Kim Mu-yeol

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Kim Mu-yeol
김무열 Kim Mu-yeol 0m31s.png
Born (1982-05-22) May 22, 1982 (age 39)
Other namesKim Moo-yul
EducationSungkyunkwan University - Performing Arts
Years active2002–present
AgentPrain TPC
(m. 2015)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Mu-yeol
McCune–ReischauerKim Muyŏl

Kim Mu-yeol (born May 22, 1982) is a South Korean actor. Following a successful career in musical theatre, Kim was first cast in minor parts on film and television. But after getting good reviews in his supporting roles in The Scam (2009) and War of the Arrows (2011), Kim landed his first major role in Jung Ji-woo's critically acclaimed film A Muse (2012), followed by a leading role in the independent film All Bark No Bite.


Kim Mu-yeol debuted as a musical theatre actor, and among the roles he's played on stage are child murderers Richard/Nathan in Thrill Me and gambler Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls.[1] He won Best Actor at the 2009 Korea Musical Awards for his portrayal of Melchior in Spring Awakening,[2] a rock musical which dealt with such taboo subjects as teenage pregnancy, sexual and physical abuse, and homosexuality.[3][4]

While acting on stage, Kim was cast in minor roles on television and film, and in 2009 he gained notice with a supporting role as a bond broker who is the brains behind The Scam.[5] Period action epic War of the Arrows became one of the biggest hits of 2011 and further raised his profile.[6] In 2012, Kim rose to stardom after the release of the provocative and psychologically rich A Muse, in which he played a conflicted novelist.[7]

Kim returned to acting upon his military discharge in 2014. He starred in Northern Limit Line in 2015, a naval thriller about the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong.[8]

He was cast as leading man in Bad Guys.[9]

Military service[edit]

In June 2012, Kim came under growing public criticism over allegations he dodged his compulsory military service. In a report released by the Korean Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), Kim was deemed fit to serve in active duty as a level two recruit after a March 2001 physical examination. However, throughout 2007 to 2009, Kim was granted postponement on the grounds that he was taking civil service examinations or had been admitted to a work training facility, neither of which took place. During this time he reportedly earned approximately ₩300 million from films, musicals, and television work. In December 2009, he received his final notice for enlistment, having used up the 730 days allowed for postponement. He submitted a request to change his military status in January 2010 because of a knee injury, which was rejected. Finally, a valid exemption was granted on the grounds that he was a "low-income individual" and the sole provider for his family. BAI's contention was that Kim's income is substantially higher than the standard for disqualification due to poverty; thus, the Military Manpower Administration was negligent in their duties by granting the exemption.[10][11][12]

Kim’s agency Prain TPC defended him, stating that Kim had been supporting his family by working as a security guard, construction worker, and at a mobile phone factory since his late teens. When his father collapsed from a cerebral hemorrhage and was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, the treatments incurred a lot of debt for the family. Their worsening financial condition caused them to become totally dependent on Kim, resulting in his said filing for an exemption in 2010.[13]

Given the publicity, a reinvestigation into the case was launched and Kim was asked by the production company to leave the film 11 A.M. (he was replaced by Choi Daniel).[14][15]

On October 4, 2012, Kim released a statement that though there was no wrongdoing on his part, he had decided to voluntarily enter the army "to recover his honor damaged by the rumors."[16][17]

In January 2013, Kim starred in military musical The Promise. It was co-produced by the Ministry of National Defense and Korea Musical Theatre Association, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice. It ran from January 9 to 20 at the National Theater of Korea, with a cast composed of actors Ji Hyun-woo and Jung Tae-woo, as well as singers Leeteuk of Super Junior, Yoon Hak of Supernova, and Lee Hyun of 8Eight. The musical centered around a group of soldiers who keep a promise made to each other during the 6.25 war.[18][19] When the "entertainment soldiers" unit was disbanded in August 2013, Kim was reassigned to a frontline combat unit of the 12th Infantry Division headquartered in Inje County, Gangwon Province.

In February 2014, Kim underwent surgery to treat a cartilage injury in his left knee, and afterwards received rehabilitation treatment for nearly two months at a military hospital near Seoul. Criticism was raised regarding his lengthy sick leave, but the defense ministry refused to provide detailed information regarding Kim's health condition, arguing that it was an infringement on his privacy.[20]

Kim was discharged on July 8, 2014.[21]

Personal life[edit]

After a romantic tweet that Kim meant to be a private message to Yoon Seung-ah was accidentally posted on the actress's Twitter page (then re-tweeted by netizens before Kim deleted the post), their agencies confirmed in February 2012 that the two were dating.[22][23][24] Kim and Yoon married on April 4, 2015.[25][26][27]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Saigon
2004 The Happy Family
2005 Today, It's My Turn!!
2009 The Scam Jo Min-hyeong
After the Banquet Kim Hyun-joon Telemovie
2010 Finding Mr. Destiny Airline employee Cameo
Vertical Limit Man Short film
2011 Romantic Heaven Dong Chi-sung Cameo
War of the Arrows Seo-goon
2012 Doomsday Book Ji-ho
A Muse Seo Ji-woo
All Bark No Bite Sang-keun [28]
정지우x김무열x조은지 Project Short film
2015 Northern Limit Line Yoon Young-ha
2017 Warriors of the Dawn Gok-soo
Forgotten Yoo-seok [29]
2018 Snatch Up Min-jae
Illang: The Wolf Brigade Han Sang-woo
2019 The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil Jung Tae-suk [30]
2020 Intruder Seo-jin
Honest Candidate Park Hee-cheol [31]


Year Title Role Network
2007 Drama City "신파를 위하여" Hyun-wook KBS2
Chosun Police: Season 1 Oh-deok MBC Dramanet
2008 Chosun Police: Season 2 Oh-deok MBC Dramanet
Iljimae Si-wan,
Eun-chae's older brother
2009 Wife Returns[32] Han Kang-soo SBS
2010 John and Rugalda, Two Virgin Spouses John/Yoo Jung-cheol PBC
2015 My Beautiful Bride Kim Do-hyung OCN
2017 Bad Guys 2 No Jin-pyeong


Year Title Role
2002 Jjangdda
2005 Line 1
Assassins John Hinckley
Grease Danny Zuko
2006 Bindaetteok Gentleman
Singin' in the Rain
Altar Boyz Luke
Passion of the Rain
2007 Thrill Me Richard, Nathan
Finding Kim Jong-wook Kim Jong-wook
Singin' in the Rain Don Lockwood
Mad Kiss Jung Jung
2008 Thrill Me Richard
The Happy Life Sae-ki
2009 Spring Awakening Melchior
Jack the Ripper Daniel
2010 Thrill Me Nathan
The Three Musketeers d'Artagnan
2011 Gwanghwamun Love Song Hyun-woo
한놈 두놈 삑구타고 Ho-jun
Guys and Dolls Sky Masterson
2012 Gwanghwamun Love Song Hyun-woo
Thrill Me (Japan)
2013 The Promise Sang-jin
2014 Kinky Boots Charlie Price


Year Song title Notes
2009 "Mandy" Track from Wife Returns OST

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2000 Dongrang Youth Arts Festival Excellence Award, Actor Won
2007 1st Daegu International Musical Festival Best New Actor Won
1st The Musical Awards Best Supporting Actor Thrill Me Nominated
2009 15th Korea Musical Awards Best Actor Spring Awakening Won
30th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor The Scam Nominated
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Weekend/Daily Drama Wife Returns Nominated
2012 21st Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actor A Muse Nominated
2018 KBS Drama Awards Best Actor in a One-Act/Special/Short Drama Forgotten Season Nominated


  1. ^ Lee, Sun-min (11 August 2011). "Guys and Dolls is a ball but marriage weighs it down". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  2. ^ Chung, Ah-young (27 October 2009). "Dreamgirls Sweeps Korea Musical Awards". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 13 June 2015. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  3. ^ Chung, Ah-young (24 March 2009). "Spring Awakening Here in July". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  4. ^ Chung, Ah-young (20 July 2009). "Spring Awakening Is Daring, Electrifying". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  5. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (7 January 2009). "Park Yong-ha Returns as Scam Artist". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  6. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (4 August 2011). "Arrow aims for new horizons". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  7. ^ Oh, Mi-jung (26 April 2012). "Preview: Eun Gyo (A Muse): A Story of Love and People". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  8. ^ Kim, Na-hyeon (25 June 2015). "Kim Moo-yeol is back in uniform for NLL film". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (22 June 2012). "Actor Kim Moo-yul was poor enough to dodge military service". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  11. ^ Lee, In-kyung (21 June 2012). "Kim Moo Yul Involved in Military Scandal after Avoiding Duties". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  12. ^ "High-Paid Actor Exempted from Draft for Poverty". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  13. ^ Moon, Gwang-lip (25 June 2012). "Agent says Kim Moo-yul's family situation was 'nearly impossible'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 11 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  14. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (10 July 2012). "Kim Moo-yul kicked off movie set". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  15. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (11 July 2012). "Choi Daniel to replace Kim Moo-yul". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  16. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (5 October 2012). "Kim Moo-yeol to Enter Army, Cleaning out Exemption Rumors". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  17. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (11 October 2011). "Kim Moo-yul enlists after rumors". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  18. ^ "Star-Studded Army Musical to Open in January". The Chosun Ilbo. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  19. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (12 December 2012). "Super Junior's Leeteuk and Ji Hyun Woo Participate in Army Musical". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  20. ^ Park, Si-soo (14 April 2014). "Are they really sick?: Stars suspected of malingering to shun tough military life". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  21. ^ Lee, Sun-min (9 July 2014). "Kim Moo-yeol's military service ends". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
  22. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (20 February 2012). "Yoon and Kim confirm relationship". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  23. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (20 February 2012). "Yun Seung Ah is Dating Kim Moo Yul". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  24. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (1 May 2012). "Kim Moo Yul and Yun Seung Ah Cleverly Posts Date Picture Together". enewsWorld. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  25. ^ Sung, So-young (6 January 2015). "Kim Moo-yeol, Yoon Seung-a to marry". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-06.
  26. ^ "Yoon Seung-ah Unveils Pre-Wedding Pictures". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-18.
  27. ^ "Yoon Seung Ah and Kim Moo Yeol look happy as can be in their lovely wedding pictorial with ELLE magazine". Allkpop. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  28. ^ Song, Kyung-won. "All Bark No Bite". Jeonju International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  29. ^ "KANG Ha-neul, GIM Mu-yeol Finish NIGHT OF MEMORIES". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 23, 2017.
  30. ^ "Don LEE, GIM Mu-yeol and KIM Sung-kyu Read Up on STORY OF VILLAINS". Korean Film Biz Zone. August 14, 2018.
  31. ^ "RA Mi-ran, GIM Mu-yeol and NA Moon-hee Campaign for HONEST CANDIDATE". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 26, 2019.
  32. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (29 October 2009). "PREVIEW: SBS TV series Wife Returns". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-12-28.

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