So Ji-sub

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So Ji-sub

So Ji-sub at 2011 Busan International Film Festival
Born(1977-11-04) November 4, 1977 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesSo Ji-seob
Soh Ji-sup
OccupationActor, rapper
Years active1995–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSo Ji-seob
McCune–ReischauerSo Chisŏp
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So Ji-sub

So Ji-sub at 2011 Busan International Film Festival
Born(1977-11-04) November 4, 1977 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesSo Ji-seob
Soh Ji-sup
OccupationActor, rapper
Years active1995–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSo Ji-seob
McCune–ReischauerSo Chisŏp

So Ji-sub (born November 4, 1977 in Seoul) is a South Korean actor.



It was 1997 when So Ji-sub modeled for the jeans brand "STORM" and first caught the attention of Korean fans. He debuted as an actor in the sitcom Three Guys and Three Girls and remained active in the entertainment industry through dramas and commercials. Although his roles in dramas in the late 90s, such as Model, were small, his popularity grew, and by 2002, he was cast as the male second lead in Glass Slippers. Playing a gangster who falls in love with the main female character, more and more fans found him attractive and talented.

In 2004, he was cast in two immensely popular dramas - What Happened in Bali and I'm Sorry, I Love You. Cha Moo-hyuk in I'm Sorry, I Love You in particular became his breakout role, garnering positive feedback from critics and fans. Through those two dramas, he began drawing attention from not just Korea, but from all over Asia. To this day he still considers them the best dramas in his filmography.[1]

In February 2005, So enlisted for mandatory military service as a public relations officer with the Mapo District Office, after four weeks of basic training. He was discharged on April 27, 2007.[2] His comeback was in Jang Hoon's directorial debut Rough Cut, in which he plays a thug who dreams of becoming an actor, while Kang Ji-hwan plays an actor who beats up and hospitalizes his co-stars.[3][4] The low-budget film was a critical and surprise box office success.[5]

2009 was the year So tried to break into the Japanese and Chinese markets. In I am GHOST, a five-minute 24-episode action drama aired every Thursday and Sunday on Japan’s mobile-exclusive broadcaster BEE TV, So played a killer on the run with a high school girl. He spoke no lines in the mobile drama, and was "worried whether (their) emotions would be delivered just through (their) motions." The year before, he had appeared in a supporting role as a monster in the Japanese manga live-action adaptation GeGeGe No Kitaro 2: Kitaro and the Millenium Curse.[6]

So then starred in the Chinese romantic comedy Sophie's Revenge, with Zhang Ziyi in the titular role[7] (he later signed with a Chinese talent agency[8]). He returned to Korean television with the drama Cain and Abel, about the intense relationship between two brothers, one a genius doctor and the other outshone by his sibling.[9]

Expectations were high for his big-budget Korean war drama Road No. 1,[10][11][12] but the series tanked in the ratings, averaging 4% to 5% for its entire run.[13]

So published his photo-essay collection, So Ji-sub's Road in 2010. The volume covers stories and photos over the past 13 years since his debut, using unpretentious language and sensitive photography taken during So's trips to the DMZ and Gangwon province. The usually taciturn and stoic actor reveals his inner thoughts throughout the book, with essays on the number 51 (reflected in the name of his company - it means a 50-50 probability then believing just 1% more; the K stands for Korea), Romeo and Juliet, why he likes rainy days, and stories about his interactions with other celebrities and artists such as Tiger JK.[14] Within ten days of its release, the book hit the bestseller list, having sold 50,000 copies by pre-order, and entered its third printing.[15] He was subsequently named the goodwill ambassador of Gangwon-do in an effort to boost tourism there, and a 51 km-long trail in the province was named "So Ji-sub Road", which was unveiled to the public on May 20, 2012. He is the first Korean celebrity to have an entire road named after him.[16][17]

A professed longtime hip-hop lover, So rapped for two original tracks – Lonely Life and Foolish Love – under the artist pseudonym "G" or "G-Sonic" for the Rough Cut and Cain and Abel soundtracks, respectively.[18][19] In 2011 he released another digital single Pick Up Line under his own name. Two teaser videos were released, the first teaser described as a comedic version that features guest stars Jung Joon-ha (who is a close friend of So's) and Kim Byung-man (whom So named as one of his favorite comedians).[20] The three of them reportedly enjoyed filming the teaser. The second teaser gave a better taste of the MV.[21] The music video itself, along with the single, were released on February 17th.[22][23]

So then starred in auteur Song Il-gon's romantic melodrama Always (Korean title: Only You). He plays a boxer who falls in love with a girl (Han Hyo-joo) who begins to lose her eyesight.[24] It was the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival.[25][26] He published a second book of photo-essays titled So Ji-sub's Only You featuring photographs, notes and commentary on playing his movie character Jang Chul-min.[27]

On March 14, 2012, he launched a magazine for his fans titled SONICe, inside are So's suggested dating ideas and locations, favorite food and books, and more stories through his eyes. Its name is a combination of “so nice” and “Sonic,” which is So’s nickname.[28][29][30][31] He is also the owner of the Apgujeong-dong branch of CJ Foodville's A Twosome Place.[32]

So's first mini-album Corona Borealis was released on March 20, 2012. It featured collaborations with songwriter Kim Kun-woo, vocal trainer Mellow, soprano Han Kyung-mi, and singers Huh Gak and Bobby Kim.[33] Bobby Kim complimented So's rapping in their duet track "One Day Long Ago", saying, “So has a talent in feeling the groove and it’s as good as his acting skills.”[34][35] So also starred in a music video of the album's title song "Some Kind of Story."[36]

After portraying a workaholic detective in the cyber criminal investigative service in TV procedural Phantom,[37] So stars in the film A Company Man, about a hitman in a killer-for-hire company who, after he falls in love and decides he wants out of his job, finds himself the target of his former colleagues.[38][39][40][41]


TV dramas

1996Three Guys and Three Girls (sitcom)MBC
1998What You Cherish Can Never Be ForgottenMBC
I Hate You, But It's FineSBS
2000Love Story (Ep.6 "Miss Hip-hop & Mr Rock")SBS
Joa, JoaPark Ji-supSBS
Because of YouMBC
Wang Rung's LandMin-hoSBS
Have You Ever Said 'I Love You'?MBC
Cheers for the WomenJoon-wonSBS
2001Long WayKi-hyunSBS
Delicious ProposalJang Hee-moonMBC
Law FirmSBS
2002We Are Dating NowChoi Kyo-inSBS
Glass SlippersPark Chul-woongSBS
2003Thousand Years of LoveGeneral Guishil Ari / Kang In-chulSBS
2004What Happened in BaliKang In-wookSBS
I'm Sorry, I Love YouCha Moo-hyukKBS
2008U-TurnJi SubOCN
2009Cain and AbelLee Cho-in/ Oh Gang-hoSBS
I am GhostBeeTV Japan
2010Road No. 1Lee Jang-wooMBC
2012PhantomKim Woo-hyun / Park Gi-youngSBS


2002Can't Live Without RobberyChoi Kang-jo
2008Kitaro and the Millennium CurseYaksha
Rough CutGang-Pae
2009Sophie's RevengeJeff
2012A Company ManJi Hyung-do

Music videos

Variety shows



Digital singles



  • 19th Korean Culture & Entertainment Awards: Grand Prize (Film)
  • Korean Tourism Organization: Ministry of Culture Special Achievement Award
  • Korea Lifestyle Awards: Best Dressed Male of the Year
  • 3rd Style Icon Awards: International Style Icon
  • 47th Daejong Film Festival: Cultural Achievement
  • 29th Blue Dragon Film Awards: Best New Actor
  • 28th Korean Critics' Choice Awards: Best Actor
  • 25th Best Jeanist Awards: Recipient, International Category
  • SBS Drama Awards: Best Actor (Excellence Award, Special Project)
  • SBS Drama Awards: Top 10 Stars
  • Thousand Years of Love
  • Thousand Years of Love
  • Fashion Model Awards: Ms. & Mr. Davidoff Award
  • SBS Drama Awards: Best New Actor
  • Joa, Joa / Cheers for the Women


  1. ^ "So Ji Sub On Marriage, Hollywood and Dating". Star News/Dahee's Plastic Castle. 08/13/2009. 
  2. ^ "Actor Donates 10 Mil.Won". Korea Times. 04/24/2007. 
  3. ^ "Buddies Play Enemies in New Action Flick". Korea Times. 08/12/2008. 
  4. ^ "So Ji-sub Is Optimistic -- but Only Just". Chosun Ilbo. 09/17/2008. 
  5. ^ "NYAFF 09 Interview: ROUGH CUT's So Ji-Sub". Twitch Film. 07/02/2009. 
  6. ^ "So Ji-sub to appear in Japanese mobile drama". 10Asia. 10/07/2009. 
  7. ^ "Korean Actor So Ji-sub to Court Zhang Ziyi Onscreen". Korea Times. 08/14/2009. 
  8. ^ "So Ji-sub signs with talent agency in China". 10Asia. 12/19/2011. 
  9. ^ "So Ji Sub: A Bittersweet Life". Elle Korea/Dahee's Plastic Castle. 07/30/2009. 
  10. ^ "'Road No. 1' to feature war, love, comradeship". Korea Times. 06/21/2010. 
  11. ^ "So Ji-sub transforms in "Road No. 1" , says producer (1)". 10Asia. 05/13/2010. 
  12. ^ "So Ji-sub transforms in "Road No. 1" , says producer (2)". 10Asia. 05/13/2010. 
  13. ^ "A quiet finale for Road No. 1". Dramabeans. 08/26/2010. 
  14. ^ So Ji-sub publishes photoessay collection. Dramabeans. 08/23/2010.
  15. ^ So Ji-sub's book becomes bestseller. Dramabeans. 09/15/2010.
  16. ^ "So Ji Sub Gets His Own Road". Dahee's Plastic Castle. 09/28/2010. 
  17. ^ "'So Jisup Route' opens". StarN. 05/22/2012. 
  18. ^ "Actor So Ji-Sub Will Expand His Horizons and Become a Rapper". Bump This. 02/10/2011. 
  19. ^ "So Ji-sub to make debut as hip-hop artist". 10Asia. 02/10/2011. 
  20. ^ "So Ji Sub releases "Pick Up Line" MV teaser". Allkpop. 02/10/2011. 
  21. ^ "So Ji Sub releases second teaser for "Pick Up Line"". Allkpop. 02/13/2011. 
  22. ^ "So Ji Sub unveils debut music video for "Pick Up Line"". Allkpop. 02/16/2011. 
  23. ^ "So Ji Sub’s Hip Hop Transformation". Dahee's Plastic Castle. 02/09/2011. 
  24. ^ "So Ji-sub to return to big screen in new romantic drama". 10Asia. 01/04/2011. 
  25. ^ "Song Il-gon hopes "Always" will be a reminder of true value of love". 10Asia. 10/06/2011. 
  26. ^ "Interview: Actor So Ji-sub". 10Asia. 10/17/2011. 
  27. ^ "So Ji Seob Publishes Second Photo Essay". KBS Global. 10/21/2011. 
  28. ^ "So Ji-sub graces the cover of his magazine". 10Asia. 03/08/2012. 
  29. ^ "So Ji-sub Releasing Magazine for Fans". Chosun Ilbo. 03/07/2012. 
  30. ^ "So Ji-sub launches magazine for fans, bringing Japanese trend home". JoongAng Daily. 03/07/2012. 
  31. ^ "So Ji-sub to publish own magazine". 10Asia. 03/06/2012. 
  32. ^ "Stars Show Business Savvy with Successful Food, Coffee Franchises". Chosun Ilbo. 01/03/2012. 
  33. ^ "So Ji Sub releases his mini album ‘Corona Borealis’". 03/20/2012. 
  34. ^ "So Ji-sub to release duet song with Bobby Kim for upcoming album". 10Asia. 03/09/2012. 
  35. ^ "So Jisub releases 1st mini-album, "Corona Borealis"". Koreaboo. 03/20/2012. 
  36. ^ "So Ji-sup's new MV released". StarN. 03/24/2012. 
  37. ^ "So Ji-sub set to play detective in new SBS drama". 10Asia. 03/13/2012. 
  38. ^ "So Ji-sub, Lee Mi-youn finish shooting new film". 10Asia. 12/12/2011. 
  39. ^ "So Ji-sub reveals difficulties of keeping acting profession". 09/12/2012. 
  40. ^ "So Ji-sub almost walked off the set". JoongAng Daily. 09/13/2012. 
  41. ^ "Tough guy gets tougher in new film ‘Company Man’". JoongAng Daily. 10/11/2012. 
  42. ^ "So Ji-sub, Park Hae-il, Lee Tae-gon win top prize at culture and entertainment ceremony". 10Asia. 12/16/2011. 
  43. ^ "So Ji-sub & Kim Yu-na to receive award from KTO". AsiaPop. 07/14/2011. 
  44. ^ "Winners at the '2010 Korea Lifestyle Awards'". Allkpop. 12/13/2010. 
  45. ^ "Winners at the 2010 Style Icon Awards". Allkpop. 11/17/2010. 
  46. ^ "So Ji-sub to receive honor at Daejong Film Awards". 10Asia. 09/17/2010. 
  47. ^ a b "2009 SBS Drama Awards". Dramabeans. 12/31/2009. 
  48. ^ "So Ji Sub and Lee Yo Won at the 2009 Grime Awards". Twenty2. 12/13/2009. 
  49. ^ "남우신인상 - 소지섭 (영화는 영화다)". Buil Film Awards. 11/19/2009.
  50. ^ "So Ji-sub, Kong Hyo-jin Receive 'Rising Star' Award". HanCinema. 06/29/2009. 
  51. ^ "45th Baeksang Arts Awards". Dramabeans. 02/27/2009. 
  52. ^ "Blue Dragon Awards 2008". Dramabeans. 11/20/2008. 
  53. ^ "28th Critics Choice Awards names its top honors". Dramabeans. 11/05/2008. 
  54. ^ "Actor So Ji-sup Receives Best 'Jeanist' Award in Tokyo". KBS Global. 09/04/2008. 
  55. ^ a b c d "Winners at the 2004 KBS DRAMA AWARDS". Korea Tourism Org. 01/06/2005. 

External links