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Nam Joo-hyuk (남주혁)

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Nam Joo-hyuk’s perfectly chiseled jawline could have rightly earned a modeling contract all by itself. So, for that matter, could his expressive eyes that can draw you in for hours, and his manly hands that look strong enough to build you a homestead with nothing but a Swiss Army knife and duct tape. But this 6’1’' model-turned-actor is truly greater than the sum of his parts as he has made audiences fall in love with the characters he plays on screen.

Birthday: February 22, 1994

Instagram: skawngur

Born on February 22, 1994, in Busan, South Korea, Nam Joo Hyuk's journey to stardom began at a young age. Blessed with a tall and athletic frame, he initially pursued a career in the world of sports, particularly in basketball. However, fate had different plans for him when he was scouted by a talent agent while on the streets of Seoul. This encounter would eventually lead him to the world of modeling. His tall and lean physique made him a sought-after model, and he quickly gained recognition in the fashion industry. His unique charm and good looks landed him various modeling gigs, paving the way for a promising career. It was during this period that he honed his camera presence and began to gain a following.

While modeling was flourishing for Nam Joo Hyuk, it soon became evident that his talents extended beyond the runway. His entry into the acting world came in 2013 when he made his acting debut in the television drama "The Idle Mermaid." Although it was a small role, it marked the beginning of his acting career.

"Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo" (2016-2017) was a turning point in Nam Joo Hyuk's career. He took on the role of Jung Joon Hyung, a talented swimmer with a heart of gold. His on-screen chemistry with co-star Lee Sung Kyung was praised, and the series garnered a dedicated fan base.

He then followed up with "Bride of the Water God," where he played the titular role of Ha Baek, the confused water god. His portrayal of a deity adapting to the human world was both humorous and poignant.

In 2020, he opted for the quirky "The School Nurse Files" (2020): In this quirky and supernatural series, Nam Joo Hyuk played the role of Hong In Pyo, a teacher with unique abilities. The drama highlighted his ability to tackle diverse and unconventional roles.

In 2020, Nam joined the cast of Start-Up as Nam Do-san, one of the founders of Samsan Tech. The drama was set in a fictional South Korean version of Silicon Valley, where dreamers like NAm set out to work on their tech dreams. As an adorkable tech genius, his character was later entangled in a love triangle for Dal-mi's love (played by Bae Suzy) that it ultimately divided viewers into #TeamDosan and #TeamGoodBoy (with Kim Seon-ho on the other end). Regardless of which team you found yourself rooting for, there's no denying it was one of the most memorable dramas of 2020.

In 2021, he broke hearts as the stalwart reporter Baek Yi Jin in the nostalgic romance Twenty Five, Twenty One. His performance was so sincere and bittersweet that we literally dedicated an entire quote series to him.

Master of the micro-gesture, Nam Joo-hyuk acts literally down to his fingers, as most fans of Twenty Five, Twenty One (2022) can attest. Add to that his boyish appeal that instantly makes him boyfriend fanfic material, and you’ve got a recipe for industry success. When he smiles, you smile. When he laughs, you laugh. When he cries, you want to have him crawl into your lap for some cuddle time. 

The effect is magnified on the big screen, where his literally larger-than-life characterizations draw you in, and make you a willing hostage for the next two hours. His efforts in the historical film The Great Battle (2018) earned him several nominations for Best New Actor and even won him a few awards.

Nam Joo-hyuk began his mandatory military service under the Military Police Group in March 2023. He returns to K-drama as a vengeful man in search of justice in Disney's "Vigilante." In a darker turn from his usual rom-com roles, Nam transforms into Kim Ji-yong, a model police academy student by day who lives a double life as a vigilante and executioner at night. But little does he know that he’s being framed by people who have interests that differ wildly from his sense of justice.

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