From Flower Boy To Leading Man
Lee Min-ho, the popular Korean drama star who first rose to fame in the megahit Boys Over Flowers, could have played the same type of role over and over. But the 25-year-old actor instead has targeted a diversity of parts—and his international fans, dubbed “Minoz,” have loyally followed.
by ELIZABETH EUN
Lee Min-ho has finally become more famous than Goo Joon-pyo.
For years, the South Korean actor was referred to as “the curly-haired guy” or “the flower boy,” referencing his breakout role in 2009 as the wavy-maned Goo Joon-pyo from the hit Korean drama Boys Over Flowers.
The drama, aired in 19 countries, launched the young actor into megacelebrity status, and while, of course, fans and even a good majority of Korea knew his real name, it took a carefully planned career in the following years for Lee Min-ho to become Lee Min-ho.
Now, Lee, 25, is internationally recognized as an actor—a leading man, actually, rather than merely a “flower boy,” a term ironically popularized by his own drama and used to describe an overly “pretty” guy.
But with Goo Joon-pyo—the arrogant, privileged high school bully who transforms into a romantic softie on the popular drama—being both somewhat of an icon and a caricature, it is still difficult to separate the character from the actor. However, Lee doesn’t seem to mind.
“There’s nothing bad about it, is there?” said Lee, in emailed answers translated from Korean. “A lot of people fantasize about my personality after seeing me in dramas.”
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