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Nam Joo-hyuk | The Rising Star from South Korea



Nam Joo-hyuk

Nam Joo-hyuk is a renowned model and actor from South Korea. He has been a part of the entertainment industry for almost a decade. In 2022, he gained worldwide recognition after starring in TvN’s Twenty-Five Twenty-One. Throughout his career, he has appeared in many successful TV series. In 2016, at the MBC Awards, he won the “Best New Actor” award for his role in the widely popular coming-of-age drama, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo


Nam Joo-hyuk started his career as a model. In 2014, he made his acting debut as a supporting actor in TvN’s The Idle Mermaid. Nam Joo-hyuk has overcome many obstacles to pursue his dream, and today he’s one of the most brilliant actors in Asia. In 2021, he got featured in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 List. Moreover, since 2019, he has been the brand ambassador of Dior Men in Asia.

Early Life & Struggles

On the 22nd of February 1994, Nam Joo-hyuk was born in Dongsam-dong, Yeongdo District of Busan, South Korea. He is the only child of his parents. Throughout his childhood, his parents struggled with financial problems. For elementary schooling, he went to Sangri Elementary School. When he was in 3rd grade, his family’s financial condition got worse. For a whole year, the family couldn’t afford a two-time meal. Joo-hyuk spent the year eating ramen every day. The family didn’t even have a bathroom in their house.

He started his middle schooling at Gyeongnam Middle School. In middle school, he developed a liking for basketball. He played for his school’s basketball team for three years. He dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player. But unfortunately, he sustained an injury and had to undergo an operation. After the process, he had to quit basketball. Thereafter, his parents had to move to Suwon, the capital of Gyeonggi Province of South Korea. After transferring, he completed his middle schooling at Changyong Middle School in Suwon. 

For high school, he went to Suil High School. In the first year of high school, Joo-hyuk had to share his future plans. He said that he wanted to become a model. Everyone in the classroom laughed at him. Joo-hyuk felt sad, but the mockery motivated him to pursue his dream. He decided to become a model within three years. For further studies, Joo-hyuk joined Hoseo Art Occupational Training College in Seoul. He got his bachelor’s degree in Model Acting Art. 

Beginning of Modeling Career

Upon completing graduation, Joo-hyuk decided to stay in Seoul. A ‘Top Model’ contest was held in Seoul. ‘K Plus’ modeling agency sponsored the competition. Joo-hyuk decided to participate in the contest and ended up winning it. The modeling agency immediately signed him as the exclusive model of the company. In 2013, he officially began his career as a model. He modeled at the Songzio Homme 2014 Spring/Summer collection. The following year, YG Entertainment showed interest in signing Joo-hyuk. He agreed and got associated with both companies. 

2014-15: Acting Debut

Following that, Akdong Musician, a sibling duo from YG Entertainment, signed Joo-hyuk to appear in two of their music videos. The same year, he made his small screen debut with TvN’s The Idle Mermaid. The following year, Joo-hyuk played the lead role in KBS’s commercially successful Who Are You: School 2015. Joo-hyuk’s performance in the series garnered positive reviews, which led him to win several accolades such as “The Popularity Award” and “The Best New Actor Award.” 


2016 marked the release of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Joo-hyuk appeared in a supporting role alongside Lee Joon-gi and Lee Ji-eun. The drama received worldwide recognition. The series surpassed two billion views after the 18th episode and became a commercial success. In the same year, Nam Joo-hyuk played the leading role in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo. The series was an international success and garnered primarily favorable reviews from the audience. At the 35th MBC Awards, Joo-hyuk won the Best Actor Award for his performance and started gaining recognition overseas. 

In 2017, Joo-hyuk played the role of a narcissist Water God in TvN’s fantasy-romance drama, The Bride of Habaek. The drama received mixed-to-negative reviews. The following year, Joo-hyuk made his big-screen debut. He played the role of Sa-mul in the historical action movie, The Great Battle. The critically acclaimed film granted Joo-hyuk the Best New Actor Award at the 55th Baeksang Arts and The Seoul Awards. 2019 marked the release of JTBC’s fantasy-romance drama, The Light In Your Eyes. The drama gained worldwide recognition and became one of the Highest-Rated Korean dramas in the history of Korean Cable Television. 

In 2020, Joo-hyuk starred in Netflix’s supernatural crime drama, The School Nurse Files, alongside Jung Yu-mi. Following that, he appeared in the most successful drama of 2020, Start-Up. Forbes included the drama in its “ The 13 Best Dramas of 2020” list. It also became one of the most viewed Korean dramas on Netflix. 

2022: Historical Success of Twenty-Five Twenty-One

2022 marked the release of  Twenty-Five Twenty-One. The drama was set in 1998. It revolves around a young man and woman who met amidst the IMF crisis. Joo-hyuk played the role of Baek Yi-jin, a young man whose family goes bankrupt during the IMF crisis. Baek Yi-jin is forced to drop out of college and rebuild his life and reunite his family. During this, he meets a fencing prodigy, Na Hee-do. They met at the ages of 22 and 18 and separated at 25 and 21. The drama received phenomenal success, and Nam Joo-hyuk became one of the biggest stars in the South Korean Television Industry. Here’s the trailer of Twenty-Five Twenty-One:

Also Read: Song Joong-ki | The Charming Global Icon from South Korea

How old is Nam Joo-hyuk?

Nam Joo-hyuk is 28 years old as of now.

How tall is Nam Joo-hyuk?

Nam Joo-hyuk is 6’2 feet tall.

Is Nam Joo-hyuk married?

No, Joo-hyuk is single.

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