If you've been watching Korean dramas on the regular for the past few years, then you've surely seen Kwak Dong Yeon's face on at least one of them! The South Korean character actor has played a variety of roles on both TV and film and is currently starring in tvN's Vincenzo as one of the drama's main antagonists, Chairman Jang Han Seo. He might seem tough and ruthless on the outside, but we all know he's secretly keeping a huge, huge secret on who the show's real villain is.
Kwak Dong Yeon is a familiar face on the K-drama scene, so to know more about the Vincenzo actor, read some fast facts about him:
Kwak Dong Yeon was born on March 19, 1997.
Kwak Dong Yeon is turning 24 years old real soon! He was born in Daejeon, South Korea but moved to Seoul when he was only 13 to pursue the arts. In 2016, he graduated from the School Of Performing Arts which is home to a lot of notable alumni in the Hallyu scene. Enjoy a cute selfie of him below:
Kwak Dong Yeon got his big break in 2016's Moonlight Drawn By Clouds/Love In The Moonlight!
Although Kwak Dong Yeon made his acting debut on the 2012 drama My Husband Got A Family for which he won the Young Actor Award at the 2012 Korea Drama Awards, it was in 2016 when he finally landed his breakthrough role. Moonlight Drawn By Clouds (aka Love In The Moonlight) is a gender-bending historical drama that starred Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung. In the drama, Dong Yeon plays the skilled swordsman Kim Byung Yeon and is best friends with Crown Prince Lee Yeong (Park Bo Gum).
In an interview with Singles magazine in 2019, Dong Yeon talked about how Kim Byung Yeon was his favorite role to date: "If I had to pick one [favorite] character, it's Kim Byung Yeon from Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. As we young actors worked together, we achieved the greatest synergy possible. People with a positive influence gathered together for the project, so the bright energy still remains [from that time]."
You might have seen Kwak Dong Yeon on It's Okay To Not Be Okay.
Post-Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, Kwak Dong Yeon, made a cameo appearance on 2017's Fight For My Way and was the second lead of 2018's My ID Is Gangnam Beauty, among a slew of other TV roles. But one of his most notable guest-starring roles was for 2020's It's Okay To Not Be Okay. In the drama, Dong Yeon plays the eccentric son of an influential assemblyman, Kwon Ki Do. He's a longtime patient of OK Hospital and has manic syndrome. "Every actor has that one project they want to be a part of no matter what, and for me, It's Okay To Not Be Okay is that project," he said of his cameo. "I worked hard to not hurt the tone of the drama and to bring out the story of Kwon Ki Do that I wanted to share, and I enjoyed the process. I want to sincerely thank the staff and Kim Soo Hyun for working closely with me."
Kwak Dong Yeon remains to be close friends with Park Bo Gum.
Kwak Dong Yeon and Park Bo Gum's on-screen bromance on Moonlight Drawn By Clouds actually also happened in real life! In an interview in 2016, Dong Yeon spoke of the first time he and Bo Gum met—and it actually took a while for them to warm up to each other: "Park Bo Gum has a very reserved personality. Becoming close with him was a struggle. Just trying to talk in informal speech took two hours."
He also spilled that although Bo Gum may seem so positive on the outside, he, like everyone else, also gets angry: "Now that we're close, we often have deep conversations. He is kind, but when you think about it he's also human. He gets angry too. When he's extremely upset, he expresses his anger by saying, 'I'm super pissed.'"
And even after the drama wrapped, the two remained close friends! In 2017, Dong Yeon was Bo Gum's special guest in his fan meet and came onstage with a bouquet of flowers and a pair of couple shirts for them. In 2018, when Dong Yeon was asked to choose between Cha Eun Woo, his co-star in My ID Is Gangnam Beauty, or Park Bo Gum, he couldn't help but hold a special spot for his Crown Prince Lee Yeong: "With Cha Eun Woo, we are the same age so I was very comfortable. There's this chemistry that I feel when I'm around my friends. I could feel the same thing when I was acting with Eun Woo. With Park Bo Gum, I just liked him a lot. In Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, the characters that we acted were more than friends. It was a relationship where we risk our life for the other. The filming time was also much longer than My ID Is Gangnam Beauty. It's not that I wasn't comfortable around Eun Woo, but it's because I spent much more time with Bo Gum."
In 2019, both being busy actors, Dong Yeon said he and Bo Gum would still find time to hang out and catch up over a cup of coffee: "They're busy, so it's hard to meet up, but we do keep in touch regularly. They don't particularly like to drink, so when we do meet, we'll go to have something nice to eat or get some coffee at a cafe. We've never been to karaoke before."
Kwak Dong Yeon is musically-inclined!
Kwak Dong Yeon actually studied music at the FNC Academy and was the former lead guitarist of the Kokoma Band.
Kwak Dong Yeon started his acting career relatively early. Although he got to gain work experience in his teens, this made him neglectful of his studies and making friends at school. On his 2019 debut anniversary VLive, Dong Yeon talked about this being his one regret: "I couldn't have a proper school life. I wasn't able to build a strong fellowship and friendship with my peers at school. As soon as a route opened up in front of me [for acting], I gave up on my studies. I thought to myself, 'I'm always going to be acting, so when will I use what I learn in school?' I thought I'd never have to use my studies later in life, so I gave up. I slept a lot at school. My main pleasure in going to school was the bread they sold in the cafeteria."
Kwak Dong Yeon values being a good person.
Yes, Kwak Dong Yeon has always had dreams of being a good actor, but along with it came his desire to be a good person. In an interview with The Star magazine in 2018, he said: "I want to become a good person and a good actor. Ever since I was little, I thought that becoming a good person comes first. I've always thought that you should be a good person before you make it big in any field. I want to at least be someone who gives positive energy to the people around me."
Kwak Dong Yeon has quite an unusual "pet."
On Radio Star in 2019, Kwak Dong Yeon talked about a certain "Daniel" whom he considers as his pet—and it's actually a green onion that he's growing. "I really like animals, but I can't have one as a pet right now," he shared. "No, it's not an animal that I'm raising, I'm growing a green onion."
"Everyone laughs about it," he continued. "But if you try it yourself, you'll change your mind. It grows three to four centimeters every day…I'll water it in the morning and then when I'm on my way home I wonder how much it will have grown that day. Since it's so fun, sometimes I try to go home early too."
You do you, Dong Yeon!
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