‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’: Joo Jong-hyuk Says Min-woo Isn’t a Bad Guy: ‘He’s Someone Who Does Everything He Can to Survive’

Netflix’s Extraordinary Attorney Woo K-drama told the story of Korea’s first lawyer on the autism spectrum as she navigated through life in and out of the courtroom. As fans gravitated and came to love its leading cast, they could not help but dislike the Extraordinary Attorney Woo character named Min-woo, played by actor Joo Jong-hyuk. Min-woo is a lawyer at Handbada who grows jealous of the female lead, but the actor breaks down his character’s villainous tendencies.

Joo Jong-hyuk as Min-woo in 'Extraordinary Attorney Woo.'
Joo Jong-hyuk as Min-woo in ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ | via ENA

‘Tactician’ Kwon Min-woo rubbed fans the wrong way in ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’

The world of law can be cutthroat, even in South Korea. Extraordinary Attorney Woo focused on a group of new lawyers at one of the country’s top law firms, Hanbada. As Woo Young-woo, played by Park Eun-bin, joins the team, Min-woo immediately dislikes her. Throughout the K-drama, he has an issue with Young-woo getting employed without going through the recruitment process.

He later holds against her that she must have some personal relationship with the CEO. Min-woo refuses to acknowledge Young-woo’s capabilities, but his jealousy soon turns villainous. Fans were floored when Min-woo purposely did not give her information on a case they worked on together.

At some point in the K-drama, Min-woo becomes infuriated by his superior when he allows Young-woo not to be reprimanded for missing work days when she supposedly quit. In essence, Min-woo feels Young-woo receives special treatment. But it only worsens when Min-woo begins to investigate why.

When they work multiple cases against the CEO of Taesan Law Firm, Min-woo gets suspicious. But along the way, he comes to the startling discovery that the CEO has a child out of wedlock, and it could be Young-woo. To make fans hate him even more, he leaks the information to a reporter friend. Extraordinary Attorney Woo actor Joo Jong-hyuk explains that Min-woo is not as bad as he is made out to be.

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Joo Jong-hyuk says Min-woo is a realistic person in ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’

In all regards, Min-woo was not the easiest person to like in the K-drama. From the start, he has an air of arrogance that continues throughout the storyline. By the finale, he acquires some redeeming qualities as he develops a crush on his co-worker. Actor Joo explains that Min-woo in Extraordinary Attorney Woo is not as bad as he seems.

The actor says his character is the only one not from Seoul University. “He has a bit of an inferiority complex regarding that, which is what he’s expressing. From a different viewpoint, he’s an incredibly realistic character,” explains the actor, according to Soompi. The ‘Slice of Life’ K-drama is meant to portray real-life personas.

“There must be a certain extent of ‘tactician Kwon Min Woo’ in human nature and he’s a character who has that. Although he did a lot of hateful things, I don’t think he’s a bad person. He’s someone who does everything he can to survive,” explained Joo about Min-woo in Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

Joo unknowingly embodied ‘Tactician’ Kwon Min-woo when he auditioned. The audition was for the scene where Min-woo asks for Young-woo to be penalized for missing work. “I prepared it as if [Kwon Min Woo] was a character who spoke the truth in a cruel way. I hadn’t thought of him as ‘tactician Kwon Min Woo’ at that point, but just as someone who had a lot of jealousy.” While Joo understood his character’s reasoning, fans still think Min-woo has a long way to go for redemption.

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Will Min-woo for ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ Season 2?

While fans may not like Min-woo, Joo fondly thinks of his time in the K-drama. He has gotten used to his friends and actors nicknaming him ‘Tactician’ Kwon Min-woo. But fans are unsure if his character will return for a second season.

The K-drama was reportedly in discussion for a new installment, hoping to bring back the original cast. Park has since commented on the challenges of returning, and Joo has made no official statement.

Fans hope to see more as the finale left a lot to explore. In terms of Joo’s character, his story ends with him rooting for Young-woo in court. But fans feel his redemption story needs time to unfold. A fan on Reddit comments, “MinWoo’s redemption comes too fast. I don’t feel fulfilled by that. I do like that he has decided to root for WYW after all and that SY telling him to be a fool helps him.”

Until more news of a new season, fans can watch Joo in D.P., Happiness, and Yumi’s Cells.

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