Childhood & Early Life
Minho was born on December 9, 1991, in Incheon into a well-established sports family. His father, Choi Yun-Kyum, is a well-known soccer coach, and as a result, he was fascinated with the game of soccer, throughout childhood. At one time, his father encouraged him to make a career in the sport, but Choi was not very serious about the prospect.
As he grew up and started school, he continued playing soccer, but his father soon realized that his son was not fit enough to play the sport. The reason was his small frame and less speed, compared to that of an average soccer player. Choi eventually gave up on the dream and started concentrating on his studies.
As soon as he entered teenhood, his obsession with show business became evident. This interest led him to work on his looks, and he immediately started trying his luck as a model. He did a few local stints in the early years of his modeling career. His academics suffered, but he was hell-bent on making it big in the field.
Later, he joined the arts and culture film major program at the prestigious Konkuk University and honed his skills further.
In 2006, he was accidentally discovered by ‘S.M. Casting System’ and was signed on by them. This was the true beginning of his rise to fame, and for the next two years, he concentrated on his modeling career, walked the ramp for many famous designers, and appeared in various magazines and on numerous billboards.
His musical inclination made him a member of the boy band, ‘Shinee,’ in 2008, and consequently, his career took off.
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Seoul Broadcasting System’s (SBS’s) show, ‘Inkigayo,’ became the launch-pad for the boy band ‘Shinee,’ which consisted of five members. On May 22, 2008, the band released their debut album, titled ‘Replay.’ It was received well by audiences and critics alike and debuted at #10 on the ‘MIAK’ music charts.
Minho was slowly turning out to be the most popular member of the group and became the first one from the group to be featured in both the Korean and the Japanese versions of the single ‘Gee,’ by ‘Girl’s Generation.’ He featured in several other music videos by other bands. In 2009, he joined the show, ‘Let’s Go! Dream Team.’
His rising national popularity slowly translated into him getting offers in a variety of fiction series. He made his debut as an actor in the 2010 drama, ‘Pianist.’ Its critical and commercial success paved way for him to feature in other series, such as ‘Salamander Guru and The Shadows.’
2012 turned out to be major year for him, as he was offered the lead role in ‘To the Beautiful You,’ which was the South Korean adaptation of a Japanese manga, ‘Hana–Kimi.’ Choi trained very hard for his role as an athlete and took professional training in high jump.
In July 2013, Minho made a major appearance in ‘Medical Top Team,’ a drama which was not as commercial or critically successful as it was expected to be. Nevertheless, Minho received praises for his role and critics agreed that he had grown tremendously as an actor.
In 2015, he appeared in the lead role in ‘Because It’s the First Time.’ The short drama ran for a total of eight episodes and was a critical and commercial success.
By the year 2016, Choi had become one of the most popular South Korean actors, and speculations were abuzz that he was to him star in some of the biggest dramas on South Korean television. He was seen in ‘Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.’ The drama was an international success and brought Choi’s popularity to the international arena, especially in the neighboring countries.
In the same year, there were speculations about him making his film debut, and he appeared in the film ‘Canola,’ as the second lead. The heartfelt emotional drama featured the story of a grandmother and her granddaughter as they get reunited after a long time.
The film received praises from all over for its realistic portrayal of human emotions. The film fared well in the critical and film festival circles but could not leave a solid mark at the local box office.
His next big screen project was a film called ‘Derailed,’ a crime thriller drama where Choi played the lead role, alongside Hyung-Suk. The film premiered in the ‘Busan Film Festival’ and was a commercial and critical success. The film was also screened at the highly prestigious ‘Cannes Film Festival.’
In 2017, Choi became a part of fast-growing digital space and appeared in the web drama ‘Somehow 18.’ The drama became so popular among the youth that it broke all the previous viewing records. This made the makers sign a contract with a major television channel to broadcast the drama on television.
The international success of the film ‘Derailed’ had Choi getting offered similar roles with dark undertones. He is all set to appear in the South Korean film adaptation of the Japanese anime, ‘Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade.’ The film is slated to be one of the biggest South Korean films to be released in 2018.
In September 2017, Choi was awarded with a ‘Special Award’ at the ‘Indonesian Television Awards,’ and this was made possible by his gigantic fan following in the country. Thus, Choi became the first South Korean actor to be honored at the function. Apart from South Korea, Choi’s dramas are most watched in Indonesia.
Toward the end of 2017, Choi featured in a mini drama, ‘The Most Beautiful Goodbye,’ which happened to be a remake of a 90s hit drama of the same name.
In November 2015, the globally renowned ‘Vogue’ magazine included Choi on their list of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive.’