K-Dramaland Boy Crush: Lee Jong Suk – The Hallyu Heartthrob

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It’s no surprise that model-turned-actor Lee Jong Suk has been making fans swoon for over 15 years!

Lee Jong Suk is the complete package. Since his debut in 2005 at the age of 15, Jong Suk has worked nonstop to prove that he’s not just another handsome face. Yes, he’s walked runway shows for some of the biggest names in fashion, but he’s also acted alongside some heavy hitters, including Kim Woo Bin, Hyun Bin, Park Shin Hye, and Bae Doo Na to name a few. Referred to by fans as Sukki, this charismatic introvert is known 110% percent to every project he puts his name on.

To celebrate the success of Lee Jong Suk’s latest project, let’s look back at his flourishing career in this special feature.

2005-2010: When We First Met Lee Jong Suk

Ask any Lee Jong Suk fan, and they will probably reference a piece of his modeling work as the first time they saw him. They aren’t far off. Lee Jong debuted as a model at Seoul Fashion Week in 2005 and has since walked numerous fashion shows since. It wasn’t until 2010 that he made his official acting debut in the drama Prosecutor Princess. As a member of the supporting cast, he played Lee Woo Hyun, an investigator for Yoon Se Joon (Han Jung Soon).

2011-2013: Rise in Popularity

Continuing on the path as an actor, Lee Jong Suk starred in the hit series Secret Garden. He portrayed Han Tae Sun, a talented young composer with a surly attitude and a forbidden crush on the second male lead.

He then appeared in the MBC sitcom High Kick Season 3, where he played Ahn Jong Seok, a new student who has trouble adjusting to academics after having been a jock throughout his childhood. The series helped boost his popularity and he was even nominated for two awards at the 2012 Baeksang Art Awards for his role.

Lee Jong Suk’s breakout role was in the teen drama School 2013 alongside Kim Woo Bin, Jang Nara, and Choi Daniel. In his first lead role, he plays Go Nam Soon, a former delinquent turned class president at Seungri High School, one of the worst of the 178 high schools in Seoul. The series was such a success Lee Jong Suk went on to win Best Actor at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards.

Following the success of School 2013, Lee Jong Suk starred in the critically acclaimed drama I Can Hear Your Voice, where he portrays Park Soo Ha, an intelligent young man who can read minds. The drama was so successful that it earned him a variety of nominations and awards, including the Excellence Award, Actor at the 2013 Korea Drama Awards, and The 21st Century Gentleman Award at the 2013 Style Icon Awards, to name a few.

2014-2020: Going Mainstream

In the following year, Lee Jong Suk joined the hit medical drama Doctor Stranger. He plays Park Hoon, a North Korean defector working as a doctor in South Korea, who will do anything to make money to bring his love to him. The drama was hugely successful both domestically and abroad, earning 400 million views in China alone.

Next up, Lee Jong Suk starred opposite Park Shin Hye in the series Pinocchio. He portrays Choi Dal Po, a young man whose family was torn apart by tragedy as a child, who assumes a new identity as a rookie reporter at a broadcast company. It comes as no surprise that this drama was also hugely successful, earning him the Best Actor Award at the 2014 Grimae Awards.

Subsequently in 2016, he teams up with Han Hyo Joo for one of his most memorable roles in the fantasy thriller W. Lee Jong Suk plays Kang Chul, the main character of a fictional webtoon, who accidentally starts pulling people from the real world into his. The drama is still hugely popular amongst fans worldwide today.

In 2017, Lee Jong Suk joined Bae Suzy and Jung Hae In, for the supernatural drama While You Were Sleeping. He stars as Jung Jae Chan, a rookie prosecutor who has bad premonition-like dreams and one day decides to interfere.

Coming off the success of his previous projects, Lee Jong Suk started in the three-episode drama The Hymn of Death, a remake of the 1991 film Death Song. The drama depicts the tragic love story between genius playwright Kim Woo Jin (Lee Jong Suk) and Yun Sim Deok (Shin Hye Sun).

Next for Lee Jong Suk was the 2019 romantic Romance is a Bonus Book. He plays Cha Eun Ho, a successful writer and youngest chief editor at a publishing company who has been in love with his best friend for as long as he can remember, watching her from afar. The drama was his last project before his mandatory military enlistment.

2021-Present: Return for Military Service

For his first post-military project, Lee Jong Suk returned to the modeling world by walking at the 2021 Seoul Fashion Week. He wowed fans with his effortless good looks and long hair.

Breaking his K-Drama hiatus, Lee Jong Suk joined Im Yoon Ah, Kim Joo Hun, and Yang Kyung Won for the thriller Big Mouth. He portrays Park Chang Ho, an underperforming lawyer who gets caught on the wrong side of a murder case and ends up in prison. The series was a hit domestically and abroad as it rolled out across more streaming services.

What’s next for the sensational actor? We definitely can’t wait to see what modeling project or K-drama he is cast in next. From his overwhelming visuals to bringing his A-game to every project he’s in, let’s hope we see this Hallyu heartthrob sooner rather than later.

Video Credits: MBC, KBS, Disney+, Netflix, Viki

Image Credits: SBS,  A-man Project