Kim Yoon-seok

Last updated
Kim Yoon-seok
(tajja-sinyi son) coeseunghyeon kaeseuting bihaindeu yeongsang Kim Yoon-seok.jpg
Born (1967-01-21) January 21, 1967 (age 56)
Education Dong-eui University - German Language & Literature
Years active1988-present
AgentHodu&U Entertainment
Bang Joo-ran
(m. 2002)
Korean name
Revised Romanization Gim Yun-seok
McCune–Reischauer Kim Yunsŏk

Kim Yoon-seok (born January 21, 1967) is a South Korean actor, film director and screenwriter. Kim began his career in theater and it subsequently led him to be cast in minor roles in films and television dramas.


His breakout role came as the villain in gambling film Tazza: The High Rollers (2006), but it was his performance as an ex-cop turned pimp in surprise hit The Chaser (2008) that brought him acting awards and wider recognition in his forties.

Kim has since become an acclaimed actor in South Korea, with notable performances in films such as Running Turtle (2009), The Yellow Sea (2010), Punch (2011), The Thieves (2012), Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), Sea Fog (2014), The Classified File (2015), The Priests (2015) and 1987: When the Day Comes (2017).

In 2019, Kim made his directorial debut with Another Child , a family drama film starring Yum Jung-ah and Kim So-jin.


Kim Yoon-seok was trained on stage as a member of the renowned of Yeonwoo Theater Company (Yeonwoo Mudae), [note 1] , and he made his acting debut in 1988 with A Streetcar Named Desire [1] After many years in theater, he began acting in film and television late in his career, at first appearing in minor roles.

Then in 2006, Kim had his breakthrough in Choi Dong-hoon's Tazza: The High Rollers , with audiences praising his performance in the supporting role as ruthless gambler Agwi (meaning "starving demon" in Buddhism). A leading role followed in 2008 with The Chaser , directed by Na Hong-jin. He successfully portrayed the morally ambiguous character of a retired-cop-turned-pimp hunting down a serial killer who murdered the call girls due to his impotence. [2] The thriller was a critical and commercial hit, becoming one of the classic films in thriller genre, and Kim's excellent performance brought him 8 awards totally, made him a major player in the Korean film industry. [3]

He transitioned from one of the finest character actors in the industry into a popular leading actor: Kim played a middle-aged man following his lifelong dream to play in a rock band in The Happy Life , a rural detective trying to capture a legendary prison breaker in Running Turtle , [4] and a rival Taoist wizard in Jeon Woo-chi . [5] [6] [7]

In 2010, Kim reunited with The Chaser costar Ha Jung-woo in Na's sophomore film The Yellow Sea . [8] Kim then costarred with Yoo Ah-in in coming-of-age film Punch , a critically and commercial hit. [9] [10]

Kim once again triumphed in 2012, as his heist movie The Thieves became the second best-selling Korean film of all time. [11] [12]

In 2013, he continued working with one of Korea's leading directors, in Yim Soon-rye's family drama film South Bound. [13] [14] He then starred in Hwayi: A Monster Boy , an action thriller directed by Jang Joon-hwan. [15] [16] In 2014, Kim starred in the critically acclaimed arthouse film Sea Fog directed by Shim Sung-bo. [17] [18]

In 2015, Kim collaborated with director Kwak Kyung-taek in The Classified File ., [19] playing a detective cooperating with a shaman to find out and save a kidnapped girl. Kim then reunited with Kang Dong-won in The Priests , a supernatural mystery thriller by director Jang Jae-hyun. [20] The Priests was a box office hit, attracting 5.44 million admissions to cinema. Kim then made a brief appearance in retro film C'est Si Bon by Kim Hyun-seok, playing a middle-aged man retrospecting his youth in 1980s. [21] In 2016, Kim starred in romance film Will You Be There? , directed by Hong Ji-young, based on the novel of the same name of Guillaume Musso. Kim portrayed a middle-aged pediatric whose last wish before death was to see his first love once again. [22] [23]

In 2017, Kim starred in director Hwang Dong-hyuk's historical film The Fortress . [24] [25] He also reunited with director Jang Joon-hwan in 1987: When the Day Comes , another historical political film about pro-democratic movement in South Korea in 1987. [26]

In 2018, Kim starred in murder mystery film Dark Figure of Crime . He reportedly worked on the script alongside director Kwak Kyung-taek. [27] In 2019, Kim made his directorial debut with Another Child , a family drama film. [28]

In October 2022, Kim signed with new agency Hodu&U Entertainment. [29]

Personal life

Kim was born in Danyang County, North Chungcheong Province but grew up in Busan, then moved to Seoul for acting career.

He married actress Bang Joo-ran in 2002, and has 2 daughters.[ citation needed ]



1994A Little LoverStudent at karaoke
2001Kiss Me MuchBailiff 1
2002Oollala SistersSachae Quik
2004 The Big Swindle Detective Lee
To Catch a Virgin Ghost Hak-gyu
2005 All for Love Dong-man
My Girl and I Biology teacher
2006 Running Wild Joo Hyun-tae
Like a Virgin Oh Dong-ku's father
Tazza: The High Rollers Agwi
2007 The Happy Life Seong-wook
2008 The Chaser Eom Joong-ho
2009 Running Turtle Jo Pil-seong
Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard Hwadam
2010 The Yellow Sea Myun Jung-hak
2011 Punch Lee Dong-ju
2012 The Thieves Macao Park
2013South BoundChoi Hae-gab
Hwayi: A Monster Boy Seok-tae
2014 Haemoo Captain Cheol-joo
Tazza: The Hidden Card Agwi
2015 C'est Si Bon Oh Geun-tae (40s)
The Classified File Gong Gil-yong
The Priests Father Kim Bum-shin
2016 Will You Be There? Han Soo-hyun (present day)
2017 The Fortress Kim Sang-heon
1987: When the Day Comes Park Cheo-won
2018 Dark Figure of Crime Hyung-min
2019 Another Child Dae-wonAlso as director and screenwriter
2021 Escape from Mogadishu Han Sin-seong [30]
TBA Noryang Yi Sun-sin [31]
Large Family [32]
Virus [33]

Television series

2004 Drama City "Anagram"Detectiveone act-drama
Drama City "Blue Skies in Jeju Island"Kyung-soo
2005 Drama City "Home Improvement Activity Log"
Resurrection Cheon Gong-myung
2006Thank You, My LifeKang Yoon-ho
Love Me When You Can Han Dong-gyu

Web series

TBAAlone in the WoodsJeon Yeong-ha [34]


1988 A Streetcar Named Desire Stanley Kowalski
1993There Is a Soup
The Revolt of Women
살찐 소파에 대한 일기
Waiting for Godot
The Birthday Party
1998 Equus Martin Dysart
Blood Brothers
2001 Oedipus
Line 1
2002 Long Day's Journey into Night
2006Dream of Autumn

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2006 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Love Me When You Can Won
27th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Tazza: The High Rollers Nominated
20078th Busan Film Critics Awards Won
1st Korea Movie Star AwardsWon
44th Grand Bell Awards [35] Won
Asian Film Critics Association AwardsNominated
2008 44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor The Chaser Nominated
16th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best ActorWon
9th Busan Film Critics Awards Won
17th Buil Film Awards [36] Won
45th Grand Bell Awards [37] Won
Most Popular ActorWon
29th Blue Dragon Film Awards [38] Best ActorWon
7th Korean Film Awards Won
4th University Film Festival of KoreaWon
2nd Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Actor Nominated
20091st Kmdb Choice AwardsBest ActorWon
18th Buil Film Awards Running Turtle Nominated
46th Grand Bell Awards Nominated
30th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor Nominated
201120th Buil Film Awards Best Actor The Yellow Sea Nominated
48th Grand Bell Awards Nominated
32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
Cine 21 AwardsWon
20123rd KOFRA Film Awards Punch Won
48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor Nominated
21st Buil Film Awards Best ActorNominated
33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
20th Korean Culture and Entertainment AwardsGrand Prize (Daesang) The Thieves Won
12th Korea World Youth Film FestivalFavorite ActorWon
2015 24th Buil Film Awards Best Actor The Classified File Nominated
2017 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards The Fortress Nominated
2018 54th Baeksang Arts Awards [39] [40] Grand Prize (Daesang) Nominated
1987: When the Day Comes Nominated
Best Actor Won
12th Asian Film Awards Best Actor Nominated
17th New York Asian Film Festival Star Asia AwardWon
Faro Island Film FestivalBest Supporting ActorWon
23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards [41] Best ActorNominated
27th Buil Film Awards [42] Nominated
55th Grand Bell Awards [43] Nominated
39th Blue Dragon Film Awards [44] Won
38th Golden Cinema Film Festival [45] Won
Cine 21 AwardsWon
3rd London Asian Film Festival [46] Dark Figure of Crime Won
2018 Korea Best Star Awards [47] Won
201923rd Fantasia International Film Festival Best Film Another Child Nominated
Special MentionWon
40th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New DirectorNominated
2020 56th Grand Bell Awards Nominated
2021 30th Buil Film Awards [48] Best Actor Escape from Mogadishu Nominated
42nd Blue Dragon Film Awards [49] Best Actor Nominated
2022 58th Baeksang Arts Awards [50] Best Actor – Film Nominated
Chunsa Film Art Awards 2022 [51] Best ActorNominated

State honors

Name of country, year given, and name of honor
CountryYearHonor Or AwardRef.
South Korea [note 2] 2022Presidential Commendation [55]


  1. Yeonwoo Stage (연우무대를), which means 'playing friend', started as a small group on February 5, 1977, and is Korea's representative theater company that has led the revitalization of creative plays in the Korean theater world. From the days of Sinchon to the present in Hyehwa-dong, Yeonwoo Stage has been working hard to realize the complete stage of novel creative works.
  2. Honors are given at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, arranged by the Korea Creative Content Agency and hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. [52] [53] They are awarded to those who have contributed to the arts and South Korea's pop culture. [54]

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