With his cute and dreamy appearance, Rowoon, also known as Kim Seok-woo, began his career as a K-pop idol in 2016 as the lead singer of the all-boy group SF9. Just like many other K-pop idols, Rowoon gained recognition for his talent in acting. Reflecting on his career, he was quoted saying, “If there’s something that I’ve learned while working in the entertainment industry, it’s that nothing works out just because you’re good-looking. I want to make myself better on the inside rather than my outer appearance, and I hope I can show that through my music or acting.”
In 2017, Rowoon made his acting debut with the popular series School 2017 where he brought his real-life career to the screen as Issue, a student member of a boy band. This appearance landed him in two shows About Time and Where Stars Land as a supporting role.
We then saw him in Extraordinary You (2018), The King’s Affection (2021) and many more in the lead role.
The actor is currently swooning us with his stunning appearance, comedic timings and irresistible chemistry with Jo Bo-ah in the ongoing Korean romance drama Destined With You. It revolves around Jang Shin-yu, a lawyer bound by a centuries-old curse, and Lee Hong-jo, a civil servant who holds the key to Jang Shin-yu’s freedom in the form of a banned book.
Recently, he was also seen in a cameo role in the time travel romance drama A Time Called You where he played the role of Tae-ha, who had romantic feelings for his best friend Koo Yeon-jun.
As we enjoy his back-and-forth range of emotions and his ‘love’ for our favourite civil servant Hong-jo, here are some of the Korean dramas starring Rowoon that you can add to your watchlist:
Extraordinary You (2019)
Cast: Kim Hye-yoon, Rowoon, Lee Jae-wook, Lee Na-eun, Jung Gun-joo, Kim Young-dae, Lee Tae-ri
Based on a webtoon July Found By Chance, Extraordinary You centres on Eun Dan-oh, a high school student with a congenital heart condition, who discovers that she is a character in a fantasy webtoon called “Secret”. She is one of many side characters led by the omniscient Writer and is engaged to her long-time crush who despises her. However, she is determined to take control of her fate and become the main character of her story while also finding true love. Along the way, she meets Ha-ru, also known as student Number 13, who saves her life multiple times and helps her change her course. In doing so, he also experiences significant changes in his own life.
Rowoon’s portrayal of the mysterious comic book character Ha-ru in Extraordinary You demonstrated his exceptional acting skills. Although initially introduced as an alien-like figure, his performance gradually won over the audience, who fell in love with his cute and boyish charm as Ha-ru, and later as Neungsohwa.
Critics and fans showered this drama with praise, leading to Rowoon being hailed as a breakout star and gaining immense popularity. His exceptional performance earned him the title of Best New Actor at the 2019 MBC Drama Awards.
She Would Never Know (2021)
Cast: Won Jin-ah, Rowoon, Lee Hyun-wook, Lee Joo-bin, Lee Kyu-han
Yoon Song-ah is a conceited senior staff member of a beauty brand’s marketing division who dreams of owning her own business one day. Chae Hyun-seung is assigned to work under her supervision. As they collaborate closely, they develop romantic feelings for each other. However, Yoon Song-ah is hesitant about pursuing a relationship with someone younger than her.
The King’s Affection (2021)
Cast: Park Eun-bin, Rowoon, Nam Yoon-su, Choi Byung-chan, Bae Yoon-kyung, Jung Chae-yeon
Set in Joseon period, the show tells the story of the birth of fraternal twins to the crown prince’s wife, which is seen as a bad omen. The daughter, Dam-yi, is almost killed due to this belief but is secretly sent away by her mother. After the son’s death, the throne is left vulnerable until Dam-yi returns, disguised as a prince, to take her rightful place. She becomes socially withdrawn to keep her secret safe, but her optimistic and attractive tutor, Jung Ji-woon, who is also a physician, helps her overcome her fears.
In an interview with a news outlet, the actor revealed that he was convinced to accept the role due to the uniqueness and emotional intensity of the script. He also mentioned that he had a lot of creative freedom in portraying the character of Ji-un, which allowed him to experiment with new styles of acting for the series.
Critics and viewers alike praised this TV show, which led to global recognition for the entire cast, including Rowoon. It made history as the first Korean-language series to win the Best Telenovela award at the 50th annual International Emmy Awards. Subsequently, Rowoon received the Best Actor and Popularity Awards at the 2021 KBS Drama Awards.
Cast: Kim Hee-sun, Rowoon, Lee Soo-hyuk, Yoon Ji-on
Based on a popular Korean webtoon of the same name which was written by Llama, the series revolves around Choi Jun-woong, a struggling job seeker who has been unsuccessful in finding employment. One day, he has a chance encounter with two grim reapers named Koo Ryeon and Lim Ryung Gu. Their job is to prevent suicides, and Jun-woong ends up becoming the youngest contract worker in their crisis management team of death angels.
Despite Rowoon’s limited screen time, his scenes brought a light, humorous, and emotional feel to all the heavy topics that are explored in the series. His cute appearance not only melts us but also our emotionless grim reaper Koo Ryeon.
Rowoon has been nominated for the Actor in a Miniseries category at the 2022 MBC Drama Awards for his role. During an interview with a leading Korean news outlet, he reflected on his character and emphasised that his character was not a hero. He further explained that the appeal of his character lies in recognizing the beauty of the ordinary. Rowoon believes that anyone can possess the ability that his character has, and it is attractive to see an ordinary person saving others. He concluded by stating that people are responsible for both life and death.
See Also: Get a sneak peek of Rowoon and Jo Bo-ah’s magical chemistry in Destined with You stills
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