This season’s trending K-drama series Record of Youth was a big hit thanks to its deliberately paced, riveting storyline and heartthrob stars – it finished with the bang of a final episode that scored a 8.7 per cent domestic viewership share. The story revolved around three millennials – aspiring actors and childhood friends Hye-jun (Park Bo-gum) and Hae-hyo (Byeon Woo-seok) , and make-up artist Jeong-ha ( Park So-dam ) – struggling to pursue their dreams, love and family relationships. The heartwarming series sent out hopeful messages – that there can be a new beginning in life – to those who are living through the trials and errors of early adulthood. Indeed, this was what Record of Youth came to mean to 29-year-old actor Byeon Woo-seok, who has become a star thanks to the show. “This series set a new start in my acting career,” Byeon told The Korea Times . Despite his growing popularity, little is known about the star – so here are five more things we learned from the interview: 5 reasons to watch Netflix’s new K-drama Record of Youth His real life resembles Park’s character, Hae-jun View this post on Instagram #비욘드클로젯 A post shared by 변우석 Woo Seok Byeon (@byeonwooseok) on Oct 18, 2016 at 4:21am PDT Just like his character Hae-hyo, Byeon debuted as a model before he began acting with his first minor role in the 2016 TV drama Dear My Friends . Since then, he has starred in several TV series, including TVN’s romantic comedy Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency . But Byeon said he saw himself more as Hye-jun, played by Park Go-bum, than as his own character. “When I first read the script, I related to Hye-jun more,” he said. “As Hae-hyo has such an extraordinary background, I couldn’t fully see myself in the character at first.” Hae-hyo comes from an affluent family with a helicopter mum, Yi-young (Shin Ae-ra), who deeply involves herself in his acting career. Whereas Hye-jun juggles part-time jobs and auditioning for roles, while dealing with his dad and brother who are sceptical of his showbiz dreams. Byeon said his situations were more like Hye-jun’s. “My parents weren’t really happy with me pursuing modelling, although they have supported me since I started acting,” he said. “I too tried out and failed countless auditions.” But he came to find himself having things in common with his character later, as both are determined to gain a foothold as an actor against the odds. “I came to understand his determination and passion to make his own success, despite his mother’s interference,” Byeon said. He has enjoyed fans’ reaction to Record of Youth Byeon, Park, and Kwon Soo-hyun show great chemistry in the show as friends growing up in the same neighbourhood. Byeon said the three tried hard to bring out that chemistry and their efforts paid off when he saw positive feedback on their on-screen report. 5 things to know about Park Bo-gum ahead of Record of Youth “My favourite feedback was that we looked like real besties,” Byeon said. “I was worried at first because we have to look close from the beginning. So we tried to meet up as much as we could to hang out and read scripts together before starting shooting.” Referring to Park as a considerate friend, Byeon said he had learned a lot from the co-star. “I’ve heard nice things about him before and to no one’s surprise, he was so nice, compassionate and had a keen philosophy in terms of acting ,” he said. His Instagram followers have doubled since Record of Youth View this post on Instagram A post shared by 변우석 Woo Seok Byeon (@byeonwooseok) on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:25pm PDT Byeon noted that his Instagram followers increased from about 20,000 to 40,000 after the series started to air. And thanks to Netflix, which made it available in over 190 countries, the actor caught the eye of global audiences. “I do feel that international fans are growing, thanks to this piece that allowed me to work with such a great director, writer and co-stars,” he said, adding he now sees many comments in different languages on his Instagram. Seo Ye-ji is playing another stuck-up rich girl in Island – what we know so far His personal motto View this post on Instagram A post shared by 변우석 Woo Seok Byeon (@byeonwooseok) on Dec 17, 2019 at 3:16am PST “My life motto is to ‘enjoy to the fullest’. I value pursuing things that would make me happy,” the actor said. And his pursuit of happiness led him to start an acting career. He was searching for something he was passionate about, when he came across acting. “It wasn’t that I was inspired by a film or a TV series to become an actor,” Byeon said. “I started to wonder what I really wanted to do with a great passion, which turned out to be acting.” And as he built his career, he came to enjoy the job more and became ambitious. He hopes in time to build a wide repertoire – ranging from sci-fi and thriller genres to heartfelt dramas and romcoms. “I want to work on diverse roles in different genres, such as a psychopathic character … or fantasy characters,” he said, adding he wants to live a fantasy or fictional life through them. “But I also want to do romcom or ‘healing’ genre works that would give comfort to audiences to help get them through tough times like this (pandemic).” How K-drama hit Itaewon Class challenges discrimination His next project will be his silver-screen debut Soul Mate Soon after Record of Youth shooting wrapped up, he began filming his first feature film, with a tentative title of Soul Mate (tentative title). Directed by Min Yong-geun, it is a Korean adaptation of a popular Chinese web novel of the same name. The coming-of-age story, which also stars Kim Da-mi from the JTBC series Itaewon Class , will follow two high schoolgirls whose friendship is tested by the messy matters of secrets and romantic entanglements. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .