Childhood & Early Life
Ha Seok-jin was born in Seoul, South Korea on 10th February 1982 to a middle class family. Since his family had no connection with the entertainment world, he wasn’t hopeful of a career in the industry. However, he secretly kept his dreams alive duringhis childhood.
He was an above average student during his high school days. The only thinghe was popular for, other than hisstudies, was his passion for acting, which he displayed in the plays he acted in.
By the time he was out of school, his acting dream had been rooted deeply within him, but the pressure from his family membersensured his entry into a mechanical engineering course at the Hanyang University.
After graduating, Ha started working as an engineer, but his good looks and camera-friendly attitude had him modelling for some companies. His 2005 modelling stint with Korean Air was one of his initial opportunities that made him noticeable among other showbiz companies.
Gaining further confidence, he collaborated with the musician SG Wannabe in the same year and made appearances in his music videos for songs, ‘As We Live’ and ‘Sin and Punishment’. This gave Ha therequired acting experience and he soon started auditioning for roles. He then got a few offers to feature in some insignificant roles and hence his acting career took off.
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Ha started his acting career with a minute role in the heavy-hearted 2005 romantic drama ‘Sad Love Story’, which was a moderate hit in South Korea, but became surprisingly popular in Japan.
In the same year Ha appeared in the drama, ‘Princess Lulu’. Though the dramawas criticized on many fronts, it had Ha playing a slightly bigger role, and thusgave him the perfect opportunity to flex his acting muscles.
These initial roles got him acquainted with small-time filmmakers and in the year 2006, Ha got the opportunity to essay a major role in ‘See You After School’, a comic melodrama film, based on the day-to-day struggles of average South Korean high school teenagers.
This was followed by a low budget comedy film titled ‘Who Slept with Her’ along with opportunities to portrayminor roles in TV dramas such as ‘Dr. Kkang’ and ‘Korea Secret Agency’.
Ha eventually went on to bag some meaty roles, and 2007 proved to be a fairly successful year for him as far as his acting career was concerned. He started the yearby bagging a major role in the romantic series ‘Hello! Miss’, which also became successful in countries like Thailand and the Philippines. Its success was followed by another in the form of ‘Drama City’, a short drama series.
While he was waiting for a breakthrough that would put him in the list of desirable young actors, he got a chance to portray an important role in the2008 series ‘I am Happy’, which he saw as the opportunity he was waiting for. Ha played the role of Kang-seok and surprised everyone with his maturity in handling a difficult role with panache. Critics lauded his performance and that paved the way to bag his first acting award.He won the Best New Actor Award at the SBS Drama Awards. He also received a nomination at the Baeksang Arts Awards.
This success translated into better roles and he ended the year with the lead role in the film ‘Summer Whispers’, which was a romantic drama. The film was universally praised for its unique storyline and Ha gained immense exposure following this role.
While he ended 2009 with a romantic TV drama titled ‘What’s for Dinner’, he began 2010 with ‘The Great Merchant’. His roles in these series paved the way for Ha to attain a respectable status as a television actor.
In ‘If Tomorrow Comes’, a romantic family drama, Ha essayed the role of an average salaryman, who falls in love with a woman, with his family standing againsthis decision. The drama was a major hit and Ha followed it up with the heavy-hearted sitcom, ‘Standby’. Ha’s fans weren’t expecting him to have a flair for comical roles, but he once again surprised everyone with his performance as a media professional who worksfor a broadcasting company.
In the 2012 family drama ‘Childless Comfort’, Ha played a major role and the series became one of the biggest hits of the year. Despite being appreciated for his performances, Ha wasn’t receiving enough attention at the award functions, which are more or less a testimony of one’s acting prowess.
‘Don’t Look Back’, a revenge drama, had him playing a key role which was followed by the series ‘Thrice Married Woman’ for which he was nominated at the SBS Drama Awards in 2014. After being nominated under the Excellence Award category, Ha couldn’t bag the award.
In the same year, Ha was nominated for another award, this time for the lead role in the drama series ‘Legendary Witches’, in which he was seen playing the role of a chef. The drama was a massive hit and earned Ha nominations for Excellence Awards at MBC Drama Awards and APAN Star Awards (2015).
Ha then joined the cast of a variety show titled ‘Hot Brain: Problematic Men’ and started a long association with the series, which continues even now.
Ha carried on with his TV career with series like ‘Drinking Solo’ and ‘Radiant Office’, playing lead roles in both.
Ha Seok-jin says that physical appearance is the last thing he sees in his potential mate and that intelligence and sharp-wittedness matters more than the appearance. He also maintains that he is single as of now, but there have been rumours in the past about his apparent closeness with actor Yoon Joo-hee, but nothing has been made official yet.
Ha believes in keeping his life private and he isn’t active on the social media circle.
Ha is shy around women and says that this is one of the reasons for not having met his ideal woman yet.