The 30-year-old's popularity has soared following his role in Squid Game but he was already a well-loved actor before this show.
The Korean drama Squid Game gave us a lot of memorable characters. The show follows a group of 456 people who are selected by an anonymous organization to participate in a bunch of children's games for a chance to win ₩45.6 billion (US$38.5 million.) But the games are deadly and you either win big or end up dead. To investigate these murderous games, a resilient and dedicated cop, Hwang Jun-ho, comes to the rescue.
The cop played a major role in learning about the nature of the games and tries to put an end to them, as he looks for his missing brother among the other players. Actor Wi Ha Joon portrays the character with great finesse and leaves a memorable impression. The 30-year-old's popularity has soared following his role in Squid Game but he was already a well-loved actor before this show. Here are some things about Wi Ha Joon you probably did not know.
Wi Ha Joon made his acting debut at the age of 21. He starred in a short film called Peace in Them in 2012. Since then he has been in many other films but had a breakthrough when he was cast in the lead role of the horror film Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum which was well-received. Teenagers who recognized him from the movie started calling him "Chief" based on his role. Since then he has been in many Korean dramas with Squid Game being a game-changer for him.
He studied at Sungkyul University and majored in theatre and film. He moved to Seoul from Wando County, South Jeolla Province when he was in his senior year of high school. He then started attending an acting academy with the hope of becoming an actor.
Ha Joon has always wanted to be an actor. He revealed that it was after he joined his middle school dance club that he decided he wanted to become an entertainer. In an interview, he had revealed that he had always wanted to play the role of a villain. He has already managed to realize this dream of his, as he plays a serial killer in his latest movie, Midnight that released on September 18, a day after Squid Game.
Not only is he a talented actor, but Ha Joon seems to be an all-rounder who can also sing and dance. He sang the OST for the 2018 Korean drama Matrimonial Crisis in which he also starred as Im Shi-ho. Here's him singing:
He has also proven that he can break a leg. Fans have managed to dig out a 2016 clip of him dancing to the song Cheer Up by the K-pop girl group Twice. Here's the video, so you can see it for yourself.
The actor is a big fan of exercising and can do acrobatics and boxing. “I have been building muscle with bodyweight training since I was in the military," he said about his time during the mandatory military conscription in the South Korean army. "I usually go to the gym five days a week to work out, but now I do it at home due to the pandemic.” Ha Joon is also a big fan of sports and is a wrestling enthusiast. He was featured in Men's Health magazine.
Growing up on one of the islands in the South Jeolla Province, he grew up close to the ocean. When he appeared on the variety show Problem Child in the House last June, he revealed that his father runs an abalone farm. Abalone is a shellfish that you can eat and is pretty expensive and popular in South Korea. He had joked on the show that his family was in debt and later cleared that they were now debt-free.
The actor has an elder sister. And Ha Joon seems to adore his little niece. He shares videos of him hanging out with her in the park and refers to her as his "princess."
While Ha Joon's role in Squid Game gave him worldwide fame, he already has a lot of other very successful films and movies under his belt. This includes memorable performances in Romance Is a Bonus Book, 18 Again, Something in the Rain, among others. His next Korean drama after Squid Game, Bad and Crazy will also release later this year.
Ha Joon is a part of MSTeam Entertainment, a label founded in 1993. Son Ye-Jin of Crash Landing On You fame happens to be his label mate. They were in the drama, Something In The Rain, where they played siblings.