Cha Seung-won (born June 7, 1970) is a South Korean actor, who began his career as an in-demand fashion model in the 1990s. Cha achieved stardom through the hit comedy films Kick the Moon (2001), Jail Breakers (2002), My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003), and Ghost House (2004). After proving his versatility in other genres, notably in the period thriller Blood Rain (2005) and the melodrama My Son (2007), Cha's popularity continued with the television series Bodyguard (2003), City Hall (2009), The Greatest Love (2011), Hwayugi (2017), One Ordinary Day (2021), and Our Blues (2022).
|Born||June 7, 1970|
Seoul, South Korea
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Revised Romanization||Cha Seung-won|
Cha dropped out of Sungkyunkwan University, and began a successful career as a fashion model in 1988. He was cast in the TV sitcom New York Story, which would eventually pave the way for his debut in film.
Although his debut film Holiday In Seoul (1997) and many of his subsequent roles did not establish him as a major star, he attracted attention in 2000 for his performance as an arsonist in the firefighting film Libera Me. The following summer, the runaway success of Kim Sang-jin's comedy Kick the Moon (over 4.3 million tickets sold) secured his place in the industry as a leading actor with strong star appeal. Since then, Cha has become one of the few surefire box office draws in the country. In a 2005 survey of influential movie producers, he was ranked among the top ten most bankable stars.
In early 2003, Cha took on a slightly more serious role as a corrupt schoolteacher who is transferred to a country school in the film My Teacher, Mr. Kim. The film grossed over 2.4 million admissions and drew Cha additional praise for his acting abilities (he would later team up again with director Jang Gyu-seong for 2007 comedy Small Town Rivals). His next role, in Ghost House, reunited him with director Kim Sang-jin in a successful comedy about a man who buys a dream home, only to discover it is haunted by a young female ghost.
In 2005 Cha put aside the comic roles he had become known for and appeared in the grisly period thriller Blood Rain. The film's unexpectedly robust commercial success confirmed Cha's popularity among Korean audiences. He further proved his versatility in Jang Jin's Murder, Take One (also known as The Big Scene).
Cha starred in his first melodrama Over the Border (2006), about a North Korean defector. He then reunited with Jang Jin in My Son (2007), and he said his experience as a father helped a lot in learning the character. Stylish crime thrillers Eye for an Eye (2008), and Secret (2009) followed.
Cha returned to television in 2009, in the political fairytale City Hall penned by writer Kim Eun-sook. 2010 was a busy year for him, with Cha appearing in two films, the Lee Joon-ik-helmed period actioner Blades of Blood, and Korean War film 71: Into the Fire, followed by spy series Athena: Goddess of War.
In 2011 his character in the hit romantic comedy series The Greatest Love, arrogant top star "Dokko Jin," became a mini pop culture phenomenon, giving rise to numerous commercial deals and parodies, as well as awards for Cha.
Cha made his theater debut in 2012 in the stage play Bring Me My Chariot Fire alongside Japanese actors Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Ryōko Hirosue, Teruyuki Kagawa, and Korean veteran actor Kim Eung-soo. Set in the historically turbulent early 1900s, the plot focuses on the friendship of artists from Korea and Japan who work together to preserve traditional Korean arts.
In 2014, Cha signed with the talent agency YG Entertainment, then starred in the police series You're All Surrounded. This was followed by his third team-up with director Jang Jin in the comedy noir film Man on High Heels, which subverted Cha's "macho" image by having him play a transgender homicide detective.
In 2015, Cha appeared in Three Meals a Day: Gochang Village, a cable reality show set on the remote Manjae Island for which he earned the nickname "Chajumma" (from the word ajumma) because of his versatile cooking skills despite the minimal amount of ingredients and implements. He was then cast as Prince Gwanghae in the period drama Splendid Politics, which focused on power struggles for the throne amid the backdrop of the Joseon Dynasty. Cha next plays cartographer and geologist Kim Jeong-ho in Kang Woo-suk's period epic Gosanja, Daedongyeojido, adapted from Park Bum-shin's novel The Map Maker.
In 2017, Cha was cast in tvN's fantasy romantic comedy drama A Korean Odyssey by the Hong sisters. Cha the starred in the family comedy-drama film Cheer Up, Mr. Lee in 2019 and the disaster film Sinkhole in 2021.
Later in 2021, he starred alongside Kim Soo-hyun in the Coupang Play's television series One Ordinary Day, based on the British television series Criminal Justice. In 2022, he appeared in the tvN drama Our Blues.
Cha and his wife Lee Soo-jin are biological parents to daughter Cha Ye-ni (born 2003, christened as Rachel). In July 2014, a man claiming to be the birth father of Cha and Lee's son Cha No-ah (born 1989, christened as Noah) filed (and quickly dropped) a ₩100 million defamation lawsuit against Cha, which led to the actor admitting that No-ah is Lee's son from her previous marriage, and that when he and Lee got married, Cha legally adopted No-ah, who was then three years old. Cha had previously falsified his marriage date as 1989 to match No-ah's age, apologizing for the white lie since their son did not know his paternity.
|1997||Holiday in Seoul||Leg model's boyfriend|
|1998||If the Sun Rises in the West||Ji-min|
|1999||Ghost in Love||Na Han-su|
|Attack the Gas Station||Bit part|
|Fin de Siecle||Sang-woo|
|2000||Black Honeymoon||Kim Joon-ho|
|Libera Me||Yeo Hee-su|
|2001||Kick the Moon||Choi Ki-woong|
|2002||Break Out||Yang Cheol-gon|
|Jail Breakers||Choi Mu-seok|
|2003||My Teacher, Mr. Kim||Kim Bong-doo|
|2004||Ghost House||Park Pil-gi|
|Lovely Rivals||Kim Bong-doo||Cameo|
|2005||Blood Rain||Lee Won-gyoo|
|Murder, Take One||Choi Yeon-gi|
|2006||Over the Border||Kim Sun-ho|
|2007||Small Town Rivals||Jo Choon-sam|
|My Son||Lee Kang-shik|
|2008||Eye for an Eye||Ahn Hyun-min|
|2010||Blades of Blood||Lee Mong-hak|
|71: Into the Fire||Park Moo-rang|
|2012||The Suck Up Project: Mr. XXX-Kisser||Cha Seung-won||Cameo|
|2014||Man on High Heels||Yoon Ji-wook|
|2015||Minions||Narrator||Voice, Korean dubbed|
|2016||The Map Against The World||Kim Jeong-ho|
|2018||Believer||Brian Lee||Special appearance|
|2019||Cheer Up, Mr. Lee||Chul-soo|
|2021||Night in Paradise||Executive Ma||Screening in Korea in 2020. |
It premiered on Netflix in 2021.
|TBA||Believer 2||Brian Lee||Netflix Film|
|1997||New York Story|
|1998||Song of the Wind|
|Woman vs. Woman|
|Shy Lovers||Im Sung-bom|
|Angel's Kiss||Jang Tae-ju|
|1999||Roses and Bean Sprouts||Choi Gyu-dae|
|Sunday Best "Someone Is Watching Me"|
|Woman on Top||Seung-il|
|Love Story "Message"|
|2009||City Hall||Jo Gook|
|2010||Athena: Goddess of War||Son Hyuk|
|2011||The Greatest Love||Dokko Jin|
|2014||You're All Surrounded||Seo Pan-seok|
|2015||Splendid Politics||Prince Gwanghae|
|2017||A Korean Odyssey||Woo Hwi-chul|
|2021||One Ordinary Day||Shin Jung-han|
|2022||Our Blues||Choi Han-soo|
|1998||Lee Seung-yeon's Say Say Say||Co-host|
|GO! Our Heaven||Host|
|Kim Hye-soo Plus You||Co-host|
|2006||Cha Seung-won's Health Club (Sunday Sunday Night)||Cast member|
|2015||Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village 1|
|Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village 2|
|2016||Three Meals a Day: Gochang Village|
|2019||Korean Hostel in Spain|
|2020||Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village 5|
|2021||Hangout with Yoo||Guest|
Music video appearancesEdit
|1998||"Even if the World Fools You"||Kim Jang-hoon|
|2000||"I am a Man"||Kim Jang-hoon|
|2001||"I Love You"||Position|
|2002||"In My Heart"||4U|
|2008||"Rain Shower"||Kim Jang-hoon|
|"I'm Sorry"||Lena Park|
|2012||Bring Me My Chariot of Fire||Lee Soon-woo|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1995||Model Line||Best Dressed Award||—||Won|
|Korea Model Association||Model of the Year||—||Won|
|Korea Fashion Photographers Association||—||Won|
|12th Best Dressed Awards||Best Dressed, Model category||—||Won|
|1996||Korea Fashion Association||Male Model of the Year||—||Won|
|1997||Model Center's Adieu Fashion Festival||Grand Prize (Daesang) in Fashion||—||Won|
|1999||16th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards||Best Dressed||—||Won|
|2000||37th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actor||A Century's End||Nominated|
|21st Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Libera Me||Nominated|
|2001||38th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||Nominated|
|22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||Kick the Moon||Nominated|
|2002||25th Golden Cinematography Awards||Popularity Award||Won|
|2003||39th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (Film)||Jail Breakers||Won|
|40th Grand Bell Awards||Best Actor||My Teacher, Mr. Kim||Nominated|
|24th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Nominated|
|16th Grimae Awards||Bodyguard||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Popularity Award||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor||Won|
|Korea Advertisers Association||Good Model Award||—||Won|
|2004||40th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (TV)||Bodyguard||Nominated|
|2006||42nd Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (Film)||Blood Rain||Nominated|
|2007||TVCF Awards||Best CF Model for 2006||—||Won|
|15th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Actor||My Son||Won|||
|Korea Fashion & Design Awards||Fashion Icon Award||—||Won|
|2008||1st Korea Jewelry Awards||Sapphire Award||—||Won|
|2009||SBS Drama Awards||Top 10 Stars||City Hall||Won|||
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Won|
|2010||5th Asia Model Festival Awards||Asia Special Award, Film category||—||Won|
|2011||1st Hong Kong Cable TV Awards||Best Actor||City Hall||Nominated|
|5th Mnet 20's Choice Awards||Hot Male Body (Best Six-Pack)||—||Won|||
|Hot Drama Star - Male||The Greatest Love||Won|
|4th Style Icon Awards||Style Icon of the Year||—||Won|||
|9th Korea Lifestyle Awards||Best Dressed of the Year - Male||—||Won|||
|4th Korea Drama Awards||Best Actor||The Greatest Love||Nominated|
|38th Korea Broadcasting Awards||Won|||
|24th Grimae Awards||Won|||
|SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Planning Drama||Athena: Goddess of War||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Best Couple Award with Gong Hyo-jin||The Greatest Love||Won|||
|Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Won|
|2012||48th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Actor (TV)||Nominated|
|2014||SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||You're All Surrounded||Nominated|
|2015||10th Asia Model Festival Awards||Asia Star Award||—||Won|
|8th Korea Drama Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Splendid Politics||Nominated|
|4th APAN Star Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top 10 Stars Award||Won|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Project Drama||Nominated|
|Grand Prize (Daesang)||Nominated|
|2017||Elle Style Awards||Super Icon (Male)||—||Won|||
|8th Korean Popular Culture Awards||Presidential Recommendation||—||Won|||
|2021||26th Chunsa Film Art Awards 2021||Best Supporting Actor||Night in Paradise||Nominated|||
|30th Buil Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|41st Golden Cinematography Awards||Cinematographers’ Choice Popularity Award||Sinkhole||Won|||
|Forbes||2012||Korea Power Celebrity||25th|||
- "Cha Seung-won's Movie Picks". 10Asia. January 18, 2010.
- "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Cha Seung-won" Archived February 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
- "Jang Dong-gun Voted Korea's Most Bankable Star". The Chosun Ilbo. October 20, 2005.
- "Small Town Rivals puts comic twist on friendship". The Korea Herald. March 22, 2007.
- "Dogged Cha Seung-won: Movie Tears of Blood". The Dong-a Ilbo. April 13, 2005.
- "K-FILM REVIEWS: 혈의 누 (Blood Rain)". Twitch Film. September 12, 2005.
- "Cha Seung-won: Not Groomed for Stardom". The Chosun Ilbo. August 2, 2005.
- "The Big Scene showcases a clever detective thriller". The Korea Herald. August 11, 2005.
- "K-FILM REVIEWS: 박수칠 때 떠나라 (Murder, Take One)" Archived July 20, 2012, at archive.today. Twitch Film. January 2, 2006.
- "Comic star's melodramatic acting in South of the Border". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. April 27, 2006.
- "Go South". The Dong-a Ilbo. April 27, 2006.
- "Border, Personal Stories of NK Defectors". The Korea Times via Hancinema. May 4, 2006.
- "Movies Reflect on Contemporary Fathers". The Korea Times. April 24, 2007.
- "Eye Spies Perfect Crime" Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. The Korea Times. July 24, 2008.
- "Thriller lays bare the secrets that we keep" Archived July 10, 2012, at archive.today. Korea JoongAng Daily. November 27, 2009.
- "INTERVIEW: Cha Seung-won - Part 1". 10Asia. December 2, 2009.
- "INTERVIEW: Cha Seung-won - Part 2". 10Asia. December 2, 2009.
- "INTERVIEW: Cha Seung-won - Part 3". 10Asia. December 2, 2009.
- "City Hall to Bring Public Officials to TV". The Korea Times. April 21, 2009.
- "More romantic comedy for prime time". The Korea Herald. April 29, 2009.
- "Male Actors Try New Roles in TV Dramas". KBS Global. July 2, 2009.
- "Interview: Actor Cha Seung-won - Part 1". 10Asia. April 27, 2010.
- "Interview: Actor Cha Seung-won - Part 2". 10Asia. April 27, 2010.
- "Traces of Lee Joon-ik's work in Blades of Blood". 10Asia. April 20, 2010.
- "Korean War resurrected onscreen". The Korea Times. May 11, 2010.
- "TOP says lived as 17-year-old for 6 months for Fire (1)". 10Asia. May 11, 2010.
- "TOP says lived as 17-year-old for 6 months for Fire (2)". 10Asia. May 11, 2010.
- "Will Athena Exceeds Popularity of IRIS?". KBS Global. September 1, 2010.
- "Athena to sneak into homes this month" Archived October 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. The Korea Times. November 30, 2010.
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- "'Iris' spinoff set for its small-screen debut" Archived July 9, 2012, at archive.today. Korea JoongAng Daily. December 7, 2010.
- "TV soap to peek into celebrity life". The Korea Times. May 3, 2011.
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- "Korean, Japanese actors come together in Chariot". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 8, 2012. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Veteran actor Cha works with YG". The Korea Times. January 20, 2014.
- "YG Entertainment signs more actors". Korea JoongAng Daily. January 21, 2014.
- "Lee Seung-gi, Cha Seung-won, Go Ara Confirm New Drama". 10Asia. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- "Still cuts show Cha Seung-won garnered as woman in High Heel (2014)". The Korea Herald. May 29, 2014.
- "Gender focus of noir film". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 2, 2014.
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- "Chajumma signs ad deals". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 21, 2015.
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- "Gwanghaegun returns in factional drama". The Korea Times. April 7, 2015. Archived from the original on April 10, 2015.
- "CHA Seung-won Boards Period Epic". Korean Film Biz Zone. May 11, 2015.
- "Cha Seung-won will star in tvN's 'Hwayugi'". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 17, 2017. Archived from the original on October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- "PARK Hae-joon Joins CHA Seung-won for CHEER UP MYSTERY". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 19, 2018.
- "CHA Seung-won, KIM Sung-kyun and LEE Kwang-soo Fall into SINKHOLE". Korean Film Biz Zone. August 23, 2019.
- "Coupang Play to air first original series 'One Ordinary Day' from November". Korea JoongAng Daily. September 16, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2022 – via Naver.
- "'우리들의 블루스' 차승원, 시청자 제대로 울렸다…첫 에피소드 성공적 마무리" (in Korean). My Daily. April 17, 2022. Retrieved June 10, 2022 – via Naver.
- "Cha Seung-won reveals his son Noah, already 20 years old". Newsen via Hancinema. December 8, 2011.
- "Cha Seung-won is sued by wife's ex". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 7, 2014.
- "Cha Seung-won cleared of libel charges". The Korea Herald. October 8, 2014.
- "Cha Seung-won to star in 'Minions' as voice actor". Kpop Herald. May 18, 2015.
- "LEE Hae-young's DOKJEON Wraps with CHO Jin-woong and RYU Jun-yeol". Korean Film Biz Zone. December 1, 2017.
- "[New Movie] "Sinkhole"". HanCinema. May 11, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- Yang Yu-jin (June 20, 2022). "넷플릭스, '독전2' 제작 확정…한효주·오승훈 합류 [공식]" [Netflix confirms production of 'Solo 2'... Hyo-Joo Han and Seung-Hoon Oh joined [Official]] (in Korean). My Daily. Retrieved June 20, 2022 – via Naver.
- Moon Ji-yeon (January 5, 2021). "[공식] 차승원, '그날 밤'으로 안방 컴백..김수현과 손 잡는다" [[Official] Cha Seung-won, comeback with 'That Night'... Joining hands with Kim Soo-hyun]. sports.chosun (in Korean). Retrieved January 5, 2021 – via Naver.
- Lee Min-ji (October 7, 2021). "노희경作 '우리들의 블루스' 이병헌 신민아 차승원 이정은 한지민 김우빈 엄정화 출연확정(공식)" [Noh Hee-kyung's 'Our Blues' Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-ah, Cha Seung-won, Lee Jung-eun, Han Ji-min, Kim Woo-bin, Uhm Jung-hwa confirmed to appear (official)]. Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved October 7, 2021 – via Naver.
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