Jin Goo

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Jin Goo
190207 JTBC 드라마 '리갈하이' 진구.jpg
Born (1980-07-20) July 20, 1980 (age 38)
EducationSahmyook University - Advertising
Years active2003–present
AgentBH Entertainment
Kim Ji-hye (m. 2014)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationJin Gu
McCune–ReischauerChin Ku

Jin Goo (born July 20, 1980) is a South Korean actor. He won Best Supporting Actor at the Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards for his role in Bong Joon-ho's 2009 noir thriller Mother. He is also known for his role in the critically and commercially successful series Descendants of the Sun.


2003–2008: Beginnings[edit]

Jin Goo made his television debut in the 2003 gambling drama All In, as the younger version of the protagonist character played by Lee Byung-hun.[1] They reunited onscreen in Kim Jee-woon's film noir A Bittersweet Life,[2] and Jin would later join Lee when he established his own management agency, BH Entertainment.

In 2005, Jin starred in the one-episode drama Saya, Saya ("Bird, Bird"), adapted from the novel written by Shin Kyung-sook about a mother and son who are both deaf.[3] It won the top award in the TV movie/miniseries category of Prix Italia, and the jury praised it as "a magical, moving and poetic story about the power of love with high quality performances."[4]

After a guest appearance as a Korean language teacher on the webisodes of Japanese drama Joshi Deka!,[5] Jin returned to Korean television in 2008's Spotlight, a glimpse into the lives of broadcast news reporters covering the city beat. To prepare for his role, Jin followed a cub reporter for a day, and realized they didn't have time to bathe or even wash their faces.[6][7]

Though he appeared in little-seen mystery romance The ESP Couple,[8] Jin would become known for playing strong moody characters, such as a low-ranking thug in Yoo Ha's A Dirty Carnival,[9][10] and a serial killer in Truck.[11] For his portrayal of a secretive doctor in arthouse horror film Epitaph,[12] Jin received a Best New Actor trophy from the Golden Cinematography Awards.[13][14]

2009–2015: Breakthrough and continued acting[edit]

Jin's breakthrough would be his critically acclaimed supporting turn in 2009's Mother.[15][16][17] His performance in the Bong Joon-ho thriller earned him recognition from the Grand Bell Awards,[18] the University Film Festival of Korea,[19] and the Blue Dragon Film Awards.[20][21][22]

In 2010, Jin shed his hardboiled image to play a down-to-earth, aspiring chef in Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle. He said the film was a great pleasure to make since cooking is a hobby of his, though emulating a professional chef meant undergoing "200 hours of chopping radishes" in order to perfect the motion. He added that after the filming, he was able to make kimchi with his mother, which proved to be a memorable experience.[23][24]

2011 was a busy year for Jin. Besides appearing in conspiracy thriller Moby Dick,[25] he had a starring role as one of three desperate Joseon soldiers in The Showdown.[26] He also made his stage debut as Nathan in a Korean production of the musical Guys and Dolls.[27][28][29][30]

He next starred in 26 Years, based on Kang Full's manhwa about a plot to assassinate the man responsible for the Gwangju Massacre.[31] Jin had been attached to the project since pre-production began in 2008,[32] but investors backed out due to the politically controversial content. Online donations from thousands of private individuals enabled filming to resume in 2012.[33] Jin was the only holdover from the original cast; initially cast as the young policeman, he now played the more central role of the gangster.[34]

In 2013, he played the titular character in TV series Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek, a success story about a man who comes up to Seoul from the countryside armed with nothing but a high school diploma and a gift for drawing, and through sheer hard work, fights his way to become the best ad man and art director in the business.[35]

Supporting roles followed in thriller The Target,[36] period blockbuster The Admiral: Roaring Currents,[37] and nostalgic musical drama C'est Si Bon.[38] In 2015, Jin starred in Northern Limit Line, a naval thriller about the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong.[39]

2016–present: Rising popularity[edit]

2016 was a remarkable year for Jin Goo. He was cast as an elite special forces soldier in Descendants of the Sun, a romantic melodrama written by Kim Eun-sook.[40] The drama was a critical and commercial success in Asia, and led to a surge in popularity for Jin.[41][42][43] Later in the year, Jin starred in MBC's melodrama Night Light.[44][45]

In 2017, Jin starred in the action film One Line, where he played a legendary swindler that joins with a student (Im Si-wan) to rob a bank.[46] He then starred in JTBC's action melodrama Untouchable.[47]

In 2019, Jin is set to star in the legal drama Legal High, a remake of the Japanese television series of the same name.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Jin married his girlfriend on September 21, 2014.[49][50][51][52][53] The couple welcomed a baby boy in June 2015.[54] They welcomed their second child, a baby girl, in November 2016.[55]

Jin completed his mandatory military service in the Republic of Korea Navy military police.[56][57]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Romantic Assassins Assassin [58]
1+1=6 Short film
2005 A Bittersweet Life Min-gi
2006 A Dirty Carnival Jong-soo [59]
Ice Bar In-baek [60]
Love Me Not Mickey / Tae-ho [61]
2007 Epitaph Park Jung-nam [62]
2008 Truck Kim Young-ho [63]
The ESP Couple Su-min [64]
2009 Mother Jin-tae
2010 Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle Seong-chan
2011 The Showdown Do-young
Moby Dick Yoon Hyuk
Always Pottery store owner Cameo[65]
2012 26 Years Kwak Jin-bae
2014 The Target Baek Sung-hoon
The Admiral: Roaring Currents Lim Jun-young
Late Spring cameo[66]
2015 C'est Si Bon Lee Jang-hee (20s)
Northern Limit Line Han Sang-gook
2017 One Line Suk-goo
2018 Heung-boo: The Revolutionist Nolbu Special appearance[67]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2003 All In young Kim In-ha SBS
2004 MBC Best Theater
"Where Are Arrows We Shoot?"
Jin-ho[68] MBC
Nonstop 5 Jin Goo[69]
MBC Best Theater
"Oshio Ddeokbokki"
2005 HDTV Literature
"Saya, Saya (Bird, Bird)"
2007 Joshi Deka! (guest, episode 10 and webisodes) TBS
2008 Spotlight Lee Seon-chul MBC
Tokyo Sun Shower Park Sang-gil[70] SBS
2009 Swallow the Sun young Kim Il-hwan (cameo)[71]
2010 Athena: Goddess of War Black agent Jang Hyuk-joon
(cameo, episode 7)[72]
2013 Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek Lee Tae-baek KBS2
2015 Beating Again Ma Dong-wook (guest)[73] jTBC
2016 Descendants of the Sun Seo Dae-young KBS2
Entourage Himself (cameo)[74] tvN
Night Light Park Gun-woo MBC
2017 Untouchable Jang Joon-seo JTBC
2018 Mr. Sunshine Sang-wan (cameo)[75] tvN
2019 Legal High Go Tae-rim JTBC

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2007 "Sonata of Temptation"[76] Ivy
2009 "Shout to the Heart" Monday Kiz ft. Rhymer
"Scar"[77] Monday Kiz
"Stupid"[78] Yoon Seo-jin
2013 "V"[79] Lee Jung-hyun

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role
2011 Guys and Dolls Nathan Detroit

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2005 19th KBS Drama Awards Best Actor in a One-Act / Special / Short Drama Saya, Saya (Bird, Bird) Nominated
2006 5th Korean Film Awards Best Supporting Actor A Dirty Carnival Nominated
27th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2008 31st Golden Cinematography Awards Best New Actor Epitaph Won [14]
16th SBS Drama Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Special Planning Drama Tokyo Sun Shower Nominated
2009 2nd Korea Junior Star Awards Special Award Truck Won [80]
46th Grand Bell Awards Best Supporting Actor Mother Won [81]
17th Korean Culture & Entertainment Awards Excellence Award, Movie Actor Category Won [82]
5th University Film Festival of Korea Best Supporting Actor Won [83]
30th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Won [84]
2010 7th Max Movie Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2011 KBS 감동대상 Hope Award N/A Won [85]
2013 22nd Buil Film Awards Best Actor 26 Years Nominated
2014 34th Golden Cinema Festival[86] Special Jury Prize Won [87]
2015 52nd Grand Bell Awards Best Supporting Actor C'est Si Bon Nominated
2016 11th Asia Model Festival Popular Star Award Descendants of the Sun Won [88]
1st Indonesian Television Awards Special Award Won [89]
5th APAN Star Awards Best Couple Award (with Kim Ji-won) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Won [90]
1st Asia Artist Awards Best Celebrity Award, Actor Won [91]
30th KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
Best Couple (with Kim Ji-won) Won [92]


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External links[edit]