I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that no one has moved on from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, right? Check any listicle of really good dramas or shows that'll leave you in tears or dramas you simply cannot move on from—Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is almost always on the list. And yes, that's partly because IU solidified herself as an actress in her portrayal of Hae Soo, but the other half of that brilliant partnership is Hallyu star Lee Joon Gi. Though it wasn't well-received domestically, Chinese fans fell in love with Joon Gi, which led to a rise in his popularity. Even now, fans all over the world are hoping for a second season.
In April 2021, the actor hosted a special show called DREAM for his birthday. IU made a surprise phone call, and the two spoke about the possibility of another season. Joon Gi mentioned that it'll be difficult to do, but should the opportunity come up in the future, IU is more than happy to revisit those characters. She said, "I think all of us who filmed the drama probably feel the same way. We had such a great time filming it, and even now, there are so many people who love the drama. Isn't that amazing?"
But as fans know, Scarlet Heart Ryeo is just one of the many reasons people adore and support Lee Joon Gi. He has come a long way since his first lead role in 2005. This year alone, he already has a new drama: He is set to star in Again My Life as a prosecutor who's killed while investigating a corrupt politician—but then gets a second chance at life.
Here are must-know facts about Lee Joon Gi:
Lee Joon Gi was born on April 17, 1982.
Aries is known for being a go-getter at work. A natural-born leader, Aries isn't afraid of taking risks, though sometimes, it could also mean acting impulsively. They are self-starters and need the freedom to explore their creativity. This sounds exactly like Lee Joon Gi! He once said that acting is like being a part of an orchestra: "All the crew members on set are the first viewers. I trust in them and make myself open to possibilities. If I don't do that, then my performance would be stagnant. I like people and I need people. I'm always together with the people around me, and joining together with them creates the person I am. These 'links' guide me, awaken me, and motivate me."
He wanted to be an actor after he saw Hamlet.
Lee Joon Gi was only in high school when he was bitten by the acting bug. It was right after he watched a production of Hamlet that he dreamed of becoming an actor. His parents didn't approve at first, but Joon Gi persisted, even attending an acting academy to prepare for college exams. When he failed to get in, he moved to Seoul and took on part-time jobs while going to auditions. He became a print and commercial model in 2001 and landed his first lead role in The King And The Clown four years later. Soon after, he appeared in SBS' My Girl alongside Lee Da Hae and Lee Dong Wook. It was a hit domestically and in other Asian countries.Continue reading below ↓
For a while, Joon Gi was known for his "pretty boy" looks but he was able to show a different side of him in Time Between Dog And Wolf where he plays an NIS agent. Period action drama Iljimae was also a big role for the actor; he even won the Top Excellence Award at the 2008 SBS Drama Awards for his portrayal.
The first project he took on after his military discharge in 2012 was Arang And The Magistrate with Shin Min Ah. It was a success and was the most expensive drama sold to Japan by MBC. The following year, he starred in Two Weeks, an action thriller about a father who's fighting a murder charge and struggling to save his daughter. In 2014, he won critical acclaim in the period drama Gunman In Joseon—specifically Outstanding Korean Drama Actor at the Seoul International Drama Awards. His first Chinese movie, Never Said Goodbye, premiered in 2015.Continue reading below ↓
In 2016, he starred in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, which is the Korean remake of a Chinese series. He held a fan meeting in November 2016 and fans got to watch the last episode of the drama with him. Since then, some of his notable works include Lawless Lawyer with Seo Ye Ji and Flower Of Evil with Moon Chae Won.Lawless Lawyer 'Memories' EP.7
Lee Joon Gi has made his Hollywood debut.
In 2015, his agency Namoo Actors confirmed that Joon Gi is a part of the Resident Evil: The Final Chapter movie. Of course, this wasn't exactly a surprise because actress Milla Jovovich posted a pic with the Korean star. She captioned the photo, "Working for the last few nights with the incredible 3rd Dan Tae Kwon Do master and actor Joon Gi has been insanely fun and so inspiring. Makes me want to go back to class and brush up on my martial arts skills!" They spent a few weeks shooting the film in South Africa.Continue reading below ↓
He really loves jiu-jitsu.
To prepare for his role in Lawless Lawyer, Joon Gi took jiu-jitsu lessons and fell in love with the sport. He told Marie Claire in 2018, "This is the first hobby I've ever had. Jiu-jitsu is so much fun. I'm so drawn to it that sometimes, I don’t want to leave the gym." He even asked the director if it was possible to include it in the drama somehow. But that's not all! He also took up taekwondo and muay thai, sharing that these all train his body and mind.Continue reading below ↓Continue reading below ↓
He's opened up about his personal struggles.
Particularly what he went through when the pandemic hit. During a pictorial with The Star, Joon Gi revealed, "I think hard about all the things that opened my potential and helped me get to where I am. I remember the values that I hold dear. I remind myself that I need to value myself. I think that we’re all struggling through a really difficult time. One of the most difficult things for me is not being able to meet fans."
He is a very organized person.
Fans got a glimpse of his home as well as his personal habits when he guested on tvN's variety show My Ear's Candy. Apart from meeting his cute pups, Joon Gi also showed his exceptional packing skills as he prepared for a trip. Each item was packed in its own plastic case because he doesn't like it when his clothes get all mixed up. He reminisced about his military days and how he earned the nickname "organizing robot" because of how much he appreciates structure. LOL!Continue reading below ↓
Lee Joon Gi dated Jeon Hye Bin.
The two met in 2014 and started dating in 2016, their agency confirmed. Jeon Hye Bin appeared in an episode of Happy Together 3 and briefly talked about how they became a couple. She said, "I'm actually boyish and brave, so I thought we wouldn’t look good together. I had no idea that it would be like this since we had been friends for so long. In the beginning, he looked after me as a senior [in the acting industry]. I thought he was polite at first, but the more I got to know him, the more I came to realize that he was a good person. At some point, he started leaving a lot of comments on my social media as well. We naturally developed into a dating relationship." Unfortunately, they broke up in 2017 because of their busy schedules.
You can follow him on Instagram.
If you didn't already know, Lee Joon Gi is pretty active on Instagram (@actor_jg)! He regularly posts selfies, #OOTDs, behind-the-scenes shots, workout photos, and more.Continue reading below ↓
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