Ryu Jun-yeol

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Ryu Jun-yeol
181020 류준열 잠실 롯데월드몰 팬싸인회 5.jpg
Ryu during an autograph event at Lotte World Mall, October 2018
Born (1986-09-25) September 25, 1986 (age 34)
Suwon, South Korea
EducationUniversity of Suwon - Film
Years active2012-present
AgentC-JeS Entertainment[1]
Korean name
Revised RomanizationRyu Jun-yeol
McCune–ReischauerRyu Chunyŏl

Ryu Jun-yeol (born September 25, 1986) is a South Korean actor. He gained popularity through his breakthrough role in the television series Reply 1988 (2015–2016).[2] Known as a prolific Chungmu-ro actor, since then he has starred in box-office hit films The King (2017), A Taxi Driver (2017), Believer (2018), Money (2019), The Battle: Roar to Victory (2019).


2012–2014: Beginnings[edit]

While attending university under a scholarship, Ryu took on many part-time jobs, working as a pizza delivery person, a day labourer, an after-school tutor, and more.[3] In 2012, Ryu started acting in short films and independent productions, before being cast in a bit part in the 2013 feature film INGtoogi: The Battle of Internet Trolls.[4]

2015–2017: Rising popularity and breakthrough[edit]

Ryu first drew attention for his performance in his debut feature, Socialphobia in 2015,[5][6] but it wasn't until later that year that Ryu gained widespread public recognition through starring in the popular teen series Reply 1988, alongside Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo, and Lee Dong-hwi.[7][8][9] His portrayal of one of the leads, Kim Jung-hwan, won him many accolades, including the Best New Actor in TV award at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards in 2016.[10]

In 2016, Ryu starred in the coming-of-age film One Way Trip and crime thriller No Tomorrow.[11][12] The same year, he played his first leading role in romantic-comedy Lucky Romance alongside Hwang Jung-eum.[13][14]

In 2017, Ryu featured in political crime drama film The King, which became the 7th highest-grossing South Korean film of the year and for which he won the Best New Actor in Film award at the 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards.[15][16] The same year, he featured in biopic A Taxi Driver,[17] which became the highest grossing Korean film of the year and the twelfth highest-grossing South Korean film in history.[18] Ryu also appeared in legal thriller Heart Blackened.[19]

2018-present: Prominence in film[edit]

In 2018, Ryu featured in the critically acclaimed drama film Little Forest,[20] and headlined the crime action film Believer.[21][22] Believer was a box-office hit, becoming the first Korean film to surpass five million admissions in 2018.[23] It was the fourth highest grossing film of the year in South Korea.

In 2019, Ryu starred in the action thriller film Hit-and-Run Squad directed by Han Jun-hee,[24][25] the crime film Money[26] and historical action film The Battle: Roar to Victory directed by Won Shin-yun.[27] All three films performed well at the box-office, with The Battle: Roar to Victory and Money eventually becoming the 5th and 9th highest grossing Korean films of the year respectively. Ryu's continuous big screen success earned him a spot in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity for two consecutive years, 36th in 2018 and 11th in 2019.[28][29]

Ryu is set to headline Choi Dong-hoon's upcoming two-part sci-fi crime film series, Alien (working title).[30] Filming began on March 28, 2020.[31]


Ryu is an environmental activist. While filming Youth Over Flowers: Africa in 2016, Ryu developed an interest in environmentalism and began to campaign for environmental protection.[32] In December 2018, Ryu was reported to have donated ₩10 million to Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organisation. He has been making regular donations since 2016 for campaigns such as Save the Arctic.[33] In 2020, Ryu made yet another donation to Greenpeace in response to Australian wildfires, and campaigned for animal protection and urgent action to tackle climate change on his Instagram account.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Ryu is in a relationship with singer and actress Lee Hye-ri. The two met on the set of Reply 1988, where they played each other's love interest, and began dating in late 2016.[35]



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Nowhere Short film
2013 INGtoogi: The Battle of Internet Trolls Gym man Bit part
2014 Midnight Sun Yong-hoon Short film
One-minded Club Dude
People In a Hurry Jae-hyun
Economic Love Ji-hoon
Son Na-rae Rescue Operation Hyun-woo
2015 Socialphobia Yang-ge
Draw Sang-hoon Short film
2016 SORI: Voice from the Heart Seedless strawberry [36]
No Tomorrow Ji-hoon
One Way Trip Ji-gong
Canola Cheol-heon [37]
The Boys Who Cried Wolf Dong-chul [38]
2017 The King Choi Doo-il
A Taxi Driver Goo Jae-sik
Heart Blackened Kim Dong-myeong
2018 Little Forest Jae-ha
Believer Seo Young-rak (Rak)
2019 Hit-and-Run Squad Seo Min-jae
Money Jo Il-hyun
The Battle: Roar to Victory Lee Jang-ha
2022 Alien TBA
The Owl TBA
2023 Alien Part 2 TBA

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
2015 The Producers Joo Jong-hyun, Rookie PD KBS2 Cameo (Ep. 1-2)[39]
2015–16 Reply 1988 Kim Jung-hwan tvN
2016 Lucky Romance Jae Su-ho MBC
2021 No Longer Human Kang-jae JTBC [40]

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes Ref.
2016 Youth Over Flowers: Africa tvN Cast member [41]
2019 Traveler JTBC [42]

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2014 "Still I'm by Your Side"[43] Clazziquai Project
2015 소녀 (A Little Girl)[44] 오혁 (OH HYUK)
2017 어떻게 (YOU)[45] Ryu Jun Yeol

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2015 KAFA FILMS 2015 Rising Star Socialphobia Won [46]
2016 Korea First Brand Awards Special Award for Figure N/A Won [47]
InStyle Star Icon New Generation Actor Award Socialphobia, Reply 1988 Nominated
11th Max Movie Awards Best New Actor Socialphobia Won [48]
Rising Star Won
21st Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actor Nominated [49]
3rd Wildflower Film Awards Best New Actor / Actress Nominated
10th Korean Cable TV Awards Rising Star Reply 1988 Won [50]
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) Won [51]
1st tvN10 Awards Made in tvN, Actor in Drama Nominated
Rising Star Award, Actor Won [52]
1st Asia Artist Awards Best Rookie Award, Actor Won [53]
2nd Fashionista Awards Best Fashionista - TV Division N/A Won [54]
35th MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Lucky Romance Nominated
Best New Actor Won [55]
2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) The King Won [16]
Korea Minister of Health and Welfare Suicide Prevention Contribution Award N/A Won [56]
26th Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actor The King Nominated [57]
1st The Seoul Awards Best New Actor (Film) Won [58]
38th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor A Taxi Driver Nominated
3rd Fashionista Awards Best Fashionista – SNS Division N/A Nominated [59]
2nd Asia Artist Awards Best Star Award – Actor A Taxi Driver Won [60]
2018 23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated [61]
18th Korea World Youth Film Festival Popular Actor Award Little Forest Won [62]
3rd Asia Artist Awards Artist of the Year N/A Won [63]
Popularity Award Won
2019 18th New York Asian Film Festival Star Asia Rising Star Award Money Won [64]
39th Golden Cinema Film Festival Cinematographers’ Choice Popularity Award Believer Won [65]
19th Korea Youth Film Festival Best Actor Award Money, The Battle: Roar to Victory Won [66][circular reference]
London East Asia Film Festival 2019 Rising Star Award Money Won [67]
10th Korean Popular Culture & Arts Awards Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s Commendation N/A Won [68]


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