The Best of Lee Jongsuk
Okay, not going to lie, we’re kind of really obsessed with Lee Jongsuk. Then again, who in the K-Drama world isn’t? Lee Jongsuk has proven to be one of the strongest actors of the Hallyu Wave and continues to prove that with each new role he tackles. Today, we’ll look back at some of the best lead roles he’s portrayed thus far.
Noted as Jongsuk’s breakout performance, School 2013 received high acclaim among fans and even won the actor the title of “Best New Actor” at the KBS Drama Awards. The series was incredibly popular due to the performances of Jongsuk and his intense bromance with Kim Woobin’s character.
School 2013 is a series that definitely doesn’t have much romance, but it tackles some really important issues facing students, including bullying, school violence, and suicide. The series dives into the difficulties that many high school students face in their time outside of simple school romance, which is a refreshing change from many popular dramas. This is a notable breakout role for Jongsuk, as many of his future roles will be romance-focused instead of this more realistic and drama-focused role.
Still a fan favorite, Jongsuk’s lead performance in Pinocchio will surely grow into a timely classic as time passes. The story revolves around his character Choi Dalpo and his female counterpart, Choi Inha (Park Shinhye). Inha suffers from Pinocchio syndrome, a fictional disease that causes the person in question to start hiccuping if they lie. Inha has always dreamed of being a reporter despite this setback and pushes to become one even as she is turned away for her inability to lie.
Dalpo follows in Inha’s footsteps. The two grew up together and thus have a strong relationship that is initially considered a familial bond, but transforms over time as they experience life as reporters and unravel conspiracies within their news organizations. Jongsuk begins by playing a raggedy and rather unattractive male character before blossoming into the man we all know and love.
In addition to the romantic element, this drama holds a lot of attention for the, well, drama of the storyline. The plot delves into corruption in news media and the desperate struggle for sincerity to win over the deeply institutionalized corruption. Jongsuk’s character also has a very intense history and depth that slowly shows itself as the drama unfolds, the multifaceted nature of his character making it all even more interesting. It’s just a bonus that he pulls off that character so well.
Get ready for new genres added to Jongsuk’s repertoire: supernatural and action! W is a fantastic drama for its unique concept of a fictional comic world clashing with what is considered the real world, creating a sort of alternate dimension in which this comic world actually exists. Female lead Oh Yeonjoo (Han Hyojoo) gets pulled into the webtoon that Kang Cheol (Jongsuk’s character) lives in. Her father is the author of said webtoon and has gone missing, and she finds herself mixed up in this unbelievable reality while attempting to investigate.
Jongsuk plays a young co-president of a huge corporation and former gold medal winner in shooting. After his family is mysteriously murdered one day, his life is thrown upside down as he is suspected to be the culprit. Upon being free, he vows to find those responsible for the crime and runs into trouble while doing so. After being stabbed on the rooftop of his building, he pulls Yeonjoo into the comic.
The story follows Yeonjoo not only as she falls in love with Kang Cheol, but also her adventures of jumping between the two worlds. The drama has many great elements all wrapped up within it, but you’ll have to start watching to find out!
While You Were Sleeping
Just when you thought Jongsuk wouldn’t do it all, he came back in 2017 to play the lead in While You Were Sleeping, a role in which he’s a prosecutor. Yes, we even get crime drama Jongsuk! Jongsuk plays a rookie prosecutor Jung Jaechan who one day begins to have premonition dreams similar to that of Hongjoo (Bae Suzy), the female lead character. After crossing paths with her and seeing the future death of not only herself but her mother, he takes drastic measures to prevent the entire series of events from happening. When Hongjoo realizes he has now gained the ability she’s lived with her whole life, the two team up to prevent future disasters with their new ability.
Jaechan is an incredibly adorable and relatable character, who more often than not acts goofy with a facade of professionalism. It’s a much more quirky and comedic role in comparison to his previous lead in W, which is a nice change of pace for the actor. The premise of While You Were Sleeping is very reminiscent of Pinocchio, but with the additional supernatural element of premonitions and the crime genre added in. It’s almost a perfect mix of the two previously mentioned dramas and makes for a real treat.
We’ve only had Lee Jongsuk on our radar for five years, and yet he’s already established himself as one of the top drama actors in Korea. We can’t wait to see what his roles in the future have in store for us! But if the ones of the past are any indication, they’re definitely going to be awesome.