Song Joong-ki

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Song Joong-ki
Song Joong-ki at Style Icon Asia 2016.jpg
Born (1985-09-19) September 19, 1985 (age 32)
Dong District, Daejeon, South Korea
Education Sungkyunkwan University
(Business Administration)
Occupation Actor
Years active 2008–present
Agent Blossom Entertainment
Spouse(s) Song Hye-Kyo
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization Song Jung-ki
McCune–Reischauer Song Chung-ki

Song Joong-ki (Hangul송중기; born September 19, 1985) is a South Korean actor. He rose to fame in the historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010) and the variety show Running Man as one of the original cast members when it premiered in 2010. Song played his first TV leading role in the melodrama The Innocent Man (2012). He has also starred in feature films, notably as the title character in the box office hit A Werewolf Boy (2012).

After completing his mandatory military service, Song took on the lead role in the pan-Asia hit drama Descendants of the Sun (2016) which cemented his status as a top Hallyu star. He placed 7th in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list in 2013,[1] and ranked 2nd in 2017.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

The second of three siblings, Song was raised in the rural outskirts of Daejeon.[3] He competed in short track speed skating[4] and represented his home city of Daejeon at national level (he would go on to portray a national speed skater in the TV series Triple).[5][6] Unfortunately an injury forced him to give up the sport during his first year of high school. He excelled in his studies all through high school and scored 380 points out of 400 on his national college entrance test,[7] gaining admission to Sungkyunkwan University.[8] While in Seoul preparing for the entrance test, he was scouted on the subway by an agent but did not immediately enter the entertainment industry as he was still ambivalent about his career path[9], and because his father had initially been against him becoming an actor.[10] He continued to study part-time after deciding to enter the entertainment industry full-time during his third year of university,[11] eventually graduating with a degree in Business Administration (minor in broadcasting) in 2012.[12][13]

Song first appeared in a TV show as a contestant on KBS's Quiz Korea, substituting for a senior who was sick.[11] Song eventually won second place. This brought him significant attention, and he became a cover model for the university magazine College.[5][6][14]

Career[edit]

2008–2011: Career beginnings and breakthrough[edit]

Song made his acting debut in the 2008 period film A Frozen Flower. The following year, he appeared in the couple-swapping segment "Believe in the Moment" of omnibus Five Senses of Eros and continued to take on small but notable roles in Triple and Will It Snow for Christmas?.[15] Song also became a regular host of KBS Friday music program Music Bank from 2009 to 2010. He then appeared in the 2010 medical drama OB/GYN Doctors,[16] and animal movie sequel Hearty Paws 2.[17]

Song's breakout role came in the fusion historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal where he played the role of an 18th-century Joseon-era rich, indolent playboy.[18][19] Despite stable but unspectacular ratings, the drama became a cult hit and his on-screen "bromance" with a then-unknown Yoo Ah-in was popular with viewers.[20][21] Song also joined the cast of variety program Running Man from 2010 to 2011.[22]

In May 2011

Song later released the book Beautiful Skin Project, a bestselling health and beauty guide for men (which was re-released in Japan in 2013).[23][24] In late 2010, he went on a bicycling tour around Sydney, which aired two episodes on TV via ELLE, an offshoot of the eponymous fashion magazine. Moreover, a TV special of the actor's trip to Japan entitled I'm Real: Song Joong-ki aired two parts in early 2011.[25] Song later became an MC for jTBC audition program Made in U.[26]

In 2011, Song starred as a jobless deadbeat in the romantic comedy Penny Pinchers.[27] His acting performance was praised by critics, declaring him a "charismatic, swoon-worthy leading man with a viable presence."[28]

Song took on the role of the young king Sejong in Deep Rooted Tree (2011).[29] Critics praised Song's performance, calling it a portrayal of a genius who "realizes the futility of power early in life" and hides in his books to cope with growing up under the rule of his tyrannical father Taejong.[30] Song received the PD Award at the 2011 SBS Drama Awards for the role.

He later narrated the six-part documentary Tears of the Antarctic for MBC program Tears of the Earth (2012), which focuses on pressing environmental issues on the planet and donated his entire salary to charity.[31][32] He reprised his role as narrator when the series was re-edited and released in theaters as Pengi and Sommi (2012).[33][34] He later went on a fan-meeting tour called Song Joong-ki Asia Fan Meeting Tour – THRILL & LOVE, holding fan meetings in Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.[35][36][37]

2012–2015: Leading roles and military enlistment[edit]

At The Innocent Man press conference, September 2012

Song described 2012 as a "phenomenal year" for his career.[38][39][40] He played the titular character in fantasy romance film A Werewolf Boy, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[41] In preparation for his role, Song watched nature documentaries and observed stray dogs on the streets to learn how to mime and imitate the body movements of an animal.[42][43] He also repeatedly watched Tim Burton's 1990 romantic fantasy Edward Scissorhands, Matt Reeves' 2010 vampire flick Let Me In, and Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.[41] The film was screened at the Busan International Film Festival,[44] and became the most successful Korean melodrama of all time, with more than 7 million tickets sold.[38][45]

In December 2012

The same year, he took on his first leading drama role in television, The Innocent Man.[46][47][48] His assured and nuanced portrayal of an antihero received praise from critics and audience.[49] The drama attracted high ratings, which along with the impressive box office run of A Werewolf Boy, cemented Song's image in the press as the "savior" of the melodrama genre both on the big and small screen.[38][50]

In February 2013, after his contract with entertainment agency Sidus HQ expired, Song announced that he will be joining Blossom Entertainment.[51]

Prior to his enlistment for his mandatory military service, Song held a fan meet on August 17, 2013.[52][53] He then enlisted on August 27 at the 102nd draft camp in Chuncheon.[54][55][56] He served in an infantry unit assigned to patrol and conduct reconnaissance missions along the DMZ[57][11] and was discharged on May 26, 2015.[58][59][60]

2016–present: Overseas popularity[edit]

Song made his small screen comeback in Descendants of the Sun alongside actress Song Hye-kyo, playing a military officer.[61][62] The drama was incredibly popular in Korea with a peak viewership rating of 41.6% and in Asia, where it was viewed 2.5 billion times on iQiyi.[63][64] The drama reestablished Song as a leader of the Hallyu and he topped popularity polls in Asia.[65][66][67]

Song was made the Korean Tourism Honorary Ambassador by the Korea Tourism Organization to actively promote Korean tourism worldwide.[68][69] He was also listed as one of the Top 100 Future Generation of Leaders, at #34.[70] He became the face of over 30 brands in 2016 alone and was one of the recipients of Korea's "Brand of the Year" award.[71][66][72][73] He then embarked on a series of sold-out Asian tour spanning 10 different cities, where he met more than 60,000 fans.[74][75]

Song began filming the period film Battleship Island not long after Descendants aired. He stars alongside actors So Ji-sub and Hwang Jung-min and portrays a member of the Korean independence movement, who sneaks onto Hashima Island to rescue a fellow member.[76][77]

Personal life[edit]

On July 5, 2017, Song Joong-ki and Descendants of the Sun co-star Song Hye-kyo announced through their respective agencies that they are engaged, and will marry on October 31, 2017.[78][79][80]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Hangul Role
2008 A Frozen Flower 쌍화점 No-tak
2009 Five Senses of Eros 오감도 Yoo Jae-hyuk
The Case of Itaewon Homicide 이태원 살인사건 Jo Jong-pil
2010 Hearty Paws 2 마음이 2 Dong-wook
2011 Penny Pinchers 티끌모아 로맨스 Chun Ji-woong
Rio Blu (Korean dubbing)[81]
2012 Pengi and Sommi 황제펭귄 펭이와 솜이 Narrator
The Grand Heist 바람과 함께 사라지다 Older Jung-goon (cameo)
A Werewolf Boy 늑대소년 Chul-soo
2017 The Battleship Island 군함도 Park Moo-young

Television series[edit]

Year Title Hangul Role Network
2007 Get Karl! Oh Soo-jung 칼잡이 오수정 Reporter 2 (bit part) SBS
2008 Love Racing 러브 레이싱 Younger male YTN
My Precious You 내사랑 금지옥엽 Jang Jin-ho KBS2
2009 Triple 트리플 Ji Poong-ho MBC
My Fair Lady 아가씨를 부탁해 Head butler
(cameo, episode 1)
KBS2
Will It Snow for Christmas? 크리스마스에 눈이 올까요? Han Ji-yong SBS
2010 OB & GY 산부인과 Ahn Kyung-woo
Sungkyunkwan Scandal 성균관 스캔들 Gu Yong-ha KBS2
2011 Deep Rooted Tree 뿌리깊은 나무 teenage Yi Do SBS
2012 The Innocent Man 세상 어디에도 없는 착한남자 Kang Ma-ru KBS2
2016 Descendants of the Sun 태양의 후예 Yoo Si-jin
The Sound of Your Heart 마음의 소리 Cameo[82]
2017 Man to Man 맨투맨 Bankteller (cameo)[83] JTBC

Television show[edit]

Year Title Hangul Network Notes
2010–2011 Running Man 런닝맨 SBS Cast member (episodes 1–41)
2011 I'm Real: Song Joong-ki I'm Real 송중기 QTV
2011–12 Tears of the Antarctic 남극의 눈물 MBC Documentary, as narrator
2016 KBS News 9 KBS 뉴스9 KBS First actor to appear on prime-time news[84]
2017 JTBC Newsroom JTBC 뉴스룸 jTBC [85]

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song Title Hangul Artist Ref.
2009 "Poisonous Tongue" 독설 Tei
2012 "Men Are All Like That" 남자가 다 그렇지 뭐 Kim Jong-kook [86]

Hosting[edit]

Year Network Program Notes
2009~2010 KBS2 Music Bank With Seo Hyo-rim
2010 MelOn Music Awards [87]
KBS2 KBS Drama Awards With Choi Soo-jong[88]
2011 Mnet 20's Choice With Suzy[89]
KBS2 Dream Concert With Kim Hee-chul[90]
2012 JTBC Made in U [26]

Discography[edit]

Year Song Title Hangul Notes
2012 "Really" 정말 track from The Innocent Man OST[91][92]

Bibliography[edit]

Year Title Hangul Author Publisher
2010 Beautiful Skin Project 피부미남 프로젝트 Song Joong-ki, Hwang Min-young Antenna Books

Fan meeting[edit]

Date City Country/Region Title Venue Ref.
September 20, 2009 Seoul South Korea First Fan Meeting Birthday Party Seoul Asian Art Hall
November 25, 2011 Kobe Japan 1st Japan Fan Meeting Kobe Portopia
November 27, 2011 Tokyo Sanrio Puroland
April 2012 Bangkok Thailand Love and Thrill: Asia Fan Meeting Tour Paragon Hall [36][37]
May 2012 Singapore Singapore
Shanghai China
June 2012 Hong Kong Hong Kong
July 22, 2012 Seoul South Korea Kyunghee University Crown Hall
April 17, 2016 5th Fan Meeting in Seoul Kyunghee University Pavilion [93][94]
May 7, 2016 Bangkok Thailand 2016 Asia Fan Meeting Tour Thunder Dome, Muangthong Thani [95]
May 14, 2016 Beijing China Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium [96][97]
May 21, 2016 Wuhan Wuhan Lobby, China Culture Expo Center [98]
May 27, 2016 Guangzhou Guangzhou International Sports Arena [97]
May 28, 2016 Shenzhen Shenzhen Bay Sports Center [97]
June 11, 2016 Hong Kong Hong Kong AsiaWorld–Arena [99]
June 17, 2016 Chengdu China Chengdu Sports Centre [100]
June 25, 2016 Taipei Taiwan National Taiwan University Sports Center [101]
July 16, 2016 Shanghai China Shanghai Indoor Stadium [102]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2010 3rd Style Icon Awards New Style Icon (TV Actor) N/A Won
31st Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Hearty Paws 2 Nominated
SBS Entertainment Awards Best Newcomer in a Variety Show Running Man Won [103]
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal Nominated [104]
Netizens' Award Nominated
Popularity Award Won
Best Couple Award with Yoo Ah-in Won
2011 6th Asia Model Festival Awards BBF Fashionista Award N/A Won [105]
7th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actor Sungkyunkwan Scandal Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Producer's Award Deep Rooted Tree Won [106]
2012 6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Male Drama Star Nominated [107]
5th Style Icon Awards Style Icon N/A Won [108]
19th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor The Innocent Man Won [109]
1st K-Drama Star Awards Won [110]
KBS Drama Awards Won [111][112]
Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
Netizens' Award Won
Best Couple Award with Moon Chae-won Won
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (Film) A Werewolf Boy Nominated [113]
6th Nickelodeon Korea Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Actor Won [114]
7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Male Movie Star Nominated
50th Grand Bell Awards Popularity Award Nominated
8th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actor The Innocent Man Nominated
Outstanding Korean Drama OST "Really"
(The Innocent Man OST)
Nominated [115]
2016
8th Style Icon Asia
Style Icon N/A Won [116]
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Descendants of the Sun Nominated [117][118]
Most Popular Actor (TV) Won
iQiyi Global Star Award N/A Won
Korean Consumer Forum Awards Korea's Brand of the Year N/A Won
11th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actor Descendants of the Sun Won [119]
5th APAN Star Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Won [120]
Best Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
Best Couple Award with Song Hye-kyo Won
Best APAN Star Award N/A Won
9th Korea Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Descendants of the Sun Nominated
7th Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards President's Award N/A Won [121]
1st Asia Artist Awards
Most Popular Actor
Descendants of the Sun
Nominated
30th KBS Drama Awards
Daesang (Grand Prize) Won [122][123]
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a miniseries Nominated
Best Couple with Song Hye-kyo Won
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
Best Asia Couple with Song Hye-kyo Won
Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards Asia Popular Artist Award, Male N/A Nominated
Korean Producer Awards
Best Performer Award
Descendants of the Sun
Won [124]

References[edit]

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