When it comes to some of the most iconic and well-known Korean actors in K-Dramas and movies, one person who will always be near the top of the list is Lee Min Ho. Since debuting as an actor, Lee Min Ho has starred in some iconic shows, including The Heirs, Boys Over Flowers, and King: The Eternal Monarch.
Considering his legacy and longevity in the business, it isn’t surprising to know that this has meant that the actor hasn’t had to audition for roles in thirteen years. Directors and casting agents know what Lee Min Ho is capable of and usually hire him without auditioning.
Yet, it seems that all changed when securing his recent role in Apple TV’s latest hit series, Pachinko.
In the show, Lee Min Ho takes on an entirely different character of Hansu, who was adopted into a family of organized crime in Japan… worlds away from the romantic characters netizens are used to seeing him in.
It seems like, despite his credentials, Lee Min Ho was made to audition like everyone else. In an interview with TIME magazine, the screen writer Soo Hugh explained that the casting was vital for the series, so Lee Min Ho had to audition for the first time in thirteen years.
In particular, in a sit-down interview for The Korea Society, Soo Hugh was asked all about the process for picking the cast. It definitely seemed far from simple and might’ve been daunting for someone like Lee Min Ho, who might not have been used to the process after such a long time.
Not only did the actors have to audition, they had to memorize like three scenes each, each about six or seven pages. Already, it shows who really wants it.
— Soo Hugh
In another interview with Digital Spy, Hoo Sugh explained that because she wasn’t too aware of his credentials and fame, he was treated like any other actor when it came to auditions.
And I didn’t know how big of a star he was. So I went in a little bit innocent, I have to say, and he was treated just like everyone else. He went through the same rigorous audition process.
— Soo Hugh
Yet, despite the difficulty, it seems like it was something Lee Min Ho relished. He explained that it was refreshing to be cast, not just because he was famous, and added that it reminded him of his early days as an actor.
It’s been 13 years since I auditioned so I almost forgot the process. Auditioning isn’t just a process to show your acting skills but it’s a process to see if your ideology and characteristics match up with the character and how deeply you’ve thought about the character.
— Lee Min Ho
It once again shows just how dedicated Lee Min Ho is to his profession. Many veteran actors might have felt offended by needing to audition but Lee Min Ho went through the whole process and showcased he got the part due to his talent.
You can read more about the show’s success popularity below.