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Joo Ji-hoon’s August magazine spreads

After being out of the public eye for several years, Joo Ji-hoon (Devil, Antique Bakery) is making his comeback in a big way: a movie, a drama, and lots of promo activities for both. That includes photo spreads in upcoming issues of fashion magazines GQ and Harper’s Bazaar, pictured here.

To briefly summarize: Joo is coming out of a major rough patch in his career, which amplifies the anticipation about his return. He was busted for drug use (ecstasy, ketamine) in 2009 and given a probationary sentence. He didn’t serve jail time but had to hang up his acting career as he went to army duty to wash his image clean (it’s sort of amazing that way), and now he’s back.

Frankly I think it’s remarkable that he’s back working at all, given the past examples of drug-busted celebs who either said goodbye to their careers entirely or had to wait closer to a decade before returning. But times, they are a-changin’, and it’s not all bad. I still think he was incredibly stupid for using, especially in a country where the ramifications are so severe, but by all accounts it was from isolated incidents long in the past, and it was the other people arrested in the same bust who were committing the bigger crimes of smuggling and dealing. In any case, Joo’s scandal hit when while he was a hot commodity, so it’ll be interesting to see how audiences welcome him back.

Of his new projects, Joo’s movie comes out first; I Am the King is a period comedy and releases in early August. The movie is a take on the Prince and the Pauper story; a crown prince swaps places with a slave and experiences life outside the palace. The movie is Joo’s first sageuk, though not his first time playing a prince; his claim to fame was in 2006’s hit drama sensation Goong, opposite Yoon Eun-hye. Although I’m sure you all knew that.

The project isn’t to be confused with Lee Byung-heon’s sageuk movie Gwanghae, the Man Who Became King, although thanks to their titles and similar release dates, they’ve been garnering lots of comparisons. Joo said, “An acting contest between me and Lee Byung-heon sunbae? No way. The genres are completely different, and our movie [I Am the King] has a strong comedy slant. You know how war movies can be about the same topic but express it differently. You can think of this the same way. Because Lee Byung-heon sunbae will obviously be a better actor, I feel no pressure. He’s a sunbae I watched and admired in middle school, before I even began dreaming about being an actor. Just being compared to him is an honor.”

Joo explained ditching his flower-boy image for the slave character, for which he dirtied his image (literally), skipped the makeup, and darkened his teeth. Yeah… that’ll do it.

Then there’s Five Fingers, which premieres later in August. Asked what he’d like to say to his fans, Joo said, “It’s always the same, just thank you. Because of my fans, I choose my projects with more serious thought. Sometimes when they come to the set to see me and I see them being considerate and polite to others, it makes me feel really warm and proud. The only way I can repay that is to work hard through my acting and my roles.”

The magazines are the August issues; I Am the King opens on August 8 and Five Fingers premieres the week after. (The drama was initially slated for an August 4 premiere, but the Olympics broadcast has delayed A Gentleman’s Dignity‘s finale.)

Via E Daily, Newsen

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Hi JB.

JJH certainly LOOKS good. I think it will be his acting that will be the swaying factor for people like myself who don't know him.

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Just realized I HAVE seen JJH before. In Goong and The Antique Bakery.

Liked the latter better and JJH's character in it but I soon forgot him.

Do wish him well with his acting career and personal life though.

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He is actually not bad. Goong wasn't his best. Watch him in Mawang. He was amazing.

I have expectations that he will be getting better. But his projects now seem like ones just to get him back on screen. I don't know yet, but hopefully they will stretch his abilities. I think he can grow to be a really talented actor, he just needs practice. A comedy and makjang? Not sure if they are right for him, but I hope it turns out good!

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I think he's fine. Antique Bakery was pretty comedic, and he did play a really dubious & troubled character in Devil.

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he is awsome in devil. I start to love him after watching that drama. Especially his acting in final episode, it's blew me away.

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Oh wow I forgot about Mawang which was a total turnaround from Goong. How did i manage that! Time to hunt it up again...

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the second picture makes me thing odd things are happening there.

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Gives me a feeling of "I want to wake up from that nightmare". I know, I know... It's only a picture.

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... or someone just kicked him in the balls.

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I was going for the "I'm so stoned" because of his past scandal, but yours is funnier. XD
I'm sorry, was it sadistic of me to think that about your comment?

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Lol you and me both. The first thing that came to my mind was stomach upset. Eeeep.

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Other than that, these are so cool. And I'm totally rooting for his comeback. Good luck to him. :)

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He is so much cooler than I will ever be.

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He seems very modest. I hope he does well. I'm not that big a fan of his. I think he's cute, though.

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Good to have him back. Hope he really learn well from his past act.

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While I liked most of the shoot, the first picture of him in that hideous, girl sweater...No. Just no. Take it off. It looks like he's wearing his younger sister's clothes or something.

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My thoughts exactly. I saw the main screencap and went ehhhhh. Also, the fitting of the sweater makes his torso look wonky.

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I agree. My sister had a similar knitted shirt -- and that was a decade ago. Come to think of it, even the last 2 photos look like ladies' tops ;-)

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For some reason he never gets styled well anymore.

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It looks like a sweater my sister's Barbie used to have....

I love Goong but mostly for YEH and I haven't seen Devil but it's on my list of dramas to watch.

BTW, I hate his hair in the Five Fings poster. Makes him look like a poindexter (yeah I had to pull this word out of the attic...it was getting dusty).

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Oh liked Naked Kitchen too.....

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One of the BIG reasons that he's been giving these opportunities is because he was smart to sign with Key East. That said he is a very good actor and am glad for his K-drama/movie comeback!!

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I like him a lot. I was just starting to get into him when I found out about the drug use and then the military. Glad to see him back and can't wait to see the projects.

I think he's a very engaging actor and he seems like a nice guy. Good to know he's moving on to better things.

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OMG only yesterday i was thinking of him... wondering what he is doing after finishing his army duties... now i know

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Love the last picture! Loved him in Antique Bakery! I'm glad to see him back.

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I know five fingers is a,melodrama and there are going to be more important plot stuff but who else is excited for some army ABS???

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Omg, I'm on the same page you are!

Mmmmm Army Abs....*drools*

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Honestly, I don't think Joo Ji Hoon is capable of abs lol.

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me too. he's never had any muscles or any sorts. i keep thinking if he really makes himself muscular, he'll look so so hot. but i think he purposely keeps his body lean and lanky. its quirky that way.i like it though, at least its a far cry from the usual abs-obsessed k-actors out there.
is it just me, or post-MS k actors, their hot bods aren't as chiseled after MS, yet work out on purpose after being released and develop those "abs" so that they'll have that image of "post-MS namja body" on their comeback? yes?

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Great answer!!! :)

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Oh, okay, there it goes haha :)

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Loved all the photos for Harper's Bazaar - he looks smoooking hot. He was great in "The Devil" and in Antique Bakery - welcome back JJH!

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Hes so pretty. I just want to stick a giant lollipop in his hand, put a pair of shorts and shirt with a bowtie and pinch his cheeks.

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I have had such a vast difference in opinion of this guy.. First, I hated him (Goong) for no reason and then I loved him (Devil) because his acting was so awesome. I even watched my first yaoi movie because he was in it.. I hope he cleaned up and is here to stay. I like this hairstyle on him vs the one he is sporting for his drama (which is just... no)

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what is yaoi?

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Aw, JJH! I totally missed him ^^

After his debut (Princess Hours), he chose really good film and drama projects that showcased his acting well. I'm really excited to see his new film and drama. What a smart move to sign with KEYEAST. With Bae Yong-joon firmly behind him, I'm sure he'll get back on his feet in no time.

Fighting!

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Finally! Three freaking years is way too long for a good actor to be out of the business. I can forgive him for the whole drug use, I'm way too used to Hollywood stars messing up worse than that, can anyone say LiLo? Yup, it was a one time thing anf I sincerely hope he had learned his lesson. On a brighter note, I am looking forward to both drama and movie. It'll be good to see him after all these years. Still haven't gotten over the Prince Shin crush, apparently. LOL

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The photos certainly don't do him justice, he is quite lovely. There are some things that happen in life and people get second chances, deservedly or not ( not making any judgements here, because hey, we really have no idea what happens in peoples lives). Drug use, while stupid, is something that can be overcome. Look at Robert Downey Jr. That man is lucky he's alive. Certainly Korean dramas are infamous for redemption themes! I have enjoyed Joo Ji-Hoon's previous work, and I am look forward to future endeavors.

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He along with Lee Jun Ki are my two favorite male Korean actors and both are coming back at the same time. So hard to focus. haha

I am really excited he is getting a chance to come back. I hope these projects go well so he can get his feet back into the industry. I'm certain it will take time, but I know he has plenty of yet untapped talent so I'm hopeful that we get to see more of his -Mawang style. :)

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I really loved him in Goong(That was my favorite drama till Gaksital!) but after the whole drug thing i really lost my respect for him in some ways. Hope he comes back from the army with not only his image, but also his mind cleansed and better :) He really looks gorgeous in those photos.

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So happy for him. I loved him in AB. I won't watch the drama cause that just ain't my bag but the movie is a definite!

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Come back strong, Joo ji-hoon. Leave the past in the past. What matters is that you come back stronger!
And kick-butt. please.

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2 words. So hot. :)

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That second pic of Ji-hoon curled up in a fetal position on the floor is just depressing - especially considering his recent history.

It's great that he's signed with KeyEast - one of the few management agencies that treats its talent with the respect and backup they deserve. It's great to see the celebs signing with such a progressive agency - KeyEast with BYJ at the helm has a good understanding of the value of international platforms. I'd bet that Ji-hoon couldn't get a minute of time with JYPE or SME when it came to signing with an agency. If so, he dodged a bullet.
:)

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i really feel the main reason why KE got him is that he's so big in Japan. KE really really loves Japan.

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Thank you for this!

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Mmh heres a funny thing, av watched the J version of Devil but not his K version, am i missing something or did i just save my precious time? Thought the J version was pretty decent, despite the devil himself always having just the one facial expression!

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Thanks for the bit about LBH's Gwanghae in the article, appreciate the mention very much. It's good to read about him, too.

Wishing success to both movies & actors!

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It's good to see him back. He's actually quite talented and deserves to be seen. I hope he can win his fanbase back and get back in the good graces of all. What he did in the antique bakery and the naked chef was awesome!

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drug use or not, I still luve him. I think he really did regret his past actions and hope to grew from it and i respect him for that. he is still popular despite his drug use because he is such an amazing actor and amazing looks and he had lots of faithful followers before he got busted, so i think he will have more projects coming his way.

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I love love this guy, Goong was the first korean drama I ever watched, so i thank that for my love for kdramas <3 He was great in antique bakery but he really got me in Mawang (Devil) His performance was awesome! I was so sad when I found out about his drug use and the scandal but I am so glad he's getting a chance to come back. I am looking forward to his next projects and to see him grow as an actor.

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i love him flaws and all, i mean all of us did crazy at one point in our lives I am glad he's past that and i am anticipating his future projects :)

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Well helloooo there.

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i heard,,that he was once a model before starting to be an actor,,well,,that explains how 'rich' his expression in this photo-spread..

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I'm so glad he's back :) JJH was my first ever korean crush. No shit. Because goong was THE drama that introduced me to korean dramas. Because of you, JJH that my korean drama addiction began. My soul was taken away the minute I watched goong :)

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Excited to see him back! And looking forward to his film, I am King, and drama, Five fingers.

Fighting!

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seriously i think he is promising n talented actor. He has attractive look n know how to use it well. I really like his acting in goong n the devil. He definitely smart to accept keyeast agency as this agency is home for many talented actors like kim soo hyun,lee hyun woo,kim hyun joong n of course bae yoong joon!! I think bae yoong joon has nice eyes in choosing talented artists n know how develop n make use their talent well. I'm sure kim soo hyun n kim hyun joong are the one that much money for his company.

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I love him in antique bakery haha.

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His career was derailed for a bit, but I hope is back on the right track after his drug scandal. Glad he was given another chance to get back into the entertainment business.
The photos are weird. Why the fetal position shot? Reminds me of drug withdrawal.Why is he wearing my sister's sweater?
He messed up, but I wish him future success.

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Haha, at the first GQ pic he looks like a boy because the shirt is too small and short. The second left me wonder about the photographer's mental state.

But I really like the Bazar pictures where he is allowed to show up that he did mature last two years. He never looked better,

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drug use was the reason why he looked so stoned and wooden in goong

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I hope he is comming to stay as i missed him ,watched Goong bcasue of him :) and anyone can make a misstake and it's in the past so i hope they wont hold that against him,from what i read the Korean publick can be unforgiving
to smaller things than this..

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When oh when will I ever get to read articles, news about Jihun without mentioning his past? (sigh.) He is a changed man, a better man and he even looks more handsome now and younger too. Leave the past please and look forward to a new Jihun. I love Jihun with all my heart and will watch his movie and his new drama.

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tq JB,

All the outfit did not do justice to him as a once upon
a top asian model !. FIGHTING !! Joo Ji Hoon !!

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sssooooo excite for his comeback BUT the drama, not really interested with the plot BUT I'd still watch it because JJH is BACK :D :D

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I'm so glad to see him! I loved him Goong and it's good to see him after army time!!!

I must say that it seems like GQ have no idea what they're doing when it comes to styling him. However Bazaar has it spot on! :)

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Yay!!! He IS coming back!!! I have waited for so long..so happy he is starting all over again, i know some people criticize him, but he is taking it slowly...i'm glad the sbs stopped banning him and offered Joo a drama...August seems a dilightful month now XD

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I'm happy that he's back. :)
and hope 5fingers will be a top drama and a successfull comeback for him.

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I'm glad to see him with more muscles on his bones! :) I still remember when he was really skinny. He looked good, but he looks better now!

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Sorry this man is one gorgeous man and these photos.. SIGH the whole photo shoot is a TOTAL FAIL. It just does not do him justice and why do i feel like they told him to hide his face?

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I look forward to seeing this talented actor in new projects soon. Based on how diverse this past projects were, I'm not surprised that he's returning with two projects that are completely different. This is a smart move because he'll get to showcase his talent for both comedy and drama.

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no wonder he was so wooden in goong because he was stoned from all that drug use

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