Kim Soo Hyun

Kim Soo-hyun (Hangul: 김수현; hanja: 金秀賢; born February 16, 1988) is a South Korean actor, best known for his roles in the television dramas Dream High,Moon Embracing the Sun, and My Love from the Star, as well as the movies The Thieves and Secretly, Greatly.

Early life

Kim Soo-hyun was a timid child during his middle school days and no one expected him to enter the entertainment industry. To change his introverted personality, his mother encouraged him to take acting classes before high school and through this Kim's aspiration to pursue an acting career grew. He then enrolled in Chung-Ang University, majoring in Theater and Film Studies and partook in the musicals Grease and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Career

2007-2008: Television career beginnings[

Kim made his television debut with a supporting role in the 2007 family sitcom Kimchi Cheese Smile and in 2008, landed a lead role in KBS's critically acclaimed youth drama Jungle Fish. Based on a true story, it tackles the serious issues of school cheating, competitive academic standards, and interactive blogging in a fresh way. The drama won a number of awards, including the Peabody Award, a Seoul Drama Festival award as well as an Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union prize.

For the latter half of the year, Kim appeared in the food-based variety show Delicious Quiz (also known as The Taste of Life) as a host and in the short film Cherry Blossom.

2009-2010: Rising popularity

In 2009, Kim acted in the short film Worst Friends by Namkoong Sun, which won the Best Film in Social Drama award at the Mise en Scène Short Film Festival and the well-received two-episode SBS year-end drama special where he acted alongside veteran actor Choi Min-soo.

He further raised his profile through his memorable turns as the younger version of the male lead characters in Will It Snow For Christmas? and Giant, the latter which won him his first acting award. Upon receiving the award, Kim made the famous “10 years promise” acceptance speech and was quoted saying “Please take care of me by giving me more attention in this ten years, I will become a real actor.”

He also co-hosted Mnet’s Sonyeon Sonyeo Gayo Baekseo (소년소녀가요백서) along with Kara's Han Seung-yeon in 2009.

2011: Dream High and singing career debut

He became a household name in 2011, playing a country bumpkin who turned out to be a musical genius in the teen drama Dream High. As the only young actor in a cast of idols, Kim studied song and dance for three months at JYP Entertainment to pull off the required scenes in the drama. According to the production company, he lived no differently from the other trainees at JYP as he learned singing and dancing for hours every day. For the drama's soundtrack, he recorded two songs, his solo "Dreaming" as well as the title track "Dream High" with the rest of the cast. He appeared in several music programs and concerts after the drama's completion and even made a cameo in the pilot episode of its second season.

2012: Moon Embracing the Sun and big screen debut

Kim Soo-hyun as King Lee Hwon (2012)

His popularity skyrocketed when he starred in the hit period drama Moon Embracing the Sun, as the young king Lee Hwon. The drama not only ranked number one in its time slot throughout its run but also achieved a peak recorded viewer rating of 42.2 percent thereby earning the "national drama" status. He again contributed his vocals to the soundtrack with the traditional ballad "Only You" which topped digital music charts, and the more modern in composition "Another Way" released as the single "Secret Version".

Kim Soo-hyun endorsing a Maserati Ghibli III

Due to his charismatic portrayal of King Lee Hwon, Kim created the so called “Hwon syndrome” and was chosen as the face of 17 products simultaneously. In that year, Kim was able to set a new record for product endorsements which was previously held in 2009 by Olympic figure skater Kim Yuna. His advertisements include a laptop, cameras, suits, cosmetics, sportswear, outdoor goods, a coffee franchise, a restaurant, a bakery, pizza, dessert jellies, beer, fabric softener and a telecommunications company.

He also won several recognitions for the said drama including the hotly debated Best Drama Actor at the 2012 Baeksang Arts Awards as he was the youngest and newest actor among the nominees in the category. Beating out heavyweight veterans such as Han Suk-kyu, Shin Ha-kyun and Cha Seung-won,Kim said "I am very grateful for this moment, but I am ashamed as well. It’s like getting a lot of homework. I’ll keep trying to become a better actor in order to remain worthy of this award."

Kim made his big-screen debut in the star-studded heist film The Thieves, touted by the press as the Korean version of Ocean's Eleven. His character Jampano is the youngest member of a gang of Korean and Chinese thieves who team up to steal a diamond worth 40 billion won locked away in a casino in Macau. After joking that it was easier to immerse in the role and the kissing scenes because his partner was Jun Ji-hyun, Kim said he was overwhelmed to be around so many big stars and felt lucky to be part of the film. With over 12.9 million ticket sales, the film is currently the second highest grossing movie in Korean film history.

2013: Secretly, Greatly

In 2013, Kim was cast along with Park Ki-woong and Lee Hyun-woo, to play the roles of North Korean spies who infiltrated South Korea as a village idiot, a rock musician, and a high school student, respectively in the movie Secretly, Greatly. The film is an adaptation of the popular webtoon series "Covertness" by Hun and upon its release broke several box office records in South Korea. The film was also one of the most successful box office hits of the year having sold out almost 7 million tickets during its run.

For this movie, he won the Best New Actor awards in the 50th Grand Bell Awards and in the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards as well as the popularity award.

2014-present: My Love from the Star and international fame

From 2013 to early 2014, he was the lead actor of the SBS fantasy/romance series My Love from the Star. The drama talks about the alien Do Min-joon who landed on Earth during the Joseon Dynasty and 400 years later falls in love with Cheon Song-yi (his The Thieves co-star Jun Ji-hyun),a top Hallyu star. Throughout the series, Do Min-joon was seen using his super powers, such as the ability to stop time for a minute, teleportation, telekinesis and more, to protect Cheon Song-yi from the main antagonist.

The drama enjoyed immense popularity both locally, with an average viewer rating of 24.02 percent, and internationally, having over two billion hits on the Chinese streaming website iqiyi, that Kim was not only considered as a Hallyu star but also a blue chip in the advertising industry. In 2014, Kim was reported to set a new record having 35 product endorsements deals, 15 of which were coming from South Korea alone.

Ambassadorial Roles

On 18 April 2012, the Korea Tourism Organization(KTO) appointed Kim as the Promotional Ambassador for Korean Tourism. According to KTO, "The appointment of Kim Soo-hyun - who has obtained popularity overseas through his dramas, will help strengthen the growth of travel to Korea.

On 19 May 2014, Kim along with Kwon Yuri, Choi Sooyoung and Park Shin-hye joined the 22nd class of CAU LOVE, the official student ambassadors of Chung-Ang University. For their 1-year term, the celebrity ambassadors will join the existing 12 members of CAU LOVE in various activities to better promote their university.

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