Park Seo-joon: 9 Movies And Shows You Have To Watch
This 32-year-old actor has been a staple in Hallyu dramas for quite some time now. Having made his acting debut in 2012 starring in the hit series, Dream High 2, he proved to be a triple threat—he had the look, the acting skills, and singing talent to match.
Since then, Park Seo-joon has had quite the successful career. He's played a megalomaniac chairman, a revenge-hungry bar owner, a nameless warrior from the Joseon period, and even a martial artist imbued with divine powers.
His global fame arguably came after the 2018 rom-com hit, What's Wrong With Secretary Kim?, which catapulted him to the elite list of "CF [commercial film] Kings". This includes the likes of Kim Soo-hyun, who's said to endorse no less than 15 brands simultaneously, Lee Min-ho, dubbed the "face that can sell anything", and other prominent actors in Korea.
In Hallyu world, endorsements are the easiest barometer for an actor's likeability and market appeal. A quick look at Park Seo-joon's Instagram account and you'll see him donning the latest Montblanc releases, sharing his favourites from cuisine brand Bibigo, and behind-the-scene snaps from product launches with Chanel, Dior, Dr Jart+, Laneige, and more. In the Philippines, he is also the face of telecom giant, Smart, Bench, and beauty brand, BYS.
While you may see PSJ's face during your next trip to the local department store, get to know him better through his diverse array of work. Check out some of his iconic roles below:
1/9 What's Wrong With Secretary Kim?
Starring opposite Park Min-young (Healer, Her Private Life), What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? adapts the premise of Hollywood blockbuster, Two Weeks Notice. Here, Park Seo-joon plays self-absorbed vice-chairman Lee Young-joon who is dumbfounded when his trusty secretary resigns out of the blue.
He is intent to keep her by his side by all means necessary—even going as far as riding public transport, attending team dinners, and offering a marriage proposal or two. Many have said that the chemistry between the two actors here remains unparalleled. A fun binge-watch overall, Park Seo-joon shows off his flair for comedy in this hit series.
See Also: 7 Of The Most Romantic Dramas To Watch
2/9 Itaewon Class
This 2020 blockbuster has everything you'd look for in a drama. Revenge plot: check. Love triangle: check. Complicated plot twists that come out of nowhere: you got it! But most of all, charming leading man (despite questionable haircut): front-and-centre! Park Seo-joon brings the webtoon character, Park Saeroyi, to life with one dramatic moment after the other. A far cry from his role in Secretary Kim, the actor shines here with his ability to deliver heart-wrenching scenes.
3/9 Midnight Runners
Playing police-in-training buddies, Park Seo-joon and Kang Ha-neul school us in bromance chemistry in this suspense movie. On their night off, the two would-be cops stumble upon a cute girl and they argue who among them gets to ask for her number. Pre-occupied with playing rock-paper-scissors (K Drama's solution to all conflicts), their crush suddenly gets abducted. Thus begins their chase to rescue her. Along the way, they learn about life, the law, and what it takes to protect people.
4/9 Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
In a sea of stars, Park Seo-joon top-bills this saeguk (historical) drama. Fearful of a change in power, Queen Ji So forms Hwarang, a class of elite warriors to protect her and the incumbent king. Park Seo-joon plays the nameless peasant, answering to the alias DogBird, who joins Hwarang in disguise.
Boasting an ensemble cast like no other, this series pits Park Seo-joon against popular names like Park Hyung-sik, Kim Taehyung (V of BTS), Choi Minho (SHINee), and Seo Yea-ji (It's Okay To Not Be Okay). If you're looking for a pop-corn drama with a few action scenes thrown in, add this to your must-watch list!
Related: 5 Historical (Saeguk) K-Drama Classics To Watch
5/9 Fight For My Way
How do you know when it's time to give up on a dream? Fight For My Way stands on the premise of two friends finding themselves in a rough-and-tumble world. Park Seo-joon breathes life to the now-iconic character Ko Dong-man, a disgraced MMA fighter eager to make it back to the ring.
In what seems to be a battle for who acts the best, Kim Ji-won (Descendants of the Sun, Lovestruck in the City) stars opposite Park Seo-joon, playing the unforgettable Choi Ae-ra, a mall concierge who dreams of being a TV announcer. Together, Dong-man and Ae-ra (quite literally) fight for their way to better realities. A heartfelt coming-of-age drama, this series showcases some of Park Seo-joon's finest acting to date.
6/9 The Divine Fury
Playing yet another MMA fighter, Park Seo-joon gets into the mind of the character Yong-hoo, a martial arts champion who gains divine powers. After a fight in the US, he meets a priest who helps him understand his newfound abilities. Together, they battle otherworldly powers in Korea. This horror flick proves the actor's propensity for subtlety and transformation; proving once more that he's not your run-of-the-mill leading man.
7/9 Dream High 2
This sequel came on the heels of a widely successful franchise, so many were worried if it could live up to its predecessor. Fortunately, it was a hit through and through and served as the vehicle that launched Park Seo-joon to the general Korean public.
The show follows students of Kirin High School who pursue their dreams of becoming K-pop idols. Here, you'll get to see Park Seo-joon dance to Rainism and sing with JB (GOT7). Fair warning: PSJ still looks good even with spiky hair and eyeliner.
Related: A Star is Born, Grease, Chicago, and More: Movie Musicals to Binge-Watch
8/9 Kill Me, Heal Me
Kill Me, Heal Me is a 2015 drama that follows the story of a chaebol heir with a dissociative identity disorder. While undergoing treatment, Cha Do-hyun (played by Ji Sung) encounters a writer named Oh Ri-on (played by Park Seo-joon).
Ri-on is determined to uncover and know more about the life of chaebol families but little does he know, he's getting more than he bargained for as he follows Do-hyun and his seven other personalities. This series offers a refreshing performance from Park Seo-joon and Ji Sung alike—equal parts thrilling and comedic—it's a fun and intriguing watch!
9/9 BONUS: Youn's Kitchen / Youn's Stay
Although PSJ has starred in several variety shows, the Youn's series is definitely one you shouldn't miss out on. Youn's Kitchen brings celebrities together to find out if they have what it takes to run a restaurant. Park Seo-joon joins the cast for its second season which was shot in Garachico, Spain. Find out what you think of the actor's skills as a server—does he pull off Spanish like he does a white polo shirt?
Youn's Stay, on the other hand, is a spin-off of the original series, aired early this year. This time around, Park Seo-joon is joined by Parasite co-star and real-life buddy, Choi Woo-shik as they (struggle to) run a hanok guesthouse. Who wouldn't love to have these two as their hosts?
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