MALAYSIA - More than just a pretty face, Korean actor Lee Min-ho exudes quiet wisdom as he contemplates his life on the Hallyu A-list.
It's a sunny and humid Sunday afternoon, and Korean actor Lee Min-ho is in one of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre's colossal exhibition halls addressing a crowd of over 700 adoring fans at an exclusive meet-and-greet event.
Although, the invite-only affair - which is hosted by Osim Malaysia - does come across more like a rock concert than a fan meet, what with the early queue just to get into the venue and the cacophony of screams within once the doors open.
"Anyeonghaesayo (Hello), my name is Lee Min-ho," the Seoul native humbly greets fans to another round of extended screams from the largely female audience.
The introduction is just a matter of formality really. There's no doubt that everyone in the room probably know who Lee is. After the release of the wildly popular drama series Boys Over Flowers in 2009, the actor shot to stardom throughout Asia; becoming one of the torch-bearers of the Hallyu craze.
If Brad Pitt is a household name in Hollywood, then Lee is the Korean wave equivalent. The 27-year-old hasn't let fame get to his head though, ever thankful to the fans who have supported him throughout his career.
"I landed a little late last night, but I'm very grateful to see my fans greeting me at the airport. I'm really happy to meet them through this event," says Lee, who looks dapper in an all-black ensemble.
It is Lee's third time on Malaysian shores. And as local conversation convention goes, he talks about food when he recalls his previous experiences here.
"Every time I'm here, I am served many helpings of satay (skewered chicken) and nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk). I presume all of you can cook nasi lemak yourself here?" he innocently asks the crowd.
Of course, even if the women in the audience couldn't, chances are they would have agreed with a resounding, "Yes".
With his bright eyes, porcelain smooth skin, long toned legs and lanky physique (he stands at 1.87m), Lee fits the bill of a gush-worthy heartthrob that's sure to set many hearts aflutter.
And that sort of begs the question: Does his good looks force him to work harder to prove his worth as an actor? The query garners a hearty boyish laugh from Lee.
"In terms of how looks play on an actor, I think that's one of the things that is quite critical in an acting career. If it's something that comes from me, my good looks that is, then I'm very willing to use that part of myself in my career," he offers during a special interview arranged by Osim.
"There are definitely more pros than cons when it comes to how an actor's appearance works on his acting and so far, it's been a positive trait for me. Well, not because I'm handsome or anything, but in that it helps me portray my roles better on screen," he adds.
Born in Heukseok-dong, a neighbourhood in Dongjak-gu, Seoul, Lee aspired to become a professional football player as a child. However, an injury during elementary school squashed that dream.
It was during his second year in high school that he finally found a new calling in acting and modelling.