1. When he raised eyebrows as the lead in crime noir film, Gangnam 1970
Noted for his portrayal of pretty boys in films such as Boys Over Flowers and The Heirs, the chick flick favourite took a stab in the dark with his role as orphan turned hustler Kim Jong Dae in Gangnam 1970. At a press conference before the release of the film in January, director Yoo Ha shared that his wife had a hand in picking Lee as the lead.
"My wife is a huge fan of Lee Min Ho," said the director. "At one point, after being pestered for two years, I came to accept that it was my fate to work with Lee Min Ho."
While eyebrows were raised at Yoo Ha's choice, it was all for the better eventually. Lee took home a slew of awards for the role: Most Popular Actor at the 51st Baeksang Awards, the Producers' Choice at the 19th Buncheon International Film Festival and the Best New Actor at the 52nd Grand Bell Awards.
2. When he released The Day, a two-single album
Yes, the 28-year-old can sing as well. Lee released Thank You in July. Written by himself, the single was composed and produced by Hwang Chan-hee, who previously worked with Lee on the album My Everything in May 2013. Recently in November, he released The Day, which included new ballad I Love You.
3. When he starred in South Korea's advertising campaign
Never underestimate the influence of a Korean star. Their own tourism board knows this — which is why they pulled in Lee for their latest ad campaign, which reportedly cost them over 856 million dollars. Directed by award-winner Wayne Peng, the video Korea Your Story premiered on YouTube in July and to date, has over 37 million views. It sees the actor-singer exploring the country's attractions, including Jeju Island and Hanok Village.
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