Song Joong Ki’s versatility and boyish charm are frequently mentioned in the same sentence – he is a scene stealer who has not limited himself to genres, instead choosing stories and characters that have showcased his varied repertoire as a performer. In “Descendants of the Sun,” he played a fearless and charismatic captain; in “The Innocent Man,” he played an innocent medical student who falls for love; and in “Vincenzo,” he played a suave, calculating mafia consigliere.
Song Joong Ki is back on the small screen with fantasy drama “Reborn Rich,” which continues to generate buzz and dominate ratings, proving his status as one of the most bankable stars. Yoon Hyun Woo, the loyal secretary to an influential conglomerate family, is treacherously murdered after being falsely accused of embezzlement. Hyun Woo is reborn as the family’s youngest son Jin Do Joon, plotting his vengeance and uncovering secrets along the way. Song Joong Ki’s innate ability as a method actor to make reel look real is once again reaffirmed, as he gets his character and the drama’s tone perfectly with skillful ease.
So, let’s go back in time and revisit five Song Joong Ki K-dramas that demonstrate his versatility as a scene-stealing actor!
“Descendants of the Sun,” which features a star-crossed relationship between a soldier and a surgeon, is an all-time favorite of many, and it has a lot to do with Song Joong Ki, who plays captain Yoo Shi Jin aka “Big Boss,” the leader of the special task team Alpha. Yoo Shi Jin is the ultimate cool poster boy. He’s a swaggering, quick-thinking, gallant soldier with a strong bro code. He is a formidable foe as well as a true comrade. Plus, Yoo Shi Jin and Seo Dae Young (Jin Goo) have one of the best bromances. If they aren’t willing to take the fall for someone else, the boys can be pranksters, using their wit and magnetism to get themselves out of sticky situations.
Yoo Shi Jin is a romantic at heart, as he charms Dr. Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) despite her disdain for the dangerous nature of his job. When Mo Yeon asks him to choose between Korea and her, he simply responds that she is his priority while Korea trusts him. He is the type of man who will take a bullet for love while also sacrificing himself in the line of duty!
Song Joong Ki deftly brings out the many facets of Yoo Shi Jin. He’s a stoic officer who reveals his human side when he breaks down after confronting his former ally-turned-enemy, Daniel Spencer (Jasper Cho). He’s also a man who goes against protocol to save a life and a sensitive lover who respects his girlfriend’s decisions. If this isn’t the perfect man, who is?
Start watching “Descendants of the Sun” now:
“What exactly is an apostle of justice? I’m just trash picking up other trash. I can’t stand trash that stinks worse than I do.” Meet Vincenzo Cassano, the suave, astute, and cunning consigliere whose innocent boyish face conceals the harsh reality of his cunning ways.
Song Joong Ki plays Vincenzo, a villain who embraces his role with style. He is a skilled manipulator who can turn anyone into a pawn in his game plans. However, things do not always go as planned, and he becomes a vigilante for a motley crew of tenants led by lawyer Hong Cha Young (Jeon Yeo Been), bringing down a corrupt conglomerate led by the dangerous and psychotic Jang Joon Woo (Taecyeon).
As a man who is averse to displaying emotion or remorse, the only indication of his rage is a slight frown and him flicking his lighter, which is his signature style before and after a dangerous mission. You definitely don’t want to mess with him. Song Joong Ki, on the other hand, gives you glimpses into Vincenzo’s shrouded, gentle side, whether it’s through his reunion with his biological mother, seeking comfort in the warmth of a bunggeoppang (fish-shaped pastry), befriending a pigeon, or feeling the first stirrings of love. Vincenzo is not attempting to redeem himself; he is simply a man displaying his many characteristics: the good, the bad, and the ugly, depending on which side you are on. And Song Joong Ki brilliantly portrays Vincenzo Cassano with such a go-for-gold performance that I can’t blame you for rooting for him.
Kang Ma Ru (Song Joong Ki), a bright and easygoing medical intern, takes the fall for his girlfriend Jae Hee (Park Si Yeon) in an incident that turns his life upside down. Ma Ru is on the path of self-destruction after being betrayed by the woman he loves and having his dreams crushed. He works as a gigolo bartender and a swindler. However, when Ma Ru meets Eun Gi (Moon Chae Won), who is connected to Jae Hee, he discovers the ideal bait for exacting his revenge on his ex-girlfriend.
Song Joong Ki’s emotionally charged performance in “The Innocent Man” highlights Kang Ma Ru’s many complexities and attributes. His eyes are the magnifying glass, revealing Ma Ru’s vulnerability and anguish on the one hand and his steely and dispassionate gaze on the other, devoid of any feelings and warmth. Though “The Innocent Man” feels a little stretched in places, Song Joong Ki as the tormented Kang Ma Ru is so convincing that you will be drawn into his angst and heartbreak and root for him.
Start watching “The Innocent Man” now:
“Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” a back-to-school, gender-bending drama set in the Joseon period, is special in many ways because it was a breakthrough drama for many of its actors, including Song Joong Ki. Kim Yoon Hee (Park Min Young) disguises herself as a young man in order to earn a living as a book transcriber. She even assists young noblemen in passing their exams at Sungkyunkwan University, where she also studies. The only catch is that women are not permitted. Here she begins her affair with a series of misadventures involving three young men played by Park Yoochun, Yoo Ah In, and Song Joong Ki.
Song Joong Ki as Goo Yong Ha is a spoilt, flirtatious, and infuriating troublemaker, and the 2010 drama was a showcase of the actor’s undiscovered range. His so-called “womanizer” character is brash and devilishly playful, leaving you both irritated and captivated. He is effortless and excels in comedy, a difficult genre for many. Though he is not the main character in this drama, he proves to be an excellent entertainer in this role.
Start watching “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”Now:
What could be better than one Song Joong Ki? Song Joong Kis twice! It’s one of the main reasons to watch this show, which incorporates a previously unexplored genre in K-dramaworld. “Avatar” meets “Game of Thrones” in “Arthdal Chronicles,” a visually captivating and engaging fantastical drama about the struggle for power, palace intrigues, prophecies, and mysticism. Set in the mythical land of Arth during the Bronze Age, weak indigenous tribes are trafficked by the strong and powerful who conquer their land and torture their people. Song Joong Ki plays Eun Seom and Saya, long-lost identical twin brothers, one of whom is a commoner and the other a royal. Eun Seom is a brave heart and free spirit who has endured a difficult life, but he champions his people’s cause and protects the woman he loves. Saya, on the other hand, grew up lonely despite her wealth, and she is cold and not afraid of violence or cruelty.
The actor masterfully portrays the contrast between his two characters. There’s Saya in his royal robes, who exudes a crafty and impersonal vibe, and Eun Seom, raw and rugged in his rustic appeal, who is all heart. As usual, multi-hyphenated Song Joong Ki casts his spell with this drama, engulfing you in his myriad color drama verse.
Start watching “Arthdal Chronicles”Now:
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Which of these Song Joong Ki dramas and characters is your favorite? Please let me know in the comments section below.