One of the biggest movie stars of South Korea is in Toronto, and it’s time to get excited. The huge star of Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs, The Legend of the Blue Sea, and The King: Eternal Monarch just arrived in the 6ix to film season 2 of the hit Apple TV + show Pachinko, and he’s already taken to the ‘gram to show off his new digs.
On February 19, Min-ho shared with his 32 million followers on IG (yes, he’s THAT huge) a photo carousel of him hanging out by Sunnyside Beach in Toronto, with the Sunnyside pavilion and the CN Tower clearly in the distance.
Pachinko’s first season was filmed largely in Vancouver, but production started in Toronto this February, and if you haven’t been keeping up with it, it won the award for Best Foreign Language Series at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards. Taking place in 1930s Korea, the show follows the illicit love story of teen Sunja (Minha Kim) and wealthy fish broker Koh Hansu (Lee Min-ho). When Sunja finds out she’s pregnant and her lover is married, she refuses to be his mistress and instead marries visiting minister Isak Back (Steve Sang-hyun Noh), who takes her back with him to Japan, setting up this four-generation saga. The show also stars Youn Yuh-Jung, Jin Ha, Soji Arai, Jung Eun-chae, Junwoo Han, Park Jae-jun, Yuna, and Louis Ozawa.
Min-ho wasn’t done showing off his new Toronto digs. He also posted a cute little carousel about his shopping trip to *wait for it* Shoppers Drug Mart, looking completely unrecognizable in baggy sweats, a hoodie, and a face mask. Look at how he sniffs the Valentine’s Day bouquets! Adorbs.
That shopping trip might be indicative of how long he’s scheduled to stay in town because he then posted his entire shopping haul in his furnished apartment, and it looks like a helluva lotta food.
Here’s everything you need to know about Min-ho and why you shouldn’t sleep on this celebrity any longer.
He’s one of the few crossover Korean heartthrobs to make it big in China.
In 2014, he made history by becoming the first Korean celebrity to appear on China’s CCTV Lunar New Year Gala. An estimated 700 million viewers tuned in to watch him sing the theme song of his hit show Boys Over Flowers. What’s more, he sang in both Korean and Mandarin: the first time the Korean language was broadcasted on the show.
He was the first male celebrity to grace the cover of Cosmo Korea.
Cosmopolitan Korean made Min-ho their first-ever SOLO male celebrity cover star for their 200th issue. All other male celebrities had either been accompanied by a woman or a group of other people. Min-ho did that all on his own.
He survived two major car accidents, escaping death.
In 2006, he was on a road trip with fellow Korean movie star Jung Il Woo and two of their friends when the car was involved in a deadly crash. Only Min-ho and Jung II Woo survived. Min-ho was severely injured, meaning he was in a coma for a month! His recovery was even longer, forcing him to stay in the hospital for nearly a year. A 46cm metal plate was inserted in his thigh for three years.
Then in 2011, he was involved in another car crash. This one was actually on the set of City Hunter, but miraculously, he walked away from that crash with only minor injuries.
His injuries saved him from active combat duty.
In Korea, military service is mandatory. Remember how the K-Pop world of fandom nearly crumbled when BTS went on hiatus so the members could serve their mandatory two-year service? Min-ho was not immune to the military requirements. However, because of his devastating car crash, he was deemed to be unfit for combat duties after undergoing a physical examination. Denied active duty, he chose to do public service work at a welfare centre while wearing his full military uniform.
Fans welcomed him back from military service with a huge celebration.
Upon his discharge from service, the media and hundreds of fans showed up with balloons and banners to welcome him back to civilian life. The hashtag #WelcomeBackLeeMinHo was even trending on Twitter!
He’s a big Casanova.
Let’s just call Min-ho the Leonardo DiCaprio of Korea because he has dated so many of his fellow Korean superstars. Park Min Young, Suzy Bae, and Sandara Park are just a few of the huge K-stars to whom Min-ho has been romantically linked to.