What was Choi Jin Hyuk’s first leading role? Was it his breakout role?

Choi Jin Hyuk in his breakout role in It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl

Korean Drama Trivia #2

Years of working hard before Choi Ji Hyuk’s breakout role appeared

The now very successful South Korean actor Choi Jin Hyuk wasn’t always so successful.

In fact, when he kicked off his acting career in 2006, it was four more years before he grabbed a leading role and came to the attention of your average Korean drama fan.

That role was in the 2010 K-drama It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl, in which Choi Jin Hyuk played the male lead Choi Hyuk Gi.

A man who falls in love with Eun Chae Ryung (played by Moon Chae Won), the youngest daughter of a father who spoiled all his daughters until, after he suffers from a brain hemorrhage, Chae Ryung realizes she must stand on her own two feet if she’s going to be happy in life.

After all, too much kindness can be as destructive as abuse.

Choi Jin Hyuk’s performance in the drama was particularly noteworthy, considering the series featured a huge number of characters involved in multiple storylines, and all seemingly vying for attention.

Yet his was one of the ones that sticks with you long after the 17-episode drama ends.

As was It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl as, while the K-drama was messily written, there was just something about many of the characters in it you couldn’t quickly forget.

It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl was not Choi Jin Hyuk’s breakout role

The actor’s first main role was not his breakout role, though, even if it did bring him to the attention of both K-drama fans and people in the entertainment industry.

Instead, that role was three years later, when Choi Jin Hyuk played a supporting role in the fantasy drama Gu Family Book, alongside Lee Seung Gi, Bae Suzy, Lee Sung Jae, Yoo Yeon Seok, Lee Yoo Bi and Sung Joon.

It was quickly followed by another stellar performance in the Lee Min Ho/Park Shin Hye/Kim Woo Bin drama The Heirs the same year and, at that point, Choi Jin Hyuk was pretty much golden.

From then on, as main role after main role offer poured in, he quickly went from an relatively unknown actor to one of South Korea’s most recognized.

Watch Choi Jin Hyuk in his breakout role via Amazon Prime (trailer below, where you’ll see a glimpse of him), and make a note to watch his latest drama — JTBC’s She’s Different Day and Night, which is due to premiere in June.


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.