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Actor You Need To Know: Song Joongki

From mischievous upperclassman ‘Gu Yongha’ to the Italian mafia consigliere ‘Vincenzo Cassano’, “Korea’s Leonardo Dicaprio” has demonstrated his versatility as an actor

Debashree Dutta Feb 02, 2022

Still from 'Vincenzo' - Photo courtesy of tvN

With Frozen Flower in 2008, Song Joongki made his acting debut, followed by stints in Tripple and Will It Snow For Christmas? But his character ‘Gu Yongha’, in the historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal, cemented his status as a household name in South Korea.

Still from Sungkyunkwan Scandal – Photo courtesy of KBS2

From 2010 to 2011, Song was a regular on the variety show Running Man. He played a jobless loser in the romantic comedy Penny Pinchers followed by the youthful ‘King Sejong’ in the 2011 film Deep Rooted Tree. Later for the MBC program Tears of the Earth, he narrated the six-part documentary Tears of the Antarctic, which focuses on the world’s most critical environmental challenges.

In the fantasy romance, A Werewolf Boy, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Song played a feral boy. It also premiered at the Busan International Film Festival thereby becoming the most popular Korean melodrama ever. His presence as an antagonist in the television drama The Innocent Man was well received by the critics and the audiences. At the ’20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards, the first ‘K-Drama Star Awards’, and the 2012 ‘KBS Drama Awards’, Song received the ‘Top Excellence Award’ in the actors’ category.

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In 2016, he made his small-screen comeback with Descendants of the Sun playing the captain of the Korean special forces unit. His status as a top Hallyu star was restored as a result of this drama leading him to become the Honorary Ambassador for Korea Tourism to promote the same around the world. The actor received the prestigious ‘Daesang’, the highest television award at the 30th ‘KBS Drama Awards,’ the fifth ‘APAN Star Awards,’ the Best Actor (TV) award at the 11th ‘Seoul International Drama Awards,’ and also at the 29th ‘Korean Producer Awards’.

The Battleship Island, a period action film featured Song alongside So Jisub and Hwang Jungmin in 2017. In the historical fantasy drama Arthdal Chronicles, which premiered on tvN in 2019, he was paired with Kim Jiwon and in 2021, he co-starred with Kim Taeri in the science fiction film Space Sweepers. The Netflix original premiered at Number One on the global streaming service. Song’s portrayal of the titular character in Vincenzo got a massive response. The series became a worldwide sensation overnight.

This year, the actor will star in the film Bogota, a crime thriller, alongside Lee Heejoon and Kwon Haehyo. In addition, he will appear in Jeong Daeyoon’s webtoon-based drama The Youngest Son of A Conglomerate. The story follows ‘Yoon Hyunwoo’ (Song Joongki), a loyal servant of the ‘Soonyang Conglomerate’, who is falsely accused of stealing. ‘Jin Dojoon’ (also Song Joongki), their youngest son, betrays and murders him. Later Yoon wakes up in Jin’s body and decides to exact revenge on the Soonyang family.

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The Youngest Son of A Conglomerate – Photo courtesy of Naver

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