In my years as a K-drama fan, I have ~*fallen in love*~ with a lot of oppas: There's everyone's crush Park Seo Joon, the versatile Jung Hae In, and recently, the ultimate cause of our second lead syndrome, Kim Seon Ho. But out of all the oppas I've loved before, there's only one actor that stays on top of my list because of his incomparable acting skills, and that's Jo In Sung.
The 39-year-old Hallyu star was born on July 28, 1981 and used to train as a baseball player. He made his debut as a model for the clothing brand Ziozia in 1998 and later on transitioned into becoming an actor. Jo In Sung became an A-lister in the industry with his impeccable talent which earned praises not only from his fans but from his co-actors, too.
Apart from his outstanding acting chops, Jo In Sung is also known for being sooo meticulous when it comes to choosing his acting roles—so when he accepts a casting offer, there's no doubt that it's going to be one remarkable show! An example of this would be the 2014 K-drama It's Okay That's Love, the first Jo In Sung series that made me fall head over heels with him.
Since I have so much love for him, let me share with you the best Jo In Sung dramas and movies that you can't miss out on, which you can watch on Netflix, Viu, iQIYI, and YouTube:
1. Memories Of Bali (2004)
Where you can watch it: YouTube
What it's all about: If you grew up watching Koreanovelas on the ~first and true home of Asianovelas~ (aka ABS-CBN) like me, you will remember Memories Of Bali. In this SBS series, Jo In Sung plays the role of Jung Jae Min (or Paolo when it was aired on local TV), a son of an affluent chaebol who is a reckless brat. He was forced to have a relationship with a fellow heir, but during a trip to Bali, Indonesia, he was caught in a love affair that ultimately led to his downfall. That's why it's called Memories Of Bali —because the betrayal, obsession, and tragedy that happened in that place (and in this drama) will scar you for life.
Did you know: Jo In Sung revealed that he almost broke his teeth in a kissing scene with Ha Ji Won in this drama! LOL.
2. That Winter, The Wind Blows (2013)
Where you can watch it: Netflix
What it's all about: In That Winter, The Wind Blows, Jo In Sung portrays the character of Oh Soo, a playboy who has is buried in financial debt. When he meets a blind heiress named Oh Young who initially thought that he was her long-lost brother, Oh Soo found this as an excellent opportunity to win her trust and get rich fast. He then decided to ride it out with her and pretended to be Oh Young's family member, only to realize that he's developed feelings for her! That Winter The Wind Blows did not just become a high-rating K-drama in South Korea, it was also a sensational hit in the Philippines when it aired in ABS-CBN in the same year.
Did you know: Jo In Sung injured his hand when he punched a wall for a scene in this drama! According to the production team, the actor was "so into character" that when he hit the wall, a huge frame fell and the glass cut his hand. Fortunately, it wasn't anything serious, phew.
3. It's Okay That Love (2013)
Where you can watch it: Netflix and Viu
What it's all about: Probably Jo In Sung's best role in a K-drama so far, It's Okay, That's Love shines the spotlight on individuals who are diagnosed with mental disorders and how they live their lives. The actor transforms into Jang Jae Yeol, a bestselling author and radio DJ who has a traumatic childhood that he carried with him growing up. Jae Yeol developed obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and he only sleeps in bathtubs, and likes all things yellow. In one of his radio broadcasts, he meets a psychiatrist named Ji Hae Soo who also has her own share of emotional wounds. Expect to cry your eyes out while watching this poignant K-drama, especially during a scene when you realize that Jae Yeol's sickness isn't only OCD.
Did you know: Jo In Sung won the daesang (top prize) award at the APAN Star Awards for It's Okay, That's Love and during his acceptance speech, he said: "I think I received the award thanks to Gong Hyo Jin. I don’t think I would have been able to act like that without her." Huhuhu, I think I just shed a tear.
4. A Dirty Carnival (2006)
Who's also in it: Namgoong Min, Jeon Ho Jin, Lee Bo Young
Where you can watch it: iQIYI
What it's all about: See Jo In Sung in a different light this time as Kim Byung Doo, a gangster in the action-thriller movie, A Dirty Carnival. Life was so tough on Byung Doo and when his superior didn't even bat an eyelash to support him, he grabbed the chance to help their big boss in killing a lawyer. In the midst of this, he also discovered his former schoolmate named Min Ho who was working on a film about gangsters. Byung Doo revealed to Min Ho about the murders he committed, including his superior's assassination. When that movie was released, it turns that it's a depiction of Byung Doo's life as a gang member.
Did you know: A Dirty Carnival's director, Yoo Ha, also oversaw another action film titled Gangnam Blues, led by Lee Min Ho.
5. The King (2017)
Who's also in it: Jung Woo Sung, Ryu Jun Yeol, Bae Sung Woo
Where you can watch it: iQIYI
What it's all about: Marking his film comeback after almost a decade, The King tells the story of how Park Tae Soo struggled in his early years. He discovered how being influential is important in the society, and this pushed him to study hard to become a prosecutor and go against corruption. When he finally achieved this, Tae Soo still felt incomplete. Being the ambitious person that he is, he used his colleagues and friends (one of which, happens to be a gang member) to get to the top of the pyramid. When he was finally enjoying his success, Tae Soo sees the dark side of everything he once imagined.
Bonus: Dear My Friends (2016)
Who's also in it: Go Hyun Jung, Shi Sung Woo, Kim Young Ok, Kim Hye Ja
What it's all about: Along with his BFF, Lee Kwang Soo, Jo In Sung made a special cameo in the Dear My Friends as Seo Yeon Ha!
One last bonus because we know you want it: Unxpected Business (2021)
Who's also in it: Cha Tae Hyun
What it's all about: It's not a K-drama or Korean movie—it's a new variety show! Jo In Sung stars in tvN's Unexpected Business as a fixed cast member along with his other BFF, Cha Tae Hyun. The TV show aired this month, and the reported guests include Park Bo Young and Nam Joo Hyuk.
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