Lee Joo Bin’s career: Early roles, notable performances and future projects

Lee Joo Bin in Queen of Tears

South Korean actress Lee Joo Bin (이주빈 in Korean) is currently earning a huge amount of attention from fans of Korean dramas for her performance as Cheon Da Hye in the ongoing tvN drama Queen of Tears.

The talented 34-year-old actress, however, has appeared in a slew of equally good dramas and performed equally well in all of them, but often hasn’t received the attention she deserved.

Here then is a quick rundown of Lee Joo Bin’s career up until now, her start, the dramas and movies she has already appeared in, as well as some of the projects we will see her in next.

With much bigger roles as well it seems.

Lee Joo Bin’s early life and career

Lee Joo Bin, was born on September 18th, 1989, in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, South Korea.

She attended Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul and, before her acting career really kicked off, she was a trainee at DSP Media Entertainment.

In 2017, however, Lee Joo Bin made her acting debut in the SBS drama Whisper in a small guest role.

She made her movie debut two years later in the film Trap: Director’s Cut playing the secretary to male lead Gang Woo Hyun (played by Lee Seo Jin).

Lee Joo Bin in She Would Never Know

Lee Joo Bin’s career from 2018 – 2022

Between 2018 and the end of 2022, the actress also became a popular director’s choice for a number of supporting roles in Korean dramas. Roles that, while often small, she still managed to use them to make herself stand out.

They include the hit drama series Mr. Sunshine, in which Lee Joo Bin played a concubine, and Love is Jungle in which she played her first leading role.

Both dramas released in 2018.

In 2019, she appeared in the drama version of Trap, as well in Be Melodramatic, Item and The Tale of Nokdu.

She grabbed a second leading role in 2020 playing Ga Doo Ri in the short and quite silly mini-series Ga Doo Ri’s Sushi Restaurant, as well as a supporting role in Find Me in Your Memory.

She Would Never Know was Lee Joo Bin’s only drama in 2021 but, again, she stood out as spoiled rich girl Lee Hyo Joo who will not let go of her first love, even though he’s in love with someone else.

Her performance was especially good as she did a wonderful job taking the character from a self-involved, self-pitying, quite awful person to someone who, by the end of the drama, had grown to such an extent she was finally living her life without feeling the need to drag along a man who didn’t want to be with her.

But 2022 was the year Lee Joo Bin really began to turn heads in the drama world, as she appeared in five dramas — Doctor Lawyer, Money Heist: Korea (Parts 1 and 2), Salon de Nabi and Love in Contract.

This was followed by her superb performance as yet another whiny woman in the Netflix series Love to Hate You — this time as spoiled actress Oh Se Na, the ex-girlfriend of male lead Nam Kang Ho (played by Teo Yoo) .

Lee Joo Bin’s breakout role

While the Korean actress has been a standout in just about every drama she has appeared in, her “official” breakout role is her latest — that of Cheon Da Hye in the hit drama Queen of Tears.

Da Hye is the wife of Hong Soo Cheol (played by Kwak Dong Yeon) a woman who is seen as “evil” by some Korean drama fans, even though the actress herself tried to play her as if she wasn’t a villain. After all, when you are a villain, it’s very likely you don’t see yourself that way.

Interestingly too, Lee Joo Bin mentioned in a recent Esquire interview that she didn’t really understand how bad Da Hye was until later in the series.

Lee Joo Bin’s future roles

That role, however, seems to have put Lee Joo Bin on the map as, not only has she just appeared in the very strange Netflix K-drama Chicken Nugget, but it was announced earlier in the week she will be starring in the upcoming drama series Guardians alongside Jung Song Il.

The thriller Guardians reportedly follows the lives of those who work in the criminal justice system as probation officers.

She also has a main role in the 7-episode horror series Tarot. and is currently appearing in a support role in the just-released, and already hit movie, The Roundup: Punishment.

In other words, with the way things have been going for Lee Joo Bin’s career in the last two to three years, it may be safe to see we are likely to be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

And hopefully in more main roles as well.


About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.