IU is a woman of many talents — singing, song-writing, acting, and dancing are just a few of her impressive abilities. And while singer continues to show off her remarkable skillsets time and time again, IU’s career as an actress has started to become more widely accepted due to her incredible acting abilities.
While the singer has been in numerous noteworthy productions, such as Dream High, The Producers, and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, there were two specific series that fans believed were her “life-altering” roles — IU’s character in My Mister and her character in Hotel Del Luna.
My Mister — Ji An
In 2018, IU portrayed the role of Ji An in tvN‘s melodrama My Mister. The story follows Ji An, who struggles to make a decent living while trying to support her elderly grandmother, who is unable to care for herself. As she tries to live paycheck-to-paycheck, Ji An finds herself constantly being harassed by loan sharks, who reminds her of her incredible debt.
Due to the heaviness of the story line, IU’s character was constantly portrayed in heartbreaking situations. This meant that IU had to show off her crying and heart-wrenching performances with each episode — to which she succeeded. My Mister went on to receive critical acclaim, going on to win Best Drama at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards.
IU’s portrayal of a broken, tired, and numb Ji An became the center of public praise, as viewers acknowledged the singer’s transformative ability from a K-Pop idol to an actress. Many credited My Mister as the start of IU’s well-respected acting career.
Hotel Del Luna — Jang Man Wol
However, there is one other K-Drama series that IU’s acting abilities shone brightly — and it’s none other than Hotel Del Luna. In 2019, IU portrayed the role of a coldhearted hotel CEO Jang Man Wol. The catch? The hotel, Hotel Del Luna only operated and served to ghost customers who have unfinished business in their former lives. IU’s character was bound to serving the hotel due to an incredible sin she committed over a thousand years ago.
Different from her My Mister character, Jang Man Wol was a cold, greedy, snarky individual who was quick-tempered with her personality. IU digested this role perfectly as well, as she showed off her hilarious, yet accurate portrayal as a crazy hotel owner. Just like My Mister, however, Hotel Del Luna also went on to incredible success, becoming one of the highest rated K-Drama in cable television history.
As IU showed off a different side of her acting abilities through this mega-hit series, many other netizens believed that Jang Man Wol was IU’s breakthrough character into the acting world.
This naturally created an interesting split between team Ji An versus team Jang Man Wol.
- “Lee Ji An…ㅠㅠㅠ.”
- “Jjang Man Wol”
- “I pick Hae Soo…(IU’s character in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo)”
- “I hope Ji An reached her peace. I wish that Lee Ji An would be living well somewhere in the world.”
- “Jang Man Wol.”
- “Man Wolㅜㅜㅜㅜㅜㅜ.”
- “Jang Man Wol ㅠㅠ she was so good at acting.”
- “For me, it’s Jang Man Wolㅠㅠ.”
IU truly perfected both of these roles, as she usually does in all of her career endeavors. Which role do you believe was IU’s “life-altering” character?