HE is the leader and most popular member of Korean boy band SS501.
But in the upcoming Korean version of the manga-adapted drama Meteor Garden, heart-throb Kim Hyun Joong will play second fiddle for once.
He has been cast as Rui Hanazawa, the most brooding member of the F4 bullies to be played by Lee Min Ho (Tsukasa Domyouji), Kim Bum (Sojiro Nishikado) and Kim Joon (Akira Mimasaka).
Min Ho's hot-tempered character is the main male lead who falls for a feisty girl (Koo Hye Seon), but she is actually carrying a torch for Hyun Joong's character.
In real life, though, Hyun Joong, 22, is arguably the most famous of the F4 cast.
Debuting in 2005 as part of SS501 (pronounced double S 501), he has since embarked on solo acting projects (Nonstop 5, Can Love Be Re-feeled) and released a solo digital single titled Thank You.
Despite his pretty good looks, he is known to be a tough guy who doesn't mince his words.
Earlier this year, the 1.8m-tall Hyun Joong gritted his teeth and coped with a serious leg injury so as not to affect the band's jam-packed work schedule.
But his condition worsened, and when other members started to fall sick or get injured as well, there was talk of the band taking a hiatus.
Last week, it was announced that SS501 would continue as the three-member outfit Triple S instead.
Its management company, DSP Entertainment, said Hyun Joong and another member, Park Jung Min, would focus on acting instead.
On his future as an actor, Hyun Joong told fans during an online chat in April that he would like to try "funny and interesting roles".
YUMMY FACTOR: 3 out of 5
This article was first published in The New Paper on Oct 14, 2008.