Kim Ji Hoon: Life, career and future projects of the superb Korean actor

Born on May 9th, 1981, in Seoul, South Korea, Korean actor Kim Ji Hoon is quite the man of mystery when it comes to his earlier life, as he doesn’t seem to talk about it very much.

What we do know is that he got his start in the entertainment world as a VJ on a TV variety show in 2001.

He quickly moved on into acting, however, with the now-42-year-old Korean actor Kim Ji Hoon’s career almost immediately taking off with his 2002 debut in the KBS2 series Loving You in the support role of Choi Sung Wook.

RELATED: Watch that hilarious Love to Hate You scene where Kim Ji Hoon and Teo Yoo kiss

From then on, his talent and versatility soon became evident as he went on to portray a multitude of different types of characters across a broad swath of genres in both K-dramas and on film.

Kim Ji Hoon alongside Teo Yoo in Love to Hate You (2023)

Kim Ji Hoon’s more notable dramas

While the Korean actor has appeared in at least 30 dramas since his debut, several of his more notable K-dramas have become almost-classics, along with his performances in them.

They include:

  1. Flowers for My Life: (2007): Kim Ji Hoon plays the endearing Yoo Min Woo, in a beautifully nuanced portrayal of a man grappling with the challenges of life and love that endeared him to a wider audience
  2. Golden Era of Daughters-In-Law (2007): In this rom-com, Kim Ji-hoon charmed audiences with his portrayal of Lee Bok Su, the eldest son of a family that owns a famous pig-trotter restaurant. Bok Su, though, is the planning director at the Yujin Group and, while he has always said he will never get married, suddenly finds himself falling in love with Min Jin (Lee Soo Kyung) and tying the knot. The problem is.. Bok Su’s crazy family, and how the newly-married couple must now deal with them.
  3. Love Marriage (2008): In this rom-com Kim Ji Hoon plays Park Hyun Soo, a divorce attorney who is dating a woman who manages a company that specializes in setting divorcees up on dates.
  4. Stars Falling from the Sky (2010): Kim Ji Hoon plays another lawyer, but this time Won Kanga Ha, a man who finds it difficult to open up to anyone after being abandoned by his mother at birth.
  5. Flower Boy Next Door (2012): Kim Ji-hoon’s comedic timing shines through in this fabulous K-drama series in which he plays a manhwa artist in love with a girl who is a shut-in. He is the second male lead, but still manages to steal the show.

Other roles Kim Ji Hoon has stood out in include, Flower of Evil in which he plays villain Baek Hee Song, Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area(2022)the Netflix K-drama Love to Hate You (2023), and Death’s Game (2023).

He also did a superb job in last year’s brilliant but ultra-violent Netflix film Ballerina, in which the actor played the ultimate villain complete with a massive facial scar.

Kim Ji Won in Ballerina

So seriously does Kim Ji Won take his work, in some of his projects he even goes as far as choosing his character’s appearance, right down to the hairstyle and the clothing he wears, as he wants to be able to feel the part.

When you look at the South Korean actor’s vast body of work comprising a huge number of genres, plus consider that fact, it becomes apparent that, whether he is portraying a romantic lead, a white-collar worker, or a complex anti-hero, Kim Ji Hoon brings a level of authenticity to his characters that makes audiences love him.

Kim Ji Hoon’s future projects

As for Kim Ji-hoon’s upcoming endeavors, it was announced last week he will be one of the stars of the Amazon Prime mini-series Butterfly, alongside Daniel Dae Kim and Kim Tae Hee.

With how much the rugged actor seems to be in demand, however, it is very likely we will see much more of him before the year ends.

He once said his goal is to act in a project written by acclaimed screenwriter Kim Eun Sook as she writes such beautiful parts.

The writer, of course, penned hit drama series like Mr. Sunshine, Descendants of the Sun, Goblin, The Glory and The King: Eternal Monarch.

Fingers crossed he’ll get that opportunity, as he would be wonderful.

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.