"Just having this one friend makes me think I’ve lived my life well"- Girls' Generation's Seohyun and Lee Hwan-hee discuss their 20-year-long friendship

Seohyun and Lee Hwan-hee have been friends for two decades (Image via YouTube/Mbcentertainment)
Seohyun and Lee Hwan-hee have been friends for two decades (Image via YouTube/Mbcentertainment)

Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun and Lee Hwan-hee gave an insight into their long friendship in the latest episode of The Manager.

The duo first met each other 20 years ago, when they were both idol trainees under SM Entertainment. While Seohyun went on to make her debut with the K-pop group Girls’ Generation in 2007, Lee Hwan-hee missed the group’s line up by a whisker. Instead, she debuted as a solo singer with the song Secret in 2012, before joining the K-pop group Summit in 2013.

Lee Hwan-hee and Girls' Generation's Seohyun were both trainees under SM Entertainment

The idol, who recently appeared on Netflix’s Love and Leashes, appeared as a guest on the MBC show, along with her close friend.

The two took a ride in the Girls’ Generation member’s car while listening to BoA and recalling their trainee days. Seohyun revealed:

“Back then, we both really dreamed of becoming ‘little BoA.'”
Seohyun singing a medley of BoA songs (‘No. 1’, ‘Atlantis Princess’, ‘Valenti’, and ‘My Name’) while driving with her friend Hwanhee 💗💛

Later on in the episode, the idol-turned-actor opened up about how much she relied on Lee Hwan-hee, especially since she was a particularly shy 12-year-old. She said:

“Before you joined the agency, I hadn’t said a single word to anyone. I felt uncomfortable and scared around other people. But when you joined and they told me you were the same age, I somehow felt instantly like it was fate.”

Lee Hwan-hee, too, shared the sentiment and excitedly chimed in with:

“Me too. It felt like destiny. I was able to have fun and do well because you were there too.”

The former Girls’ generation singer went on to say:

“If it hadn’t been for you, I don’t know if I would have been able to endure it.”

To this, the Secret singer said:

“There were so many times when you comforted me while I was going through a hard time. I feel like there were more times when I received comfort from you than when I comforted you.”

Incidentally, despite debuting under a different agency and group later on, Lee Hwan-hee retired from showbiz in 2020, after getting married. The two friends also gushed about the wedding, with Seohyun saying:

“I still can’t believe you’re married. I don’t know why I cried so much at your wedding.”

Lee Hwan-hee and Seohyun's heartwarming friendship has survived over two decades, despite facing the hurdles that come with fame and being in the entertainment industry.

The idol actor revealed that even when she failed to contact Hwan-hee due to her busy schedule, the latter was always there for her.

“Because I was always so busy, so I couldn’t contact you or go see you that often. But you were always there in the same place thinking of me. I’m just so thankful. I’m just so grateful to have you in my life.”

While both the idols were initially vying for a spot in the Girls’ Generation line-up, only one made it. Seohyun revealed that she felt miserable when she found out only she had made it, and couldn't build up the courage to contact Lee Hwan-hee.

“When I heard that only I had made it into Girls’ Generation, I didn’t feel happy at all, I just felt so sorry, and I couldn’t stop crying.I think I might cry now [just thinking about it]. I couldn’t bring myself to contact her. I felt so sorry, but then she contacted me to congratulate me.”

The two concluded the episode on a warm note, with the Girls’ Generation singer claiming:

“Just having this one friend makes me think I’ve lived my life well.”

Watch parts of the episode here:



Meanwhile, Seohyun, in Love and Leashes, shows a never seen before avatar. The singer has shed her perfect idol image to play the bossy, dominating, yet charming Jung Ji-woo in the Netflix original.

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Edited by Rhythm Bhatia
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