Why Pachinko may prove to be a career defining move for Lee Min Ho

Lee Min Ho will next star in the ambitious Apple TV+ series Pachinko and we think it is a career-defining move. Read on to find out.
Lee Min Ho appointed as a public relations ambassador for King Sejong Institute. Lee Min Ho appointed as a public relations ambassador for King Sejong Institute (Pic Credit - News1).
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I started my journey as a K-drama fan with Lee Min Ho's popular drama Boys Over Flowers. Based on the manga, Hana Yori Dango, Lee Min Ho played the arrogant and proud Gu Jun Pyo, the leader of F4 and the rich heir to the Shinhwa Group. The show became an international success, achieving cult status in pop culture in the following years. Of course, Lee Min Ho's popularity sky-rocketed making him the most sought after star in South Korea. I watched Boys Over Flowers almost 10 years after its original run and jumped straight in the K-rabbit hole! The simple linear plot with a thrilling love triangle and lovable moments was enjoyable in a silly, guilty pleasure way, and dare I say, I rooted for Lee Min Ho's Gu Jun Pyo over Kim Hyun Joong's very popular Ji Hoo in the series.

There is something particularly charming and attractive about Lee Min Ho that goes beyond his obvious gorgeousness. Perhaps an X factor that makes him stand out amongst legions of actors and superstars. He may not be the best actor in the business, but his star power and reach is unparalleled. I have watched almost every Lee Min Ho drama post Boys Over Flowers and enjoyed a lot of them. I realised that he is very good in the action-thrillers space (City Hunter) and has a natural flair for comedy (The Legend Of The Blue Sea). But I realised that he was falling into the trap of his own stardom, choosing characters that aren't far from Gu Jun Pyo and playing the eternal Posh Prince. I don't blame him. He played to his strengths and appeased his many fans, isn't this what stars do?

However, I do sense that Lee Min Ho itches to come back to his roots of experimenting as an actor and playing different parts. I assumed that after the larger than life, The King: Eternal Monarch, he would come back with another mega project that portrays him as a hero, but I was stunned when I read that he had signed Pachinko. I was surprised and wondered what made him take such a decision - the desire to do something different? the need to prove your naysayers or appeal to a different section of the audience? Whatever it is, I'm happy that he signed Pachinko.

For those uninitiated, Pachinko is a historical epic drama based on Min Jin-lee's best-selling novel going by the same name and tells the story of four generations of a Korean immigrant family. The storyline spreads across Korea, Japan, and the United States. The series is produced by Apple TV+ series. Lee Min Ho will be essaying the role of Hansu, a rich and powerful merchant with ties to organised crime.

 In an interview with GQ Korea, Lee Min Ho shared that he auditioned for the part of Hansu, something which he hadn't done in years. He admitted that it would have been an 'embarrassing' situation if he failed the audition, hence he really prepared for the role. He revealed that the uncertainty of bagging the role tested his patience as an actor and as a person. 

I haven't read the book but read excerpts of it online and from what I read, it sounds bonafide! With Pachinko, Lee Min Ho is essentially unlearning everything about stardom and acting that he has known over the years and starting from ground zero again. Once in a while, it is important to denounce everything you have, detach ourselves from our current thoughts and dive straight into the ocean. This isn't to sound philosophical on a Wednesday afternoon, but an important lesson on self-growth and learning. 

To reach the top of Maslow's Hierarchy, one must climb the pyramid over and over again and not necessarily in the same order, sometimes, you take a detour and figure out a new path. I believe Pachinko will be a career-defining role and series for Lee Min Ho and present a new facet of him as an actor and performer. I cannot wait to meet the new Lee Min Ho, and yes, I will be rooting for him as I did for Gu Jun Pyo in Boys Over Flowers. 

ALSO READ: Lee Min Ho on auditioning for the role of Hansu in Pachinko: I felt very pressured about having to do well

Are you excited to watch Lee Min Ho in Pachinko? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.

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Anonymous 5 days ago

Can't wait to watch Pachinko! I think he will do well.

Anonymous 5 days ago

What ever he does i just love him he can do every thing can play every character he is like my superhero .

Anonymous 6 days ago

Of course, I can't wait to see him

Anonymous 6 days ago

Of course waiting for Pachinko

Anonymous 6 days ago

Waiting eagerly for Pachinko.

Anonymous 6 days ago

Of course waiting eagerly for pachinko.

Anonymous 6 days ago

I have watched LEE MIN HOs movies since start of the start of pandemic here in the Phils.Can't wait to see him again in Panchinko.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Can't wait

Anonymous 1 week ago

In the acting world there are so many counterfeits that depend on fans to improve their status but at the same time shun you like persona non grata when they're near you. I don't believe in harassment, invasion of privacy or obsession of these entertainers. After all they are humans like us and need their time alone to have a meal in peace or enjoy nature. I do however believe in respect and humility. I've watched Lee Min Ho in his interviews and reaction with fans and crowds everywhere he goes. He shows humility and is always thankful to his fans and viewers for their love and support. That's what sets him above the rest that I will always support this young man. Looking forward to your next work. May the Heavens smile on you and may you always be humble and grateful. We love and respect you as well. Blessings on you and your family.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Apart from his amazing looks and being a talented actor, what makes Lee Min ho stand out from the rest is his amazing personality. He is so humble and has a great sense of humour. He always strives to form a good bond and relationship with his co stars and staff. Watching him evolve from Gu Joon Pyo to Lee Gon, and how far he has come as both an actor and as a person is truly inspiring! He greatly deserved the role of Hansu, and Pachinko will be a huge success! Thank you Lee Min Ho oppa for bringing so much comfort to so many people, especially during these hard times. Hope you are doing well. Always be healthy and happy! 사랑해❤

Anonymous 1 week ago

I have to admit. But because of lee min ho kdrama explode here in the philippines. He started it all. And with the existence of numerous korean great actors and actresses in this generation, i am so lucky i was able to catch up with them. Lee min ho will be lee min ho. His name has already made a deep mark in my heart as a fan mom.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee Min Ho has proven the true-blue artist in him. He has drawn millions of fans around the world to his heart and vice versa.People from varying age brackets and strata of life simply adore the totality of LMH. He is an epitome of a well-balanced performer. I want to shout to the world , let us give LMH our best wishes for PACHINKO. He, for sure will add another laurel to his cap. Best of luck Min Ho.Stay blessed. Fr. Belle de Asis , Polytechnic University of the Philippines , Manila

Anonymous 1 week ago

Well said. Thanks

Anonymous 1 week ago

Espero que se pueda pasar por netflix

Anonymous 1 week ago

Will it be shown on Netflix..

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee min ho ❤

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee min ho is my first and favourite korean actor. I love her very much ❤

Anonymous 1 week ago

Looking forward Pachinko! First saw Lee Min Ho in The King Eternal Monarch, and totally became his fan. Korea has many handsome and tall actors, but Lee Min Ho captivates in a way that makes you want to see more of his performances. I enjoy listening to his songs daily to feel young at heart !

Anonymous 1 week ago

I read the book and was excited to hear Lee Min Ho would star in this series. His growth on the industry has brought him to this new stage of his career. He will bring a new depth to his acting. I wish only good things for him and hope to see his performance in this drama.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Cannot wait

Anonymous 1 week ago

I am already waiting for the series, I adore him and I am very excited to see him work in another role of Bad Boy, Malo, he is my actor, singer and my everything He is perfect

Anonymous 1 week ago

One of the BEST actors I've seen! He is likeable because he is believable!! Wish him all the best!!

Anonymous 1 week ago

Best lee min ho movie was Gangnam blues

Anonymous 1 week ago

I have been a fan of leeMin Ho for the past 3 years since that is this time I started Korean drama.. I am 75 years old but I can’t help admiring and in awe of the guy.. he is the epitome of what a good actor should be.. I have seen all his drama and I could attest that indeed he is best there is.. I know he will do a good job in Pachinco.. and eagerly awaiting for it .. good luck lee min ho in all your endeavors ❤️

Anonymous 1 week ago

I enjoy his movies I watched him in Boys of Flowers and Inheritor. I think he's a good actor and will watch his upcoming projects.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee Min Ho has something that makes him stand out starting with the twinkle of his eyes. I've seen eight of his dramas that were available to watch in my area and enjoyed each one. I really wanted to see Bounty Hunter. I also wanted to see Gangnam because it seemed as if was a different role for him. I can't wait to see Pachinko. Best of everything to him.

Anonymous 1 week ago

I’ve watched all of his movies and series. He is such a good actor and very charming. Saw him in person (he was a few meters away fromMe) while he was filming Pachinko in Vancouver in March. Such a kind person, he made sure to wave and smiled at us. He obviously appreciates his fans.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Así es. Lee min ho ve la manera de saludar. Es un hermoso ser humano.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Excited to watch him again on the screen

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee Min Ho has done larger than life role in The King and people loved him...now he seems tired of playing romantic melodrama. He has matured enough to to take risk in life and he has signed offbeat project with audition to test himself. He is a brave actor to do so and he need to slog and drain himself mentally and physically. Rest his fandom is so huge around the world .. they will cheer him up and take him to his desired level. Minhos gestures for his fans are so honest and caring..they will protect him like the way Angel protects the distressed people.

Anonymous 1 week ago

I have read the book (Pachinko) twice! The main aspect of LMH that makes him different from the rest, his determination to succeed in whatever ways he can to be the TOP in his profession, kindness, he cares about the people that surround him with positive energy . Just over all...a very smart individual....

Anonymous 1 week ago

Yes! I'm very excited watching the versatility of Lee Min-Ho as an actor and what he can offer to his fan though I know he is a good and versatile actor. Congratulations in advance Lee Min-Ho (Pachinco)

Anonymous 1 week ago

Yes super excited.

Anonymous 1 week ago

The King Eternal Monarch is where I met LMH for the first time. He has that X factor that entices the viewer , not just the good looks or the acting. I ended up having back logs that I watched everything from BOF, The Heirs, Legend .. etc I can’t wait for his next series in Apple TV. Over a year of getting hooked up with Korean dramas, there’s a long list of talented and handsome actors . For me LMH remains on top of the pedestal . He is a well polished talent who deserves to be there .The character he portrays always resonate beyond the screen.

Anonymous 1 week ago

That is true.. he is the top of all the top.. you are the reason I got hooked up in Korean dramas

Anonymous 1 week ago

LMH I watched him in Heirs also Boys Over Flowers . I followed him when he ended his military service..... He is great fun his smile lights up your day .... I love Historical dramas sooo I look forward to his new drama . YAY for Min Ho .....

Anonymous 1 week ago

I've read the book. Lee Min ho's Koh Hanzu character is very interesting and I love it. I can't wait to see the spin off. I hope to see more of his life story growing up and more of him being actively in the story. I want to see his Yakuza side. It will be a great challenge and I'm glad he got the part. Can't wait to watch it. You just can't help but love him.

Anonymous 1 week ago

A versatile actor.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee Min Hoo such a great actor lovely handsome I love him

Anonymous 1 week ago

He's definitely on his way to new aspects of his own abilities in the field of acting. There will be more well defined very unique roles that will come his way and which will help him show his versatility as an artist. What makes him unique and holds him in good stead is it's all soul. Anyone can be good looking, great actor. It takes one with soul to stand out.

Anonymous 1 week ago

I might be one of the odd ones to say this but more than Boys over Flowers, I loved Lee Min Ho in Inheritors (The Heirs). After that I decided to watch all the series he has starred in. Everytime I watch him I am like, what even is this boy. But yes loving that he is experimenting. All the Best to him. You think we'll ever get to meet him??

Anonymous 1 week ago

Watching him is soo soothing.... V would love to meet u Min Ho.

Anonymous 1 week ago

I fell in love with LMH when I first saw him In The Heirs. Still watching it these days.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Nice to hear. Will it be available in Netflix? When? Thank you.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee min ho and park shin hye they are best couple together i wish i can see more k drama and film more together all time

Anonymous 1 week ago

Pachinko Will be on Appletv+

Anonymous 1 week ago

Wishing him all the best. I like that he challenges himself to appeal to different audiences and sharpen his craft.

Anonymous 1 week ago

Lee min ho was not that good actor but he has a charisma where audience love him, his stardom is worldwide but one has to keep improving to do the best, very happy to know he is trying to prove himself by signing Pachinko, my best wishes,

Anonymous 1 week ago

if he was ever going to spread his wings as an actor he had to make a move.... when his name would come up ... you would usually hear “he’s so handsome” from screaming girls ... he needs to reach a more diverse audience ! Hear he is in a serious relationship.... that should help too!

Anonymous 1 week ago

Glad to see he's spreading his wings as an actor and as a person with courage to further his career and do something that he wants to do. Love the man and the actor

Anonymous 1 week ago

Canadian loyal watcher of LMH loved him in BOF. I only hope we will have his new movie Pachinko to watch here in Vancouver. I’ll be watching for it. Good luck to you in the future LMH. Your one of my favourite along with Park Sung Hoon.....

Anonymous 1 week ago

He is my antidepressant. As you said, there's something about him that makes him stand out. I have watched each and every series. Felt the emotional roller coaster ride he went through as Gu Jun Pyo. And then The Legend of the Blue Sea, funny and beautifully done. Finally, The King- that was the first show I watched of LMH and by the second scene, I was like what is this guy?! God bless him, I do not have words to describe him. Just haven't seen anyone like him. Thanks for this piece and encouraging readers to write about him.

Anonymous 1 week ago

I saw that too and he is good too in gangnam

Anonymous 1 week ago

In the past, he also took very different roles, for example as Kim Jong Dae in the 2015 Gangnam 1970 bloody movie with a very naughty ending. Let’s not forget that.