The not-so-successful career of a K-drama actor from YG Entertainment

As a grim reaper in the new K-drama “Tomorrow”, actor Lee Soo Hyuk is said to have outshined the male lead Rowoon (SF9), but his career isn’t quite smooth-sailing. 

Tomorrow” is a highly-anticipated K-drama of April, which marked the return of famous actress Kim Hee Sun after 2 years of absence. It also introduced a quite powerful cast, with the rising idol-actor SF9’s Rowoon starring as the male lead. 

According to Nielsen Korea, “Tomorrow” opened with a record-breaking viewership of 7.6%, only for this to drop drastically from episode 2. 

As of the moment, the K-drama’s ratings only averaged at 2.7%, but an actor from the series still managed to become a hot topic. And this is none other than Lee Soo Hyuk, who, despite his lack of screentime, still managed to overwhelm Rowoon with his charisma, acting, and even visuals. 

A promising YG model

In 2006, Lee Soo Hyuk entered the entertainment industry as a model on Jung Wook Jun’s Lone Costume fashion show. With an outstanding appearance, cool vibes, and a whopping height of 6ft (184cm), Lee Soo Hyuk was quickly noticed by various famous brands and fashion magazines. 

In 2013, the rising model was invited to Europe for Paris and London Fashion Week, and there he walked for multiple luxury brands like Balenciaga, JW Anderson, and Balmain. In the same year, Soo Hyuk was also named in Style Minutes’ Top 13 Rising Male Models for the 2013 Fall-Winter season of London and Paris Fashion Week. 

In 2014, he became a guest judge for season 4 of America’s Next Top Models, and was even invited by supermodel Tyra Banks to attend the finale in the USA, which spoke volumes about his standing in the model world. 

In addition, Lee Soo Hyuk was also selected to be Global Ambassadors for Adidas and Bvlgari, as well as the exclusive face for clothing brand Fahrenheit. In 2017, he joined YG Entertainment to further pursue the model life and also try out his hand at acting. 

A not-so-successful acting career

As a model-turned-actor, Lee Soo Hyuk landed no noticeable works for years. Despite having 15 years of experience, the actor most opted for supporting or at most, second male lead roles. He also leans more towards mysterious and cold characters, something very signature of YG artists. 

Lee Soo Hyuk’s acting debut was back in 2006, with a minor role in “My Boss, My Teacher”. 4 years later, the actor finally got a leading role in the Korean-Japanese movie “The Boy from Ipanema”, which was critically acclaimed, but was a commercial failure 

After this movie, Lee Soo Hyuk began to take up more and more projects, and in 2011 alone, the actor scored 4 consecutive K-dramas, including “White Christmas”, “Deep Rooted Tree”, “What’s Up”, and “Vampire Idol”. 

However, the lack of screentime hindered Lee Soo Hyuk from displaying his real talents, and many works later, the YG actor still hasn’t got any big breakthrough. Instead, he’s just known as this actor with mysterious and chilling vibes, who can’t seem to cross the barrier to become an A-list actor.   

According to Korea Times, the reason behind Soo Hyuk’s lack of recognition may have to do with his bad choices in selecting projects. And truthfully, most of the actor’s works were either low in ratings or lacking in public presence. 

As of the moment, the most popular drama of this 34-year-old actor is perhaps the vampire series “Scholar Who Walks The Night”, which boasted a star-studded cast of Lee Jun Ki, DBSK’s Changmin, and Kim So Eun. However, even with an intense marketing campaign, this most successful work only scored an average rating of 7.3%, a sorry number compared to “She Was Pretty”’s 13.4%, which was not at all promoted. 

Lee Soo Hyuk‘s vampire image is considered one of the factors that attract viewers. Despite being a villain, he received a lot of love from the audience. Also thanks to this performance, Soo Hyuk won the title of Best New Actor at the 2015 MBC Drama Awards.

After the success of the vampire role, he continued to participate in a series of projects including Local Hero, Lucky Romance and Sweet Stranger And Me, but they all achieved poor ratings. In 2017, the actor temporarily stopped working to perform his military service.

Soo Hyuk‘s two latest dramas, Doom at Your Service and Tomorrow, despite the presence of A-list stars like Park Bo Young or Kim Hee Sun, both disappointed the audience. While, Doom at Your Service, starring Park Bo Young, ended with a disappointing rating of 2.3%, Tomorrow also gradually lost its appeal to the public.

According to experts, the common point of the last 3 dramas that Lee Soo Hyuk participated in is that the script is illogical and not enough to attract viewers. But in return, the actor is still considered a positive point of all 3 works, especially his role in Tomorrow.

However, Lee Soo Hyuk‘s private life received special attention from the public. He currently lives in Gangnam, a place for the Korean elite. He owns a lot of real estate and expensive supercars.

Besides, the actor born in 1988 also has a close relationship with many famous Korean stars. Not only being close friends of Kim Woo Bin, Hong Jong Hyun, Kim Young Kwang, Sung Joon, Lee Soo Hyuk also have a close relationship with the leader of Big Bang. That is also the reason why he joined YG Entertainment.


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