Lee was against the halving of screen quotas in South Korea that allows foreign films to be shown in theaters on certain days, while domestic films are alloted another amount of days. He believed that without the screen quotas, The King and the Clown would not have been as successful in competing against foreign films. He earned many Best Male New Comer awards for his role as Gong-gil in The King and the Clown in 2006.
His next role was as the supporting character on the Korean drama SBS”s My Girl together with Miss Korea, Park Si Yeon, Lee Da Hae, and Lee Dong Wook. His movie, Fly, Daddy, Fly which was released as well, garnered much attention and media coverage due to Lee”s overwhelming popularity
Lee’s popularity overseas is also noted, where in the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival, he was recognized as a top star. In China, Lee was the only Korean among 300 Asian stars invited to attend a Chinese television show which celebrated the Chinese New Year. During the Shanghai International Film Festival, Lee was approached by acclaimed Chinese director Chen Kaige, who proposed that the two should make a film together in China, which Lee thought was a great idea. “I”d love to make the movie if the script is good and the character is right,” Lee said.