Sunday, March 11, 2012

The WON and only

To say that Won Bin is a popular actor in Korea would be an understatement; he is simply one of Korea’s hottest stars. Having acted in just a handful of films, he has already established himself as a professional and profitable actor, with two of his movies becoming the highest grossing films in Korea during the years they were released. 

Won Bin acted in a number of television series before he made the transition to the big screen. His most famous television drama was AUTUMN FAIRY TALE (aka AUTUMN IN MY HEART and ENDLESS LOVE), which was extremely popular across Asia. In 2001, he made the transition to the big screen with GUNS & TALKS, which topped the local box office charts for 3 consecutive weeks. 

In 2004, he appeared in Kang Je-gyu’s massive blockbuster TAEGUKGI (BROTHERHOOD OF WAR) in a role that earned him critical acclaim both locally and internationally. The film completed its theatrical run with 11.75 million admissions and became the top grossing film of all time in South Korea (a title it held until 2006 when THE HOST topped 13 million admissions and set a new record). 

Won Bin took a temporary break from acting to fulfil his military duties in late 2005, and returned in 2008 in Bong Joon-ho’s MOTHER (Opening Film of KOFFIA 2010). The film was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Won Bin won praises for his portrayal of an intellectually disabled young man, which further cemented his status as a top actor. 

His most recent film was last year’s THE MAN FROM NOWHERE (Screened at KOFFIA 2011). It became the year’s highest grossing film in Korea. Playing a man out to save his friend, the action scenes were competently handled by Won Bin who practises taekwondo. For his performance, he won Best Actor at the Grand Bell Awards, Korea Film Awards and Korea Film Reporter Association Annual Awards. 

By Hugo Ozman 
Hugo Ozman writes for He is passionate about cinema, in particular 3 genres that all start with the letter ‘a’: Asian, Action & Animation. You can contact him by emailing

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