Start-Up may have only premiered a couple of weeks ago, but everyone who's watched it seems to be crushing on the drama's second lead, Kim Seon Ho! The rising star isn't a household name just yet but based on the positive reception he's gotten playing venture capitalist Han Ji Pyeong, it looks like Kim Seon Ho got his biggest break to date.
I bet we're all curious to know more about Start-Up's Kim Seon Ho, so here are some fun facts about him we ought to know by now!
1. Kim Seon Ho is 34 years old!
New fans, take note of his birthday: May 8, 1986. And, yup, he's been a cutie since birth!
2. He's a trained theater actor.
In an interview with Marie Claire in 2019, Kim Seon Ho revealed that he started taking acting classes in high school and said that what he loved most about it was the way his teacher talked to him. "At that time, talking with somebody was a very unfamiliar experience for me," he said. "But then, I would always answer when the teacher asked me about my worries at the acting school. That's how I found out that it was not bad at all to share your worries. That was the reason why I really liked going to acting school."
When he was in college, Kim Seon Ho joined a theater group and got to explore scriptwriting apart from acting. He graduated from the Seoul Institute of the Arts in 2009 and consistently landed theater roles since then. Some of his theater credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Almost Maine, and Closer. In 2019, Kim Seon Ho starred in his most recent play, Memory in Dream.
3. Kim Seon Ho only made his TV debut in 2017.
Kim Seon Ho's first TV stint was in 2017 when he landed a minor role in the drama Good Manager. Shortly after, he got a supporting role in Two Cops and won the Best New Actor award at the MBC Drama Awards for his portrayal of con-artist Gong Su Chang. Two Cops was headlined by Jo Jung Suk and Hyeri.
In 2019, he spoke with Harper's Bazaar about having a "rookie" mindset because he got his start in TV relatively later in his acting career: "I won the rookie award, and it's been two years since I've debuted on TV, so I thought of myself as a rookie because it was just easier that way. I can't stay put forever."
4. He booked two major roles in 2019!
2019 was a milestone year for Kim Seon Ho because he booked two major acting gigs for Welcome To Waikiki 2 and Catch The Ghost. Welcome To Waikiki is a rom-com drama that follows the lives of the young tenants and staff of the Waikiki guesthouse. In the second season, Kim Seon Ho played failed K-pop idol Cha Woo Sik who started working as a singing teacher and wedding singer to make a living.
After Welcome To Waikiki 2, Kim Seon Ho starred alongside Moon Geun Young in Catch The Ghost. According to Soompi, the suspense and action drama "tells the story of a squad of police officers guarding the subway who try to hunt down an infamous serial killer known as The Subway Ghost."
5. He actually danced to EXO's "Growl"!
In 2018, Kim Seon Ho starred in the historical drama 100 Days My Prince with EXO's D.O. Since the drama was going so well ratings-wise, the cast promised the viewers that they'll film EXO dance video if they reached higher than 10 percent in the ratings. Well, no surprise here: 100 Days My Prince did achieve just that! Kim Seon Ho and the rest of the cast had private dance lessons with D.O. at SM Entertainment and danced to "Growl" no less.
Kim Seon Ho revealed that he practiced really hard for the dance—for over an hour and a half—because he didn't want the viewers to think he was lazy or that he didn't care about it. "Thankfully, no one said anything like that," he said. "I did gain a lot of nicknames. Paper doll, fenghuang, crane." Aww!
6. Apart from Start-Up, he is also starring in 2 Days & 1 Night.
Kim Seon Ho is one busy actor! He's actually working on two shows right now, Start-Up and the reality-variety show 2 Days & 1 Night. Kim Seon Ho joined the cast of the show's fourth season back in December 2019 and that's where he gets to show viewers his goofy and unguarded self—which is in contrast to his role in Start-Up. "The creators were all very considerate of me and my schedule, so I had no worries about that," he said at the Start-Up press con. "What I worry about is that people who have seen me in the variety series might feel awkward when they see my character, Han Ji Pyeong. I hope in time, they will get used to him. Ji Pyeong is kind and has a good heart, and in that regard we are similar. I'm not as mean with my words as him, because he's straightforward and quite sharp-tongued. That's the difference between me and my character."
7. He considers himself "lucky" because he consistently gets cast in dramas.
Even though he only debuted on TV in 2017, Kim Seon Ho has consistently landed drama roles. In an interview with Elle in 2020, he simply said that he got these opportunities because he was "lucky." "I think it's probably because I'm always smiling," he explained. "I don't think about the future. If it's fun now and if it's a new experience, then I think it's fine."
In an episode of 2 Days & 1 Night, the hosts had to show off their childhood class photos. On Kim Seon Ho's page, it said that his dream was to be a doctor—something which he couldn't explain why. The teacher also wrote in his description that Kim Seon Ho was "bright and lovely."
9. Kim Seon Ho was 32 when he first rode an airplane.
In his 2019 interview with Marie Claire, Kim Seon Ho revealed that he's always been afraid of experiencing new things—and one of which is traveling by plane. "I have always been someone with a lot of fears. I am not someone who will approach something with positive thoughts," he said. "If you wonder how bad it is, I found traveling an unfamiliar concept to me so that it was not until I was 32 years old that I first rode an airplane. That was also because I could not help it, since it was a close family occasion. It was through Chief Kim's (aka Good Manager) reward vacation that I first learned the appeal of traveling. Since that, I have started going on domestic travels bit by bit. Anyway, I am really bad at having the courage to do something, and positively deciding to start acting was one of the most outrageous choices I have made."
Here's to hoping Kim Seon Ho gets to travel to more places far and wide!
New episodes of Start-Up are available on Netflix every Saturday and Sunday night at 9:30 p.m.
*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.