Biography of Lee Dong-wookLee Dong-wook is a popular South Korean actor and television host who began his career in the modeling industry. He gained fame not only in his home country but also worldwide after starring in K-dramas such as "My Girl", "Hotel King", "Goblin", "Hell Is Other People", "Ban and Crazy", and "Tale of the Nine Tailed". In Korea, he is incredibly adored as the host of the show "Strong Heart" and his own project "Because Lee Dong-wook Wants to Talk".
Childhood, Youth, FamilyDong-wook Lee was born in the fall of 1981 into an ordinary family from Seoul. He has a younger sister, Sun-Hee Lee, whom he was used to taking care of from an early age. The future celebrity's mother said that a few hours before her son was born, she dozed off and dreamed of a big boar. In Asia, the pig is considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, so the boy was predicted to be successful even before he was born.
Like many of his peers, Lee grew up loving swimming and basketball, ice skating, and playing hockey. His parents tried to provide everything for their children, but they couldn't afford a good education for both, so Dong-wook attended a private school while his sister went to a regular one.
In high school, the young man, blessed with good looks inherited from his beautiful mother, began working part-time as a model and bringing home his first earnings.
I could have been an office worker... I don't think I would have been a successful businessman. I don't have that kind of ambition. When I was in middle and high school, I wanted to be a hotelier. Perhaps I would have lived comfortably somewhere. I think if I hadn't become an actor, I would have been chubby. I love to eat. I stay in shape only because I'm an actor. It's my sense of duty.Upon finishing school, the young man entered Sejong University's film arts department, but soon dropped out due to frequent filming. Later, he enrolled in the television and media arts department at Chung-Ang University but didn't graduate from it either, as he was offered a leading role in a TV series at the time.
Acting CareerAt the age of 18, Dong-wook made his debut in the dramas "Coaching" and "There's a World Outside of the Road".
The character I played in 'Goblin' consisted of three types of characters - a king in the past, a Grim Reaper and a reincarnated character. In the end, this is related to my ability to quickly adapt. Dramas are not always filmed in the sequence of events that occur in them, otherwise I would have to play a grim reaper, and then suddenly dress up in historical clothes. The need to cope with such changes in character has been very useful for me.After that, his career declined, so he accepted the offer of director Lee Chan-hee, who offered him one of the leading roles in the mystical thriller "Hell Is Other People" (2019). Thus, Dong-wook took on the image of serial killer Seo Moon-jo, and this was his first really villainous role, so it was not easy.
I played, constantly reminding myself that this is wrong and that it's just a staging... I asked the director to make sure that my character's behavior was not justified. I tried not to give in to the emotions of my character, Dong-wook said.
And still, the actor's friends noticed that he had changed, even his gaze had become different! And when he pondered the scene in which he pulls out the victim's teeth, and thought about how to make it as painful as possible, he realized that he should be more careful.
Personal Life of Lee Dong-wookThe famous Korean actor has never been married, although he has no shortage of admirers. Dong-wook has been rumored to have relationships with colleagues, but only one has been officially confirmed - with actress and singer Bae Suzy (real name Bae Soo-ji). Their relationship began in 2018, but likely, their age difference and demanding work schedules influenced their separation.
Once, when speaking about family and his potential beloved wife, Lee Dong-wook confessed:
I would like to talk a lot. Even if we both are busy with work, a family is a family when we can rely on each other and say: 'I am having a hard time'. I live with my parents now and try to talk to them more often. My mom is like: 'Even if you don't tell me anything, I still know everything about you'. She always worries about me and sympathizes with me. When I start filming, I may not be home for a month or two.Now, Lee lives separately and says he is increasingly enjoying solitude. The actor likes to retreat with a fishing rod on Jeju Island, became a philanthropist, and spends a lot on charity. One of his latest major donations - 50 million won - was to help victims of a severe forest fire that started in Uljin and spread across the country.
Lee Dong-wook NowLee's role as an uncle in the thriller "A Shop for Killers" (2024) proved to be an interesting experience. His character, Jin Man, single-handedly raises his niece, played by Kim Hye Jun. The sudden death of the uncle reveals a terrifying truth: he was managing a very strange shopping center.
Speaking about his character, Lee explained:
...when I played Jin Man, I hardly styled my hair or used cosmetics. However, the past image that was hidden appears in a completely different form. Jin Man's goal is simply to protect his niece and ensure that she can live a safe life. Due to the plot development, there will inevitably be a division between good and evil, meaning he isn't just a “good” person. I wanted to express the human pain that arises from this. Because, even though he couldn't live a decent life, the necessity to protect his family is like his destiny.In addition to that, in 2024, the actor landed a role in the action film "Harbin" – a movie about Korean freedom fighters against Japanese occupation in the 1900s. It is in Harbin where they plan a daring attack.
- In one of his interviews, Lee Dong-wook confessed that if he had actually managed a shopping center, as he dreamed in childhood, he would have sold children's goods in the form of WookDong, his own toy:
I will sell merchandise with WookDong, which is my official character, as well as my nickname. I want to release more different goods with his name. I need to send him to kindergarten and primary school, and soon he will also have to wear a school uniform.
- Dong-wook dreams of mastering scuba diving in his spare time, as he had participated in many underwater scenes while filming the drama "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God", which were very challenging for him. That's when he thought diving could be useful. The actor also hopes to learn skydiving, because he heard from a colleague, Jo Dal Hwan, that it is the most fun extreme sport. And one more thing Lee is interested in is getting a motorcycle license (though his whole family is against it).
- With his actor friends and many interesting personalities from all over Korea, Dong-wook communicated in his own talk show "Because I Want to Talk", which started in 2019 on the SBS channel. Conversations take place both in the studio and outside its limits. Some of the first guests to come for a talk were show business stars like Gong Yoo, Park Bo Young, Kim Soo Hyun.
- Lee admits that he feels comfortable in solitude, but does not rule out that he may get married someday. His statement that he would do the housework himself caused even more admiration among fans:
Even if I get married, I will take care of the house. I have my own cleaning method, and I feel uncomfortable when someone does it differently. This is my personal opinion. I think men should do household chores. They require strength, and it’s better for stronger men to handle them.