Updated: Dec 8, 2022
When Captain Yoo appeared in the international sensation Descendants of the Sun, Song Joong-ki suddenly went from domestic heartthrob to global Hallyu superstar.
But way before that record-breaking k-drama, Song Joong-ki’s smarts (he holds a business degree from the elite Sungkyunkwan University) and athletic prowess (he was a short track speed skater in high school) already made hearts flutter. His charisma and comedic talent were on full display as a mischievous student in Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010), as well as in the heart-warming rom-com Penny Pinchers (2011).
The following year, he proved he had serious acting chops behind all that charm, transforming into A Werewolf Boy (2012) and into a scorned lover seeking revenge in The Innocent Man (2012). Naturally shy, and private, his co-workers all attest to how easy it is to get along with him. We see snippets of this fun-loving nature in his stint as the “brainy” and “enthusiastic” cast member of the hit variety show Running Man.
Yet despite the ups and downs of his career, Song Joong-ki remains focused and unfazed, with his trademark charm still radiating from every non-existent pore. From the "Big Boss" to a heroic Space Sweepers pilot and Korean-Italian consiglieri "Vincenzo", he continues to help define the standard for modern Asian masculinity that is all at once desired by women, envied by men, and set as the impossible ideal by mothers everywhere for their future sons-in-law.
We’re sure that even as a murdered conglomerate employee reincarnated as the chaebol’s youngest son in Reborn Rich, Song Joong-ki will continue to win hearts everywhere.
The Innocent Man (2012)
In this 2012 drama, Song Joong-ki plays Kang Ma-ru, an idealistic young man who foolishly gives up his future as a doctor at the behest of his unrequited love, the icy Han Jae-hee (Park Si-yeon). Now older, he is hell-bent on avenging all those lost years by transforming himself into a successful man while seducing Seo Eun-gi (Moon Chae-won), the step-daughter of his great love. Alas, Kang begins to fall for Seo, and soon he finds himself caught in a rather interesting (and very makjang) love triangle.
It’s the year 2049 and Song Joong-ki plays Kim Tae-ho, the captain of the space junk ship Victory. It would have been life as usual had not the ship run into a humanoid named Dorothy, who happens to be a weapon of mass destruction. Should he and the crew trade her off and go on their merry way, or should they risk their lives to protect something that could potentially annihilate them all?
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Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
In this 2010 genderswap sageuk, Song Joong-ki plays Goo Yong-ha, the sunnier half of k-dramaland’s more memorable bromances. Sharing funny and electric chemistry with Moon Jae-shin (Yoo Ah-in), Goo is a privileged dandy who has an eye for fashion and an ear for fresh gossip. He knows that the “man” his friend is falling for is actually a woman named Kim Yun-hee (Park Min-young), and tries to protect them at all costs. But when her secret puts all of them at risk, will Goo remain faithful to the end, or will he put his interests first this time?
*Fun fact: Song Joong-ki graduated from Sungkyungkwan University with a degree in business.
Descendant of the Sun (2016)
You are in love with Captain Yoo Shi-jin. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules, but it’s true. In his seminal turn as the boyish captain of the Special Forces, Song Joong-ki turns on his lethal charm while remaining both fiercely protective and surprisingly tender. That, and the palpable chemistry he shared with Dr. Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo) made Descendants of the Sun the phenomenal global hit of 2016. It’s been six years, and we’re all still listening to its incredible OST and rewatching that legendary phone-flip. Aye, aye, captain.
Song Joong-ki plays the stone-cold attorney Vincenzo Cassano who exacts revenge at those who have hurt his family and friends through his own violent ways. One of the biggest Netflix hits of 2021, Vincenzo marked Song’s triumphant comeback to the small screen, and showed everyone that he had true star power by raking in the viewers week after week.
Reborn Rich (2022)
Song Joong-ki is Yoon Hyun-woo, a corporate lackey for the Sunyang Group and its owners. A pliant pushover, Yoon does everything the family asks with no complaint nor judgment — until one day, he is betrayed and murdered. Strangely enough, he finds himself in the past and reborn as the grandson of the Sunyang Group’s chairman. Now, armed with the knowledge of the future and filled with the desire to find out who his killer is, Yoon must keep playing his cards right if he wants to exact revenge on the very family that destroyed him.