Ji Sung

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Ji Sung
180212 지성.png
Born Kwak Tae-geun
(1977-02-27) February 27, 1977 (age 40)
Seoul, South Korea
Education Hanyang University - Theater and Film
Years active 1999–present
Agent Namoo Actors
Spouse(s) Lee Bo-young (m. 2013)
Children 1
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization Ji Seong
McCune–Reischauer Chi Sǒng
Birth name
Hangul
Hanja
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), Secret Love (2013), Kill Me, Heal Me (2015), Innocent Defendant (2017), and the film My PS Partner (2012).

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]

1999–2002: Beginnings[edit]

Ji Sung 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 Chae Ji-sung, then decided to drop the surname "Chae," and became known simply as "Ji Sung"[1] After several minor roles, he began playing bigger parts, notably in the television dramas Wonderful Days (2001) and Sunshine Hunting 2002), as well as the North-South romantic comedy film Whistling Princess (2002).

2003–2004: Breakthrough[edit]

Ji was then cast in the 2003 gambling drama All In. Producers 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.[1] All In was a big hit, and Ji Sung's popularity rose and became known as a Hallyu star.[3] Wanting to challenge himself, he next appeared in his first period drama The King's Woman, playing Gwanghaegun of Joseon.

In Save the Last Dance for Me (2004), he played a rich 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]

2005–2007: Enlistment[edit]

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]

2008–2014: Comeback and lead roles[edit]

He made his comeback in the medical drama New Heart (2007-08), playing a cardiothoracic surgery resident.[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 died, 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]

He then made an extended cameo as the sophisticated right-hand man of the mob boss in action noir Fate (2008).[10]

In 2009, Ji Sung collaborated again with writer Choi Wan-kyu and director Yoo Chul-yong of All In in the revenge drama Swallow the Sun, 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, as the titular founder of Geumgwan Gaya.[14][15][16]

In 2011, Ji Sung starred alongside Yum Jung-ah 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, 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]

In 2013, Ji Sung starred in melodrama Secret Love. He said he chose the drama because he found the script "fresh, honest, and sophisticated."[25] He played a chaebol "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]

2015–present: Career resurgence[edit]

In 2015, he reunited with Secret Love co-star Hwang Jung-eum in Kill Me, Heal Me, in which he played a chaebol millionaire with dissociative identity disorder formelf known as Multiple Personality Disorder from DSMIV-TR who has seven different identities.[28][29][30][31] The series was a hit and developed a cult following, winning Ji Sung the "Daesang (Grand Prize)" at the MBC Drama Awards.[32]

However, Ji's next work Entertainer, where he played a cunning and self-centered manager of an entertainment company, failed to be successful.[33] Ji bounced back in 2017 with legal thriller Innocent Defendant, which was a hit and topped viewership ratings.[34] Ji earned acclaim for playing the diverse emotions of the character, an amnesic prosecutor who finds himself on a death row.[35] He received the Grand Prize award at the SBS Drama Awards.[36] Ji is set to star next in the period film Grave Site.[37]

In 2018, Ji was cast in the fantasy romance drama Knowing Wife.[38]

Personal life[edit]

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.[39][40][41][42] On August 2, 2013, the couple announced their engagement by uploading handwritten letters on their respective official fan sites.[43][44][45][46][47] They married at Aston House, W Seoul Walkerhill Hotel on September 27, 2013.[48][49][50] Their first child, a daughter named Kwak Ji-yoo, was born on June 12, 2015.[51][52]

Filmography[edit]

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
2015 The Vampire Lives Next Door (short film)
2018 Grave Site Lee Ha-eung

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
1999 KAIST Kang Dae-wook SBS
March Guest
2000 Popcorn
I Want to Keep Seeing You Lee Ji-soo
2001 Delicious Proposal Oh Joon-soo MBC
Open Drama Man & Woman Lee Soo-hyun SBS episode: "A Couple of Hours
Before Breaking Up with Her"
The Rules of Marriage Hwang Won-soo MBC
Wonderful Days Jang Seok-jin SBS
2002 Let's Go Guest, episode: "Monkey"
Sunshine Hunting Lee Seung-joon KBS2
2003 All In Choi Jung-won SBS
The King's Woman Prince Gwanghae
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
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
Protect the Boss Cha Ji-heon SBS
2012 The Great Seer Mok Ji-sang
2013 Secret Love Jo Min-hyuk KBS2
2015 Kill Me, Heal Me Cha Do-hyun /
Shin Se-gi / Perry Park /
Ahn Yo-na / Ahn Yo-seob /
Nana / Mr. X
MBC
2016 Entertainer Shin Suk-ho SBS
2017 Innocent Defendant Park Jung-woo
2018 Knowing Wife Cha Joo-hyuk tvN

Hosting[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2002 Live Music Camp MBC Host
2004 Music Bank KBS2
2008 STAR N the CITY: Ji Sung in Dubai XTM
2011 2011 SBS Drama Awards SBS Host

Music video appearances[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"[53] Track from Secret Love OST
2015 "Violet" Track from Kill Me, Heal Me 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 Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special All In Won
2004 Top Excellence Award, Actor Save the Last Dance for Me Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
2008 Han Il Culture Awards 민간외교부분 수상 N/A Won
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor New Heart Nominated
Golden Acting Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won
2009 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Swallow the Sun Nominated
2010 5th Asia Model Festival Awards[54] 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[55] Style Icon Actor / Bonsang N/A Won
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Royal Family Nominated
SBS Drama Awards[56] Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Protect the Boss Won
Top 10 Stars Won
Best Couple Award with Choi Kang-hee Won
2012 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special The Great Seer Nominated
2013 KBS Drama Awards[57] Top Excellence Award, Actor Secret Love Won
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
Popularity Award, Actor Won
Best Couple Award with Hwang Jung-eum Won
2014 3rd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Kill Me, Heal Me Nominated
10th Seoul International Drama Awards Best Actor Nominated
8th Korea Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Nominated
4th APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
MBC Drama Awards[32] Grand Prize (Daesang)
(Determined through viewer's votes)
Won
Top Excellence Actor, Actor in a Miniseries Won
Popularity Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple with Park Seo-joon Won
Best Couple with Hwang Jung-eum Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
10th Asian TV Drama Conference[58] Special Award, Actor Won
2016 28th Korea PD Awards[59] Best Performer, TV Actor category Won
4th Annual DramaFever Awards[60] Best Actor Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Romantic Comedy Drama Entertainer Nominated
2017 1st The Seoul Awards[61] Best Actor (Drama) Innocent Defendant Won
8th Korean Popular Culture Awards[62] Prime Minister Recommendation N/A Won
30th Grimae Awards[63] Best Actor Innocent Defendant Won
SBS Drama Awards[36] Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Monday–Tuesday Drama Nominated
Grand Prize (Daesang) Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Healing Camp: Episode 3 (Guest: Ji Sung). Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy. Seoul Broadcasting System. 1 August 2011. 
  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. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  5. ^ "Ji Sung Joins Army". KBS Global. 8 June 2005. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. 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. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. 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. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. 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. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 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. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. 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. ^ "Ji Sung Talks About Adopting Multiple Identities". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 
  30. ^ Hwang, Hye-jin (22 March 2015). "Interview: Ji Sung was Shocked to Learn His Lip Tint from Kill Me Heal Me Sold Out". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  31. ^ Ko, Hong-ju (22 March 2015). "Interview: Ji Sung Reflects on Acting Out Multiple Personalities in Kill Me Heal Me". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  32. ^ a b "2015 MBC Drama Awards roundup". Kpop Herald. 31 December 2015. 
  33. ^ "New SBS drama 'Entertainer' disappoints viewers". The Korea Times. 
  34. ^ "'Defendant' viewership soars above 25 percent in Seoul area". The Korea Herald. 
  35. ^ "'Defendant' closes with warning for crooked real world". The Korea Times. 
  36. ^ a b "Ji Sung receives grand prize while wife receives best actress award". The Korea Times. 2 January 2018. 
  37. ^ "CHO Seung-woo and JI Sung Meet at GREAT SITE". Korean Film Biz Zone. 5 July 2017. 
  38. ^ "[단독] '믿보배' 지성, 하반기 '아는와이프'로 컴백…첫 tvN 드라마". Naver (in Korean). Sports Chosun. 23 February 2018. 
  39. ^ Cho, Bum-ja (24 February 2011). "Ji-sung says still steady with actress Lee Bo-young". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  40. ^ Hong, Lucia (31 May 2012). "Ji Sung, Lee Bo-young deny June wedding rumor". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  41. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (1 June 2012). "Lee Bo-young, Ji Sung agencies dismiss rumors of wedding plans". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  42. ^ "Celebrity Couple Attend Psy's Concert". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  43. ^ An, So-hyoun (2 August 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung to Get Married in September". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  44. ^ Lee, Sun-min (3 August 2013). "A hand-written engagement". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  45. ^ 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. 
  46. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (24 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung Invites Wedding Guests to Their Star". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  47. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (27 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung to Tie the Knot Today (9/27)". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  48. ^ "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. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  49. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (27 September 2013). "Actors Ji Sung, Lee Bo-young Tie the Knot (2)". 10Asia. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  50. ^ Kim, Byung-kwan (27 September 2013). "Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young Tie the Knot". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  51. ^ "지성·이보영, 오늘 오전 득녀.."산모·아기 건강" [입장 전문]" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  52. ^ "지성♥이보영 오늘(13일) 득녀…"산모-아이 모두 건강" [공식입장 전문]" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  53. ^ "Actor Ji Sung Sings OST of Drama Secret". KBS Global. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  54. ^ Kim, Jessica (18 January 2010). "Ji-sung receives prize at Asian model awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  55. ^ Lee, Nancy (4 November 2011). "Who Took Home a Prize at the Style Icon Awards?". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  56. ^ Kim, Jessica (2 January 2012). "Han Suk-kyu reclaims glory at SBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  57. ^ Lee, Cory (2 January 2014). "Kim Hye-soo Reclaims Glory, Good Doctor, Secret Love Win Big at the 2013 KBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  58. ^ "The 10th Asian TV Drama Conference Successfully Kicked off in Kita-Kyushu of Japan". KOFICE. 13 November 2015. 
  59. ^ "Winners at the 28th Korean PD Awards". Manila Bulletin. 10 March 2016. 
  60. ^ Yonhapnews, Yonhapnews (28 June 2016). "Ji Sung, Park Bo-young chosen best Korean TV actors". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2016-06-29. 
  61. ^ "'서울어워즈' 송강호·나문희·지성·박보영 주연상…·'박열'·'비숲' 대상[종합]". TV Report (in Korean). 27 October 2017. 
  62. ^ "EXO, BTOB, Twice and Park Bo-gum commended with award". Kpop Herald. 3 November 2017. 
  63. ^ "[SE★이슈] 2017 그리메상 시상식, 지성-서현진 최우수·샤이니 키 신인연기상 수상". SE Daily (in Korean). 4 December 2017. 

External links[edit]