Fans of Lee Byung-hun crowded into a small viewing area waiting for the Korean heartthrob during a party Thursday for the Hawaii International Film Festival. Byung-hun Lee is one of the biggest stars in Korea and Japan.
Korean star stirs local fan frenzy
Lee Byung-hun's HIFF appearances draw screaming crowds
South Korean film and television star Lee Byung-hun is creating a buzz everywhere he goes in Hawaii.
Lee is in the islands to promote his bloody gangster film "A Bittersweet Life," which opens today at the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Lee Byung-hun: Fans of the "Bittersweet Life" star chased him in his limousine
The 35-year-old actor caused a chaotic scene Thursday night when he made a brief appearance at the film festival's opening night party at a restaurant and was mobbed by more than 100 screaming, picture-snapping, sign-waving fans -- mostly women.
Fans even chased him as he was being taken away in a limousine.
"I was a little afraid someone was going to get trampled," festival spokesman Chris Dacus said.
Lee, star of "Joint Security Area" and "The Poisoning," also has a major following in Japan. Dozens of fans from Japan have traveled to Honolulu in hopes of meeting him, according to festival officials.
Extra security had to be hired for the star when he arrived Wednesday at Honolulu International Airport after his arrival time leaked out on a fan club's Web site. He was greeted by about 75 fans.
"Traditionally, we don't provide security for the celebrities coming into town," Dacus said. "We try to keep them as accessible as possible. But the frenzy toward him, and the crowds that almost trampled each other, requires us to change our normal protocol."