Lee Won-jong is an actor known for his diversity, and perhaps also for his trademark mole that finds its way into almost all of his dialogue. What makes this actor sought after, though, is that his acting is ageless. He retains the youthful, untainted passion in his acting that many younger actors have that win the hearts of the masses. He can also exercise the finely tuned skills that he's built up over years of working in a multitude of roles both on the big and small screens.
Let's look at one of Lee's more recent roles as Park Moon-soo in "Secret Door" . He is a distinguished scholar and confident of king and prince. It is a role that requires dignity and authority that can only come from experience. Lee played it masterfully despite the fact that he is more known for his oafish roles. He commands respect as Teacher Park because of the way he delivers lines and because of his great control of his facial expressions. He is not a very physical actor, and he talents lie in emoting through dialogue and his face. In "Secret Door" this was especially useful because his role required very little movement, but a lot of intensity. His character was passionate about his cause and loyal to those he loved. This was made clear by Lee's timing, not only with line delivery, but with wordless gestures like sighs, sidelong glances, and movements of the head and hands.
Perhaps Lee's role in "Vampire Prosecutor" and "Vampire Prosecutor 2" is what he is best known for on the small screen. In this he played a brutish cop who had a strong bromance with the main character. What makes Lee so versatile is evidenced in this recurring role. As Detective Hwang, Lee had so much spirit. He was like a child in exuberance, but it did not seem strange. It is what make actors like Lee unique, the ability to turn off his years of experience on screen and become pure and creative. He doesn't seem like an actor with nearly twenty years of experience on screen. He gives off the same energy as a talented teenager who steps in front of the camera for the first time.
Of course, men of Lee's age are often cast as parents, villains, and, with Lee's rougher looks, foolish hooligans. Lee has tackled and conquered many such roles. He was the crude father of an outlaw in "Heaven's Order" who was both charming in his idiocy and convincing in his love for his daughter. He makes use of his looks and lumbering gait to bring his character to life, and yet in the role of Teacher Park in "Secret Moon", neither his looks nor his size hindered the regalness of his character.
These are only several of many examples of Lee's work. His resume is prolific and his roles run the gamut in both size and type. He will continue to have work as long as he wants it because he is a diverse actor with a love for his art.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Lee Won-jong"
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