Im Si-wan

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Im Si-wan
Yim Si-wan during KCON New York 2016 01.jpg
Im during KCON New York 2016
Native name 임웅재
Born Im Woong-jae
(1988-12-01) December 1, 1988 (age 29)
Busan, South Korea
Other names Im Si-wan
  • Singer
  • actor
Musical career
Genres K-pop
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • violin
Years active 2010–2017 hiatus (Military Service)
Labels Plum Entertainment
Associated acts ZE:A
Korean name
Hanja [1]
Revised Romanization Im Si-wan
McCune–Reischauer Im Si-wan
Birth name
Revised Romanization Im Ung-jae
McCune–Reischauer Im Ung-jae
Stage name
Revised Romanization Si-wan
McCune–Reischauer Si-wan

Im Si-wan[2] (Hangul임시완; Hanja任時完;[1] born on December 1, 1988), known mononymously as Siwan, is a South Korean singer and actor. He is a member of the South Korean boyband ZE:A and its sub-group ZE:A Five. As an actor, he is best known for starring in the film The Attorney (2013), and the cable series Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014), which were both successful in the box office and ratings.

Early life[edit]

Im Si-wan was born on December 1, 1988,[3] in Busan, South Korea. He attended Busan Gudeok High School, Busan National University, University of East Broadcasting Arts and is currently studying at Woosong Information College.[4][5] He legally changed his first name from Woong-jae to Si-wan before his debut.[6]



While attending Chin Chin Song Festival in Busan, Star Empire recruited him as a trainee.[7] He entered a nine-membered group called "Children of Empire", where he trained for three years. In 2009, they group started doing guerilla performances around the country.[8] On January 7, 2010, the group debuted with their EP, Nativity under the name ZE:A.[9] He is also a member of the sub-unit, ZE:A-Five.[10]


Im joined the cast of the period drama Moon Embracing the Sun (2012), playing the young version of Heo Yeom.[11][12] Moon surpassed 40% ratings and gained "national drama" status, launching Im to fame.[13] Later that year, Im was cast in the revenge drama Man from the Equator, playing a cold young man that has a sad story behind his negative outlook on life.[14] This was followed by the sitcom Standby (2012),[15] and Drama Special Waiting for Love (2013).[16]

In September 2013

In 2013, he starred in the courtroom drama film The Attorney, playing a young student activist detained and tortured by the police on accusations of being a communist sympathizer.[17] The film was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 11 million tickets to become the 8th best-selling Korean film of all time.[18] Im won Best New Actor at the Max Movie Awards and the Marie Claire Film Festival.[19][20]

Im returned to television in 2014 and starred in two drama series. In Triangle, he played the youngest of three brothers separated at childhood, who grew up in a cold chaebol household.[21] While in the webtoon adaptation and cable hit drama Misaeng: Incomplete Life, he reprised his role in Incomplete Life: Prequel as a former baduk player who learns to adapt to Korean corporate culture.[22] Misaeng: Incomplete Life was a commercial hit and recorded high viewership ratings, with a peak of 8.4%; and was dubbed as a "cultural phenomenon".[23] Im won the Excellence Award in acting at the 4th APAN Star Awards for his performance,[24] as well as Best New Actor awards at the 9th Cable TV Broadcasting Awards and 51st Baeksang Arts Awards.[25][26]

Im then took on his first big-screen leading role in war drama film A Melody to Remember (2016), playing a good-hearted soldier who is hoping for a miracle even in a desperate situation.[27][28] He was also cast in the Chinese-South Korean web drama My Catman alongside Chae Soo-bin and Kim Myung-soo.[29]

In a departure from his usual "nice guy" roles, Im plays a cunning con-man in the crime caper movie One Line (2017).[30] He deviated even farther from his clean-cut image in The Merciless (2017), a crime action film where he played an undercover cop who works for a drug-smuggling ring. Im was invited to the Cannes Film Festival for the first time.[31][32] The same year, Im starred in historical melodrama The King in Love, playing an ambitious crown prince.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Military service[edit]

On July 11, 2017, he officially began his mandatory military service and is scheduled for discharge on April 10, 2019.[34][35][36] Im was chosen to be an assistant instructor for new recruits due to his good performance.[37]



Title Year Peak chart

Soundtrack appearances
"But Still.. So.."[39] 2014 N/A Misaeng: Incomplete Life OST Part 5
"My Heart"[40] 2017 N/A The King in Love OST Part 4
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Incomplete Life: Prequel Jang Geu-rae Short film [41]
The Attorney Park Jin-woo [42]
2014 Rio 2 Blu Korean dubbedvoice [43]
2016 A Melody to Remember Han Sang-ryul [44]
2017 One Line Min-jae [45]
The Merciless Jo Hyun-soo [46]

Television series[edit]

Year Network Title Role Notes Ref.
2010 SBS Prosecutor Princess Club man Cameo (Episode 2) [47]
KBS2 All About Marriage Trainee Cameo (Episode 18) [48]
MBC Gloria Trainee Cameo (Episode 11 & 14) [49]
2012 Moon Embracing the Sun young Heo-yeom [50]
KBS2 Man from the Equator young Lee Jang-il [51]
MBC Standby Im Si-wan [15]
tvN Reply 1997 ROTC Seoul man Cameo (Episode 4) [52]
2013 KBS2 A Bit of Love young Jeong Woo-sung Special appearance [53]
Waiting for Love Jung Jin-kook Drama Special [16]
2014 MBC Triangle Jang Dong-woo / Yoon Yang-ha [54]
tvN Misaeng: Incomplete Life Jang Geu-rae [55]
2016 Tencent
My Catman Ji-baek Web drama [29]
2017 MBC The King in Love Wang Won [56]

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes Ref.
2012 Birth of a Family KBS Cast member [57]

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Joseph February 19 - March 12 in Seoul [58]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2012 6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Booming Star Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated [66]
5th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actor Nominated
12th MBC Entertainment Awards Best Newcomer in a Sitcom Standby Won [67]
31st MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated [68]
Popularity Award Nominated [69]
2013 7th The Musical Awards Best New Actor Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Nominated [70]
2014 9th Max Movie Awards The Attorney Won [19]
Best Supporting Actor Nominated
3rd Marie Claire Film Awards Best New Actor Won [20]
8th Asian Film Awards Best Newcomer Nominated [71]
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Nominated [72]
Best Fashionista Award Won
23rd Buil Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated [73]
51st Grand Bell Awards Nominated [74]
Popularity Award Won [75]
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated [76]
Popularity Award Won [77]
3rd Korean Film Actor's Association Awards Popularity Award Won [78]
33rd MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor Triangle Won [79]
2015 9th Cable TV Broadcasting Awards Best Actor Misaeng: Incomplete Life Won [25]
10th Asia Model Festival Awards Asia Special Award, Best Actor Won [80]
51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) Won [26]
8th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated [81]
Actor Special Jury Prize Won [82]
4th APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won [24]
Korea Financial Services Commission Special Achievement Award N/A Won [83]
2016 InStyle Star Icon Best Idol Actor Misaeng: Incomplete Life, A Melody to Remember Won [84]
11th Max Movie Awards Rising Star Award N/A Won [85]
1st tvN10 Awards Made in tvN, Actor in Drama Misaeng: Incomplete Life Nominated
2017 3rd Seoul WebFest Awards Best Actor My Catman Nominated [86]
1st The Seoul Awards Popularity Award, Actor N/A Won [87]
36th MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Monday-Tuesday Drama The King in Love Nominated


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External links[edit]