Biography

Wi Ha-joon – StarsUnfolded

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Hometown: Soando Island, South Jeolla Province, South Korea

Education: Graduation In Theater And Film

Age: 30 Years

Wi Ha-joon

Wi Ha-joon

Some Lesser Known Facts About Wi Ha-joon

  • Wi Ha-joon is a South Korean actor, model, and singer who is known for his roles in the Kdramas Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019), 18 Again (2020), and Squid Game (2021). He is also known for his performance in the South Korean films Shark: The Beginning (2021) and Midnight (2021).
  • As a child, he was interested in music and dance and dreamt of becoming an entertainer or a boy group member. He was a member of a dance club in middle and high school.
  • He had to study humanities instead of arts in high school because of his parents, who did not like his thought of working in the entertainment industry. When he was in the third year of high school, he wrote a letter to his parents expressing his views regarding his career choice. The letter was so touching that his parents rushed his transfer to a high school in Seoul. In an interview, he said,

    When I thought that I had to go to Seoul right away, I thought I had to put it into action. So I wrote a letter to my parents. I want to make my dream come true. After reading the letter I wrote with my sincerity, my parents rushed through the transfer process. I transferred to Seoul like that when I was in my third year of high school.”

  • In the third year of high school, he left for Seoul, where he attended an acting academy. While living in Seoul, he faced a communication barrier with classmates due to differences in dialect. Ha-joon forbade to talk with anyone for a year while he adjusted himself to the Seoul dialect.
  • The same year, he auditioned to become a trainee at SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment in Tokyo. Ha-joon managed to pass the first round of auditions at SM Entertainment; however, after the camera test, he was rejected.
  • While attending the acting academy, he watched plays and movies and began to develop an interest in acting. The first play he watched was ‘Don’t Be Too Surprised.’ The play was directed by Park Geun-hyung and performed at the Sanwoollim Theater in Hongdae, Seoul.
  • In the second semester of his graduation, on November 28, 2011, he enlisted in Air Force Unit 709 in the Air Force Police Strike Team. He was discharged from his mandatory military service on November 27, 2013. After returning from the military, he signed with MSTeam Entertainment.
  • After he joined his agency, the CEO of the agency told him to change his name. There were seven candidates for his name, and he chose to go along with Ha-joon, where Ha (Hwa) means to become and Joon means special, which went well with his surname, Wi.
  • After appearing in the Coin Locker Girl (2015), he played supporting or minor roles in the South Korean films Bad Guys Always Die (2015), Anarchist from Colony (2017), and The Chase (2017).
  • In 2017, he appeared as ‘Ryu Jae-shin,’ Choi Seo-Hyun’s (played by South Korean actress Lee Da-in) former driver, a role that made people take notice of him, in KBS2 drama ‘My Golden Life.’
    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from My Golden Life (2017)

    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from My Golden Life (2017)

  • In 2018, he was seen in the South Korean found footage horror film ‘Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum’ in which he played ‘Ha-joon.’ His performance was liked by many, and he also received nominations for the Blue Dragon Film Award, Chunsa Film Art Award, and Grand Bell Award in the Best New Actor category.
    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)

    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)

  • He then played supporting roles in the South Korean dramas Something in the Rain (2018) and Matrimonial Chaos (2018).
  • In 2018, he lent his voice to the song ‘Maybe It’s Too Late’ from the South Korean drama ‘Matrimonial Chaos.’
  • The same year, he was seen playing ‘Lee Ha-min’ in the YouTube Kdrama ‘With Coffee.’
  • In 2019, Wi played his first main role in Kdrama in the tvN series ‘Romance Is a Bonus Book.’ He portrayed ‘Ji Seo-joon,’ a freelance book designer who falls in love with the Kang Dan-i (played by South Korean actress Lee Na-young), an advertising copywriter who sacrificed her career for marriage and her daughter. However, after she is divorced, she struggles to make the ends meet and take care of her daughter. The series is her journey in quest of love and a career.
    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019)

    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019)

  • On the sets of ‘Romance Is a Bonus Book,’ he became friends with the South Korean actor Lee Jong-suk, who played ‘Cha Eun-ho’ (the first lead in the series). In an interview, he said,

    I tend to get along with men while playfully fighting. Lee Jong-suk really welcomed me and took good care of me. He also encouraged and praised me a lot, so I felt the most comfortable on set.”

  • In 2020, he appeared in the superhit JTBC Kdrama ’18 Again,’ which is based on the 2009 American film ’17 Again,’ as ‘Ye Ji-hoon’ (the second lead). Ji-hoon is a celebrity baseball player parenting his dead brother’s daughter. He falls in love with Jung Da-jung (played by South Korean actress Kim Ha-neul), a 37-year-old mother of twins struggling to achieve her dream to become an announcer and is in the middle of getting divorced from her husband. His performance in the Kdrama earned him a nomination for Baeksang Arts Awards in the category Best New Actor – Television.
    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from 18 Again (2020)

    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from 18 Again (2020)

  • In 2021, Wi Ha-joon portrayed ‘Jeong Do-hyeon’ in the South Korean television film ‘Shark: The Beginning,’ which was broadcast on Tving. Jeong Do-hyeon is a mixed martial arts champion who trains Cha Woo-sol (played by South Korean actor Kim Min-suk), a school violence victim and boys’ prison convict, and helps him take his revenge from school bullies.
    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Shark: The Beginning (2021)

    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Shark: The Beginning (2021)

  • In several past interviews, he had quoted that he wished to play an antagonist or a serial killer in any film or Kdrama. His wish came true when he appeared in the 2021 South Korean film ‘Midnight’ and played his first lead role/antagonist in a film named ‘Do-shik,’ a psychopathic serial killer in the hunt for the life of a deaf woman and her mother, who witnessed him attacking one of his victims and saved the victim. His character demanded a sharp face due to which he had to lose weight. Before filming, he weighed around 76 kg, and within two months, he lost 13 kg through diet and intense interval training.
    Midnight (2021)

    Midnight (2021)

  • In 2021, he portrayed ‘Hwang Jun-ho’ in the Netflix survival drama TV series ‘Squid Game,’ which was created, written, and directed by South Korean filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk. In the series, Hwang Jun-ho, a police officer, infiltrates the game as a guard in search of his missing brother. The Squid Game is a contest consisting of children’s games with the death penalty for the losers to win prize money of ₩45.6 billion. Other main roles in the series were played by Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Jung Ho-yeon, O Yeong-su, Heo Sung-tae, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-ryoung. The series was streamed on and distributed by Netflix worldwide, and it became the first Korean drama to peak at number one on Netflix’s top ten weekly most-watched TV show charts globally. Within the first 28 days of its availability, the series garnered 111 million viewers worldwide, becoming Netflix’s most-watched series at its launch.
    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Squid Game (2021)

    Wi Ha-joon in a scene from Squid Game (2021)

  • After appearing in Squid Game, he bagged the lead role of K in the South Korean drama ‘Bad and Crazy.’ In the series, K is a helmet man who is righteous with a crazy sense of justice. K becomes violent after he witnesses any injustice.
  • Wi Ha-joon worked as the brand ambassador for South Korean brands like Hanwha Group, McDonald’s Korea, Chamisul, Olleh TV, Galaxy S8 X KT, and KIWOOM Securities.
    Wi Ha-joon in the advertisement for Galaxy S8 X KT

    Wi Ha-joon in the advertisement for Galaxy S8 X KT

  • To perform fight sequences, he went to Seoul Action School for a year to learn martial arts. From time to time, he trains with the coaches in the academy in case there is a role that requires him to fight.
  • According to Ha-joon, his father, who was his biggest supporter after he decided to become a singer, was happiest and proud when he (Ha-joon) became an actor.
  • Once, in an interview, he was asked as to what he did to overcome his fatigue and stress. He replied that he went to the practice room instead of home to practice acting. He added that looking at himself in the mirror while acting gave him confidence.
  • Once in an interview, he said that he did not enjoy drinking. He said that he usually drank one and a half bottles of alcohol, and if he wanted to drink more, the number went to only two bottles.
  • He is such a big fan of Mixed Martial Arts that he watches MMA fights before he goes to sleep.
  • A philanthropist, Ha-joon, along with South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, often makes donations to the UN Refugee Agency and other refugee organizations.
  • In an interview, he confessed that he wished to establish an entertainment agency that would help youngsters from small South Korean places achieve their dream to work in the entertainment industry.
  • In 2021, he was placed tenth in the 25 of the Sexiest Men You Can Watch list of People’s Magazine. The first place was given to the Ant-Man (2015) star Paul Rudd, and others were John Cho, Oscar Isaac, Hasan Minhaj, Jay Ellis, and Scott Speedman.
  • Wi Ha-joon is aquaphobic, meaning he has fear of water. He had to take therapy sessions to overcome his phobia before shooting an underwater scene in Squid Game.
  • In an interview, he revealed that he was sensitive and full of self-esteem before coming to the entertainment industry. After he was rejected multiple times, his self-esteem went downhill. It even led him to self-loathe, and he could not bear the sight of himself in the mirror. However, his self-esteem and self-love began growing after he began getting more opportunities, which helped him look at himself in a better way.
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