Korean A-list actor Lee Byung Hun certainly needs no introduction: The multi-awarded actor has starred in over 50 Korean and Hollywood film and television productions over his impressive 30-year entertainment career! He is currently making a TV comeback with the Netflix slice-of-life drama Our Blues. Let's take a closer look at some of Lee Byung Hun's most notable filmography.
1. A Bittersweet Life (2005)
Who else is in it: Shin Min Ah, Jung Yu Mi
Listed as one of the best mobster movies by The Guardian, A Bittersweet Life revolves around Kim Sun Woo (Lee Byung Hun), a high-ranking member of a crime syndicate tasked with spying on his boss' mistress who is suspected of having an affair with another man. Things get ugly (and bloody) when Sun Woo covers up the affair and his crime boss finds out. Lee Byung Hun earned his first of many Best Film Actor awards at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards in 2006 with this film.
2. Masquerade (2012)
Who else is in it: Ryu Seung Ryong, Han Hyo Joo
Lee Byung Hun takes on two roles in this Joseon period film: The cruel King Gwang Hae and the acrobat Ha Sun. In fear of getting assassinated or poisoned, King Gwang Hae decides to put a ~lookalike~, Ha Sun, on the throne. The fake king eventually earns the respect of his officials and subjects, becoming an even bigger threat to the real one. In 2019, the film was remade into a K-drama titled The Masked Clown starring Yeo Jin Goo.
3. Inside Men (2015)
Who else is in it: Cho Seung Woo, Kim Dae Myung
Based on the webtoon The Insiders, this political revenge film is about the unlikely partnership between prosecutor Woo Jang Hoon (Cho Seung Woo) and retired gangster Ahn Sang Goo (Lee Byung Hun). Determined to uncover the secrets behind the very suspicious presidential campaign funds of a congressman, the prosecutor teams up with Sang Goo, a man hell-bent on revenge after his hand was *cut off* for having a record of the slush fund.
4. Mr. Sunshine (2018)
Set in the turbulent political period before and during the early days of Japan's annexation of South Korea, Mr. Sunshine is a political romance drama centered on Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun), a Korean-born U.S Marine officer, and Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri), a noblewoman who is secretly a member of a civilian freedom fighter army. This critically-acclaimed drama written by Kim Eun Sook (the screenwriter behind Descendants Of The Sun and Goblin) helped Lee Byung Hun bag the Grand Prize at the 2019 APAN Star Awards.
5. The Man Standing Next (2020)
Who else is in it: Lee Sung Min, Kwak Do Won
President Park (Lee Sung Min) has held on to his leadership position for the past 18 years. His dictatorship is threatened by a soon-to-be-published memoir by former Korean CIA director Park Yong Gak (Kwak Do Won) that will expose his government’s corruption. The president enlists the help of the current KCIA director Kim Gyu Pyeong (Lee Byung Hun) to retrieve the manuscript before it goes public. Alliances change as Gyu Pyeong discovers the growing influence of the president’s chief bodyguard. Lee Byung Hun's character is based on Kim Jae Gyu, a KCIA director who assassinated South Korea's dictator president Park Chung Hee in 1979.
6. Squid Game (2021)
Squid Game is a highly popular Netflix drama about 456 debt-ridden players who plays a *deadly* series of children's games to potentially take home the 45.6 billion won cash prize. Lee Byung Hun stars as Hwang In Ho a.k.a The Front Man who oversees the operations of the survival competition.
7. Our Blues (2022)
Lee Byung Hun is reuniting with his A Bittersweet Life co-star Shin Min Ah in this star-studded drama revolving around a close-knit group of people living on Jeju island. Byung Hun will play the role of Lee Dong Seok, a truck driver-salesman born and raised on the island. He crosses paths with the new island resident Min Seon Ah, a woman with a sad past.
8. Concrete Utopia (TBA)
Concrete Utopia is an upcoming disaster film that revolves around the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in Seoul. The survivors gather at the one and only apartment building left in the city under the leadership of the reliable Young Tak (Lee Byung Hun).
9. The Match (TBA)
Who else is in it: Yoo Ah In
The sports biopic film will tell the story of real-life Baduk players Cho Hun Hyun and Lee Chang Ho. Lee Byung Hun is taking on the role of Hun Hyun, the veteran player who becomes a mentor for the promising amateur player Chang Ho (Yoo Ah In).
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