[Actor Spotlight] Junho
Do you know what time is it? It’s time for Junho’s spotlight feature (and that was a poor 2PM joke, in case you didn’t catch it). Junho is currently starring in the tvN courtroom thriller Confession, where he appears alongside Yoo Jae-myung as a young attorney fighting to clear his father’s name.
Junho was born in 1990, and started his career at the age of 16 when he won Superstar Survivor in 2006. He signed with JYP and debuted in 2008 as a part of the boy group 2PM. After several years of success with the group, the members started to pursue solo careers, and many of them leaned towards variety and acting, including Junho.
Junho made his acting debut in the 2013 film Cold Eyes and won accolades for his performance, but it wasn’t until 2016’s Memory that he started to make a splash in dramaland. Since 2016, Junho has had a steady flow of roles, and a knack for picking some pretty good dramas. Acting has been a great transition for Junho, and it feels like a natural place for him after being on the stage from such a young age.
Here are some drama highlights from Junho, followed by his full filmography.
Just Between Lovers (2017)
It’s no secret that Just Between Lovers was one of my favorite dramas from last winter. I feel personally affronted by the mis-titling of this drama (and the English title, Rain or Shine), because neither seem to do it justice. They sound too melo, or too schmaltzy, and Just Between Lovers was neither. The drama had such a beautiful quiet tone, and much of its success was because of the strength of the leads. Won Jin-ah and Junho gave near-perfect performances as the survivors of a tragic building collapse who wind up meeting and falling in love. The drama might have had its share of the stereotypical elements we’ve come to expect (nosebleeds, loan sharks, organ failure, etc.), but the world of the drama, and the characters, felt so real and authentic, I could forgive this drama of anything. Stories about emotional aftermath are a dramaland favorite, but every now and then there’s a drama that has a beautiful, moving take on it.
Greasy Melo (2018)
Also known as Wok of Love, this drama starred Jang Hyuk, Junho, and Jung Ryeo-won. I love this cast! Jang Hyuk played the ex-gangster who operated a Chinese restaurant, and apparently makes some killer jajangmyun. Is this an actual dramaland trope, or a common generalization? It isn’t the first drama that featured an ex-gangster operating a Chinese restaurant and dealing with past entanglements and operating a kitchen at the same time (see: Strongest Deliveryman). Junho and Jung Ryeo-won also starred here, playing characters down on their luck that converged over the Hungry Wok restaurant. This drama sounds like a prime place for some comedy — and some mouth-watering food scenes, too (maybe?!).
Junho and Yoo Jae-myung are tearing it up in this currently airing courtroom thriller, and trust me, I’m not missing its live air dates because I want to. My drama plate is full, and there are only so many waking hours in the day, but I’m looking forward to spending a rainy weekend with this drama once it has aired. Junho plays the young hero who, against many odds, becomes an attorney with the sole goal of exonerating his father. Like so many dramaland fathers, he has been wrongly accused of a crime, and wrongly imprisoned. Courtroom trials, drama, a ticking clock — and a fair dose of conspiracy and evil-doers, I’d wager — this drama sounds like a humdinger. I think this is just the sort of role to suit Junho at this point in his career and give him a lot of material to work with. I can’t wait to see what he does with the role!
Junho’s full filmography:
- Cold Eyes (2013) [Film]
Junho made his acting debut in this action/crime film that also starred Sol Kyung-gu, Jung Woo-sung, and Han Hyo-joo. The film was not only a success in the box office, but a success for the start of Junho’s acting career.
- Memories of the Sword (2015) [Film]
Junho’s next role was in this Goryeo-era martial arts period drama about three freedom fighters. It starred Lee Byung-heon, Jeon Do-yeon, and Kim Go-eun, who was Junho’s love interest.
- Twenty (2015) [Film]
Coming-of-age film that had a walloping good cast: Kim Woo-bin, Junho, Kang Ha-neul, Jung So-min, and Lee Yu-bi.
- Memory (2016) [Drama]
Junho made his dramaland debut in this tale of Lee Sung-min as the ruthless attorney whose life is changed when he’s diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Junho plays the junior attorney at his firm.
- Uncontrollably Fond (2016) [Drama/Cameo]
Junho cameoed as himself in the infamous tearjerker that starred Kim Woo-bin (his co-star from Twenty) and Suzy.
- Chief Kim (2017) [Drama]
Junho got props for his role as the prosecutor-turned-finance director in this hit office drama that starred Namgoong Min as the eponymous Chief Kim. Comedy and corporate bureaucracy — there’s a reason it’s on my marathon list.
- Just Between Lovers (2017) [Drama]
I love this drama so much it’s one of those I would go back and rewatch, even with a pending list of 25+ dramas that are scrambling for my attention (see above).
- Greasy Melo (2018) [Drama]
Gangsters, woks of love, and Junho in a chef hat, I hope (see above)!
- Confession (2019) [Drama]
Junho stars as a young attorney on a mission for justice. I’m in (see above).
- Rose and Tulip (2019) [Film]
Junho takes on double duty as two identical characters that swap places in this Japanese film.
- Gibang Bachelor (2019) [Film]
Set to release at the end of the year, this historical film stars Junho as the world’s first male gisaeng (I didn’t know that was a thing?), and Jung So-min as a woman ahead of her time. Sounds like strange makings for a romance film, but I’m sure the two of them will be magical together.
- Confession: Episode 1
- Working together to find the real culprits in tvN’s Confession
- Junho confirmed for new tvN drama Confession
- Greasy Melo: Episodes 1-4
- Jang Hyuk, Jung Ryeo-won, Junho to star in SBS’s Greasy Melo
- Bound by tragedy, healing through love in JTBC’s Just Between Lovers
- Junho snags lead in JTBC’s Just Between Lovers
- Chief Kim: Episode 1