2PM‘s Lee Junho is making history among K-Pop idols! On May 6, he became the first idol-actor to win “Best Actor” at the Baeksang Arts Awards, the biggest award show in the Korean entertainment industry.
It was Junho’s first time to be nominated. He was up against veteran actors such as Jung Hae In (D.P.), Kim Nam Gil (Through the Darkness), Im Siwan (Tracer), and Lee Jung Jae (Squid Game) in the television category of the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards.
He won thanks to his role as Crown Prince Yi San—later King Jeong Jo—from MBC‘s The Red Sleeve (2021-2022). Junho showed a multi-faceted performance as an arrogant prince who fell in love with a court lady (played by actress Lee Se Young) and who later faced the trauma of losing his father.
Prior to Junho, Si Wan (formerly from ZE:A) won “Best New Actor” for Misaeng at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards held in 2015.
Several other male idol-actors were nominated in the past for this same category, such as EXO‘s D.O, ZE:A‘s Park Hyun Sik, MBLAQ‘s Lee Joon, and WANNA ONE‘s Ong Seungwu.
Junho, so far, is the only K-Pop idol who won “Best Actor,” arguably the most prestigious award for Korean actors.
Besides this, he also came home with the “TikTok Popularity Award.”
This isn’t the first time Junho made history as an idol-turned-actor. He also won “Best Actor” at the 34th Korea PD Awards held in April 2022.
K-Pop idols are often stereotyped for being “unable to act,” an opinion that many like Junho are changing with time.