Lee Min Ho’s portrayal of “Boys Over Flowers” Goo Jun Pyo was extremely iconic, but the actor was not the first choice for this role.
There’s no denying the massive success of “Boys Over Flowers” which basically kick-started the careers of Lee Min Ho, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, and Goo Hye Sun. After “Boys Over Flowers”, Lee Min Ho went from a no-name actor to a top star, and his appearance as the rich student Goo Jun Pyo, head of the iconic “F4” was so legendary the image retained for years later. Even now, the “rich Goo Jun Pyo” is so rooted in Lee Min Ho’s image, people see the role in every later character played by Lee Min Ho.
However, according to screenwriter Yoon Ji Ryun, Lee Min Ho was not the first choice for Goo Jun Pyo. It was revealed that the production team of “Boys Over Flowers” initially offered the role to Jang Geun Suk – who was extremely famous in the 2000s, and was even nicknamed “the Prince of Asia”. Compared to Lee Min Ho, who is often dubbed a “one-trick pony” and is still struggling to break free from such a title, Jang Geun Suk’s acting resumé boasts a way more impressive range. Prior to “Boys Over Flowers”, Jang Geun Suk has already starred in hit K-dramas like “Hong Gil Dong”, “Hwang Jin Yi”, and decided to refuse the school drama for “Beethoven Virus”. However, while “Beethoven Virus” still managed decent successes, “Boys Over Flowers” boasted a much more impressive and long-lasting popularity.
Fortunately, in 2009, during the same time as “Boys Over Flowers”, Jang Geun Suk also scored the famous work “You’re Beautiful”, which made him the “prince charming” to many watchers. However, Jang Geun Suk started to gain weight uncontrollably following the role, thus losing his visuals and becoming ill-fitted for his previously unisex style.
Jang Geun Suk later revealed he knew of the negative comments and promised to regain his old physique. He successfully fulfilled this promise, only to enlist in the military immediately after. In 2020, the actor officially discharged, but he no longer looked as charismatic as during his peak. Now, Jang Geun Suk pays little attention to his appearance, and while fans are mostly happy that the actor gets to live the way he wants, they still mourn the prime days from time to time.
Compared to Lee Min Ho’s flourishing career, the fall of Jang Geun Suk is indeed regrettable.