Date of Birth
Seoul, South KoreaEdit page
He is best known for leading roles in the disaster blockbuster Pandora (2016); the crime thriller Memoir of a Murderer (2017); the adventure film The Pirates (2014); the period drama Portrait of a Beauty (2008) and the crime-comedy television drama The Fiery Priest (2019).
Kim is also the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization Gilstory that focuses on preserving cultural heritage, promoting arts, and raising special-purpose relief funds.
Kim is known for his versatility as an actor and for often balancing projects with commercial value and roles that are artistic in nature.
He was placed 17th in the top 40 most powerful stars in Korea in 2020 by Forbes. On February 3, 2021, Kim launched Gilstory ENT, a comprehensive entertainment company, together with Han Jae Deok, head of the film production company Sanai Pictures.
Kim began his acting career on television with a minor role in the 1999 KBS youth drama School 1.
Four years later, he passed the 2003 Talent Audition conducted annually by MBC, and appeared in various minor roles on the network's shows, such as Be Strong, and Geum-soon! During this time, he was using the stage name Lee Han, which he made up to avoid confusion with Kang Nam-Gil, another Korean actor with a similar name, and to give himself a more sophisticated image.
Kim debuted on the big screen in the 2004 gangster movie Low Life. In 2006, he made the bold decision to portray a homosexual character in the controversial queer indie No Regret in a role that included several gay sex scenes.
The film was critically praised and traveled the film festival circuit, being shown among others in the Panorama section of the 57th Berlin Film Festival. He was then cast in 2008's Public Enemy Returns, where he worked with the actor Jung Jae-young.
Kim had stated in interviews that Jung Jae-young, who attended the same high school he did, had been his role model as an actor.
Upon the influence of the film's director Kang Woo-suk (but against the advice of his agent and manager), Kim stopped using the stage name Lee Han and reverted to his birth name. Later that year, he played his first leading role in a major commercial film, Portrait of a Beauty.
Pandora as Jae Hyeok