Before becoming a K-entertainment mogul, Rain (real name Jung Ji-hoon) started out as a trainee for JYP Entertainment. Born in Seosan, South Korea on June 25, 1982, Rain’s mother died in December 2000 due to diabetes. Despite repeated rejections, he persevered and eventually caught the attention of Park Jin-young (JYP). During his early years of training, Rain worked as a backup dancer.
His lasting influence in the K-pop industry stemmed from a successful musical career with millions of sold albums across Asia, chart-topping hits, and world tours. But Rain isn’t just a well-decorated breakthrough artist, he also ventured into the acting world and found his way into Hollywood in the late 2000s.
Ahjummamshies, here’s a quick look at the characters portrayed by the “nation’s thief” – singer/dance/record label boss/Kim Tae-hee’s husband, Rain!
Sangdoo, Let’s Go to School! (KBS2 / 2003) – Cha Sang-doo
Actor Jung Ji-hoon made his drama debut in 2003 through the rom-com series Sang-doo! Let’s Go to School. He played the titular role Cha Sang-doo who went back to high school to reunite with his first love, played by Gong Hyo-jin.
Full House (KBS2 / 2004) – Lee Young-jae
In 2004, he and Song Hye-kyo took Asia by storm through the hit series Full House.
A Love to Kill (KBS2 / 2005) – Kang Bok-gu
In 2005, he starred opposite Shin Min-ah in the melodrama A Love to Kill. He played the role of K1 fighter Kang Bok-gu who plotted revenge against his brother’s girlfriend but ends up falling in love with her.
I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006) – Park Il-sun
He made his big-screen debut in the rom-com movie, I’m a Cyborg But That’s Ok. He played the role of Park Il-sun, a mental institution patient who likes fellow patient Young-gun (Im Soo-jung). He won the Best New Actor trophy in the 43rd Baeksang Arts Award for this role.
Speed Racer (2008) – Taejo Togokahn
In 2008, he was cast in the Hollywood sports-action film, Speed Racer. Here, he played the role of rookie racer Taejo Togokahn.
Ninja Assassin (2009) – Raizo
He made headlines as the main lead of the Warner Bros. action-thriller Ninja Assassin where he transformed into Raizo, a street child raised by a secret clan as one of the world’s deadliest assassins. This movie made him the first Korean to win an MTV award.
The Fugitive: Plan B (KBS2 / 2010) – Ji-woo
In 2010, he and Lee Na-young starred in the action romance series The Fugitive: Plan B. He played the role of Ji-woo, a private investigator who became the prime suspect for the murder of his best friend.
Soar Into The Sun (2012) – Jung Tae-hoon
His last work before entering the military was the action film Soar Into The Sun as the gifted elite pilot Jung Tae-hoon.
The Prince (2014) – Mark
Continuing his streak in Hollywood, he had a minor role in the American gangster film The Prince and worked alongside stars Bruce Willis, Jason Patric, John Cusack, and 50 Cent.
My Lovely Girl (SBS / 2014) – Lee Hyun-wook
He fell in love with his dead girlfriend’s younger sister in the 2014 romance musical drama My Lovely Girl.
Come Back Mister (SBS / 2016) – Lee Hae-joon
In 2016, Rain and Oh Yeon-seo led the fun-filled drama about second chances, Come Back Mister.
Sketch (JTBC / 2018) – Kang Dong-soo
He reunited with his “Sangdoo Let’s Go to School” co-star Lee Dong-gun in the 2018 action drama Sketch. He played the role of detective Kang Dong-soo who partnered with Yoo Shi-hyun (Lee Sun-bin), a fellow detective who can sketch the future, to capture a serial killer.
Welcome 2 Life (MBC / 2019) – Lee Jae-sang
Before focusing on his music for two years, Rain took on the role of lawyer Lee Jae-sang in the 2019 fantasy series Welcome 2 Life.
Race to Freedom: Um Bok-dong (2019) – Uhm Bok-dong
In 2019, he played the titular role in the biopic, Race to Freedom: Um Bok-dong about the prominent Korean cyclist during the Japanese ruling era.
Ghost Doctor (tvN / 2022) – Cha Young-min
In 2022, he returns to the small screen through the medical fantasy drama Ghost Doctor. He shared during the press conference that he and co-star Kim Bum had to memorize each other’s lines, actions, and movements in order to recreate each other’s characters.