Lee Min Ho will not be shooting for any drama or film for the next two years. The Korean actor finally enlisted in the military for his two-year service on Friday, May 12. Lee Min Ho will be working as a public service worker for a year in Gangnam, and then he will be transferred to Army training center for basic military training.
The 29-year-old actor has joined the public service and not any of the three branches of the military because of the injuries that he had sustained in a car accident in 2006. Lee Min Ho’s agency, MYM Entertainment, told media that he would be joining the Gangnam District Office as a public service worker due to his car accidents in 2006 and 2011, according to Soompi.
South Korea has Conscription law, which makes it mandatory for all males of legal age (20-30) to undergo military service for two years. Except under certain conditions, no one is exempted from the military service, including celebrities. Most of the celebrities try to push back their enlistment dates and do as many projects as possible before taking the two-year professional break. Lee Min Ho, too, has begun his public service right at the end of his 20s — all males are expected to enlist before 30 years of age. The actor will be celebrating his 30th birthday on June 22.
In an interview given to @star1 Magazine, Lee Min Ho talked about enlisting late. Soompi quoted him as saying that if he had gone early, he would not have been part of Boys Over Flowers — the drama that catapulted him into superstardom — and his 20s might not have been as happy.
“If I’d gone early, I wouldn’t have been cast in Boys Over Flowers and my 20s probably wouldn’t have been as happy. I personally think that going later was a good choice for me. I’m lucky to have acted during a great era and I was able to get a lot of love overseas, and I’m happy that I was able to contribute to Hallyu in my own way.”
The Korean actor said that his biggest challenge as a soldier would be having a routine. Lee Min Ho wants to come back healthy and do a great project.
“I feel all the fans’ sadness and their support. I’d like to come back healthy and heal them again with a great project.”
Korean netizens are usually not kind to celebrities who do public service and not join the army, air force, or navy for their military service, but Lee Min Ho seems to have legions of supportive fans. Netizenbuzz quoted one of the posters as saying that the actor deserved to go into public service as he had to face a lot of hardships after his car accident.
Another poster said, ” He got into a car accident that forced him into getting leg treatments for over a year with several surgeries. That’s why he’s in public service now.”
Meanwhile, contrary to speculation, Lee Min Ho did not get engaged to miss A’s Suzy before he enlisted on Friday. Since they officially confirmed their relationship in 2016, there has been much speculation about whether the two are getting engaged, getting married, or breaking up. Lee Min Ho and Suzy, who celebrated their second anniversary together in April, has never confirmed or denied any of the rumors, and without getting engaged or married, the couple is reportedly still going strong.
Four days before his military enlistment, Lee Min Ho wrapped up a commercial shoot, and on May 11, he was in Jeju Island for a photo shoot. They were his last professional commitments before his enlistment, and his fans will now see him facing a camera after he completes his public service in 2019.
Lee Min Ho returned to television after a break of three years in 2016. He starred in The Legends of the Blue Sea, one of the top-rated dramas on SBS.
[Featured Image by Ashley Pon/Getty Images]