Photo: Through quality drama after quality drama, Joo Won has become Korea’s hottest actor.
In the entertainment world, where the old is speedily replaced with the new, popularity is never guaranteed and may last only for a short time. A star may be making headline news today but could be replaced by a newcomer tomorrow. However, no matter where their journey as a celebrity leads them to, the star’s most brilliant moment should always be remembered. Sina – Korean Entertainment Weekly Star will touch you with a showcase of a star’s journey to success.
Earlier on, the media did a report on all the Korean actors who were born in 1987. These actors are aggressively making their presence felt and taking possession of the Korean drama world. Not only do these actors who are in their 20s possess attractive appearances, they also they have also won the hearts of countless audiences with their excellent acting.
Amongst these actors is one who had been known as Kang Dong Won – TOP before his debut. This is Joo Won, who has in recent years successfully removed the label of “lookalike” through his charismatic portrayal of various contrasting personalities through the dramas he has taken on. Along with his well-known humility and good manners, Joo Won has become one of the hottest male actors around.
Good Doctor, a drama in which Joo Won is presently starring in as one of the lead characters, is enjoying immense popularity presently. Since the beginning of its broadcast, Good Doctor has beaten all the other dramas in the same time slot to win the highest ratings. Joo Won’s character in Good Doctor has received praise from the audience. Through this role, Joo Won not only challenges his own acting skills, he has also gained recognition from a wider group of audience. This week’s Weekly Star is Joo Won!
Photo: Joo Won plays the role of one who is diagnosed with autism in his new drama. He fleshes out his mature and sophisticated acting skills.
Maturing quickly, astounding evolvement of acting skills
Majority of the audience that knows Joo Won met him from his very first role, in which he acted as a villain. National drama Baker King, Kim Tak Gu received over 50% viewership ratings. This drama not only allowed Yoon Shi Yoon to make a sweeping at various award ceremonies, it also allowed the second lead, Joo Won, who was making his debut as a television drama actor in this very first drama he starred in, to leave a deep impression on the hearts of the audience. Gu Ma Jun became a character that allowed Joo Won to achieve his first peak in his acting career. Whilst others have appeared only as part of the supporting cast as newcomers, Joo Won came back to the screen with family drama Ojakyo Brothers, once achieving ratings as high as 35%. Although it would be a stretch to say that these ratings are all due only to Joo Won being in the drama, it is undeniable that the love-hate relationship between Joo Won and Uee took up a big part of the Ojakyo Brothers storyline. Right after Ojakyo Brothers, Joo Won continued to hit the screen with noir drama Bridal Mask and comedy Level 7 Civil Servant. It can be said that all dramas in which Joo Won has starred in have managed to achieve good ratings.
With such stellar track record, Joo Won has become one of the actors to be known as “ratings guarantee”. In Good Doctor, Joo Won challenges the role of a savant who has autism. This character is vastly different from the previous roles Joo Won has portrayed, such as the patriotic Lee Kangto, hot-blooded detective Hwang Tae Hee and stubborn and headstrong 2nd generation chaebol Han Gil Ro. Not only does Joo Won have to change the manner in which he speaks, he also has to take care of various other details such as walking and eating, all of which must correspond to the character Joo Won is playing. This is no easy task, given that if Joo Won exaggerates his actions by just a bit more, his acting will no longer be natural. To prepare for the role of Park Shi On, Joo Won diligently read voluminous books related to autism and savant syndrome and also watched various movies. After doing all necessary preparations, based on his own understanding of his role, Joo Won engaged and moved the audience with his well-balanced portrayal of the autistic savant genius Park Shi On, who is someone who lives in his own world as if he is Peter Pan. If one says that in Baker King Kim Tak Gu, Joo Won’s acting skills were still raw, after acting in his subsequent dramas, Joo Won’s acting skills have now improved at a shocking rate and his natural and engaging acting in Good Doctor has won over many audience. Acting alongside senior actors who exude their charisma on screen, Joo Won has managed to absorb various different methods of acting and internalize them into a set of skills best suited for himself and at the same time exuding a unique charisma that only Joo Won possesses. It is certain that with the passage of time, we will be able to see an even more amazing transformation of Joo Won’s acting skills.
Photo: Joo Won is widely known in the entertainment circle as one who is humble and well-mannered.
Humble and well-mannered, possessing a good reputation in the entertainment circle
In the entertainment circle, Joo Won is famous for being well-mannered. Even though he has acted in many dramas which received high viewership ratings, Joo Won has not changed in the way he treats the people around him. In his worldview, the most important virtue is to be respectful and well-mannered. One of the reasons why Joo Won has such a good reputation is that he always humbly accepts the opinions of others, especially when it comes from his seniors. Amongst all the actors he has worked with, Uhm Tae Woong, Park Ki Woong, Uee, Choi Kang Hee and several other actors have all naturally shown their affection for Joo Won. In the variety show 1 Night 2 Days, it is not difficult to see that maknae Joo Won is doted upon by all his seniors, which is again another proof of how widely loved Joo Won is.
Joo Won once said: “Even since I was young, my parents have always taught me that being respectful, well-mannered and punctual are what I must always abide by. From the time I started going to school to when I started acting in musicals and then to now in every drama that I act in, I have always remembered my parents’ teaching. Although these are very simple things, I have always treated them seriously.”
Photo: Joo Won is a family centered good guy
The family guy, his mother’s friend and son
Regardless of what problems he may face, Joo Won’s family is his reliable safe-habour and shelter. As the maknae in his family, Joo Won is very close to his mother. During the filming of 1 Night 2 Days, there was once when the crew visited Joo Won’s house without prior warning given to Joo Won’s family. Throughout the episode, Joo Won was constantly by his mother’s side showing lots of aegyo. This side of Joo Won was a complete image reversal from the roles he had portrayed so far. Different from the other stars who like to party and lead exciting lives, Joo Won’s life once he finishes work becomes surprisingly simple. When Joo Won has free time, he loves to spend it at home reading a book of drinking coffee. Even with his popularity now, Joo Won still goes to play soccer with his father and elder brother, after which they would proceed to a public bathhouse, showing no airs of a celebrity at all.
To this, Joo Won has also expressed his thought that he joined this profession because of his love and passion for acting. It is a good thing to be loved by fans but he would not make changes to his life just to become more popular.
Source: Sina.com (allenlu), Joo Won Baidu Tieba
Photo credits: KBS, Sina.com, Mountia
English translation: Mojobobo @ Soompi Forums
Note: Please do not take out without proper credits. No copyright infringement is intended. Please do excuse me if the translation isn’t too great as it has been awhile since I’ve properly translated anything.