Lee Byung-hun in 2014
July 12, 1970 |
Seoul, South Korea
|Occupation||Actor, dancer, singer, model|
|Spouse(s)||Lee Min-jung (m. 2013)|
|Revised Romanization||I Byeongheon|
Lee Byung-hun (Hangul: 이병헌; born July 12, 1970) is a South Korean actor. A popular and acclaimed actor in South Korea, he is best known for Joint Security Area (2000), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008), the television series Iris (2009) I Saw the Devil (2010), and Masquerade (2012). In the United States, he is known for Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and its sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), and starring alongside Bruce Willis in RED 2 (2013). He portrayed a T-1000 in Terminator Genisys (2015).
Lee made his debut in the television drama Asphalt My Hometown after auditioning in a KBS talent audition in 1991. He continued to act in a string of various television dramas until he made his big breakthrough in 2000 with Joint Security Area directed by Park Chan-wook. The film broke the box office record and became the highest grossing Korean film at the time. Lee played a border-guard soldier and won Best Actor at the Busan Film Critics Awards for the role.
In 2001, his popularity continued to climb when he played the lead alongside Choi Ji-woo in the melodrama Beautiful Days. In 2003, he received the Grand Prize at the SBS Drama Awards and Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role in the poker drama All In.
From 2005, he focused on film, earning critical acclaim for his performance in A Bittersweet Life directed by Kim Ji-woon which was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Lee was nominated for Best Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Grand Bell Awards, and won at the Chunsa Film Art Awards, Baeksang Arts Awards and the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.
He reunited with director Kim Ji-woon in The Good, the Bad, the Weird, taking on his first villain role. The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The following year he appeared in I Come with the Rain opposite American actor Josh Hartnett and Japanese actor Takuya Kimura. He then made his Hollywood debut as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, also starring Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller.
Lee returned to television in late 2009 in the espionage action thriller Iris as a secret agent who finds himself at the center of an international conspiracy. It was one of the most expensive shows ever produced with filming locations in Hungary, Japan as well as South Korea. It became one of the highest rated dramas of 2009 and his performance earned him the Grand Prize at the KBS Drama Awards and Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards.
In 2010 Lee starred in I Saw the Devil with Choi Min-sik, his third collaboration with Kim Ji-woon, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His portrayal of the intelligence agent won him the Grand Prize at the Baeksang Arts Awards.
In 2013, he reprised his role as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. On June 23, 2012, Lee, along with Ahn Sung-ki, became the first Korean actors to leave their hand and foot prints on the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. He was recognised as an emerging star in Hollywood for his role of Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and its sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. In October, he won Best Actor at the Grand Bell Awards for his dual role in the lavish period drama Gwanghae. The film was a box office hit, becoming the 7th film in Korean history to surpass 10 million admissions.
Lee co-starred in the American film RED 2 (2013), the sequel to the 2010 action-comedy hit RED, alongside Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich. Lee played a T-1000 in Terminator Genisys (2015), opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lee and Schwarzenegger previously met in 2010, when Schwarzenegger visited Korea while Lee was the Californian Tourism Ambassador.
Lee Byung-hun most notably in the video game industry provided his likeness for the main character Wayne Holden, in the 2006 Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, for the Xbox 360, PS3 & PC.
Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea. He has a younger sister, Lee Eun-hee, who was Miss Korea in 1996. He graduated from Hanyang University with a major in French Literature and the Graduate School of Chung-Ang University with a major in Theater and Cinematography.
Lee married actress Lee Min-jung on August 10, 2013 at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. The couple had briefly dated in 2006, then resumed their relationship in 2012. Lee's wife gave birth to their first child, a son, on March 31, 2015.
In September 2014, Lee was embroiled in a legal battle with two women, singer Dahee from K-pop girl group GLAM and model Lee Ji-yeon who blackmailed him for large sums of money in exchange for not revealing a compromising video of the actor allegedly making sexual jokes. The two women were sentenced to a year and a year and two months in jail respectively, both suspended for two years. Lee Byung-hun has since issued a public apology to his family.
|1991||Asphalt My Hometown|
|Flower That Never Wilt|
|Days of Sunshine||Choi Hyung-man|
|Tomorrow Love||Shin Bum Soo|
|1993||The Sorrow of the Survivor||Ja-myung|
|1994||The Fragrance of Love||Kim Jun-ho|
|1995||Asphalt Man||Kang Dong-joon|
|Son of Wind||Chang Hong-pyo|
|1997||Beautiful My Lady||Hwang Jun-ho|
|1998||White Nights 3.98||Min Gyeong-bin|
|1999||Happy Together||Suh Tae-poong|
|Love Story - Story 1: Sunflower||Tae-sung|
|Sally is Back|
|Beautiful Days||Lee Min-chul|
|2003||All In||Kim In-ha|
|2011||Diplomat Kosaku Kuroda||John (cameo)|
|2006||Lost Planet: Extreme Condition||Wayne Holden|
|2013||CGV 4DX trailer||Himself|
|1999||Lee Byung Hun - To Me|
|"Endless Road"||Iris OST|
Awards and nominations
- "Joint Security Area". koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- "Festival de Cannes: A Bittersweet Life". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- IESB.net - Movie News, Reviews, Interviews and More! - UPDATED WITH STUDIO CONFIRMATION - GI Joe Casting!
- "Lee Byung-hun in Expensive Spy Drama Series IRIS". Beyond Hollywood.
- Park Soo-mee. "Lee Byung-hun to Reprise 'G.I. Joe' Role". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "‘G.I. Joe 2′ Gets a Release Date; But Will We See The Cast Return?". The Film Stage.
- "Ahn Sung-ki, Lee Byung-hun to Leave Handprints in Hollywood". Chosun Ilbo. April 26, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "'Gwanghae' sweeps Korean Oscars". The Korea Times. October 31, 2012.
- Lee, Rachel (October 21, 2012). "'Masquerade,' 7th film to reach 10 million viewers". The Korea Times.
- Schwartz, Terri (2012-05-11). "'Red 2' Adds Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-Hun Lee". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- Kitfirst=Borys (March 31, 2014). "'G.I. Joe,' 'Mad Men' and 'House of Cards' Actors Join 'Terminator: Genesis' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
- Yoon, Sarah. "Lee Byung-hun, Sean Combs to star in 'Rush Hour 4'". The Korea Herald. The Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Byung-Hun Lee Talks Storm Shadow and "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Q&A - G.I. Joe Star Byung-hun Lee Explains Storm Shadow's Martial Arts Style". ACMTV. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- Lee, Eun-ah (10 August 2013). "Lee Byung-hun, Rhee Min-jung Walk Down the Aisle Today". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- Cho Chung-un, Lee Woo-young (19 August 2012). "Top actors say they are dating". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi, He-suk. "Lee Min-jung gives birth to son". The Korea Herald. The Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Lee Byung-hun's blackmailers get suspended jail terms". The Korea Herald/Yonhap News. The Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Lee Byung-hun repeats apology upon returning home". The Korea Herald. The Korea Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Lee Byung-hun to star in ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ remake" JoongAng Ilbo 15 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-23
- "'Terminator: Genesis' Call Sheet Reveals Byung-hun Lee's Role As T-1000". screenrelish.com. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Lee Byung Hun in Absolute Cinema Experience
- Official website (Korean)
- Lee Byung-hun official Japanese fan club (Japanese)
- Lee Byung-hun at the Internet Movie Database
- Lee Byung-hun at the Korean Movie Database
- Lee Byung-hun at AllMovie
- Lee Byung-hun at HanCinema