K-rush of the Week: Lee Jong-suk
Updated: Sep 10, 2022
Lee Jong-suk has grown from being the youngest male model to debut in Seoul Fashion Week to become one of the most in-demand and most-followed actors in k-dramaland.
Once trained as an idol member, he shifted his path because he wanted to be an actor more than a singer. He debuted in the 2010 drama “Prosecutor Princess” and then started to gain popularity after starring in the hit drama “Secret Garden.” His breakout role in “School 2013” put him on a firm path to stardom. What came after were a string of hits, from “I Can Hear Your Voice” to “Romance is a Bonus Book.”
This month, he returns to the small screen in “Big Mouth” with Yoona.
Lee Jong-suk is Go Nam-soon, a student at Seungri High School. Unfortunately, the school is one of the worst in Seoul, and its students are caught in the middle of all the bullying, underachieving, demanding parents, and divergent teaching methods of its instructors Kang Se-chan (Choi Daniel, The Ghost Detective) and Jung In-jae (Jang Na-ra, The Last Empress.
This installment of the School series got its young stars Lee Jong-suk and Kim Woo-bin multiple acting nominations and awards and was instrumental in setting both on their path to Hallyu fame.
Lee Jong-suk is Choi Dal-po, a gifted kid with a tragic past who is raised by a kind grandfather along with his granddaughter, Choi In-ha (Park Shin-hye), who struggles with a syndrome that gives her the hiccups when she lies. Following the footsteps of Choi In-ha’s mother, they both find themselves as young reporters facing the complex challenges of journalism.
“Pinocchio” would go on to be a ratings winner, and it would once again also win several acting awards for Lee.
While Your Were Sleeping
Lee is Jung Jae-chan, a rookie prosecutor whose life is entwined with Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy) when they start having dreams about one another and their strange abilities draw them together. But when they discover the reason behind their gifts, will they be able to stop the people closest to them from getting hurt?
This is the third collaboration between Lee Jong-suk and scriptwriter Park Hye-ryun after working together in “I Can Hear Your Voice” and “Pinocchio.”
Romance is a Bonus Book
In 2019, Lee Jong-suk starred in his first full romantic comedy “Romance is a Bonus Book.” As Cha Eun-ho, he’s a writer and the publishing company’s youngest editor-in-chief who falls for his longtime friend Lee Kang Dan-i (Lee Na-young), a single mother trying to survive on her own. The sweet and subtle romance that blossoms between the two kept viewers hooked on this calm and cozy drama.
Lee finished this series before entering his military service in March 2019.
W: Two Worlds
Lee is Kang Chul, the main character of “W,” a popular webtoon drawn by Oh Sung-moo (Kim Eui-sung). One night, the webtoon artist’s daughter Oh Yeon-joo (Han Hyo-joo, “Happiness”) saves a bloody man from dying and realizes the man she just saved was Kang Chul himself. She eventually finds she can cross from the real world to the webtoon world and back, and a surprising romance ensues amid a thrilling mystery.
Lee put his manhwa-like features to good use in this dual role, while the drama itself received praise for its animation and unique blend of media.
The latest MBC noir k-drama pairs Lee Jong-suk and Girls’ Generation’s Yoona. Here, Lee is unremarkable lawyer Park Chang-ho, also nicknamed “Big Mouth” because he tends to run his mouth. One night, he gets involved in a murder case and is somehow framed as the sought-after swindler “Big Mouse.” Eventually, he realizes that he’s gotten entangled in a massive conspiracy among the upper class, and he has to use all his skills to protect his family before it’s too late.