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Teo Yoo (유태오)

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Love to Hate You, Netflix's first hit rom-com of 2023 left many a k-drama fan wondering: "Who is Teo Yoo and where has he been all our lives?!"

Birthday: April 11, 1981

Instagram: teoyoo

The answer to that question is: not in South Korea. Born Kim Chi-hun to a miner and nurse in Cologne, Germany, Teo Yoo was a third-culture kid who felt somewhat lonely and displaced while growing up as the son of Korean immigrants in Europe. That sense of sadness drove him to pursue acting as a means of expressing his melancholy. After studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, he took intensive acting classes at the the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

His filmography consisted mostly of short films until he landed his biggest break in 2018, playing Viktor Tsoy, a legendary Russian rockstar of Korean descent, in the biopic Leto. The multilingual oppa, who fluently speaks four languages, delivered most of his lines in Russian, and his performance was met with rave reviews when the film screened at Cannes.

He was first introduced to k-drama fans through the fantasy series Arthdal Chronicles in 2019, and also landed supporting roles in Vagabond and Chocolate that same year, followed by Money Game in 2020. Thanks to his fluency in English, he was cast as an English teacher in Netflix's The School Nurse Files, also in 2020.

But it was his role as Nam Kang-ho, a top romance drama actor with an aversion to women, that catapulted his career to the next level of stardom. Love to Hate You, where he co-starred opposite Kim Ok-vin, was all the buzz throughout the love month of February.

Fresh off the streaming success of his first major rom-com, Teo Yoo jetted off to Germany for a screening of his upcoming film Past Lives at the prestigious Berlinale International Film Festival. Produced by A24, the studio that has produced revolutionary, award-winning films Minari and Everything Everywhere All at Once, the romance has already received wide critical acclaim ahead of its theatrical release in June 2023.

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