. But without doubt, his life from now on will be much better than the years he spent unknown and the seven months he spent in the hospital from a car accident. His career is proof that he did not become a star overnight but took the long way round. Goo Joon-pyo made Lee a star but Lee lived his life as best he could before becoming Goo. We hope he will continue to do so.
Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor : Jessica Kim email@example.com, Lee Ji-Hye firstname.lastname@example.org
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