Who is the real Kim Soo Hyun

Who is the real Kim Soo Hyun
Kim Soo Hyun and Zach Lu (left).

That man you saw walking down the streets of Taipei? You could almost swear he was top South Korean star Kim Soo Hyun.

Look closer, however - and it is actually Taiwanese model Zach Lu.

Lu, who bears a striking resemblance to the My Love From The Star actor, has been making waves in the media recently.

Riding on the overwhelming popularity of the Korean hit series, which has taken East Asia by storm, the 25-year-old model has been making good money in Taiwan from public appearances, as well as print and TV commercials, as a Kim lookalike.

To date, Lu has appeared in TV and print advertisements for ice cream, pay-TV packages, a chia seed drink and mobile phone games.

His fee is about NT$100,000 (S$4,166) to NT$150,000 for each commercial. Public appearances net him NT$60,000 to NT$70,000 an hour.

Just three months ago, he was leading a more mundane life as an insurance agent, making an average of NT$20,000 to NT$30,000 a month.

"Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I'm in this business now," he tells SundayLife! in Mandarin over the telephone from Taipei, sounding genuinely in awe.

"But I guess I'm starting to get used to the idea. I'm starting to accept the fact that, wow, I actually have fans and people are actually interested in hiring me for event and commercial appearances," he adds. "All because of Professor Do Min Joon."

Do Min Joon is the name of the character that Kim plays in My Love From The Star, an alien who works as a university professor.

At 1.81m tall (Kim is 1.8m), Lu has single eyelids, a high nose bridge and a floppy hair fringe - all features that the Korean star possesses.

He was discovered in late February while walking through a Taipei subway station with some friends. Mr Travis Lai, an artist manager with artist and modelling agency Emi Fashion, noticed Lu's good looks and resemblance to Kim, and approached him.

Lu recalls: "He kept asking me to leave my contact details. At first, I wasn't really keen, so I walked away. But he was so earnest that he caught up with me again shortly after and kept trying to talk me into it."

Eventually, Lu decided to take up Mr Lai's offer to take some pictures for a modelling card. The artist manager then helped him secure an appearance on variety show Treasure Island. "And everything just started happening from there," says Lu.

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