The Royal Gambler
Aside from his recurring roles in romantic dramas, Jang Geun-suk also played a part in a South Korean historical drama called The Royal Gambler (Korean: 대박; Hanja: 大撲; RR: Daebak; lit. Jackpot). The drama also starred Yeo Jin-goo, Jun Kwang-ryul, Choi Min-soo, Yoon Jin-seo, and Lim Ji-yeon. It aired on SBS on Mondays and Tuesdays at 22:00 (KST) from March 28th, 2016, to June 14th, 2016, for 24 episodes replacing the previous drama Six Flying Dragons.
For this role, Jang Geun-seuk has been nominated for a few awards such as at the 5th APAN Star Awards (Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama) and the SBS Drama Awards (Best Couple along with Yeo Jin-goo, Top 10 Stars Award, and Idol Academy Award – Best “Drudge”). He won the Top Excellence Actor in a Serial Drama for the same award.
A little bit of the synopsis:
This drama is about a prince who’s forced to live as a commoner and uses his gambling skills to take revenge on the King. Dae-gil (Jang Geun-seuk) and King Yeongjo (Yeo Jin-goo) enter a match. Dae-gil bets his life and King Yeongjo bets the entire Kingdom of Joseon on the outcome. Dae-gil is the best gambler in the Joseon era. He holds deep resentment inside but is also cool on the exterior. King Yeongjo is a man who never lowers his head without a convincing reason. Meanwhile, Dam-seo (Lim Ji-yeon) exists solely to take revenge upon the king.
Switch: Change the World
From the romance to historical to now a legal drama, Jang Geun-seuk surely has proven himself to be a versatile actor!
Switch (Korean: 스위치 – 세상을 바꿔라; RR: Seuwichi – Sesangeul Bakkwora; lit. Switch: Change the World) is a South Korean television series starring Jang Geun-suk and Han Ye-ri. It aired on SBS on the Wednesday and Thursday time slot at 22:00 KST from March 28th to May 17th, 2018, for 32 episodes.
It was originally named Peacock King (공작왕; Gongjagwang) but got changed to its current title. The first script reading took place on February 7th, 2018, with the attendance of main cast and production crew before they began shooting in the following months.
A little bit about the plot:
The series explores the two sides of justice, in which it talks about the grey area between what’s right (legal) and lawfully wrong (illegal). Jang Geun-seuk played a dual role as Sa Do-chan and Baek Joon-soo, two men with completely different personalities. Sa Do-chan is a man whose intelligence is high enough to pass the bar exam, but he actually is a con artist. Meanwhile, Baek Joon-soo got the same exact face as Do-chan, but he is a man with integrity and works as a prosecutor. Together with Oh Ha-ra (Han Ye-ri), Joon-soo/Do-chan pair together to try to solve a big drug case.
The Case of Itaewon Homicide
After we went through the K-dramas, now let’s talk about the movies!
One of the most notable roles of Jang Geun-seuk is in a movie titled The Case of Itaewon Homicide (Korean: 이태원 살인사건; trans. lit. Itaewon Salinsageon). It is a 2009 South Korean film, based on the true story of the infamous Itaewon murder case, which shocked Korea when Hongik college student Cho Jung-pil was found dead at an Itaewon Burger King in 1997. The murder was investigated in 1997 by CID Agents J. Choi, D. Zeliff, T. Barnes, and B. Crow. Two troubled U.S. teenagers—Arthur Patterson (the son of a former U.S. Army officer and Korean mother) and Edward Lee—became suspects and were convicted. Patterson was released a year later in a special amnesty and Lee was freed a year after that due to lack of evidence. The case never resulted in further convictions.
Jang Geun-seuk starred as Arthur Patterson, the primary suspect along with Jung Jin-young as his lawyer and Song Joong-ki as the victim. The film was a critical success and hit 531,068 admissions in South Korea nationwide.
Not only a critical success, but the movie has also shred a new light on the murder case. After gathering back public attention through the movie release, public prosecutors in South Korea reopened the case after discovering DNA evidence purported to show Patterson as the murderer. Edward Lee had previously testified to Patterson being the murderer during the first trial. Patterson was re-arrested by U.S. authorities in May 2011 and went before a court hearing in California concerning extradition to Korea for a new trial. Arthur Patterson’s extradition to South Korea was approved and culminated with his arrival at Incheon International Airport in September 2015. In January 2016, the prosecution sought a 20-year prison term for Patterson, which under Korean law is the maximum sentence able to be handed down to suspects aged 18 or less at the time of their crime. On January 28th, 2016, Patterson was found guilty of the stabbing of the victim, Cho Jung-pil, and was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. Patterson and his lawyers have said they plan to appeal the verdict. Patterson remained adamant in his stand by denying his involvement in the Cho Jung-pil murder.
You’re My Pet
Based on the Japanese manga of the same title by Yayoi Ogawa, You’re My Pet (Korean: 너는 펫; RR: Neoneun Pet) is a 2011 South Korean romantic comedy film that starred Jang Geun-seuk and Kim Ha-neul as owner and pet that are somewhat tangled in a romantic tension. Directed by Kim Byeong-kon, the film was released on November 10th, 2011 by Lotte and ran for 110 minutes.
The film hit the box office status by selling 209,318 tickets in Korea alone within the first five days. It is ranked fourth and grossed at ₩1.8 billion in its first week of release, making a total profit of close to ₩3.8 billion after four weeks of screening. It also got the same reputation in Japan when it was released on January 21st, 2012 by Toho. It ranked fifth and grossed ¥68 million in its first week of release, grossed a total of ¥281 million after three weeks of screening.
A little bit about the plot:
The film centers around a young and ambitious woman named Ji Eun-yi (Kim Ha-neul) and her human pet (Jang Geun-suk).
After her fiancé leaves her for his mistress and Ji Eun-yi is demoted at work, she stumbles across a young injured homeless man in a box outside her condominium. She takes him in and becomes attached to him. As a joke, she says she wants to keep him as a pet, and to her surprise, the young man agrees. She names him Momo, after her beloved dog from her childhood. Ji Eun-yi provides room and board, and Momo provides unconditional love and loyalty. Momo, whose name is Kang In-ho, is a dance child prodigy who gradually brings happiness to his master’s life.
Despite his growing affection for her, Ji Eun-yi says there is no romance of any sort in their relationship. However, sexual tension gradually rises as the two spend more time together. But not only does Ji Eun-yi struggle with her feelings for the young guy, she also needs to keep him a secret from her co-workers, especially her former college classmate and new romantic interest Woo-seong.