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Wi Ha Jun checks his fans’ IG ‘religiously’

The Squid Game star rocks Bench—because he'd rather be 'comfortable and casual'

Wi Ha Jun at press conference before the fan meet
Wi Ha-jun

Wi Ha Jun at Bench press conference before the fan meet

Wi Ha-jun

When my mom and I were in Singapore in July 2022, Korean actor Wi Ha Jun was there, too. We seriously hoped we’d bump into him. Singapore is, after all, not a big country and Wi Ha Jun was filming for a TV series called Little Women, so he would likely be in public places. We’d also see TikTok videos of people just bumping into him, and he would oblige them by posing for photos. My mom thought this could also be possible for us. She is seldom wrong but this time, she was. We never saw the Squid Game actor in Singapore, much to my mom’s disappointment.

She finally got her chance when Filipino lifestyle brand Bench announced that it would bring the actor, who is one of their Benchsetters, to Manila for a fan meet dubbed Gameplay with Wi Ha Jun on May 21 at New Frontier Theater.

Wi Ha-jun

Wu Ha Jin in Bench summer line

My mom, who is a writer and journalist, was supposed to cover the press conference at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, but work  prevented her, so she asked me to pitch in. I hope that my mom’s time to meet Wi Ha-jun, who is one of her favorite actors, will come someday.

Wi Ha-jun

Ben Chan with Korean actor Wu Ha Jin at the end of the the smash benchxwuhajin Sunday at New Frontier

By the way, this was Wi Ha Jun’s first ever fan meet here and abroad and his first visit to the Philippines.

“It’s my first time to be able to visit the Philippines and it’s for a fan meeting. I’m nervous but also very happy to be here. My first impression of the Philippines since I arrived is its warmth: the warmth of the weather and in the eyes of the Filipinos. The people are very welcoming,” said the actor.

‘My first impression of the Philippines since I arrived is its warmth: the warmth of the weather and in the eyes of the Filipinos’

In 2022 Wi Ha Jun joined Bench’s prestigious roster of ambassadors, which includes top Philippine and Korean stars.

“Bench is a leading brand in the Philippines, so to be an ambassador or to be part of the team is a very big honor for me. I’m also pleased I can meet my fans here through Bench,” said Wi Ha Jun.

During the press conference, the actor was in a smart casual Bench blue jeans and dark blue shirt.

“So I’m actually rocking Bench right now, and it’s very comfortable, and you can see that it’s sporty and casual at the same time. Whenever you want to put emphasis on your outfit, you can do it through Bench outfits, so I really love Bench,” he said.

Wi Ha Jun is also very thankful to Bench for taking care of him during his shoots for the brand.

“We’ve had a lot of activities, especially photo shoots. I was very impressed by how they were very considerate of me and how I feel. They would always adapt and adjust to me so I was always happy working with them.”

The actor said the brand resonates with him because he likes dressing more casually.

“When I’m in shoots or different projects, I have to wear suits that I have to wear very formally, but in my personal life, for my everyday lifestyle, I wear outfits that are very comfortable, like trainers or just anything casual.”

Aside from Little Women and Squid Game, Wi Ha Jun has appeared in the films Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018), Shark: The Beginning (2021), and Midnight (2021). On TV, he was in Something in the Rain (2018), Romance is a Bonus Book (2018), 18 Again (2020), and Bad and Crazy (2021).

Asked about his favorite role, Wi Ha Jun said he had the most connection with his character in Bad and Crazy (2021), but his portrayal of a police detective looking for his missing brother in Squid Game remains a sentimental favorite.

“There were a lot of changes in my life and I got to try things I’ve never tried before through Squid Game. I’m here sitting with you, and I got to meet my fans because of that show, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Wi Ha Jun also relates to his Squid Game character a lot because he has a sense of justice and a tendency to be consistent with things he wants to resolve.

The actor grew up on an island, so it’s not surprising that he would love to visit Boracay and Cebu. His dream role is also connected to the province.

“I would really enjoy a role where I would act as someone who is very rough because I grew up in the province, but I get to get to fall in love with a very beautiful girl, and I would really love to try love stories,” said Wi Ha Jun.

The actor loves to communicate with his fans on social media. In fact, he knows that there is a Wi Ha Jun Instagram fan account based in the Philippines.

“I check it out religiously. I look at the page every day and see motivational posts and stories. This encourages me.”

Aside from his fans, what keeps Wi Ha-jun grounded is his family.

“Whenever I feel anxious and I’m worried, I tend to really rely on my parents and also read the different letters that my fans send to me. It’s your letters, cheerful letters, and they really help me a lot, and that’s how I stay grounded. A lot of heartwarming answers. Thank you for that.”

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