It’s officially April 17th in Korea, which means it’s that time of the year again: our beloved actor Lee Joon Gi‘s birthday! 💕🎊🎉🎀🎈🍾🍷❤
Junks is turning 37 in Korean age, which is so hard to believe since he looks like he hasn’t aged a day. I’m feeling extra soft this year, so I decided that I would make a corny post dedicated to this man on his big day! There are so many reasons to admire this man, so I probably won’t get to them all, but I would like to celebrate him and at least some of the characteristics which have always made him stand out from the rest of the crowd.
A Man Dedicated to Acting:
I think we should begin with one of the more obvious qualities, which is his complete dedication to his craft. Longtime and new fans alike know that Junks walked a long and difficult road to become an actor. He moved to Seoul, took many jobs at a time, lived in cramped, roach-infested conditions, and failed audition after audition. The competition for the role of Gong-gil in Lee Jun Ik’s record breaking film, The King and the Clown, was extremely stiff—but Junks managed to land himself the role, a role that changed his life forever. Following his breakout role, Junks had many successful dramas, completed army service, and has continued to shower us with fun, emotional, and meaningful works that not only show off his charm, but his acting chops, martial arts skills, and desire to improve himself as both an actor and individual. Though his dramas are not always domestic hits or ratings busters, I have always appreciated Junks’ decision making process when choosing his works. He always aims for projects that are not only interesting to him and his fans, but projects with characters that he feels he can really sink his teeth into.
It is easy for an actor to pick a project that they aren’t interested in, but know will be a simple job, or a popular story with Korean audiences. It is also easy for an actor to pick similar characters over and over again. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with actors who choose to make these kinds of decisions, but I really admire that Junks has always maintained a true desire to improve himself, and therefore, picks projects that are meaningful and challenging for him, even if they are in genres that don’t have a good track record for being popular with Korean audiences. People might say that Junks is not versatile because he happened to do four historical dramas post-army, or is always integrating action somehow, but looking at his entire set of works will tell you a different story.
After playing an effeminate clown in the famed period film, Junks moved on to play the supporting role of Jung Woo in romantic comedy hit, My Girl. Soon after came his unforgettable performance as Agent Soohyun/Kay in action thriller drama, Time Between Dog and Wolf. While Hero was one of his less successful roles, the drama combined action and comedy to give audiences a unique story about journalists who fight against corruption. Though Junks would later choose another modern day action drama post-military service, Two Weeks proved to be completely different in tone, capturing the heartbreaking and suspenseful journey of a father falsely accused of murder, desperate to save his critically ill daughter. Junks has mentioned in interviews that this drama was extremely challenging to film, due to the tough action sequences and grim nature of the story.
If we dissect all of Junks’ historical roles, it is no surprise that each one is quite different from the other. While, Gong-gil, Yong, Eun Oh, Yoon Kang, Sung Yeol, and Wang So are are all period film/drama characters, there’s no way you can convince me that they are one in the same. Each one demanded and evoked different kinds of emotion and personality, and their stories are vastly different. Even the within the sageuk category, their genres differed, with Arang and the Magistrate being comedic horror, Gunman in Joseon being melodrama, Scholar who Walks the Night being supernatural romance, and Scarlet Heart: Ryeo being tragedy—just to name a few. Since then, Junks has heard the cries of fans everywhere to dive back into the modern realm, and answered this call with Criminal Minds. Though he performed as best he could considering the circumstances, Criminal Minds turned out to be an underwhelming project, plagued with sloppy editing, muddled storyline, and one-dimensional characters. Both Junks and fans expressed disappointment with the turnout of this drama, and so, Junks decided to take another crack at a modern day role, this time as a lawyer, in hopes to show fans a new and improved self and better story. Lawless Lawyer will premiere May 12th, and marks the reunification of Junks with Time Between Dog and Wolf PD, Kim Jin Min. Mark your calendars folks!
Junks’ Irresistible Charm:
Aside from his passion for acting, Junks has always been a beautiful person, both inside and out. Countless co-stars and staff members have spoken about Junks’ courtesy and comedic personality behind the scenes of whatever project he’s been working on. Junks has always been hyperactive and constantly expresses a desire to encourage his juniors and co-stars on set, especially when they’re tired or feeling down. Even when Junks himself is exhausted, he never stops smiling and giving out positive energy to all those around him. Whether it’s a drama, a photoshoot, or a concert—Junks radiates a beautiful light that’s contagious. When he laughs his hearty laugh, you can’t help but laugh too. Watching his playful, childlike personality never fails to bring a smile to my face. He’s quirky, silly, and down to earth…and I love that he’s not afraid to be himself.
Lastly, is Junks’ sincerity, humility and dedication to his fans. Though he is established as a veteran actor, Junks has maintained a consistently humble attitude and never fails to express gratitude toward his fans and other important people in his life. Even when he receives awards or praise for his projects, he thanks his fans and vows to work harder and take on better projects for the future. He has given his fans countless gifts through music, dance, instagram updates, v-lives, photo books, and 3-4 hour long concerts where he spends a memorable time communicating and partying with them. No matter where Junks goes, whether it’s the airport, a drama shoot, a fanmeet, etc.., if his fans follow, he will reach out and grab as many of their hands as he can to give them a squeeze and a heartfelt thank you. He will collect as many gifts and letters from them as his arms can hold (and even make an effort to wear some of them). Even when his managers or bodyguards start to lead him away, Junks keeps going until he can’t go any longer. There is no doubt that Lee Joon Gi has a deep love and appreciation for his angels.
So here’s to the B-day boy! I am so grateful for all the meaningful projects you have given us over the years and for the sincerity with which you approach your work. I will always be looking forward to your next drama, film, album, concert, photobook—you name it—with heartfelt enthusiasm. I think I can speak for all, or at least most angels, when I say that I hope you never ever change who you are. You have brought me so much comfort and happiness over the past decade, and I will forever be indebted to you for that. You are such a marvelous person, and I hope that you continue to choose projects that appeal to you. Don’t ever feel pressured to take on a project for the sake of pleasing us, and don’t ever feel like you’ve failed us if a project doesn’t do as well as you hoped. We will always support you no matter what, and even if the greater populous doesn’t enjoy a specific work, that doesn’t mean that we weren’t able to find and take away some joy and happiness from watching it. It is always a pleasure to see you on screen, and I can’t wait to see what kinds of works you’ll be putting out in the future. I hope that 2018 continues to be a successful and uplifting year for you, because you undoubtedly deserve it. I wish you a wonderful birthday and hope you get to spend it relaxing with, and surrounded by, the people you love. Happy birthday angel, and wishing you many more happy years to come!
P.S. I hope you never, ever stop wearing crocs!!! Please continue to show us some new pairs they give me life!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️