South Korean actor Park Seo Joon is one of the industry's most coveted talents these days, but this hasn't always been the case. In fact, his career started off slow. His fanbase started growing after he starred in She Was Pretty alongside Hwang Jung Eum, but it was his portrayal of Ko Dong Man in Fight For My Way that really put him on the map. Consider this your must-know guide to all-things PSJ!
Park Seo Joon first appeared in Bang Yong Guk's music video for "I Remember" back in 2011. He was convincing as the problematic (read: abusive) love interest, which is probably why a lot of his roles since then has been the brooding lead who's rough around the edges.
His acting debut didn't come until a year later when he starred in Dream High 2 with Kang So Ra, Jinwoon, Jiyeon, JB, and SISTAR's Hyolyn. Fun fact: Hyolyn is still one of Seo Joon's closest friends to this day.
After Dream High 2's success, Seo Joon had small supporting roles in Pots of Gold and One Warm Word—both in 2013—before he starred as a lead for the first time in A Witch's Love alongside veteran actress Uhm Jung Hwa.
A Witch's Love is about a rich, competitive 39-year-old journalist named Ban Ji Yeon (Jung Hwa) who prioritizes her job above everything else, which is why she's not very popular among her colleagues. Through a series of mishaps, she meets and eventually falls for Yoo Dong Ha (Seo Joon), a less successful business owner who's 14 years younger.
Seo Joon was also a Music Bank host from 2013 to 2015 before he decided to completely focus on acting.
Most Popular Acting Roles
Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)
Even though A Witch's Love was Park Seo Joon's *first* time as a lead actor in a drama, most people recognize him more in his supporting role as Oh Ri On in Kill Me, Heal Me. The series is about a rich heir (Cha Do Hyun played by Ji Sung) who's suffering from dissociative identity disorder. He attempts to get treatment by seeing Oh Ri Jin (Hwang Jung Eum), a first-year psychiatric resident. Oh Ri On (Seo Joon) is Ri Jin's twin brother, a novelist who starts following Do Hyun around in an attempt to uncover the truth about the lives of rich people.
She Was Pretty (2015)
Park Seo Joon and Hwang Jung Eum reunite in this kilig-worthy rom-com! Based on a true story, She Was Pretty is about two childhood friends who meet again after they go through a sort of "reversal of fortunes": Kim Hye Jin (Jung Eum) used to be rich and pretty while Ji Sung Joon (Seo Joon) was an insecure, unattractive boy. Years later, the two decide to meet up, but Sung Joon, now a successful editor of a popular fashion magazine, doesn't recognize Hye Jin, who's lost her beauty. Hye Jin asks her best friend to pretend to be her, but things get complicated when they end up working together.
Fight For My Way (2017)
Fight For My Way is arguably Seo Joon's best work so far. The slice-of-life drama was a huge success, both locally and internationally, and was praised for its realistic plot. Seo Joon starred as Ko Dong Man opposite Kim Ji Won who portrayed Choi Ae Ra. Together with Kim Joo Man (Ahn Jae Hong) and Baek Seol Hee (Kim Ha Eun), the "fantastic four" struggle to survive in the real world as they work hard to make their big dreams come true.
Midnight Runners (2017)
Midnight Runners is an action comedy film starring Seo Joon and Kang Ha Neul. The story revolves around two police trainees who accidentally witnessed a kidnapping and took it upon themselves to track the criminals down. Because they decide to pursue their own investigation, they run into ~a lot~ of trouble along the way.
What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? (2018)
Hardworking Kim Mi So (Park Min Young) kicks ass at her job as a secretary for a major company's vice chairman, but after nine long years, she decides to resign. While spending her last few weeks in the office, she discovers several things about herself and about her boss, Lee Young Joon (Park Seo Joon), who tries everything to get her to stay...including asking for her hand in marriage.
Park Seo Joon's Many, Many Awards
- 2013 Best New Actor at the 6th Korea Drama Awards for Pots of Gold
- 2014 Best Style of the Year at the 7th Herald Donga Lifestyle Awards
- 2014 New Star Award at the 22nd SBS Drama Awards for One Warm Word
- 2015 Popular Star Award at the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards for The Chronicles Of Evil
- 2015 Best Fashion in TV at the 1st Fashionista Awards for She Was Pretty
- 2015 Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries at the 34th MBC Drama Awards for Kill Me, Heal Me and She Was Pretty
- 2015 Top 10 Stars Award at the 34th MBC Drama Awards for Kill Me, Heal Me and She Was Pretty
- 2015 Popularity Award (Actor) at the 34th MBC Drama Awards for Kill Me, Heal Me and She Was Pretty
- 2015 Best Couple with Ji Sung at the 34th MBC Drama Awards for Kill Me, Heal Me
- 2017 Best New Actor at the 54th Grand Bell Awards for Midnight Runners
- 2017 Best New Actor at the 37th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards for Midnight Runners
- 2017 Fabulous Award at the 2nd Asia Artist Awards for Fight For My Way
- 2017 Best Star Award at the 2nd Asia Artist Awards for Fight For My Way
- 2017 Popular Star Award at the 6th Korea Film Actors Association Awards for Midnight Runners
- 2017 Excellence Award (Actor in a Miniseries) at the 31st KBS Drama Awards for Fight For My Way
- 2017 Netizen Award (Male) at the 31st KBS Drama Awards for Fight For My Way
- 2017 Best Couple Award with Kim Ji Won at the 31st KBS Drama Awards for Fight For My Way
- 2018 Best New Actor at the 9th Korea Film Reporters Association Film Awards for Midnight Runners
- 2018 Best Couple with Kim Ji Won at the KBS World Global Fan Awards for Fight For My Way
- 2018 Outstanding Korean Actor at the 13th Seoul International Drama Awards for Fight For My Way
Fun Facts About Park Seo Joon
- Park Seo Joon is good friends with Park Hyung Sik and BTS' V (Kim Taehyung). The trio starred in Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth together, which, unfortunately, received very low ratings.
- He's done with his mandatory military service! PSJ enlisted when he was just 19, so he won't be disappearing anytime soon. ;)
- Seo Joon is an introvert. He told ELLE Korea, "I am actually really introverted in private, and I practically just keep quiet when I'm with my friends."
- He's a huge baseball fan!
- And loves soccer just as much.
- Seo Joon can actually sing (though he doesn't think so, LOL).
What He's Up To Now
Seo Joon once said that he doesn't like taking long breaks: "Even if I take just two weeks off, suddenly I'll think, 'What am I doing?' and I'll feel like reality hits me in the face. I feel most alive when I'm racking my brains about what to do for a character, or a story." True to his word, he has signed on to do a movie with Woo Do Hwan (who we last saw in The Great Seducer with Red Velvet's Joy). The film is called The Divine Fury; it's a story about champion fighter Yong Hoo (Seo Joon's character) who suffers emotional scars from losing his father in a tragic accident when he was young.