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Lee Je-hoon (이제훈)

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

The sexiest thing about a man… is his intelligence. And if it comes dressed in Lee Je-hoon’s intense gaze and softened by his disarming smile, then we’ll take it as a gift from the Hallyu gods.

Photo from Han Cinema

Birthday: July 4, 1984

Instagram: leejehoon_official

Once majoring in Biotechnology, the young actor eventually pursued his artistic passion in the School of Drama at the Korea National University of Arts. There, he dabbled in student and indie films and played extras in several commercial films.

His talent couldn’t be hidden for long and with only a few movies under his belt, he was nominated for not just one but nine Best New Actor awards, from prestigious award giving bodies (Critics Choice Awards, Grand Bell Award, Blue Dragon Film Awards, and the Baeksang Arts Awards among others) for three separate films, and won seven of them.

With his natural good looks, he could have easily chosen the romantic-lead-instant-stardom path and heartthrob status. But looking at Lee Je-hoon’s filmography, one sees that he often chooses stories about difficult social issues. In My Paparotti (2013), he plays a high school gangster who wants to be an opera singer. In Anarchist from Colony (2017), he plays an independence activist. In I Can Speak (2017), he plays a civil servant who tutors an elderly woman who used to be a comfort woman during the Japanese occupation.

Even in k-dramas, Lee Je-hoon opts to play less than perfect characters struggling with their own humanity, but want to make a difference. In Signal (2016), he takes on dirty cops in the police force. In Where Stars Land (2018), he changes the lives of the people he meets in the airport where he works.

In Taxi Driver (2021), he makes a living out of exacting vengeance on perpetrators of heinous crimes. And in Move to Heaven (2021), he becomes a reluctant trauma cleaner who cleans up after the dead.

He takes his role as an artist very seriously. He once said in an interview, “We are constantly thinking about how we should live and what opinions we should voice to create a positive change. As an actor, I believe the decisions I make about what projects to choose are also impacted [by such social phenomenon].”

If his intelligence shines through in his choice of projects, his talent is displayed in the vast range of characters he’s played, and his passion is revealed in his off-screen involvement in filmaking. He opened his own entertainment company and released a short film that he both wrote and directed.

He recently reprised his role as the dogged vigilante Kim Do-gi in season 2 of Taxi Driver.

For a more complete list of his films and dramas, click here.

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