“Celebrity” Lee Dong Gun’s return to the drama scene is met with hostility.
As “Celebrity” stands firmly at the top spot in terms of the most-watched series on Netflix, the main couple Lee Chung Ah – Lee Dong Gun are also gaining attention. However, audiences are showing polarized reactions to them. If Lee Chung Ah is praised for her visual and immersion into her character, Lee Dong Gun is under a considerable amount of hate, for the most part, due to his past controversies.
In the series, Lee Dong Gun plays Jin Tae Jeon, a wealthy and powerful husband to Yoon Shi Hyun (Lee Chung Ah). Jin Tae Jeon is a man with no integrity and righteousness; he is willing to resort to malicious means to achieve his goals. Moreover, he brings an unhappy marriage to Shi Hyun.
This is Lee Dong Gun’s return to the drama scene after four years of hiatus. During a series premiere event, Lee Dong Gun revealed he spent the last four years taking care of his daughter after divorcing his wife and losing custody of his child. Nonetheless, netizens were not moved by it; instead, they criticized the actor for “putting on a performance” to cover up his unfaithful past.
A once glorious past
Lee Dong Gun debuted as a singer with a budding idol career in both Korea and Japan. His suitable physique allowed him to cross into acting with ease and was highly regarded with his first few performances. In 2004, “Lovers in Paris” was Dong Gun’s first breakthrough. The series caused a pan-Asian sensation that shot him to stardom, despite only playing a supporting role in the drama. He took a one-year break due to growing pressure and only returned in 2006 with “Smile Again.”
The unexpected suspension was a major obstacle to his career advancement. Dong Gun managed to receive more projects but could not surpass his performance in “Lovers in Paris.” Moreover, what the actor lacks is consistency. The audience also became more familiar with his fickleness as he alternated between music and acting or entered intervals of no activities at all. Nevertheless, actor Lee still secured a place in the filming industry. He was a familiar face to the audience during the heyday of the 2000 Hallyu Wave.
Consecutive relationship scandals
Lee Dong Gun first went public with his co-star Han Ji Hye on “Sweet 18.” After breaking up with her, he became an item with Cha Ye Ryun, who worked with him in “The Star’s Lover.” They were dating when Lee Dong Gun’s brother was murdered overseas and could not keep the relationship going when the actor joined the army.
When Lee Dong Gun started dating Jiyeon, whom he worked with in “Encounter,” he was criticized for a 13-year age gap with the actress. Regardless, actor Lee affirmed Jiyeon was his “destiny,” and the couple strove forward. Nonetheless, the relationship only lasted 2 years right when the public started warming up to them.
A month after, the “Sweet 18” star was already in a new relationship with Jo Yoon Hee, another co-star. After dating for 3 months, the couple announced marriage and welcomed their firstborn child shortly after. The actor was faced with criticism from the public as they deemed he cheated on Jiyeon, which explained why he moved on from her quickly. Lee Dong Gun once accidentally exposed himself by showing an encouraging message he sent to Jo Yoon Hee in December 2016 – when he was still in a relationship with Jiyeon.
Nonetheless, the “Lovers in Paris” star continued building the image of a happy family despite the mounting hate and boycott. However, the marriage also lasted for 3 short years. After their divorce, the actor lied low to ease the public. After countless affairs and failed relationships, the audience can barely sympathize with the actor. It seems there is more work for Lee Dong Gun to regain the audience’s trust.