Bias Duality: The Luminous Lee SooHyuk Is Our Sun, Moon & All Of Our Stars5 September 2022
Welcome to the 55th article of Kpopmap’s weekly series exploring the amazing duality of K-Pop idols, actors, models, and more! Every week, we shine the spotlight on one artist who embodies the very essence of duality and has mastered the flair of harnessing their multifaceted talent to create the most brilliant, versatile art we have ever seen. As effortless as they make their craft look, there’s a universe of talent that brings their hard work to fruition, and we must show appreciation where it’s due.
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This week’s “Bias Duality” article is dedicated to an otherworldly being of love and light who also happens to be one of the finest actors of our generation, Lee SooHyuk. With 71.4% of the total votes cast by Kpopmap readers on the poll in our previous “Bias Duality” article, Lee SooHyuk was chosen by an overwhelming majority of fans to appear on this series!
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~ Sep 08, 2022 (KST)
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Now onto our bias!
Lee HyukSoo & Lee SooHyuk: How The Man Built The Artist & The Artist Built The Man
The Korean entertainment industry is built on the backs of immensely talented and revolutionary individuals who constructed it from the ground up. The popularity of Hallyu today is the result of the blood, sweat, and tears that were shed to bring creative freedom to the forefront through activism and resistance against censorship. This macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm of each artist that contributed to the same and continues to do so relentlessly. One such artist who is the very embodiment of perseverance, unstinted hard work, constant evolution, and of course, fierce passion, is Lee SooHyuk.
Born Lee HyukSoo, Lee SooHyuk debuted as a model at the dawn of the second Korean wave in 2006. Standing at the forefront of the international fashion scene, Lee SooHyuk quickly became a highly sought-after model, both in and out of South Korea. He earned a coveted spot among the “13 Top Breakout New Male Faces of F/W 2013”, having walked for Balenciaga, Wooyoungmi, Songzio, Juun J., and J.W. Anderson. At the height of his success as a model, which was bound to grow even further, Lee SooHyuk made his foray into acting, taking small but certain steps towards his dream.
From music videos to guest roles, all the way to leading characters, Lee SooHyuk built his legacy brick by brick with the utmost tenacity and grace. He took breaks to improve himself, hone his skills to perfection and return better than ever, and he lived up to that promise, exceeding expectations with each work. He currently has 16 K-Dramas and 5 films under his belt!
Lee SooHyuk once revealed that his goal was always to become an actor, and ever since he has been given the opportunity to live out this dream, he has become much more comfortable with himself and his identity. While he did his best as a model he didn’t quite know who he was or where his place was supposed to be. However, as an actor, he was able to truly look at himself. It must have been quite the turning point in his life as he turned an old dream into reality, but it was one for the world as well because we fell in love and never looked back.
Lee SooHyuk’s personality in real life is quite different from his on-screen presence, and anyone who spends the slightest amount of time with him, even virtually, will vouch for the fact. Contrary to popular belief, Lee SooHyuk is far from the cold, indifferent, intimidating, and nonchalant men he usually plays. Instead, he is warm, bright, playful, loving, and affectionate. He brings refreshing energy wherever he goes, and you just cannot help but swoon. He’s also unbelievably gentle and soft-spoken, which explains why little kids love him to no end. A new fan would probably never guess that his favorite hobby is building legos!
Lee SooHyuk is attentive to his staff members and never forgets to appreciate them, showing his gratitude in any and all ways possible. He never fails to put others first but doesn’t hold himself back when he wants to be doted on either. To witness this reverse charm, just watch any of Lee SooHyuk’s works and follow it up with behind-the-scenes footage. You’ll be just as stunned as we are. His chemistry with his co-stars is just as stunning off-screen, if not more. Perhaps, this is the biggest duality there is, that between Lee HyukSoo, the man, and Lee SooHyuk, the legend.
Lee SooHyuk’s smile and, even more importantly, his laugh, are as sweet as manna dew. The way his eyes turn into the most beautiful crescent moons and the apples of his cheeks perk up, make our hearts skip a beat every time. There’s a natural innocence and cherubic purity in his eyes that is hard to miss, which becomes even more evident when he’s casually throwing us the most gorgeous smile we’ve ever seen, without even realizing how otherworldly it is.
To acquaint yourself with Lee SooHyuk’s duality even further, we highly recommend watching his variety shows (“Bistro Shigor” and “Birds of a Feather” in particular) and his V-Live broadcasts. He gets competitive and cute, brimming with charisma and aegyo, all at the same time. As a matter of fact, even though he is known for his bold characters, he can be quite shy in reality!
Lee SooHyuk has a signature straight-forward sense of humour too, which only makes him even more attractive. In addition, Lee SooHyuk’s voice is as effective as ASMR in calming your nerves if you’re ever feeling anxious. He has a way of talking that makes you want to give him the world. Lee SooHyuk is quite literally, the human version of a warm hug, one that could take all your blues away and leave you in a bubble of bliss.
Lee SooHyuk is always working towards reinventing himself artistically, and as he does, the layers of his personality become even more charming. It is almost as if, the more we meet Lee SooHyuk, the more we get to know Lee HyukSoo, and this parallel tryst is as wonderful, fulfilling, and magical as it can get.
His simplistic yet intriguing worldview, the way he finds joy in the little things, cares for those around him without making it obvious or wishing for anything in return are all qualities fit for a King. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that he rules our hearts. The quiet elegance he oozes, the confidence in his stride, the conviction in his baritone, all speak volumes of how hard he has worked to get to this point, and nothing could be more inspiring than that.
The Dictionary Definition Of Range: Lee SooHyuk’s Screen Duality
When it comes to Lee SooHyuk as an actor, we could write a whole book, and it would still not do justice to the ocean of his talent. Only when innate genius and unbeatable hard work are combined, do you get someone as stellar as Lee SooHyuk. In simple words, his acting is an outstanding feat of artistry that leaves us in awe.
To elaborate, the hypnotizing pull of Lee SooHyuk’s artistic expression, the delicate nuance with which he imbues his characters, the softest look, the firmest word, and even the most subtle gesture, all quiver with meaning under his touch. He breathes life into his characters, conjures their deepest emotions, and ascertains their pains, fears, and desires, sculpting them into multidimensional, evocative beings that go far beyond the stretch of the script.
You can never view a Lee SooHyuk character through a singular lens, they are too complex and faceted for that. This is also the reason why Lee SooHyuk is exceptional in any given genre – whether that be fantasy, thriller, melodrama, action or otherwise.
Whether it be characters of fantasy or ones that are remarkably human, Lee SooHyuk has a penchant for making them both memorable. Let’s take a look at some of Lee SooHyuk’s most iconic characters that define his screen duality!
Before anything else, let’s all pause for a moment before we begin to gush over Park JoongGil from “Tomorrow” because none of us were ready for the absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions that Lee SooHyuk had signed us up for. Tears? We don’t know her. There were waterfalls through and through. Perhaps one of the hardest characters to play is a misunderstood one because it inherently implies that they have to be misperceived for the trope to work. The actor has to mislead us first and then guide us to the truth.
Park JoongGil is one such character, and Lee SooHyuk is an actor who does this the best. The way he portrayed the uptight, unyielding, apathetic Park JoongGil and then proceeded to bloom like a flower, opening up his soft, wounded, loyal side to us, was a journey that we will never forget. After all, who doesn’t want to be loved for centuries and then saved from the King of Hell by the one and only, Lee SooHyuk?
Before Park JoongGil, we had Cha JooIk in “Doom At Your Service”, an extraordinary character that brought out the intricacies of the range of emotions Lee SooHyuk can portray. The beauty of Cha JooIk was truly in the finer details. The way he looked at Na JiNa (Shin DoHyun) and smiled ever so softly, impulsively protected her but gave her space to grow, brought out the best in her, and adored it with all his heart – it’s things like these that dreams are made of.
On the other end of the romance spectrum, we have the fiery tsundere Kim SooHyuk/Cha HyungBin in “Born Again” who gives us butterflies like no other. While Cha JooIk is expressive and candid, knowing exactly what he wants and how to get it, Kim SooHyuk is the type that you have to analyse and understand. He might keep you on your toes, but you’ll never question his love.
Finally, two more characters that we cannot possibly gloss over are also diametrically opposed: Woven in “Handmade Love” and Gwi in “The Scholar Who Walks The Night”. There couldn’t possibly be two characters that are more contradictory than these. For one, Woven is a fallen god, whereas Gwi is a vampire. Woven is dignified, majestic, and solemn. Gwi is narcissistic, hedonistic, and pure evil. If Woven is heavenly, Gwi is the harbinger of pandemonium. However, as we mentioned earlier, even Gwi is a complicated character that deserves to be viewed on a deeper level.
Another character that evokes a similar response is GunWoo from “Pipeline”. He represents corporate evil at its most rotten, but you cannot help but think that he’s not entirely wicked, even though you have all the evidence to suggest otherwise.
Alternatively, he makes you want to justify GunWoo’s actions to some degree, even if you don’t empathize with them. Lee SooHyuk has this knack for enchanting the audience with his screen presence, which is what makes him so captivating. If that’s not true duality, we don’t know what is!
Once A Model, Always A Model: Lee SooHyuk’s Aesthetic Duality
Finally, allow us to draw your attention to the wonder that is Lee SooHyuk’s aesthetic duality. If his characters didn’t already make this clear, the man can pull off virtually any look with panache. He looks just as handsome in a traditional fit as he does in a suit, as scintillating on the runway as he does on the couch at home, as alluring in a leather jacket as in a hoodie. Now, that’s simply not something just anyone can do! Lee SooHyuk’s timelessness, his iconic sense of fashion, his ability to make a plain white t-shirt look like a designer piece and an editorial cover, effortless are what make him such a fantastic model.
In terms of Lee SooHyuk’s personal style, there’s no better place to take notes from than his Instagram account (@leesoohyuk), which, at the time of writing, has a whopping 3.4 million followers. It is quite commonplace for Lee SooHyuk to share b-cuts of pictorials as well as entire photoshoots on his Instagram, but its true USP lies in the series of selfies, usually taken in a car, the fitness updates, behind-the-scenes photos, OOTD clicks and so on and so forth. It is also where he communicates with fans in the most adorable and endearing way! Could he get any more perfect?
Speaking of Instagram, the duality of Lee SooHyuk’s selfies is also a vision to behold. One moment, his razor-sharp jawline has us weak in the knees, and in the next, he’s using a playful filter to offset the hotness. You’re going to be at the end of your wits trying to pick a favorite, and we’re right there with you!
At the end of the day, this angelic human being is the paragon of perfection, whether that be on the screen or off of it. His journey is one that was forged with unrelenting hard work and sincerity, which now inspires millions. This article might have been about Lee SooHyuk’s duality, but we could gush about his multifaceted charms all day. Lee SooHyuk is an absolute blessing and a gift from God, and we will cherish him till the end of time.
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