‘Lovely Runner’ star Byeon Woo-seok on newfound fame: It’s like a dream

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
�Lovely Runner� star Byeon Woo-seok on newfound fame: It�s like a dream
In 'Lovely Runner,' Byeon Woo-seok takes on his first-ever lead role as Ryn Sun-jae, a Korean idol who falls in love with a fan, Im Sol. He says, 'I fell in love with the character. I could totally relate. I actually do love romantic comedies.'

MANILA, Philippines — “Lovely Runner” star Byeon Woo-seok pulled a lovely surprise when he met the Filipino media ahead of his first fan meet in the Philippines happening today.

The 32-year-old South Korean actor handed out flowers to each and every press member — something that has never been done in any presscon, whether local and foreign — showing how he was quite the charmer off screen, as well.

Byeon is in town for the “2024 Byeon Woo-seok Asia Fanmeeting Tour: Summer Letter in Manila” at the New Frontier Theater. According to Happee Sy Go, the lady boss of Pulp Live World, the event presented by Varo Entertainment, TONZ Entertainment, and PULP Live World, quickly sold out.

“It’s so nice to be here in the Philippines finally and when I arrived here yesterday, there were so many fans who welcomed us (at the airport). I was so thrilled and excited and I’m actually looking forward to all of this,” said the towering actor, who first made a name for himself as a model.

“Yes, it’s my first time here and natutuwa ako sa lahat ng nakikita ko,” he further said, with the help of an interpreter.

For the actor, his favorite scenes from the hit series are his love confessions to romantic interest Im Sol, played by Kim Hye-yoon. — Photos from his Instagram

“Before I read the ‘Lovely Runner’ script, I had actually wanted to do a different kind of role, but when I read the ‘Lovely Runner’ script, I fell in love with the character. I could totally relate. I actually do love romantic comedies,” he shared.

He cited his top scenes from the series, namely, his dramatic father-son scene, and his emotional love confessions to his love interest Im Sol, played by Kim Hye-yoon.

On how he built such amazing chemistry with his leading ladies like Kim Hye-yoon, he said, “There’s no really like a secret to how I was able to have a good relationship with my co-actors and actresses. But one thing that made me have a good relationship with my costars is me meeting good actresses, as well because they also love the projects that they are doing. So our love for the new drama or whatever we are doing makes us connect together.”

“I don’t really do a personal approach or do something just to make us close. It comes from both our hard work and our love towards what we do,” he added.

Byeon appeared still overwhelmed by the “unexpected” overseas reception to his character and to the project. He has been an actor for eight years now but his career just hit crazy heights after “Lovely Runner,” which premiered on tvN last April and also streamed on Viu for the international audiences.

As per Social Blade, the show led to his Instagram following skyrocketing to 2.43 million new followers within a month. As of May, it has accumulated 8.3 million followers.

Reflecting on his soaring popularity, he stressed he’s still used to it. “Everything itself, my day-to-day (experience) has been a big surprise. Like yesterday, at the airport, I saw a huge crowd. That was amazing and amusing on my end. Also me, just doing this presscon, it’s one of my dreams come true. Until now, I’m still not used to this sudden attention. It’s actually like a dream.”

In past interviews, Byeon said that he received multiple acting offers following “Lovely Runner.” However, he told the Pinoy press yesterday that he doesn’t have any role or genre in mind for his next projects. He, nevertheless, hinted that he’s going to do another romantic comedy to be released within the next few months.

Meanwhile, the Manila stop is just the latest in a series of jampacked fan meetings all over Asia.

“Just the fact that I’m able to go to different places, that in itself is very exciting,” he said of his first Asia tour. “But most importantly, I get to see the culture of these different countries. That awakens my mind.”

The former model also shared that had he not been an actor, he would have been an entrepreneur, maybe, managing his own coffee shop. “But I don’t drink coffee,” he laughed. “I just want to serve coffee.”

So, what to expect from tonight’s event with his Filipino supporters?

“In my thoughts and in my heart, I hope that the audiences who put in their time and money and effort to make this happen, not just here (in the Philippines) but also in other countries… I wish they would go home with good memories, and that they appreciate the time I spent with them,” he sincerely said.

“Thank you so much for your overwhelming love not just to me but to my ‘Lovely Runner’ character,” he further stated, expressing his gratitude as his message to his Filipino fans.

“I’m very grateful that you all remember me and appreciate me, showing me your love as Sun-jae of the ‘Lovely Runner.’ I think as an actor, that is one of the greatest achievements — that your character is well-loved.”

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