Why 2021 is Jang Ki-yong’s year: he’s Song Hye-kyo’s co-star in K-drama Now We Are Breaking Up, and the My Roommate is a Gumiho actor also bagged a lead role in Netflix’s Sweet and Sour
If you’ve been watching K-dramas and surfing Netflix lately, you might have come across Jang Ki-yong. It’s proving to be a good year for the actor as he is currently starring in K-drama My Roommate is a Gumiho as well as appearing in the Netflix movie Sweet and Sour.
Jang’s next K-drama project might be his biggest one yet. He is slated to appear with Song Hye-kyo in the upcoming SBS drama Now We Are Breaking Up, set to air in the second half of 2021. In the drama, he will play a wealthy and intelligent freelance photographer.
It’s no surprise that Jang is turning heads: he has the credentials to become a top actor, having starred in K-dramas Beautiful Mind (2016), Come and Hug Me (2018) and Kill It (2019).
Here’s what we know about Jang Ki-yong and why we think he’s poised to become the next leading hallyu star.
He was a successful model
Jang made his debut as a model in 2012. His first gig was modelling for streetwear brand General Idea during Seoul Fashion Week, according to AsiaOne.
He was an introvert
It’s hard to imagine Jang as an introvert given his presence and undeniable acting chops. In an interview with GQ Korea translated by Soompi, he admitted he was timid and feared talking to others. That changed when he started to model and act in front of the camera.
He has won a Baeksang
What makes Jang qualified to act alongside a hallyu star like Song Hye-kyo? For starters, the rising actor has already won a Baeksang award: rookie actor of the year for his first lead drama, Come and Hug Me. He also won the excellent award for the same drama at the 2018 MBC Drama Awards, according to Hellokpop.
According to Soompi, he admitted that playing a police officer who had a psychopathic father in Come and Hug Me was physically and mentally taxing. He said it wasn’t easy, but he learned a lot while filming.
He has acted with Parasite’s Choi Woo-shik
He can rap and sing
In an episode of variety TV show Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook, Jang showed off his singing and rapping skills too. The secret to his impressive voice? He revealed that even while he’s busy filming K-dramas, he practices his vocals at coin-operated karaoke rooms. He explained that he even brought his manager, singing with him and spending 4,000 won (around US$3), according to Soompi.
- He’s set to appear alongside Song Hye-kyo in SBS’ Now We Are Breaking Up later this year, and inspired Start-Up’s Nam Joo-hyuk to become a model
- He was previously in Beautiful Mind, Kill It and Come and Hug Me – where he took home a Baeksang – as well as The Boy Next Door with Parasite’s Choi Woo-shik