Lee Min Ho’s first time playing a villain in “Pachinko” is expected to be his next breakthrough role

The upcoming series “Pachinko” promises to show Lee Min Ho’s transformation in image as the actor took on a more challenging and complex role. The series will also debut in the US, not just in Asia.

Pachinko is a critically acclaimed novel written by Korean-American writer Lee Min Jin. Pachinko was selected as one of the 10 most excellent books of 2017 by The New York Times.

Pachinko depicts a story of a four-generation Korean family amid the Japanese occupation of Korea and the start of World War II. The family members have overcome many difficulties of life, fluctuations of the times, and experienced many losses. Even if they seem to have succeeded later on, some of the family members go to college, some get rich by opening a pachinko parlour, the past still clings to them.

Lee Min Ho Pachinko
The “Pachinko” novel

The beloved novel has been adapted into an Apple TV Plus series with Lee Min Ho as one of the main cast. This is considered a special and breakthrough role in Lee Min Ho’s career. In Pachinko, Lee Min Ho plays a Korean man who cannot easily bow to fate and rise up in the difficult years of his life.

Pachinko was filmed in Busan, Korea and Canada. Lee Min Ho was earlier spotted on the set and revealed the styling of his character. The viewers will get to see the actor wear a dashing, handsome retro suit in the drama. In another photo taken on set, Lee Min Ho wears a traditional Japanese kimono, because the novel also tells the story of the Korean family’s life in Japan.

Lee Min Ho Pachinko
Lee Min Ho Pachinko
Lee Min Ho Pachinko

These sneak peeks have shown somewhat the development journey of the character played by Lee Min Ho in different timelines. Therefore, the actor has to portray a variety of nuances and emotions of the character, not only based on life events but also according to the age and maturity of the character through the ups and downs of time.

The character played by Lee Min Ho is described as a complex character. In an interview, he called his character “a villain by all means”. This has raised the audience’s curiosity and excitement even higher.

Lee Min Ho Pachinko
Lee Min Ho spotted wearing a Japanese kimono at the filming set

Throughout his career so far, Lee Min Ho is often typecast in TV series where he plays handsome and rich male protagonists, such as “Boys Over Flowers”, “The Heirs”, “The Legend of the Blue Sea”, “The King: Eternal Monarch”,… Therefore, his acting is sometimes underestimated and overlooked. Therefore, playing an antagonist for the first time in Pachinko is a great opportunity for Lee Min Ho to transform into a new image and showcase his diversity in acting. 

Pachinko consists of 8 episodes and will be broadcast on Apple TV Plus, which means that the series will also be released to American viewers, not just in Asia. Pachinko is expected to be released in 2022.

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