For our latest In Spotlight feature, we thought of picking up this cute dork who’s currently starring in the well-loved drama Hospital Playlist. Long-time drama fans may have known him before this series. I would guess you either knew him because of Architecture 101 or The King 2 Hearts? Or maybe in the more recent Oh My Ghost?
But even before he entered the mainstream limelight, he already had a long list of stage performances under his belt. He started his career as a musical theater actor! He also used to study Theater at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.
His personal life was also colorful. He was granted an exemption from military service because his family became financially unstable after his father died. He became the breadwinner at a young age which also led him to quit school.
This handsome sangnamja is now a 40-year-old soon-to-be daddy with his beautiful wife, singer Gummy. The couple met in 2013 through acquaintances and began dating after. They got married in October 2018 after 5 years of dating.
Ahjummashies, let’s take a look at Cho Jung-seok’s rich filmography through the years.
Disclaimer: This portfolio does not include his career in theater.
What’s Up? (MBN / 2011-2012) – Kim Byung-gun
One of his earliest TV appearances was through the 2011 MBN musical drama What’s Up wherein he starred alongside Lim Ju-hwan, Kang Dae-sung, Lim Ju-eun, Oh Man-seok, Jang Hee-jin, Lee Soo-hyuk, and Kim Ji-won.
The King 2 Hearts (MBC / 2012) – Eun Shi-gyung
One of the best king-bodyguard bromance in dramaland was the 2012 seriesplayed as the childish king and Cho Jung-seok appeared as his badass bodyguard.
Architecture 101 (Movie / 2012) – Nabddeuki (past)
In 2012, he appeared as Lee Je-hoon’s best friend in the film. This was also his breakout role which won him the Best New Actor nod in the 20th Korean Culture & Entertainment Awards, 4th KOFRA Film Awards, & 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Almost Che (Movie / 2012) – Moon-mo / Young-min
He also starred in the 2012 comedy flickabout a delivery guy who disguised himself as a student to impress the love of his life, but instead got involved in the student political movement.
You Are The Best! (KBS2 / 2013) – Shin Joon-ho
If you’re a fan of both IU and Cho Jung-seok, here’s a treat for you –. It’s a 50-episode weekend family drama about a country girl who moves to Seoul after her father died, and falls in love with a successful yet arrogant CEO.
The Face Reader (Movie / 2013) – Paeng-hun
The star-studded hit moviegave him two Best Supporting Actor awards from 50th Grand Bell Awards and 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.
The Fatal Encounter (Movie / 2014) – Eul-soo
He appeared in the true-story movie The Fatal Encounter as the assassin who tried to kill King Jeongjo (role played by Hyun Bin).
My Love, My Bride (Movie / 2014) – Young-min
In 2014, he starred alongsidein the remake of the 1990 romantic comedy film My Love, My Bride.
Oh My Ghost (tvN / 2015) – Kang Sun-woo
This critical and commercial success was about a timid kitchen assistant Na Bong-sun (Park Bo-young) who was possessed by the ghost of a lustful virgin Shin Soon-ae (Kim Seul-gi) as she slowly gain the affection of the arrogant star chef Kang Sun-woo (Cho Jung-seok).
The Exclusive: Beat The Devil’s Tattoo (Movie / 2015) – Reporter Heo Moo-hyeok
He also headlined “The Exclusive: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” in 2015, wherein he played a TV news reporter who’s about to lose his job and go through a divorce, but unexpectedly gets a major scoop about a serial killer that’s gripping South Korea for months.
Jealousy Incarnate (SBS / 2016) – Lee Hwa-shin
He starred alongside romcom queenin the 2016 SBS drama as the Bangkok-based reporter Lee Hwa-shin. The drama’s literal translation in Korean is “The Jealous Hwa-shin” (as hwashin means incarnate in Hangul).
Time Renegades (Movie / 2016) – Ji-hwan
A time-slip romantic thriller about a detective from 2015 and a high school teacher from 1983 who connected through their dreams to save the woman they love.
My Annoying Brother (Movie / 2016) – Ko Doo-sik
He headlined the comedy-drama film My Annoying Brother alongside Park Shin-hye and Do Kyung-soo (D.O) of EXO. The movie was about two estranged brothers, con man Doo-shik (Cho Jung-seok) and national Judo athlete Doo-young (D.O), who suddenly found themselves living together after the former used the latter’s unfortunate situation of becoming blind to get parole from the prison.
Legend of the Blue Sea (SBS / 2016-2017) – Yoo Jung-hoon (ep.7-8)
As expected for a Cho Jung-seok cameo, his guesting in the hit drama Legend of the Blue Sea made quite a mark. From teaching Sim Cheong the value of pearl tears to revealing their heart condition in the human world, his appearance was a good plot device in the drama!
Two Cops (MBC / 2017-2018) – Cha Dong-tak
His acting chops were tested once again via the MBC drama Two Cops wherein he played dual characters – one as the devoted cop Cha Dong-tak of the Violent Crimes Unit who is out to find justice for his slain partner at all costs, and another, the soul of a sly conman who is being framed for the death of Cha Dong-tak’s partner.
Familiar Wife (tvN / 2018) – Chef Edward Kang (ep.15)
He reprised his well-lovedrole as Chef Kang Sun-woo in the jtbc drama in support of his good friends and the dramas’ writer Yang Hee-seung.
The Drug King (Movie / 2018) – Kim In-goo
In 2018, he appeared in the film The Drug King as a prosecutor from Seoul who is intent on taking down the petty narcotics dealer who becomes an infamous drug lord in Korea during the 1970s.
Hit-and-Run Squad (Movie / 2019) – Jung Jae-cheol
In 2019, he starred in the police procedural film Hit and Run Squad as a ruthless businessman and race car driver who has been on the wanted list by police detective tandem Gong Hyo-jin and Ryu Jun-yeol.
Exit (Movie / 2019) – Yong-nam
This blockbuster hit revolved around an unemployed man and his college crush who used their rock-climbing skills to flee a mysterious gas explosion in Seoul.
Nokdu Flower (SBS / 2019) – Baek Yi-kang
Nokdu Flower was based on real events about the Donghak uprising against the corrupt officials in Korea during the 19th century. This was his first sageuk drama, which he co-starred with Yoon Si-yoon and Han Ye-ri.
Hospital Playlist (tvN / 2020) – Lee Ik-jun
Another classic in the making by the star tandem Writer Lee Woo-jung and PD Shin Won-ho. It’s about five friends who have known each other since medical school days and end up working at the same hospital. They’re bonded by memories that hold them together for over 20 years. What’s refreshing about the drama was the lack of hospital politics and husband-guessing game!
Hospital Playlist 2 (tvN / 2021) – Lee Ik-jun
He once again played the role of Lee Ik-jun, the great HPB surgeon, Mido and Falasol’s lead vocals and guitar and… a nutjob. He’s crazy antics made Chae Song-hwa and his audience laugh in the second season of Hospital Playlist.
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