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KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — After a three-year hiatus from acting, South Korean superstar Lee Min-ho is marking his first project since completing military service with a new fantasy romance drama on Netflix.
In The King: Eternal Monarch, Lee stars alongside award-winning actress Kim Go-eun which tells the story of two parallel universes.
One imagines Korea under constitutional monarchy where Lee plays the Emperor Lee Gon while the other is similar to present-day Korea with Kim taking on the role of detective Jung Tae-eul.
Lee who made his acting debut in 2009 with the drama series Boys Over Flowers spoke about how the acting industry in South Korea has changed in the last decade during a video conference call Malaysian journalists yesterday.
The actor said the advance of the internet played a huge role in catapulting Korean content to global popularity and acceptance.
“I think it has brought countries closer together,” he said, ahead of the series’ broadcast.
The 32-year-old cited social media as an example where posts are shared by millions of followers instantly.
As such, the barriers that surrounded Korean content are now disappearing.
“Because of that I am more drawn to the stories and drama series or projects that can overcome language and cultural barriers,” Lee said.
“Also in the same sense I am also drawn to stories that kind of are relatable to a wide variety of audiences, a story that can really move a big, worldwide group of people, something that’s universal.”
With his new Netflix project, Lee said Korean content will be able to reach a much wider global audience.
He also hopes Korean dramas will continue to be highly competitive while pushing out quality content.
Commenting on Korean content’s growing popularity, Lee said it was amazing to be a part of the experience.
“I’m just playing a small role that is given to me in this whole experience.
“As for my role, it would be first to continue to grow as an actor and also to work on as many amazing projects as possible,” said Lee.
Along with Lee and Kim, the 16-episode series, written by Kim Eun-suk of Goblin fame, also stars Jung Eun-chae, Woo Do-Hwan and Kim Kyung-Nam.
The King: Eternal Monarch premieres on Netflix tonight at 10.30pm, with weekly episodes every Friday and Saturday.