Seo In-guk

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Seo In-guk
(TV10) 쇼핑왕 루이 서인국, 거지 분장… 감독님이 말릴 정도로 적극적 (제작발표회) 서인국 10s.jpg
In September 2016
Native name 서인국
Born (1987-10-23) October 23, 1987 (age 29)
Ulsan, South Korea
Residence Seoul, South Korea
Other names Seo In-guk
Education Daebul University
Applied Music
Musical career
Instruments Vocal
Years active 2009–present
Korean name
Hangul 서인국
Revised Romanization Seo In-guk
McCune–Reischauer Sŏ In'guk

Seo In-guk (Hangul서인국; born October 23, 1987) is a South Korean singer and actor. He launched his singing career after winning the talent reality show Superstar K in 2009, and made his acting breakthrough in tvN's Reply 1997. Since then, he has starred in television series High School King of Savvy (2014), 38 Revenue Collection Unit (2016) and Shopaholic Louis (2016).

Early life and education[edit]

Seo was born on October 23, 1987, in Ulsan.[1] He decided to become a singer at the age of ten, after being inspired by the Korean rock musician Kim Jung-min. He performed at family gatherings and school events, and went on to study Applied Music at Daebul University, also auditioning in entertainment agencies.[2] After repeatedly being rejected and told to lose weight, he struggled with bulimia for a time.[3][4]


2009-2012: Superstar K and Reply 1997[edit]

In 2009 Seo competed in the Mnet singing contest Superstar K, winning the show's first season.[5][6][7]

In 2012,Seo was part of the cast of the jukebox musical Gwanghwamun Love Song[8] and made his onscreen acting debut with a supporting role in KBS's Love Rain.[9][10] He also signed with Japanese agency Irving Entertainment.[11] He landed his first leading role later that year, in cable channel tvN's '90s nostalgic hit drama Reply 1997. Seo's portrayal of a teenage boy in unrequited love with his childhood best friend won praise from both audiences and critics.[12][13][14] He also recorded two singles for the soundtrack (both duets with co-star Jung Eun-ji), and one of them,"All For You", became one of the best-selling singles of the year on the Gaon Single Chart.[15] Shortly after, he appeared in MBC's weekend drama The Sons (also known as Rascal Sons).[16][17][18]

2013-2015: Japanese debut, variety shows and returns to acting[edit]

Seo joined the newly launched reality/variety show I Live Alone from January to June 2013.[19]

In November 2013

He returned to the music scene in April 2013 with the single With Laughter or with Tears, the first soulful ballad in his discography. Actress Ku Hye-sun appeared in the music video, which depicted a painful breakup.[20] Several weeks later, the song was followed by his Japanese debut with the release of the single Fly Away.[21][22]

In June 2013, he was cast in Master's Sun, a drama series written by the Hong Sisters, playing a former soldier who served in the Zaytun Division who becomes the head of security for a shopping mall company.[23][24]

In October 2013, he starred in his first big-screen leading role in No Breathing, a coming-of-age film about two swimming rivals, alongside Lee Jong-suk and Kwon Yuri.[25][26]

In December 2012

He then played a dual role in Another Parting, a five-episode miniseries about a man and a woman who meet in the final moment of their lives and spend one special day together. Produced by LOEN Entertainment, the drama premiered on February 17, 2014 on Taekwang Group-owned cable channel Dramacube (also airing on BTV and YouTube).[27]

In 2014, Seo headlined another cable romantic comedy series, High School King of Savvy, in which he played a high school student and star hockey player who leads a double life when he's forced to take on his older brother's job as an executive at an IT company.[28][29][30] Later that year, Seo starred in his first period drama The King's Face, playing illegitimate crown prince Gwanghae, who becomes his father King Seonjo's rival in politics and love.[31]

In 2015, Seo joined the cast of SBS variety show Law of the Jungle from March to May, for the Indochina season.[32]

He was then cast as a genius profiler in the police procedural/romance series Hello Monster which premiered in June 2015 on KBS2.[33]

On December 15, 2015, he participated alongside other artists on Jellyfish Entertainment's collaborative track “Love In The Air” (Hangul사랑난로) for the album Jelly Christmas 2015 – 4랑.[34][35] The single placed at #14 on the Gaon Digital Chart.[36]

2016-present: Acclaim and military duty exemption[edit]

In 2016 Seo joined Law of the Jungle for the second time for the show's Mongolia season.[37] He also starred in OCN's workplace drama 38 Revenue Collection Unit, playing a professional swindler which became the highest rated series in OCN's history.[38] He then took on the leading role in MBC's romantic comedy Shopaholic Louis.

In February 2017, it was announced that Seo received his official military enlistment date, set to take place on March 28th.[39] It was reported he would enter his two year military service quietly, without media coverage. Seo opted, instead, to release a music video for his self-composed song, "Better Together," written to his fans. The video was released on YouTube on March 26th, 2017.[40] However, due to a fractured ankle, Seo leaves mandatory military service just four days after entering the military and was scheduled for a medical re-examination to determine if he was fit to return to the military. [41] His agency released the results of his medical re-examination, revealing Seo was diagnosed with Osteochondritis dissecans, a bone and cartilage condition. He was subsequently declared at a Grade 5 health rating and became exempt from military duty as a result. [42]


Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2012 Love Rain Kim Chang-mo (1970s) / Kim Jeon-seol (2012) KBS2
Reply 1997 Yoon Yoon-jae tvN
The Sons Yoo Seung-gi MBC
2013 Master's Sun Kang Woo SBS
Reply 1994 Yoon Yoon-jae (cameo, episodes 16-17,21) tvN
2014 High School King of Savvy Lee Min-seok/Lee Hyung-seok tvN
The King's Face Prince Gwanghae KBS2
2015 Hello Monster Lee Hyun/David Lee
Oh My Ghostess Edward (cameo, episode 16) tvN
She Was Pretty cameo, episode 9 MBC
2016 38 Revenue Collection Unit Yang Jeong-do OCN
Shopaholic Louis Louie/Kang Ji-sung MBC

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2014 Another Parting Ahn Young-mo Dramacube, YouTube


Year Title Role
2013 No Breathing Jo Won-il
2016 I Love That Crazy Little Thing Cameo

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2011 Oh! My School KBS2 Guest, episodes 24-26
Let's Go! Dream Team Season 2 KBS2 Guest, episodes 84, 96-97
2012 Let's Go! Dream Team Season 2 KBS2 Guest, episodes 110, 116, 120
2013 I Live Alone MBC Cast member, episodes 1-14, 16, 26
Mamma Mia! KBS2 Guest, episodes 7, 32
Happy Together KBS2 Guest, episodes 291, 323
2014 Happy Together KBS2 Guest, episode 374
Running Man SBS Guest, episode 184
2015 Happy Together KBS2 Guest, episode 402
Law of the Jungle in Indochina SBS Cast member
Mari and Me (TV series) JTBC Cast member
2016 Law of the Jungle in Mongolia SBS Cast member

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Title Artist Video
2012 "Please Don't..." K.Will starshipTV
2013 "Would You?" Swings Brand New Music
"Pick Up the Phone" Phone 1theK (원더케이)
2014 "Another Parting" Melody Day 1theK (원더케이)

Musical theatre[edit]

Year Title Role
2012 Gwanghwamun Love Song Hyun-woo



Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2009 Cyworld Digital Music Awards Male Newcomer of the Year
2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best New Male Artist
"I Love U"[44]
2012 5th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actor
Love Rain
Best Couple Award with Jung Eun-ji
Reply 1997
5th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons with Jung Eun-ji Won
1st K-Drama Star Awards Rising Star Award Won
Best Couple Award with Jung Eun-ji Won
Best OST
"All for You"
(with Jung Eun-ji)
14th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best OST[45] Won
4th Melon Music Awards Best OST Won
MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor
The Sons
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actor
Love Rain
2013 2nd Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Song of the Year (September)
"All for You"
(with Jung Eun-ji)
49th Paeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV)
Reply 1997
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award
Master's Sun
2014 3rd Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards Song of the Year (December)
"Loved You"
(with Zia)
16th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Collaboration Nominated
50th Paeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV)
Master's Sun
7th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor
High School King of Savvy
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama
The King's Face
Best New Actor Won
2015 8th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor
Hello Monster
2016 tvN10 Awards Made in tvN Actor (Drama)[46]
Reply 1997
Best Kiss (with Jung Eun-ji)[46] Won
11th Asian TV Drama Conference Special Award, Actor
38 Revenue Collection Unit
MBC Drama Awards
Shopping King Louis
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won

Music programs[edit]

Seo In-guk's wins on Korea's televised music shows. M! Countdown and Music Triangle are aired on cable channels Mnet and KM, respectively.

Winning song Music program Date Ref.
사랑해 U ("I Love U") M Countdown May 20, 2010
"All For You" (with Jung Eun-ji) Music Triangle September 19, 2012 [47]


  1. ^ Chun, In-sung (26 July 2010). "Superstar K kicks off season two". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ Han, Sang-hee (10 November 2009). "Superstar Winner’s First Step to His Dream". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ Ho, Stewart (19 April 2012). "Seo In Guk Reveals His Battle With Bulimia For a Past JYP Audition". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (21 April 2012). "Seo In-guk reveals eating disorder". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  5. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (28 October 2009). "New Kid on the Block Sweeps Music Charts". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ 서인국 "음주운전 마약 안 했는데 지상파 무대 왜 못서?" 심경 고백 [Seo In Kook expresses disappointment on being rejected from SBS and MBC]. TV Report (in Korean). 31 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  7. ^ Chang, Hae-won (6 April 2011). "Cable stars get networks’ cold shoulder". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ "Infinite's Sung Kyu, Woo Hyun, and Seo In Guk debut as musical actors". 28 December 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  9. ^ "Superstar K Winner to Debut in Star-Filled TV Soap". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ Ho, Stewart (13 March 2012). "Still Cuts of Seo In Guk With Jang Keun Suk for Love Rain". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  11. ^ Ho, Stewart (23 July 2012). "Seo In Guk Joins Irving ENT to Prepare for Japan Debut". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  12. ^ Park, Hyun-min (31 July 2012). "Reply 1997: Seo In Guk Brings Romance to the Screen". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (21 August 2012). "Seo In Guk Talks about Acting and Scandals with A Pink's Jung Eun Ji". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  14. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (11 September 2012). "Interview: Seo In Guk Wants Everyone to Tune In to Reply 1997". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  15. ^ "Gaon Chart releases Yearly Chart Ranking for 2012". Allkpop. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 2014-10-16. 
  16. ^ Ho, Stewart (13 August 2012). "Seo In Guk Joins Cast of MBC's Upcoming Drama Sons". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  17. ^ Lee, Tae-ho (14 August 2012). "Seo In-guk cast in MBC weekend TV series". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (15 August 2012). "Seo In-guk lands another acting role". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  19. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 January 2013). "Seo In Guk Joins New MBC Variety Pilot Program". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  20. ^ Lee, Sun-min (5 April 2013). "After acting, Seo In-guk sings again". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  21. ^ Park, Hani (18 February 2013). "Seo In Guk to Debut in Japan Coming April". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  22. ^ Park, Hani (23 February 2013). "Seo In Guk's Japanese Album Jacket Photo Released". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  23. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (4 June 2013). "Seo In Guk Cast in Hong Sisters' The Sun of the Lord". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  24. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (4 June 2013). "Seo In-guk Cast in Kong Hyo-jin, So Ji-sub Drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  25. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (25 October 2013). "Actors take plunge into swimming roles". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  26. ^ Jung, Ji-won (12 November 2013). "Singer Seo making a splash as actor". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  27. ^ Kim, Jessica (6 February 2014). "Seo In-guk to Star in Short Drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  28. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (16 April 2014). "Seo In-guk returns to tvN". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  29. ^ Kim, Ji-soo (16 April 2014). "Seo In-guk to star in new drama". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  30. ^ Oh, Jean (11 June 2014). "Seo In-guk back in summer rom-com". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  31. ^ "Seo In-guk spotted during first filming of ‘The King’s Face’". KpopHerald. 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ Jin, Min-ji (25 April 2015). "Seo In-guk takes on drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  34. ^ "Jellyfish Entertainment Reveals Teaser for Christmas Album". Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  35. ^ "Jellyfish artists Seo In Guk, VIXX, Park Jung Ah, and Park Yoon Ha sing 'Love Heater' for the holidays". allkpop. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  36. ^ "젤리크리스마스 2015 - 4랑 [사랑난로] Gaon Digital Chart weekly ranking 2015.12.13-2015.12.29". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
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  39. ^
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  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (4 February 2013). "Seo In Guk Only Wants You in New MV with VerbalJint". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  44. ^ Hicap, Jonathan M. (October 29, 2010). "Controversial Mnet Asian Music Awards bares nominees". Manila Bulletin. Manila Bulletin Publishing. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  45. ^ "2000 Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  46. ^ a b "tvN10 Awards Honor The Best Variety Shows And Dramas Of The Past 10 Years". Soompi. 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  47. ^ Lee, Nancy (21 September 2012). "Reply 1997 Song Ranks First on Mnet's New Music Ranking Program Music Triangle". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 

External links[edit]