‘I’m a probinsyano. I grew up on an island. I would enjoy the role of someone rough, growing up in the province, who [maybe] falls in love with a beautiful girl. I’d like to try doing love stories.’
Wi Ha Jun wants to be a probinsyano
Get to know more about the Squid Game actor as he holds his debut fan meet in the Philippines
At a glance
One of South Korea’s most sought-after actors, Wi Ha Jun, is in the Philippines for the first-ever meet-and-greet held at the New Frontier Theater, organized by local fashion label Bench.
“It’s my first time to be able to visit the Philippines and it’s for a fan meeting. I’m nervous but also very happy to be here,” opens the 32-year-old South Korean star. “My first impression of the Philippines since I arrived is its warmth—the warmness of the weather and the eyes of the Filipinos. The people are very welcoming.”
The actor-model lists down the things he wants to do in the country, which includes taking a vacation and basking in the beautiful white beaches of Boracay as well as touring Cebu. “Sometimes my fans would send me pictures of themselves standing in front of posters of me wearing Bench clothing in the stores. I personally want to visit these stores and see the clothes myself,” he adds to his itinerary.
In 2022, the young Korean artist joined the stellar lineup of the retail giant’s endorsers called Benchsetters. “Bench is a leading brand in the Philippines, so to be an ambassador or to be part of the team is a very big honor for me. I’m also pleased I can meet my fans here through Bench.”
It was also in May last year that the lifestyle brand released on its social media pages an ad campaign starring Wi Ha Jun flaunting his demi-god body in a denim ensemble. “We’ve had a lot of activities, especially photo shoots. I was very impressed on how they were very considerate of me and how I feel. They would always adapt and adjust to me so I was always happy working with them.”
Yesterday, Wi Ha Jun addressed the media in his press conference wearing his usual appealing smile and Bench attire he describes as sporty and casual at the same time. “I’m rocking a Bench top. It’s very comfortable. The fit is cute but masculine. Whenever you want emphasis in your outfit, you can do it through these clothes.”
Wi Ha Jun is famous for his roles in films Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018), Shark: The Beginning (2021), and Midnight (2021), as well as television programs Something in the Rain (2018), Romance Is a Bonus Book (2018), 18 Again(2020), and Little Women (2022).
Asked about his favorite role, Wi Ha Jun shares that he had the most connection with his character in Bad and Crazy (2021). “K was a very challenging role. I had to break my personality to be able to fulfill this role. I personally feel sad that the series had already ended, but I really enjoyed it.”
The role most parallel to his own personality, however, is the supporting protagonist Hwang Jun-ho, an enigmatic police detective in the Netflix hit series Squid Game (2021), where Wi Ha Jun earned international acclaim. “When I was preparing for the role of Hwang Jun-ho, everyone was telling me how similar I was to him. I also had the same sense of justice and I am a consistent person with the things I want to resolve. And I also have an older brother.”
His dream role is a probinsyano. “I’m a probinsyano. I grew up on an island. I would enjoy the role of someone rough, growing up in the province, who [maybe] falls in love with a beautiful girl. I’d like to try doing love stories.”
On how he stays humble he intimates, “The way that I stay grounded is through my family, especially my parents. When I feel anxious and worried, I tend to rely on my parents. I also read the different letters of my fans. They would send me cheerful letters, and that helps me a lot.”
Wi Ha Jun feels most rewarded when he sees his family and his fans enjoying his shows. “Having a fan base in itself is very rewarding for me. I’m thankful to all my fans.” He is especially grateful to his Filipino supporters, and says, “I have no other words to say to my Filipino fans. There is a Filipino ‘Wi Ha Jun’ Instagram account that I check out religiously. I look at the page every day and see motivational posts and stories. This encourages me.”