|Born||August 5, 1976|
Daejeon, South Korea
|Education||Hannam University - B.A.|
|Revised Romanization||Gwon Sang-u|
Kwon Sang-woo (in Korean: 권상우, Kweon Sang-u; born August 5, 1976) is a South Korean actor. He rose to stardom in 2003 with the romantic comedy film My Tutor Friend and the melodrama series Stairway to Heaven.
Kwon Sang-woo, the most visible example of the so-called mom-zzang (slang for "great body") movement, started his career as a fashion model in the late 1990s. His first acting experience was in the TV drama Delicious Proposal, and for the first few years of his entertainment career, he received only minor roles on television, before making his big-screen debut in the martial arts film Volcano High (2001). The following year, he played his first lead role in the comedy Make It Big (2002) together with real-life best friend Song Seung-heon.
Kwon's breakthrough came in 2003 with the phenomenally successful romantic comedy My Tutor Friend, as a troublesome high school boy who is tutored by a college student of the same age (played by actress Kim Ha-neul). This was followed by appearances in My Good Partner, the world's first movie made for mobile phones, and the music video collection Project X.
His next film released in early 2004 was also a hit. Once Upon a Time in High School portrayed the authoritarian society of the 1970s through a notoriously violent high school. Simultaneously, Kwon's TV tearjerker Stairway to Heaven was winning high ratings over 40%. The drama eventually screened throughout Asia and helped to turn him into a regional star.
For 2006, Kwon starred in the big-budget action noir Running Wild, about a detective, a prosecutor, and a criminal who are all equally vicious. Running Wild received satisfactory reviews, but disappointing returns, and Kwon's next film Almost Love, a romantic comedy reteaming him with Kim Ha-neul, likewise failed to replicate the success of their previous film.
Thus began Kwon's career slump, as the films Fate and More Than Blue flopped in the box office, and his small-screen projects Sad Love Story, Bad Love, and Cinderella Man received low ratings.
Things took a turn for the better in 2010 with the box-office success of Korean War film 71: Into the Fire which Kwon reportedly did not hesitate to take on, though he again portrayed a high school student. His drama Daemul about Korea's first female president (played by Go Hyun-jung) was also very popular during its run, staying atop TV charts for 11 weeks straight and ending with viewership ratings around 26%.
In the 2011 melodrama Pained, Kwon played a man with analgesia, the inability to sense physical pain, who then falls in love with a woman suffering from hemophilia. Based on an original story by webcomic artist Kang Full, Pained was directed by Kwak Kyung-taek in a departure from his previous macho movies. Kwak said, "The production company told me Kwon Sang-woo was contemplating the part, and I said I would do it only if Kwon does. There was nobody else."
Looking to expand his acting career to a wider audience in Asia, in 2012 Kwon starred in movies with Chinese superstars Cecilia Cheung (romantic comedy Shadows of Love, previously known as Repeat, I Love You) and Jackie Chan (action film CZ12). He also made his singing debut in a DVD released in Japan in 2010. Cast as the male lead in a Chinese TV series titled Feng Hua Xue Yue (Wind Flower Snow Moon), Kwon's role was an Asian-American Broadway producer who comes back to China to stage a musical production in Yunnan Province and falls in love with the leading lady of his stage musical.
He next starred opposite Soo Ae in Yawang (also known as Queen of Ambition), which was adapted from the third installment of manhwa artist Park In-kwon's 21-part saga Daemul (the 2010 SBS TV series of the same name that also starred Kwon was adapted from the comic's second book).
Kwon was cast in his first medical drama in 2013, Medical Top Team from the director of Moon Embracing the Sun and the writer of Brain. He played a straightforward yet warm-hearted genius surgeon. In 2014, he reunited with Stairway to Heaven costar Choi Ji-woo in Temptation, about a married, debt-ridden businessman who agrees to a deal with a female CEO in exchange for her "ownership" of his body.
He next played the owner of an internet startup company in Honey Enemy, a 2015 Chinese romance film opposite Zhang Yuqi that filmed in Jeju Island and Shanghai. Kwon then starred in comedy film The Accidental Detective which revolves around a misfit comic book rental shop owner who becomes involved in a murder case.
In 2009 Kwon established the cosmetics firm Natural Tears, of which he is the owner and CEO, as well as the inaugural advertising model for the brand TEARS. It was named after his nickname "Mr. Tears", given to him by fans in recognition of his tear-jerking acting in Stairway to Heaven.
He also opened the cafe Tea'Us in Myeong-dong, and is the biggest shareholder of the resort Ocean Blue Hotel Bali. The property Kwon owns in Bundang-gu was appraised at an estimated worth of ₩18 billion.
Unlike many Korean male stars who had to fulfill their mandatory military service at the height of their careers, Kwon completed his military service long before he became an actor.
Kwon married actress and former Miss Korea Son Tae-young at the Shilla Hotel on September 28, 2008. On February 6, 2009, his wife gave birth to a baby boy, christened as Luke (nicknamed Rookie). Their second child, a daughter, was born on January 10, 2015.
In 2006 Kwon filed a complaint against Kim Tae-chon, the godfather of Beomseobangpa (one of Korea's three major criminal gangs), for threatening him when the actor failed to keep his promise to hold a fan meeting in Japan. Kwon and the defendant eventually came to a settlement, but prosecutors continued investigations into possible ties between kkangpae and the Japanese Yakuza and Chinese crime syndicates that are looking to cash in on the Korean Wave entertainment business.
There was fan backlash to his 2008 marriage due to his wife's previous dating history. In an appearance on talk show Golden Fishery hosted by Kang Ho-dong in 2009, Kwon said, "After I got married, membership in my fan cafe dwindled from 240,000 to 135,000 - it was like a stock market crash." He also said that before he got married, he had an average of seven TV commercials per year, but by early 2009 that number had dwindled down to zero.
In the early hours of June 12, 2010, Kwon was involved in a car accident in Gangnam District. According to news reports, Kwon was driving on the wrong side of the road and hit a parked car. He then ran into the police car that had pursued him, continued driving and hit a tree before fleeing the scene on foot. Two days later, he turned himself in at Gangnam Police Station, claiming he had not been drunk. Kwon later made a public apology through a handwritten letter, and was fined ₩7 million by a Seoul district court.
|2001||Volcano High||Song Hak-rim|
|2002||Make It Big||Lee Woo-seob|
|2003||My Tutor Friend||Kim Ji-hoon|
|2003||Stairway to Heaven|
|2004||Once Upon a Time in High School||Kim Hyun-soo|
|Love, So Divine||Kim Kyu-shik|
|2006||Running Wild||Jang Do-young|
|Almost Love||Lee Ji-hwan|
|2009||More Than Blue||Kang Chul-gyu ("K")|
|2010||California - High Noon||Short film|
|71: Into the Fire||Goo Kap-jo|
|2012||Shadows of Love||Kwon Jung-hoon||Chinese film|
|2015||The Honey Enemy||Chinese film|
|The Accidental Detective||Kang Dae-man|
|2018||The Accidental Detective 2: In Action||Kang Dae-man|
|2019||Love, Again||Jo Hyun-woo|
|The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful||Gwi-soo|||
|2020||Hitman: Agent Jun||Jun|
|2021||A Year-End Medley||Celebrities||Special appearance|
|2022||The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure||Bu Heung-Soo|||
|TBA||Christmas Gift||Park Kang|||
|2001||Delicious Proposal||Lee Choon-shik|
|2002||We Are Dating Now||Yoon Ho-jae|
|2003||Into the Sun||Kang Seok-min|
|Stairway to Heaven||Cha Song-joo|
|2005||Sad Love Story||Seo Joon-young/Choi Joon-kyu|
|2007||Cruel Love||Kang Yong-ki|
|2009||Cinderella Man||Oh Dae-san / Lee Joon-hee|
|2011||Fuyu no Sakura||Himself||cameo (episode 8)|
|2013||Queen of Ambition||Ha Ryu / Cha Jae-woong|
|Medical Top Team||Park Tae-shin|
|2017||Queen of Mystery||Ha Wan-seung|
|2018||Queen of Mystery 2|
|2020–2021||Delayed Justice||Park Tae-yong|
|2022||Why Her||Jung Hyeon-soo||Cameo (episode 1)|
|Curtain Call||Bae Dong-jae|||
|2022||X of Crisis||Mr. A|||
|2021||On Rent: House on Wheels||tvN||Cast Member||with team actor The Pirates 2|||
|"It's All Right"||Circle|
|2001||"I Wish You Happiness"
(Joy Project - 1 Year of Love)
|Why||Ryu Si-won, |
|"First Love"||Ji Young-sun||Moon Geun-young|
|2002||"I Can't Tell"||Cha Eun-ju||Kim Joo-hyuk|
|"Ace of Sorrow"||Jo Sung-mo||Jung Joon-ho, |
|2003||"Project X"||Cha Seung-won, |
|2005||"Sad Love Story"||Yoon Gun||Kim Hee-sun, |
|"Anyclub"||Eric Mun and Lee Hyori||Eric Mun, |
|2002||23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best New Actor||Make It Big||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||New Star Award||We Are Dating Now||Won|
|2003||39th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor (Film)||My Tutor Friend||Won|
|40th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actor||Won|
|20th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards||Best Dressed, TV actor category||—||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Stairway to Heaven, Into the Sun||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Stairway to Heaven||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Planning Drama||Into the Sun||Nominated|
|Netizen Popularity Award||Stairway to Heaven, Into the Sun||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2004||2nd Andre Kim Best Star Awards||Male Star Award||—||Won|
|40th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actor (Film)||Once Upon a Time in High School||Won|
|Best Actor (Film)||Nominated|
|41st Grand Bell Awards||Popularity Award||Won|
|25th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Popular Star Award||Won|
|2005||42nd Savings Day||Presidential Citation||—||Won|
|The Motion Pictures Association of Korea's
The Year in Film Awards
|Hallyu Star Award||—||Won|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Sad Love Story||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Kim Hee-sun||Nominated|
|2007||Andre Kim Best Star Awards||Star Award, Men's category||—||Won|
|1st Mnet 20's Choice Awards||Hot Body||—||Won|
|Korea-Japan Culture Awards||Non-Governmental Diplomacy Award||—||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Bad Love||Nominated|
|Popularity Award, Actor||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Yo-won||Nominated|
|2008||44th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actor (Film)||Fate||Won|
|2009||2nd Style Icon Awards||Style Icon, TV actor category||—||Won|
|2010||SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Daemul||Won|
|Netizen Popularity Award, Actor||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Go Hyun-jung||Nominated|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2011||47th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (TV)||Nominated|
|4th Korea Drama Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|6th Asia Model Festival Awards||Asia Star Award||—||Won|
|2013||8th Seoul International Drama Awards||Outstanding Korean Drama Actor||Queen of Ambition||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Soo Ae||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Medical Top Team||Nominated|
|2014||SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Temptation||Nominated|
|Netizen Popularity Award||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Choi Ji-woo||Nominated|
|2017||KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Queen of Mystery||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|Netizen Award, Actor||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Choi Kang-hee||Nominated|
|2018||KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Queen of Mystery 2||Nominated|
|Netizen Award, Actor||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Choi Kang-hee||Nominated|
|2020||SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-Length/Long Drama||Delayed Justice||Nominated|