Jang Ki-Yong: 7 Things To Know About The "My Roommate Is A Gumiho" Star
Jang Ki-yong—the strapping model-turned-actor thrilling audiences as a 999-year-old nine-tailed fox in the recently concluded K-drama, My Roommate is a Gumiho—is about to shoot into superstardom, if he isn’t already sort of there. This year is already proving to be the actor's biggest year to date, backed by a stunning portfolio of projects under his belt.
Armed with the coveted Best New Actor trophy from the 2019 Baeksang Arts Awards for his breakout role in Come and Hug Me, a face so handsome it makes fans weak in the knees, and a towering 1.87-metre-tall presence, we’re probably stating the obvious when we say Jang Ki-yong is the next big idol Korean drama actor to look out for.
If you're curious to find out more about this heartthrob, here are seven things to know about Jang Ki-yong.
1/7 He's a talented actor who's able to play a variety of roles
In the Netflix movie Sweet & Sour, he plays one half of a couple who experiences the sweetness and sourness of life, adulting and being in a relationship. Jang puts on a charmingly understated performance and cements his leading man status.
But a romantic and comedic lead role isn't always the case for Jang especially since his breakout performance in Come and Hug Me (2018) was tasked with playing a character pained by the past. Then, he did an action role in Kill It (2019) and Born Again (2020). While Search: WWW's (2019) tone is a lot sweeter than his first lead role, My Roommate is a Gumiho that allowed Jang to act in a fantasy comedy-drama. Now, that's a chameleon actor wouldn't you say?
2/7 He will romance Song Hye-kyo in the highly-anticipated "Now, We Are Breaking Up"
Talk about a meteoric rise. As an up-and-coming actor (if he isn't already on people's radar), Jang gets to cosy up to Song Hye-Kyo, one of South Korea’s most famous and beloved actresses, which shows how much confidence the K-entertainment powers that be have in the 28-year-old.
In Now, We Are Breaking Up, he will play a rich and hotshot freelance photographer with style and substance, who meets Song’s trendy fashion company design manager. It all sounds super stylish and cool, and we’re expecting lots of high fashion, amazing clothes and accessories and charged scenes between Jang and Song’s characters. It drops in the coming few months, and we can’t wait.
This highly-anticipated drama might just be Jang's biggest project to date but he's up for the challenge. With such credentials over the years, it's no surprise that Jang was chosen to star alongside Song.
See also: "Now We Are Breaking Up:" 6 Things To Know About Song Hye-Kyo's New Drama
3/7 He’s an award-winning fashion model
He started out as a model in 2012 and won the Fashion Model Award at the 2014 Asian Model Awards, and has strutted the runways for top designer labels. He apparently also inspired Start-Up actor Nam Joo-hyuk to become a model.
Jang wants to break the stereotype that models can’t act. Looking at him and Nam Joo-hyuk, we think they’ve definitely smashed that cliche. Jang, alongside Nam, are among the most successful model-turned-actors in the industry today.
Fun fact: Nam Joo-hyuk was the original choice for Come and Hug Me, alongside his Start-Up co-star Bae Suzy. But both stars declined and the role went to then-rookie actors, Jang and Jin Ki-koo—it was both their first leading role.
See also: Hong Kong's First Diverse Modelling Agency Pushes Back Against Prejudice
4/7 He’s an introvert
With that face, height and easy charm, you’d think Jang Ki-yong would be Mr. Popular and has never had problems endearing himself to people. But he’s said that he used to be timid and feared talking in front of others, and that doing an interview and talking alone to someone would be previously unimaginable. But modelling and acting slowly changed his personality and he became less reserved.
He holds such charisma and is a great actor that you wouldn't know that he's actually a very shy person.
See also: 30 New Must-Watch Korean Dramas In 2021
5/7 He can sing and rap
Jang has quite the voice, and has sung on the soundtracks for his dramas The Liar and His Lover and Come and Hug Me, and showed off his singing and rapping skills on variety shows.
He apparently hones his vocals at coin-operated karaoke rooms. On the topic of music, he’s also starred in two of IU’s music videos, Red Shoes and Friday and subsequently played a supporting role in her hit K-drama, My Mister—which was followed by a series of leading roles.
See also: IU: 20 Stylish looks To Dress Like The Korean Star
6/7 He’s known as “The Perfect Boyfriend” who could also be good husband material
Thanks to his romantic lead roles and clean-cut charm, he’s been called the perfect boyfriend. He’s also said, “I want to become a good actor. I don’t exactly know what being a good actor means, but I would like to become one. I also want to become a good father.” Cue screams and women lining up to help him become a good father.
See also: Lee Do-Hyun: 8 Things To Know About The Korean Rising Star
7/7 He has a Baeksang Award under his belt
Jang won the highly coveted Best New Actor award at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Award role his first lead role in Come and Hug Me (2018) where he played a police officer with a psychopathic killer dad, was only the start of his ascension to Hallyu star status.
If the Baeksang Award wasn't enough, Jang also won Excellence Award for the same drama at the 2018 MBC Drama Awards alongside a number of numerous nominations.
Since then, Jang has garnered a legion of fans, been named the face of skincare brand Lab Series in Korea, and of course, getting that leading man role opposite Song Hye-kyo. We’ll be seeing a lot more of this talented actor, and we can’t wait.
See also: 10 Baeksang Awards-Nominated Dramas And Movies To Watch