Ji Sung

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kwak.
Ji Sung
Born Kwak Tae-geun
(1977-02-27) February 27, 1977 (age 37)
Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, South Korea
Education University of Suwon - Theater and Film
Hanyang University - Theater and Film
Years active 1999–present
Agent Namoo Actors
Spouse(s) Lee Bo-young (m. 2013)
Korean name
Hangul 지성
Hanja
Revised Romanization Ji Seong
McCune–Reischauer Chi Sǒng
Birth name
Hangul 곽태근
Hanja 郭太根
Revised Romanization Gwak Tae-geun
McCune–Reischauer Kwak T’aegŭn

Ji Sung (born Kwak Tae-geun on February 27, 1977) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his roles in the television dramas All In (2003), Save the Last Dance for Me (2004), New Heart (2007), Protect the Boss (2011) and Secret Love (2013).

Early life[edit]

Kwak Tae-geun's parents were both educators, and they expected him to also enter the teaching profession. But in his sophomore year in high school, his father bought him a VCR and the first movie he rented was Rain Man. Dustin Hoffman's acting left such an impression on him that he decided to become an actor, despite his father's objections.[1][2] He later studied Theater and Film at Hanyang University.

Career[edit]

Kwak first auditioned for the 1999 campus drama KAIST, where he met screenwriter Song Ji-na. Song took an interest in the young upstart and wrote a new character for him, leading to his acting debut.[1] Upon the suggestion of his then-manager, he began using the stage name Choi Ji-sung, then decided to drop the surname "Choi," and became known simply as "Ji Sung."[1] After several minor roles, he began playing bigger parts, notably in the television dramas Wonderful Days (also known as Splendid Days, 2001) and Sunshine Hunting (also known as Days in the Sun, 2002), as well as the North-South romantic comedy film Whistling Princess (also known as The Hidden Princess, 2002).

Producers of the 2003 gambling drama All In were having difficulty casting the second male lead because most actors were afraid to be compared to lead actor Lee Byung-hun. Ji Sung approached director Yoo Chul-yong, saying he wanted the role; Yoo looked hard at him, then to the production crew's surprise, said, "Okay, it's yours."[1] All In was a big hit, and Ji Sung's popularity rose, not only in Korea but in other Asian countries.[3] Wanting to challenge himself, he next appeared in his first period drama The King's Woman, which reunited him with Wonderful Days costar Park Sun-young. Ji Sung played Gwanghaegun of Joseon.

In Save the Last Dance for Me (2004), he played an amnesiac businessman who falls in love with a girl running a bed and breakfast who nurses him back to health (played by Eugene). He then made a guest appearance playing Bae Jong-ok's college boyfriend in "Outing," a two-episode arc written by Lee Kyung-hee for the omnibus drama Beating Heart (2005), followed by a supporting role in Kim Dae-seung's period thriller Blood Rain (2005).[4]

Ji Sung enlisted on June 7, 2005 for his mandatory military service. Though he initially enlisted as an ordinary soldier,[5] the Military Manpower Administration transferred him to the military promotion ("entertainers") unit in February 2006, for which he served as "public ambassador of military affairs."[6] He was discharged on June 6, 2007.[7]

He made his comeback in the medical drama New Heart (2007), playing a cardiothoracic surgery resident who came from a lesser-known rural university, whose compassion and impulsiveness clashes with his more ambitious colleague (played by Kim Min-jung).[8] During a scene where his character cries after failing to save the life of a former comfort woman, Ji Sung said he thought of his maternal grandmother who'd recently passed away, remembering that she'd told him her only pleasure was watching him in reruns of All In. Contrary to his cheeky, playful character, Ji Sung said that he's taciturn and shy in real life, but that the drama made him find a different side of himself.[9]

Action noir Fate (2008) explored the darker side of friendship, when four close friends (played by Song Seung-heon, Kwon Sang-woo, Kim In-kwon and Ji Sung) scheme to steal casino money so they can leave their gang, but it leads to betrayal. Ji Sung appeared in an extended cameo as the sophisticated right-hand man of the mob boss.[10]

Swallow the Sun (2009) was his second collaboration with All In creators, writer Choi Wan-kyu and director Yoo Chul-yong. The revenge drama was adapted from the novel by Kang Chul-hwa, and shot on location in Jeju Island, Las Vegas and South Africa. Ji Sung trained hard to play the tough, strong-willed protagonist who goes to prison for his boss and later becomes involved in the city development of Jeju.[11][12]

In February 2010, he signed with a new management agency, Namoo Actors.[13] Several months later, he played another historical character in Kim Su-ro, The Iron King (2010), as the titular founder of Geumgwan Gaya.[14][15][16]

In 2011, Ji Sung and Yum Jung-ah starred in Royal Family, about the power plays within a chaebol family.[17] Later that year, he was cast in the workplace romantic comedy Protect the Boss.[18] In a departure from his usual serious roles, Ji Sung played a dorky man-child with a panic disorder, who matures and learns to run his father's business after meeting a feisty secretary (played by Choi Kang-hee).[19][20][21]

From 2012 to 2013, Ji Sung played a gifted seer/geomancer in The Great Seer. His fictional character becomes a "kingmaker" to Yi Seong-gye (played by Ji Jin-hee), the general who leads the overthrow of Goryeo and establishes the Joseon Dynasty, becoming its first king Taejo.[22]

In late 2012, he starred in adult romantic comedy My PS Partner (also known as Whatcha Wearin'?), playing an aspiring singer-songwriter trying to get over a breakup, who becomes the wrong recipient of a phone sex call from a woman (played by Kim Ah-joong) trying to seduce her boyfriend into proposing.[23] Ji Sung said he found the script intriguing, despite the discomfort of appearing in bed scenes. And after he saw Love & Other Drugs, he wanted to be in a movie that portrayed a romantic relationship in a realistic manner.[24]

Ji Sung said he chose to star in 2013 melodrama Secret Love (also known as Secret) because he found the script "fresh, honest, and sophisticated."[25] He played a rich "bad boy" whose girlfriend is killed, then falls for the woman who went to prison for the crime.[26]

Ji Sung next appeared in Confession, a 2014 neo-noir film that brutally explores the aftermath of three men's friendship after the death of one's mother.[2][27] In 2015, he reunited with Secret Love costar Hwang Jung-eum in Kill Me, Heal Me, in which he plays a chaebol millionaire with dissociative identity disorder who has seven different identities.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Ji Sung previously dated All In co-star Park Sol-mi from 2003 to 2006.[5][29][30]

He met actress Lee Bo-young on the set of 2004 TV series Save Last Dance for Me, and they confirmed their relationship in 2007.[31][32][33][34] On August 2, 2013, the couple announced their engagement by uploading handwritten letters on their respective official fan sites.[35][36][37][38][39] They married at Aston House, W Seoul Walkerhill Hotel on September 27, 2013.[40][41][42] Their first child is due in July 2015.[43]

Filmography[edit]

Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
1999 KAIST Kang Dae-wook SBS
March SBS Guest
2000 Popcorn SBS
I Want to Keep Seeing You Lee Ji-soo SBS
2001 Delicious Proposal Oh Joon-soo MBC
Open Drama Man & Woman
"A Couple of Hours Before Breaking Up with Her"
Lee Soo-hyun SBS
The Rules of Marriage Hwang Won-soo MBC
Wonderful Days Jang Seok-jin SBS
2002 Let's Go SBS Guest, episode: "Monkey"
Sunshine Hunting Lee Seung-joon KBS2
2003 All In Choi Jung-won SBS
The King's Woman Prince Gwanghae SBS
2004 Terms of Endearment Noh Yoon-taek KBS1
Save the Last Dance for Me Kang Hyun-woo SBS
2005 Beating Heart Kim Woo-jin/Kim Seok-jin MBC Guest, episodes 9-10: "Outing"
2007 New Heart Lee Eun-sung MBC
2009 Swallow the Sun Kim Jung-woo SBS
2010 Kim Su-ro, The Iron King Kim Su-ro MBC
2011 Royal Family Han Ji-hoon MBC
Protect the Boss Cha Ji-heon SBS
2012 The Great Seer Mok Ji-sang SBS
2013 Secret Love Jo Min-hyuk KBS2
2015 Kill Me, Heal Me Cha Do-hyun MBC

Film[edit]

Year Title Role
2002 Whistling Princess Joon-ho
2004 Phantom Master: Dark Hero from the Ruined Empire (animated) Ending narration
2005 Blood Rain Du-ho
2008 Fate Park Yeong-hwan
2012 My PS Partner Lee Hyun-seung
2014 Confession Im Hyun-tae

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2002-2002 Live Music Camp MBC Host
2003 Hey Hey Hey SBS Guest
2004 Music Bank KBS2 Host
2005 Ya Shim Man Man: Ten Thousand People Have Been Asked SBS Guest, episode 107
Shin Dong-yup and Kim Yong-man's Favorites SBS Guest, episode 51
2008 STAR N the CITY: Ji Sung in Dubai XTM
2011 Running Man SBS Guest, episode 54
Taxi tvN Guest, episode 223
Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy SBS Guest, episode 3
2011 SBS Drama Awards SBS Host
2012 Running Man SBS Guest, episodes 116-117
Strong Heart SBS Guest, episodes 151-152
Happy Together KBS2 Guest, episode 276
2013 Happy Together KBS2 Guest, episode 317
2014 Taxi tvN Guest, episode 336
Running Man SBS Guest, episodes 202-203

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2000 "Leave Me Alone" Lee Kang-shin
2002 "Cold" Lee Ki-chan
2004 "Black and White Photos" KCM
2008 "The Practical Usage of Sadness" Kim Bum-soo
2009 "Trickling" Wheesung

Discography[edit]

Year Title Notes
2004 "Confession" Track from Terms of Endearment OST
2012 "Sexy Jingle Bells" Tracks from My PS Partner OST
"Show Me Your Panty"
2013 "Wuthering Heights"[44] Track from Secret Love OST

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor The Rules of Marriage Won
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Wonderful Days Won
2003 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special All In Won
2004 SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Save the Last Dance for Me Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
2008 Han Il Culture Awards 민간외교부분 수상 N/A Won
MBC Drama Awards Golden Acting Award, Actor in a Miniseries New Heart Won
Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
2009 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Swallow the Sun Nominated
2010 5th Asia Model Festival Awards[45] BBF Popular Star Award N/A Won
26th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards Best Dressed, Movie Actor category N/A Won
2011 4th Style Icon Awards[46] Style Icon Actor (Bonsang) N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards[47] Best Couple Award with Choi Kang-hee Protect the Boss Won
Top 10 Stars Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Won
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Royal Family Nominated
2012 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special The Great Seer Nominated
2013 KBS Drama Awards[48] Best Couple Award with Hwang Jung-eum Secret Love Won
Popularity Award Won
Excellence Award, Actor in a miniseries Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
2014 3rd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Healing Camp: Episode 3 (Guest: Ji Sung)". Electric Ground. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  2. ^ a b Ha, Soo-jung (12 July 2014). "Interview: Ji Sung Says Jogging 15 Kilometers Every Morning Has Changed His Life". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  3. ^ Kim, Heidi (12 May 2011). "Ji Sung holds fan meeting in Japan". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  4. ^ "K-FILM REVIEWS: 혈의 누 (Blood Rain)". Twitch Film. 12 September 2005. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  5. ^ a b "Ji Sung Joins Army". KBS Global. 8 June 2005. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  6. ^ "Actor Ji Sung Becomes Military's Ambassador". The Korea Times. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
  7. ^ "What Next as Stars Emerge Blinking from the Military?". The Chosun Ilbo. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  8. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo; Han, Sang-hee (5 December 2007). "New Medical Drama New Heart to Hit TV". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  9. ^ "How Ji Sung Discovered a New Side to Himself". The Chosun Ilbo. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  10. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (18 March 2008). "Actors Kwon, Song Get Rough in Fate". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  11. ^ Han, Sang-hee (7 July 2009). "Swallow the Sun to Capture Love, Revenge". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  12. ^ Kim, Jessica (8 October 2009). "Ji-sung "in daze" after last drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  13. ^ Kang, Seung-hun (9 February 2010). "Ji Sung signs with Moon Geun-young's management agency". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  14. ^ Kim, Lynn (5 March 2010). "Ji Sung to star in new TV series Kim Su-ro". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  15. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (27 July 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Ji Sung - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  16. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (27 July 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Ji Sung - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  17. ^ Lee, Seung-han (16 March 2011). "Ji-sung says Royal Family is just beginning". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  18. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (2 August 2011). "Hot-blooded secretary meets clumsy boss in new SBS drama". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  19. ^ Kim, Ji-yeon (14 October 2011). "Interview: Ji Sung Aims for the Far Future". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  20. ^ Lee, Ga-on (18 October 2011). "INTERVIEW: Actor Ji Sung - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  21. ^ Lee, Ga-on (18 October 2011). "INTERVIEW: Actor Ji Sung - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  22. ^ Lee, Tae-ho (26 September 2012). "Ji Sung Says "I Felt like Falling in Love with Ji Jin-hee"". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  23. ^ Suk, Monica (18 June 2012). "Ji Sung, Kim A-joong's behind-scene photos of new romantic comedy revealed". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  24. ^ Park, Eun-jee (7 December 2012). "Love at first phone sex: Erotic rom-com hits cinemas". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  25. ^ Lee, Sun-min (12 September 2013). "Ji Sung holds off wedding plans for drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  26. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (6 August 2013). "Ji Sung, Hwang Jung-eum Cast in New Drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  27. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (20 June 2014). "Masculinity, brutality themes of Confession". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  28. ^ Sung, So-young (6 December 2014). "Hwang and Ji together again". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-12-11. 
  29. ^ 3년 열애 지성-박솔미 결별. JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). 13 January 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  30. ^ "지성·박솔미 팬, "고무신 거꾸로" vs "생일날 뭐했나"". eto.co.kr (in Korean). 14 January 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  31. ^ Cho, Bum-ja (24 February 2011). "Ji-sung says still steady with actress Lee Bo-young". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  32. ^ Hong, Lucia (31 May 2012). "Ji Sung, Lee Bo-young deny June wedding rumor". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  33. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (1 June 2012). "Lee Bo-young, Ji Sung agencies dismiss rumors of wedding plans". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  34. ^ "Celebrity Couple Attend Psy's Concert". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  35. ^ An, So-hyoun (2 August 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung to Get Married in September". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  36. ^ Lee, Sun-min (3 August 2013). "A hand-written engagement". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  37. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (21 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung Are Happy and in Love in Wedding Shoot". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  38. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (24 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung Invites Wedding Guests to Their Star". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  39. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (27 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung to Tie the Knot Today (9/27)". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  40. ^ "Star couple Lee Bo-young and Ji Sung pose at their wedding at a hotel in Seoul on Friday.". The Chosun Ilbo. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  41. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (27 September 2013). "Actors Ji Sung, Lee Bo-young Tie the Knot (2)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  42. ^ Kim, Byung-kwan (27 September 2013). "Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young Tie the Knot". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  43. ^ Sung, So-young (25 November 2014). "Lee Bo-young is 10 weeks pregnant". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-11-26. 
  44. ^ "Actor Ji Sung Sings OST of Drama Secret". KBS Global. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  45. ^ Kim, Jessica (18 January 2010). "Ji-sung receives prize at Asian model awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  46. ^ Lee, Nancy (4 November 2011). "Who Took Home a Prize at the Style Icon Awards?". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  47. ^ Kim, Jessica (2 January 2012). "Han Suk-kyu reclaims glory at SBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  48. ^ Lee, Cory (2 January 2014). "Kim Hye-soo Reclaims Glory, Good Doctor, Secret Love Win Big at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

External links[edit]