May 1, 1968 |
Seocheon County, South Chungcheong Province, South Korea
|Education||Hanyang University - Theater and Film|
|Spouse(s)||Ahn (1996-2006; divorced)
Song Yun-ah (m. 2009)
|Revised Romanization||Seol Gyeong-gu|
Born in Seocheon County, South Chungcheong Province in 1968, Sol Kyung-gu studied Theater and Film at Hanyang University (Class of '86). Upon graduation in 1994, he appeared in numerous theatrical productions, such as the hit Korean adaptation of the German rock musical Subway Line 1, and productions of Sam Shepard's True West and A. R. Gurney's Love Letters.
In the mid-1990s he began taking on minor roles in feature films, but it was not until 1999 that he made his breakthrough with major roles in The Bird That Stops in the Air, Rainbow Trout, and above all else, Peppermint Candy in which he played a suicidal man devastated by the two-decades of historical change his country undergoes. The critical acclaim and larger-than-expected popular appeal of this film instantly transformed Sol into one of the most respected young actors in Korea.
After the rather heavy-themed work of his early career, Sol then appeared in a mix of genre movies and more serious work. He starring in the romantic comedy I Wish I Had a Wife with Jeon Do-yeon in 2001, and then acted in a Japanese TV drama produced by NHK.
The year 2002 was huge for Sol, starring in three major films which effectively made him into one of the most popular actors in Korea. As a violent and unscrupulous police detective in Public Enemy he won both local acting awards and many new fans as the film drew close to 3 million viewers. In August, he starred in Lee Chang-dong's highly acclaimed third film Oasis, which won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival. Sol's portrayal of mildly mentally-retarded outcast with sociopathic inclinations won him yet more acting awards in Korea. Finally in November, he acted together with Cha Seung-won in the smash hit Jail Breakers by popular director Kim Sang-jin.
Sol continued his hot streak in 2003 when he starred in Silmido directed by Cinema Service founder Kang Woo-suk, which became the first Korean film in history to gross 10 million admissions. His next role was as the title character in Rikidōzan, about the legendary ethnic Korean pro wrestler who became a national hero in Japan in the 1950s. Sol gained 20 kilograms for the role and also delivered 95% of his lines in Japanese. Despite winning great praise for his performance, however, the film vastly underperformed on its local release.
In 2005, Sol starred in the sequel Another Public Enemy, which ended up outgrossing the original. This was followed by a second sequel, Public Enemy Returns in 2008. His other films Haeundae (2009), The Tower (2012) and Cold Eyes (2013) have also been box office hits.
- A Petal (1996)
- Love Story (1996)
- Girls' Night Out (1998)
- Phantom, the Submarine (1999)
- Rainbow Trout (1999)
- Peppermint Candy (2000)
- The Legend of Gingko (2000)
- I Wish I Had a Wife (2001)
- Public Enemy (2002)
- The Bird That Stops in Air (2002)
- Oasis (2002)
- Jail Breakers (2002)
- Mudang: Reconciliation Between the Living and the Dead (2003) - documentary narration
- Silmido (2003)
- Rikidōzan (2004)
- Another Public Enemy (2005)
- Lost in Love (2006)
- Cruel Winter Blues (2006)
- Voice of a Murderer (2007)
- Venus and Mars (2007)
- Public Enemy Returns (2008)
- Haeundae (2009)
- Closer to Heaven (2009) - cameo
- A Brand New Life (2009)
- No Mercy (2010)
- Troubleshooter (2010)
- Camellia (2010)
- The Tower (2012)
- Cold Eyes (2013)
- The Spy: Undercover Operation (2013)
- Wish (2013)
- Joy of Love (KBS, 1988)
- Magpie Daughter-in-law (MBC, 1991)
- Oldest Sister (MBC, 1994)
- A Bluebird Has It (KBS2, 1997)
- White Christmas (SBS, 1997)
- Prince Shōtoku (NHK, 2001)
Variety show - guest appearances
- Lee So-ra's Propose (MBC, 2000)
- Yoon Do-hyun's Love Letter (KBS2, 2006)
- Yoo Jae-suk and Kim Won-hee's Come to Play (MBC, 2007)
- Yoon Do-hyun's Music Show (KBS 2FM, 2008)
- Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy (SBS, 2013)
Music video appearances
- 1992 28th Baeksang Arts Awards: Best New Actor in Theater
- 2000 Oslo International Film Festival: Special Mention (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 36th Baeksang Arts Awards: Best New Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 8th Chunsa Film Art Awards: Best Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 23rd Golden Cinematography Awards: Best New Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 2nd International Film Festival Bratislava: Best Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 20th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards: Best Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 37th Grand Bell Awards: Best New Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2000 21st Blue Dragon Film Awards: Best Actor (Peppermint Candy)
- 2002 38th Baeksang Arts Awards: Best Actor (Public Enemy)
- 2002 10th Chunsa Film Art Awards: Best Actor (Oasis)
- 2002 3rd Pusan Film Critics Awards: Best Actor (Oasis)
- 2002 22nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards: Best Actor (Oasis)
- 2002 39th Grand Bell Awards: Best Actor (Public Enemy)
- 2002 23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards: Best Actor (Public Enemy)
- 2002 1st Korean Film Awards: Best Actor (Oasis)
- 2002 6th Director's Cut Awards: Best Actor (Public Enemy)
- 2003 26th Golden Cinematography Awards: Most Popular Actor (Oasis)
- 2003 29th Seoul International Film Festival: Best Actor (Oasis)
- 2008 29th Blue Dragon Film Awards: Popular Star Award (Public Enemy Returns)
- 2009 17th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards: Grand Prize (Daesang), Film category (Haeundae)
- 2010 18th Chunsa Film Art Awards: Best Actor (No Mercy)
- 2013 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards: Popular Star Award (Wish, Cold Eyes)
- Lee, Yong-sung (20 October 2005). "Film star comes back to drama stage". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Scott, A.O. (31 March 2001). "Peppermint Candy: A Life Retreats From Tragedy to Happy Beginnings". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Sol Kyung-gu". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Lee, Seung-jae (1 December 2004). ""I Reflected on Myself in Rikidozan"". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Sul Kyung-gu Brings a Touch of Muscle to Wrestling Role". The Chosun Ilbo. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Sul Kyung-gu: no Ordinary Action Hero". The Chosun Ilbo. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Song, Woong-ki (12 August 2010). "Sul says his latest film was the most difficult". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Kim, Hyun-min; Lee, Eun-sun (21 December 2012). "THE TOWER's SOL Kyung-gu & SON Ye-jin: Actors' Experience from the Desperate Survival Drama". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Actor Sul and Actress Song to Marry on May 28". The Korea Times. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Lee, Hyo-won (8 May 2009). "Actors Sul, Song to Tie Knot on May 28". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Sol Kyung-gu, Song Yun-ah to Wed". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-30.