Acting-dol Of The Week: SUPER JUNIOR’s SiWon: From Budding Heartthrob To Irreplaceable Talent11 November 2022
SUPER JUNIOR’s SiWon is the talented acting-dol who continues to gain waves of global attention and admiration for his amazing musical performances, his stellar acting skills, his charming personality, his charitable and ambassadorial works, and being a true visual whose handsome good looks have made him a heartthrob.
Before he stepped on a stage as an idol, SiWon first had dreams to become an actor and he made his debut in the rom-com series “Eighteen, Twenty-Nine“. However, it would seem he was also destined to not just sway hearts with his acting skills but also his music as well because a few months later, he made his official debut as an idol with SUPER JUNIOR. A group that has earned the status of “Legendary” as they were one of the driving forces that introduced K-Pop to the global market.
Much like his music and his philanthropic works, SiWon is very well known for his acting. Having starred in various successful projects both at home and abroad, his filmography records a lot of TV dramas and movies, that showcase his diverse and colorful range as an actor.
In this article, we will be spotlighting some of his major works since his debut as an actor both in TV and Film, his exemplary growth towards becoming the bonafide acting-dol he is today, and some more roles we would love to see him play in the future.
His early acting years
Although he had a cameo appearance in the KBS family drama “Precious Family“, his proper acting debut was done in the rom-com series “Eighteen, Twenty-Nine“. In the drama, he played the younger version of Kang BongMan (played by Ryu SooYoung), a high school student who was the crush of many with his cool expressions and handsome looks. In real life, he also became the crush of many, as even though this was a debut role with not as much screen time, he already made an impact in the minds of viewers with his good looks and charms.
Following his debut with SUPER JUNIOR in the same year, his fame skyrocketed and like many popular idols, this would also see him slowly becoming a sought-after idol for dramas and films.
In 2006, barely a year after he made his acting debut, he also made his film debut with the Chinese War film “A Battle Of Wits” as Prince Liang Shi. A fierce and charismatic Prince of Liang who gave up his life while trying to save the hero. His appearance in the movie came as a pleasant shock to many fans and viewers who were notably pleased with his acting as well as his fight scenes and his ability to speak Cantonese.
His budding acting skills also earned him supporting roles in dramas like “Spring Waltz“, “Legend Of Hyang-Dan” and the SM Entertainment comedy mystery film “Attack The Pin Up Boys“. And even though these were not the most stellar performances, he still showed a level of technique with his emotions, expressions, and delivery that were commendable.
The Catalyst: A spark that turned into a bright flame.
Still flaming his love for acting, by 2010, SiWon would move from a budding actor to a TV heartthrob following his role in the drama “Oh! My Lady“. A series that tells the romantic story of a cleaner who is has to take on the job of a house cleaner for a celebrity as she seeks to gain custody of her child from her ex-husband.
His acting in the series garnered him positive reactions and commendations as many viewers were vividly impressed by his funny wits and his adorable and playful chemistry with the cast, especially with Ye Eun (played by Kim YooBin), the daughter of the main lead and his love interest Yoon GaeHwa (played by Chae Rim). His performance also earned him his first acting award as the “New Star Award” at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards.
We could say that “Oh! My Lady” perhaps served as a catalyst that really projected SiWon into acting-dol status, as following the success of the drama, he went on to star in various supporting roles in hit series like the spy drama “Athena: The Goddess of War” and crime thriller drama “Poseidon”.
In sharp contrast to the drama and role he gained the most attention from (at that time), SiWon might have felt he had something more to give and perhaps he didn’t just take up the role for the sake of starring in an action series but to challenge himself and show to fans and casting directors and producers that his acting range wasn’t limited and he could deliver an amazing performance in a dark theme or concept as well. And he did this with a dexterity that was yet again praiseworthy.
Notably, his character is Kim JunHo, the elite data analyst whose smart and decisive actions aid the NTS team to uncover terror plots. A polar opposite of his previous role in “Oh! My Lady”, while we can all still swoon for his charismatic visuals, he vividly portrays the personality of a somewhat dark and brooding character who strives to be of vital importance to his team while dealing with his own traumatic past.
To prepare for his role in the drama, it was revealed that SiWon regularly attended action-acting school. All that training clearly paid off as his action scenes were one of the spotlights of the series. While he was notably not yet the bonafide actor he is today, SiWon garnered a ton of praise from the cast and crew members which was a note of high esteem, especially at a time when acting-dols were almost stigmatized and not considered “real actors” due to many believing their casting was done because of their popularity.
However, SiWon continued to change the perception of the public as well as casting teams as he continued to land good roles in dramas. One of which was the role of Kang HyunMin in the comedy “King Of Dramas“.
In this drama, SiWon reminds us of his comedic skills as his character was a quirky yet naive and free-spirited top star who didn’t take things seriously. Perhaps on paper, this is not the most difficult character to bring to life, but SiWon does it in a manner that makes it so entertaining and delightful to watch. He really shined in this drama and many viewers fell in love with him.
The rise from budding acting-dol to TV heartthrob and global superstar
If the year 2010 served as the catalyst for his rise as an acting-dol, perhaps we can rightfully say that 2015 was the year he didn’t just solidify his stance as one but also became a thorough force to be reckoned with.
2015 saw him return to film as he starred as alongside prominent international actors like Jackie Chan, John Cusack, and Adrien Brody in the Chinese historical film “Dragon Blade“.
Even though it was a movie filled with a list of actors, SiWon managed to capture most of the attention as many were expressively shocked and pleased with his amazing transformation into Yin Po, his fight scenes, and his performance in a predominantly English-speaking movie.
In this interview, he gives us an insight into working with the top stars from the movie and how he got onto his character.
2015 was thoroughly a busy year for SiWon as along with his idol activities, he also notably starred in various TV and film projects like the action movie “Helios“, “To The Fore” and “She Was Pretty“.
The ultimate second-lead syndrome, “She Was Pretty” continues to hold a special place in the hearts of fans as the winsome personality of his character made many fall in love with SiWon. Even though he was the 2nd main lead, he had many scene-stealer moments which flamed the 2nd main lead syndrome. His chemistry with the other cast was so adorable and endearing, so well that while many rooted for him and the female lead (played by Hwang JungEum), some also shipped him with the male lead as well (played by Park SeoJun).
This proved that he was a true social butterfly who had the ability to create a special bond with his cast mates. His sly and free-spirited role was in contrast to the poise, unperturbed, and sometimes arrogant character of the main lead. And this added a bit of flair and dramatic moments to the series. He was a menace, a comical one, whose character made people fall in love with him.
Even though he notably mentioned he didn’t expect the positive reviews and appreciation he received for his acting, in an interview, he mentioned that he just strived to give his best with the role. And to many viewers, that was glaringly clear.
If there is one thing that 2015 proved it was that SiWon’s growth as an actor was now vividly clear. He has shed off any ill presumptions about being an acting-dol and his abilities to deliver a memorable performance and he can perform at 100% regardless of the genre.
The return and a fresh start
2017 saw the return of SiWon to the TV screens after completing his mandatory military enlistment. And making his comeback with the rom-com series “Revolutionary Love“.
Starring alongside Kang SoRa and Gong Myoung, the series tells the story of a carefree son of a chaebol who moves into a studio apartment and tries to hide his wealthy status in order to win the heart of his crush. With this drama, SiWon reminded fans that he was a comic gem who can fill hearts with love in this light-hearted and delightful drama.
Despite its low ratings, the series did still manage to acquire a lot of positive comments from viewers with SiWon’s acting and appearance gaining the most comments.
Following an unfortunate controversy and the busy schedule of SUPER JUNIOR, in dramas, 2018 wasn’t the most active year for SiWon. By 2019, however, he makes a brilliant comeback showing a different color as Yang JungKook in the crime-comedy series “My Fellow Citizens”.
Notably one of SiWon best performances till date, he brought to life a character whose story and journey we could all root for. Even though he started of as a con man, a job that many no doubt frowned upon, he turned into a modern-day Robin Hood who ultimately tries to use his skills to bring the corrupt to justice.
From conman to a candidate for the National Assembly, despite his many struggles and conflictions like falling into a precarious situation with a loan shark and having to hide his real identity from his wife, Yang JungGuk could as well be considered lucky as he was able to gain the public sentiments thanks to his courage and well, “being at the right place and the right time.”
As Yang JungGuk, SiWon didn’t just sweet-talk his way out of many absurd and life-threatening situations but also into the hearts of many viewers who couldn’t help but fall for his charms as an actor. “He was the kind of bad guy, who wasn’t really a bad guy because he had a kind heart, charming looks, and was funny.”
The positive reviews or ratings were not the only rewards that came from this series as he also notably won the “Excellence Award, Actor in a mid-length drama” at the 2019 KBS Drama Awards.
The new king of rom-com?
While SiWon’s filmography is filled with stellar and successful projects across many genres, the ones where he has notably acted the most and delivered an even more memorable and stellar performance in has been romantic comedies.
In 2021, SiWon landed a supporting role in the hit comedic web drama “Work Later, Drink Now”. The series rose to popularity because of its relatable storyline and comedic moments. It is a fun and light-hearted story that captures the journey of 3 friends with 3 distinct personalities and their love for alcohol. As Kang BukGu, a bearded SiWon served as one of the key highlights of the series as his weird and quirky nature was yet again on full display.
He was funny, witty, and had just the right amount of chaos that made him not look like a complete jokester. He proves yet again that he can shine in any genre and showcase his charms with his vivid acting.
His chaotic banter and hilarious chemistry on and off the screen with Lee SunBin was a major highlight of the series. And even though their relationship played on the classic “enemies to lovers” trope, with their delivery, they made it enjoyable and delightful to watch. The 2nd season of the hit series is set to air in December with SiWon reprising his role as Kang BukGu in the series.
With a new year, marks a new comeback to TV dramas and true to his form, he makes an impressive return with the romantic comedy, “Love Is For Suckers”. Park JaeHoon could be seen as the elder brother of Kang BukGu from “Work Later, Drink Now“. He is more mature, clean-shaven, and emotionally stable. There is a vague resemblance between the two characters. Perhaps it is even more noticeable because, for SiWon, this is his next project after “Work Later, Drink Now“. However, even with their resemblance, there are still some unique traits that make them distinct. And this comes from SiWon’s delivery as he fully absorbs the personalities of his characters.
“Love Is For Suckers” tells the story of two long-time friends who on the set of a reality dating show begin to realize their romantic feelings for each other, while also threading carefully as they try to uncover the meaning behind their sudden affection for each other.
His latest work as of the date of this article, this series beautifully displays his impressive depth as an actor. He displays a range of emotions and expressions that makes us connect and enjoy his character’s story. While it is a clear-cut love story about two friends striding on the blurred lines between love and friendship, SiWon’s character is more than the quintessential male lead we all easily fall and root for.
SiWon is known for playing the soft, funny, and gentle roles in many dramas, and while he still displays these traits in this series, there is a fierce and charismatic side to his personality that is mysterious and intriguing. Even though it is a rom-com, he has a hold on his audience not just with his heart-fluttering moments, but also with those subtle actions that show a darker side of him. He invariably makes you want to delve further into his psyche and understand him. He once again immerses himself into his character and delivers a performance that borders on flawless.
His most recent episode (episode 9) of the series shows his emotional range and ability to dig deep into the essence of his character, gaining compliments from producers who were yet again impressed by his delivery.
Both off and on screen, his charming nature is always on full display. Truly one of his most powerful traits.
As he marks his 17th year as an actor this year, while along with fans we celebrate this milestone, we also acknowledge the fact that he is not relenting in his quest to continue showing the layers of his charms as an actor and with more opportunities that would no doubt come his way in the future, he will continue to thrill the hearts of fans with his acting and garner more admiration and recognition for them as well.
17 years ago today, Choi Siwon made his official acting debut through the KBS2 Drama “18 vs 29”. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication. I enjoy all of them.
HAPPY 17TH DEBUT ANNIVERSARY, ACTOR CHOI SIWON🤍@siwonchoi #17YearswithSIWON pic.twitter.com/v3iwHZugBn
— Choi ♡♥ (@its_siwonest) March 6, 2022
His possible future works
While we look forward to seeing him in so many works in the future, here are some of the kinds of roles we would love him to add to his repertoire.
1. A villain in a thriller
Acting in a thriller is not a new thing for SiWon, as he has delivered an amazing performances in the past in this genre. However, we would love to see him play the role of a villain. A dark and mysterious concept that possesses him as a psychopathic criminal would be a thrill to watch. Examples Ok TaecYeon in “Vincenzo” and Lee SeungGi in “Mouse”.
2. A doctor in a healing drama
SiWon in a Doctor’s scrubs was truly a sight to behold as he looked really attractive in it. That has spurred our interest in him playing the role of a Doctor in a healing drama. Perhaps set in the countryside, this drama could tackle various topics like mental health, societal and family pressure, sexuality, gender, and self-acceptance. An example would be Kim SeonHo in “Hometown Cha Cha Cha”.
3. A family man in a melodrama
SiWon is at the age where he can pull off the character of a married man with children and we would love to see him tackle this kind of character. Perhaps a story that spotlights the struggles and triumphs in the complicated world of marriage and the meaning of the term “family” today. It would be interesting to see SiWon delve into this genre and see what kind of colors he is able to show with his character. An example would be dramas like “World Of The Married” and “Love ft Marriage and Divorce“.
While SiWon’s growth as an acting-dol is as impressive as it gets, his hard work and humility in his various successes is perhaps a key contributor to his achievements. As he has deservedly earned every positive review and remark, he also sought to give thanks to his cast members and the production crew who helped him fully immerse himself into his character and portraying him in a light that many viewers appreciated. A humble and commendable response that shows his willingness to continue to learn and grow as an actor.
Have you watched any of his series? Let us know your thoughts on his acting and some of the roles you’d like to see him play in the future in the comments section below.