His outstanding performance in ‘The Red Sleeve’ shows that he is as good an actor as he is an idol
Lee Junho is a South Korean singer, songwriter, dancer, composer, and actor who goes by the moniker ‘Junho.’ He is a member of the 2PM boy band from South Korea. Junho rose to prominence after winning Superstar Survival in 2006. In 2008, he starred in Mnet’s Hot Blood Men, a reality show that follows 13 recruits as they attempt to join the boy band, One Day. Two rookie groups, 2AM and 2PM were formed out of One Day. 2PM debuted with their first hit “10 out of 10” from their first EP, Hottest Time of the Day, but it wasn’t until their sophomore EP, 2:00 PM Time for Change, that they shot to fame.
On the day of its release, Junho made his solo debut in Japan with Kimi no Koe, his first solo mini-album. Junho released FEEL, his second self-composed Japanese mini-album, on July 9th, 2014, and it immediately topped Oricon’s daily album chart. SO GOOD, Junho’s third Japanese mini-album, was released on July 15th, 2015. In September, he launched his first album in Korea, One, a special collection album. 2017 S/S, Junho’s fifth Japanese mini-album, was released in 2017. With a massive reception, he began his fourth Japanese tour, ‘Hyper’. His seventh Japanese mini-album, Imagination, was released in 2018. In the following year, his second Korean compilation album, Two was released.
In addition to being a K-pop idol, Junho is a phenomenal actor in the South Korean entertainment industry. He made his film debut in the box office hit Cold Eyes, an action thriller. In the 2015 martial arts period drama Memories of The Sword, Junho played Kim Goeun’s love interest. Thereafter, he starred opposite Kim Woobin and Kang Haneul in Lee Byungheon’s film Twenty. In 2016, Junho starred as a supporting character in tvN’s thriller, Memory. He appeared in the office comedy-drama Good Manager, which was well received. As the pompous director of finances in the show, Junho was lauded for his brilliant performance.
The idol-actor had his first lead role alongside Won Jina in JTBC’s romance melodrama Rain or Shine in 2017. He portrayed a survivor of a deadly occurrence who was psychologically traumatized. Junho was cast in his debut Japanese film, Rose and Tulip penned by popular manga writer Akiko Higashimura. After this, in 2018 he was seen as a celebrity chef in the SBS romance comedy-drama Wok of Love followed by his presence in 2019’s Gibang Bachelor, a historical comedy.
After starring in the historical rom-com Home Fatale directed by Nam Daejoong, Junho rose to prominence. The story revolves around ‘Heo Saek’ (Junho), a bachelor with undeniable good looks, who is the first-ever male gisaeng and whose debut makes him an overnight sensation. ‘Hae Won’ (Jung Somin), is a beauty with brains, the center of attraction amongst men. Heo, smitten by Hae’s attractiveness, turns up the charm only to discover that Hae isn’t impressed in the least. But Heo won’t give up easily and is determined to figure out the way to Hae’s heart. The film was a big hit and added to Junho’s popularity leading him to act in the legal drama Confession, the same year.
Junho made his comeback in November 2021 with the historical romantic drama The Red Sleeve after being discharged from his mandatory military service on March 20th, 2021. The Red Sleeve is based on Kang Mikang’s novel Red Sleeve Cuff, set in the 18th century which chronicles a royal court romance between a court lady and the King of Joseon. ‘Sung Deokim’ (Lee Seyoung) is a high-ranking courtesan, and Crown Prince ‘Yisan’ (Junho) falls in love with her. Yisan eventually ascends to the throne as ‘King Jeongjo’ and wishes to have Sung as his concubine who refuses. Sung wants to live free, which would be difficult as a concubine. However, later she becomes the King’s concubine.
The Red Sleeve turned out to be quite a success story, with Junho receiving accolades for his outstanding performance. The series was among the biggest winners at the 2021 ‘MBC Drama Awards’ and collected multiple awards in various categories with Lee Deokhwa receiving the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, as well as Lee Junho and Lee Seyoung who received the ‘Top Excellence Awards’.