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Park Hyung-sik (박형식)

Updated: Mar 25

To the people he works with on set, he’s a human energizer, brightening any room he walks into. To close friends in the Wooga Squad — with actors Park Seo-joon and Choi Woo-shik, and singers V from BTS and Peakboy — he’s family. To his millions of fans around the world, he is our lovable and multi-talented kpop-idol-turned-romantic-comedy-king.

GwenchaNoona | Actor Profile: Park Hyung-sik

Photo from HanCinema / Star Daily News

Birthday: November 16, 1991

Instagram: @phs1116

Park Hyung-sik has come a long way from his days as a member of the idol group ZE:A, which launched him into the world of entertainment in 2010. But he says those seven years as an idol were spent mechanically, working like a machine to keep up with the busy idol schedule.

It was in acting, he says, that he found himself. Following supporting roles while still a member of ZE:A, most notably in The Heirs (2013) and the weekend drama What Happens to My Family? (2014-15), his breakthrough projects came: Hwarang (2016-17), where he met two of the members of the Wooga Squad, and Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon (2017), his wildly successful first lead role that earned him the “romantic comedy king” title.

Hwarang (2016) is a historical drama that casts seemingly half of South Korea’s most attractive young actors. In it, Park Hyung-sik stands out as Sammaekjong, a young and distrustful king hidden from his subjects to protect him until he is ready to rule. He comes of age amid a newly formed elite group of young men called Hwarang. Despite its underwhelming script, Hwarang had enough star power to draw in audiences. Park Hyung-sik gained not only recognition for his compelling portrayal of a ruler caught between vulnerability and the weight of his destiny, but also — and perhaps more importantly — a priceless bond with his fellow actors, including Park Seo-joon and BTS’ V, who remain his close friends until today.

In Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon (2017), Park shines as the cheeky CEO of a gaming company in this fantasy romantic-comedy role that catapulted him to national boyfriend status. He hires the supernaturally strong Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young) as his bodyguard, leading to an adorable and heartfelt love story. 

The drama was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest-rated Korean dramas in cable television history. Much of this was courtesy of Park Hyung-sik's incredible chemistry with Park Bo-young, which led to years of rumors of them dating in real life. It was therefore no surprise that he was named “Best Popular Actor” at the first Seoul Awards in 2017.

In the 2018 Korean remake of the American series Suits, Park Hyung-sik charms as he takes on the role akin to Mike Ross — a genius drop-out who leverages his photographic memory to become a law associate despite not having a legal license. The series was well-received, with Park Hyung-sik lauded for being able to hold his own opposite the veteran Jang Dong-gun, who took on the Korean equivalent of Harvey Specter. The drama also highlighted his ability to take on various roles, from historical figures to contemporary characters, showing his range as an actor.

The world of acting is also grateful to have found him. His big screen debut in the legal film Juror 8 (2019) won him the Best New Actor award at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards. In the film based on the 1957 US film 12 Angry Men, Park took on the role of Kwon Nam-woo, a juror in South Korea's first jury trial. The portrayal also won him the Popular Star Award at the 40th Blue Dragon Film Awards. The film and Park Hyung-sik's performance were praised for bringing to light the importance of the jury system in South Korea.

And he’s still just getting started. With his military enlistment behind him and a new agency with his longtime managers, he’s eyeing more diverse roles and activities.

As he said in an interview with The Korea Times:

“In the future, if it is 10 or 20 years from now, I hope I could be eager to do what I do better and put all I have in it. With or without the idol tag, I believe I will be recognized for what I have done.”

In the 2021 apocalyptic thriller Happiness, Park Hyung-sik starred as Jung Yi-hyun, a smart and honest detective navigating a high-rise apartment complex amid a mysterious outbreak that turns infected people into zombies. His return to the screen following his military service was welcomed by fans, who praised his performance and the on-screen dynamics with co-star Han Hyo-joo.

Despite the series recording low television ratings in South Korea, it garnered mixed to positive reviews from those who appreciated the unique blend of thriller and social commentary in the post-Covid-19 pandemic world.

In his latest series Doctor Slump, he reunited with his The Heirs co-star Park Shin-hye. He plays Yeo Jeong-woo, a renowned plastic surgeon whose life takes a dramatic turn following a mysterious medical incident, plunging him into the worst professional slump. His journey is marked by a transition from a carefree top student to a star doctor facing a career crisis. The series delves into his past rivalry with Nam Ha-neul (Park Shin-hye) and their evolving relationship as they navigate their personal and professional challenges.

The Netflix series offers a blend of medical drama and romantic comedy, showcasing Park Hyung-sik's range as he embodies a character grappling with the complexities of life and love. It was so popular that it ranked in the Netflix Global Top 10 TV (Non-English) for at least eight weeks and in the Netflix Top 10 TV in at least 47 countries.

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