While he may not be an A-lister in Korea, he’ll forever have my love and goodwill after Im Joo Hwan delivered a career-making performance as the exiled Joseon nobleman Park Kyu in the underrated Tamra the Island. It’s weird how I’ve watched so many In Joo Hwan performances because I was checking out the movie or drama for someone else, and he always makes me sit up and notice him. In Snow Queen, despite scruffy math genuis-turned-boxer Hyun Bin brooding his way into redefining sexiness all-around, Im Joo Hwan held his own as a prickly doctor who was smart and decent. He was also one of the many flower boy warriors in A Frozen Flower. He’s been off serving in the military for the past two years, leaving even before his finished drama What’s Up started airing. He has such a baby face I was surprised he was close to the age limit for service. Im Joo Hwan gets released this week on the 16th of February and I’ve got my eyes firmly focused on his next steps. Will Korea give this talented guy a break with the right project? I think he’s phenomenal in sageuks and I wish he got released earlier and could have joined either Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, or even the fantasy Gu Family Book. There is also the sageuk The Unauthorized Biography of Admiral Lee Soon Shin with Uhm Tae Woong, or even the still planning stages Sword and Flower, which isn’t a sageuk but still a period drama. Not to mention Goddess of Fire Jeongji, about the life of the first female pottery maker in Joseon, which has been courting Moon Geun Young for ages but after she just wrapped Cheongdamdong Alice I doubt she’ll jump back into another drama. I’m getting way to excited to cast this boy in something. To welcome back In Joo Hwan, enjoy some recent pictures of him in HIM Magazine (the official military magazine) posing prettily and hosting a military event.