Park Seo-joon is a South Korean actor and singer. He is best known for his roles in the South Korean dramas Kill Me, Heal Me (2015), She Was Pretty (2015), Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (2016–2017), Fight for My Way (2017), What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018), and Itaewon Class (2020).
He did his schooling at Bucheon’s Songnae Elementary School, Incheon’s Imhak Middle School, and Incheon’s Annam High School. Initially, he never thought of becoming an actor. He didn’t like studying, and like any other kid, he went to school, cram school, and PC rooms with his friends. While he was in middle school, he began contemplating his career options. After his friends suggested he become a model because of his long height, he began dreaming of becoming a model. After his family’s opposition towards his career choice, he left the thought of modeling. Being shy as a child, he decided to study acting to escape his shy personality in middle school. In an interview, Park said,
I couldn’t even order food at a restaurant, I was so embarrassed. I wanted to change that. And I have to confess I was drawn a little bit to the glamour (of acting).”
He joined an animation club in his middle school and participated in his first cosplay event at a school arts festival. Talking about its experience, he said,
That was the first time I wasn’t afraid of people’s attention. It was surprising.”
In high school, he joined an acting academy, where he gave his first stage performance.
In his teens and twenties, he did part-time jobs and also attended hagwon (after-school classes). In 2008, he started his mandatory military service and served in the Korea Correctional Service at Cheongju Prison as a prison guard. Talking about it in an interview, he said,
I went to the military in 2008. I wanted to act, but it didn’t go well. At that time, I thought I had to solve the problem from the military, so I left early. I also regretted it. But now that I think about it, it was good that I went early. (Laughs)”
He was discharged from his services in 2010.
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Nothing is known about his parents. He is the eldest of the three sons of his parents. One of his younger brothers is married, and he has a niece from his brother.
He was in a relationship with a girl in his middle school who was also his friend. He doesn’t communicate with the girl now. In the 2012 Kdrama ‘Family,’ he shared an on-screen kiss with the South Korean-Canadian actor Choi Woo-sik. After the scene aired, people began speculating that Park and Choi were dating. The speculations were shut down by the actors, who said that they were just close friends.
He was rumored to be in a relationship with his co-star in ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’ (2018) Park Min‑young. The news of their dating broke out in July 2018, and the rumor was denied by both of the actors’ agencies.
He was rumored to be in a relationship with the South Korean actress Baek Jin-hee. Reportedly, Seo-joon moved to her neighborhood to stay close to her, and they were also spotted wearing the same jackets. Clarifying the reports, he said that he moved his apartments because his old place had parking problems, and the jackets were sponsored.
He was even believed to be in a relationship with the actress and singer Hyolyn. Park’s parents know Hyolyn, and she has often visited his parents. A video of him and Hyolyn went viral in which he was seen helping the injured Hyolyn walk.
He has even been linked with the South Korean singer Sunmi.
He was said to be in a relationship with Kim Ji-won after the couple appeared in the 2017 Kdrama ‘Fight for My Way.’
- KeyEast (2014-June 2018)
- Awesome Entertainment (joined in July 2018)
In 2011, he made his debut in the South Korean entertainment industry by appearing in the music of video of South Korean rapper Bang Yong-guk’s single ‘I Remember.’
He also appeared in the music video of The One’s ‘One Two Three Four’ (2014) and Kim Ji-soo’s ‘Dream All Day’ (2017).
In 2011, he made his feature film debut with the South Korean film ‘Perfect Games,’ which is based on the true story of rivals Sun Dong-yeol of the Haitai Tigers and Choi Dong-won of the Lotte Giants, the top pitchers in the Korea Baseball Organization league during the 1980s. He played the small character ‘Chil-goo’ in the film.
After working for some time in the television industry, he played the main role of ‘Cha Dong-jae’ in the 2015 South Korean film ‘The Chronicles of Evil.’
In 2017, he appeared in his first lead role as ‘Park Ki-joon’ in the South Korean action comedy film ‘Midnight Runners,’ a story of two students at the Korean National Police University who decide to use their knowledge and track the kidnappers after witnessing a kidnapping.
He then appeared in the lead role in series of South Korean feature films like The Divine Fury (2019), Dream (2021), and Concrete Utopia (2021). In 2020, he was seen in the South Korean black comedy thriller film ‘Parasite,’ which follows a poor family scheming employment from a wealthy family to infiltrate their household by posing as unrelated and highly qualified individuals. The film won Palme O’dor at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, four Oscars 2020, Golden Globe 2020, and Screen Actors Guild Award 2020. He played the role of ‘Min-Hyuk’ in the film.
In 2022, he is slated to make his American film debut with the superhero film ‘The Marvels.’
In 2012, he made his television debut with the South Korean series ‘Dream High 2’ in the main role of ‘Lee Si-woo.’
After starring in main and supporting roles in the South Korean TV series Family (2012), Pots of Gold (2013), and One Warm Word (2013), he appeared in the lead role of ‘Yoon Dong-ha’ in the South Korean TV series ‘The Witch’s Love’ (2014).
In 2015, his breakout roles came with the South Korean dramas ‘Kill Me, Heal Me’ and ‘She was Pretty.’ In ‘Kill Me, Heal Me,’ he was seen in the second lead role of ‘Oh Ri-on.’
In ‘She was Pretty,’ he appeared in the lead role of ‘Ji Sung-joon,’ an ugly child-turned-handsome man who wants to find his first love.
In 2016, he appeared in the lead role of ‘Moo Myung/Kim Sun-woo’ in the superhit K-drama ‘Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth,’ which is based on the story of an elite group of male warrior youth called Hwarang in Seorabeol, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla.
In 2017, he appeared in the lead role of ‘Ko Dong-Man’ in the superhit K-drama ‘Fight for My Way,’ which focuses on the lives of four individuals who struggle to succeed in their love life and career.
In 2018, he appeared in the lead role of romantic comedy-drama ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’ as ‘Lee Young-joon/Lee Sung-hyun.’ Seo-joon starred alongside Park Min-young in the drama. The series was a big success, and Seo-joon received praises from critics for his performance, being dubbed the ‘master of romantic comedy’ by the Korean press.
In 2020, he appeared in the lead role of ‘Park Sae-ro-yi’ in ‘Itaewon Class,’ which aired on JTBC in South Korea and Netflix worldwide. Itaewon Class follows the journey of Park Sae-ro-yi, whose father died an unjust death at the hands of the heir of a top food company, from a pub owner to the biggest food company in South Korea as a means to take revenge of his father’s death. The series was included in Time Magazine’s list of ‘The 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix’ and Forbes’ list of ‘The 13 Best Korean Dramas Of 2020.’ The series was revealed to be the first most searched drama/entertainment program of 2020 and the fourth most searched domestic term of 2020 in South Korea.
Apart from these, he also made cameo appearances on the Kdramas Mama (2014) and Record of Youth (2020).
Park Seo-joon has only sung OSTs in Kdramas. In 2012, he sang his first song titled ‘New Dreaming’ in the Kdrama ‘Dream High 2’ with JB.
He then sang ‘Come into My Heart’ (2014) from the Kdrama ‘The Witch’s Love.’ In 2015, he sang ‘Letting You Go’ in the Kdrama ‘Kill Me, Heal Me.’ The song was charted at 91 on the Gaon Digital Chart. He also sang the OSTs ‘Long Way’ (2015) from ‘She was Pretty’ and ‘Our Tears’ (2017) from ‘Hwarang.’
Park Seo-joon has worked as a host for the South Korean music program Music Bank (2013-15) and the 2014 SBS Drama Awards.
In 2018, he appeared as a cast member in the TV reality show ‘Youn’s Kitchen: Season 2.’ The series follows the cast of the show traveling to a foreign location and trying to run their pop-up restaurant there.
In 2021, he was a cast member in the reality TV show ‘Youn’s Stay,’ which was rebranded from ‘Youn’s Kitchen’ and followed cast members who operated a hanok (traditional Korean house) guesthouse, especially for foreigners who have lived in South Korea for less than a year.
Awards, Achievements & Honors
For Midnight Runners (2017)
- Grand Bell Award for Best New Actor for the film ‘Midnight Runners’ in 2017
- Korean Association of Film Critics Award for Best New Actor for ‘Midnight Runners’ in 2017
- Korea Film Actors Association Award for Popular Star Awards for ‘Midnight Runners’ in 2017
- KOFRA Film Award for Best New Actor for ‘Midnight Runners’ in 2018
- Faro Island Film Festival – Golden Carp Film Award – Korean And Japanese for Best New Performer for ‘Midnight Runners’ in 2018
MBC Drama Awards for Kill Me, Heal Me (2015) and She Was Pretty (2015)
- Excellence Award (Actor in a Miniseries) in 2015
- Popularity Award (Actor) in 2015
- Top 10 Stars Award for in 2015
- Best Couple Award (with Ji Sung) in 2015
KBS Drama Awards for Fight for My Way (2017)
- Excellence Award (Actor in a Miniseries) in 2017
- Netizen Award (Actor) in 2017
- Best Couple Award (with Kim Ji-won) in 2017
Asia Artist Awards for Fight for My Way (2017)
- Fabulous Award in 2017
- Best Star Award in 2017
Forbes Korea Power Celebrity 40
- Placed 22nd in 2018
- Placed 30th in 2019
- Placed 14th in 2021
- Ranked 3rd in the Most Followed Korean Actors On Instagram 2020 by Metro.Style
- Most Beloved by Consumer in 2018 by Soompi
Other Awards & Honors
- Korea Drama Award for Best New Actor for ‘Pots of Gold’ in 2013
- Herald Donga Lifestyle Award for Best Style of the Year in 2014
- SBS Drama Awards – New Star Award for ‘One Warm Word’ in 2014
- Fashionista Award for Best Fashion in TV for ‘She Was Pretty’ in 2015
- Blue Dragon Film Award for Popular Star Award for the film ‘The Chronicles of Evil’ in 2015
- KBS WORLD Global Fan Awards – Best Couple Award (with Kim Ji-won) for ‘Fight for My Way’ in 2018
- Seoul International Drama Award for Outstanding Korean Actor for ‘Fight for My Way’ in 2018
- APAN Star Award for Top Excellence Award (Actor in a Miniseries) for ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’ in 2018
- Cosmo Beauty Award for Annual Shining Beauty Idol in 2018
- Korea Tourism Award (from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in South Korea) – Special Merit Award in 2018
- Asian Film Awards – AFA Rising Star Award in 2019
In June 2021, Park Seo-joon’s old interview from 2014 resurfaced on the internet, which created a huge controversy. In the interview, when talking about his ideal type, Park said that he wanted his wife to leave her job to take care of his children. He had said,
I grew up in a family like that so I also think my kids should be raised by their mother. I heard the one’s childhood forever shapes the person’s perspective on life. It seems unloved childhood leads to problematic adult life. Either he won’t have good social skills, or he could end up being a felon to be extreme. I will be their good fatherly figure, but the children need their mom. It could be wrong but to me, this is an answer now. find women who bring about my protective instinct attractive. I feel like if they are tall, they are going to be fine living alone. I like women who keep me worried. And skinny women tend to be like that.”
- Food: Japchae, Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Kimchi fried rice, Beef, Pork with Soybean Sprouts & Lettuce
- Beverage: Coffee
- Restaurant: A cafe in Banpo-dong in Seoul
- Film Director: Kim Jee-woon
- Film(s): A Bittersweet Life (2005), La La Land (2016)
- Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Soo-hyun
- Baseball Player(s): Son Heung-min, Noah Syndergaard
- Baseball Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
- Travel Destination: Los Angeles
- Singer: Noh Sa-yeon
- Color: Yellow
He lives at an apartment building in Geumho-dong, a neighborhood of Seongdong district in Seoul, South Korea. The neighborhood is home to South Korean celebrities like Lee Kwang-soo (actor), Baek Jin-hee (actress), Jun Hyun-moo (TV host), and couple Ahn Jae-hyun (model and actor) and Koo Hye-sun (actress, singer-songwriter, and director). He owns the apartment in the same building as Lee Kwang-soo, whose house was worth 500 million won ($445,000) as of 2020, giving an idea of the price of Seo-joon’s apartment. Cosmopolitan
Assets & Net Worth
- While he was doing his military service, he read a lot of books, especially self-help books and novels.
- Park Seo-joon is often called PSJ. The symbol appears many times in his Instagram posts and the things he carries. Soompi
- His costar Hwang Jung-eum on ‘She Was Pretty’ (2015) named him ‘Park Sundae’ as his lips were thick. Sundae is a type of blood sausage in Korean cuisine and also a popular street food in North and South Korea. Koreaboo
- He likes watching football whenever he is free. He likes the South Korean footballer Son Heung-min and is also good friends with him.
- His parents initially opposed him for acting. His parents put up a condition that if his grades dropped three times, he would have to quit acting. Due to the condition given by his parents, he juggled between acting school and studying. Instead of self-studies, he used to attend his acting classes. He would take the last bus back home and go to the library to study till 3 am. His grades dropped twice.
- Initially, he had an interest in baseball since childhood and wanted to make a career in it. However, when his brother decided to become a baseball player, his father chose to train his brother as he thought that he was stronger in the game. Due to this, Seo-joon had to let go of the game. He then watched and played baseball games privately, but he stopped playing it after his brother quit the sport due to an injury. He later started playing baseball again and is a member of the celebrity baseball team Playboys. His jersey number is 34.
- In January 2021, he gave a nickname to his fans – Jeomju. Jeomju means a storekeeper in Korean, and the name was one of the suggested names by his fans. He chose the name as he thought that the name sounded close to ‘box office’ in Korean. His official Fancafe, a forum on the South Korean web portal Daum, is titled ‘PARK’s Office.’ Soompi
- To enhance his acting performances, at the beginning of his acting career, he learned kendo, aikido, fencing, and horseback riding.
- He owns a Youtube channel named 박서준 Record PARK’s. The channel was started in 2019. His channel was hacked, and the hacker deleted his content in 2019. After some time, his account was restored. In 2020, his channel reached one million subscribers, which made him the first Korean actor to win the YouTube Creator Award – Gold Play Button. Metro.Style
- In September 2019, he was named the juror for the Asiana International Short Film Festival.
- He is also an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund, 2020 Census of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, and Good Library.
- When he started his acting career, he admired the South Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun, who was in the same agency as him. Although Seo- joon and Soo-hyun are almost the same age, Soo-hyun is senior in terms of acting. Soo-hyun recommended him to his agency KeyEast Entertainment. He met Soo-hyun for the first time by chance on the set of Dream High 2; in the first season of the show, Soo-hyun was the lead.
- Park Seo-joon is a member of ‘Wooga Squad,’ a celebrity friends’ group, which consists of members like BTS’ vocalist V (Kim Tae-hyung), actors Park Hyung-sik and Choi Woo-sik, and Peakboy. The term Wooga is the short form of the phrase ‘Woori-ga gajok-inga?,’ which means ‘are we family?’ The squad was formed by Seo-joon with Hyung-sik, and V when they were shooting for ‘Hwarang.’
- Out of all the Wooga members, Seo-joon is most close to V (Kim Tae-hyung) of BTS. Although they have a huge age difference, Seo-joon (33 years as of 2021) and V (26 years as of 2021) consider each other their soulmates.
- He has endorsed luxury brands like Montblanc, Laneige, Tommy Hilfiger, Dr. Jart+, CJ Healthcare, Kloud Beer, Bibigo, Domino’s, and others.
- He is a philanthropist and donated $83,800 to flood victims in August 2020 and a small amount to the city of Daegu to help fund medical equipment to fight Covid-19 in February 2020.
- He is an avid dog lover and owns a Bichon Frize named Simba. He is often seen posing with his pet for social media posts and photoshoots.