PSA! There’s a new rising star in the K-drama world, and he goes by the name of Chae Jong Hyeop. Yet another breakout actor poised for fame, this scene-stealer is currently winning over hearts as the second lead of the JTBC romance drama Nevertheless. Yep, much like the online frenzy that broke out for now popular names like Kim Seon Ho and Hwang In Yeop, viewers are once again falling for the other guy, and with a tenderhearted chef like Yang Do-hyuk, we can definitely see why.
Dying to know more about the actor behind your new favorite character?
Here are 10 things you need to know about Chae Jong Hyeop.
1. He’s a Taurus.
Jong Hyeop was born on May 19, 1993 in Seoul, South Korea.
2. He debuted in 2016.
Still fairly new to the industry, Jong Hyeop debuted with a minor role in the 2016 MBC drama Webtoon Hero - Tundra Show. He then went on to star in a number of web series, namely Between Friends and No Bad Days in 2017, and the office thriller Rumor in 2019.
3. He landed his first main TV role on “Nevertheless”.
Apart from acting in web shows, Jong Hyeop slowly built his career by playing supporting parts in popular TV dramas such as Come and Hug Me, Hot Stove League, and Park Shin Hye’s Sisyphus: The Myth.
It was only this year that the actor finally earned himself a starring spot in a major TV series, and one that streams worldwide on Netflix, no less. His character on Nevertheless, Yang Do-hyuk, is described by the show’s production team as a “romanticist who has been in love with Yoo Na-bi since they were younger. He has completely different charms from Park Jae-on, and will be an interesting variable.” Translation: He’s the second lead who shakes up the show, and we’re all for it!
4. You can also find him on “The Witch’s Diner”.
It seems all the stars have aligned for Jong Hyeop this 2021. Simultaneously airing with Nevertheless is The Witch’s Diner, a dark fantasy drama that once again sees Jong Hyeop as one of the lead actors. Produced by TVING, the show follows Jo Hee-ra (Song Ji Hyo), a witch and restaurant owner who claims her customers’ souls after granting their deepest desires through her food. Jong Hyeop plays Lee Gil-yong in the drama, a student who moonlights as Hee-ra’s employee.
5. He’s managed by YNK Entertainment.
Jong Hyeop is currently being handled by YNK Entertainment. The agency is also home to other Korean actors such as Kim Hyun Joo, Lim Se Mi, Park Gyeong Rae, and Mr. Queen star Shin Hye Sun.
6. He learned to play baseball for “Hot Stove League”.
In 2019, Jong Hyeop portrayed Yoo Min-ho, a promising pitcher, on Hot Stove League. Prior to his appearance on the drama, the then 26-year-old had absolutely no knowledge of baseball, which then prompted him to study up on everything he could on the sport in a short amount of time. As a pitcher on the fictional team, he paid extra effort to perfecting his poses and pitching positions.
7. He can speak English.
Fun fact: Jong Hyeop’s English name is Jimmy, and he’s quite fluent in the language, too, as evidenced by some of his past interviews. FYI, he learned to speak English after studying in Pretoria, South Africa until his was 21 years old.
8. He prefers listening to Western music.
During his first-ever variety show guesting on Amazing Saturday, Jong Hyeop revealed that, rather than K-pop, his music taste is more inclined towards Western artists. In particular, he’s a fan of Nigerian-Scottish singer-songwriter Tayo Sound.
Listen to his favorite song from the musician below.
9. He’s known for having a “positive energy”.
Jong Hyeop’s perpetual, scene-stealing grin isn’t just for show. In fact, he’s best loved by his The Witch’s Diner co-stars for the positive energy he always exudes onset. “[He’s] the one who sets the mood,” said Song Ji Hyo in an interview. “Just with his presence, he always keeps us smiling.”
Watch their full interview below.
10. He’s on Instagram!
Need more of this sweet-faced gentleman on your feed? Luckily, he runs an Instagram account! Hit the follow button at chaejh_.
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