[K-Star’s Best Character] Jang Ki Yong Stepped Out of the Runway and Created His Own Way

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Kim Hoyeun

6.1 ft tall actor Jang Ki Yong first made his debut as a model, and when he was on a roll, he took an interest in the craft of acting. His debut project was SBS’s It’s Okay, That’s Love (2014), where he appeared as Lee Sung Kyung’s ex-boyfriend. Afterward, he showed his face in various works, such as JTBC’s Schoolgirl Detectives (2014), KBS’s Beautiful Mind (2016), and tvN’s The Liar and His Lover (2017), building up a solid career.

Credit: tvN

When he appeared in about ten projects, including web series, he left a deep impression on the viewers as Lee Kwang Il from tvN’s My Mister (2018). In the series, he portrayed a loan shark who persistently threatens the heroine Lee Ji Ahn. And not long before that, he starred in IU’s music videos for “The red shoes” and “Friday.” Jang demonstrated a broad spectrum of acting through My Mister by expressing a completely different character.

Soon after, he showed an even deeper and emotional performance in MBC’s Come and Hug Me (2018) as Chae Do Jin, the son of a serial killer. The way he expressed his confusion when facing Chan Jae Yi, his first love and the victim of his father’s murder, impressed the viewers. Later that year, Jang was honored with Excellence Award (Wednesday-Thursday Drama) at the MBC Drama Awards and the Best New Actor (TV category) at the Baeksang Arts Awards.

Meanwhile, the actor entered the time where he was called “the second lead” in the romance genre. In KBS’s Confession Couple, Jung Nam Gil, the perfect man, had a crush on Ma Jin Hoo. In tvN’s Search: WWW, game music producer Park Morgan holds onto his work and love.

Credit: CJ ENM

The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos (2019), the movie spin-off of OCN’s The Bad Guys, was Jang’s first film. He pulled off an ample amount of action sequences for the project as Go Yoo Sung, a former detective who joins the special crime investigation team. He showcased a “zombie-like” aspect of a spiteful man who gets back on his feet even after getting beaten up with the role. Director Song Yong Ho shared, “I felt The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos‘s Go Yoo Sung and My Mister‘s Lee Kwang Il had a similar vibe.”

Credit: Netflix

Jang presents three romance projects in 2021 alone. First, he stars in tvN’s My Roommate Is a Gumiho, a rom-com series based on the webtoon of the same name as Shin Woo Yeo. Then in Netflix film Sweet & Sour, he plays Jang Hyuk, a man who used to be a sweet boyfriend but grows indifferent as time goes by. He said that the movie shows “more sour taste as the story progress” and expressed a romantic yet realistic character. In the latter half of this year, he turns into photographer Yoon Jae Gook in SBS’s Now, We Are Breaking Up. After all, Jang Ki Yong, who is now walking the path of an actor instead of a runway, will not stop moving forward.


Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

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