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The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

Making his debut on the small screen in 2017, it was after the success of “18 Again” that Lee Do Hyun received recognition from the viewers.

Thanks to his excellent acting skills and good-looking appearance, Lee Do Hyun is still considered one of the rising stars in the Korean film industry at the moment. In only a few days more, he will greet the audiences again with a new series called “Melancholia” with actress Im Soo Jung. Before enjoying his new show, let’s look through some information about Lee Do Hyun and his filmography.

Melancholia”, starring Im Soo Jung and Lee Do Hyun, tells the story of scandals and corruption that happen in private high schools in Gangnam. This drama will have 16 episodes and will be aired on tvN.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

Becoming a rising star after “18 Again”

Lee Do Hyun was born on April 11th, 1995 in Seoul, Korea. In fact, his real name is Lim Dong Hyun, and he grew up in Ilsan. Lee Do Hyun has had a good-looking appearance since his young age and used to catch the attention of many girls at school. It was said that he received so many gifts on Valentine’s Day that he had to ask his mother to come to school and take them home with him.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

However, his family background is just normal. Lee Do Hyun was not born in a wealthy family, and that made him grow up early at a very young age since he had to help his parents with their work instead of spending time playing with friends. Moreover, compared to other actors at the same age as Lee Do Hyun, he was late to get to know about acting.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

After 2 years of training, he was cast in his first supporting role of his career in “Prison Playbook”. He plays the young self of Jung Kyung Ho’s character in the drama. In 2018, Lee Do Hyun continued to star in “Still 17”, playing a rowing athlete. Later in the same year, he took on the role of Kim Yoo Jung’s younger brother, a promising Taekwondo player in the rom-com “Clean With Passion For Now”. 

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

However, he could not shoot to fame with the above supporting roles. Lee Do Hyun could only begin to garner much attention in 2019 when he had the opportunity to star in the hit drama “Hotel Del Luna”. Although it was still a supporting role, it was different this time. Lee Do Hyun had more screen time in “Hotel Del Luna”. Therefore, he successfully increased his public recognition.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

In 2020, Lee Do Hyun got his first-ever drama’s leading role in “18 Again”. Earlier this year, he took on another male lead role in “Youth of May“, co-starring actress Go Min Si. With his persistent efforts, Lee Do Hyun has gone from being called the “prince of supporting roles” to the male lead in the hearts of the audience.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

Most outstanding dramas starring Lee Do Hyun

Hotel Del Luna

Although he is still considered a rookie, Lee Do Hyun’s works are impressive. The first name on the list of his most successful dramas is certainly “Hotel Del Luna”. In the drama, Lee Do Hyun plays Go Chung Myung, a young man who always silently protects Jang Man Wol (IU). He is also the one who was sincerely and deeply loved by Man Wol in the past.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

In order to protect the woman he loves, he pretends to turn his back on her. In this life, he wanders around Man Wol for over 1000 years as a firefly. As “Hotel Del Luna”  achieved great success with high ratings, Lee Do Hyun became more well-known to the public. His charming performance in the drama also helped him earn the title of “new generation’s prince”.

18 Again

“18 Again” is considered the drama that marks the turning point in Lee Do Hyun’s acting career. Set in a family, Jung Da Jung and Hong Dae Young are on the verge of divorce due to misunderstandings in life. Although the two have been in love since their youth, unfortunately getting pregnant with twins makes their careers and dreams fall apart.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

In “18 Again”, Lee Do Hyun plays a 38-year-old man but in the body of an 18-year-old highschool boy. He once shared that since he is single and is only in his 20s, it was difficult for him to portray a father. However, he was not discouraged and successfully delivered a convincing performance. His excellent acting in “18 Again” has received much praise and helped him win “New Actor in TV” at Baeksang Arts Awards 2021.

Sweet Home

In 2020, Lee Do Hyun had the opportunity to star in Netflix’s hit apocalyptic horror “Sweet Home” along with Song Kang and Lee Jin Wook. Lee Do Hyun plays the character Eun Hyuk, who is considered the leader of the apartment building. He is in charge of his neighbors’ safety.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

Unlike his images in his previous dramas, Lee Do Hyun has a more mature and somewhat “outdated” styling in “Sweet Home”, but it does not overshadow his handsome looks. After premiering in 190 countries, “Sweet Home” ranked 3rd among most watched Netflix shows globally in January 2021. Lee Do Hyun’s popularity was also boosted significantly after the success of “Sweet Home”. 

Youth of May

The actor’s latest drama, “Youth of May”, is set in 1980 during the Gwangju Uprising. The drama is like a rewind footage of the heartbreaking love story between Hee Tae, a talented medical student, and Myung Hee, a nurse three years into her career. They encounter each other by chance and fall in love at first sight.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

However, the romantic series has a sad ending and makes the viewers cry buckets of tears. Through “Youth of May”, Lee Do Hyun continues to affirm his top-notch acting talent, especially with the emotionally challenging scenes that require a lot of character introspection. After “Youth of May”, he is also dubbed the “Melodrama prince”. 

The difficult journey to pursue acting 

Contrary to his flourishing career, Lee Do Hyun did not grow up in a wealthy family or a family with a tradition in activities related to arts. The rising actor actually comes from a difficult family background. He also has a younger brother with a developmental disability. 

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

In fact, his original dream was to become a basketball player like his father when he was young, but his father was against it. “Training to compete is very hard and also takes a lot of money and time, you should just play it as a hobby,” his father told him. Perhaps Lee Do Hyun’s father is the one who understands the hardships of a basketball player the most, so he did not want his son to go down the same path. 

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

In the 2nd year of high school, Lee Do Hyun began to be drawn to acting after watching the film “Sunflower”.  Although he was once again opposed by his father, he was determined to follow his passion for once. He asked his mother’s permission to go to the acting center in the evenings after school. Because of her love for her son, Lee Do Hyun’s mother went with him to register for the course without telling her husband. It wasn’t until the opening of the center’s play that Lee Do Hyun invited his father to come watch and finally received a nod of approval from his father.

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

However, he later realized that he was too late to prepare for the theater and film department’s entrance exam when other students of his age were already trained since middle school. This caused him to fail to enter his dream university. But he did not give up on his dreams. After a year of study and practice, he was accepted into Chung Ang University, majoring in acting and drama, and was also recruited into his current company, Yuehua Entertainment. 

The life of actor Lee Do Hyun: from a difficult childhood to becoming a rising actor of the new generation

Currently, after many difficulties, Lee Do Hyun has been achieving much success in the industry and continues to leave a great impression on the audience through his roles. Let’s look forward to his comeback in the upcoming drama “Melancholia” on November 10! 

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