Hyun Bin

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Hyun Bin
190501 현빈.jpg
Hyun Bin in 2019
Kim Tae-pyung

(1982-09-25) September 25, 1982 (age 38)
Songpa District, Seoul, South Korea
Alma materChung-Ang University
B.A. in Theater and Film
Years active2003–present
AgentVAST Entertainment
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHyeon-bin
Birth name
Revised RomanizationGim Tae-pyeong
McCune–ReischauerKim T'aep'yŏng

Kim Tae-pyung (Korean: 김태평; born September 25, 1982)[1], known professionally as Hyun Bin (현빈), is a South Korean actor.

Hyun Bin first gained wide recognition for his role in the 2005 romantic comedy television drama My Name is Kim Sam-soon. Since then, he has appeared in leading roles in other successful television shows including; the romantic fantasy drama Secret Garden (2010–2011), fantasy drama Memories of the Alhambra (2018–2019), and romantic drama Crash Landing on You (2019–2020). Hyun Bin's popularity was further widened by starring in a series of box office hits; the action thriller Confidential Assignment (2017), the crime thrillers The Swindlers (2017)[2] and The Negotiation (2018) as well as the horror movie Rampant (2018).

Hyun Bin drew praise from critics for his performance in melodrama film Late Autumn, which was screened at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival. Throughout his career, he has been nominated for many awards, including five at the Baeksang Arts Awards, and won various acting recognition, including the Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV at the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards.


2003–2007: Career beginnings and stardom[edit]

Hyun Bin's first film was Shower in 2002. However, it was not released due to lack of funding.[3][4] Hyun eventually made his debut as an actor in the 2003 television series Bodyguard.[5] He then starred in the sitcom Nonstop 4 and quirky romance drama Ireland,[6] and made his film debut the same year in the youth sports movie Spin Kick.[7]

Hyun shot to stardom with the 2005 romantic comedy series My Lovely Sam Soon with Kim Sun-a.,[8] for which Hyun won the Top Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards. My Lovely Sam Soon was a massive hit with average ratings of over 37% and recorded 50.5% for the finale, making it one of the highest-rated Korean drama of all time.[9] The explosive popularity of the drama and his portrayal as Sam-sik established Hyun Bin as a top star in South Korea and a Hallyu star as his popularity expanded beyond South Korea to Japan and other countries in Asia.[10][11]

Following the success of My Lovely Sam Soon, Hyun starred in his first film as a lead actor in A Millionaire's First Love (written by internet novelist Guiyeoni).[12] The movie was a hit with the young audience.[13] Hyun's next television project, The Snow Queen, although underperformed, earned him his first Best Actor nomination at Baeksang Arts Awards.[14][15]

2008–2011: New challenges and Secret Garden[edit]

To expand his acting profile, Hyun started to choose more eclectic projects. In 2008, he acted in director Yoon Jong-chan's film I Am Happy, playing Man-soo, a man who suffers from mental illnesses. The movie was selected to screen at the 13th Busan International Film Festival in 2008, but it was not released in theaters until late 2009.[16][17] After The Snow Queen, Hyun returned to television with Worlds Within, which was well-received for Noh Hee-kyung's writing.[18] He was praised for his nuanced acting in the drama series.[19] In 2009, Hyun drew critical acclaim with his portrayal as a sociopath in the gangster saga Friend, Our Legend. To prepare for his role, he reportedly watched Kwak Kyung-taek's original film 20 to 30 times.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26]

In 2010, Hyun Bin starred in Secret Garden, a romantic fantasy drama written by Kim Eun-sook.[27][28] He played as a high-end department CEO, Kim Joo-won, who fell in love to the charming stunt woman, Gil Ra-im, played by hallyu actress Ha Ji-won. The drama recorded its highest viewership ratings of 35%, and gained enormous popularity both domestically and internationally for its fashion, catchphrases and music.[29] His portrayal as Kim Joo-won created a "Hyun Bin Syndrome" as his name and face were plastered everywhere, from newspapers to television and the internet.[30] Hyun was recognized at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards and the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards for his stellar performance.[31][32] He also contributed to the soundtrack of the drama with "That Man", which peaked at number one in eight Korean music portals.[33][34][35]

In 2011, Hyun appeared in two films that were released back to back; Come Rain, Come Shine, a minimalist breakup indie directed by Lee Yoon-ki, and Late Autumn directed by Kim Tae-yong. Shot in Seattle, Late Autumn is an English-language remake of the 1966 Lee Man-hee classic, in which Hyun played a man on the run who falls in love with a woman who is on special leave from prison (Chinese actress Tang Wei).[36][37][38][39] It became the highest grossing Korean film released in China to date, taking in more than US$9.5 million over two weeks, which was unprecedented for a melodrama.[40] He received a good review from The Hollywood Reporter which stated, "It is Hyun who impresses more for not underplaying the dandy, narcissistic side of his personality."[41] Hyun walked the red carpet at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, where the two films were both selected to be screened.[42][43][44] He described the honor as his "happiest achievement."[45][46]

2011–2012: Military enlistment and discharge[edit]

On March 7, 2011, Hyun began his 21-month mandatory military service as a soldier in the Marine Corps.[47] He volunteered to serve in the Marine Corps, said to be the toughest branch of the Korean military,[48][49] as he had a good impression of the Marines.[50][51][52][53] The decision to join the Marines while at the peak of his career generated much interest in Korea and overseas[49][54]. Seven broadcasting companies, including Japan's NHK, requested access to the training camp.[49] During training, Hyun received citation as a special grade marksman for his performance in the shooting exercises. [55] The Corps originally planned to put Hyun on public relations duty; however due to public criticism and Hyun's reported desire to serve on the front line, Hyun was assigned on active duty to Baengnyeong Island, close to the Northern Limit Line and Yeonpyeong, site of a November 2010 artillery engagement between the North and South Korean forces.[56] [57]

After joining the Marines and completing six months into his service, Hyun participated in the "Seoul Reclamation Anniversary Marine Marathon Competition". He ran a 6.25 km long course with 400 exemplary senior marines. This event was held in remembrance of the historically significant event when the Marines won back the capital Seoul that had been taken during the 6.25 Korean War.[58]

He was discharged on December 6, 2012, and received a citation for being an exemplary soldier.[59][60][61][62] After the merger of their former agency AM Entertainment with SM Entertainment,[63] Hyun's reps announced in November 2012 that the actor and Shin Min-ah had decided to go independent and set up their own management agency O& Entertainment.[64]

2013–2016: Comeback[edit]

Hyun Bin receiving the Producers’ Choice Award at the 2014 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival

Hyun spent most of 2013 shooting commercials as an in-demand product endorser,[65][66][67][68] and holding fan meetings all over Asia.[69] For his acting comeback after military service, Hyun chose The Fatal Encounter, his first ever period film, in which he played the leading role of King Jeongjo who faced fierce party strife and assassination attempts during his reign.[70][71][72][73] It was released in April 2014 and drew more than 3 million admissions.[74] However, Hyun was criticized for his flat tonation and lack of emotions in the film, which received mostly negative reviews.[75][76]

In 2015, Hyun made a comeback in the Korean drama scene after 4 years with romantic comedy series Hyde, Jekyll, Me. In the drama inspired by the literary character, he plays a man with split personality disorder whose two personas both fall for the same woman.[77]

In January 2016, Hyun set up his own agency, VAST Entertainment, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kakao M three years later.[78][79]

2017–present: Career resurgence[edit]

Hyun returned to silver screen with the action-thriller film titled Confidential Assignment (2017), where he plays the role of a North Korean detective that is secretly sent to South Korea to apprehend a crime ring that is made up of North Korean traitors.[80] The film was a success, and Hyun received positive reviews for his action scenes and comedic performance.[81] He then starred in crime action film The Swindlers, along with Yoo Ji-tae, about a prosecutor who plans to catch a con man who has swindled a large sum of money.[82][83][84] The Swindlers was another box office hit for Hyun.[85]

In 2018, Hyun starred in crime thriller The Negotiation, playing a villain role for the first time, alongside Son Ye-jin;[86][87] and zombie blockbuster Rampant (which was co-produced by VAST Entertainment).[88][89] The same year, he returned to the small screen with fantasy suspense drama Memories of the Alhambra alongside Park Shin-hye.[90][91] The series is one of highest rated Korean drama in cable television history, and Hyun was praised for his seemingly indifferent but humorous depiction of his character.[92]

In 2019, Hyun reunited with The Negotiation co-star Son Ye-jin in the hit romance drama Crash Landing on You as a North Korean army captain.[93][94] The drama was a huge success and is the third-highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history,[95] and Hyun was praised for his versatile range of emotions and acting skills.[96]

In 2020, Hyun is set to star in the thriller film Bargaining.[97]

Social activities[edit]

On October 29, 2013, Hyun received the President's award at the 50th Savings Day held by the Financial Services Committee, for saving 35 billion won (approximately US$33 million) within 17 years.[98] In February 2016, Hyun was involved in an awareness campaign against animal cruelty. As part of the project, Hyun's agency VAST Entertainment released pictures of him posing with a retired search and rescue dog named "Vision".[99]

In March 2020, it was revealed that Hyun made a secret donation of 200 million won to the non-profit organization, Community Chest of Korea, to help fight against the COVID-19 outbreak on February 21, 2020.[100] Hyun is also included as a member in the "Honor Society", a group of major private donors, for his many donations to different causes. He has continually supporting projects by organizations such as Save the Children, Community Chest of Korea and international relief NGOs.[101]

Personal life[edit]

Hyun was born and raised in Seoul and has one older brother. He graduated from Youngdong High School [102] and then studied at Chung-Ang University, where, in 2004, he majored in Theater Studies. In 2009, he enrolled at the same university to obtain a Master's degree.[103]



Year English title Korean title Role Notes Ref.
2002 Shower 샤워 Hong-kyu Was not released [3]
2004 Spin Kick 돌려차기 Lee Min-gyu [7]
2005 Daddy Long Legs 키다리 아저씨 Hyung-joon [104]
2006 A Millionaire's First Love 백만장자의 첫사랑 Kang Jae-kyung [12]
2009 I Am Happy 나는 행복합니다 Jo Man-soo [16]
2011 Late Autumn 만추 Hoon [36]
Come Rain, Come Shine 사랑한다, 사랑하지 않는다 Hwang Ji-seok [42]
Tears of Africa 아프리카의 눈물 Narrator Documentary [105]
2014 The Fatal Encounter 역린 King Jeongjo [72]
2017 Confidential Assignment 공조 Im Cheol-ryung [80]
The Swindlers Hwang Ji-sung [83]
2018 The Negotiation 협상 Min Tae-gu [86]
Rampant 창궐 Lee Chung [88]
2020 Bargaining 교섭 Dae-sik [97]

Television series[edit]

Year English title Korean title Role Network Ref.
2003 Bodyguard 보디가드 stalker KBS2 [5]
2004 Nonstop 4 논스톱 4 Himself MBC [106]
Ireland 아일랜드 Kang Gook [107]
2005 My Lovely Sam Soon 내 이름은 김삼순 Hyun Jin-heon [108]
Nonstop 5 논스톱 5 Himself (cameo) [109]
2006–2007 The Snow Queen 눈의 여왕 Han Tae-woong/Han Deuk-gu KBS2 [14]
2008 Worlds Within 그들이 사는 세상 Jung Ji-oh [18]
2009 Friend, Our Legend 친구, 우리들의 전설 Han Dong-soo MBC [24][25][26]
2010–2011 Secret Garden 시크릿 가든 Kim Joo-won SBS [27][28]
2015 Hyde Jekyll, Me 하이드 지킬, 나 Gu Seo-jin/Robin [77]
2018–2019 Memories of the Alhambra 알함브라 궁전의 추억 Yoo Jin-woo tvN [91]
2019–2020 Crash Landing on You 사랑의 불시착 Ri Jung-hyuk [94]

Television show[edit]

Year Title Role Network Ref.
2010–2011 Tears of Africa Narrator MBC [110]
2012 Tears of the Earth - from the North Pole to the South Pole [111]

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song Title Artist Ref.
2003 "내탓이죠" Herb
2005 "Memory" Kim Bum-soo [112]
"Hey U" Lemon Tree [113]
2018 "Reply" Kim Dong-ryool [114]


Year Title Notes Ref.
2010 "Dream in My Heart"
2011 "Can't Have You" Friend, Our Legend OST [115]
"That Man" Secret Garden OST [34]


Year Event Ref.
2009 Pink Ribbon Love Marathon ambassador [116]
2011 PR ambassador of Hyundai Motors' "Hyundai Grandeur" [117]
2013 PR ambassador of Kia Motors' "The New K5" [118]
2014 Promotional ambassador of Incheon Asian Games [119]
2016 Promotional ambassador of Gwangju Biennale [120]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Major awards[edit]

Organizations Year Category Work Result Ref.
Baeksang Arts Awards 2005 Best New Actor (TV) Ireland Nominated [121]
2006 Most Popular Actor (Film) A Millionaire's First Love Won [122]
2007 Best Actor (TV) The Snow Queen Nominated [123]
2011 Grand Prize (Daesang) for Television Secret Garden Won [31]
Best Actor (TV) Nominated
2019 Memories of the Alhambra Nominated [124]
2020 Crash Landing on You Nominated [125][126]
Popularity Award Won

Other awards[edit]

Organizations Year Category Work Result Ref.
KBS Drama Awards 2006 Excellence Award, Actor The Snow Queen Nominated
Popularity Award Won [127]
Netizen Award Won
Best Couple Award with Sung Yu-ri Won
2008 Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Worlds Within Nominated
Korea Film Actors Association Awards 2017 Top Star Award Confidential Assignment, The Swindlers Won [128]
MBC Drama Awards 2004 Best New Actor Ireland Won [129]
2005 Top Excellence Award, Actor My Name Is Kim Sam-soon Won [130]
Popularity Award Won [131]
Best Couple Award with Kim Sun-a Won
2009 Excellence Award, Actor Friend, Our Legend Nominated
MBC Entertainment Awards 2004 Special Award, TV Actor category Nonstop 4 Won [132]
SBS Drama Awards 2010 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Secret Garden Won [133]
Top 10 Stars Won
Netizen Popularity Award Won
Best Couple Award with Ha Ji-won Won
2015 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Hyde, Jekyll, Me Nominated
Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival 2014 Producer's Choice Award N/A Won [134]


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