The friendship between famous actors Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo is one for the history books.
Dashing as they are, Korean actors never fail to steal the audience’s heart. It is even more serious when these experienced heart-stealers are close with each other, bringing forth visual shocks for everyone in sight of them.
And among the most iconic friendships of Korean actors is one between Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo, who are both visual gods with impressive careers of their own.
Brothers who overcome adversities together
Born in 1987 in Seoul, Korea, Lee Min Ho grew up dreaming of becoming a soccer player. However, he had to give up on his dream due to a serious injury.
The actor then entered the Film and Arts Department of Konkuk University – a prestigious institution that trained numerous famous Korean artists.
Meanwhile, Jung Il Woo was born 3 months after his best friend, to an elite family. The actor’s grandfather is the chief director of a big hospital in Korea and personal doctor for the president, his mother is the chief of Textiles Research Lab at the prestigious Korea University, while his father is a former new anchorman, and now the director of a Kendo Academy.
Initially, Jung Il Woo wanted to follow his father’s steps, and so attended the Broadcasting Department at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. He then found his true calling in acting, and so transferred to the Theater and Film Department of Hanyang University.
Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo ended up meeting in high school, where they became quick friends. At school, they even called themselves “F4” jokingly for their families and visuals, and decided to enter the entertainment industry together.
However, it was not until a tragic accident happened, that the duo’s friendship was taken to the next level.
In particular, a car carrying Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo got into a serious crash back in 2006, immediately killing the driver and the passenger in the front seat. Lee Min Ho, who was in the back seat, ended up hospitalized for months due to broken ribs, thighs, and a torn knee. The actor also had a 46-cm (18 inches) installed into his thigh, and was in a coma for a month and put on bed rest for months later.
On the other hand, Jung Il Woo suffered from internal wounds, alongside a broken wrist and hips. The actor was also diagnosed with cerebral aneurysm, which entails internal bleeding and a partial amnesia, and thus were hospitalized for months on end.
“We knew each other since we were kids, but our friendship only get to this life-and-death status after a life-altering accident”, Jung Il Woo once shared of his relationship with Lee Min Ho after.
Having basically been through a fatal situation together, Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo basically became as close as brothers. They would leave funny comments on each other’s SNS, like “So handsome! Keep fighting until the end!”, or “Cook for me too!”. Lee Min Ho would also promote his friend’s new work subtly, mentioning that Jung Il Woo would play a chef while talking about food.
In addition, these same-aged friends also traveled together after their dischargement, and explored Spain together. They didn’t share much about the trip, but the fact that they went on this trip alone, was already clear proof of their close friendship.
Shining careers: Hallyu star vs historical prince
As top actors in Korea, Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo lead matching successful careers, whose popularity both transcends outside of Korea.
Lee Min Ho, for example, cemented his footing in the industry with various K-drama hits, including “Boys Over Flowers”, “City Hunter”, “The Heirs”, “Legend of the Blue Sea”, and many more.
Now, the actor is one of the highest-paid in Korea, with a massive number of fans. With his perfectly handsome face, noble aura, and an extremely charming smile, Lee Min Ho is undoubtedly a top K-drama actor, who constantly sweeps viewers off their feet.
Lee Min Ho also easily wins awards and tops popularity polls all around the world. In 2022, he was voted as the most beloved Korean actor on a world-wide scale, despite having to go against many younger faces as well as talented seniors and colleagues. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that Lee Min Ho’s fame is in a whole different league.
Meanwhile, Jung Il Woo also fares extremely well in his acting career, having made notable marks via series like “Unstoppable High Kick”, “The Return of Iljimae”, “Moon Embracing The Sun”, “Haechi”, “Bossam: Steal the Fate”, “Diary of a Night Watchman”, “49 Days”, and more.
With his regal vibe, the actor is often picked by directors to star in historical dramas, where he’d play princes, high officials, or valiant guards. His hanbok looks never fail to impress the audience, and thus wins him the title of “Korea’s historical prince”.
Jung Il Woo is nicknamed “Korea’s historical prince”
Throughout his career, Jung Il Woo has earned numerous awards, including Best Asian Artist at the Huading Awards. His singing talent is also no joke, and his rare MV has received rave reviews. Like his best friend Lee Min Ho, Jung Il Woo’s name has now attained international fame.
Jung Il Woo’s name has now attained international fame