Yeo Jin-goo

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Yeo Jin-goo
Yeo Jin-goo for Marie Claire Magazine April Issue 2016 05.png
Yeo for Marie Claire Magazine in 2016
Born (1997-08-13) August 13, 1997 (age 20)
Seoul, South Korea
Other names Yeo Jin-gu
Occupation Actor
Years active 2005–present
Agent Janus Entertainment
Korean name
Revised Romanization Yeo Jin-gu
McCune–Reischauer Yŏ Jin'gu

Yeo Jin-goo (born August 13, 1997) is a South Korean actor. Yeo began his career as child actor, debuting in the film Sad Movie (2005). Nicknamed "Nation's Little Brother",[1] he went on to play the younger version of the lead roles in movies and television dramas such as A Frozen Flower (2008), Giant (2010), Moon Embracing the Sun (2012), and Missing You (2012). He is known for playing the title character in action thriller Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), for which he won Best New Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Since then, he has taken on lead roles in the films Shoot Me in the Heart (2015), The Long Way Home (2015), and Warriors of the Dawn (2017). He has also starred in the dramas Orange Marmalade (2015), The Royal Gambler (2016), Circle (2017) and Reunited Worlds (2017).

Early life and education[edit]

Yeo was born on August 13, 1997. He is the eldest of two siblings and has a younger brother. As a child, Yeo wanted to appear on television and therefore asked his parents to let him try acting. With the support of his parents, he took acting lessons and eventually made his debut on the big-screen with Sad Movie (2005).[2]

He graduated from Namgang High School, an all boys high school, in 2016.[3][4] He is currently studying at Chung-Ang University, majoring in the Department of Theater.[5]


2005–2011: Beginnings as a child actor[edit]

In 2005, Yeo made his debut at the age of eight in the film Sad Movie. He auditioned for the role of Park Hwi-chan and was chosen among 150 candidates despite having no previous acting experience.[6] In 2006, he appeared in his first television drama I Want to Love, playing a sickly child of a single mother; followed by his first role in a sageuk drama Yeon Gaesomun as young Kim Heum-soon.

In 2008, he played the younger version of the lead roles in the series Iljimae and Tazza.[7] He won his first acting award as Best Child Actor at the SBS Drama Awards for both dramas.[8]

In 2010, he starred in the drama Giant as the younger counterpart to Lee Beom-soo's character.[9] According to Yeo, this was the first time he fully immersed himself in a role and began taking acting seriously.[10]

In 2011, he played the younger part of the title character in the historical drama Warrior Baek Dong-soo. He also made a brief appearance as teenage Ddol-bok in the drama Deep Rooted Tree. The appearance was upon the request of its lead actor Jang Hyuk, who took a liking to Yeo when the latter portrayed his younger version in the drama Tazza.[11]

2012: Rising popularity[edit]

In 2012, Yeo rose to prominence when he starred in the fantasy-period drama Moon Embracing the Sun, playing the role of a young crown prince.[12][13] The drama surpassed 40% in ratings and gained "national drama" status. This was followed by a well-received turn in melodrama Missing You.[14] He won Best Young Actor at the 2012 MBC Drama Awards for his portrayal in both dramas.[15]

2013–present: Transition to lead roles[edit]

In 2013, Yeo starred as the titular character in action thriller Hwayi: A Monster Boy, for which he garnered praises and won several Best New Actor honors from annual award ceremonies such as Blue Dragon Film Awards and Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.[16] He is the youngest male actor to receive the Best New Actor award in the history of Blue Dragon Film Awards, at the age of sixteen.[17] In the same year, he was also cast in the sitcom, Potato Star 2013QR3 as an aspiring mobile application developer.[18]

In 2015, he starred in the film Shoot Me in the Heart, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Jeong Yu-jeong.[19][20] He had his first leading role on television with teen vampire series, Orange Marmalade, based on the webtoon of the same name.[21] In the same year, he appeared in the Korean War film, The Long Way Home. Veteran actor Sol Kyung-gu, his co-star in the film, strongly recommended Yeo for the role of Yeong-gwang, and only signed the movie contract once Yeo's casting had been finalized.[22]

In 2016, Yeo played the role of King Yeongjo in the SBS drama The Royal Gambler, and won an Excellence Award at the year end SBS Drama Awards.[23][24]

In 2017, Yeo starred in tvN's science fiction drama Circle, and historical movie Warriors of the Dawn, both of which premiered in May.[25][26] He was also cast for a special appearance in the star-studded film, 1987: When the Day Comes, based on the June Democratic Uprising. The movie reunites him with Director Jang Joon-hwan and actor Kim Yoon-seok of Hwayi: A Monster Boy.[27] In July, he starred in SBS's romance drama Reunited Worlds.[28]

In 2018, Yeo is set to return to small screen with the romantic comedy Absolute Boyfriend, based on the Japanese manga series of the same name.[29][30]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Sad Movie Park Hwi-chan
2006 Sa-kwa Young boy
No Mercy For The Rude Young Killer
2007 Dance of the Dragon Young Kwon Tae-san
2008 Santamaria Kang Da-seong
Antique Young Kim Jin-hyuk
A Frozen Flower Young Hong-rim
2013 Sky Force 3D Ace voice only, Korean dub[31]
Hwayi: A Monster Boy Hwa-yi
2014 Mr. Perfect Lee Byung-joo
Tazza: The Hidden Card Agui's pupil Special appearance
2015 Shoot Me In The Heart Lee Soo-myung
The Long Way Home Kim Yeong-gwang
2017 Warriors of the Dawn Gwanghaegun
1987: When the Day Comes Park Jong-chul Special appearance

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2006 I Want to Love Baek Min-hyung SBS
Yeon Gaesomun young Kim Heum-soon
2007 Queen of the Game young Lee Shin-jeon
2008 Iljimae young Lee Gyeom
Tazza young Kim Gon
Gourmet Hotae
2009 Can Anyone Love? Lee Poo-reum-chan
Ja Myung Go young Hodong
Swallow the Sun young Kim Jung-woo
2010 The Reputable Family young Choi Guk-seon KBS1
Giant young Lee Kang-mo SBS
2011 Warrior Baek Dong-soo young Baek Dong-soo
Deep Rooted Tree teenage Ddol-bok
2012 Moon Embracing the Sun young Lee Hwon MBC
Missing You young Han Jung-woo
2013 Potato Star 2013QR3 Hong Hye-sung / Noh Jun-hyuk tvN
2015 Orange Marmalade Jung Jae-min KBS2
2016 The Royal Gambler King Yeongjo of Joseon SBS
2017 Circle Kim Woo-jin tvN
Reunited Worlds Sung Hae-sung SBS
2018 Absolute Boyfriend Young Goo TBA

Reality show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2012 I'm Real, Yeo Jingoo in Italy QTV
2016 Giving From Jingoo Oppa tvN Asia A 2-episode documentary for TOMS Giving Project
2018 4 Wheeled Restaurant tvN Cast member[32]


Year Title Network Notes
2010 United Reporter! Goes to Unification of Germany School IPTV Presentation and narration
2011 United Reporter! Goes to Transformation of

Countries in Eastern Europe (Hungary portion)

School IPTV
2012 New Life for Children MBC Narration
2014 Help for the Children in Myanmar,

Hand of Hope to Hold on

Uigwe, the 8-Day Festival in 3D KBS (Theatrical version)
2015 Marine Documentary, Sharks KBS
2016 Graduation - The Youths Who Cannot

Leave School (Documentary Special)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie, 20th Century Fox Korea Novel narrator
2017 Animal Farm SBS Narration

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist
2012 "I Need You" K.Will
2014 "Still in Love" Baek Ji-young

Musical theater[edit]

Year Title Role
2008 Chorus of Angels Lee Woo-ri


Year Title
2010 Youth Unified Education
2012 Child Protection Institution Child Abuse Prevention Day
2013 Stop the School Violence
2014 Vietnam Film Festival
Seoul International Youth Film Festival[33]
Nanumyieum (Sharing by Connecting)
2016-present Taiwan Tourism

Fan meeting[edit]

Date City Country Title Venue Ref.
August 9, 2013 Yokohama Japan Pacifico
August 9, 2015 Seoul South Korea Yeo Jin-goo Birthday Fan Meeting Ilchi Art Hall
August 28, 2015 Tokyo Japan Square Ebara Hiratsuka Hall
November 12, 2015 Hong Kong Hong Kong Sheung Shui Plaza
October 23, 2016 Tokyo Japan Happy Magic Hour Shinagawa Intercity Hall

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 SBS Drama Awards Best Young Actor Iljimae, Tazza, Gourmet Won [34]
2010 KBS Drama Awards The Reputable Family Nominated
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated
6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Upcoming 20's Won [35]
4th Pierson Movie Festival Best Child Actor Won [36]
5th Korea Drama Awards Best Young Actor Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Moon Embracing the Sun,
Missing You
Won [37]
Popularity Award Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated
Best Couple Award
(with Kim Yoo-jung)
5th Herald Donga TV Lifestyle Awards Style Icon Rookie N/A Won [38]
2013 5th Pierson Movie Festival Best Child Actor Moon Embracing the Sun Won
6th Style Icon Awards Child Actor to Man N/A Won [39]
28th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards The Rising Star N/A Won
21st Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Best New Actor (Film) Hwayi: A Monster Boy Won
33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best New Actor Won [40]
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Won [41]
2014 5th KOFRA Film Awards Won [42]
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Nominated
14th Director's Cut Awards Best New Actor Won [43]
23rd Buil Film Awards Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards Nominated
6th Pierson Movie Festival Trend Choice Award N/A Won
2015 4th Marie Claire Film Festival Rookie Award Shoot Me in the Heart Won
52nd Grand Bell Awards Best New Actor Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Orange Marmalade Won [44]
Popularity Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple Award
(with Kim Seolhyun)
2016 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama The Royal Gambler Won [45]
Best Couple Award
(with Jang Keun-suk)
2017 tvN Movies Awards Most Promising Actor Hwayi: A Monster Boy Won [46]
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama Reunited Worlds Nominated


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