Birthday: September 1, 1970
Age: 51 Years, 51 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Virgo
Born in: Masan, South Korea
Famous as: Actor
South Korean Men
Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Kim Mi-hye (m. 2004)
awards: 2013; 2005 - Blue Dragon Film Award for Best Leading Actor · New World; You Are My Sunshine
2002 · Road Movie - Blue Dragon Film Award for Best New Actor
2015 · Ode to My Father - Grand Bell Award for Best Actor
2005 · A Bittersweet Life - Grand Bell Award for Best Supporting Actor
2007 - Blue Dragon Film Award Popular Star Award - Male
2000 - PaekSang Arts Award for Best Theatre Actor
Who is Hwang Jung-min?
Hwang Jung-min is one of the most successful contemporary South Korean actors. Starting his career with musical theatre during his college days, he eventually developed into an actor with a wide range of skills, and made his acting debut in 1995 with the musical theatre piece titled ‘Line1’. Initially criticized for not being enough good-looking for films, he was limited to playing small time supporting characters in most of his early films, but somehow, his attitude and skills finally paid him off in time. He came into limelight with the 2001 film ‘The Waikiki Brothers’, where he played the role of a struggling musician. He further received widespread acclaim as the lover of an AIDS stricken prostitute in the drama ‘You are my Sunshine’. After winning several awards for his performance, the industry suddenly started accepting Hwang and what then followed was a string of film roles that further established Hwang in a respectable position in the industry. Further starring in some hugely popular and successful films such as ‘Ode to my Father’, ‘Veteran’ and ‘The Wailing’, he started getting accepted as one of the most bankable film actors of this generation.
Childhood & Early Life
Hwang Jung-min was born in Masan, South Korea on September 1, 1970 to film-loving parents. Hwang got interested in the film world at a young age due to that, and started dreaming of a possible career in films.
His interest levels peaked while he was in third grade and caught a theatre production of ‘Peter Pan’, which transformed his psyche.
When he discussed his plan to enter entertainment world with his parents, his mother was in full support of him. She encouraged him further and brought him an application for Keywon High School of Arts, one of the most famous art schools in the country.
During his time there, Hwang learned nuances of acting and started doing theatre. He eventually started a theatre company of his own, along with other actor friends from the school, but disheartened with the lack of interest of general public in his productions, the company was shut down soon.
Rather than getting hopeless with this early failure, Hwang decided to take one step further towards realizing his dreams and joined the Seoul Institute of Arts, for a professional degree in theatre. During his time there, he started auditioning for roles in films and TV and although his performances were regarded well, he was considered unfit for an acting career due to his very average looks.
Hwang kept going further and did theatre, with his most famous play being ‘Line 1’, which he started doing in 1995 and as a result of its success, he continued doing it for years to come. He did some other plays, and all the while kept auditioning for films without any success and somehow managed to bag smaller roles in films like ‘Shiri’ and ‘The She’.
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All the hard work finally paid Hwang in a grand style in 2001, when he was signed on for the film ‘Waikiki Brothers’. The film, which was set in the 80s, revolved around the lives of some struggling young musicians and was featured in Jeonju International Film festival. It was a big deal for Hwang as the success of the film helped him get bigger and important roles in films.
After that, Hwang produced a string of solid performances in films like ‘Road Movie’, ‘Heaven’s Soldiers’ and ‘A Bittersweet Life’. For the ‘Road Movie’, Hwang swept almost all the major film awards that year as the Best New Actor. His performances in those films were appreciated unanimously, but he was far from being considered as a solo actor.
In the defining performance of his career, Hwang played the role of a lonely man who falls in love with a prostitute suffering from AIDS in the film ‘You are my Sunshine’. For his performance, Hwang received many awards and several nominations, eventually becoming a household name in South Korea. He went home with a Blue Dragon Film Award and Max Movie Award.
As a result of the huge success of the film, more and more mainstream directors approached Hwang with powerful and different roles.
Hwang decided to experiment and played some lighter role in subsequent films such as ‘University of Laughs’ and ‘The Wedding Singer’.
In 2009, Hwang appeared on television with a leading role in ‘The Accidental Couple’ and for his impeccable performance, he received a couple of nominations at the KBS Drama Awards that year.
Hwang then played the role of a blind swordsman in the period epic film ‘Blades of Blood’ in 2010. In the same year, he appeared in the noir film ‘The Unjust’, which is also one of the most successful films of his career.
He received absolute universal acclaim for his film ‘New World’, where he played the former head of a crime syndicate. The film made waves across the globe and the New York Times’ film critic pointed Hwang out among all the other cast members and showered praises on him. Korea Film Actor’s Association awarded Best Actor honour to Hwang.
In another solid performance, Hwang appeared in the film ‘In My End is My Beginning’. He further received international accolades and the film premiered in the Busan International Film Festival. His dream run was furthered by two more successful films, a period epic ‘Fists of the Legend’ and ‘Man in Love’. Both the films dealt with different themes and received both critical and commercial success.
In 2014, Hwang once again struck gold with his performance in the film ‘Ode to my Father’, a film which told a story encompassing decades, highlighting some events that has shaped present day South Korea. The film received critical acclaim and slowly picked up pace at the box office to become the second highest grossing South Korean film. Hwang ended up with the Daesang Award for his performance, which happens to be the topmost Korean award for actors.
The 2016 crime comedy film ‘A Violent Prosecutor’ became the second highest grossing film of the year and another one of his films ‘Asura: The City of Madness’ went on to premier in Toronto International Film Festival. In the same year, Gallup Korea awarded him with the honour of ‘Actor of the Year’.
After dating for many years, Hwang married his co-actress, Kim Mi-hye, in 2004 and fathered a son sometime later.