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Actor You Need to Know: Seo Kang-joon

This amazing South Korean actor and singer is unceasingly charming. His effortless acting and scandal-free reputation ensure that lucrative offers keep boosting his career

Debashree Dutta Aug 04, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Fantagio

He may be best known for his roles in hit K-dramas such as Are You Human? (2018), The Third Charm (2018), and When the Weather is Fine (2020), but Seo Kang-joon is much more than meets the eye. ‘Handsome’ in every sense of the term, this amazing South Korean actor and singer is unceasingly charming. Take a closer look at his eyes – his haunting yet welcoming brown eyes make for a conundrum for sure.

Seo, born Lee Seung-hwan, started off as a part-time model in the glamor world. People in the circuit were instantly drawn to his charm, cool demeanor, and attractive appearance. Additionally, thanks to his innate acting skills, the novice cleared an audition for Actor’s League – a talent show put together by Fantagio to find up-and-coming actors. If you’re a fan of Seo, you must be knowing that after honing his showmanship as a trainee idol for two years, he joined 5urprise – Korea’s first acting troupe – also featuring Yu Il, Gong Myeong, Kang Tae-oh, and Lee Tae-hwan.

I first encountered Seo in the rom-com series Cunning Single Lady (2014), and while he wasn’t the main character, he caught my eye. Something about his screen presence overpowers that of the others in the frame. Totally taken by his acting genius, I began sequencing more of his work. It’s worth noting that the actor won Best New Actor at the seventh Korea Drama Awards for his performance in Cunning Single Lady. Before his breakout role in The Suspicious Housekeeper (2013), Seo had already established himself in a number of television shows. Following that, he appeared in a slew of other well-received K-dramas such as What Happens to My Family (2014-2015), Splendid Politics (2015), and To Be Continued, together with films like My Love, My Bride (2014) and Summer Snow (2015).

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You ought to see how truly gifted Seo is as a pianist! No, not only in Cheese in the Trap, the drama in which he played a pianist, but also in real life. According to an article published in The Korea Herald, the 29-year-old fractured his fingers and left music in high school. But years later he returned to the music scene and is now an accomplished piano player. Check out his musicality in the video below from Radio Star, as he performs Yiruma’s “River Flows in You.”

After starring in SBS’s variety show Roommate in 2014, the idol-actor has since been in Law of the Jungle in Tonga (2016) and Busted (2018). Do you recall his cameo in The Return of Superman? It’s a reality show about celebrity fathers who are left alone with their children for 48 hours while their wives go on vacation. In a Christmas special episode, Seo goes to former South Korean footballer Lee Dong-guk’s residence to babysit his kids while Lee is away.

Cheese in the Trap was his true taste of stardom. His effortless acting and clean chit – a simplistic, scandal-free reputation – ensured that lucrative offers kept boosting his career. In 2016, Seo landed a role in Entourage, the Korean adaptation of the American television series of the same name. The narrative follows a prominent celebrity who relies on three friends and an agency chief to help him through his professional and personal challenges. Seo played Cha Young-bin, a superstar with good looks but mediocre acting skills.

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In 2018, the actor stole the show and millions of hearts with the science fiction thriller Are You Human? This series, I believe, catapulted Seo to global prominence and exponentially increased his fan base. Seo was portrayed as a third-generation heir – Nam Shin – who falls into a coma after an unforeseen accident. Oh Laura (Kim Sung-ryung), his mother, a brain researcher, and artificial intelligence specialist lead the development of an android, Nam Shin III (also Seo), for him to retain his position as a successor to a chaebol conglomerate. Enjoy his lovely, mellow vocals on the drama’s OST “You Are My Love” below.

The same year, Seo featured in the romantic comedy-drama The Third Charm, followed by Watcher (2019), the thriller drama (2019), and the romance drama series When the Weather is Fine (2020). At present, Seo is fulfilling his mandatory military service. He last appeared on screen this year in the suspense drama Grid. The storyline revolves around detectives from the General Affairs Bureau as they seek the truth about a mysterious entity that once saved mankind in a crisis. Seo essayed the role of Kim Sae-ha, aka Kwon Sae-ha, an employee of the Grid Bureau.

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