Since his acting debut in 2006, 32-year-old actor, singer, and model Lee Min Ho remains one of Korea’s top Hallyu stars and a global celebrity. He has starred in multiple hit dramas and films, winning numerous acting awards, from Best Actor to rookie awards, as well as Best Couple with Park Shin-hye.
Now on the second act of his career, Lee’s drama comeback in The King: Eternal Monarch is much-awaited. The actor was discharged from military enlistment last year, and fans have been looking forward to his upcoming projects since.
1. He has miraculously survived two car accidents
Lee has been in near-death accidents twice in his lifetime, with a significant impact on his career. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lee mentions that while viewers may not notice it, he only uses his good leg while filming fight scenes.
In 2017, he was exempted from active duties because of his injury. Instead, he underwent basic military training and public service duty.
In 2006 Lee and his actor friend Jung Il-woo were involved in an accident. The two actors, who were only 19 years old at that time, were headed to Gangwon province to go on holiday when a vehicle that went off-track drove straight into their car. The two were severely injured and Lee was bedridden for months. Jung also suffered severely.
The Korea Times reported the accident left Lee with a broken thigh and ankle and a tear in a knee cartilage, which required a 46-centimetre metal pin to be inserted in his thigh, leaving his left leg shorter than the other.
In 2011, while filming City Hunter, Lee had another car accident, although fortunately, he did not have any serious injuries.
2. He wasn’t a great student
Lee was once asked by Entertainment Weekly if he earned high marks in school. The actor replied honestly and said: “Not at all.” He admitted he did not study and would do averagely if he put in a little effort.
Instead, he said he was popular in school because of his good looks.
Lee and his long-time friend Jung have been friends since childhood as they lived in the same neighbourhood and their schools were close by.
He met Jung when Jung shared in an episode of My Ugly Duckling. “When we first met, it was like he was sparkling,” Lee said
3. He doesn’t really drink
Jung also talked about how he and Lee, despite being friends for decades, barely had anything in common, except for their taste in food and the fact that they do not drink. “He doesn’t drink at all, and I only started drinking recently as well. When we meet up, we have coffee and go to cafes,” said Jung.
4. He has a thirst for nature
Talking to DramaFever at the annual Korean festival KCON in 2016, Lee said he wished to visit Iceland and see the Aurora Borealis. He explained that since he lives in a city, and has been to all the major cities, he’d like to travel to a country where he can experience nature.
5. He’d like to be a professional gamer if he wasn’t an actor
Lee also told DramaFever if he weren’t an actor, he’d probably become a pro gamer or end up working for a game company. While doing well now as an actor, Lee still enjoys playing both computer and mobile games.