If you’re a fan of Joo Won, then you know that he is one multitalented actor. Before he started doing dramas, he was a prolific musical actor. In fact, his performance in the musical Spring Awakening was what led him to get scouted by an entertainment agency. Now, Joo Won has 11 years of experience as an actor under his belt with a portfolio of dramas of different genres from medical to action to sci-fi. As he celebrates his 34th (Korean age) birthday this September, we urge you to review our fave Joo Won dramas through the years. Have you watched all of them? Which one do you like best?
1. King Of Baking, Kim Takgu (2010)
Joo Won made his debut in this hit drama, which had one of the highest ratings back when it was released in 2010. He played the show’s second lead, Gu Majun, but despite being the villain of the story, he received a lot of love and became a household name. The drama revolves around Kim Takgu (Shi Yoon), the illegitimate older son of a food company magnate, and his journey to becoming a successful baker. Majun is the legitimate younger son who yearns for his father’s support and does everything to sabotage Takgu, including stealing Takgu’s first love, Yoo Kyung (Eugene).
2. Ojakgyo Family (2011-2012)
Who else is in it: Uee, Joo Won, Ryu Soo Young, Choi Jung Yoon, Jung Woong In, Yeon Woo Jin, Baek Il Seob, Kim Ja Ok
Joo Won got another success under his belt with his next work, a daily drama called Ojakgyo Family, which tells the story of a family of four sons living on a farm, their misadventures with love, and their trials as a family. Joo Won plays the third brother, Hwang Tae Hee, who is actually his adoptive father’s nephew. Because of this, he sometimes feels like he’s not a real part of the family. Tae Hee forms a love line with Ja Eun (Uee), a college student who lives on the farm with the Hwangs. She eventually becomes mother Bok Ja’s close confidante.
3. Bridal Mask (2012)
Who else is in it: Jin Se Yeon, Park Ki Woong, Han Chae Ah, Shin Hyun Joon
Bridal Mask is a period drama set in the 1930s when Seoul, Korea, was under Japanese rule. Joo Won plays Lee Kang To, a Korean police officer who serves the Japanese. He later becomes Gaksital (Bridal Mask), a masked warrior who fights for the rebellion and Koreans’ freedom. His plight catches the attention of Mok Dan, whose father is a general for the Independence Army. She falls for him, not knowing that his real identity is someone she despises. Also complicating matters is Kimura Shunji, Kang To’s best friend, who wants to get revenge on Gaksital after his brother’s death.
4. Good Doctor (2013)
Who else is in it: Moon Chae Won, Joo Sang Wook, Kim Min Seo, Kim Young Kwang
If you’re a fan of the American series, The Good Doctor, the original Korean drama it was adapted from should definitely be on your to-watch list. In it, Joo Won plays Park Si Jon, an autistic pediatric surgeon with Savant syndrome. He has six months to prove he can make it as a resident at the hospital despite everyone’s skepticism over his abilities. He gets help from his colleagues, Cha Yoon Seo (Chae Won) and Han Jin Wook (Young Kwang), while surgeon Kim Do Han (Sang Wook) is reluctant to be his mentor.
5. Naeil’s Cantabile (2014)
We all love having a little music in our lives! Naeil’s Cantabile is the Korean adaptation of the Japanese manga (and J-drama) Nodame Cantabile. It’s a tale of love, friendship, and music about quirky Naeil (Eun Kyung of Miss Granny fame), a talented pianist who falls for handsome musical prodigy Yoo Jin (Joo Won). Yoo Jin and Naeil have a strange relationship at first, but they soon get to know each other and help each other achieve their dreams. Bonus: Don’t miss Park Bo Gum as Yoon Hoo, a charming cellist crushing on Naeil. He hides a big secret behind his cute smile.
6. Yong Pal (2015)
Who else is in it: Kim Tae Hee, Jo Hyun Jae, Chae Jung An
Yong Pal got such high ratings that it got an additional two eps. Joo Won worked with one of South Korea’s most beautiful actresses, Kim Tae Hee, for this drama. Yong Pal is the code name of Kim Tae Hyun (Joo Won), a surgeon who helps criminals for cash. He becomes the doctor of Han Yeo Jin (Tae Hee), a chaebol heiress forced to remain in a coma so that her evil brother, Do Joon (Hyun Jae), can take over the company. When Yeo Jin comes out of her coma and promises to pay Tae Hyun if he helps her escape, they hatch a plan. Joo Won got his first Grand Prize (Daesang) award for his great acting in this drama.
7. My Sassy Girl (2017)
Who else is in it: Oh Yeon Seo, Lee Jung Shin, Kim Yoon Hye
Everyone knows My Sassy Girl the movie, but what if the story was set in the Joseon era instead of modern times? That’s where this drama comes in, which adapts the movie into sageuk format. My Sassy Girl revolves around feisty princess Hye Myung (Yeon Seo) who appalls everyone around her by regularly escaping the palace and causing all sorts of trouble. Joo Won plays Gyun Woo, an elegant—if a bit stuffy—scholar admired by all. The two leads start out as enemies, but as they spend more time together, they eventually start falling in love.
8. Alice (2020)
Who else is in it: Kim Hee Sun, Kwak Si Yang, Lee Da In
This was Joo Won’s first drama after returning from mandatory military service. A sci-fi drama, it features an agency called Alice that allows clients to go back to the past and get closure by letting them see their dearly departed relatives and loved ones. Yoon Tae Yi (Hee Sun) is an Alice agent who chooses to stay in the past and rename herself Park Sun Young after realizing she’s pregnant. When she dies a mysterious death, her son, Jin Gyeom (Joo Won), decides to become a detective. What happens when Jin Gyeom meets a woman who looks just like his mother one day?
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