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10 Things You Need to Know About "Once Upon A Small Town" Actor Choo Young Woo

The up-and-coming actor considers Red Velvet’s Joy as his "mental coach"!
10 Things You Need to Know About "Once Upon A Small Town" Actor Choo Young Woo
IMAGE (LEFT TO RIGHT) Once Upon A Small Town/Kakao TV, J. Wide Company
The up-and-coming actor considers Red Velvet’s Joy as his "mental coach"!

Male leads are often lumped together in plug-and-play stereotypes often seen in K-dramas. Often, that’s the cold-hearted chaebol, whose feelings are later thawed by the quirkier, more outgoing female lead.

While we adore a trope or two, there are a few who take these archetypes and twist them even just a bit. In the Netflix and KakaoTV drama Once Upon a Small Town, Choo Young Woo’s Han Ji-yul is a Seoul veterinarian dragged to practice in South Korea’s countryside, thanks to his grandpa’s request. Like what’s expected, he’s pretty livid about the situation and the village—but give him a couple of episodes, and that may surely change!

PHOTO BY Instagram/cu.young
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Playing opposite Red Velvet’s Joy, the up-and-coming actor behind Ji-yul is also one to watch out for. Below, we list down ten facts to know about Young Woo, as we’re definitely expecting to see him on our screens again soon enough.

10 Fast Facts About Korean Actor Choo Young Woo

1. Choo Young Woo is a Gemini

Born and raised in South Korea, Young Woo’s date of birth is on June 5, 1999.

2. Choo Young Woo is a working college student

In between acting for TV, Young Woo also juggles schoolwork as a hardworking university student. He is currently enrolled in the Acting department of Korea National University of the Arts, which educated notable alumni like Little Women and Goblin’s Kim Go Eun, Alchemy of SoulsJung So Min, and Extraordinary Attorney Woo’s Ha Yoon Kyung

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3. Choo Young Woo got his start in a BL series

Actors don’t often bag the main role for their debut, but Young Woo has achieved the feat! His first major drama role was in the boys' love (BL) web series You Make Me Dance, where he played contemporary dancer Song Shi-on. After being kicked out of his family home, Shi-on finds a budding romance with his roommate and pianist Jin Hong-seok, played by Won Hyung Hoon.

PHOTO BY You Make Me Dance/Viki
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4. Choo Young Woo is managed by J. Wide Company

Young Woo is certainly in good company, since he’s managed by the same agency that once handled Jeon Yeo Bin and Kim Tae Ri. J. Wide Company’s roster of stars also includes The Penthouse’s Kim So Yeon, Vincenzo’s Kim Yoon Hye, and Yoo Su Bin of Start-Up and Crash Landing on You fame.

5. Choo Young Woo will lead a K-drama with Business Proposal’s Seol In Ah

There’s more to come for the 23-year-old actor, as he will star alongside The Tale of Nokdu’s Jang Dong Yoon and Business Proposals Seol In Ah in an upcoming drama! Titled Oasis, the series will center around the actors as three youths protecting their dreams and friendship amid the turbulent backdrop of '80s and '90s South Korea.

Young Woo will be playing Choi Chul-woong, Lee Doo-hak (Jang Dong Yoon)’s childhood friend and eventual rival for Oh Jung-shin (Seol In Ah)’s heart. The series is set to premiere sometime in 2023.

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6. Choo Young Woo made a cameo in variety show You Quiz on the Block before he debuted 

Years before he was known as a bonafide actor, student Young Woo actually made an appearance on the variety show You Quiz on the Block! The show, which stars comedians Yoo Jae Suk and Jo Se Ho quizzing random guests, featured a short spot for Young Woo in 2019’s episode 35.

PHOTO BY You Quiz on the Block/tvN
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7. Choo Young Woo considers Red Velvet’s Joy as his "mental coach"

In an interview with @star 1 magazine, Young Woo credited his Once Upon a Small Town co-star Joy for boosting his acting chops. 

“[Joy] helped me a lot with my romantic acting, and when I was physically exhausted or struggling, she would help me by becoming my mental coach,” he said. “It really felt like she was my older sister.” He even called their chemistry “really great.” Aww!

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8. Choo Young Woo learned from veterinary students to prepare for his role in Once Upon a Small Town

Young Woo’s Once Upon a Small Town role as veterinarian Han Ji-yul is a physically challenging one, since he had to deal with goats, pigs, cows, and more in just one episode! But according to the actor, just like his character in the show, he was eventually able to adapt to the role.

“At first, [filming] was hard and also scary because I never knew what the animals would do next,” he confessed. “I got stepped on by a cow, and I also got hit by a tail, but in the process, I gradually learned more about the animals and became familiar with them. I also met with veterinary students and studied a lot.”

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9. Choo Young Woo was nominated twice for the same award in 2021

Young Woo is on his way to becoming of the greats. For the KBS Drama Awards, the rookie was nominated twice in the same year and in the same category, with two nods for Best New Actor for his work in Police University and School 2021.

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10. You can follow Choo Young Woo on Instagram

Hoping to see more of Young Woo in your feed? Don’t fret, his Instagram account has all the behind-the-scenes looks and sneak peeks you’ll want! Tap “follow” on his page here.

PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/CU.YOUNG

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