Joo Won charms Singapore

Three things you should know about South Korea's latest Hallyu king, Joo Won.

Wan Munirah
Wan Munirah

Published: 12 October 2015, 12:00 AM

When Korean stars drop by our shores, you would normally expect a frenzy of fangirl screams and public declarations of “Saranghae!”, more commonly known as “I love you!” in Korean.

It was no different for South Korean actor Joo Won, who came to Singapore last Saturday to promote his recently concluded medical thriller drama, The Gang Doctor.


Visiting Singapore for the first time, Joo Won (right) is joined by his on-screen sister, singer/actress Park Hye Su (left).


In the 18-episode drama, Joo Won acts as a surgeon who makes illicit house calls to gangsters, so that he could pay off his sister’s medical treatments.

Thanks to his unprecedented success with The Gang Doctor, Joo Won now shares the Hallyu throne with popular male actors like Lee Min Ho (2013’s The Heirs) and Kim Soo Hyun (2014’s My Love from the Star).

Here are three things you should know about Joo Won, your new Hallyu king.

1. Joo Won is unusually shy in person

Speaking through a translator at his press conference hours before his public meet and greet, Joo Won appeared rather reserved. The 28-year-old actor only revealed his elusive smiles when faced with playful questions about puberty and his weight loss.

The Korean star was a man of a few words too, keeping his replies brief while peppering them with the occasional chuckles and brooding glances.


Three lucky fans were treated with selfies and hugs on stage during his meet and greet at Suntec City.
Photo credit: One


Give him a few years (and probably, a couple of product endorsements too), and he might match up with the likes of Lee Min Ho and friends.

2. Puberty was a “dark time” for Joo Won

Like most of us, Joo Won had a rough time with puberty when he was 15.


Joo Won reacted to a candid question with a puzzled look.


When faced with a candid question about giving advice to his younger self, Joo Won shared that he would have told himself to enjoy the soccer matches from the FIFA World Cup (held in Korea in 2002) more, instead of steering away as a “studious kid”. Aww.

3. Joo Won has a penchant for action

Filming the multiple action scenes in the beginning of The Gang Doctor was physically challenging, but Joo Won was all hands-on during heart-stopping scenes like chasing after a car and jumping off a bridge.


To date, The Gang Doctor is the most popular prime-time korean drama series for 2015.
Photo credit: One


He had to film multiple takes for these scenes too—about 55 of the 60 action scenes per episode were later removed.

His most challenging scene to date? Driving in a car with cameras positioned all over his windshield, leaving him with a restricted view as he drove into walls and such. What a thrill-seeker!

Catch up with Joo Won through the encore broadcast of The Gang Doctor on ONE, starting on Nov 7.

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