Probably why actor Wi Ha Jun chose the Philippines for his debut fan meet
“I’m a probinsyano who grew up on an island,” says Wi Ha Jun, actor of Squid Game fame, with a smile. The 31-year-old star has that disarming boyish charm that his fans would arguably say is one of the many traits to love about the talented performer. His résumé is diverse as it is impressive and includes interesting and thrilling K-dramas like Bad and Crazy, Squid Game and fan favorites like 18 Again and Little Women.
At an exclusive press meet at Edsa Shangri-la hosted by premiere lifestyle brand BENCH, the actor discussed his previous roles and revealed his favorite character. “A role that I really connected with was the role I had in Bad and Crazy. To be honest, it was a very challenging role for me as an actor. I had to break down my personality to be able to play it. Personally, I'm kind of sad that it already ended. I really enjoyed the role, and I felt really cute while playing K [my character].”
When it comes to the role that's most similar to him, his answer won't shock you. “Hwang Jun-Ho from Squid Game, because when I was preparing for that role, a lot of people would tell me how similar I was to the character and I have to agree.” He also shares how his life changed dramatically after the global success of the hit TV series.
So, it’s quite special that the Korean star picked the Philippines as the venue for his very first fan meeting. “I’m just excited to meet and interact with my fans. If I could hug each one of them, I would,” he tells the press. Though he didn’t give so much away in regards to what he prepared for the actual event, Ha Jun reiterates that it’s the best time to give back to his fans who have been supporting his career even before his Instagram followers blew up to 10 million. “There’s a Filipino fan account that I check every day. They always send encouraging messages and posts that really inspire me,” he says.
Working with Bench and the warmth of the local brand also made an impression on Ha Jun much like his fan base. “[Bench] is the leading brand here in the Philippines, and to be part of the team is a very big honor for me. I’m glad that the way that I can meet my fans here in the Philippines is through Bench,” the actor shares. “I was very impressed with how [Bench] was very considerate of me and how they cared for me and asked me how I was doing [throughout the shoot]. So, I was very happy working with Bench.”
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When asked about his favorite pieces from the brand, he admits to loving everything because it reflects his personal style. “Bench is very comfortable. When I’m working or at events, I’m usually in suits and wearing more formal attire, but during my personal time I like wearing casual and sporty pieces.”
Speaking of his “me time,” the actor also revealed his dream destinations in the Philippines, and he hopefully would want to tour these places as soon as he could. “I'd love to go to Cebu and Boracay on my personal time and explore and enjoy the beaches,” he admits. True enough, a lot of Korean stars have gone to both islands for some R&R, so it's no surprise that Ha Jun would like to do the same. After a non-stop acting career and a raving fan meet, we admit that the actor deserves some time in paradise, too.
Words Maura Rodriguez