[caption id="attachment_16467" align="alignleft" width="328" caption="The ruggedly handome Lee Seo Jin flashes his dimples for the camera"]
Since the spring of 1999, audiences have been graced by the good looks of Mr. Lee Seo Jin. His rugged face, tinged with a hint of boyish mischief, and rock hard body is a fan girl's dream. The bilingual star (English and Korean) studied abroad in the United States at New York University as a Business Major before hitting the drama scene, and ever since, his deeply dimpled smile has caught the attentions of anyone who's watched at least one of his dramas--making them an instant fan. From Korea, to Japan, China and the US, ladies love to love Seo Jin. But don't let his pretty boy looks fool you, the NYU graduate has the acting chops to back up his popularity with drama fans and critics alike. And as the youngest of three, Seo Jin works hard, with a track record to show for it.
As mentioned before, his debut was in the spring of 1999 with the drama 왕초 (The Boss
) and House Over the Waves
on MBC and SBS, respectively. He then went on to film the movie Ghost Taxi
in 2000, a comedy-horror mash-up of a movie that had him in the driver seat as Gil Nam, a taxi driver who dies on his way to propose to his girlfriend and then becomes...well a ghost taxi driver. Weird, but creative, the movie didn't fare so well with audiences. However, that did not stop Seo Jin as he went back to dramas and in 2001 he won the MBC Best New Actor Award for his work in Her House
. Then, after appearing in another movie in 2001 (I Love You
) and two more dramas in the year 2002 (Since We Met, Shoot For The Stars
) his popularity began to soar after his award winning role in 2003's beautiful love story Damo
(MBC). Set in the Chosun Dynasty, Damo is the story of a low ranking female detective (a damo) named Chae Ok, played by HaJi Won. Lee Seo Jin played the lead male role (and primary love interest) as Commander Hwang Bo, and the two created onscreen magic. Action, mystery and romance, this drama had it all and Seo Jin carried the role of a righteous and passionate government official upholding the law to a T. Audiences couldn’t get enough and the proof is in the pudding: Seo Jin won both Best Couple (with Han Ji Won) and the Outstanding Performance Awards at the 2003 MBC Drama Awards, adding to his growing collection of accolades.
[caption id="attachment_16470" align="alignright" width="159" caption="Lovers starring Lee Seo Jin and Kim Jung Eun"]
2004 saw Mr. Lee winning yet another Best Couple Award (with Lee Eun Joo) for his portrayal of Jang Sae Hoon in the romantic drama Phoenix
. A love story for the ages, the drama captures the essence of the saying "timing is everything" when it comes to love. Bringing in an peak average of about 31% of the viewing population, the drama was a success, with Seo Jin at the helm.
He didn't stop there. In 2005, he appeared in another movie, Shadowless Sword
-an action packed historical movie that follows the last prince of Korea's Balhae Kingdom. The movie was a hit with international audiences of the US, Europe, China and Australia. Then in 2006 he starred in the most talked about role of his career: as Ha Kang Jae in the smash romance Lovers
. A drama that made the fans go wild as it sparked the real-life romance of it's lead actors (Seo Jin and Kim Jung Eun) it became known as one of the quintessential dramas of Hallyu (the Korean Wave).
[caption id="attachment_16469" align="alignleft" width="247" caption="A pensive Lee Seo Jin as the beloved King Jeong Jo"]
Continuing to ride the wave, Seo Jin racked up two more awards to add to his stash (Top 10 Popularity Award, and Popularity Award-2006 SBS Acting Awards). As he was riding the waves of success and adoration, in 2007, the role of a lifetime presented itself.
Lee Seo Jin was cast in Yi San
as King Jeong Jo--one of Korea's greatest Kings. The lavish historical production was set in the Choseon Dynasty and chronicled the life and times of young prince Yi San (later crowned as King Jeong Jo) and his childhood friends. As the drama's male lead, his intense acting and boyish charm created such onscreen chemistry between not only his leading lady Han Ji Min (as Seong Yon), but with everyone who shared screen time with him, that viewers couldn't help but to fall in love with him. Perfectly embodying the qualities of a strong, but fair ruler, Lee Seo Jin effortlessly depicted King Jeong Jo in a manner of which to be proud of. His extraordinary performance won him the Top Excellence Acting Award at the MBC 2007 Drama Awards--the best award of the night.
The following year, Lee Seo Jin starred as himself in a cameo role in the drama "On-Air
". One of the first dramas of it's kind in South Korea, On Air featured a plethora of actors guest starring as themselves, with Lee Seo Jin's episode having one of the highest viewer ratings of the whole series. Mr. Popular strikes again! In 2009, he starred in the drama Soul, a drama in one of the rarest genres: horror and suspense. While the drama's ratings average was rather low, for it's genre, the response was not something to be ashamed of.
[caption id="attachment_16468" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Promotional poster for horror/suspense drama Soul starring Lee Seo Jin"]
While his career as an actor is very impressive, what's even more impressive is his philanthropic efforts. An avid believer and doer for the well being of his fellow human beings, Seo Jin has been known to lend a helping hand. From building homes with charities like Habitat For Humanity
, to donating his entire earnings
to help establish an Environmental Fund called "Let's Tree" with Japan, Lee Seo Jin is a model celebrity.
You can watch him in action right here on DramaFever: