10 Reasons You Need to Be Watching Korean Drama Actor Lee Joon Gi

Fly Daddy Fly - Lee Joon Gi 4

Maybe you’ve seen every drama that actor Lee Joon Gi has been in, or maybe you’ve never seen him before.  Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle.  Well, no matter what stage you are in, you need to be watching more of Lee Joon Gi!  Today I am highlighting the very talented Korean drama actor Lee Joon Gi with 10 reasons you should be watching him.  Here we go!

10. Virgin Snow

Virgin Snow - Lee Joon Gi

The image above is the first time Lee Joon Gi graced my screen with his presence.  It’s hard to believe it was a full six months into my kdrama watching before I met this talented man!

I came across the 2007 movie Virgin Snow quite by chance.  I had been perusing drama forums and stumbled across a thread on movies that dealt with a language barrier between the main couple.  One lone commenter amidst many suggested a sweet little movie by the name of Virgin Snow.  Thank you commenter, you changed my life!

So I looked it up and thought it sounded cute.  It is about a Korean boy who moves to Japan, but knows pretty much no Japanese.  He meets a Japanese girl who knows very little Korean.  They quickly bond in a charming relationship that is sure to bring smiles.

Later that day I finally sat down to watch the movie.  It took all of a minute to become enamoured with the young man on the screen who looked like he stepped out of an anime.  He was adorable trying to communicate with his leading lady and win her heart.  I couldn’t recall ever seeing a guy quite like him.  Now I just happen to be married to an amazing guy (aka Mr. Kay), and even he developed his first man crush during this movie!  Lee Joon Gi is just that charismatic.

9. Arang and the Magistrate

Arang and the Magistrate Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

After Virgin Snow, I wanted to watch a drama that starred Lee Joon Gi and decided on Arang and the Magistrate which also stars one of my favorite leading ladies, Shin Min Ah.  I loved the fantasy premise of a man who could see ghosts needing to help the girl solve the mystery of how she died.

Although I definitely enjoyed Arang, it wasn’t perfect for me.  I had a hard time adjusting to the more serious and somewhat cold Lee Joon Gi in this drama.  It was just very different from Virgin Snow.  I did eventually warm up to him, especially as he grew closer to Arang, but I always found myself missing that adorable smile.

8. Joseon Gunman

Joseon Gunman Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi  Joseon Gunman Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

Joseon Gunman started airing soon after I completed Arrang.  I was super excited for this drama, and it did not disappoint!  In the first 5 episodes or so, I got to see that lovable and charming Lee Joon Gi that I loved in Virgin Snow.  Of course, he becomes more serious and conflicted as the story progresses, but at that point, I was sold on his character and completely invested.  You also get to enjoy Lee Joon Gi in a hanbok and a magnificent turn of the century suit in this drama.  Best of both worlds!

7. Two Weeks

Two Weeks - Lee Joon Gi

Next up is the action drama Two Weeks.  I was excited to see Lee Joon Gi in something modern again, and he didn’t disappoint.  I was on the edge my seat as he was on the run from the cops and the bad guys so that he could stay alive and save his daughter from leukemia by being her bone marrow donor.  He displayed such a range of emotion with such conviction in this drama.  It is a wild ride that is sure to excite!

6. Time Between Dog and Wolf

Time Between Dog and Wolf Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

This older classic action drama has some of the best twists and turns.  There were so many layers to Lee Joon Gi’s character, and it was a wonderful opportunity to show just how good of an actor he is.  The story is complex and thrilling with Lee Joon Gi stealing every scene he is in.

5. Iljimae

Iljimae Korean Drama

I had been saving this drama, and it was worth the wait!  I loved seeing Lee Joon Gi in a historical where he was a bit more loose and carefree and had a chance to display some of his comedic side.  It’s also an exciting chance to see him portray a masked hero who helps the people as he tries to solve his father’s murder.  Don’t miss out on this one!

4. The King and the Clown

King and the Clown - Lee Joon Gi

This is the movie that shot Lee Joon Gi to stardom.  In this historical, he portrays a member of a troupe of performers named Gong Gil who has a very delicate and somewhat feminine appearance.  And let me tell you, Lee Joon Gi is stunning in this movie.  He truly is more beautiful than most women.  It is a very moving story that is sure to leave an impact. (Please note, this is a more mature movie that deals with sensitive topics)

3. Fly Daddy Fly

Fly Daddy Fly - Lee Joon Gi  Fly Daddy Fly - Lee Joon Gi 2

Fly Daddy Fly is a charming movie that told a simple story of a high school student training a father to fight after his daughter was beaten up.  Lee Joon Gi was great as the cool teen who had been through a lot in his life.  The father he trains is played by Lee Moon Shik who just happned to play Lee Joon Gi’s father in the drama Iljimae which came out two years after this.  It’s great to see the fabulous chemistry between the two actors.

2. Scholar Who Walks the Night

Scholar Who Walks the Night Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi  Scholar Who Walks the Night Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

I was pretty excited when I heard Lee Joon Gi would be playing a vampire scholar is this historical.  He put everything into this role, and it is evident in each scene he is in.  He was the perfect choice for a beautiful vampire who suffers because of his hate of what he is and the guilt he feels for what he has do.  It’s not a perfect drama, but Lee Joon Gi is perfect for the role!

1. Because He is Lee Joon Gi!

Lee Joon GiLee Joon Gi has quite the personality.  He is outgoing, funny, and loves to engage with fans.  Watch any interview or guest special and his personality shines through.  He has one of the best Instagram’s to follow with lots of fun updates.  He also sings and dances, so definitely check out any of his performances.  He knows what his fans want (which is more of him!), and he does his best to give it to them.


My Girl Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention his drama My Girl.  I actually haven’t seen this one yet because I have been saving it (and I don’t know if my heart can handle the fact that he is the second lead).  But it is a classic, and the clips I have seen showcase just how much of a charmer Lee Joon Gi is.  I have no doubt that he is wonderful in it.

(UPDATE May 2016: Just watched My Girl, and I absolutely loved it! As expected, Lee Joon Gi was fantastic. Just another reason to love him!)

Hero Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

The drama Hero is another one I am saving for a rainy day.  It’s not a drama you hear about very much, but with Lee Joon Gi as the star, I will definitely watch it from beginning to end.

Scarlet Heart Goryeo Korean Drama - Lee Joon Gi

And be sure to check out his latest drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Goryeo where he plays a dark and conflicted prince in the Goryeo era who falls for a girl from the future while trying to secure his place on the throne.

There you have it.  10 reasons you need to be watching Lee Joon Gi.  Of course, the list could go on, but I guess I will leave it at that🙂

Can you think of more reasons to watch Lee Joon Gi?  What is your favorite drama or movie he has been in?

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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47 Responses to 10 Reasons You Need to Be Watching Korean Drama Actor Lee Joon Gi

  1. joybran2015 says:

    Lee Joon Gi is my favorite actor! I’ve seen all of his works multiple times. It is impossible to pick one favorite, but it might be Time Between Dog and Wolf because he gets to play good guy, bad guy, and everything in between. My Girl was my worst case of Second Lead Syndrome. The reason you don’t hear much about Hero is that Joon Gi was pretty much the only good thing about it. The actress cast as lead got injured just before filming started and was replaced by a pretty idol who couldn’t act. It was one of Ji Chang Wook’s first small supporting roles, but he didn’t make an impression in it. Still, it is worth watching for Lee Joon Gi’s compelling performance as an idealistic reporter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      It’s good to hear from you joybran2015! I always love your comments, probably because of our shared love of Lee Joon Gi🙂

      Yeah, I noticed what I did hear about Hero wasn’t to positive. Ah well, I still must see it.

      When watching him play ‘evil’ Sung Yeol in Scholar, I kept thinking, man he is really good at playing a bad guy! And then I realized that was one of the things I really enjoyed about Time Between Dog and Wolf. Like you said, he played good, bad, and everything in between. Wonderful drama!

      Liked by 1 person

    • hariaharia says:

      “The good, the bad and everything in between” is owned now, amica!! LOL…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hariaharia says:

    LJK is my precious jewel and one of the best actors of his generation. I agree that his best drama is without a doubt TBDW,- every actor’s performance was impeccable and, along with the epic story and the directing, elavated LJK’s acting to a different level (plus he did and still does most of the action scenes without stuntmen). I was so thrilled when the OTP was reunited in Joseon Gunman.
    May 18 was a beautiful and touching story, albeit the political premises. MY, on the other hand, is a matter of debate; he was given practically nothing and he made the most out of it. I don’t know if that was because of his heavy time-table or Hong sisters’ imagination was to blame but I’m sure it wasn’t anything more for him to do in that drama. I loved the story and everyone’s acting, though,- I’m still waiting for a proper male lead in a rom-com, preferably in a Hong drama.😉
    The King and The Clown is still, by far, his best film, if not his best work, ever. Perhaps I’m not very objective because it was among the first Korean films I watched and the story left me speechless. I was in awe of everything in this work: the theme, the era (that I knew very little about at the time), the directing, the OST, the performances and finally Mr. Lee Jun Ki! Ever since,I’ve watched all his works (BTW, I found Hero a good performance with a true comic timing something that very few “jeunes-premiers” can carry through such a project) and, though I think K-ent has not been fair to him lately (Two Weeks, need I say more?), my admiration and love will stand the test of time…I’m sure of it!
    Thanks, Kay! All credit to you, you posted a fantastic article about our one and only LJK-ssi!🙂


    • Kay says:

      Thank you so much for the compliment! I’m also thrilled to hear such high praise about Lee Joon Gi from you🙂 Yes, most definitely one of the best actors of his generation. Time Between Dog and Wolf was such a thrilling ride, and it truly showcased the wide range of his acting abilities. And yes, it still impresses me that he does most of his stunts. Talent and commitment!

      I too was blown away by The King and the Clown. I was drawn in from the very beginning and ended up completely captivated by Lee Joon Gi and the attention to detail that went into his performance and the entire production.

      I always look forward to his dramas, and I hope he chooses to do another one sooner than in a year. But luckily, he has plenty of wonderful works to rewatch in the meantime🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Noël says:

    Of course I’m biased but I really enjoyed this post! Such a wide range of emotions he is capable of portraying. I’ve really enjoyed all his works but The King and the Clown, SWWTN (despite it’s setbacks), and Iljimae would have to be some of my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Thank you Noel! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Lee Joon Gi certainly is the king of sageuks! It’s nearly impossible to choose an actual favorite, but your choices of The King and the Clown, Scholar, and Iljimae definitely display his amazing acting abilities. They are just all so good🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. snow says:

    Great post!
    The first time I saw him was in My Girl, where he was the second lead. it’s a good think that I never ever have second lead syndrome (except in Flower Boy next Door)…heh
    Then I saw him in Two Weeks and wow, he was fabulous there…and the drama was so thrilling and awesome!
    I have Arang And The Magistrate on my plan list. And I’ve thought about giving a try to Hero as well.
    I think I should add Time Between Dog and Wolf as well, which looks pretty fun and entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Thanks snow! I actually rarely have second lead syndrome either, but if Lee Joon Gi is the second lead I will be rooting for him no matter who he is up against, lol.

      If you liked Two Weeks, I would say go for Time Between Dog and Wolf when you have an opening in your schedule. It is on the dramatic side, but it is thrilling with lots of twists, and it really showcases Lee Joon Gi’s acting abilities.

      If you decide to venture into his historicals, Arang is good for the romance and fusion element (plus Shin Min Ah). I think Iljimae is my favorite historical of his. It doesn’t have a lot of romance, but it has some nice comedy and very touching moments. Since your not big into historicals, I’m really not sure what you would think of that one though, lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. shin says:

    Thank you for the article. Lee joon gi is my one and only favorite k-actor. He is such a real and tough actor. He is so unique among actors and his versitality in acting is what I admire most. Iljimae is my favorite among his work and my first drama of him (I like his comical side plus portraying different emotion I cried a lot in this drama) but TBDW is his best ever drama. Arang was great too and his chemistry with SMA is a bonus ( their chemistry is oozing ). I like his another top level acting in his recent drama SWWTN, i’m speechless with his performance even the drama is not perfect, his acting remain solid and famtastic. All his drama are good quality (so sad because it doesn’t had a rating it deserve )I’m looking forward to his upcoming C-movie. Hope you write something about it when it release.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      You’re welcome, and thank you for commenting! Lee Joon Gi truly is unique. He stood out to me the moment I saw him, and the more I see, I continue to see just how special he is.

      Iljimae really tugged at my heart too, and I loved his comedy in it. As for Arang, Shin Min Ah is my favorite actress, so pairing her with Lee Joon Gi was perfection! And to display his full range of acting, Time Between Dog and Wolf is the drama to see! I too wish Scholar had better ratings, but a lot of international fans seemed to really embrace it, so that’s a plus.

      I can’t wait to check out his latest Chinese movie. It will probably be awhile before it gets subbed, but I will most certainly write about it when I see it🙂


  6. Maggie says:

    Well, no surprises for me. I can say I’ve watched almost all his movies and dramas, only I haven’t been able to find a cameo he did in his beginning. Hotel Venus is his real debut and it’s a strange and beautiful film and of course King’s man (the real name of King and clown), which I think is his best movie role. In dramas my favorite ones are Two weeks and TBDW in terms of acting skills and story. Then Scholar who walks the night, with the rest I should say I don’t have any favorite, all of them are part of his development as an actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joybran2015 says:

      The cameo you mention must be 101st Proposal. I found it here – http://www.dramagalaxy.eu/101st-proposal-sbs

      The cameo is a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance as himself at a cocktail party. It’s in the first or second episode. I didn’t watch the whole 15 episode drama, but it looks like a cute story. If you really like Lee Moon Shik, who co-starred with him in Fly Daddy Fly and Iljimae, and you like rom coms, you might enjoy it. I’m more of an action and historical fantasy fan.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I completely agree on The King and the Clown being his best movie role. His stunning performance in that makes it easy to see why he so quickly rose in popularity because of it. It’s so hard to pick favorites among his dramas! They all have something different to show us about him. I think Two Weeks is my favorite of his modern dramas, and Iljimae of his sageuks. But I love them all🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maggie says:

        For me Iljimae has two “sides”… I like to watch his acting but the story is a mess and most of the characters are stereotyped. It’s his most popular sageuk but not his best; for me his best sageuk is Scholar who walks the night, followed by Arang (in terms of acting) and Joseon gunman (because of the story). But as I wrote before, all his roles are important and all of them had been done with passion and professionalism and that’s the main reason I’m his fan (needless to say he’s very handsome, right?)


  7. salvegrace says:

    I love this actor so much! I first knew him through My Girl, which is an awesome romantic comedy drama. I fell for Second Lead Syndrome,– which is him. The here comes Two Weeks, which I cried bucket of tears, then follows the rest Arang and the Magistrate, Joseon Gunman, his latest Scholar Who Walks At Night. My favorite drama of him, one of my top favorite too, which I could say is also his best I have seen so far was still Time Between Dog and Wolf. He is a brilliant actor. No definite words could describe how brilliant he is. If there could me something to judge about his dramas, it will be the story or other elements, but no his performance.

    I didn’t want to try Iljimae first. hehe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Lee Joon Gi as a second lead…that’s why I don’t know if I can handle My Girl, lol. Of course, I still plan to see it though. Everyone seems to agree that Time Between Dog and Wolf really shows his acting skills the best. His character is so layered, and it really is an exciting drama. But yes, I love them all🙂


  8. lea nares says:

    amazing and fantastic joon gi…everything in him .,what an adorable person.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kay says:

    Yes, everything about him really is fantastic. His dramas, movies, personality…everything.


  10. Mil says:

    I love Arang and the Magistrate! It was so amazing!


  11. Gaya says:

    I’m a big fan of him…
    i saw him for the first time in Iljimae…
    I m not totally agree with your ranks… but, everyone has his own taste ^.^
    For me, the king and the clown and Iljimae are really better than you can say :p
    Hero is very very very good too, Time between dog and wolf is so exciting, and i don’t like so much Scholar who walks in the night coz… WHERE IS HIS WONDERFUL SMILE?

    i love him smiling and playing as silly boy but so clever… as in Iljimae or Hero.

    Joseon Gunman and Scholar were quite good… but no much smile… and Lee Joon Gi without smiling… is he still our beloved Lee Joon Gi.

    But, he will stay a wonderful actor and a really good player….


    • Kay says:

      I actually listed his works in the order I saw them so I could show my journey with him. I too prefer him when he is being charismatic and smiling. That is what initially drew me to him in Virgin Snow.

      My favorite historical is Iljimae, and my favorite modern is Two Weeks. I agree with many of the commenters above that Time Between Dog and Wolf probably showcases his acting abilities the best.

      And I agree, where would we be without that smile of Lee Joon Gi’s🙂


  12. AidaZen says:

    Not sure I can put into words how much I’m into Lee Joon Gi. I will say though, he’s one actor I find unforgettable long after I see his drama. I first saw him in Arang and the Magistrate, then King and Clown, followed by Joseon Gunman (I loved the romance here!).

    I know, I know, for a professed fan I’ll confess I haven’t seen that many of his works. What matters is, I fully plan to! Let’s just say I am in no hurry, as I’d like to savor the experience (because, you know, he hasn’t done that many flicks/dramas compared to some of his peers) – so I wouldn’t want to go through all his portfolio too soon!

    My favorite? That would be King and Clown. His acting there was insane. I almost can’t believe it’s the same person! Joon Gi is really a dedicated and truly nice actor. I’m so happy to be able to say, I’m his true fan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hariaharia says:

      You’re so right! King and Clown proves the one ultimate truth: when an artist puts his heart and soul into his performance, no matter one’s age, the outcome is absolutely fascinating. In that film, LJK was not older than most of today’s young actors,- who usually have huge fanbases and eager teenage girls praising ” the amazing looks and talent” of this and that actor everywhere -, and yet I can’t think of more than a couple of them who would have given a decent (I repeat, a decent not unforgettable) performance in a similar project…Talent is rare and cannot be taught!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I totally understand savoring the Lee Joon Gi experience, lol. I too really paced myself watching his works (and I do still have a couple left thankfully).

      I had heard so much about his performance in The King and the Clown and kept thinking, “Can he really be any better than I already know he is?” And the answer is yes! The precise attention to detail that went into that performance is amazing. I agree with hariaharia in that it really is a performance that is unforgettable, and very few could pull it off. And I simply can’t picture anyone other than Lee Joon Gi doing that role justice.

      I’m glad we can all appreciate just what a gem Lee Joon Gi is🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. rosariogloria42 says:

    you’ve got to watch “my girl”. 2nd lead indeed but his character in this drama did shine and he is the reason why i’ve watched it over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lhot david mallillin says:

    Try also Fly Daddy Fly,it will melt ur heart down, Joeson Gunman,also nice.but im also happy to share love for LJK with all of you guys,wish u would all welcome me here with an open heart.thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Welcome! I’m always glad to share the Lee Joon Gi love with other fans. I love Joseon Gunman and also thought Lee Joon Gi was amazing in Fly Daddy Fly. Of course, he’s wonderful in everything he does!


  15. Cynthia says:

    I see I’ve stumbled upon this older post. I was fangirling over pictures on Google of Scholar. I’m watching that right now. It’s pretty much occupying my brain 24/7. Have I watched My Girl yet? That’s my first exposure to the wonder that is lee jun ki. I had a terrible case of second lead syndrome! But My Girl is one of my favorite dramas and I did want the two mains to be together, so I was ok and able to just love jun ki apart from that. I enjoyed your post and plan to watch some I mentioned featuring him, that I haven’t seen. I must say that for me, Scholar could only be played by lee jun ki. He IS the Scholar!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I’m glad you found your way here since you can never fangirl enough for Lee Joon Gi🙂 I loved Scholar Who Walks the night, so I completely understand it occupying your thoughts 24/7. What a performance from Lee Joon Gi! I too couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role. I loved every second he was on screen.

      My Girl is one of only two of his dramas I haven’t seen (the other being Hero). It’s a mixture of me saving it and dreading having to watch him as the second lead, lol. I do like Lee Dong Wook though, so maybe it won’t be too bad. I actually recently moved it up higher on my watch list, so I hope to see it before Lee Joon Gi’s next drama Scarlet Heart comes out🙂


  16. Patricia says:

    The Scholar Who Walks The Night was the BEST drama in 2015. He is fantastic in it. Lee Joon Gi is so TALENTED and such a sexy vampire. The drama is unbelievably marvellous. The story is so unique. He did not receive the Best Actor’s Award. He had been shortchanged.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I completely agree. Lee Joon Gi was absolutely fantastic in Scholar Who Walks the Night! He’s the perfect vampire🙂 I too loved the fairy tale type story that made it so unique. He needs a best actor award for sure!


  17. KBT says:

    I am soooooooooooooooo excited about him coming out in the remake of Scarlet Heart!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. YESS!!! Totally agree with you. At first i thought he only have a pretty face so yeah I just watched him 9 years in my girl. After a few years there are so many korean actors that I like then I realized out of all Lee Joon Gi have the best quality. Not only his looks, but his humor, charming, acting, singing and more. Now he shining more and more even after so many years. Its totally no doubt about his talent. He is the best.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      He really is the whole package! He is one of the most talented actors around, and he impresses me more every time I see him. His personality is also just so fun and engaging. What’s not to like?🙂


  19. monica says:

    I am in love with Lee Joon Gi !!!! Best actor in Korea. Lots of love from Iowa.

    Liked by 1 person

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