Lee Joon-gi

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For the football player, see Lee Jun-Ki (football player).
This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Lee Joon-gi
Lee Jun Ki 2009 JapanFM Press Conference.jpg
Born (1982-04-17) 17 April 1982 (age 33)
Busan, South Korea
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2001–present
Agent Mentor Entertainment (2004-2009)
JG Company (2010-2011)
IMX Korea (2011-2013)
Universal D (2012-2014)
Namoo Actors (2014-present)[1]
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Religion Roman Catholicism[2]
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Jun-gi
McCune–Reischauer Yi Chun-gi

Lee Joon-gi (born April 17, 1982, in Busan, South Korea), previously credited as Lee Jun-ki, is a South Korean actor and singer, often regarded as a kkotminam ("flower boy") icon.[3] He rose to fame as Gong-gil in The King and the Clown. In August 2009, Lee was appointed an ambassador for Korean tourism by the Korean Tourism Organization. His well-known television series include My Girl, Iljimae, Time Between Dog and Wolf, Arang and the Magistrate and Two Weeks.

Early life[edit]

Lee first became interested in the performing arts as a high school student after watching a performance of Hamlet.[4] He moved to Seoul with a dream to work in the entertainment industry rather than getting into college. For the next couple of years, Lee worked at various part-time jobs before he got accepted into the Seoul Institute of the Arts.[5] He debuted as a model in 2001.


2005: King and the Clown[edit]

Lee Joon-gi at a King and the Clown fan meeting in the Shilla Hotel, Jeju Island.

In 2005, his first major acting role came in hit film The King and the Clown, in which he took on the role of historical figure Gong-gil, an effeminate clown in the Joseon Dynasty.[6]

Producer Lee Joon-ik revealed the story of how he chose Lee for The King and the Clown by just seeing him do handstands, saying, "Just because of handstands, Lee Joon-gi became the person he is today."[7] After the film, Lee became "an icon" of the South Korean "pretty boy" trend.[8] Lee has since tried to diminish this kkonminam image. Lee said Gong-gil’s character in The King and the Clown felt like a foot chain for him so he wanted to escape from it, stating, "After my performance in The King and the Clown, I found myself at the forefront of this ‘pretty boy’ trend, whether or not that was my intention. Suddenly, people were interested in me, and there was all this praise and criticism all at the same time. Everything was just so overwhelming. I felt like I was floating on air."[9]

Lee was against the halving of screen quotas in South Korea that allows foreign films to be shown in theaters on certain days, while domestic films are allotted another amount of days. He believed that without the screen quotas, The King and the Clown would not have been as successful in competing against foreign films.[10][11]

For his follow-up film Fly, Daddy, Fly, directed by Choi Jong-tae and produced by Dyne Film-Guardtec, he was reportedly paid ₩100 million, relatively low given his rising popularity following King and the Clown. This is because the contract was signed in early December before the film's release when Lee was an unknown actor.[12][13]

2006-2007: Overseas popularity[edit]

His next role was as a supporting character on the SBS's My Girl together with Miss Korea, Park Si Yeon, Lee Da-hae, and Lee Dong-wook. His movie, Fly, Daddy, Fly garnered much attention and media coverage among Chinese viewers.[14] However, there was criticism that both of these have "either fallen short of expectations at the box office or cast Lee in minor roles."[9]

At the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival, where he was invited by the organizers, Lee met an overwhelming response from both local media and fans.[15] During the Shanghai International Film Festival, Lee was approached by Chinese director Chen Kaige, who proposed that the two should make a film together in China.[16] In 2007, Lee filmed a joint Korea-Japan movie entitled Virgin Snow with Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki, in which he plays a Korean exchange student.[17] Virgin Snow was successful; it placed 9th at the box office and set a record for a Korean film released in Japan.[18]

In 2007 at the 27th Hawaii International Film Festival, Lee received the Rising Star Award at "An Evening with Lee Jun-ki" on 19 October. He also had a role in the Korean film May 18, about the events surrounding the Gwangju Massacre of 1980, which was awarded the Gold Orchid Best Feature Film for 2007.[19]

In 2008 he starred in the action drama Time Between Dog And Wolf, his first lead role. From September 4 to October 5, at the 2008 Seoul Drama Festival 14th ceremony, Yahoo! Korea and Yahoo! Japan, together conducted a survey that 27 million online votes, and the most popular TV drama became Time Between Dog and Wolf with a total of 59.9% of votes. The best male actor and female actress went to the main characters Lee and Nam Sang-mi.[20]

2008-2009: Tourism Ambassador and contractual dispute[edit]

Lee Joon-gi in Shanghai in May 2009

From April to July 2008, Lee played the lead role in SBS's TV series Iljimae, a period drama in which he starred as a Robin Hood-esque character during the Chosun era. Its first episode aired on 21 May 2008 with 15.4% viewership and ended on 24 July with 31.4% viewership, and he received the Top Excellence Award at the 2008 SBS Drama Awards. The drama was also aired in Japan on the channel TV Tokyo.[9]

On July 29, 2008, Lee was chosen as the Ambassador for the 2008 Seoul Hallyu Festival. He was also appointed the first Honorary Legal System Officer since the constitution of the Government Legislation Agency to commemorate their 60th anniversary.[21]

In September 2008, Lee had a contractual dispute with his agency Mentor Entertainment, whom he's been with since March 2004 in an exclusive contract for five years. Lee was being sued for ₩500 million for breach of contract and for supposedly hiding ₩1 billion in an attempt to "established his own agency in association with his manager". Lee countered that he "underwent significant financial damage as the company was poor in dealing with tax affairs and profit distribution" and he is said to have notified them of contract cancellation in February.[22]

On August 5, 2009, Lee was appointed promotional ambassador of the Korea Tourism Organization.[23][24]

In November 2009, Lee was the male lead in the comedic-action drama, Hero, which aired on MBC.[25]

2010-present: Military service and comeback[edit]

In February 2010, upon the expiration of Lee's contract with Mentor Entertainment, he signed with a newly established independent agency, JG Company. It follows Hollywood's one-man management system and is solely responsible for Lee's career.[26]

On 3 May 2010, Lee enlisted in the Republic of Korea Army to serve his mandatory military service for five weeks of basic training at Nonsan military training camp followed by active duty.[27][28] He had initially applied for a postponement because he was in the midst of shooting film Grand Prix with actress Kim Tae-hee, was cast to star in television drama Faith and to represent Korea as a goodwill ambassador at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. However Military Manpower Administration declined and send a final notice for enlistment, leading him to pull out of both projects.[29] He served within the public relations department of the Ministry of National Defense.[30][31]

In August, Lee co-starred with fellow actor Ju Ji-hoon in military musical, Voyage of Life. The musical, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, was co-produced by the Ministry of National Defense and Korea Musical Theatre Association. It ran from 21 to 29 August the National Theater of Korea.[32][33] After serving 21 months of active duty, Lee was discharged on 16 February 2012 from the Defense Media Agency at Yongsan-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.[34][35] On the day of discharged he held a fan meeting, "Reunion JG" at Sangmyung Art Center, Seoul. This was followed by fan event tour of Japan, titled Coming Back in Nayoga, Yokohama and Osaka from 16 to 19 March.[36]

In May 2012 Lee co-starred with Shin Min-a in his first project after military service[37] and Shin's first historical drama in Arang and the Magistrate, which was premiered on MBC on 15 August.[38][39][40] On 27 September 2012, Lee's Lee Joon Gi's JG Style shown on Mnet Japan documenting his comeback was awarded the Grand Prize in the Korean wave category at the Skapa Award 2012 in Japan. He was unable to attend due to the filming of Arang and the Magistrate and filmed a video thank you message.[41][42]

In 2013, he starred in the thriller Two Weeks. In March 2014, he signed with a new management agency, Namoo Actors.[43] He then starred in period drama Gunman in Joseon, followed by vampire romance Scholar Who Walks the Night.[44][45]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Hotel Venus Boy Japanese production
Flying Boys Dong-wan
2005 The King and the Clown Gong-gil
2006 Fly, Daddy, Fly Go Seung-suk
2007 May 18 Kang Jin-woo
Virgin Snow Kim-min Korean and Japanese co-production
2015 Begin Again TBA Chinese production. Previously known as Under the Sicily Sun

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2003 Nonstop 4 guest MBC
2004 Drama City: What Should I Do? Seong Ho (guest, ep234) KBS2
Star's Echo Chan Gyu MBC, Fuji TV
2005 My Girl Seo Jung-woo SBS
2006 The 101st Proposal guest
2007 Time Between Dog and Wolf Lee Soo Hyun \ Kay MBC
2008 Iljimae Yong / Lee Geom SBS
2009 Hero Jin Do-hyuk MBC
2012 Arang and the Magistrate Kim Eun-oh
2013 Two Weeks Jang Tae-san
2014 Gunman in Joseon Park Yoon-kang KBS2
2015 Scholar Who Walks the Night Kim Sung-yeol MBC


Year Title Role Network
2009 World Special "LOVE" - Indonesia with Lee Joon-gi and Kim Ha-neul himself, 21st and 28th March tvN

Reality show[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2012 Lee Joon Gi's JG Style himself Mnet Japan
2013 Lee Joon Gi's JG World himself Mnet Japan

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2009 Family Outing Guest, ep 48-49 SBS
2013 Healing Camp Guest, ep 79 SBS
Happy Camp Guest, ep 86 Hunan TV



  • 2003 Eun Ji Won - Drunken In Melody
  • 2003 Jiang Chengxun - Precious story (姜成勋 - 珍惜的故事)
  • 2004 Clazziquai - Sweety
  • 2006 Li Xiuying - Grace (李秀英 - Grace)
  • 2006 Li Xiuying - Secret (李秀英 - Secret)
  • 2009 Sori - Pinky finger
  • 2009 Lee Jun Ki - J Style
  • 2009 Lee Jun Ki - Soliloquize


Year Name Tracklisting
2006 My Jun, My Style
  1. "One Word"
  2. "Don't Know Love"
  3. "Foolish Love" (Babo Sarang)
Nam Hyun Joon - One & Only
  1. "Fly High" feat. Seo In Young
2009 J Style
  1. "J Style"
  2. "Soliloquy"
  3. "I'm Ready"
  4. "Selfless Dedicated Tree"
  5. "Fiery Eyes" (Japanese album)
2012 Deucer[46]


  • 16 March (limited edition)
  • 25 April (regular edition)
  1. "Together"
  2. "The Rain"
  3. "Born Again"
  4. "Sweet Memory"
2013 CBC / Case by Case

Released: 29 January

  1. "The Answer (Intro)"
  2. "Tonight"
  3. "Case By Case"
  4. "Closer"
  5. "Lost Frame"
My Dear

Released: 10 December

  1. "Fever"
  2. "My Dear"
  3. "Fiery Eyes (New ver.)"
  4. "Foolish Love (New ver.)"
  5. "Selfless Dedicated Tree (New ver.)"
2014 Exhale

Released: 21 November

  1. "Ma Lady"
  2. "U"
  3. "For A While"
  4. "Bring Da Beat" (Feat. Yoo Seung-chan)
  5. "Ma Lady (Inst.)"
  6. "For A While (Inst.)"
  1. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"


  • Voyage of life (2010)[47]


Fan Meeting[edit]

2006 Episode I

  • 2006.05.21 Seoul (Kwangwoon University)


  • 2007.03.10 Osaka
  • 2007.03.11 Osaka
  • 2007.04.15 Seoul (Birthday Party)
  • 2007.09.27 Beijing (Cyworld)
  • 2007.09.29 Hangzhou (Cyworld)
  • 2007.11.30 Bangkok


  • 2008.04.27. Seoul (Lotte Hotel - Birthday Party)
  • 2008.10.06 Osaka
  • 2008.10.07 Osaka

2009 Episode 2 - The Mask

  • 2009.04.18 Seoul

Asia Tour Fan Concert (cover by Park Hyo-shin - Flower Letter, MC the Max - Foolish Heart)

  • 2009.05.29 Shanghai
  • 2009.05.31 Hangzhou
  • 2009.07.18 Kobe
  • 2009.07.19 Yokohama
  • 2009.09.26 Taipei


  • 2010.04.17 Seoul (University hocj Yeonsei - Birthday Party)
  • 2010.04.28 Hero in Japan

2012 Reunion JG

  • 2012.02.16 Seoul

Coming Back (cover by Epik High - High Technology)

  • 2012.03.16 Nagoya
  • 2012.03.18 Yokohama
  • 2012.03.19 Osaka
  • 2012.04.17 Seoul (Yonsei University - Birthday Party)
  • 2012.04.28 Shanghai

JG TIME with you (cover by Psy - Gangnam Style)

  • 2012.12.04 Nagoya
  • 2012.12.05 Osaka
  • 2012.12.10 Yokohama
  • 2012.12.29 Seoul
  • 2012.12.31 Dragon TV New Year Countdown at Mercedes Benz Arena Shanghai
  • 2013.01.26 Beijing


  • 2013.03.23 Busan (Lotte Hotel)
  • 2013.04.14 LJG Let’s Go! Birthday Party
  • 2013.10.19 Seoul (Lotte Hotel)

"JG NIGHT" LEE JOON GI ASIA TOUR AT HOME (cover by Jason Mraz - I'm Yours, Nell - Run, Taeyang - Ringa Linga, The Moon Represents My Heart (Chinese song))

  • 2013.12.14 Seoul
  • 2013.12.28 Seoul
  • 2013.12.31 Hunan TV New Year Countdown Show


  • 2014.01.04 Beijing
  • 2014.01.11 Shanghai
  • 2014.01.27 Nagoya
  • 2014.01.28 Osaka
  • 2014.01.30 Yokohama
  • 2014.01.31 Yokohama
  • 2014.02.15 Guangzhou


  • 2014.10.18 Seoul (Lotte Hotel)

2014-15 LEE JOON GI ASIA TOUR (cover by Jason Mraz - Geek In The Pink)

  • 2014.11.29 Yokohama
  • 2014.12.02 Osaka
  • 2014.12.03 Nagoya
  • 2014.12.20 Guangzhou
  • 2014.12.24 Wuhan
  • 2014.12.27 Beijing


  • 2015.05.02 JOONGI's DAY (Birthday fan meeting)


Years Awards


  1. ^ "Lee Jun Ki sign exclusive management contract with NAMOO ACTORS". yahoo. 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b 이준기 영화배우. Naver Profiles (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  3. ^ Maliangkay, Roald (2010). "The effeminacy of male beauty in Korea" (PDF). The Newsletter (55). Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  4. ^ "Lee Joon Ki". DramaFever. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  5. ^ 이준기, "이효리 주선으로 보아와 소개팅" [Lee Hyo Lee arranged a blind date with Lee Joon-gi and Boa]. Chosun (in Korean). 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  6. ^ "E-Annals Bring Chosun History to Everyman". Chosun Ilbo. 27 January 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "이준기 "물구나무서기 잘해 ‘왕의남자’ 캐스팅됐다" (Lee Joon-gi was cast in 'The King and the Clown' for doing handstands very well)" (in Korean). Newsen. 2008-12-13. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  8. ^ Jung, Sun (April 2009). "The Shared Imagination of Bishōnen, Pan-East Asian Soft Masculinity". Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (Australian National University) (20). Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  9. ^ a b c Hyung-eun, Kim (2009-07-10). "Pretty boy Lee shows off his introspective side". Joongang Daily via Hancinema. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  10. ^ Sung-jin, Kim (2006-01-26). "Korea to halve screen quota". Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  11. ^ "이준기 '스크린쿼터 축소반대' 1인 시위에 1000여명 몰려 (Lee Joon-gi 'against screen quota' one-man protest in the 1,000 crowd)". Dongailbo (in Korean). 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  12. ^ "King and Clown Star Works Hard for Little Pay". Chosun Ilbo. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "S. Korea faces tough decision to pick its choice for foreign film Oscar". Yonhap News. 2006-09-19. Retrieved 2009-11-16. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Chinese Netizens: KBS among Top 10 Firms". KBS Global. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  15. ^ "Lee Jun-ki: Proof that the K-Wave Rolls On". Chosun Ilbo. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  16. ^ "Lee Jun-ki Approached to Star in Chinese Movie". Chosun Ilbo. 2007-06-20. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  17. ^ "Lee Jun-ki Appears in Korea-Japan Joint Film". KBS Global. 2006-09-22. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  18. ^ "Lee Jun-ki’s Film Places 9th at the Japanese Box Office". KBS Global. 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  19. ^ a b Lee, Hyo-won (2007-09-04). "Hawaii Film Fest to Spotlight Lee Jun-ki". Korea Times. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  20. ^ "Lee Joon-gi has the honor of being the best actor/actress among the South Korean and Japanese Netizens" (in Korean). 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  21. ^ a b c 이준기 "'일지매' 통해 욕심이 많이 생겼다". Newsen (in Korean). 11 August 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  22. ^ Park, Si-Soo (2008-09-28). "Actor Lee Jun-ki Faces Lawsuit". Korea Times. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  23. ^ a b Kim, Rahn (5 August 2008). "Lee Becomes Tourism Ambassador". Korea Times. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  24. ^ "Lee Jun-ki Picked to Promote Korean Tourism". Chosun Ilbo. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  25. ^ Han, Sang-hee (27 October 2009). "Lee Joon-gi to Take a Lighter Role as Reporter". Korea Times. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  26. ^ Park, So-hyun (19 February 2010). "Korean actor Lee Jun-ki signs with new agency". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  27. ^ "Lee Jun-ki to Start Military Service". The Chosun Ilbo. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  28. ^ Park, So-yoen (3 May 2010). "Lee Jun-ki enters Korean military with apologies". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  29. ^ Cho, Bum-ja (30 April 2010). "Lee Jun-ki says is looking forward to life as average man". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  30. ^ Jeong, Hae-uk (15 December 2010). 김태희,'군인' 이준기에게 전화해서 무슨 말?. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  31. ^ Park, Kun-ouc (11 June 2010). "Lee Jun-ki to serve as celebrity military officer". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  32. ^ Jang, Kyung-Jin (3 August 2010). "Lee Jun-ki says "depressed about Joo Ji-hoon turning first private today" (2)". 10 Asia. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  33. ^ Lee, Jin-hyuk (3 August 2010). "Lee Jun-ki attends musical "Voyage of Life" press conf". 10 Asia. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  34. ^ "Actor Lee Jun-ki Ready for Comeback After Military Service" The Chosun Ilbo. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-21
  35. ^ "Lee Joon-gi free from the Army". Joongang Daily. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  36. ^ Hong, Lucia (11 January 2012). "Tickets for Lee Joon-gi's fan meeting sold out". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  37. ^ Ho, Stewart (18 June 2012). "Lee Joon Gi’s Character Still Cut for Arang and the Magistrate Revealed". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  38. ^ 신민아, 2년 만에 `아랑사또전`으로 드라마 복귀 [Shin Min-ah to return with Arang and the Magistrate]. Nate News (in Korean). 24 February 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  39. ^ Lee, In-kyung (22 April 2012). "Lee Joon Gi Makes Shin Min Ah Uncomfortable?". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  40. ^ Suk, Monica (20 June 2012). "Shin Mina talks Lee Joon-gi's 1st impression". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  41. ^ Lee, Gyeong-Ho (29 September 2012). "Lee Joon Gi receives the grand prize from Japanese Spika Award". Star News. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  42. ^ "Actor had hard time letting go of role". Korea JoongAng Daily. 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  43. ^ "Lee Jun Ki signs a contract with Namoo Actors!". Allkpop. March 2, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Lee Jun-gi to return to small screen". Korea Times. 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  45. ^ Yoon, Sarah (26 May 2015). "Lee Joon-gi features in Elle, talks about Scholar Who Walks the Night". K-pop Herald. Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  46. ^ Ho, Stewart (18 April 2012). "Lee Joon Gi′s Masculine Album Cover Gets Fans Excited". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  47. ^ Kim, Lynn (24 June 2010). "Lee Jun-ki to star in military musical". 10 Asia. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  48. ^ Ho, Stewart (19 September 2012). "Lee Joon Gi to Sing for ‘Arang and the Magistrate’ OST". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  49. ^ a b "The 27th Blue Dragon Awards". Korea Society. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  50. ^ "2006 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  51. ^ "Lee Joon-gi and Nam Sang Mi smile big with joy" (in Korean). Newsen. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  52. ^ Park, So-yoen (31 December 2009). "Ko Hyun-joung wins grand prize at MBC Acting Awards". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 

External links[edit]