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K-rush of the Week: Lee Seung-gi

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

“Multi-hyphenate” is a term that gets bandied about carelessly these days, but Lee Seung-gi is indeed one. As an entertainer, host, singer, commercial model, and one of the most popular Hallyu choices when it comes to leading action-oriented k-dramas, it's no surprise that he's come to be known as the "uhm-chin-ah" or, "Your Mother’s Friend’s Brilliant Son Who You Get Compared to."

In K-dramaland, he's played the lead in "My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho" (2010), "The King 2 Hearts" (2012), "Gu Family Book" (2013), "A Korean Odyssey" (2017–2018), "Vagabond" (2019), and most recently "Mouse" (2021). In the variety realm, he was a part of the weekend variety show "2 Days 1 Night" from 2007 to 2012 and was even the youngest recipient of the Grand Award (Daesang) for "Master in the House." As a singer, he debuted with the album "The Dream of a Moth" when he was only 17 years old, and in 2010, he recorded "Smile Boy" with South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna, which became the official commercial song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. While in the military, he even served as a special forces member.

To further gild the lily, this man has a degree in International Trade and Commerce and a master's in Trade Theory and Finance and Cultural Content. Only he knows how he keeps delivering great performances across all media formats for his fans. This remarkable man and top Hallyu star has won several awards for acting, singing, and hosting and won't slow down anytime soon.

Brilliant Legacy (2009)

In “Brilliant Legacy” (aka “Shining Inheritance”), Lee Seung-gi is Sun Woo-han, an arrogant son who learns that the inheritance he was poised to receive has gone instead to a poor but hardworking young woman (Han Hyo-joo). It’s a Cinderella tale mixed with some family melodrama, some serious makjang moments, and a blossoming, bickering romance.

Gu Family Book (2013)

Lee Seung-gi is Choi Kang-chi, a half-human and half-mythical creature who falls in love with Dam yeo-wool (Bae Suzy), a martial arts master and the daughter of a protective warlord. Now that the world is falling into chaos, Choi needs to use all his power to return everything to the way they were, and Dam needs to make sure her love for him keeps him on the side of good. What happens is a truly epic love story told over the course of 24 episodes, which earned good ratings and gave Lee a handful of Best Actor Awards in 2013.

Hwayugi / A Korean Odyssey (2017)

The Hong sisters adapt the Chinese classic “Journey to the West,” where Lee Seung-gi is Son Oh-gong, a mythical creature bound to protect a little girl he met decades ago. Now that she’s a grown woman (Oh Yeon-seo), their paths cross again, but now they also cross with Woo Ma-wang (Cha Seung-won), another mythical being who has devious plans up his sleeve.

Vagabond (2019)

In this action-packed thriller, Lee Seung-gi is Cha Dal-geon, a stuntman whose nephew has died in a mysterious plane crash. Incidents lead him to believe that his death was no accident and that a giant conspiracy exists to cover it all up. Helping him is Gu Family Book’s Bae Suzy, who now plays Go Hae-ri, an NIS employee who crosses paths with Cha. Together, they work to unravel the corruption behind the plane crash that killed Cha’s nephew.

Mouse (2021)

In this crime thriller filled with psychopaths and the criminally insane, Lee Seung-gi stars as Jan Ba-reum, a thoughtful cop who becomes someone else entirely due to an illegal brain procedure. But when your actions are no longer your own, what happens to your identity? What happens to your own free will? And if you become aware of the difference, is there still space to live your own life, or are you doomed to be enslaved to your impulses forever?

The Law Cafe (2022)

Lee Seung-gi and Lee Se-young ("The Red Sleeve") star in this 16-episode romantic comedy based on a famous web novel. He plays a brilliant ex-prosecutor disgraced by his father’s corruption scandal who now lives off the rent he earns from a building he owns. She’s a gorgeous yet eccentric lawyer who quits her big law firm job to rent a space in his building for a law cafe, where the coffee is served with legal advice to those who need it.

Complicating their landlord-tenant relationship is that he’s had a crush on her since high school.

Which Lee Seung-gi drama is your favorite?

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