Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Who's That Actor? Lee Sung Min

Back in high school, I used to have this skill where I could link any two actors--and I mean ANY two actors--based on the movies they shared.  It was like that "six steps to Kevin Bacon" game, except it didn't usually involve Kevin Bacon, and some of the more obscure ones took a little longer than six steps.

As someone who couldn't sing, dance, play the piano, or do anything else obviously impressive in front of a crowd, I was secretly a little bit proud of my random mini-talent, and so I cultivated it by reading all kinds of reviews for movies I never saw and memorizing the names of random bit actors.

The IMDB app on my phone has made my offhand ability to answer the question of "What else was that guy in?" somewhat obsolete, but I still have some affection for those side actors who appear in everything without anyone (ad by "anyone," I mostly just mean me) knowing anything about them.  I used to read the "Lawrence/Julie&Julia" blog from time to time, and he would occasionally spotlight random actors from Julie and Julia.  I've decided that I want to do the same thing here, but with kdrama actors who pop up frequently in side roles.  Because why should you have to Google things if I can Google them for you?

For the first kdrama edition of "Who's That Actor?", I'm going to spotlight Lee Sung Min:

Source

Where you might have seen him: Miss Korea (as the angry/mopey gangster constantly accompanied by sad woodwind music), My Princess (as the bossy president), Pasta ("You. Are. FIRED!"), and about fifty billion other roles, most of which involve high levels of shouting--go here for the full list.

Biggest role: He was one of the leads in Golden Time, which I haven't seen, but based on the title, it sounds like a show that probably revolves around grandfathers sitting in rocking chairs on a porch reminiscing about the old days while Tobey Maguire does a voiceover segue into a flashback.  

Source

Based on Viki, it's actually about emergency medicine and also stars Lee Sun Gyun, which sounds like a much better premise than my initial hypothesis.  Lee Sung Min won several awards for his role as a trauma surgeon, including the 2012 MBC Drama award for Actor of the Year.  So what I'm trying to say is that he's kind of a big deal.  

My favorite role: I always forget that he was the older brother in King 2 Hearts.  It was much softer than most of his other roles.  *Wipes away tears.

Fun fact: I kind of assumed that this guy must have been some young hot kdrama actor back in his 20s who just gradually shifted into older roles.  Nope.  As it turns out, the guy started acting in 2004 at the age of 36, which, as far as I can tell, might as well be seventeen million years old in Korean celebrity terms.  You have to wonder what got him into acting at that point.  Was some director desperate for a really bossy character, and he suddenly thought, "You know who would be perfect?  Uncle Sung Min!  Too bad he's already a used car salesman instead of an actor..."?  I guess we will never know for sure.  
So there you have it.  The next time he pops up on the screen, you can tell all of your friends, "Hey!  That's Lee Sung Min!"  and they will all be really impressed.

Any other random actors you want to see spotlighted?

12 comments:

  1. This is great! What about the actor who played Mr. Hong in Coffee Prince, Kim Chang Wan? He's always showing up in a drama.

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  2. Yes - Park Young Ji (the older man who has so many various small roles or cameos). I always get excited when I see him!

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  3. BTW, I saw a little bit of Golden Time and Lee Sung Min looked really fierce. There is no doubt in my mind that he has leading man potential. I love his acting because he makes me either love or hate his character so much!

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  4. Hi, Why not feature Kim Mi-Kyung - she must have played roles in almost every kdrama I've watched. She does bit parts sometimes, but she plays them so brilliantly, I don't ever get tired of watching her. She's plays Eun-Sang mother in "Heirs", Court Lady Choi in "Faith", the police station cleaner in "Missing You", Jooong-won's aunt in "Master Sun", Lee Da-Hee's Mother in "I Hear Your Voice", Park Min Young's Mom in "Sungkyunkwan Scandal", and the crazy lady in "Secret Garden". She's a very prolific actress!

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  5. Oh I love that guy! There are a handful of actors who consistently seem to play fatherly figures.

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  6. Great suggestion on Park Young Ji! And yes--I don't know that I've ever been on the fence about one of Lee Sung Min's roles. That's a sign of commitment!

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  7. I especially loved her in Heirs and The Master's Sun. I think I might have to bump her to the top of the list.

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  8. The "other" Lee Min Ho born 1993.

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  9. Hey ladies, I am pretty sure you guys must have way over 200 followers but I wanted to nominate you for a Liebster award anyway, just because I love your blog!! Keep up your hard work :)

    http://popsmission.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/i-got-freaking-liebster-award.html#more

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  10. Awwww, thanks! We actually did a Liebster post last summer! Here it is: http://kdramafighting.blogspot.com/2013/05/fun-things-about-us-courtesy-of.html

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  11. YES! I always think, "What? Lee Min Ho is in this? Where?" Then I remember that it's the OTHER Lee Min Ho.

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  12. He and Lee Sun Gyun are just magnets to each other, having worked in 4 dramas and 2 movies together, although I don't remember seeing him in All About My Wife. But seriously, they continue to find each other in projects and their latest bromance in Miss Korea is definitely something to behold. He is really a good actor.

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