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K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo (차은우)

Updated: Mar 16

Cha Eun-woo is so utterly and breathtakingly beautiful that people risk obsessing over his looks and failing to notice that this man is also ridiculously talented.

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo

His elven features portray him as an ethereal, other-worldly being sent down from the heavens to shock and awe us with his beauty. All he needs to do is look at you and smile, and I guarantee you will live the rest of your life in a puddle of uwus. Fans, castmates, and even veteran MCs end up gushing when he arrives.

Born Lee Dong-min on March 30, 1997, in Gunpo, South Korea, Cha was earmarked for stardom from a young age. He showcased an early affinity for the arts, leading him to join the boy band ASTRO under the stage name Cha Eun-woo. It wasn't long before he expanded his horizons to include acting, a move that has proved incredibly successful. He attended Hanlim Multi Art School and later pursued higher education at Sungkyunkwan University, showcasing his dedication to both his craft and academics.

His looks are so captivating that you may overlook that he’s a very talented and emotionally evocative singer, as a member of the group ASTRO. It’s worth watching a clip of him singing Ben&Ben’s “Kathang Isip” during his 2019 Manila Fan Meet (fun fact: he studied in the Philippines for six months back in elementary!).

He also excels at playing the piano and songwriting, which he demonstrated in the YouTube Originals drama Top Management. He was also the ace player in the basketball reality show Handsome Tigers. Seriously, what did he do in his previous life to warrant such an abundance of talent?

With all these things under his belt, you’d think he’d be arrogant - but he’s a shy introvert who even admitted to never having the courage to confess to his school crush. Most people may know him from his most recent starring role as tsundere Su-ho in True Beauty, but he’s been cutting his teeth as an actor as far back as 2014, even before his official debut with ASTRO. Cha's acting career took off when he was cast in web dramas like To Be Continued and My Romantic Some Recipe. But it was his role in the 2018 romantic comedy My ID Is Gangnam Beauty that served as his breakthrough. His popularity soared even further with his next big project, Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung (2019), where he played a lonely prince with a secret passion for romance novels. In 2020, he starred in True Beauty, where he charmed viewers as the seemingly perfect high school student Lee Su-ho. He was also a cast member in the variety show Master in the House / All the Butlers.

Cha Eun-woo's multi-faceted talents have not gone unnoticed. He has received several awards, including the Rookie of the Year at the MBC Drama Awards for My ID Is Gangnam Beauty and the Excellence Award at the 2020 Asia Artist Awards.

Beyond acting and singing, Cha has also ventured into hosting. He's been a regular MC for various music shows and award ceremonies, exuding a natural charisma that makes him a hit with audiences and industry insiders.

Whether performing with ASTRO, stealing scenes in hit dramas, or endorsing brands, Cha continues to set new standards for being a multi-hyphenated artist in today's fast-paced entertainment landscape. There’s no reason for this young oppa’s meteoric rise not to continue its trajectory!


Some of his more popular works are:

Hit the Top / The Best Hit (2017)

Watch on AppleTV, Netflix, Viki

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "Hit the Top"

In this comedic time-slip series, Cha plays the supporting role of Hyun Ji-sung, a young and rather mischievous idol singer who desires to explore his own path as a musician and producer.

Rookie Historian Go Hae-ryung (2019)

Watch on Netflix

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung"

Cha Eun-woo takes the lead as Lee Rim, a charming prince who is disinterested in the affairs of the palace and leads a double life as a romance novelist. His novels become highly popular among women in the royal court.

When he meets Goo Hae-ryung (played by Shin Se-kyung), a rookie historian determined to record historical events accurately, his life takes a new direction. Through their interactions, he begins to break free from his shell, confront his fears, and gradually transforms into a more confident and responsible figure. As the series progresses, Lee Rim and Goo Hae-ryung's relationship evolves from a playful friendship to a deep and meaningful romance.

My ID is Gangnam Beauty (2018)

Watch on AppleTV, Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Viki

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "My ID Is Gangnam Beauty" (photo of Cha Eun-woo and Im Soo-hyang)

Cha Eun-woo takes the lead again as Do Kyung-seok, a handsome and popular student at the same university as the protagonist, Kang Mi-rae (played by Im Soo-hyang).

Do Kyung-seok is known for his striking good looks and calm, reserved demeanor. He becomes a central figure in Mi-rae's life as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Mi-rae, who underwent plastic surgery before entering college due to her insecurities about her appearance, struggles with societal beauty standards and self-worth. He becomes intrigued by Kang Mi-rae, and as their relationship develops, he supports and encourages her to embrace her true self, challenging societal beauty standards.

True Beauty (2020)

Watch on AppleTV, Prime Video, Viki, Viu

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "True Beauty"

Cha Eun-woo is Lee Su-ho, a handsome and intelligent high school student from wealth and privilege but harbors emotional scars from his childhood. Su-ho is known for his aloof demeanor, often making him appear distant and unapproachable.

He soon crosses paths with Lim Ju-kyung (played by Moon Ga-young), known for her makeup skills that dramatically transform her appearance. Su-ho discovers Ju-kyung's secret and becomes one of the few people who see her true, makeup-free self. This forms the basis of their relationship, as Su-ho becomes a source of emotional support and understanding for Ju-kyung.

The Island (2022)

Watch on Prime Video

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "Island"

In this supernatural series, Cha Eun-woo is the priest Kang Chan-hyuk, also known as John. He is a mysterious and enigmatic character who arrives on Jeju Island, where the story takes place. He connects with Won Mi-ho (Lee Da-hee), a celebrity with supernatural secrets of her own, and with Van (Kim Nam-gil), an immortal who lives on the island. Together, they unravel the island's mysteries and fight the demons who seek to destroy it.

A Good Day to Be a Dog (2023)

Watch on Netflix, Viki, Viu

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "A Good Day to Be a Dog"

In this fantasy romance series, Cha Eun-woo portrays the role of Jin Seo-won, a young man who becomes the key to breaking the curse of the female lead, Han Hae-na (Park Gyu-young). He shares a first kiss with Ha-na, triggering her transformation into a dog due to a family curse. However, Seo-won has a deep fear of dogs, stemming from a traumatic childhood experience, which adds complexity to his relationship with Ha-na.

But as the only person who can break Ha-na's curse, he must confront his emotions and help Ha-na find a way to break the curse and return to her human form.

The drama is based on the popular Naver webtoon of the same name, created by Lee Hey in 2018.

Wonderful World (2024)

Watch on Disney+

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Cha Eun-woo in "Wonderful World"

Cha Eun-woo plays Kwon Sun-yool, a disenchanted rich family dropout harboring some dark secrets. He encounters Eun Soo-hyun (Kim Nam-joo), a respected psychology professor and author, who is devastated by the loss of her son and becomes determined to seek justice on her own terms. Their paths intersect in a story about vengeance, redemption, and the complex nature of human emotions.


Which Cha Eun-woo role is your fave?

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