Inquirer Super

Why Edsa is Kim Soo-hyun’s Namsan in Manila

By: Ruth L. Navarra

South Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun wore his go-to casual wear for the press conference of his Manila fan meet, “One Extraordinary Day,” on June 9. He chose a black denim jacket over a black shirt with a letter “B” on his chest and paired it with black jeans.

The monochromatic pieces are all from the lifestyle and clothing brand Bench, of which he has been an ambassador since last year. He found the clothes so comfortable that he also wore Bench at the airport when he flew in from Incheon on June 8. Kim said that his favorite look is black and casual. When asked for style tips, he said that his fans will not go wrong if they copy his look on the Bench billboards found on Edsa.


The Edsa billboards left quite an impression on him. During the one-on-one interview with Lifestyle, I gave him a series of words, to which he responded with the first thing he thinks of relating to that word. It went like this.

Food?

“Jollibee.” He pauses. “Mango. I like mangoes. I don’t like dried mangoes. I like the fresh ones.”

Bowling?

“Mental concentration.”

Seoul?

“Namsan.”

Manila?

“If there is Namsan in Seoul, what do we have in the Philippines?”

I thought hard. We had none, but the closest tourist spot with a tower is Rizal Park. I told him that.

“No, I mean Landmarks. The place where the billboards are located, Edsa!” he answered smiling.

Fashion?

“Bench! Bench! Bench!” And under his breath he uttered, “black and casual.”

Popularity
Kim Soo-hyun | Photo by Juan Pablo Parian


Kim debuted in 2007 on the sitcom “Kimchi Cheese Smile.” He is someone who has chosen his roles very well to showcase his talent. He established himself as an actor through the series “Moon Embracing the Sun,” where he won a Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actor.


His popularity rose when he played as an alien opposite Jun Ji-hyun in the drama “My Love from Another Star.” He became a global actor when he played a nurse in the Netflix hit, “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.”

That talent came with the visuals that his fans love. But the actor said that he has insecurities, too.

“I always feel insecure. I always want to be prettier, I want to last longer. But I guess that’s what everyone wants,” he said.

Kim is one of South Korea’s highest paid actors. Last year alone, he reportedly raked in a total of $3.4 million for his drama “One Ordinary Day.” It’s possible that he made more because his own agency, Gold Medalist, produced the show. The company founded in 2020 also coproduced the series “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay.”


Friendships and indulgences

Is he someone who saves money or is there something he indulges on?


“Yeah, there is,” he replied. “Recently, I do not have many occasions to spend, but with the bike that I recently bought, I bought new parts for it. I kind of customized it to make it more personal.”


Kim is known to maintain good relationships with his costars even after the projects have ended. Some of his famous friends include “Dream High” costars Lee Ji-eun, aka IU, and Suzy. Park Seo-jun revealed that it was owing to his friendship with Kim that Park signed with the management agency KeyEast.


“It’s not like I have a lot of close coactors. But I am a listener. I try my best to listen to the stories of the people that I follow and cherish. Not a lot of people listen these days,” he said.


Some of his friendships have led to cameos in coactors’ projects. He appeared in IU’s “Hotel del Luna.” Fans are still clamoring for him to make the second season. We asked if he’s willing to work on a second season of any show where he played a cameo role.


“Actually, no. It was much better because it was a cameo. [For those shows] I do not want to become the highlight. I want to be a supporter or helper,” he said.

Does he have any regrets as an actor?
“Every project, every episode, every scene, there are regrets. But that’s what I’m going for,” he said. “I like it because I want to overcome it. But I also know that it’s impossible to overcome [mistakes] sometimes.”

Follow Super K on Facebook and Inquirer Super on Instagram.