Celebrity roommates

Celebrity roommates
Cast of the reality series, Roommate.

The new kids on the block of an upscale neighbourhood in Seoul are a starstudded bunch, including heart-throb actor Lee Dong Wook and boyish Chanyeol of popular boyband EXO.

No, it is not that the Seongbuk-dong neighbourhood is suddenly hot property among South Korean celebrities. Lee and Chanyeol live together with their nine celebrity housemates in a spacious house under constant surveillance for the filming of reality show Roommate, currently airing here on Korean channel ONE.

The show has done wonders for the careers of the lesser known stars, such as rookie actor Seo Kang Joon and comedian Jo Se Ho, who has a bit role in the hit drama My Love From The Star.

After toiling in show business for over a decade, the pudgy Jo recently uploaded on Instagram a selfie taken with hordes of fans in the background - it is captioned: "The first fan meeting ever of my life in Taiwan."

Together with his fellow Roommates, Jo met fans last month when they were in Taiwan for the show's filming.

Compared with Jo, Seo is getting his lucky break much earlier in his career. In an e-mail interview with Life!, he reveals that his schedule has been packed with upcoming projects.

"I am working very hard to reach out to my fans through various platforms such as movies, dramas and pictorial books," says the 20-year-old who debuted in the idol actor group Surprise last year.

"I am likely to release a Surprise music album in the second half of this year. In addition to Roommate, my fans can catch me on the weekend drama What's With This Family."

Roommate, a work assignment that crosses into personal boundaries, proved to be unnerving for the soft-spoken actor - it is no joke being monitored throughout the day by 60 cameras installed around the house, he says.

"On the very first day, the cameras installed in the house were bothering me. I was conscious about being filmed and worried about how I would appear on TV.

"On the second day, I decided not to be bothered by the cameras. I believed it was best to be my natural self and not bother how I would look on screen."

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