Artist Spotlight: Kim Seon Ho & Nam Joo Hyuk

Shining the spotlight on two artists instead of one this time. If you’re up to date with K-dramas, you’d know Korea's tvN’s “Start-Up”  is current talk of town. Bae Suzy, a household name in the world of Korean entertainment, is the leading lady, but who are her two leading men? 

As the saying goes, “All roads lead to Rome” and these three artists have one thing in common. They started out in other aspects of entertainment before convening in “Start-Up”. Suzy debuted in K-pop since 2010 with JYP Entertainment as a member of the disbanded Miss A, but left the agency in March 2019 to join Soop Management to pursue her acting career. Soop Management is known to specialize in acting and also manages Gong Yoo, Kong Hyo Jin and Choi Woo Sik.

Kim Seon Ho, who plays the cool yet incisive, self made venture capitalist, Han Ji-Pyeong in “Start-Up”, made his debut as a theater actor in 2009 after graduating from the Seoul Institute of The Arts. His first theatrical role was “Seonggi” in the play, "New Boeing Boeing”. He spent most of his career on the theater stages before finally entering the small screen in a supporting role with KBS’ drama, “Good Manager” in 2017. Since then he has been juggling between both theater and TV. 

Nam Joo Hyuk, with clean-cut boy-next-door looks hailing from Busan, had a professional basketball dream until an injury took that away. He debuted as a fashion runway model for Songzio Homme its 2014 Spring/Summer collection in 2013, made music video appearances in AKMU’s “200%” and “Give Love” before securing a supporting role in tvN’s “Surplus Princess” in 2014. He went on take on lead roles in “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”, “The Bride of Habaek” and “The School Nurse Files”. Now in “Start-Up”, he plays a math genius and geeks tech founder, Nam Do San. He too, is signed with Soop Management.

“Start-Up” follows the formula of other successful dramas such as “Crash Landing on You”, “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” and “Itaewon Class”. That recipe consists of the usual web of drama, cast chemistry, the OST selection and its release schedule, keeping fans yearning for more. Airing “Start-Up” during this corona virus pandemic however, gives a greater sense of positivity and hope, a sentiment likely more than welcomed in this uncertain era.

“Start-Up” is a story of aspiring entrepreneurs, their journey through grit to find success and themselves. The drama is made warm and light-hearted, thanks to the supporting cast of Do San’s buddies and Dal-mi’s grandmother. The web of deceit between Kim Seon-Ho, Nam Ju Hyuk and Suzy’s characters also lend various comedic twists, but the trio’s likability and humane side have been brilliantly portrayed thus far.

Kim Seon Ho and Nam Joo Hyuk have done extremely well for themselves in Korea, Yet, with a global release on Netflix, “Start Up” has propelled and taken them to new heights in international exposure. Who are you rooting for Dal-Mi to pick eventually? The writer, Park Hye Ryun has made it a tough choice this time. We can only keep our eyes peeled on Netflix every Saturday and Sunday to find out. 

Image reference: Kim Seon Ho, Nam Ju Hyuk, "Start-Up" official posters

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