If KajoMag were to pick the most talented and versatile Korean actor, Lee Jung-jae would definitely be on top of our list.
The 46-year-old actor has managed to pull off different types of characters, from melodrama to action movies.
In every film that he has starred in, Jung-jae developed a distinct way of speaking for his character, making it iconic.
Even if you have never seen his movies, you might recognise his characters, because some K-pop idols love to imitate and parody the characters that Jung-jae has played
So here are 10 movies starring Lee Jung-jae you must watch:
1.New World (2013)
This is perhaps one of the Jung-jae’s most iconic roles so far. He plays an undercover cop in a crime organisation who finds it hard to play his role.
The movie is interesting thanks to its shifting-alliances plot, with viewers left with questions on who is on whose side now.
As for Jung-jae, viewers can appreciate how he portrays the struggle between the good and evil in him. (Or maybe he is just evil in the first place.)
2.The Face Reader (2013)
Even when he is put on the same screen with a more senior and experienced actor like Song Kang-ho, Jung-jae still manages to shine.
Here, he portrays Prince Suyang who is involved in a power struggle with a high-ranking general.
He won Best Supporting Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role.
3.The Housemaid (2010)
There is one word to describe Jung-jae’s character in The Housemaid – ‘disturbing’.
Directed by Im Sang-soo, this melodramatic, erotic thriller follows a maid of an upperclass family named Eun-yi played by Jeon Do-yean.
She becomes part of a destructive love triangle between Hoon (Jung-jae) and his wife Hae-ra (Seo Woo).
The movie had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. Meanwhile, Jung-jae nabbed the Best Actor Award at the Fantasporto Director’s Week.
4.An Affair (1998)
Here, young Jung-jae plays a man who has a scandal with his fiance’s older sister. It was the seventh highest-grossing Korean film in 1998.
It also won the Best Asian Film award at the 1999 Newport Beach International Film Festival.
Together with another charismatic Korean actor Jang Dong-gun, Typhoon (2005) definitely makes our list.
Here Jung-jae plays a South Korean Naval Intelligence Service Officer named Se-jong. The plot follows modern-day pirate planning a massive attack on North and South Korea.
6.Il Mare (2000)
How about a time-travel romance movie starring Jung-jae? Directed by Lee Hyun-seung, the movie also stars Jun Ji-hyun.
In this film, the main characters both live at a seaside house named Il Mare or ‘The Sea’ in Italian but two years apart in time.
However, they are able to communicate through a mysterious mailbox.
There is an American remake of the movie called The Lake House, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
7.The Thieves (2012)
This movie is like a dream come true for Asian movie fans. This is because it manages to combine the best of both Hong Kong and Korean film scenes with a star-studded ensemble cast.
Jung-hae stars as Popeye, one of the criminals in a cross-border diamond heist. He also reunited with his former co-star Jun Ji-hyun who plays a cat burglar named Yenicall.
The Thieves is currently the fifth highest-grossing film in Korean film history with over 12.9 million ticket sale.
Set in 1900s during Japan’s rule over Korea, Jung-jae plays a resistance fighter named Yem Sek-jin. He tries but fails to assassinate the governor-general and a pro-Japanese businessman.
Due to his role in this movie, Jung-jae won a Best Actor Award at the 24th Buil Film Awards.
The movie was the highest-grossing Korean film of 2015 as well as the eighth highest-grossing movie of all time in Korean cinema industry.
9.The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan (2008)
It is every interesting to see how this actor jumps from one character to another in each different movie.
Here Jung-jae plays Cheon-doong, a comical hoodlum who meets and falls in love with Seol-ji, a kisaeng.
While he pursues Seol-ji, he unknowingly angers the top-ranking gangster in the area.
The movie is based on actual fight that occurred at a kisaeng house in 1724 , depicting the gangster culture of Joseon Dynasty.
10.Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds and Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days (2017 and 2018)
Well, first of all Jung-jae is not even the main characters in Along with the Gods movies.
However, he plays as the supporting character as Yeomra so well that he is almost unrecognisable in the film.
Perhaps because he wears a wig and beard in the films, but also because his charisma as the god of death in the movie was both interesting and imitating.