ICYMI, the highly-anticipated To All The Boys I Ever Loved spin-off series XO, Kitty was released recently on Netflix and became one of the top favourite shows of the month almost instantly.
The cast, including Ana Cathcart and Choi Min-young, made a place in all of our hearts, but one cast member proved to be a special stand-out in the series. Model-turned-actor Sang Heon Lee made his on-screen debut with the series and quickly became the fan favourite for his portrayal of Kitty’s onscreen enemy Min-ho.
But did playing the uber-cool, sarcastic and witty Min-ho, who is obsessed with his skincare routine, easy for the 27-year-old actor? The actor thinks so and adds, “The cast feels I am very similar to my character which I think is a compliment! Maybe I played that role well enough for them to see parallels,” says Lee, “But sometimes it’s hard to portray yourself in the character because you don’t want to show too much of yourself. The similar traits between Min-ho and me are that we both try to act confident, though I am not sure if Min-ho is acting or not. We both love to cook and share a similar romantic side when it comes to relationships.”
Min-ho’s fate, especially after *SPOILER ALERT* his big romantic confession to Kitty at the end of the first season was left with a cliffhanger. With a second season confirmed, fans have been curious to know if Kitty and Min-ho will end up together or not. “I was like ‘Okay, are Min-ho and Kitty endgame?’ But if they are together, then what happens next?! I am as curious as the rest of them,” says Lee.
The actor also shares space with his real-life sister Gia Kim, who plays Yuri Han, the influential student at the fictitious Korean Independent School of Seoul (KISS). This made for some embarrassing moments on set for the actor including a romantic kissing scene with Jocelyn Shelfo (who played Madison) in the presence of his sister, “I didn’t want her to be there!” exclaims Lee while laughing, “It was just so awkward, imagine watching your brother kiss!”
The embarrassing scenes aside, Lee admits he has a number of favourite scenes from the series, “This one might seem out of the blue, but my most memorable scene is when Min-ho entered the Min-ho Madness party to warn everyone that the teachers have got a whiff of it and as he goes through the crowd to tell people, he spots Kitty and Dae leaning on each other. The other favourite scene is when Min-ho’s face reflects the true side of his feelings. I like that scene because his eyes don’t lie, his heart is true, especially when he is feeling romantic and attracted towards someone else.”
The question had to be asked, is Sang Heon Lee as meticulous about his skincare regime as his onscreen persona? “It’s not as complicated as Min-ho’s at all,” admits Lee with a laugh, “I have a very basic four-step routine of toner, essence water, moisturizing cream and sunscreen when I go out.“
Now that he has cemented his position as an International Heartthrob (not an official title. Yet), we wonder what is the one thing that he finds attractive in a woman. “A good sense of humour or maybe a good smile,” says Lee without wasting a second. The actor is just as clear about the major relationship red flags too, “If she treats her friends less than what they’re worth, that’s a red flag. If someone feels highly of themselves, even above her friends, that is a red flag for me.”
The self-confessed rock climbing enthusiast will be next seen in the action-adventure Gran Turismo, opposite Orlando Bloom, which comes out in August 2023.