Popular South Korean actress Yoon Eun Hye is the guest star most coveted by the production team of the gameshow Running Man.
So much so that Korean TV station SBS launched a Twitter campaign three months ago to get Yoon onto the popular show. So far, the tweet has received more than 33,000 retweets.
Why Yoon? One of Running Man's hosts, Kim Jong Kook, has long been teased for his alleged affection for the 30-year-old actress. The long-running joke started more than a decade ago when they were paired together due to their palpable chemistry on a now-defunct variety show X-Man.
But she does not seem to be too fond of the joke. In town on Thursday for a Singapore Fashion Week event, she was reluctant to answer the Straits Times question: Would she like to be on the same team as Kim if she ever participates in the game show?
“I think the Running Man team will put Kim Jong Kook and me in the same team (no matter what I think),” said Yoon via a translator.
The reply was short, as if she wanted it to be over and done with quickly.
It was surprising that the “sensitive” question did not receive a swift clampdown, as Yoon's management, like that of so many other Korean stars, had micro-managed the kind of questions that could be answered.
No photography of Yoon was allowed during the press conference, either. Only registered photographers could snap shots of her after the media session and only at a designated spot marked by tape on the ground.
Yoon, star of TV dramas such as Coffee Prince (2007) and Princess Hours (2006), was meeting the local media, ahead of her appearance at Thursday's L’Oréal Professionnel Hair Show as part of the 2015 Singapore Fashion Week.
Looking feminine with her wispy brown locks at the press conference, she was happy to give updates about her upcoming projects and dish out style tips.
But she was surprised to be asked for style advice for teenagers. The self-deprecating lass said in mock disbelief: “For teenagers? I'm 30.”
Still, she obliged: "Teens should try everything to find a style that is suitable for them, even rainbow socks, which are hard to pull off when you are in your 30s.”
She is starring Korean-Chinese movie production Love After Love, scheduled for release later this year.
Yoon might have been L’Oreal’s ambassador, but it was event emcee Pornsak who was the bright spark at the 20-minute session.
He engaged in lively banter with Yoon, and his no-holds-barred hosting elicited laughter from the reporters in attendance.
“Since no questions about love can be asked. I will ask her what she thinks of the dress sense of Singapore men,” said Pornsak in a mix of Mandarin and English during the press conference.
He proceeded to parade in front of her, and joked that she could use him as a reference.
Her answer: “I haven’t met many Singaporean men. You are one of the few, you seem to be very fashionable and trendy. So far, I have a good impression.”