[Actor Spotlight] L
Angel’s Last Mission: Love might have just concluded its run on KBS, but it’s not too late for L to hit the actor’s spotlight! In the drama he played an angel opposite the ballerina played by Shin Hye-sun, and I can’t think of a better cast of characters for a nice summer drama.
Born in 1992 as Kim Myung-soo, L made his debut in 2010 in the K-pop group Infinite. He was given his one-letter Latin alphabet moniker as his professional name (though he’s sometimes credited with his birth name when acting), and crowned the visual of the group.
L put his musical training (both in school and with his agency) to work with Infinite, but didn’t wait long to try his hand at acting as well. In 2011 he had his first acting role in a Japanese drama, but it was 2012’s Shut Up Flower Boy Band that gave L his first role in a Korean drama. Since then he has balanced his acting career with his career as an idol. Over the last few years he’s been gaining experience with some guest and supporting roles, and he worked his way up to top billing.
Here are some drama highlights from L, followed by his full filmography.
Shut Up Flower Boy Band (2012)
In this favorite drama of many (including yours truly), it was a little easy to overlook L. I don’t mean that in a bad sense, since his personality and place as a member of the rock band were important, it’s just that between Lee Min-ki’s totally scene-stealing role, and the heart-slaying acting of Sung Joon in basically every episode — well, it’s a problem of too many flower boys and not enough eyeballs. All kidding aside, this was a wonderful, heartfelt drama that had the perfect balance of teen angst, simple sweetness, and some really good music. It definitely stands strong on the rewatch. Or re-rewatch.
Master’s Sun (2013)
It’s amazing what a little styling can accomplish! Master’s Sun might have aired over a year after Shut Up Flower Boy Band, but it felt like L was aging in reverse — which was kind of the point, I guess. In his guest appearance in this much-loved Hong sisters drama, L was cast as the younger version of the hero played by none other than So Ji-sub. An impactful performance as the younger version of a drama’s protagonist is always a great starting point for an actor’s career, and L made a splash in some crucial flashback scenes in this drama. I don’t exactly see the playful, cheeky sparkle of L in So Ji-sub’s weathered and masculine face, but hey, I’ll take it. L’s performance in the drama was important in explaining their character’s journey, and how the trauma he experienced in his younger years influenced the man he became.
Angel’s Last Mission: Love (2019)
I officially feel like the only person in dramaland that didn’t live watch this drama! I’m not normally a big fan of angels-on-earth stories (unless we’re talking the 1940s classic The Bishop’s Wife), but I think I have seen at least ten too many photos of L with a dimpley smile, a cheeky smile, an adoring smile, a conflicted smile — and, by gosh, I can’t stay away now. L played the angel earning his way back to heaven by finding true love for the heroine, played by Shin Hye-sun. I don’t need a drama dictionary to know what happens, but I can’t wait to watch it unfold.
L’s full filmography:
- Jiu – Special Investigation Team (2011) [Drama]
L took on the role of a criminal named Jiu in this Japanese drama about a pair of special investigators.
- Shut Up Flower Boy Band (2012) [Drama]
L played the guitarist of the high school rock band Eye Candy, and their name is definitely accurate (see above).
- Salamander Guru and the Shadows (2012) [Drama/Cameo]
L had a guest appearance in this cameo-strong 10-episode drama starring Minho and mysteries to solve. It looks like a cheesy good time.
- What’s the Deal, Mom? (2012) [Drama]
This daily drama was about a family that reunited after losing their jobs to work in the family noodle house.
- Master’s Sun (2013) [Drama]
L = the master when he was young and traumatized (see above).
- Sly and Single Again (2014) [Drama]
Lee Min-jung and Joo Sang-wook played a divorced couple, and L had a supporting role as Joo Sang-wook’s secretary/friend.
- She’s So Loveable (2014) [Drama]
I skipped this Rain and Krystal drama about the K-pop industry, and it’s a good thing I did because L played the second lead (as an idol from “Infinite Power,” hah) vying for Krystal’s heart. I’m sure I would have been in 100% SLS mode.
- The Time I’ve Loved You (2015) [Drama/Guest Appearance]
L made a swoony guest appearance in several early episodes of this drama, where he romanced Ha Ji-won’s character. Quite the impressive turn there!
- The Day After We Parted (2016) [Drama]
Another music-centered drama for L, this time in the lead with Yoon So-hee, in this short 8-episode drama special with a fantastical element thrown in for good measure.
- My Catman [Web Drama]
I usually like the flimsy fun of web dramas; this one starred Im Shi-wan, Chae Soo-bin, and L in a rom-com love triangle. I’m not sure what the title signifies, but it’s either really good or really bad…
- Ruler–Master of the Mask (2017) [Drama]
L played the second lead role in this Yoo Seung-ho and Kim So-hyun sageuk that also reunited L onset with Yoon So-hee.
- Miss Hammurabi (2018) [Drama]
Go Ara, Sung Dong-il, and L starred in this heartfelt drama about the South Korean legal system, and particularly the eponymous young judge and her experiences.
- Angel’s Last Mission: Love (2019) [Drama]
Angels + ballet = K-drama heaven (see above).
- Angel’s Last Mission: Love: Episodes 1-2
- Go Ara, L team up in courthouse drama Miss Hammurabi
- JTBC adaptation of upbeat legal drama courts Infinite’s L to star
- Ruler–Master of the Mask: Episodes 1-2
- Yoon So-hee joins Ruler–Master of the Mask, L in contention
- Infinite’s L scores leading role in Oh Hae-young PD’s new drama special
- L to romance Ha Ji-won in Time I’ve Loved You
- L’s character stills for Shut Up: Flower Boy Band