Ji Chang Wook, the loveable actor and singer from South Korea, is famous for his roles in dramas like The K2, Healer, Smile Again, and Suspicious Partner. At Seoul International Drama Awards, he received the award for Outstanding Korean Actor for his role in Empress Ki at age 26.
Ji Chang Wook is one of the highest-paid actors in South Korea today. Ji Chang Wook has an inspiring life story that most people don’t know about. The struggles behind that charming smile will inspire many to never give up on their dreams. Currently, he is playing the lead role of Lee Eul / Ryu Min-hyuk in The Sound of Magic, an exclusive series released by Netflix in May 2022.
Early Life and Struggles
On 5th July, Ji Chang Wook was born in Anyang in the Gyeonggi province of South Korea. From his appearance, he may look like someone who belongs to a royal family. However, he was born in a family where his parents struggled to put a two-time meal on the table. When Ji Chang was 11 years old, his father passed away due to cancer. His mother was left alone and struggled day and night to provide a good life for her child. She worked in a restaurant in double shifts but was unable to provide Ji Chang generously. At times, Ji Chang used to eat only rice paired with salt.
Life after Father’s Death
Ji Chang felt that he had no abilities or money to help his mother. Her mother was working hard despite being sick. Ji Chang tried his best to become a good son to his mother. He saw his mother suffer daily. She went through all the hardships alone after her husband’s death.
Ji Chang completed his high school studies at Shin Sung High School. He was a brilliant student academically. While in high school, he wanted to become an engineer. However, by the end of his high school education, he felt that engineering was not something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Hence, he decided that he wanted to become an actor. His mother was against his decision. Growing up, Ji Chang always agreed to all the decisions his mother made because he was aware of the difficulties she was facing. But, for the first time in his life, he chose his mother’s will. Both used to have many arguments regarding the same. But Ji Chang stuck to his decision. Ji Chang Wook attended Dankook University in the Department of Performing Arts for college. At 18, he received his bachelor’s degree in Film and Performing Arts.
2006: New Beginnings
In 2006, Ji Chang began his acting career. He joined a musical theatre. In the same year, he made his on-screen debut with a film named Days. The following year he appeared in a musical play called Fire and Ice. In 2008, he played a small role in a KBS drama; You Stole my Heart. In the same year, he starred in Sleeping Beauty, directed and written by Han-na Lee.
Next year, after playing the role of Mi-poong in My Too Perfect Sons, also known as The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House, which was broadcasted on KBS, he started gaining some recognition. The weekend family drama was a success and received positive reviews from the audience. By the end of 2009, he featured in a supporting role in the action-comedy TV series Hero. But unfortunately, the drama didn’t accumulate high ratings.
2010 – 2012: Breakthrough Roles
In 2010, Ji Chang Wook attained his first-ever lead role in Smile Again’s daily television drama. The story revolves around Carl / Dong-Hae, who visits Korea to participate in an ice skating competition. The other reason to visit Korea was that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, whom he had been dating for six years. The drama received mixed to positive reviews. Ji Chang’s performance was appreciated, and he received the award for “Best Actor in a Daily Drama” and a nomination for the “Best New Actor” at the KBS Drama Awards.
The following year, he portrayed the character of Baek Dong-soo in the prehistoric action drama Warrior Baek Dong-soo. The drama was aired on SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) from 4th July to 10th October and was one of the most significant prehistoric dramas of the year. Again, Ji Chang Wook received positive feedback for his work. The same year, at SBS Drama Awards, he received a “New Star Award.”
In 2012, Ji Chang Wook played the role of Yoo In-ha’s first-ever negative role in the weekend drama Five Fingers. The following year, Ji Chang returned to the musical theatre with a jukebox musical called The Days. In the same year, he appeared in the highly successful historical drama Empress Ki. This role became a life-changing role in Ji Chang’s career. He was granted the Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Project Drama at the MBC Awards, 2013.
2014 – 2019: International Stardom
There was no looking back for Ji Chang after the success of Empress Ki. Between 2014-2015, Ji Chang played the role of Seo Jung-hu/ Park Bong-soo in the action thriller drama Healer. The show received moderate ratings in Korea but gained International recognition. With this role, he earned a fanbase in China and other parts of Asia. Following Healer’s International success of Healer, in 2015, Ji Chang appeared in the Mandarin-language drama The Whirlwind Girl 2. The drama achieved commercial as well as critical success.
In 2016, Ji Chang got another great opportunity. He was cast in the action thriller drama The K2. Throughout its two-month-long broadcast, it topped the cable channel viewership. Next year, he played the lead role in Park Kwang-Hyun’s action-thriller, Fabricated City. The movie received mixed to positive reviews from the critics. The same year, he starred in the rom-com Suspicious Partner alongside Nam Ji-Hyun. The show received excellent reviews and rated 9.5/10 by Rakuten Viki.
After all these successes, Ji Chang began his two-year-long mandatory military service in August 2017. He was discharged in April 2019. In the same year, after his discharge from the military, he was cast in another rom-com named Melting Me Softly. It was aired on tvN every weekend.
In 2020, Ji Chang was cast in two rom-com dramas, Backstreet Rookie and Lovestruck in the City. The same year, on 26th July, he tested positive for Covid-19. By August, he had fully recovered from the deadly virus. Next year, he played the main villain in Hard Hit’s thriller. The movie did well at the box office and was declared a hit. Currently, Ji Chang Wook is playing the role of a magician in the Netflix drama The Sound of Magic. The show has been gaining positive reviews from critics and the audience.
How old is Ji Chang Wook?
Ji Chang Wook is 34 years old as of now.
What is the net worth of Ji Chang Wook?
Ji Chang Wook’s net worth is around $12.5 million.
Is Ji Chang Wook married?
No, Ji Chang Wook is single.