[K-Star’s Best Character] Jo Jung Suk: The Go-to Actor We Can Count On

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated Cho EK

Jo Jung Suk is an actor who stands out in various fields of Korean popular culture. He debuted in the musical The Nutcracker in 2004, and in the first seven years of his career, he secured his place as an actor in both musical and theater stages. Since 2011, he has appeared in TV series and movies. And the soundtrack he participated in won numerous music awards.

Credit: Shownote

Jo’s small screen debut was in MBN’s What’s Up (2011). In it, he plays an aspiring musical actor with stage fright named Kim Byung Gun, although Jo personally has no fear on stage whatsoever. And for his acting as Moritz in the musical Spring Awakening (2009-2010), a character who revolts at the world brandishing his half-shaved head, he won the Best Supporting Actor in various musical awards. In addition, Jo was in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch 4 times over ten years (in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2016). He goes by ‘Ppod-wig‘ (The Fair-skinned Hedwig) for his porcelain skin among the theater and musical fandom. And his shows sold out night after night.

Credit: Lotte Entertainment

Jo Jung Suk first caught the moviegoers’ attention by perfectly pulling off Nab Ddeuk in the movie Architecture 101, a comic role that teaches the main character how to get girls. In the same year, in MBC’s The King 2 Hearts, he showed his versatility by acting Eun Shi Kyung, a loyal and strict chief officer in the Royal Guard, a character utterly different from his previous role in Architecture 101. His role in Architecture 101 has won him the New Icon award and the Best New Actor award in 2012. Later he continued starring in romantic comedies: TV series such as KBS’s You Are the Best! (2013), tvN’s Oh My Ghost (2015), SBS’s Don’t Dare to Dream (2016), and the movie My Love, My Bride (2014).

In the movie EXIT (2019), in which he co-starred with Yoona, he won the audience’s sympathy by playing Yong Nam, a young man who attempts to escape the catastrophe-struck city. As a result, he contributed to the movie’s success that attracted more than 9 million viewers. Later in the interview, he shared that the experience of spending the two extra years for his college admission helped him get in tune with the character’s state of mind. Besides, he performed his own stunts, climbing up the building walls and jumping off from height to render realistic and exciting scenes.

Credit: tvN

Jo Jung Suk was the first cast to participate in tvN’s Hospital Playlist. He played Lee Ik Jun, a medical doctor with a warm personality, and portrayed his life filled with love and moving episodes. He also appeared on the top soundtrack list with the song he sang, “Aloha,” and won five music awards.

Jo Jung Suk is a versatile actor who can play any role in any given genre, comparable to an all-around character in an RPG game that excels in every aspect.


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 Cho EK: I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and movies.

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