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Kim Nam Gil: Still Remains As A Mysterious Icon

I don't know when will i cut some slack, but nowadays am getting lazier. However being netizen is my hype lately.

So this morning I went to take a tour in soompi this time and indulge myself scouring for my latest kdrama flick, the recently concluded Secret Garden. I honestly became engrossed at this drama that until now am tempted to watch it again. This is like me after the He is Beautiful craze. So much for fangirling. Geesh.

Secret Garden.
Then Hyun Bin.
As much as I fell in love with Binnie or his character as Joo Woon, having a thread of more than 1000 pages made me much lazier to start reading. Whoa , that much?

Then I remember Kim Nam Gil's thread which have less than a hundred pages to date. 58 to be exact. I checked both thread for the first posting date. And I was surprised to see that both were created in the same year, 2005.

Gong Yoo is much the same. And Kang Ji Hwan too. With numerous pages for each celebrities, I came to wonder why KNG have that small quantity of interactions?

I must admit that I came to only know about Kim Nam Gil after his remarkable (I have said this term for the nth time) portrayal as Bidam in Queen Seon Deok (MBC, 2009 ). Though I religiously watched on live streaming sites his follow up drama, Bad Guy, I felt lacking as a fan. I got to know about him more, that's what my fanguts tell me.

Aside from QSD, his filmography highlighted my curiosity by these two points:

No Regret , 2006
Miindo, 2008 (Portrait of Beauty)

POB was my initial KNG movie to watch. I disregarded any reviews and synopsis, so just imagine me being surprised by its delicate love scenes. What can I say aside from KNG's being so damn FTW hot here? That he indeed portrayed Kang Mu above par that I even hate his dying scene? I cried NOT FAIR after the sad ending. But oh, this is Korean movie. What's new? They are fond of sad endings anyway. But gah, this man stole my senses. He really that good and wonder, from what planet did he come from?

NO REGRET. I only saw the trailer. I only saw the first 20-30 minutes of it. I stopped at the s-e-x part of Sungmin and Jae-min. I don't know when will i watch and finish this movie. As much as it was regarded as true gay korean film by critics, I can't just hold my grip. There's no rush anyway. I have a year and half to take my time to see Jaemin again.

So could this be the reason why? Because of the context in Korea about gay as a taboo, No Regret have defied the connotation about gays. It clearly made an emphasis in the movie that love does not define persons. Kim Nam Gil even stated that this movie is not a story of two gays but two persons falling in love instead.

KNGPH FB have 10,000 likes to date
Im administering KNG Philippines Facebook Page for almost a year now. Based on my observations, new likers ("like" is FB term by the way ) are fixated about him as Bidam and sometimes forgetting that he is Kim Nam Gil. As admins, we have to introduce to members his filmography and his life before and after QSD. Yet, due to factors like unavailability of dvd's and culture gap, we can hardly scour everything from KNG's career  box. But still, KNGph members still do love him. The page is currently increasing its members to more than 10,000 despite his exit in the showbiz for military service last year.

What made me his fan? My co-admins coined me as the KNG's walking dictionary. Doing my homework left an impression to them that my addiction is overflowing. Right now I am able to access his official korean fan site, True Eyes. Together with Eve (my co-admin), we both able to meet our China , Indonesia and Thailand KNG counterparts. There's a KNGPH YT channel. I made a KNGPH blogspot. The Twitter account made by Cris synch with our FB page. KNGph made a bold move to send a scrapbook to him and just depended on the idea that he actually received it. (That was his management had said). What else?

later in 2010, he made an ad campaign for Plan Korea thru voice over

His charisma. Is that the reason? The first thing I admired about him is not based on his breakthrough performance in QSD. I didnt marathon the series yet. His first appearance in episode 21 made me curious to check his bio. My first read was his interview by 10.asia.kor. I was impressed. He's smart, yes. But what strike me most was his unannounced visit in Padang Indonesia for his charity work. It amazed me much that I checked his other activities related to this. He endorsed CPAF. He went to Japan-Korea Friendship fiesta and made an appearance for free, where Mongolia became the beneficiary. (He then later received honors for both last year). Two videos were released when he went to Raphael House, assisting the handicapped children. He love kids indeed.

An issue was lifted though in KNGPH about Korean celebrities doing charity works for publicity. Sincerity was in question since having this kind of image may add brilliance to a rising star. I don't care really if these stuffs they're doing are for the show. Because in the end, they still extended help to those who need it. They still made a soul happy. However, I was more delighted to know about KNG's isolated visit to Padang. He exemplified himself from then on. My respect soared high, despite the obvious --that he's not just a good actor in his own guild plus the uber gorgeousness he defines.

Last week, I was able to watch his very first fan meeting held way back in 2007. It was not that "grand" fan meeting/birthday party. It was more of a simple gathering of fans across Korea to celebrate his birthday. (He made a debut in 2003, but gained distinction from his performance in No Regret and Lovers later in 2006). With a small number of fans surrounding him, he remained shy and poignant. As if he's only talking to his peers. I instantly laughed at the overwhelming embarrassment written on his face when he received that boxer short given by his fan. The reaction was classic. He indeed appreciates his fans more than the skyrocketed fame he gained in 2009.I wish I was there to witness it because i find that kind of fan meeting a rare one.

He have gained the celebrity status after the record breaking ratings from Queen Seon Deok, where his character as Bidam became a household name in the last quarter of 2009. Early in 2010, major CF's such as ADHOC, The Class and Ohui add to his career portfolio. Despite this fame he got, he didn't agree to what the society want to brand him--he isnt a celebrity. He's not a god to be worshipped on. He is hesitant sometimes for his fans buying him expensive gifts. For him , his followers arent fan either. He requested his fans to address him Appa (Daddy) for he consider his fans as his family. (Which I honestly find it weird calling him that since we are almost at the same age, LOL). His premise is simple, he's there to cultivate his craft as an actor while we are here to appreciate his wonderful talent.

Kim Nam Gil is regarded by his co-workers and co-stars as the "clown" in the set/production. I have seen clips and NG's showing his wacky side. I guess a minute or so with him will not cause me boredom and will laugh instantly. However, after reading few interviews with him I also feel a bit of hesitation. He is a deep person by his choice of words and answers. He can answer you with a question. Or the answer will make you ask for more. He wont just settle for a simple yes or no. He can talk for an hour or so and he wont dare to care.

With the knowledge I have about him, can I regard myself as his number one fan in Philippines? Nope. He still remains a book to be read. For me am still at the few pages of his life. I once asked the members how well do we know KNG and I answered 80-90 %, that is, based on his career portfolio. But as a person, Kim Nam Gil maintained his private life away from the limelight. His female bestfriend (whom he mentioned in his interview once) or his brother or his break ups with his exes-those are remained unscathed in the public eye. We know him as an actor but have you ever wondered, when he felt the happiest?

Abi classified Kim Nam Gil as a realist actor, where he put himself into the character until he owns it as if the character is no longer Kim Nam Gil. There will be no other Kang-mu. Bidam. Shim Geun Wook. So I wondered, how he had withdraw himself from this wounded characters?

When he reverted his name from Lee Han to his real name Kim Nam Gil, a lot of critics asked why. He regarded this as a change for him as an actor. He felt being true to himself using his real name. That may have resulted confusion to his Lee Han followers. But IMO, this change of name only regained him to introduce a new actor in the field. Could be because he want to define himself away from the No Regret status? Only him can answer that.

I wish I can ask these questions sometime in the future. Because as my title conveys, the making of Kim Nam Gil mystified me still. He is not a halyu star. He's one of the few actors though who stood out in distinction as an actor's actor. Previously said, KNGph have a year and a half to look back at his works prior to QSD. Maybe, we can have a hint on how his acting is this superb, impressing not only his fellow Koreans but overseas fans as well.

KNGph Admin


  1. super good.....keep it up lyra!

  2. Please keep it up. And thank you for sharing this blog. This actor is exceptional. I do not go with
    bandwagons but Kim Nam Gil-ah has captivated me because as an actor and as a public figure, he is truly amazing.

  3. I am impressed by your analysis. It's mature words and not "Oppa. I love you" outburst. As many intelligent actors it is a twisted situation to meet the fans and be respected for the work you have done, not only for your good looks. Many of those guys ends up as Film directors, to be able to take controle of the whole play. We will wait and see. KNG will be there!

  4. Thank you ms Lyra for sharing this brief profound honest thought on our angel Adjusshi Nam Gil oppa. . he remained in my heart as well as the best korean and asian actor because of his phenomenal bidam role in QSD, after that i watched his previous movies and dramas including his latest drama Bad Guy. . .