First things first: Won Bin is a handsome guy. Anyone who sees the guy will agree. I’m sure he’s a nice guy; and while I’ve seen him three times in the past three days, I’ve never got a chance to speak with him. Not many people have.
Security around the man is usually very tight, and the security guys are very good at their job. They hardly leave an inch around him as they whisk him from place to place. And there is good reason why.
My first encounter with the Won Bin hysteria was at the opening ceremony red carpet event. Walking down the aisle with 10-year-old costar Kim Sae-ron, he was almost virtually mobbed by schoolgirls, old women, and what even looked to be a couple of men. I gotta hand it to the guy–he took it all in stride, though I feel bad for the poor little girl who has no idea how lucky she is. From ten rows deep, the swarm of humanity pushing forward almost left me, our film reviewer and the Busan eFM radio team on the red carpet ourselves.
After the red carpet pushing fiasco, we exited through the back where I ran into a friend of mine Hye-kyung, a Korean reporter for CBS. While we talked, a sudden surge came again: Won Bin walked six inches away from me and again, I got crushed hard by a herd of girls who seemed to come out of literally, nowhere. Being pin-balled around by a swarm of star-struck, crazy girls is far worse than anything I have ever endured over my life. And that includes almost crashing into a tree at 100 km/hr and being around the free Costco supermarket samplers at the wrong moment. My first brush with death led me to believe, this is not a man I want to be around this festival.
The second brush with death was in a somewhat different situation. I was waiting in the lobby of the Grand Hotel for Jerome, a French film critic I had met, and we were going to attend the French party hosted by the Ambassador of France. While I was waiting, the sound I dreaded returned: that same familiar shriek and scream of the uniformed schoolgirls. Once again to my horror, Won Bin appeared.
For reasons unknown, one poor security guy had to try and escort Won Bin out of the lobby, mobbed by another 100 girls or so. Blocked by the swarm of girls, the guard turned him around, and walked right at me. Of course, the inevitable happened: the mob. Ironically, enough, I got bumped into by Won Bin himself… but that was the least of my worries. It was the 100 or so schoolgirls who trampled me afterwards. I made it out alive, but barely. Bruised and battered, I still made it to the party, though it took a couple of glasses of red wine to soothe the pain.
So, to you Mr. Won Bin, I say this: Please, for the love of god and the safety of those around you, stay off the streets. I’m sure you’d like to go around the city in peace, but you brought this women hysteria nonsense upon yourself. Don’t bring it onto us.
I’m kidding. You seem like a nice guy. I hope I never meet you again.
Jeff Liebsch is the still alive and barely kicking Managing Editor of Busan Haps.
I enjoy this article, very interesting. Won Bin is my favorite Korean actor.
Busan Haps Full on PIFF: Won Bin Almost Killed Me–Twice! by Jeff Liebsch
PIFF report – Won Bin Almost Killed Me–Twice!
very good and interesting written article^*^