Eric in 2012
February 16, 1979
Seoul, South Korea
|Revised Romanization||Mun Jeong-hyeok|
Eric Mun (born Mun Jung-hyuk on February 16, 1979) is a South Korean rapper, songwriter and actor. He is a member and leader of the South Korean boy band Shinhwa. He is also well known for several dramas such as Phoenix (2004), Super Rookie (2005) and Another Oh Hae-young (2016). He was with Top Class Entertainment from 2007 to December 2013. In 2014, Mun and his manager of 10 years, Lee Jong-hyun, set up a new management agency, E&J Entertainment, for his individual activities. Mun is also the CEO of Shinhwa Company, the home agency of his group, with Lee Min-woo as co-CEO since 2011, and with the remaining members—Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin and Andy Lee—as shareholders.
Mun was born in Seoul. He is the youngest of the three siblings with two older sisters. He attended Daechi Elementary School located in Seoul. When his family moved to the U.S, he went to John Burroughs Middle School located in Los Angeles. Mun spent his years at Parks Junior High School and Sunny Hills High School, both of which are located in Fullerton, California. In 1996 he returned to Korea and joined SM Entertainment as a trainee and was featured as a rapper on label mate girl group S.E.S.' single "I'm Your Girl" along with Andy. On March 24, 1998, with the stage name Eric, he debuted as leader and main rapper of group Shinhwa with their single "해결사" (The Solver) on KM Music Tank. He stated that their debut album, Resolver, did not perform well and the band almost disbanded. At the time, he thought seriously about giving up and returning to the U.S.
In 2005, Mun graduated from Dongguk University with a major in Theater and Film.
2004: Acting career beginnings
In 2002, Mun and his Shinhwa bandmates had cameo appearance in the movie Emergency 19 Act. In 2003 director Park Sung-soo cast him in a supporting role for MBC’s series Breathless (I Run). In early 2004, he appeared in the drama Phoenix (Bulsae).
In 2005, Mun starred in lead role in MBC's Super Rookie with actress Han Ga-in. It was also broadcast on Fuji Television. It got solid rating in Korea during the broadcast. Super Rookie was also a big hit in Japan after Fuji TV paid ₩2 billion for the broadcast rights in Japan. It was commercially successful in Japan when it was broadcast there. In December 2005, Mun went to promote Super Rookie in Japan, where he was greeted at the airport by a large crowd.
In early 2006, Mun was injured on the set of MBC drama Wolf, resulting in it being pulled off air after four episodes. Mun was injured whilst shooting a scene, near Namdaemun in Seoul, where he was to save co-star Han Ji-min from being run over by a car. The stunt car driver, misunderstanding the instructions given to him, drove at them at 40 km/h and did not stop in front of them as planned.
2008-2010: Military enlistment
Shinhwa's 10th Anniversary concert in March 2008 marked the start of Shinhwa's hiatus as a group to fulfill mandatory military service. Before his army enlistment, Mun appeared in a period drama for the first time in his acting career with Strongest Chil Woo. With 30 million wons per episode for Strongest Chil Woo, Mun was the highest paid singer-turned-actor in the industry at the time.
Mun gave up his U.S. citizenship in 2003, to be able to serve his military service. He was the first Shinhwa member to enlist for mandatory military service in October 2008. Because of his back injury from the filming of Wolf, Mun served non-active duty after undergoing four weeks of basic training. He was discharged on October 30, 2010.
2011: Shinhwa Company
After being discharged, Mun's first project was supposed to be KBS' action drama Poseidon opposite Kim Ok-bin, set for broadcast in July 2011. However they dropped out when production was halted after the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong incident in November 2010. Instead, he appeared in another KBS drama, Spy Myung-wol with Han Ye-seul in July, playing a Korean wave star who is at the center of a kidnap plot by North Korean agents.
On July 1, 2011, Mun became CEO (with Lee Min-woo as co-CEO) of Shinhwa Company, a joint venture agency for members Shinhwa to perform as a group. The Company manages the group as a whole, whilst members' individual activities are managed by their respective agencies.
2012: Shinhwa reunion
In March 2012, Mun reunited with his Shinhwa bandmates for their comeback after four years, under the management of Shinhwa Company. The group released their tenth studio album The Return on March 23, 2012, launched the concerts 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return throughout Asia and their first exclusive variety program Shinhwa Broadcast premiered on March 17, 2012, on cable channel JTBC.
2013: Shinhwa tour and leaving Top Class Management
On February 8, 2013, Shinhwa’s agency announced the group’s 2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic to commemorate the group’s 15 years since their debut was revealed. The album's name called The Classic.
December 2013, Mun's contract with Top Class Entertainment came to an end. He did not re-sign another contract with Top Class Entertainment and no longer has any running of group Stellar whom he helped the management to produce and promote the original line up.
2014: Return to acting
In March 2014, Mun successfully concluded the 16th Anniversary Concerts with Shinhwa. After several casting offers from KBS, Mun returned to television in August 2014 with the drama Discovery of Love, which reunites him with Jung Yu-mi, who was his co-star in MBC's 2007 Que Sera, Sera. It was also announced that he had formed his own management company, E&J Entertainment, with his manager of 10 years, Lee Jong-hyun.
Despite its average 7% Nielsen rating, Mun and the team of Discovery of Romance received praise for their acting and Mun won a 'Triple Crown at KBS 2014 Year End Award (Excellent Actor, Best Couple, and Netizen Award). With this win, Mun had won acting awards at all three major Broadcasting Networks. In 2015, Discovery of Love was nominated for the 2015 Rockie Award in the Melodrama category alongside 30 Vies (Canada), EastEnders (UK), Grey’s Anatomy (USA), My Sunshine (China), and Mysterious Summer (Japan). In an 2015 Instiz discussion post about viewers' favorite drama characters, Mun's Kang Tae-ha Discovery of Romance stays in top 10 at #6.
2016: "Another Oh Hae-young" and "Three Meals a Day"
After Shinhwa's 18 Anniversary in March, Mun returned to acting and appeared in the South Korean TV cable (tvN) drama Another Oh Hae-young with Seo Hyun-jin. The drama premiered on May 2 with better rating than its predecessor Pied Piper. It broke its projected rating of 5% of on its 6th episode and becomes tvN's all-time highest rated drama for their Monday - Tuesday time-slot with the rating of 9.9% for its final episode. Another Oh Hae-young team was rewarded a trip to Thailand after the drama ended. At tvN10 Awards on October 9, Mun was awarded the title of "Ro-co King". Seo Hyun-jin was also crowned "Ro-co Queen" for their roles in Another Oh Hae-Young.
On September 16, in a preview for the new season of tvN "Three Meals a Day", it showed Mun joined as a cast member for Season 3 of Three Meals A Day - Fishing Village 3 with Lee Seo-jin and Yoon Kyun-sang. This season of Fishing Village was filmed at Deukryang Island. The season premiere was on October 14. It was Mun's first appearance as a cast member of a variety show without Shinhwa. Mun surprised everyone with his great cooking skills that earned him the E-Chef title. The show had great rating of above 10% on average with the highest rating of 11.536% (AGB) 13% (TNmS).
At the end of November 2016, Mun and Shinhwa released a mini album Unchanging: Orange as part one of their 13th album.
Mun was chosen to be the model for Jean Michael Basquiat a new premium golf wears and accessories by CJ E&M and ULOS, a Men's cosmetics & skincare by Ostuka Korea.
2017 - 2018: Marriage and Shinhwa's 20th Anniversary
Shinhwa followed up with a comeback in January 2017 with Unchanging: Touch as the second part of their 13th album. On March 24, Shinhwa released Shinhwa 18th, their first self-produced variety show through Naver's paid subscription platform for Vapp+.
Continue to be Jean Michael Basquiat and ULOS brand representative, Eric was also chosen to be the representative for Bibigo by CJ E&M, a global Korean food brand CJ Cheil Jedang. Later this year, together with Kim Sang-joong and Kim Myung-min Eric was chosen by Netmarble Games for their new CF, Lineage 2 Revolution, an online & mobile game. Netmmarble Game also released a web drama series featuring Kim Sang-joong, Kim Myung-min, and Eric for their big-scale mobile MMORPG Lineage2 Revolution. In the web drama, Eric played a rookie employee who was trying to survive the hierarchy in a corporate environment, meanwhile he was reigning as the King in Lineage2 Revolution game. However, it was revealed that Eric is an actual high ranking player of “Lineage2 Revolution” in real life.
In February 2017 Eric and actress Na Hye-mi confirmed their relationship after it was reported in the news. The couple got married on July 1, 2017 at Youngnak Church in Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea after five years of dating.
In 2018 Eric and Shinhwa had the whole year to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary since debut with various activities starting with a remake music video "All Your Dream", followed by a special fan party on March 24 & 25. The group made a music comeback with a release of a new music video "Kiss Me Like That" in August, followed with a new mini album "Heart". They also met their fans through various fan events as well as appearances on variety shows. Shinhwa wrapped up their year-long anniversary celebration with a 2-day concert at Olympic Gymnastics Arena (KSPO Dome) on October 6 and 7, followed by a concert at Taipei Arena on October 13 and Hong Kong Asia World Expo Hall on November 24.
2019 - 2020: New management, solo activities and return to acting
On January 1, 2019, it was announced that Eric has joined his bandmate Andy at TOP Media. To everyone's surprise, Eric creates his own Youtube channel aguTV to share a various contents, from cooking, outings to how he failed to get a ticket for his own fan meeting. The following month, on February 16, he held a birthday fan meeting "2019 ERIC's Moonday" at Kwanglim Art Center, BBCH Hall.
His first broadcast activity for 2019 was a cast member for season 3 of tvN's variety show "Will The Locals Eat It?" in America (also known as 4 Wheeled Restaurant). The show premiered on April 18.
Eric and Shinhwa held their 21st anniversary concert, 'Chapter 4' at KSPO Dome on April 20 and 21, 2019.
On May 22, Mun was cast for MBC's new variety show, "The Barber of Seville". The filming took place in Seville, Spain and broadcast every Thursday from July 11 - Sep.12th.
Eric was also expected to make a come back to drama this year. It was reported that Eric and Go Joon-hee are in talk to join KBS's fantasy rom-com drama "Perfume" but he declined the offer. On Nov.05th, Eric was confirmed as lead actor for Channel A's drama, "Yoobyeolna! Chef Moon" with Go Won-hee as lead actress. The drama is expected to be broadcast in March 2020.
On April 1, 2020, it was reported that Eric and Yoo In-na are reviewing offers to star in MBC's rom-com drama 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. About 2 months later, on June 22, Eric was confirmed as lead actor for MBC's rom-com drama 'The Spy Who Loved Me' together with Yoo In-na and Lim Ju-hwan. The drama is scheduled to premiere sometime in October 2020.
In 2014, it was first reported that Eric had been dating actress and model Na Hye-mi but did not confirm their relationship. It was not until February 2017 when they publicly confirmed it through their respective agencies. After five years of dating, Mun and Na got married on July 1, 2017 in a private church ceremony with family and friends at Youngnak Presbyterian Church in Jung-gu, Seoul.
|2005||Super Rookie'||Kang Ho|
|Invincible Parachute Agent||Choi Kang|
|2007||Que Sera Sera||Kang Tae-joo|
|2011||Spy Myung-Wol||Kang Woo|
|2014||Discovery of Love||Kang Tae-ha|
|2016||Another Oh Hae-young||Park Do-kyung|
|2020||Yoobyeolna! Chef Moon||Kim Seung-mo|
|2020||The Spies Who Loved Me||Jun Ji-hoon|
|2002||Emergency Act 19||himself (cameo)|
|2005||A Bittersweet Life||Tae-goo|
|Diary of June||Kim Dong-wook|
|Three Meals a Day - Fishing Village 3||Cast member|
|Three Meals a Day - Sea Ranch|
|The Fishermen and The City||Guest|
|Law of the Jungle - Sabah (episode 325–333)||Cast member|
|2 Days & 1 Night||Guest with Shinhwa|
|4 Wheeled Restaurant - America||Cast member|
|The Barber of Seville||Cast member|
Awards and nominations
|23rd MBC Drama Awards||Best New Actor||
|Popularity Award, Actor||Won|
|41st Paeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor (TV)||Won|
|Most Popular Actor (TV)||Won|
|24th MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Han Ga-in||Nominated|
|Popularity Award, Actor||Nominated|
|42nd Paeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor (Film)||Nominated|
|14th SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|28th KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Jung Yu-Mi||Won|
|Netizen Award, Actor||Won|
|5th APAN Star Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|Best Couple with Seo Hyun-Jin||Nominated|
|tvN10 Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eric Mun.|
- Shinhwa Company official website (in Korean)