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‘Hello!’ Ahn Bo-hyun: The countdown begins for South Korean actor’s first fan meeting in Manila

By Elaine Calderon Published May 25, 2024 6:29 pm Updated May 25, 2024 6:31 pm

A chaebol heir-turned-detective, an army prosecutor, a rich hotelier, a game developer, a villainous chaebol, a military sergeant—no matter how you were first introduced to South Korean actor Ahn Bo-hyun, you’re sure to have fallen in love with his “19 lives” (pun intended) onscreen.

Over the past decade, the 36-year-old star of Itaewon Class, Yumi’s Cells, My Name, Military Prosecutor Doberman, See You in My 19th Life, and Flex X Cop has steadily built an impressive filmography that showcases his versatile acting talent and knack for choosing memorable characters. 

Ahn Bo-hyun’s journey from supporting roles in popular dramas such as Descendants of the Sun and Her Private Life to leading roles in more recently acclaimed television series began when he debuted in 2014. He has since risen to fame in South Korea and globally, bringing us to his first-ever fan meeting in Manila to be held on May 25, at the New Frontier Theater, Araneta City.

Ahead of the show presented by Wilbros Live and IAM Worldwide, Ahn Bo-hyun met with members of the media and select fans for a preview of what’s to come in his fan meeting. (He graciously answered so many questions! Host Sam Oh also noted that he was wearing a casual suit reminiscent of uniformed personnel—an homage to his characters, perhaps?)

“It’s a whole different feeling that I’m feeling right now,” he says through a translator. “It’s not a [vacation]; but, due to the fan meeting, I’m actually visiting the Philippines.” 

He then revealed that this was not the first time he planned on visiting the country. “Actually, I had the opportunity to visit the Philippines with my friends before. But, due to the schedule, I had to cancel,” he shares. “So if I’m ever given the opportunity [to visit again], anywhere like Palawan, Boracay, Cebu—anywhere would be good for my family.”

For now, Ahn Bo-hyun’s priority is to spend more time with his Filipino fans at his fan meeting to celebrate his 10th year in the industry. As he looks back on his career, the former athlete and boxer from Busan, South Korea talks about his belief in an ‘initial mindset’ and how he holds this close to keep going forward.

“I love the idea of the initial mindset. Mine is to never give up,” he says. He even wears a necklace and a small pendant with the phrase "initial mindset" engraved on it! 

With this approach to his career, it’s no surprise that the Flex X Cop star has played some of the most diverse characters on TV and film.

When choosing projects, Ahn Bo-hyun asks himself, “Is my role very different [from my previous roles]? Can I show a different side [of me] to the audience [in my next project]? [Those are some of] the things that I consider.” He then brings his distinct characters to life with nuance, seamlessly transitioning from one personality to another by knowing when to take inspiration and when to be Ahn Bo-hyun the actor.

“In the case of Itaewon Class, it was a very famous webtoon in Korea, and I was able to portray the emotions that were actually expressed in the drawings. In the case of See You in My 19th Life, it was also [already a popular webtoon], but I actually didn’t look at it—because if I actually tried to follow the same emotions, I can’t create my own [character] as an actor. So I tried my best to create my own [version],” he said.

As he prepares for his fan meeting in the next few hours, Ahn Bo-hyun is set to show who he is off-screen to give his Filipino fans a chance to get to know him more deeply as an actor. He expresses his gratitude to the media and his fans for this opportunity for their continued support.

“I just feel surreal at the moment. I hope you can visit the fan meeting, and if there’s an opportunity, I’ll make sure to come back to the Philippines for a vacation.”

Editor’s Note: Quoted translations have been edited for clarity and brevity.