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Park Hae-jin (박해진)

Updated: May 1

From playing charismatic chaebols to psychopaths, Park Hae-jin has firmly established himself as one of South Korea's most accomplished actors. Hailing from Busan, the 6’1” stunner embarked on his acting journey relatively early. Initially gaining attention in supporting roles, it wasn't long before his undeniable talent catapulted him to leading-man status.

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Photo from HanCinema

Birthday: May 1, 1983 Instagram: @parkhaezin_official

Recognized as one of China's 100 most influential cultural figures, Park Hae-jin was the first Korean to be featured in both regular-issue and limited-edition stamps. He became famous after starring in the Chinese series Duo Duo’s Marriage (2011), garnering 1.5 billion views in two weeks. He was also the first Korean male actor to win Best Asian Actor at the 2012 LETV Film and Drama Awards, impressing even non-fans by delivering his acceptance speech in Mandarin.

He is no stranger to awards, having won Best New Actor at the 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards for Famous Chil Princesses, the weekend drama that launched his acting career in 2006. His roles as a man estranged from his twin sister (Lee Bo-young) in the family series Seoyoung, My Daughter (2012) and a longtime friend of the female lead Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun) in the megahit rom-com My Love from the Star (2013) propelled him to further fame within and beyond South Korea.

In 2014's Bad Guys, Park Hae-jin portrays the role of Lee Jung-moon, a highly intelligent and psychopathic serial killer with exceptional intelligence and manipulative skills. The series revolves around the police’s efforts to catch dangerous criminals by using the skills and knowledge of the criminals themselves. As a psychopath on loan to the investigation, Lee Jung-moon ends up using his unique perspective and insights to help solve cases.

He then starred as a rich, manipulative student in Cheese in the Trap opposite Kim Go-eun in the 2016 k-drama and alongside Oh Yeon-seo in the 2018 movie, where both versions were adapted from a webtoon of the same title. Here, he plays Yoo Jung, the complicated central character in the series. Yoo seems to have it all together as a handsome, intelligent college student. But unbeknownst to many, he harbors a darker side where he is manipulative and calculating, often pulling strings behind the scenes to achieve his goals. His actions are sometimes questionable, and he tends to exact revenge on those who cross him.

He then acted opposite Park Sung-woong as an NIS agent disguised as a bodyguard in the action-thriller series Man x Man (2017). He played Kim Seol-woo, a highly skilled secret agent working for a South Korean intelligence agency. His mission involves going undercover as a bodyguard to protect a famous Hallyu actor named Yeo Woon-gwang (played by Park Sung-woong). His assignment is to get close to the actor and ensure his safety while uncovering potential threats to national security. But while he excels in espionage and combat, Kim must also deal with personal and ethical dilemmas in the world of celebrity. He also finds himself falling for Cha Do-ha (Kim Min-jung), the star’s manager, adding to the new complications of his once-peaceful life.

He then played an executive who pays back his abusive former boss (Kim Eung-soo) in the workplace comedy Kkondae Intern (2020). As Ga Yeol-chan, he is a talented and ambitious general manager who becomes the victim of “kkondae” behavior when his former boss, Lee Man-sik (played by Kim Eung-soo), is hired as an intern in the same company. Soon, the clash of generations leads to humorous interactions and power struggles within the workplace.

In 2022, he starred in the MBC rom-com From Now On, Showtime! As Cha Cha-woong, he is a famous magician who has the ability to summon and control ghosts. He crosses paths with Go Seul-hae (Jin Ki-joo), a policewoman, and together, they navigate a comedy-mystery plotline.

His world is not limited to acting; he even hosted Park Hae-jin's Random Box on Naver in 2021. Widely known as a philanthropist, he has campaigned for cultural cooperation with China, smoking and drinking prevention, and financial savings. He has been an honorary firefighter, later promoted to an honorary fire marshall.

He reunites with Park Sung-woong in The Killing Vote, as the hot-headed detective Han Moo-young. When a mysterious masked vigilante kills off persons whom he has deemed guilty, it is up to Han and his team to hunt the vigilante down and end the controversial “killing vote” before it becomes the only means of justice in Korea.

In various genres and archetypes, Park has shown that he can consistently deliver performances that both entertain and move audiences. With each new role, he adds another brushstroke to his already colorful canvas of skills.

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