Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
After making a triumphant debut in 2004 with his debut song “Because You’re My Girl” and earning the nickname “the nation’s younger brother,” Lee Seung Gi made his acting debut with the sitcom Nonstop 5. Having been busy as a singer and an actor, he said in the wrap-up interview, “It feels a bit awkward, but I’m grateful that I took part in the Nonstop series, the gateway to top stars.” And now, Lee is an all-around entertainer who can sing, act, and host an audition program as the main MC.
Lee played the role of Hwang Tae Ja, who falls in love with the youngest daughter of the strict Na family in Famous Chil Princesses (2006). This 80-part weekend drama gained such popularity at the time that it garnered 44% viewer ratings, and Lee Seung Gi, who turned into an irresistible mama’s boy, received favorable reviews for his solid performances. Then in Brilliant Legacy (2009), he was cast for the role of Sun Woo Hwan, a sliver-spooned man who agonizes between his inheritance and love, and successfully showed a completed different image from the past. This drama, too, reached 47% ratings. With the fact that combining these two numbers reaches three-digit ratings, the actor won the nickname “the emperor with 100% ratings.”
In The King 2 Hearts (2012), which reflects the reality of Korea as the world’s only divided country, Lee worked with Ha Ji Won and left a few unforgettable scenes for viewers. Especially, the sequence in episode 10 where he confronts Kim Bong Gu in words to question his brother’s death has certainly made a deep impression. Plus, how a North Korean special force soldier and a South Korean prince blossomed their love despite all the hardships and held an engagement ceremony of the century in episode 15 left a lingering emotion.
Since then, Lee has continued his acting career, actively starring in various works such as Gu Family Book (2013), Love Forecast (2015), and A Korean Odyssey (2017-2018). Whenever he had a chance to talk about himself, Lee Seung Gi has always expressed his desire to do well as an actor, singer, and entertainer. On the other hand, in a wrap-up interview for Vagabond (2019), in which he partnered with Suzy six years after Gu Family Book, the actor shared, “I think I’m in a time when I have to distinguish between what I can do well and what I can do, not what I do as a celebrity or as a person, or just headbutt into everything I can.”
In short, it seems like he has gone beyond the worries of defining “what his main job” is. He will not sacrifice a job for another job. Today, Lee Seung Gi returns to the small screen with a new drama. In tvN’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama Mouse, he turns into a kind and righteous rookie police officer who pursues a psychopath killer. Even today, he is diligently performing his main job.
Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.