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Han Suk-kyu
South Korean actor

Han Suk-kyu

Han Suk-kyu
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro South Korean actor
A.K.A. 한석규, Han Seok-kyu
Is Actor Film actor
From South Korea
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 3 November 1964, Seoul, South Korea
Age 57 years
Star sign Scorpio
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Han Suk-kyu (born November 3, 1964) is a South Korean actor. One of the leading actors of Korean cinema, Han's notable works include Green Fish (1997), No. 3 (1997), Christmas in August (1998), Shiri (1999), and The President's Last Bang (2005).

Life and career

Han Suk-kyu is known as a family man, avid golfer, fisherman and voracious reader. He collects animation by Studio Ghibli and hopes to join Ghibli voice cast one day as a Korean-speaking character. While a student at the Theater and Film department of Dongguk University, he sang in an amateur folk rock band. He took a brief, year-long contract as voice actor at KBS, before moving on to TV and film acting.

After a debut in the 1990 MBC campus drama Our Paradise, Han rose to stardom as "Hong-shik" in The Moon of Seoul (1994), a charming gigolo from the slums determined to attain wealth at all cost in the big city. "Choon-seop", an old friend from hometown played by Choi Min-sik, struggles hopelessly to stop "Hong-shik" from his self-ruin. The partnership of Han and Choi as uneasy allies or foes, parlayed into two flagship films of the 1990s: No. 3 and Shiri. Both the series and "Hong-shik" character have since become beloved icons, as part of the Korean television's golden era before the advent of Korean Wave. The cast also features veterans who are now luminaries in Korean cinema: Na Moon-hee of The Quiet Family, Kim Hae-sook of Park Chan-wook's Thirst, and Baek Yoon-sik of Save the Green Planet!.

Before the end of the 20th century, Han headlined films that were critically acclaimed (Green Fish, No. 3) and commercially successful (The Contact, Christmas in August, Shiri—the latter two making particular impact in Japan).

Han's experience in the early stages of Korean cinema renaissance in the 1990s, cemented his belief in a script-driven model for movie-making. Thus the founding of "Makdong Script Festival" (named after his role in Green Fish), with co-sponsor film magazine Cine 21. Winners may claim two cash prizes funded by Han, with the potential to launch directing careers based from their own scripts. The annual contest is now extant over 10 years, with two titles produced so far: the comedy 2424 (2002) and Private Eye (2009) starring Hwang Jung-min.

Return

Han went into an extended hiatus in 1999, declining several lucrative opportunities with name directors as he suffered disc problem. Among them: Peppermint Candy, Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (as the father), and Fulltime Killer (as Andy Lau's friend/foe.)

The break coincided with a surge in new talent, sophistication of technology, organization, and scale of production within the Korean film industry. Combined with other factors (such as his aloof and shy attitude towards the media, his over-exposure as a sensitive, bookish bourgeois typified by Maxim coffee commercials, and enduring actor's image as a cold intellectual incongruous with the rising vogue of populism defined by explosive passions of red-blooded machismo and sentimentalism, in a market of changing audience preference for a less measured, more corporeal acting style) have attempted to explain the lukewarm reception to his comeback.

Double Agent, which netted one million admissions, was seen as a failure for a star labeled by the media as "box office guarantee." This was followed by a sizable backlash from netizens and the press, who rushed to bury the co-self-produced spy thriller as the public disgrace of a former golden boy.

His press and image took further beating in the next two, even more polarizing films: the unforeseen tragedy surrounding The Scarlet Letter, and the incendiary political content of The President's Last Bang. Nonetheless, these controversial works screened at Cannes, and were featured in a tribute to the actor at the Austrian FilmAsia festival.

In spite of this rocky return to feature films, Han remains well regarded by such major directors as Park Chan-wook, Lee Joon-ik, Kang Woo-suk and Jang Jin. Compared to his peak popularity in the 90s, his work may seem an acquired taste for general audiences, although some cult following ensued for his ultra-sadistic turn in A Bloody Aria.

He also remains well respected among major peers for his distinctive style (a cerebral and intricate minimalism driven by semantics and implosive restraint): Kim Hye-soo, Song Kang-ho, Oh Dal-su (especially for their collaboration in Forbidden Quest and A Bloody Aria), Sol Kyung-gu, and Choi Min-sik.

Overall, his post-90s career is marked by less high-profile, "event" projects than personal interests, such as appearing in the quickie B-movie Mr. Housewife as keepsake for his children. As in the late 90s, Han continues to favor novice directors over safer projects under seasoned directors, in hopes of bringing new talents into the industry. This, combined with aversion of the press (now playing a more critical and complex role to the entertainment circle), has earned him the image by turns of a taciturn loner, and a generous if loquacious intellectual.

He remained self-managed until as late as 2006, before joining the KM Culture agency due to increased regimentation of the industry.

After the adaptation of Keigo Higashino novel of White Night starring Son Ye-jin, Han has a long-awaited reunion with Choi Min-sik slated to begin production in Autumn 2009.

Influences

Known for his distinctive voice and diction, Han has been a long-time mentor to Kam Woo-sung, including coaching the latter's enunciation for his film debut in Marriage is a Crazy Thing. Actors of the younger generation also continue to cite him as an influence; among them: Hwang Jung-min, Ryoo Seung-bum, Kim Myung-min, Kim Joo-hyuk of Blue Swallow, Kim Ji-soo of This Charming Girl, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (who famously began a second career in Korea after seeing Han in Shiri), Rain, Lee Sung-jae of Barking Dogs Never Bite, TV heartthrob Lee Jin-wook, and the current darling of independent films, Im Ji-kyu.

For his part, Han has cited influences by legendary Korean actor Kim Seung-ho, Al Pacino, Ken Takakura, The Godfather trilogy, and Hayao Miyazaki.

Filmography

Film

  • The Prison (2017)
  • The Royal Tailor (2014)
  • My Paparotti (2013)
  • The Berlin File (2013)
  • Villain and Widow (2010)
  • White Night (2009)
  • Eye for an Eye (2008)
  • Solace (2006)
  • A Bloody Aria (2006)
  • Forbidden Quest (2006)
  • Mr. Housewife (Quiz King) (2005)
  • The President's Last Bang (2005)
  • The Scarlet Letter (2004)
  • Salt Doll (2003): a thriller aborted after 30% completion; co-starring Lee Eun-ju
  • Double Agent (2003)
  • Tell Me Something (1999)
  • Shiri (1999)
  • Christmas in August (1998)
  • The Contact (1997)
  • No. 3 (1997)
  • Green Fish (1997)
  • The Ginkgo Bed (1996)
  • Doctor Bong (1995)
  • Mom, the Star, and the Sea Anemone (1995)

Television

Year Korean title English title Role Network
1990 우리들의 천국 Our Paradise Hyun Chul MBC
1991 여명의 눈동자 Eyes of Dawn Young Man from Seobuk MBC
1992-1993 아들과 딸 Sons and Daughters Suk Ho MBC
1993 파일럿 Pilot Park Sang-hyun MBC
1994 서울의 달 The Moon of Seoul Hong Shik MBC
도전 Challenge MBC
까레이스키 Kareisky MBC
1995 호텔 Hotel Im Hyung-bin MBC
2011 뿌리 깊은 나무 Deep Rooted Tree Lee Do / King Sejong SBS
2014 비밀의 문 Secret Door Kim Young-jo SBS
2016 낭만닥터 김사부 Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim Teacher Kim / Boo Yong-joo SBS

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1984 MBC Gangbyeon Song Festival Encouragement Award None Won
1993 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor Pilot, Sons and Daughters Won
1994 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor The Moon of Seoul Won
TV Journal Star of the Year Excellence Award Won
1995 6th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actor Doctor Bong Won
1996 1st Cine21 Film Awards Best New Actor Won
32nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Won
1997 18th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actor Green Fish , No. 3 Won
Popular Star Award Won
35th Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Green Fish Won
Popularity Award Won
17th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actor Won
20th Golden Cinematography Awards Most Popular Actor The Ginkgo Bed, Green Fish Won
33rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in Film The Ginkgo Bed Won
1998 1st Director's Cut Awards Best Actor Christmas in August Won
19th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Awards Won
1999 7th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Best Actor in Film Shiri Won
20th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Awards Won
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards Popularity Award Christmas in August, Shiri Won
2000 37th Grand Bell Awards Popularity Award Tell Me Something Won
2011 2011 SBS Drama Awards Grand Prize (daesang) Deep Rooted Tree Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2012 Korean Popular Culture Awards Presidential Recommendation Himself Won
2016 2016 SBS Drama Awards Grand Prize (daesang) Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Genre & Fantasy Drama Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Nominated
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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