Hailed for his acting prowess, quick wit, and charm – K-drama star Song Joong-Ki has quite the impressive discography. We’re binge-watching our way through some of his most exciting work.
Dominating billboards and television screens – not just in South Korea – but around the globe – Song Joong-Ki is perhaps one of the most popular faces of the K-drama industry. The star – known for his lean stature and youthful charm – has effectively redefined the “macho man,” mandates that earlier underlined the title of a celebrity crush. This has accorded him the honour of the industry’s “flower boy.”
His body of work features movies and shows that have furthered the Hallyu wave – a fitting reason for his position at the top of Korea’s highest-paid actors list. Take for instance the action-packed romantic drama Descendants Of The Sun or the hair-raising mafia series Vincenzo. His latest, Reborn Rich – which sees him playing the role of a wronged employee on the path of revenge – has put him right back in the headlines. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or have only just been acquainted with Song Joong-Ki’s skill – we’re rounding up parts of his work that have stayed with us through the years.
Add these dramas and movies by Song Joong-Ki to your watchlist
Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
It’s only fair to begin this list with the show that established Joong-Ki as a force to be reckoned with. The historical drama – which also features popular actors like Park Min Young and Yoo Ah-In follows a playboy (played by Joong-Ki) who works his charms on an ambitious, talented girl masquerading as a boy to be able to enrol in a prestigious university and later help support her struggling family. This, since women were not allowed to study during the Joseon Dynasty. Based on a best-selling novel – this show won numerous awards. Naturally, it’s a must-watch.
A Werewolf Boy (2012)
Song Joong-Ki proved his mettle as a lead with this hair-raising movie that followed a feral boy who’s taken in by a family and raised to be ‘civilised.’ Along the way, he befriends the daughter. However, soon enough threat begins to surround them, paving the way for his animalistic instincts to take over again. For the role, Joong-Ki had to walk on all fours and emote most everything, especially considering he had no lines. He later shared in a press conference that he’d learned a lot over the course of the shoot. No surprises why the movie received a string of accolades at the 17th Busan International Film Festival.
Descendants Of The Sun (2016)
Arguably one of his most – if not the most – popular K-dramas, Descendants Of The Sun truly furthered the Hallyu wave. Joong-Ki plays the role of upstanding and suave South Korean Special Forces agent Captain Yoo Shi-jin who falls for the hardworking Haesung Hospital surgeon Kang Mo-yeon (played by Song Hye-kyo). The two try pursuing a relationship despite their chaotic schedules, only to be brought together by fate to a war-torn nation, where they work in tandem to keep the peace and health of locals. The show received wild appreciation and popularity – winning the actor the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards for the most Popular Actor, Outstanding Korean Actor at the 11th Seoul International Drama Awards, and a Daesang at the 5th APAN Star Awards as well as 30th KBS Drama Awards – amongst a host of others.
Arthdal Chronicles (2019)
Although a reunion with fellow Descendants Of The Sun co-star Kim Ji-Won, Joong-Ki’s Arthdal Chronicles occurs in the mystical land of Arth in ancient South Korea – where there’s a constant battle for harmony – through politics and power struggles, amongst other things – right on the verge of the birth of a new civilisation. As a bloody battle ensues, you’ll find yourself glued to the sofa. The show won the Korea First Brand Awards’ Most Anticipated Drama of 2019 title. And with the second season set to premiere in 2023, there’s much to look forward to.
Perhaps one of the best K-dramas of Song Joong-Ki in terms of spotlighting his acting prowess, this crime thriller follows Vincenzo Cassano – a consigliere who returns to his hometown in South Korea to tie up loose ends. Things, however, don’t go according to plan and he finds himself defending an eccentric lawyer and the quirky residents of a building that’s about to be demolished by a conglomerate with dangerous connections. As he navigates the most murky set of instances, he displays several aspects of his dark side. And Song Joong-Ki does justice to each, truly breaking out of his ‘flower boy’ title to be mysterious and gritty. No surprises why this one propelled him to cult status and won him several awards, including the Daesang (grand prize) at APAN Star Awards.
Space Sweepers (2021)
In a sharp contrast to his role in Vincenzo, this movie – set in the year 2092 – sees Joong-ki hop on a spaceship titled Victory, where he chases space debris. With his crew – which also includes actors Kim Tae-Ri, Anupam Tripathi, and Kevin Dockry – he unravels a host of dangerous secrets, including a humanoid robot. The movie is hailed for its cultural diversity and high production value, bagging several awards for the same. It also stayed at the top of Netflix’s “Top 10” movies list for weeks.
Reborn Rich (2022)
Song Joong-Ki’s latest venture sees him play a loya secretary to an influential family – who is then betrayed, framed for embezzlement, and murdered. Miraculously, the universe brings him back to life – inside the body of the youngest male member Jin Do Joon. Now determined to exact revenge, he hatches an ironclad plan – systematically dismantling the Soonyang Group’s empire. Based on the eponymous webtoon, the drama was an absolute hit, garnering higher viewership ratings than those of the wildly popular Extraordinary Attorney Woo.
Which of these are you binge watching this weekend?
All images: Courtesy Netflix/KBS