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Jin Goo (진구)

Jin Goo once remarked that he wanted people to remember him less as a person who is good at acting, and more as a good person who acts. But he has been so devoted to his craft that his life might as well be an ode to acting itself.

GwenchaNoona | Actor's Profile: Jin Goo

Photo from The Korea Times

Birthday: July 20, 1980 Instagram: @actor_jingoo Facebook: @official.jingoo

He began his acting journey as the younger version of Lee Byung-hun's character in the gambling k-drama All In (2003). This was followed with dark movie roles such as a gangster in the neo-noir hit Dirty Carnival (2006), a doctor in the horror film Epitaph (2007), a serial killer in Truck (2008), and a thug in Bong Joon-ho’s thriller Mother (2009). Epitaph was so critically received that it was credited for reviving the Korean horror genre, while he himself became recognized as Best New Actor. Screened at Cannes, Mother won multiple Best Film awards, for which he collected multiple Best Supporting Actor trophies.

As a testament to his passion, he held on to a beleaguered project about the Gwangju Uprising, 26 Years (2012), for four years. Rescued by crowdfunding, it cast him as a gangster (again) out to kill the mastermind behind the massacre. To make his portrayal realistic for the film Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle (2010), he chopped for 200 hours, later making kimchi with his mom in real life. In classic Jin Goo fashion, he carefully planned his facial reactions in the melodramatic series A Superior Day (2022) to show a father’s desperation.

Despite his impressive film credit, his most iconic role arguably remains Master Sergeant Seo in the Baeksang Daesang hit series Descendants of the Sun (2016). Training for months with other actors in an actual military base, he was praised for looking after his juniors. With his scenes brimming with intense chemistry with Kim Ji-won and delightful bromance with Song Joong-ki, some were surprised to find that he was so new to the romance genre that he considered it “as refreshing as soda.” He had wanted to say sweet lines in a romantic role for a long time, but his previous characters made him swear instead. In spite of this, his loyal fans have expected nothing less, and Jin Goo effortlessly delivered realistic depictions, romantic or not.

After leading 2022’s web series The King of the Desert penned by Baeksang Best Drama D.P. screenwriter Kim Bo-tong, he appeared in this year’s mystery k-drama Shadow Detective 2.

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