Yoon Kye-sang

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Yoon Kye-sang
Yoon Kye-Sang.jpg
Background information
Born (1978-12-20) December 20, 1978 (age 38)
Seoul, South Korea
Genres K-pop, R&B
Occupation(s) Actor, singer
Years active 1999–present
Labels JYP Entertainment, SidusHQ, Saram Entertainment
Associated acts g.o.d JYP Nation
Korean name
Hangul 윤계상
Revised Romanization Yun Gye-sang
McCune–Reischauer Yun Kye-sang

Yoon Kye-sang (born December 20, 1978) is a South Korean actor and singer. He began his career in 1999 as part of the K-pop boy band g.o.d, then left the group in 2004 to pursue an acting career. He made his acting debut in the film Flying Boys (2004), for which he won Best New Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards. Yoon became active in both television and film, with leading roles in romantic comedies such as My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law (2004) and Who Are You? (2008) and the melodrama Crazy for You (2007), as well as more serious fare in The Moonlight of Seoul (2008) and The Executioner (2009). After a supporting turn in the hit series The Greatest Love (2011), he returned to the big screen in the well-received indie Poongsan (2011).


Pop star beginnings[edit]

Yoon Kye-sang began his rise to fame as a member of South Korean pop music group g.o.d (which stood for "Groove Overdose"); the band debuted in 1999 and enjoyed huge popularity for over half a decade. However, he turned to acting in 2004,[1] making his film debut in Flying Boys, directed by Byun Young-joo.[2] He made his television debut that same year in My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law with Jung Da-bin.[3]

Some of the group's fans called Yoon a "traitor" for leaving g.o.d before its sixth album; g.o.d went on to release a seventh before disbanding in 2005.[4]

Military service[edit]

Having just departed from g.o.d, Yoon was at the height of his popularity, but had to interrupt his nascent acting career due to mandatory military service.[5] He enlisted in the Republic of Korea Army on December 7, 2004, and was assigned to the 102nd Reserves at Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, on the Korean Demilitarized Zone.[6][7] After completing basic training and serving there for some time, Yoon was reassigned in 2006 to duties as an "entertainment soldier" in the newly formed group Korean Forces Network, which provides television and radio broadcasts to soldiers, and also allows celebrities to maintain a public profile while completing their military service.[5] He was discharged from the army on December 6, 2006. In an interview that day, he said that he had not slept the night before and was very tired, but looked forward to seeing his fans; he further stated that he planned to resume his career in 2007.[8]

As late as June 2011, his military service still earned him public attention, when a round-cheeked photo of him in uniform "went viral" among South Korean internet users. The photos received many amused comments for his then-fat cheeks, forming a sharp contrast with his more recent appearance.[9]

Acting career post-army[edit]

In January 2007, Yoon returned to show business in the television drama Crazy in Love (also known as Crazy for You); he portrayed a gangster who falls in love with the widow (Lee Mi-yeon) of a man he'd accidentally killed.[10][11] The following year, he and Kim Ha-neul were cast in Lovers of Six Years, playing a couple in a six-year relationship. According to Kim, her initial perception of Yoon was that he was very shy, whereas Yoon perceived Kim as snobby, so it took them some time to break the ice and establish a good working relationship.[12] Later that year, he took a dual role in the comedy television series Who Are You?, playing a cold-hearted corporate raider who, in the aftermath of a traffic accident, becomes possessed by the spirit of a cheerful deliveryman for a few hours each day.[13] At the same time he took a starring role opposite Ha Jung-woo in Beastie Boys (also known as The Moonlight of Seoul), portraying a worker in a host club; The Korea Times movie review praised him for his "gripping performance."[14]

In 2009, he left his agency SidusHQ and joined My Name Is Entertainment. After doing a lighter role in the slice-of-life drama Triple,[15] Yoon starred in the movie The Executioner, which examined capital punishment in South Korea; it debuted at the 14th Busan International Film Festival. Yoon played the role of a junior prison guard who takes up his post after failing an examination, and unluckily finds himself assigned to carry out executions after the only other guard in the prison with such experience quits.[16] Just before the movie came out, he made controversial remarks in an interview with GQ Korea stating that the South Korean movie industry was dominated by leftists. As controversy rose among internet users over his remarks, he quickly made an apology for what he described as his "ignorance."[2] He also became part of the ensemble cast in Come, Closer, a 2010 omnibus feature that follows the broken relationships of five couples.[17][18]

After his highly anticipated big-budget Korean War drama Road No. 1, tanked in the ratings,[19][20] Yoon said he wanted to play a character "who gets loved by the public" and took on a supporting role as a sweet, kind doctor in romantic comedy The Greatest Love.[21]

The drama's success and Yoon's popularity in it helped bring attention to his next project, the low-budget, gritty indie Poongsan.[22] Director Juhn Jai-hong fought to cast Yoon against type as the titular taciturn messenger, saying that he'd been impressed by the piercing gaze Yoon had shown in previous films.[23] Calling it "a meaningful project," Yoon enjoyed the difficult acting challenge of telling the story only through his eyes, facial expressions and body movements.[24][25][26] He was recognized with Best Actor nominations from the 2011 Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards.

After starring in the third season of popular sitcom High Kick!,[27] he was cast in the action thriller The Suspect,[28] but withdrew when co-star Choi Min-sik backed out. He also pulled out from Acting Class when the big-screen comedy encountered pre-production delays.[29][30][31]

In May 2012, he transferred to a new agency, A List Entertainment. Then Yoon and close friend, actor Kwon Se-in (who uses the stage name Kwon Yul) filmed the reality/travelogue program Real Mate in Sydney, Australia for seven days and six nights.[32] Kwon also appeared on Yoon Kye-sang's One Table, a reality show on cable channel O'live that helped fulfill Yoon's dream of owning a restaurant.[33] After honing his cooking skills and learning culinary secrets, Yoon prepared a feast for his former band members g.o.d on the show's season finale; it was g.o.d's first televised reunion after eight years.[34][35] During the dinner, Yoon clarified that he had left the band because he initially wanted to quit being a celebrity.[36]

Yoon appeared in Kim Jee-woon's short film One Perfect Day in 2013.[37] Yoon then signed with a new talent agency, Saram Entertainment.[38]

In 2014, Yoon starred in the melodrama series The Full Sun, in which he played a con man who enters a complicated romance with a jewelry heiress. This was followed by the romantic comedy film Red Carpet, in the role of an adult film director who dreams of making his first commercial feature.[39][40] Then to commemorate the band's 15th anniversary, all the members of g.o.d reunited to record their eighth album, and afterwards embarked on a successful nationwide concert tour.[41][42] This was Yoon's first foray into singing in the 11 years since he'd left the band.[43][44]

Minority Opinion (also known as The Unfair), Yoon's film where he played a public defender whose client is accused of killing a riot policeman during a forced demolition, which had wrapped filming in 2013, finally received a theatrical release in 2015.[45] He next starred in Last, a cable series based on Kang Hyung-kyu's webtoon about a fund manager whose financial ruin leads to life among the homeless living underground at Seoul Station,[46] followed by Love Guide for Dumpees (titled Dramatic One Night in Korean), a play-turned-movie about a man and woman who agree to be casual lovers but end up finding something more.[47]

Personal life[edit]

Yoon is the youngest of two siblings in his family. He describes having been very embarrassed as a young boy when he ran errands for his mother and elder sister, such as buying tampons for them at the store.[12]

In December 2000, Yoon, then a member of g.o.d, received a poisoned drink from a supposed fan. Yoon's mother drank the drink and had to have her stomach pumped.[48]



Year Title Role
2004 Flying Boys Kang Min-jae
2008 Lovers of Six Years Kim Jae-young
The Moonlight of Seoul Kim Seung-woo
2009 The Executioner Oh Jae-kyung
2010 Come, Closer Hyun-oh
2011 Poongsan Poongsan
2013 One Perfect Day (short film) Un-cheol
2014 Red Carpet Park Jung-woo
2015 Minority Opinion Yoon Jin-won
Love Guide For Dumpees Yoo Jung-hoon
2016 The Bacchus Lady Do-hoon

Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2001 New Nonstop MBC
2004 My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law Kang Seung-jae SBS
2007 Crazy for You Kim Chae-joon SBS
2008 Who Are You? Cha Seung-hyo MBC
2009 Triple Jang Hyun-tae MBC
2010 Road No. 1 Shin Tae-ho MBC
2011 The Greatest Love Yoon Pil-joo MBC
High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Yoon Kye-sang MBC
2013 Potato Star 2013QR3 Brain surgeon Kye-sang
(cameo, episodes 9-10)
2014 The Full Sun Jung Se-ro/Lee Eun-soo KBS2
2015 Last Jang Tae-ho jTBC
2016 The Good Wife Seo Joong-won tvN

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network
2000-2001 g.o.d's Babysitting Diaries MBC
2010 It Travel: Yoon Kye-sang in Turkey TrendE
2012 Real Mate in Australia: Kye-sang and Se-in Go to Sydney QTV
One Table with Yoon Kye-sang O'live
2013 Stars Into Travel: Yoon Kye-sang's Tasteful Journey
to Gyeongbuk
2015 Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village - Season 2 tvN

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2007 "My Heart Cannot Go On Like This Any Longer" MC the Max


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2004 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law Nominated
2005 41st Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor Flying Boys Won
26th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
4th Korean Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2007 Andre Kim Best Star Awards Best Star Award, Male category N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Crazy for You Nominated
2011 48th Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Poongsan Nominated
32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actor Nominated
MBC Entertainment Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Sitcom/Comedy High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Won
MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor in a Miniseries The Greatest Love Nominated


  1. ^ Kim, Hee-ju (August 4, 2011). "Actor Yoon Kye-sang's Song Picks". 10Asia. 
  2. ^ a b Cho, Jae-hyon (March 19, 2010). "Yoon Kye-sang's Leftist Remarks Cause Online Stir". The Korea Times. 
  3. ^ "My 19-year-old Sister-in-law". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ "god Is Dead". The Chosun Ilbo. October 12, 2005. 
  5. ^ a b "A musician in the South Korean army". The Standard (Hong Kong). April 27, 2006. 
  6. ^ "god 출신 윤계상, 춘천 102보충대 입소" [g.o.d. member Yoon Kye-sang enters 102nd Reserves at Chuncheon]. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). December 7, 2004. 
  7. ^ "Yoon Kye-sang Receive Citations". KBS Global. January 20, 2005. 
  8. ^ 윤계상 제대...내년 초 방송 복귀 [Yoon Gye-sang discharged...will resume appearances next year]. SBS News (in Korean). December 6, 2006. 
  9. ^ 윤계상, 과거 군시절 사진공개..'볼살통통' [Yoon Kye-sang's old army photos go public ... 'fat cheeks']. Money Today (in Korean). June 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Rain Voted Most Likely to Dominate 2007". The Chosun Ilbo. January 2, 2007. 
  11. ^ 예비역 윤계상 '사랑에 미치다' [Reservist Yoon Kye-sang Crazy in Love]. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). January 25, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b Lee, Hyo-won (January 15, 2008). "Actors Kim, Yoon Gossip About Love". The Korea Times. 
  13. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (March 4, 2008). "Different Bodies for Different Souls in Who Are You". The Korea Times. 
  14. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (April 28, 2008). "Moonlight Shines on Seoul's Nightlife". The Korea Times. 
  15. ^ Oh, Jean (June 10, 2009). "MBC's new series a Triple threat". The Korea Herald. 
  16. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (October 22, 2009). "Executioner Looks At Death Row". The Korea Times. 
  17. ^ "2010.10.29 NOW PLAYING". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 29, 2009. 
  18. ^ Mudge, James (May 18, 2011). "Come, Closer (2010) Movie Review". Beyond Hollywood. 
  19. ^ Han, Sang-hee (June 21, 2010). "Road No. 1 to feature war, love, comradeship". The Korea Times. 
  20. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (May 13, 2010). "Kim Ha-neul says "first time receiving such a moving script"". 10Asia. 
  21. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (May 3, 2011). "TV soap to peek into celebrity life". The Korea Times. 
  22. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (July 14, 2011). "Filmmaking is not about money: Kim Ki-duk". The Korea Times. 
  23. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (July 27, 2011). "Poongsan: a director's mission impossible". The Korea Times. 
  24. ^ Kim, Hee-ju (July 15, 2011). "INTERVIEW: Actor Yoon Kye-sang - Part 1". 10Asia. 
  25. ^ Kim, Hee-ju (July 15, 2011). "INTERVIEW: Actor Yoon Kye-sang - Part 2". 10Asia. 
  26. ^ Kim, Hee-ju (July 15, 2011). "INTERVIEW: Actor Yoon Kye-sang - Part 3". 10Asia. 
  27. ^ Kim, Heidi (June 28, 2011). "Yoon Kye-sang to star in sitcom High Kick 3". 10Asia. 
  28. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (March 1, 2012). "Yoon Kye-sang to star in action extravaganza". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  29. ^ Ho, Stewart (July 19, 2012). "Yoon Kye Sang Plays Developmentally Disabled Imposter in New Movie". enewsWorld. 
  30. ^ Lee, Tae-ho (July 20, 2012). "Yoon Kye-sang scores 1st lead role in new family comedy pic". 10Asia. 
  31. ^ Ho, Stewart (November 5, 2012). "Yoon Kye Sang Pulls Out of Acting Class and In Talks to Join Minority Opinion". enewsWorld. 
  32. ^ "Yoon Kye Sang in Real Mate Pilot Episode". Just Yoon Kye Sang. May 28, 2012. 
  33. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (August 23, 2012). "Yoon Kye-sang to take on cookery". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  34. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (November 1, 2012). "All Five Members of g.o.d Come Together for Yoon Kye Sang on One Table". enewsWorld. 
  35. ^ Ho, Stewart (November 9, 2012). "Yoon Kye Sang Impresses g.o.d With His Cooking on One Table". enewsWorld. 
  36. ^ "Yoon Kye Sang reveals why he left g.o.d". Allkpop. November 17, 2012. 
  37. ^ Lee, Eun-sun (March 15, 2013). "KIM Jee-woon, to Direct Second Way to Nature Film Project". Korean Film Council. 
  38. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (August 30, 2013). "Yoon Kye Sang Signs with Saram Entertainment". enewsWorld. 
  39. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (September 25, 2014). "Director taps into own experience for adult film". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  40. ^ Lee, Seung-mee (November 6, 2014). "Yoon Kye-sang seeks a life free from pressure". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  41. ^ Sohn, Ji-young (July 8, 2014). "g.o.d. makes grand return with new LP Chapter 8". The Korea Herald. 
  42. ^ Lee, Sung-eun (September 16, 2014). "After tour, g.o.d. plans concert encore". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  43. ^ "Yoon Kye Sang's Honest Message Brings Tears to g.o.d Members and Fans". Soompi. July 14, 2014. 
  44. ^ Park, Gyu-oh (September 3, 2014). "g.o.d. to hold encore concert on Oct. 25". The Korea Herald. 
  45. ^ Kim, Yeon-ji (June 30, 2015). "Yoon still 'craves' acting". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  46. ^ Choi, He-suk (June 15, 2015). "Actor Yoon Kye-sang to make comeback in action drama". K-pop Herald. 
  47. ^ Won, Ho-jung (December 3, 2015). "Herald Interview: Yoon Kye-sang on playing the ordinary man". The Korea Herald. 
  48. ^ "Attack on TV Star Renews Old Fears". The Chosun Ilbo. February 21, 2008. 

External links[edit]