Eric Mun

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Eric Mun
120811 jeonju big21 konseoteu.jpg
Eric in 2012
Mun Jung-hyuk

(1979-02-16) 16 February 1979 (age 40)
Seoul, South Korea
Na Hye-mi (m. 2017)
Musical career
  • Rapper
  • Actor
  • Record producer
Years active1998–present
  • Shinhwa Company
  • TOP Media
Associated acts Shinhwa
Korean name
Revised Romanization Mun Jeong-hyeok
McCune–Reischauer Mun Chŏnghyŏk

Eric Mun (born Mun Jung-hyuk on February 16, 1979) is a South Korean singer and actor. He is a member and leader of the South Korean boy band Shinhwa. He is also well known for several dramas such as Phoenix (2004), Super Rookie (2005) and Another Oh Hae-young (2016). He was with Top Class Entertainment from 2007 to December 2013. In 2014, Mun and his manager of 10 years, Lee Jong-hyun, set up a new management agency, E&J Entertainment, for his individual activities. Mun is also the CEO of Shinhwa Company, the home agency of his group, with Lee Min-woo as co-CEO since 2011, and with the remaining members—Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin and Andy Lee—as shareholders.

A boy band is loosely defined as a vocal group consisting of young male singers, usually in their teenage years or in their twenties at the time of formation, singing love songs marketed towards young women. Being vocal groups, most boy band members do not play musical instruments, either in recording sessions or on stage, making the term something of a misnomer. However, exceptions do exist. Many boy bands dance as well as sing, usually giving highly choreographed performances.

Shinhwa South Korean boy band

Shinhwa is a South Korean six-member boy band based in Seoul, composed of Eric Mun, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin, and Andy Lee. Launched by SM Entertainment on March 24, 1998, the group signed with Good Entertainment in 2004 before creating their Shinhwa Company to manage their career as a band. The band struggled initially with their first album before finding commercial success with their sophomore album T.O.P.. When their contract with SM Entertainment expired in July 2003, all six members signed with Good Entertainment and assumed creative control with the release of Brand New. That same year, members began to pursue individual careers.

<i>Phoenix</i> (2004 TV series) 2004 South Korean television series

Phoenix is a 2004 drama/romance South Korean television series starring Lee Seo-jin, Lee Eun-ju, Jung Hye-young and Eric Mun. It aired on MBC from April 5 to June 29, 2004 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 26 episodes.


Early life

Mun was born in Seoul. He is the youngest of the three siblings with two older sisters. He attended Daechi Elementary School located in Seoul. When his family moved to the U.S, he went to John Burroughs Middle School located in Los Angeles. Mun spent his years at Parks Junior High School and Sunny Hills High School, both of which are located in Fullerton, California. In 1996 he returned to Korea and joined SM Entertainment as a trainee and was featured as a rapper on label mate girl group S.E.S.' single "I'm Your Girl" along with Andy. [1] On March 24, 1998, with the stage name Eric, he debuted as leader and main rapper of group Shinhwa with their single "해결사" (The Solver) on KM Music Tank. He stated that their debut album, Resolver , did not perform well and the band almost disbanded. At the time, he thought seriously about giving up and returning to the U.S. [2]

Seoul Special City in Seoul Capital Area, South Korea

Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area. Seoul is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world and is larger than London and Paris.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

D. Russell Parks Junior High School is a junior high school located in Fullerton, California, United States. It serves students in seventh and eighth grades, and is part of the Fullerton School District. The school has been recognized on two separate occasions with a Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive. Parks' mascot is the Panther.

In 2005, Mun graduated from Dongguk University with a major in Theater and Film.

Dongguk University university in Seoul, South Korea

Dongguk University is a private, coeducational university in South Korea, based on Buddhism. Established in 1906 as Myeongjin School by Buddhist pioneers of the Association of Buddhism Research, the university gained full university status as Dongguk University in 1953. The university remains one of the few Buddhist-affiliated universities in the world, and is the member of International Association of Buddhist Universities.


2004: Acting career beginnings

In 2002, Mun and his Shinhwa bandmates had cameo appearance in the movie Emergency 19 Act. In 2003 director Park Sung-soo cast him in a supporting role for MBC’s series Breathless (I Run). [3] In early 2004, he appeared in the drama Phoenix (Bulsae).

Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation South Korean company

Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation is one of the leading South Korean television and radio network companies. Munhwa is the Korean word for "culture". Its flagship terrestrial television station MBC TV is Channel 11 (LCN) for Digital.

2005-2006: Injury

In 2005, Mun starred in lead role in MBC's Super Rookie with actress Han Ga-in. [4] It was also broadcast on Fuji Television. It got solid rating in Korea during the broadcast. Super Rookie was also a big hit in Japan after Fuji TV paid ₩2 billion for the broadcast rights in Japan. [5] It was commercially successful in Japan when it was broadcast there. In December 2005, Mun went to promote Super Rookie in Japan, where he was greeted at the airport by a large crowd. [6]

<i>Super Rookie</i> television program

Super Rookie is a 2005 South Korean television series starring Eric Mun, Han Ga-in, Oh Ji-ho, and Lee So-yeon. It aired on MBC from March 23 to May 26, 2005 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 20 episodes. The workplace comedy is a satire on Korea's corporate culture and unemployment among the country's younger generation. It scored solid viewership ratings in the 20% range.

Han Ga-in South Korean actress

Han Ga-in is a South Korean actress. She starred in television series Yellow Handkerchief and Terms of Endearment early in her career, and became a sought-after model in commercials. Her projects in 2012 were hugely successful, with her period drama Moon Embracing the Sun topping the TV ratings chart, and her film Architecture 101 becoming a box office hit.

In early 2006, Mun was injured on the set of MBC drama Wolf, resulting in it being pulled off air after four episodes. Mun was injured whilst shooting a scene, near Namdaemun in Seoul, where he was to save co-star Han Ji-min from being run over by a car. The stunt car driver, misunderstanding the instructions given to him, drove at them at 40 km/h and did not stop in front of them as planned. [7]

Namdaemun main gate of Seoul fortress; one of The Four Great Gates (cardinal) as one of The Eight Gates of Seoul as part of the Fortress Wall of Seoul, South Korea

Namdaemun, officially known as the Sungnyemun, is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, South Korea, which surrounded the city in the Joseon dynasty. The gate is located in Jung-gu between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza, with the historic 24-hour Namdaemun market next to the gate.

Han Ji-min South Korean actress

Han Ji-min is a South Korean actress. After minor roles in All In and Dae Jang Geum, Han had her breakout role in revenge series Resurrection in 2005. This was followed by leading roles in period dramas Capital Scandal and Yi San, contemporary dramas Cain and Abel and Padam Padam, romantic dramas Rooftop Prince, Familiar Wife as well as drama film Miss Baek.

In August, after the successful run of Super Rookie, especially in Japan, [5] Mun collaborated again with its writers in Invincible Parachute Agent (also known as Korea Secret Agency). [8]

2008-2010: Military enlistment

Shinhwa's 10th Anniversary concert in March 2008, that marked the start of Shinhwa's hiatus as a group to fulfill mandatory military service. Before his army enlistment, Mun appeared in a period drama for the first time in his acting career with Strongest Chil Woo . [9] With 30 million wons per episode for Strongest Chil Woo, Mun was the highest paid singer-turned-actor in the industry at the time. [10]

Mun gave up his U.S. citizenship in 2003, [11] [12] to be able to serve his military service. He was the first Shinhwa member to enlist for mandatory military service in October 2008. Because of his back injury from the filming of Wolf, Mun served non-active duty after undergoing four weeks of basic training. He was discharged on 30 October 2010. [13]

2011: Shinhwa Company

After being discharged, Mun's first project was supposed to be KBS' action drama Poseidon opposite Kim Ok-bin, set for broadcast in July 2011. However they dropped out when production was halted after the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong incident in November 2010. [14] Instead, he appeared in another KBS drama, Spy Myung-wol with Han Ye-seul in July, playing a Korean wave star who is at the center of a kidnap plot by North Korean agents. [15] [16]

On 1 July 2011, Mun became CEO (with Lee Min-woo as co-CEO) of Shinhwa Company, a joint venture agency for members Shinhwa to perform as a group. The Company manages the group as a whole, whilst members' individual activities are managed by their respective agencies. [17]

As part of Top Class Entertainment he produced girl group Stellar, who debuted in August 2011 with the song "Rocket Girl". [18]

2012: Shinhwa reunion

In March 2012, Mun reunited with his Shinhwa bandmates for their comeback after four years, under the management of Shinhwa Company. The group released their tenth studio album The Return on March 23, 2012, [19] [20] launched the concerts 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return throughout Asia [21] [22] and their first exclusive variety program Shinhwa Broadcast premiered on March 17, 2012, on cable channel JTBC. [23]

Mun's rap is featured on Brown Eyed Girls' Ga-in's digital single "Nostalgia", released on November 30, 2012. [24]

2013: Shinhwa tour and leaving Top Class Management

On February 8, 2013, Shinhwa’s agency announced the group’s 2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic to commemorate the group’s 15 years since their debut was revealed. The album's name called The Classic .

Mun along with Shinhwa won Mwave Global Star Awards [25] as well as many music shows awards [26] [27] and a Triple Crown on M Countdown [28] for their music comeback.

December 2013, Mun's contract with Top Class Entertainment came to an end. He did not re-sign another contract with Top Class Entertainment and no longer has any running of group Stellar whom he helped the management to produce and promote the original line up. [29] [30]

2014: Return to acting

In March 2014, Mun successfully concluded the 16th Anniversary Concerts with Shinhwa. After several casting offers from KBS, [31] [32] Mun returned to television in August 2014 with the drama Discovery of Love , which reunites him with Jung Yu-mi, who was his co-star in MBC's 2007 Que Sera, Sera . [33] [34] [35] It was also announced that he had formed his own management company, E&J Entertainment, with his manager of 10 years, Lee Jong-hyun. [36]

Despite its average 7% Nielsen rating, Mun and the team of Discovery of Romance received praise for their acting and Mun won a 'Triple Crown at KBS 2014 Year End Award (Excellent Actor, Best Couple, and Netizen Award). With this win, Mun had won acting awards at all three major Broadcasting Networks. In 2015, Discovery of Love was nominated for the 2015 Rockie Award [37] in the Melodrama category alongside 30 Vies (Canada), EastEnders (UK), Grey’s Anatomy (USA), My Sunshine (China), and Mysterious Summer (Japan). In an 2015 Instiz discussion post about viewers' favorite drama characters, Mun's Kang Tae-ha Discovery of Romance stays in top 10 at #6. [38]

2016: "Another Oh Hae-young" and "Three Meals a Day"

After Shinhwa's 18 Anniversary in March, Mun returned to acting and appeared in the South Korean TV cable (tvN) drama Another Oh Hae-young with Seo Hyun-jin. The drama premiered on May 2 with better rating than its predecessor Pied Piper. It broke its projected rating of 5% of on its 6th episode and becomes tvN's all-time highest rated drama for their Monday - Tuesday time-slot with the rating of 9.9% for its final episode. Another Oh Hae-young team was rewarded a trip to Thailand after the drama ended. At tvN10 Awards on October 9, Mun was awarded the title of "Ro-co King". [39] Seo Hyun-jin was also crowned "Ro-co Queen" for their roles in Another Oh Hae-Young.

On September 16, in a preview for the new season of tvN "Three Meals a Day", it showed Mun joined as a cast member for Season 3 of Three Meals A Day - Fishing Village 3 [40] with Lee Seo-jin and Yoon Kyun-sang. This season of Fishing Village was filmed at Deukryang Island. The season premiere was on October 14. It was Mun's first appearance as a cast member of a variety show without Shinhwa. Mun surprised everyone with his great cooking skills that earned him the E-Chef title. The show had great rating of above 10% on average with the highest rating of 11.536% (AGB) 13% (TNmS).

At the end of November 2016, Mun and Shinhwa released a mini album Unchanging: Orange as part one of their 13th album.

Mun was chosen to be the model for Jean Michael Basquiat a new premium golf wears and accessories by CJ E&M and ULOS, a Men's cosmetics & skincare by Ostuka Korea.

2017 - 2018: Marriage and Shinhwa's 20th Anniversary

Shinhwa followed up with a comeback in January 2017 with Unchanging: Touch as the second part of their 13th album. On March 24, Shinhwa released Shinhwa 18th, their first self-produced variety show through Naver's paid subscription platform for Vapp+.

Continue to be Jean Michael Basquiat and ULOS brand representative, Eric was also chosen to be the representative for Bibigo [41] by CJ E&M, a global Korean food brand CJ Cheil Jedang. Later this year, together with Kim Sang-joong and Kim Myung-min Eric was chosen by Netmarble Games for their new CF, Lineage 2 Revolution , [42] [43] an online & mobile game. Netmmarble Game also released a web drama series featuring Kim Sang-joong, Kim Myung-min, and Eric for their big-scale mobile MMORPG Lineage2 Revolution. In the web drama, Eric played a rookie employee who was trying to survive the hierarchy in a corporate environment, meanwhile he was reigning as the King in Lineage2 Revolution game. However, it was revealed that Eric is an actual high ranking player of “Lineage2 Revolution” in real life. [44]

In February of 2017 Eric and actress Na Hye-mi confirmed their relationship after it was reported in the news. [45] The couple got married on July 1, 2017 at Youngnak Church in Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea after five years of dating. [46]

In 2018 Eric and Shinhwa had the whole year to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary since debut with various activities starting with a remake music video "All Your Dream" [47] , followed by a special fan party on March 24 & 25th. [48] The group made a music comeback with a release of a new music video "Kiss Me Like That" in August [49] , followed with a new mini album "Heart". [50] They also met their fans through various fan events as well as appearances on variety shows. Shinhwa wrapped up their year-long anniversary celebration with a 2-day concert at Olympic Gymnastics Arena (KSPO Dome) on October 6th and 7th [51] , followed by a concert at Taipei Arena on October 13th [52] and Hong Kong Asia World Expo Hall on November 24th. [53]

2019: New management, solo activities and return to acting

On January 1st, it was announced that Eric has joined his bandmate Andy at TOP Media [54] . To everyone's surprise, Eric creates his own Youtube channel aguTV to share a various contents, from cookings, outtings to how he failed to get a ticket for his own fan meeting. [55] The following month, on February 16th, he held a birthday fan meeting "2019 ERIC's Moonday" at Kwanglim Art Center, BBCH Hall. [56] Eric was also cast in tvN's Season 3 of "Will The Locals Eat It?" in America [57] (also known as 4 Wheeled Restaurant). The show premieres on April 18th.

Eric is expected to make a come back to drama this year. It was reported that Eric and Go Joon-hee are in talk to join KBS's fantasy rom-com drama "Perfume" [58] . The drama is set to be broadcast in June.

Personal life

In 2014, Eric reportedly had been dating actress and model Na Hye-mi. [59] However neither would confirm the relationship. Their dating resurfaced again in February 2017 and both confirmed their relationship through their agency. [60] After five years of dating, Mun and Na got married on July 1, 2017 in a private church ceremony with family and friends at Youngnak Presbyterian Church in Jung-gu, Seoul. [61] [62]


Television series

2003BreathlessShin Sang-sik
2004 Phoenix Seo Jung-min
Banjun Drama (ep.1-10)
2005 Super Rookie'Kang Ho
2006WolfBae Dae-chul
Invincible Parachute AgentChoi Kang
2007 Que Sera Sera Kang Tae-joo
2008 Strongest Chil-Woo Chil-woo
2011 Spy Myung-Wol [63] Kang Woo
2014 Discovery of Love Kang Tae-ha
2016 Another Oh Hae-young Park Do-kyung


2002 Emergency Act 19 himself (cameo)
2005 A Bittersweet Life Tae-goo
Diary of June Kim Dong-wook

Variety show

Three Meals a Day - Fishing Village 3
Cast member
Three Meals a Day - Sea Ranch
The Fishermen and The City
Channel A
Law of the Jungle - Sabah (episode 325–333)
Cast member
2 Days & 1 Night
Guest with Shinhwa
4 Wheeled Restaurant - America
Cast member

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
23rd MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor
Popularity Award, ActorWon
41st Paeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV)
Super Rookie
Most Popular Actor (TV)Won
24th MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, ActorWon
42nd Paeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film)
Diary of June
14th SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries
Invincible Parachute Agent
Top 10 StarsWon
28th KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor
Discovery of Love
Excellence Award, Actor in a MiniseriesWon
Netizen's Award, ActorWon
Best Couple (with Jung Yu-Mi)Won
5th APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries
Another Miss Oh
Best Couple (with Seo Hyun-Jin)Nominated
tvN10 Awards Best ActorNominated
Romantic-Comedy KingWon

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