Lee Kwang Soo has intimate scenes in Korean version of Entourage
Korean actor-comedian Lee Kwang Soo's latest TV series is remake of Hollywood comedy-drama
Remaking a popular TV show comes with the inevitable pressure of being endlessly compared to one's successful predecessor.
Just ask South Korean actor-comedian Lee Kwang Soo, who is one of the leading cast members of Entourage, a Korean remake of the HBO TV series of the same name.
Produced by Korean cable TV channel tvN, it will premiere in South Korea on Nov 4.
The 31-year-old entertainer, best known for his hilarious antics on variety game show Running Man, told Singapore media yesterday that he is a big fan of the original series, which ran for eight seasons between 2004 and 2011 and even spawned a movie spin-off last year.
Entourage chronicles the misadventures of fictional New York boy-turned-A-list-star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his best buddies in Hollywood.
BOY'S CLUB: Lee Kwang Soo (second from left) in a scene from Entourage. TNP PHOTO: OH XING YEE
Fans, remember Johnny "Drama" Chase (Kevin Dillon), Vincent's half-brother and personal chef cum bodyguard? That's the character Lee will play.
"I really enjoyed the original Entourage very much, I've watched every single episode," said Leethrough a translator.
"Of course, we felt pressure when we were filming.
"But thankfully, our director always reminded us to express our emotions freely and to come up with our own Korean concept (of the comedy-drama)."
Lee Kwang Soo.TNP PHOTO: OH XING YEE
Lee, known affectionately as "Giraffe" to legions of Running Man viewers because of his gangly 1.9m-tall frame, was in town as the brand ambassador of travel retailer The Shilla Duty Free Singapore, to celebrate the first anniversary of beauty store Shilla Beauty Loft at Changi Airport.
Following his closed-door press conference, he did a free, open-to-public meet-and-greet session with more than 400 fans at Terminal 3.
Lee said: "I can't reveal details about Entourage at this point, but I can tell you that I do have some intimate scenes, as well as scenes with skinship (a Korean term for physical contact).
"Also, Cha Joon, the character I play, is very different from me in real life. He is annoying. He is constantly nasty to others and likes to brag and talk a lot."
Filming the series with his fellow actors was "a lot of fun", added Lee.
The cast of Entourage includes Seo Kang Jun (taking on Grenier's role), Lee Dong Hwi (Jerry Ferrara's Turtle), and veteran actor Cho Jin Woong (Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold).
Lee's star has risen rapidly in the last couple of years, and he is now recognised as a bona fide actor back home, having played the leading man in romantic TV drama It's Okay, That's Love (2014) and comedy film Collective Invention (2015).
However, he seems to have no airs. When the host referred to him as "Prince of Asia", Lee laughed and looked embarrassed.
"That is a great honour," he said, grinning.
"I think my friendly image on Running Man endeared me to many people. Thank you all so much."