Korean heartthrob Song Joong-ki gets better with age, like fine wine.
Song has grown immensely in stature since making his screen debut in 2008, picking up awards left, right and centre for his stellar performances on the big and small screens.
Song's ability to take on the role of each character and make it his own, has endeared him to film and television critics, and the public. His good looks and charm (he's known to be a gentleman, though we've yet to confirm this) don't hurt, either.
Don't believe us? Check out these four roles that show how much of a chameleon Song really is.
Gu Yong-ha in Sungkyungkwan Scandal (2010)
Set in the Joseon dynasty, the television drama series Sungkyungkwan Scandal follows the journey of Kim Yoon-hee, an aspiring female scholar who cross-dresses as a man in order to attend Sungyunkwan, Korea's most prestigious educational institute. Song takes on the role of Gu Yong-ha, a playboy son from a distinguished upper-class family.
While Song doesn't have the title role, Lee Sun-joon (played by K-pop star Park Yoo-chun), his suave acting led to this drama being known as his breakout role. He was nominated for the Best New Actor award at the 2011 Korea Drama Awards.
Chul-soo in A Werewolf Boy (2012)
In this film, Song takes on the role of a feral boy who shows unusual physical characteristics: his body temperature is steady at 46 degree Celsius (far above the normal 37 degrees) and his blood type is unidentifiable. He also doesn't know how to speak, read or write, making his origins a mystery.
To prepare for this role, Song watched nature documentaries to study the movement of animals, as well as Hollywood blockbusters The Lord of the Rings (paying special attention to Gollum) and Edward Scissorhands.
A Werewolf Boy opened at number one at the box office. Within two weeks of its release, it had become the most successful Korean melodrama film of all time with 4.12 million tickets sold. Song was also nominated for Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards in 2013.
Yoo Si-jin in Descendants of the Sun (2016)
In this international blockbuster television series (be sure to watch the action scenes) Song plays Yoo Si-jin, aka "Big Boss", a captain of a South Korean special forces unit stationed in the fictional country of Uruk. This role won him a flurry of awards, including the coveted Grand Prize at the 2016 APAN Star Awards and the KBS Drama Awards. He received the President's Award at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards the same year.
Also, side note: RIP Song-Song couple. Descendants of the Sun will go down in history as the project that brought together two of Korea's biggest stars, Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo, on-screen and off-screen in a fairy tale romance. The two clinched the deal in real life on October 31, 2017 when they married in a private ceremony attended by A-listers including Zhang Ziyi. Too bad they divorced less than two years later.
Park Moo-young in Battleship Island (2017)
In Battleship Island, which is set during the Japanese annexation of Korea, Song plays Park Moo-young, a member of the underground independence movement. Park is sent to a labour camp on Hashima Island in a desperate bid to save a fellow member of the movement, who the Japanese are holding hostage. Song becomes entangled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse " and his rescue mission grows into a bigger cause, with 400 workers attempting to break free of the island.
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