Kim Woo-bin

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim. In stage/pen name, the surname is Kim.
Kim Woo-bin
Kim Woo-bin at "Uncontrollably Fond" press conference, 4 July 2016 02.jpg
Kim Woo-bin at "Uncontrollably Fond" press conference 2016
Native name 김우빈
Born Kim Hyun-joong
(1989-07-16) July 16, 1989 (age 27)
Seoul, South Korea
Education Jeonju University
Occupation Actor, singer, model
Years active 2009–present
Agent SidusHQ
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Religion Roman Catholic
Korean name
Revised Romanization Gim U-bin
McCune–Reischauer Kim U-bin
Birth name
Revised Romanization Gim Hyeon-jung
McCune–Reischauer Kim Hyŏn-chung

Kim Woo-bin (born July 16, 1989) is a South Korean actor, singer, and model.[1]

Kim began his modeling career as a runway model and made his acting debut playing supporting roles in Korean dramas including A Gentleman's Dignity (2012). He came to prominence as one of the main cast in the highly popular Korean dramas School 2013 (2013-2013), The Heirs (2013) and Uncontrollably Fond (2016). His roles in both series garnered him award nominations including Best New Actor in Television by the Baeksang Arts Awards. He later starred as the male lead in the box office hits film Friend: The Great Legacy (2013), The Con Artists (2014) and Twenty (2015).


2009–2010: Modeling career[edit]

Kim Woo-bin (Kim Hyun-Joong) initially wanted to pursue a modeling career, since he was a high school student. He debuted as a runway model in 2009 at the age of 20 and began appearing in prêt-à-porter and Seoul Fashion Week collections.[2]

2011–2012: Acting debut[edit]

As his modeling career progressed, he started doing commercials which required basic acting skills. Kim then began studying acting to become a better model, under the guidance of acting coach Moon Won-joo.[3] Kim fell in love with acting, saying, "In the course of doing so, I found myself feeling the same thrill and enthusiasm that I felt the first time I came to walk on the runway."[1]

Under the stage name Kim Woo-bin, he made his acting debut in 2011, starring in mystery drama White Christmas and the low-rated cable sitcom Vampire Idol.[4][5][6]

In 2012, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy drama A Gentleman's Dignity, written by famed screenwriter Kim Eun-sook.[7][8][9] Next came a two-episode guest appearance in drama adaptation of the popular manga To the Beautiful You.[10]

2013: Rising popularity[edit]

2013 became Kim's breakout year thanks to his first lead role as a high school student, in the teen drama School 2013. He received his first acting award for the role at the 2nd APAN Star Awards under the category Best New Actor.[11][12]

He was then cast in Kim Eun-sook's high-profile trendy drama The Heirs, in which he played the rebellious chaebol heir to a hotel and resort chain who falls into a unrequited love.[13][14][15] The Heirs enjoyed immense popularity both locally, with a peak rating of 28.6%,[16] and internationally, having over one billion hits on the Chinese streaming website iQiyi.[17] Thanks to the drama, Kim experienced a surge in popularity overseas.[18] This led to increased advertising contracts and acting offers for the actor.[19][20][21]

Later that year, Kim appeared in his first major film role in Friend: The Great Legacy, the blockbuster sequel to Kwak Kyung-taek's 2001 box office hit.[22] Calling his role of a rising Busan gangster as "the ultimate in rebel roles," Kim said he loved the original film so much that when he heard a sequel was being developed, he pursued getting cast without even reading the script, gaining 9 kilograms for his role.[23][24][25][26]

In the same year, Kim also became the host of cable music program M! Countdown from August 15, 2013 to February 13, 2014.[27][28][29]

2014–present: International fame[edit]

After his rise in popularity in 2013, Kim continued appearing in big screen projects. In January 2014, he was cast in the heist movie The Con Artists, in which he played a top safe-cracker alongside rising star Lee Hyun-woo.[30] He also set aside the rebellious persona he had become known for, and took on a more comedic character in indie director Lee Byung-heon's sophomore effort Twenty. Starring in the film with 2PM's Lee Junho and his previous The Heirs co-star Kang Ha-neul, the film explored the lives and loves of a trio of friends who have just turned 20.[31]

In 2015, Kim appeared in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein Watches + Jewelry, making him the first East Asian model for the brand.[32] Samhwa Network has also confirmed Kim's first drama comeback in Uncontrollably Fond in 3 years since The Heirs, written by screenwriter Lee Kyung-hee who is famous for penning melodramas such as I'm Sorry, I Love You and The Innocent Man. The drama premiered on July 6, 2016 [33] and also stars Miss A's Suzy as the female lead.[34]

Kim is confirmed to be starring in upcoming crime thriller film Master alongside top actors Lee Byung-hun and Kang Dong-won. Kim will portray a character of Park Jang-Goon, an intelligent mastermind. Filming for the movie started on April 23, 2016 and is set to premiere in December 2016.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Kim's best friend is Lee Jong-suk, whom he met during his modeling days. Their real-life friendship has led to various collaborations; they played estranged best friends in teen drama School 2013, and have filmed commercials and photo shoots together. Kim is also close friends with fellow model-turned-actors Kim Young-kwang, Lee Soo-hyuk, Hong Jong-hyun and Sung Joon, and has worked with them onscreen in White Christmas and Vampire Idol.[36]

Kim dated model Yoo Ji-ahn, whom he met at a Magazine shoot in 2011. Woo-bin's agency only announced their relationship in September 2013 when they had already been dating for two years. However, they had ended the relationship in early 2014[37]

Kim's agency SidusHQ confirmed in July 2015 that he is currently dating actress Shin Min-a. They reportedly met in February 2015 while modeling together for a Giordano campaign and they grew close after that and began dating in May 2015.[38]



Year Title Role
2012 Runway Cop (cameo, last part)
2013 Friend: The Great Legacy Han Sung-hoon
2014 The Con Artists Ji-hyuk
2015 Twenty Chi-ho
2016 Master[39]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2011 Drama Special White Christmas Kang Mi-reu KBS2
Drama Special "Cupid Factory" Roy
Vampire Idol Woo-bin MBN
2012 A Gentleman's Dignity Kim Dong-hyub SBS
To the Beautiful You John Kim
(guest, episodes 9-11)
School 2013 Park Heung-soo KBS2
2013 The Heirs Choi Young-do SBS
2016 Uncontrollably Fond Shin Joon-young KBS2

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role
2014 Love Cells Dating god

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist
2010 Kiss Sandara Park
2013 Don't Mess With Me[40][41] 2EYES

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2011 Korea's Next Top Model, Cycle 2 OnStyle Guest
2012 Lord of the Ring MBC Guest, episode 1
Battle Between Women Who Cook
and Men Who Never Die
QTV Guest with Hong Jong-hyun
2013 Running Man SBS Guest, episodes 138, 166
Hello Counselor KBS2 Guest, episode 115 with Lee Soo-hyuk and Hyun Woo
Hwasin – Controller of the Heart SBS Guest, episode 7
Style Log: PLAY BOYZ OnStyle Guest with Kim Young-kwang and Sung Joon
Mnet Wide Starcam Mnet
2013-2014 M! Countdown Mnet Host
2014 Four Sons and One Daughter MBC Guest, episode 12[42][43]
Running Man SBS Guest, episodes 188, 189, 191, 225
2015 Running Man SBS Guest, episode 240



Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Sales Album



2016 "Picture In My Head"
N/A Uncontrollably Fond OST
"Do You Know"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2013 8th Asia Model Festival Awards New Star Award N/A Won
49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) School 2013 Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Nominated
7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Booming Star – Male Nominated
6th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2nd APAN Star Awards Best New Actor Won
18th Anhui TV Drama Awards[45] Popular Foreign Actor The Heirs Won
SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Won
Popularity Award Nominated
2014 9th Asia Model Festival Awards Asia Star Award N/A Won
9th Max Movie Awards Best New Actor Friend: The Great Legacy Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Nominated
Most Popular Actor (Film) Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) The Heirs Nominated
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival[46] Fantasia Award N/A Won
6th Singapore Entertainment Awards Most Popular Korean TV Artiste N/A Nominated
9th Seoul International Drama Awards People's Choice Actor The Heirs Nominated
7th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated
3rd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries The Heirs Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards Hana Financial Group Star Award
(Popularity Award)
Friend: The Great Legacy Won
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
Popular Star Award Won
2015 10th Max Movie Awards Best Actor The Con Artists Nominated
51st Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (Film) Nominated
Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards Popularity Award Twenty Won
24th Buil Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
52nd Grand Bell Awards Popularity Award Nominated
30th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards Best Dresser Award N/A Won


  1. ^ a b Park, Jin-hai (12 August 2013). "Crisscrossing runways and screens: Rising actor Kim Woo-bin has looks, style and sincerity". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  2. ^ "Profile". SidusHQ. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  3. ^ "A Stalker's Guide to Kim Woo Bin". My Drama List. 26 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Lee, Ga-on (22 March 2011). "My Name Is: Kim Hyun-joong". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Interview with the Vampire (Idols)". Dramabeans. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  6. ^ 홍종현-이수혁-김우빈, 망가져도 이렇게 멋있으면 반칙이지 (인터뷰). (in Korean). 29 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  7. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (29 June 2012). "Kim Woo Bin Gets Beat Up on A Gentleman's Dignity". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  8. ^ Ko, Hong-ju (13 July 2012). "A Gentleman's Dignity to be Used by the Ministry for Public Interest". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  9. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (8 August 2012). "Kim Woo Bin Goes from Troubled Teenager to Classy Gentleman". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  10. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (13 September 2012). "Kim Woo Bin Shines as f(x) Sulli's First Love in To the Beautiful You". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  11. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (10 December 2012). "Kim Woo Bin to Appear In Next School 2013 Episode". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  12. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 October 2012). "Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin, Park Se Young, 5dolls' Hyoyoung Cast as Main Students for School 5". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  13. ^ An, So-hyoun (16 July 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Confirmed in Role for The Heirs". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  14. ^ Kang, Jung-yeon (11 September 2013). "Kim Woo-bin to Turn Elegant in Inherits". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  15. ^ Ha, Soo-jung (23 November 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Lost 3 KG Filming the Judo Scene in The Heirs". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Kim Woo-bin Shapes Up as Hot New Heartthrob". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  20. ^ Lee, Sun-min (12 December 2013). "Kim Woo-bin's star shines ever bright". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  21. ^ Kim, Yeon-ji (24 December 2013). "Model inherits rebellious role". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  22. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (5 March 2013). "Kim Woo Bin to Star in Friend 2". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  23. ^ Kang, Jung-yeon (12 July 2012). "Kim Woo-bin Gained 9kg for Friend Sequel". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  24. ^ Lee, Sun-min (18 October 2013). "Kim Woo-bin leapt at sequel chance". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  25. ^ "Kim Woo-bin Unfazed by Great Expectations for Sequel to Friend". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  26. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (8 November 2013). "12 years later, an iconic Friend returns". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  27. ^ Kang, Jung-yeon (12 August 2013). "Kim Woo-bin to Host M! CountDown". TenAsia. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  28. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (12 August 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Becomes the New Face of M COUNTDOWN". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  29. ^ Cha, Yo-rim (13 August 2013). "Kim Woo-bin to become new face of M Countdown". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  30. ^ Hwang, Sun-un (28 January 2014). "Kim Woo-bin, Lee Hyun-woo to Star in New Film". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  31. ^ Conran, Pierce (17 April 2014). "KIM Woo-bin Joins TWENTY". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  32. ^ Yoon, Sarah (2 February 2015). "Kim Woo-bin first East Asian model for Calvin Klein Watches". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  33. ^ Jang, Seo-jeong (November 17, 2015). "'함부로 애틋하게' 측 "12일 촬영종료..7월 6일 첫방"[공식입장]". Daum (in Korean). OSEN. Retrieved April 11, 2016. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ Yu, Jiwon (13 September 2016). "Lee Byung Hun, Kang Dong Won, and Kim Woo Bin Begin Filming New Crime-Action Movie". Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  36. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (15 December 2013). "[Star of the Week] Kim Woo Bin's Past, Present and Future Best Friends". enewsWorld. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  37. ^ Jones, Julie (2 September 2016). "Kim Woo Bin And His Model Girlfriend Broke Up Shortly After "The Heirs" Ended". KDramaStars. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  38. ^ Jones, Julie (22 July 2015). "Kim Woo Bin and Shin Min Ah Are Dating". KDramaStars. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  39. ^
  40. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (25 June 2013). "Kim Woo Bin to Appear in 2EYES' Drama MV of Don't Mess With Me". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  41. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (1 July 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Appears in New Teasers for 2EYES' Don't Mess With Me MV". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  42. ^ Lee, Kyung-nam (5 March 2014). "Kim Woo Bin to Guest on Variety Show Four Sons One Daughter". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  43. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (6 March 2014). "Kim Woo-bin joins Four Sons and A Daughter". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  44. ^ Gaon Weekly Digital Chart
  45. ^ "Heirs stars receive awards in China". The Korea Times. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  46. ^ Jeon, Han; Yoon, So-jung (18 July 2014). "Film festival kicks off in Bucheon". Retrieved 2014-07-23. 

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