Sol Kyung-gu

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Sol Kyung-gu
Seol Kyung-Goo.jpg
Born (1968-05-01) May 1, 1968 (age 50)
Seocheon, South Chungcheong, South Korea
Education Hanyang University - Theater and Film
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present
Agent C-JeS Entertainment
Spouse(s) unnamed (m. 1996; div. 2006)
Song Yun-ah (m. 2009)
Korean name
Revised Romanization Seol Gyeong-gu
McCune–Reischauer Sŏl Kyŏnggu

Sol Kyung-gu (born May 1, 1968) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his roles in the popular Public Enemy film series, as well as Peppermint Candy, Oasis, Silmido, Hope and The Merciless.


Sol was born in Seocheon on May 1, 1968, and studied Theater and Film at Hanyang University (Class of '86). Upon his 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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[citation needed]

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 disabled 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.[3]

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.[4][5] 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.[6][7]

In 2005, Sol starred in the sequel Another Public Enemy, which ended up outgrossing the original.[8] 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.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

Sol also began teaching acting in 2014, at his alma mater Hanyang University, as an adjunct professor in the College of Performing Arts.[15][16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Sol married the younger sister of actor Ahn Nae-sang in 1996; they have one daughter. After being separated for four years, Sol and his wife divorced on July 21, 2006.[18]

He married actress Song Yun-ah on May 28, 2009; their son was born on August 3, 2010. Sol and Song previously worked together in the films Jail Breakers (2002) and Lost in Love (2006).[19][20]



Year English title Korean title Role Notes
1996 A Petal 꽃잎 Brother of girl
Love Story 러브스토리 Young-ho
1998 Girls' Night Out 처녀들의 저녁식사 Gyu-sik
1999 Phantom: The Submarine 유령 Number 432
Rainbow Trout 송어 Min-soo
2000 Peppermint Candy 박하사탕 Kim Yong-ho
The Legend of Gingko 단적비연수 Juk
2001 I Wish I Had a Wife 나도 아내가 있었으면 좋겠다 Kim Bong-soo
2002 Public Enemy 공공의 적 Kang Chul-joong
The Bird That Stops in the Air 새는 폐곡선을 그린다 Kim
Oasis 오아시스 Hong Jong-du
Jail Breakers 광복절 특사 Yu Jae-pil
2003 Silmido 실미도 Kang In-chan
2004 Rikidōzan 역도산 Rikidōzan/Kim Sin-rak
2005 Another Public Enemy 공공의 적 2 Kang Chul-joong
2006 Lost in Love 사랑을 놓치다 Woo-jae [21][22]
Cruel Winter Blues 열혈남아 Shim Jae-mun [23]
2007 Voice of a Murderer 그놈 목소리 Han Kyung-bae [24][25]
Venus and Mars 싸움 Kim Sang-min [26]
2008 Public Enemy Returns 강철중: 공공의 적 1-1 Kang Chul-joong
2009 Haeundae 해운대 Choi Man-sik
Closer to Heaven 내 사랑 내 곁에 Kim Jong-do Cameo
A Brand New Life 여행자 Jin-hee's father
2010 No Mercy 용서는 없다 Kang Min-ho [27][28]
Troubleshooter 해결사 Kang Tae-sik [29][30]
Camellia 카멜리아 Yong-soo Short film (segment: "Kamome")
2012 The Tower 타워 Kang Young-ki
2013 Cold Eyes 감시자들 Chief Detective Hwang
The Spy: Undercover Operation 스파이 Chul-soo [31][32]
Hope 소원 Im Dong-hoon [33]
2014 My Dictator 나의 독재자 Kim Sung-geun [34][35]
2015 The Long Way Home 서부전선 Nam-bok [36][37][38]
2017 Lucid Dream 루시드 드림 Bang-seop [39]
The Merciless 불한당: 나쁜 놈들의 세상 Jae-ho [40][41]
Memoir of a Murderer 살인자의 기억법 Byeong-soo [42][43]
1987: When the Day Comes 1987 Kim Jeong-nam Special appearance[44]
2018 Idol 우상 Yoo Joong-sik [45]
2019 Birthday 생일 Jeong-il [46]
TBA I Want to Know Your Parents 니 부모 얼굴이 보고 싶다 [47]
Mongyudowondo 몽유도원도 [48]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
1988 Joy of Love KBS
1991 Magpie Daughter-in-law MBC
1994 Oldest Sister MBC
1997 A Bluebird Has It KBS2
White Christmas SBS
2001 Prince Shōtoku NHK

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2004 "I Loved You to Death" SG Wannabe
2015 "How Much Love Do You Have in Your Wallet?" Park Yoo-chun

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1992 28th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor in Theater Won
1999 7th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actor Rainbow Trout Nominated
20th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2000 10th Oslo International Film Festival Special Mention Award Peppermint Candy Won
36th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor in Film Won
8th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actor Won
23rd Golden Cinematography Awards Best New Actor Won
2nd International Film Festival Bratislava[49] Best Actor Won
37th Grand Bell Awards Best New Actor Won
Best Actor Nominated
21st Blue Dragon Film Awards Won
20th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best New Actor Won
2002 38th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) in Film Public Enemy Won
Best Actor in Film Nominated
39th Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Won
23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Won
10th Chunsa Film Art Awards Oasis Won
3rd Busan Film Critics Awards Won
22nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won
1st Korean Film Awards Won
5th Director's Cut Awards Won
2003 39th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in Film Nominated
26th Golden Cinematography Awards Most Popular Actor Won
29th Seoul International Film Festival Best Actor Won
3rd Korea World Youth Film Festival Favorite Actor Won
2004 40th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in Film Silmido Nominated
2005 42nd Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Rikidōzan Nominated
Another Public Enemy Nominated
2006 3rd Max Movie Awards Nominated
2007 44th Grand Bell Awards Voice of a Murderer Nominated
28th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
6th Korean Film Awards Cruel Winter Blues Nominated
15th Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated
2008 16th Chunsa Film Art Awards Public Enemy Returns Nominated
29th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
Popular Star Award[50] Won
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in Film Nominated
46th Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Haeundae Nominated
17th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) in Film Won
2010 18th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actor No Mercy Won
2013 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Award[51] Hope Won
Best Actor Nominated
33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Nominated
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards[52] Best Actor in Film Won
13th New York Asian Film Festival[53] Star Asia Award N/A Won
22nd Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) in Film My Dictator Won
1st Korean Film Producers Association Awards Best Actor Won
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in Film Nominated
35th Golden Cinematography Awards[54] Best Actor Won
2017 Korean Film Shining Star Awards Star Award The Merciless, Lucid Dream Won
1st The Seoul Awards Best Actor in Film The Merciless, Memoir of a Murderer Nominated
54th Grand Bell Awards[55] Best Actor The Merciless Won
37th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards[56] Won
38th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Award[57] Won
Best Actor Nominated
17th Director's Cut Awards[58] Memoir of a Murderer Won
2018 9th KOFRA Film Awards[59] Won
54th Baeksang Arts Awards[60] Best Actor in Film The Merciless Nominated
23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards[61] Best Actor Nominated


  1. ^ Lee, Yong-sung (20 October 2005). "Film star comes back to drama stage". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  2. ^ Scott, A.O. (31 March 2001). "Peppermint Candy: A Life Retreats From Tragedy to Happy Beginnings". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  3. ^ "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Sol Kyung-gu". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  4. ^ "Seol Soldiers on to Make 'Silmido' a Blockbuster". Chosun via Hancinema. 19 December 2003. 
  5. ^ "'Silmido' makes box office history". Korea JoongAng Daily. 19 February 2004. 
  6. ^ Lee, Seung-jae (1 December 2004). "I Reflected on Myself in Rikidozan". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  7. ^ "Sul Kyung-gu Brings a Touch of Muscle to Wrestling Role". The Chosun Ilbo. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  8. ^ "Film Sequels to Hit Local Theaters". The Korea Times. 9 January 2005. 
  9. ^ "Sul Returns as Kang Cheol-jung". The Korea Times. 19 June 2008. 
  10. ^ "[INTERVIEW] Actor Sul Kyung-gu (Part 1)". 10Asia. 11 January 2010. 
  11. ^ "[INTERVIEW] Actor Sul Kyung-gu (Part 2)". 10Asia. 12 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "[INTERVIEW] Actor Sul Kyung-gu (Part 3)". 10Asia. 12 January 2010. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Police Are Hot in Pursuit of a Kingpin in COLD EYES". Korean Film Biz Zone. 8 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Sol Kyung-gu to Teach Acting at Hanyang University". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  16. ^ Park, Si-soo (20 March 2014). "Entertainers take on teaching role". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  17. ^ "SEOL Kyung-gu Becomes Professor". Korean Film Biz Zone. 13 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Actor Sul and Actress Song to Marry on May 28". The Korea Times. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  19. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (8 May 2009). "Actors Sul, Song to Tie Knot on May 28". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  20. ^ "Sol Kyung-gu, Song Yun-ah to Wed". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  21. ^ "Love, loss and lucid cinematic silence". Korea JoongAng Daily. 16 May 2006. 
  22. ^ "'Lost in Love' depicts lovers lacking courage to tell truth". The Korea Herald. 26 January 2006. 
  23. ^ "Sul Kyung-gu: no Ordinary Action Hero". The Chosun Ilbo. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  24. ^ "Stars of His Voice found roles with meaning". Korea JoongAng Daily. 8 January 2007. 
  25. ^ "Voice of Murderer: New Feature from PARK Jin-pyo". Korean Film Biz Zone. 13 December 2006. 
  26. ^ "Kim Tae-hee, Sul Kyoung-gu Battle Onscreen". The Korea Times. 20 November 2007. 
  27. ^ "Sul, Ryu ignite screen in new thriller". The Korea Herald. 30 March 2010. 
  28. ^ "Actors Show No Mercy for Vengeance". The Korea Times. 24 December 2009. 
  29. ^ Song, Woong-ki (12 August 2010). "Sul says his latest film was the most difficult". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  30. ^ "'Troubleshooter' plays it too safe". The Korea Times. 2 September 2010. 
  31. ^ "Sul Kyung-gu, Moon Sori, Daniel Henney cast in film "Mister K"". 10Asia. 10 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "THE SPY: UNDERCOVER OPERATION Press Conference Was Held". Korean Film Biz Zone. 6 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "NY Asian 2014: HOPE, Korean Acting Legend Sol Kyung-gu Tackles Family Devastation". Screen Daily. 22 July 2014. 
  34. ^ "MY DICTATOR Begins Shooting with SEOL Kyung-gu and PARK Hae-il". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 April 2014. 
  35. ^ Jang, Sung-ran (28 October 2014). "Playing a most dictatorial dad". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  36. ^ "SEOL Kyung-gu and YEO Jin-gu Team for Korean War Film". Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 August 2014. 
  37. ^ Jang, Sung-ran; Kim, Hyo-eun (22 September 2015). "Becoming friends on screen and off". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  38. ^ Shim, Sun-ah (22 September 2015). "(Yonhap Interview) Actor attracted by dullness of The Long Way Home". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  39. ^ "KO Soo and SUL Kyung-gu Star in LUCID DREAM". Korean Film Biz Zone. 21 January 2015. 
  40. ^ "SUL Kyung-gu & IM Si-wan Wrap HOODLUM". Korean Film Biz Zone. 22 December 2016. 
  41. ^ "[Herald Interview] 'The Merciless' shows a new Seol Kyung-gu". The Korea Herald. 10 May 2017. 
  42. ^ "SUL Kyung-gu, KIM Nam-gil Board New Thriller". Korean Film Biz Zone. 1 September 2015. 
  43. ^ "Seol Gyeong-Gu, Wants to become a Proud Actor (Interview)". 10Asia. 10 September 2017. 
  44. ^ "1987 Adds YOO Hae-jin, YEO Jin-gu and SUL Kyung-gu". Korean Film Biz Zone. 6 April 2017. 
  45. ^ "IDOL Begins Filming with HAN Suk-kyu, SUL Kyung-gu and CHUN Woo-hee". Korean Film Biz Zone. 6 November 2017. 
  46. ^ "JEON Do-yeon and SUL Kyung-gu to Celebrate BIRTHDAY". Korean Film Biz Zone. 9 April 2018. 
  47. ^ "SUL Kyung-gu, OH Dal-su, CHUN Woo-hee, MOON So-ri Enter School Bullying Drama". Korean Film Biz Zone. 23 June 2017. 
  48. ^ "Cho Jin-woong, Seol Kyeong-goo, Oh Dal-soo in "Mongyudowondo"". Star MK via Hancinema. 29 December 2016. 
  49. ^ "Ratcatcher reels in top prize at Bratislava". Screen Daily. 15 December 2000. 
  50. ^ "Blue Dragon Award Goes to Sports Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 November 2008. 
  51. ^ "HOPE Scores Best Film at 34th Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 November 2013. 
  52. ^ "SONG Kang-ho Picks Up Grand Prize at PaekSang Arts Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 29 May 2014. 
  53. ^ "Screen International to honour Fumi Nikaido at NYAFF". Screen Daily. 3 June 2014. 
  54. ^ "Kim Hye-soo and Sul Kyung-gu to be awarded the Best Actress and Actor". Segye via Hancinema. 20 September 2015. 
  55. ^ "A TAXI DRIVER Triumphs at 54th Daejong Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 30 October 2017. 
  56. ^ "THE FORTRESS Dominates 37th Korean Film Critics Association Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 30 December 2017. 
  57. ^ "A TAXI DRIVER Drives Off with 4 Blue Dragons". Korean Film Biz Zone. 1 December 2017. 
  58. ^ "BONG Joon-ho Scores 4th DGK Award for OKJA". Korean Film Biz Zone. 15 December 2017. 
  59. ^ "1987 Tops Korean Film Reporters Association Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 9 February 2018. 
  60. ^ "제54회 백상예술대상, TV·영화 각 부문별 수상 후보자 공개". JTBC (in Korean). 6 April 2018. 
  61. ^ "제23회 춘사영화제 5월18일 개최..홍상수·김민희 참석하나". Newsen (in Korean). 3 May 2018. 

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