Wi Ha-Joon is a South Korean actor, model, and singer. He is known for his work in the Kdramas films Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019) and 18 Again (2020) and the South Korean films Shark: The Beginning (2021) and Midnight (2021). He rose to international stardom when he appeared in the South Korean Netflix series Squid Game (2021).
Wi Ha-Joon was born as “Wi Hyun-Yi” Max Movie on Monday, August 5, 1991 (aged 30; as of 2021), Soando Island in the Province of South Jeolla, South Korea. His zodiac sign is Leo. He was educated at Wando High School, South Jeolla Province, and Baekam High School, Jeongeup-si, North Jeolla Province, South Korea. He wanted to be in arts high school, but his parents were opposed to his idea of working in the entertainment industry, which required him to go to humanities high school. In the third year of high school, he wrote a heartfelt letter to his parents expressing his wish to work in the entertainment industry. After reading the letter, his parents decided to transfer him to a school in Seoul. In an interview he said,
When I thought I had to go to Seoul right away, I thought I had to put it into action. So I wrote a letter to my parents. I want to realize my dream. After reading the letter I wrote with my sincerity, my parents rushed through the transfer process. I transferred to Seoul like this when I was in my third year of high school.
After leaving Jeolla Province, he went to a theater academy in Seoul, where he struggled to communicate due to variations in dialects. For a year, he didn’t speak to anyone as he adapted to the Seoul dialect. He studied theater and film at Sungkyul University in Anyang, South Korea. MS Team Entertainment He only studied the first semester of his degree and enlisted in Air Force Unit 709 on November 28, 2011, doing mandatory military service in the Air Force squad. He continued his studies during his military service. On November 27, 2013, he was released from compulsory military service. After returning from the army, he joined MSTeam Entertainment. To make action sequences, he attended Seoul Action School for a year. He often trains with the academy coaches from time to time.
Family and Ethnicity
His father runs an abalone farm. He has a younger sister. He is often seen with his niece, A Hyeoni, his sister’s daughter, on his social media account.
MS Team Entertainment
In 2012, he made his film debut with the South Korean short film “Peace in Them”. In 2015, he made his film debut with the South Korean film “Coin Locker Girl”, written and directed by Han Jun-hee.
He then appeared in secondary or minor roles in South Korean films. In 2018, he appeared in the South Korean horror film “Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum” as “Ha-Joon”. For his performance in the film, he was nominated for the Blue Dragon Film Award, Chunsa Film Art Award, and Grand Bell Prize in the Best New Actor category.
In 2021, he appeared in the TV movie “Shark: The Beginning” in which he played “Jeong Do-Hyeon”. The film aired on Tving, and it chronicles the revenge of Cha Woo-sol (played by South Korean actor Kim Min-suk.)
In 2021, he appeared in his first lead role in a movie as a serial killer named “Do-Shik” in the South Korean movie “Midnight”.
In 2016, he made his television debut with the MBC Kdrama ‘Goodbye Mr. Black’ in which he played the extended role of ‘Ha-Joon.
His first notable role was in the KBS2 drama “My Golden Life” (2017) as “Ryu Jae-shin”, the former driver of Choi Seo-Hyun (played by South Korean actress Lee Da- in).
He then appeared in supporting roles in the Kdramas Something in the Rain (2018) and Matrimonial Chaos (2018). In 2018, he appeared in the YouTube movie “With Coffee” as “Lee Ha-Min”. In 2019, he appeared in his first leading role as “Ji Seo-Joon” in the TV drama “Romance Is a Bonus Book.”
In 2020, he played the second lead role “Ye Ji-hoon” in the JTBC Kdrama “18 Again” based on the 2009 American film “17 Again”. For his performance in Kdrama, he was nominated for the Baeksang Arts Awards for Best New Actor – Television.
In 2021, he appeared in the Netflix survival drama television series “Squid Game”, which was broadcast and distributed by Netflix. He played the lead role of “Hwang Jun-ho”, a policeman who sneaks into the game as a guard to find his missing brother. The series was a huge hit around the world as it became Netflix’s most-watched series when it launched. The series is also the first South Korean drama to top Netflix’s ten most-watched weekly TV shows worldwide.
In 2021, he appeared in the South Korean drama “Bad and Crazy” in the lead role of “K”, a helmet man and righteous person who becomes violent after encountering injustice.
In 2018, he sang the OST “Maybe It’s Too Late” of the South Korean drama “Matrimonial Chaos”.
He has been the brand ambassador for Hanwha Group, McDonald’s Korea, Chamisul, Olleh TV, Galaxy S8 X KT, and KIWOOM Securities.
- Food: ramyeon, abalone
- Drink(s): Mint Chocolate Latte, Iced Americano
- Dessert: Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
- Actress: Seo Hyunjin
- Actors: Song Kang-ho, Yoo Ah-in, Kim Woo-bin
- Kdrama: Dr. Romantic (2016)
- Film(s): Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior (2003), Once Upon a Time in High School (2004), The Chaser (2008) Secretly, Greatly (2013), New World (2013), Veteran (2015)
- Song(s): Since I Let You Go by YB, Me After You by Paul Kim
- Form of exercise: mixed martial
- Artist: Valentina Shevchenko
Facts / Anecdotes
- His hobbies include acrobatics, boxing, volleyball, and listening to music.
- Growing up, he wanted to be an artist or a member of a boy band. In his middle and high school, he was even a member of a dance club. In his third year of high school, he traveled to Tokyo to audition for SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. He took a camera test after passing the first round of auditions at SM but was ultimately rejected.
- While studying acting in Seoul, he watched many plays and films and naturally gravitated towards acting. The first play he saw was “Don’t Be Too Surprised,” which was directed by Park Geun-Hyung and staged at the Sanwoollim Theater in Hongdae, Seoul.
- In an interview, when asked how he relieves himself when he’s tired and in trouble. He replied that he had gone to the training room to practice in the theater instead of at home. He said looking at himself in the mirror as he acted gave him confidence.
- While working on “Romance Is a Bonus Book,” he befriended South Korean actor Lee Jong-suk, who played the series’ lead role. He said,
I tend to get along with men while fighting playfully. Lee Jong-suk made me feel very welcome and took good care of me. He also gave me a lot of encouragement and praise, so I felt the most comfortable on set.
- Since childhood, he wanted to embody the antagonist, especially a serial killer in films or Kdramas. His dream came true when he landed the role of a serial killer in the South Korean movie Midnight.
- He had to lose weight to play the psychopath in Midnight because he needed a sharp face for the character. Before filming, he weighed around 76 kg. Thanks to a diet and intensive interval training, he lost 13 kg in two months.
- In an interview, he once said that he didn’t like to drink very much. He drinks two bottles when he wants to drink a lot, otherwise one or a bottle and a half. Lulu Lala Unncecessary Interview
- He is a big fan of mixed martial arts and watches MMA fights before he goes to bed.
- He changed his name after the CEO of his agent suggested he do so. He had chosen seven names to accompany his surname Wi. He chose Ha-Joon, where Ha (Hwa) means becoming and Joon means special.
- He is a philanthropist and donates to the United Nations Refugee Agency and other refugee organizations with Jung Woo-sung.
In an interview, he talked about how he wanted to create an entertainment industry to help younger people achieve their dream of shining in the entertainment industry.
- In 2021, he was on People magazine’s list of the 25 Sexiest Men You Can Watch. The top spot was occupied by Ant-Man star Paul Rudd, and the others were John Cho, Oscar Isaac, Hasan Minhaj, Jay Ellis, and Scott Speedman.
- He has a phobia of water. Before shooting an underwater scene in Squid Game, he had to undergo therapy to overcome his fear of water. News1 Korea
- Of all people, his father, who wished and rooted for him to become a singer, felt proud when he became an actor.
- He said that before he got into the entertainment industry, he was very sensitive and full of self-esteem. However, after facing several rejections, his self-confidence waned. There came a time when he hated himself and refused to look in the mirror. When he started to find work, he slowly regained his self-confidence and loved himself.
- He has been a brand ambassador of Under Armor.
- He also became a public relations ambassador for his city of Wando.
- He likes to have a cup of coffee for an instant energy boost.