Our Beloved Summer just ended and we can't help but cry. The rom-com drama gave us everything from a unique storyline to probably one of the most unproblematic second leads in K-dramaland. Rising actor Kim Sung Cheol stars as Kim Ji Woong, a producer-director (PD) who reunites his secret crush Kook Yeonsu (Kim Da Mi) and his illustrator best friend Choi Woong (Choi Woo Shik) 10 years after their breakup for a documentary. While we’re as curious as Jeong PD about Ji Woong’s ending (watch episode 13’s epilogue for reference), let’s get to know the talented actor who brought the complex character to life.
Here are eight facts you need to know about Kim Sung Cheol:
Kim Sung Cheol was born on December 31, 1991.
That means he’s a 30-year-old Capricorn! Those born under this sign are known to be ambitious and hardworking. In an interview with Cosmopolitan Korea, he talked about being ambitious in his 20s and choosing to live a bit more in the present in his 30s: "Until I was 29, life always went the way I thought and dreamed. There was no fear. My friends always say, 'You are ambitious." In my 30s, I would like to have some free time but if I have high dreams and ambitions, I feel like I can't focus on the present. I thought I need to live in the moment well and do things step by step."ADVERTISMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓
He is a musical actor.
Long before his K-drama fame, Sung Cheol has already been making a name for himself in the musical theater scene. He made his debut in the 2014 musical Puberty. A year later, he won the Male Rookie award for Best Musical Actor at the Stagetalk Audience Choice Awards. He bagged another Best New Actor award at the 2017 Korea Musical Awards for his outstanding performance in the musical thriller Sweeney Todd.
Sung Cheol got candid about the difference between acting on stage and on screen, saying, "A lot of people work hard to put on a show, but in the end, the one who has to take responsibility at the last minute is the actor himself. You can't get help from anyone as long as you're on stage. But for on-screen acting, there are directors right next to me and there is post-editing, so I am not the only one who bears everything. I think that good acting comes only when you trust the director and staff more. On the other hand, the stage is where I have to believe in myself more."
He certainly has stage presence and confidence in spades! Here’s a compilation of his *best* musical performances:
He made his television debut in the 2017 drama Prison Playbook.
Kim Sung Cheol appeared on K-drama fans’ radars after starring as Kim Young Cheol a.k.a. Jailbird (or Beobja) in the slice-of-life dark comedy Prison Playbook. Since then, he has acted in widely successful dramas like Arthdal Chronicles, Sweet Home, and even a memorable cameo in Vincenzo!CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓watch now
When asked about his approach to acting, Sung Cheol shared, "I try to give variations on the roles of the works I participate in. I want the characters I play to always be three-dimensional. I try to break down a character into more pieces. The more I do this, the more I thirst for growth through experience. After 10 years, I expect that I will be able to do more three-dimensional acting."ADVERTISMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓
He also revealed an interesting habit he picked up as an actor: "Whenever I meet people, I constantly observe them. When I go to a restaurant, I look at the reactions of the employees, the owner, and the people with me. YouTube is also used extensively."(ENG/SPA/IND) [#PrisonPlaybook] This is Second Hand Prison Experience | #Official_Cut | #Diggle
Kim Sung Cheol sang *all* of the OSTs in the 2018 music drama To. Jenny.
Sung Cheol landed his first-ever lead role in the two-episode romantic drama To. Jenny. He played the role of singer-songwriter Park Jung Min, an aspiring musician (with stage fright) who one day crosses paths with his first love, Jenny (Jung Chae Yeon). Naturally, the actor showed off his sweet voice singing all of the OSTs in the drama.
"It was great to be able to show this side of me in a drama. I love singing but I don't have many opportunities to show it in dramas or movies. I’m almost always the one who is performing on the guitar or the piano too so that was quite difficult," Sung Cheol said in an interview with a Korean news outlet.
Fun fact: He also played another musician—a cellist—in the 2020 K-drama Do You Like Brahms?.
He’s BFFs with Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha actor Lee Sang Yi.
A spur-of-the-moment decision to attend an acting class in high school led to Sung Cheol applying for the acting department at the Korea University of the Arts (KNUA). Fortunately, he got accepted and met fellow musical actor and Hometown Cha-Cha- Cha star Lee Sang Yi. The two have been inseparable since and have continued to support each other’s careers.
In an interview with Elle Korea, Sung Cheol talked about his 11-year friendship with Sang Yi, saying, "We first met as college classmates and shared our career concerns with each other. The future we dreamed of together has now become a reality. The fact that we know each other's capabilities accurately and that we can talk to each other without worrying feels more and more precious."
Other actors included in what is dubbed as KNUA’s *legendary* class of 2010 are Yumi’s Cells star Kim Go Eun, Hospital Playlist actress Ahn Eun Jin, and Parasite’s Park So Dam.
He’s a promising TV show host.
Aside from acting and singing, Sung Cheol has also dipped his toes into hosting! He was chosen to be the host of the 2021 musical performer competition DIMF Musical Star. Sung Cheol shared his thoughts on trying out hosting and going back to his musical roots: "I was attracted to the new role of an MC and the ability to help the participants. Seeing my friends who are just starting out with musicals, it made me think again about what it is like being a beginner."ADVERTISMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓
He also delighted viewers with a special performance of the song “Where In The World” from the musical Phantom. So talented!
- Kim Sung Cheol is on Instagram.
You can keep updated with all of his latest projects @sungcheol2. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s super active in posting behind-the-scenes photos, OOTDs, and even workout videos.
Here’s a video of one of his workout sessions, you’re welcome.ADVERTISMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW ↓
He’s booked and busy with a movie and a musical.
2022 is shaping up to be another busy year for the actor. Kim Sung Cheol is set to star alongside Confidential Assignment actor Yoo Hae Jin and Reply 1988 star Ryu Jun Yeol in the historical film The Owl. He will also make a musical theater comeback as L in the Korean musical adaptation of the Japanese manga Death Note.
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