March 13, 1981 |
Seoul, South Korea
|Other names||Lee Han|
|Education||Myongji University - Theater and Film (dropped out)
Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies - Chinese
|Revised Romanization||Gim Nam-gil|
Kim Nam-gil began his acting career on television with a minor role in the 1999 KBS youth drama School 1. Four years later, he won the 2003 Talent Audition conducted annually by MBC, and appeared in various minor roles on the network's shows, such as Be Strong, Geum-soon!. During this time, he was using the stage name Lee Han, which he made up to give himself a more sophisticated image (The name Nam-gil is considered to be somewhat old fashioned).
In 2006, Kim made the bold decision to portray a homosexual character in the controversial queer indie No Regret in a role which included several gay sex scenes. The film was critically praised and traveled the film festival circuit, but it failed to boost Kim's popularity. Instead, he continued taking on more supporting roles in television dramas, among them Goodbye Solo, Lovers, and When Spring Comes.
Kim had previously stated in interviews that his role model is actor Jung Jae-young, who attended the same high school he did. He got to work with Jung in 2008's Public Enemy Returns. Upon the influence of the film's director Kang Woo-suk (but against the advice of his agent and manager), Kim stopped using the stage name Lee Han and reverted to his birth name. Later that year, Kim played his first leading role in a major commercial film, Portrait of a Beauty. Though his co-star Kim Min-sun garnered most of the attention for the erotic costume drama, Kim's strong performance did not go unnoticed.
In 2009, Kim was cast as one of the supporting characters in the historical drama Queen Seondeok, in a role that would soon change his life. It became one of the highest-rated TV series of that year (reaching a peak of over 40%), and Kim became a household name and the series' breakout star. For his portrayal of the playful but tragic Bidam, Kim said he was inspired by comic book characters such as Han Bi-kwang in Ruler of the Land, Miyamoto Musashi in Vagabond, and Kang Baek-ho in Slam Dunk. The writers rewrote the script to respond to Bidam's popularity with the viewing audience, giving the character more screen time and emphasizing his romance with the titular Seondeok (despite the historical inaccuracy), until Kim became the de facto male lead of the series. A horse-riding-related injury on set, and a brief hospitalization due to H1N1 flu, were minor negatives compared to the impact the series had on Kim's career. He won several awards for his performance, gained more local and international fans, received advertisement offers, and was flooded with film and TV scripts.
Another side benefit of Kim's newfound popularity post-Seondeok was the theatrical release in 2010 of his indie Lovers Vanished, a relationship drama which the director described as a "Korean Leaving Las Vegas."
Kim then returned to television as an antihero in Bad Guy, a dark melodrama about revenge, ambition, and fatal love. But while still in the middle of filming, Kim received his draft notice for mandatory military service. He tried to ask for deferment in order to wrap up the shoot for the series, but it was not granted. Kim shot as much as he could (his scenes were reduced, and a body double was also used) then entered the army two days later on July 15, 2010. He received four weeks of basic training at Nonsan, and served for two years as a public service worker.
Following his discharge from the army in 2012, Kim produced the film Ensemble, a music mockumentary about a group of classical musicians who form a group and take to the streets to perform outside their usual concert halls, showing their youthful passion in making music accessible. It premiered at the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival. He then published a book titled Way Back to the Road, his memoir of the past two years, which contained photos Kim had taken himself. It also featured New Zealand scenery captured by photographer Cho Nam-ryong, and contributions from writer Lee Yoon-chul.
He was also one of four celebrities in 2013 who directed a short film using smartphone Samsung Galaxy S4 with the theme "Meet a Life Companion"; his short Hello, Mom depicted the love between a mother and her daughter, and evoked the warm feeling of an analog film. This was followed by his casting in the big screen thriller The Man Who Runs Backwards.
Kim then starred in the revenge TV series Shark (also known as Don't Look Back), from the makers of Resurrection and The Devil. After cracking his ribs while filming an action scene in Shark, he also fell and suffered contusions over his body during the shoot of 2014 period adventure film Pirates, which reunited Kim with his Shark costar Son Ye-jin.
- Shark (KBS2, 2013) - Han Yi-soo|Kim Jun|Jun Yoshimura
- Bad Guy (SBS, 2010) - Shim Gun-wook
- Personal Taste (MBC, 2010) - man sitting in cafe (cameo)
- Tears of the Amazon (MBC, 2009) - documentary narrator
- Queen Seondeok (MBC, 2009) - Bidam
- Terroir (SBS, 2008) - Jo Yi-young
- Several Questions That Make Us Happy (KBS2, 2007) - Seok-joo
- When Spring Comes (KBS2, 2007) - Kim Joon-ki
- Lovers (SBS, 2006) - Tae-san
- Goodbye Solo (KBS2, 2006) - Yoo Ji-ahn
- My Name is Kim Sam-soon (MBC, 2005) - Kim Byung-tae
- The 5th Republic (MBC, 2005)
- Be Strong, Geum-soon! (MBC, 2005) - Noh Jung-hwan, Geum-soon's husband
- Sweet Buns (MBC, 2004) - Hong Hye-jan's boyfriend
- Nonstop 4 (MBC, 2004)
- School 1 (KBS2, 1999) - Min-soo
- Park Mu-geun's Family (2003)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (2000)
- Just Ten Days (J, 2007)
- Don't Forget, Don't Forget (The Red, 2005)
- Start (M.Street, 2005)
- Attention (Lady, 2005)
- Gift (Kim Jang-hoon, 1999)
- Roman (single, 2013)
- You Don't Know (from Yawang OST, 2013)
- Can't I Love You? (from Queen Seondeok Special OST, 2010)
- Way Back to the Road (2012)
- Into the Wild (2010)
Awards and nominations
|2008||29th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best New Actor||Public Enemy Returns||Nominated|
|2009||46th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actor||Modern Boy||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|17th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards||Best New Actor for Film||Won|
|2nd Style Icon Awards||New TV Icon||Won|
|MBC Drama Awards||Best Couple Award with Lee Yo-won||Queen Seondeok||Won|
|Excellence Award, Actor||Won|
|2010||46th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor for TV||Won|
|2013||KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama||Shark||Nominated|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor||Nominated|
- Sung, So-young (11 March 2010). "An actor comes into his own". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- Kim, Lynn (22 December 2009). "Seon-deok wraps up final shooting today". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Beck, Una (31 December 2009). "FOCUS: The 16 stars of 2009 - Part 3". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi Ji-eun, Wee Geun-woo (4 November 2009). "INTERVIEW: Kim Nam-gil from Seon-deok (Part 1)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi Ji-eun, Wee Geun-woo (4 November 2009). "INTERVIEW: Kim Nam-gil from Seon-deok (Part 2)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi Ji-eun, Wee Geun-woo (4 November 2009). "INTERVIEW: Kim Nam-gil from Seon-deok (Part 3)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Moon, Yong-sung (26 October 2009). "Seon-deok hero Kim hospitalized for checkup". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Actor Kim Nam-gil Comes Down With H1N1 Virus". The Korea Times. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Ko, Jae-wan (10 February 2010). "Actor Kim Nam-gil to hold fan meeting in Korea". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Hong, Lucia (15 May 2012). "Tribute event for Kim Nam-gil to take place in Japan next month". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Lee, Ji-hye (11 March 2010). "Kim Nam-gil says his love was weak compared to Vanished". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Lovers Vanished - Press Kit". M-LINE Distribution. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Choi, Ji-eun (31 March 2010). "Press conference for drama Bad Guy". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi, Ji-eun (20 May 2010). "Kim Jae-wook says Kim Nam-gil "like a time bomb" - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi, Ji-eun (20 May 2010). "Kim Jae-wook says Kim Nam-gil "like a time bomb" - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Han, Sang-hee (25 May 2010). "Will Kim, Han create magic thru Bad Boy". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Choi, Ji-eun (16 June 2010). "INTERVIEW: Bad Boy Actors Kim Nam-gil and Kim Jae-wook". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Ko, Kyoung-seok (9 March 2010). "Kim Nam-gil to enter military "between fall and winter"". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Kim, Lynn (12 July 2012). "Kim Nam-gil to enter Korean military next week". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Park, Jong-kyu (15 July 2010). "Kim Nam-gil bids farewell to fans upon entering military". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Sunwo, Carla (14 August 2012). "Kim Nam-gil's first step back into spotlight". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Ensemble". 8th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Sunwoo, Carla (23 November 2012). "Kim Nam-gil to launch photo book". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Jang, Sung-ran (9 May 2013). "4 Celebrities Make Smartphone Shorts". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- Lee, Tae-ho (25 September 2012). "Kim Nam-gil Cast in New Thriller". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Oh, Jean (22 May 2013). "Kim Nam-gil back to being bad". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- Bae, Sun-young (23 May 2013). "Kim Nam-gil and Son Ye-jin Returning with Hot Romance and Cold Revenge". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- Lee, Sun-min (6 September 2013). "Actor injured during filming". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- Kang, Jung-yeon (30 May 2013). "Kim Nam-gil to Make Singer Debut Japan in July". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- Ho, Stewart (14 January 2013). "Actor Kim Nam Gil Joins as First Singer for Yawang's OST". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-01-14.