Lee Jae Wook is undeniably one of the K-Drama actors fans fell in love with in 2022. His effective portrayal as the cheeky troublemaker turned the most powerful mage, Jang Uk, in the hit drama Alchemy of Souls was well-received by viewers and critics alike. It was interesting to see how the versatile actor executed his character’s growth and the audience are just too invested in his journey.
The fast-rising actor might be considered as a newbie compared to the other Korean actors we fell in love with in the past years (he started acting formally in 2018), but we can say that Lee Jae Wook stands out for the effective acting in his short but impressive filmography.
Now that Lee Jae Wook is scheduled to visit Manila for his first ever Philippine Fan Meeting this coming March, it is best to watch his past works. To help you with that, here are some of his previous K-Dramas that you should check out.
Memories of the Alhambra
Lee Jae Wook made his Korean drama debut in the sci-fi series Memories of the Alhambra, where K-Drama A-listers Hyun Bin, Park Shin-Hye, and EXO’s Chanyeol were the lead stars. He played the role of Marco Han, a reckless hacker/programmer who is also a self-centered drug addict. Though he portrayed an antagonist role, we were mesmerized on how effective and intimidating he was especially in the scenes where he was threatening his friend Se Joo (Chanyeol from EXO).
But did you know that Memories of the Alhambra was his first audition ever? Jae Wook went to the audition alone (he didn’t have a manager back then) and he was a bit scared that he might mess up. He even asked the director not to include him in the final line up. Good thing the director was rather impressed with his audition piece and found his transparency cute.
Through the series, he was recruited by Hyun Bin’s VAST Entertainment and was an exclusive talent for three years. He is now signed under C-JeS Entertainment.
If Lee Jae Wook was intimidating as Marco Han in his debut project, this charmer’s duality was showcased in the ensemble corporate drama Search: WWW. Jae Wook played the role of aspiring actor Seol Ji-hwan and served as the love interest of the fierce independent woman Cha Hyeon (portrayed by Lee Da-Hae).
Among the couples featured in the series, we find the Cha Hyeon-Seol and Ji-Hwan love angle interesting.
Lee Jae Wook played the role of an actor who is often playing villain roles on TV, but is a sensitive and lovely gentleman off-screen. It seems like it’s a fictional version of our beloved actor, huh?
This made us realize that Jae Wook had a potential of becoming a romantic lead because he was able to build a strong chemistry with Lee Da Hae, who is 13 years his senior. What about a noona romance reunion project focusing on the two soon?
If you are a masochist and love experiencing the ‘second lead syndrome’ in K-Dramas, then we suggest you watch the coming-of-age fantasy drama Extraordinary You one of these days.
Said to be the drama where his talent was first recognized by the critics, Jae Wook played the role of the rude and arrogant student named Baek Kyung. Despite the flaws of his character, the viewers empathized with him (grew up with an abusive father and greedy stepmom).
We won't elaborate the dynamics of the lead characters of the show, but one thing's for sure, a lot of viewers actually rooted for Eun Dan-Oh (protagonist played by Kim Hye-yoon) to end up with his character.
Through his portrayal as Baek Hyung, Lee Jae Wook won the Best New Actor Award at the MBC Drama Awards in 2019 and was also nominated in the same category at the APAN Star Awards and Baeksang Arts Award. Definitely an extraordinary breakthrough project for a talented man!
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol
In the last quarter of 2020, Jae Wook was finally promoted to leading man status via the romance-comedy Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol with Goo Ara as his partner. He played the role of the mysterious part-time worker Sunwoo Joon, who brought hope and love in the female lead character’s life. It’s basically a light, heartwarming series set on the countryside city of Eunpo. Through this series, Lee Jae Wook proved that he can also be a romantic comedy lead too!
For his performance in Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, he received the Excellence Award (Actor in Mini-Series Award) from KBS Drama Awards and the Rookie of the Year Award at the Asia Artist Award in 2020. He was nominated in different award-giving bodies that year, too.
Alchemy of Souls / Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow
Majority of the credible entertainment websites often include Alchemy of Souls in their list of the best K-Dramas of 2022. It is also the biggest project of Lee Jae-Wook as an actor and boy, he made a lot of fans root for his character as Jang Uk!
Alchemy of Souls is a fantasy-romance drama about young mages in the fictional country of Daeho. The series has a good mix of action, comedy, drama, suspense and of course, romance. Lee Jae Wook leads the two seasons of the series as Jang Uk.
On the first season, he started out as a rather cheeky nobleman who has a mysterious past. He meets a ruthless assassin named Naksu, who is trapped in the body of a weak and blind commoner named Mudeok (Jung Somin).
Jang Uk had a pretty challenging yet interesting journey to becoming the King’s star. Despite possessing the ice stone and the King’s star, Jang Uk is a good man at heart and he values his friends and loved ones more than anything—it's what makes his character charming, we must say. He might be the strongest mage/warrior of Daeho, but he is actually a softie.
For the second season, Jae-wook shared most of the bickering and romantic scenes with Go Youn-jung (you have to watch the first season in order to understand why he has a different partner now). Fans can’t help but to consider someone like Jang Uk as an ideal partner in real-life. You know, someone tall, dark, handsome, strong, loyal and a romantic!