A look-back to famous Korean actor’s first and latest roles in the drama scene 

With the first lead roles their major breakthroughs, famous Korean actors are striving for new heights in their latest projects.  

Lee Min Ho

“Boys Over Flowers” is not only Lee Min Ho’s one step to stardom across Asia but also one of his first long-running serial dramas. Prior to “Boys Over Flowers”, Lee Min Ho also took the lead in several television dramas but only aired for a short period as special film projects. His most recent drama project is called “Pachinko” on Apple TV+. 

While the former helps to establish the actor as a top star in Korea and pan-Asia, the latter demonstrates that Lee Min Ho’s acting performance still has more to show in a higher-quality and more profound role, despite being in his mid-30s. 

While the two roles carry his careers to different directions, they both open up new opportunities and positively impact his career. 

Song Joong Ki 

Once among the main cast of “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”, it was not until 2012 “The Innocent Man” that Song Joong Ki was considered to have his first ever lead role by playing the male main character of the series. 

Nine years later, 2021 marked his latest crime drama, dark comedy “Vincenzo” where the actor held another central role. While both acting roles showcase Joong Ki’s excellent acting performance, many audiences still regard his role in “The Innocent Man” as the most impactful. Nonetheless, both series still garner major rating successes with two-digit viewership and are considered smash hits in their released years. For “Vincenzo”, Song Joong Ki was nominated for “Best Actor” Award in Television category in the 2021 “Baeksang Arts Awards”. 

Park Seo Joon

It took Park Seo Joon 3 years, ever since his first television appearance in 2012, to have his first lead drama role in the rom-com “She Was Pretty”. Not long before, he was with the co-star Hwang Jung Eum to make a wonderful impression with another high-quality and well-received drama “Kill Me, Heal Me”. 

From that point onwards, actor Park is always a successful actor in the television series department. Most recently, the actor leads in series “Itaewon Class” as an ex-convict seeking revenge. With the actor’s appearance and performance, the series climbs into the top 3 of jTBC’s most successful drama series in history.

His signature hairstyle was also a phenomenon across Asia in times of its airing. Not only a commercial success, “Itaewon Class” also hallmarks Park Seo Joon’s critical recognition by being nominated as “Best Actor” in the Television Category in the 2020 “Baeksang Arts Awards”.

Kim Soo Hyun 

Similar to Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun also played the lead role in special series produced by public broadcast stations. Yet, the actor had to wait until 2011 to have his first ever lead role in the musical series “Dream High”. However, Kim Soo Hyun was not widely loved among the public at the time for not looking conventionally attractive.

After a decade, Kim Soo Hyun had a powerful transformation as the male lead in the web series “One Ordinary Day”, proving why he is among the most sought-after television actors in Korea. His appearance is also different from 10 years ago, with a more attractive physique and stunning visuals.

Ji Chang Wook 

It is a coincidence that Ji Chang Wook’s first ever and latest drama roles are television series produced by KBS, namely KBS1’s “Smile Again” and KBS2’s “If You Wish Upon Me”. His current status must be attributed to “Smile Again” as it boosted his fame to both domestic and international levels. 

Ji Chang Wook is making a comeback with “If You Wish Upon Me” to further solidify his name in the industry and aim for new successes. While the drama is not off to a wonderful start, viewers are still satisfied to see his firm and well-executed acting performance. Hopefully, with humanistic plot and an inherent appeal, Ji Chang Wook can carry himself to a newer height. 

Lee Jong Suk 

Lee Jong Suk’s first ever lead role in a drama series was in the 2013 “School” installment that opened up new opportunities for the actor. With his performance in the series, Lee Jong Suk received “Best New Actor” Award in the KBS Drama Awards in 2012. 

Having his first lead role in his 20s, Lee Jong Suk’s latest comeback is in the actor’s 30s. He still has a captivating and impressive acting performance in “Big Mouth” and is receiving popular acclaim, as seen through a nonstop rising two-digit rating. 

“Big Mouth” perhaps will be Lee Jong Suk’s key to another Daesang (Grand Prize) in MBC Drama Awards for its excellent ratings and wonderful performance from the actor. 

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