In an interview with the self-titled "No. 1 Star & Style" fashion magazine, the 27-year-old heartthrob talked about his role transformation in the upcoming film "Gangnam 1970," directed by Yoo Ha.
Lee stars as a petty gangster in the noir crime film, in a much-anticipated unfettering of typecast chains. His gritty portrayal of an opportunistic hoodlum is set in Seoul in the 1970s, during the development of the now-affluent Gangnam district.
"I want moviegoers to feel like coming out to the cinema wasn't a waste of time," the heartthrob actor confessed.
Waxing slightly lyrical, Lee added that he had younger viewers in mind: "I hope (they) will not be as steeped in uncertainty about their futures as I was. I want to give them the message that they should work hard to better their lives."
Yet on set, the actor was less introspective as he charmed staff with his smile and sensitive personality. Lee, who won acclaim in romantic dramas like "Boys Over Flowers" and "The Heirs," is set to make female viewers swoon once more with his steady gaze and all-white outfit in the next issue of the Korean fashion magazine.
On the topic of girls, the actor revealed that he was attracted to women he could "converse well with." That doesn't necessarily mean she has to be perfect. "Everyone has their own merits. I think girls who know their strong points and have self-esteem are attractive. I find unexpected weaknesses charming," the star said.
So it seems Lee, who is soon to appear on screen as a pauper-turned-gangster, is ruled by his soft side. What does he value? "What (you) cherish in (your) heart. The relationship where you can depend on each other, and turn to (one another) for comfort when you're feeling tired."
"Gangnam 1970," starring Lee Min-ho and Kim Rae-won, will open nationwide on Wednesday. The February issue of The Star will hit shelves this Friday.
By Yoon Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org)