February 16, 2006 20:36
The actor Hyun Bin is attempting to translate his good looks to the big screen with his debut film "A Millionaire's First Love." Hyun’s newfound stellar popularity is reflected in a recent survey by a website that found he was the man women respondents most wanted to have a love affair with, if only for one day. Catapulted to small-screen stardom as Samshik in last year's hit TV drama "My Name Is Kim Sam-soon," Hyun has landed a series of homeruns with his roles starting in the earlier series “Island.”
In the debut film released last week, Hyun plays an immature third-generation millionaire who is awakened to love. "My part in the movie is the heir of a millionaire grandfather who is just filthy rich without any special preferences or interests. He is rude to the elderly and quite arrogant. I don't know why, but I keep playing arrogant parts,” Hyun said.
"A Millionaire's First Love" focuses on the boy’s struggle with a clause in his grandfather’s will that says he will only get his inheritance if he graduates from a high school in the country. Relocated into the mountains, Hyun finds puppy love with a naive country girl. Can love change the spoilt urbanite and awaken his gentler side?
Although Hyun is still a fledgling actor, the web survey offers a glimpse of how far he has already come. Inevitably, women are his main fan base, as witness the huge crowd of them that turned up at a promotion stunt where the heartthrob himself applied lip gloss to 20 participants. His popularity owes much to his image as an arrogant but ultimately romantic lover and to clean-cut and well-bred looks that suggest a rebellious streak underneath. But Hyun is having none of it, flatly assessing his appearance as "ordinary."
"I have to look at myself in the mirror dozens of times when I shoot dramas or movies. When I look at myself, I can’t really see myself as good-looking," Hyun said. But with a 184-cm tall, toned physique thanks to his time as a swimmer in school, the strapping 24-year old has clearly struck a chord. His consistently improving performances look likely to strengthen rather than dissipate his popularity as time goes by.
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