Song's fame sees fans 'invading' home
THE final episode of the KBS hit drama, Descendants Of The Sun, scored a record viewership of 38.8 per cent, an all-time high for the series, according to Nielsen Korea.
In Seoul alone, it notched an even higher rating of 44.2 per cent. The drama had a happy ending, living up to expectations of many viewers.
But this may mark another beginning for the 31-year-old lead actor Song Joong Ki, whose celebrity status has rocketed to a whole new level since he starred in the military-themed TV drama.
In his first interview with the press since the show's wrap, he said he does not see himself as a superstar despite his newfound fame.
"People say I'm a Hallyu celebrity now but I don't really feel that way," he said in a group interview on Friday in Grand Hyatt Seoul.
He named fellow artistes like Lee Kwang Soo of variety show Running Man as the "real stars" of the Korean Wave.
In fact, when he started his acting career in 2008 with a role in the film A Frozen Flower, Song did not want to be cast in a lead role so quickly.
"My goal was to experience as many roles as I could. I didn't want to land a lead and not give a good performance."
In fact, his recent popularity has upended his private life - with people even breaking into his home, he said.
"My ex-girlfriend's photos are circulating online. To say that these are things I need to endure for the sake of celebrity... that's sad. I want to respectfully request that my private life remain private."
While some critics noted that the drama's script had a fair share of embarrassingly romantic lines, Song said he "felt confident that I could process the script and deliver the lines in my own style".
When asked about the filming crew's remarks about him being a "man's man" on set, he said: "I'm not sure what the standard for being masculine is... Maybe it's because I pick up the tab for our after-work meals a lot."
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK