Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Kim Yoo Hyang
An icy poker face and a warm smile coexist on the face of actor Lee Min Ki. After making his debut with KBS’s one-act drama series, Drama City: My Older Brother, he made a solid presence in MBC’s soap opera, Be Strong, Geum-Soon!. The actor played Noh Tae Hwan, an immature young man who dreams of succeeding as a model. Through this work, he won Best New Actor Award from the MBC Drama Awards.
He gained popularity with an image of a cute boy who is beloved by women older than him, especially through works including Love Truly (2006), Evasive Inquiry Agency (2007), and A Good Day to Have an Affair (2007). He then broadened his range by having a go at a blockbuster in 2009. In Tidal Wave, the film directed by Yoon Je Kyun, the actor broke many hearts by playing the lifeguard, Choi Hyeong Sik. He left a striking impression as he sacrificed himself after handing his watch as a token to a loved one before his eyes. As a result of making himself known amongst many cast members, he won the Best New Actor Award at the 46th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Since then, he has been attempting various genres but seemed to excel in romantic comedies mainly. He was able to draw relatability as Dong Hee, who’s been in his relationship for three years within the movie Very Ordinary Couple (2013). Especially as he delicately portrayed the various feelings of being in a relationship in which fighting and then making up with each other has become a part of their routine. In the scene where he has a rough argument with Jang Young at the amusement park, he says, “From now on, if you want a breakup, you tell me. Because I’m the one who’s sick and tired of you.” That was the epitome of what a real relationship looks like, without delusions.
The actor demonstrated his improved ability to depict romance in JTBC’s Beauty Inside. He played Seo Do Jae, a man who does not recognize others due to face blindness. Despite reviews pointing out his stiff acting in the show’s earlier days, he eventually adapted and provided sweetness and warmth to the series. Based on a film of the same name that had Han Hyo Joo as its lead character, Beauty Inside changed parts of its plot to fit a drama series’ pace. The show received responses as positive as the original, and a part of this was thanks to the outstanding performances of its actors, including Seo Hyun Jin, Lee Min Ki, and Lee Da Hee.
After making an effort to pursue a different genre with OCN’s The Lies Within in 2019, he has currently returned to a Rom-Com, which is what he’s best at. As the show kicked off last week, he greets viewers from MBC’s Oh My Ladylord as Han Bi Soo, a thriller drama screenwriter. The series plans to depict Han Bi Soo breaking down his walls after living with Oh Joo In under a contract. His character usually enjoys his time alone, while Oh Joo In is an act of a different nature. Besides, he will be back as the main character of a movie after some time. The actor will take Father Ban’s role, a priest who trained exorcism at the Vatican in Three Days (working title). In the occult film, he worked along with Park Shin Yang and Lee Re.
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.