Kim Nam-gil (Hangul: 김남길; born March 13, 1981) is a South Korean actor, producer, singer and philanthropist. He is best known from leading roles in disaster blockbuster Pandora (2016); crime thriller The Shameless (2015); adventure film The Pirates (2014) and period drama Portrait of a Beauty (2008). His breakthrough role was Bidam in the hit television period drama Queen Seondeok (2009). Kim is also the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization Gilstory that focuses on preserving cultural heritage, promoting arts and raising special purpose relief funds.
Kim Nam-gil in 2016
|Born||March 13, 1981|
Seoul, South Korea
|Other names||Lee Han|
|Education||Myongji University - Theater and Film (dropped out) |
Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies - Chinese language
|Occupation||Actor, film producer, singer|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Nam-gil|
Kim Nam-gil began his acting career on television with a minor role in the 1999 KBS youth drama School 1. Four years later, he won the 2003 Talent Audition conducted annually by MBC, and appeared in various minor roles on the network's shows, such as Be Strong, Geum-soon!. During this time, he was using the stage name Lee Han, which he made up to give himself a more sophisticated image (The name Nam-gil is considered to be somewhat old fashioned). In the following years he took on more supporting roles in television dramas, among them Goodbye Solo, Lovers, and When Spring Comes.
In 2009, Kim was cast as one of the supporting characters in the historical drama Queen Seondeok, in a role that would soon change his life. It became one of the highest-rated TV series of that year (reaching a peak of over 40%), and Kim became a household name and the series' breakout star. For his portrayal of the playful but tragic Bidam, Kim said he was inspired by comic book characters such as Han Bi-kwang in Ruler of the Land, Miyamoto Musashi in Vagabond, and Kang Baek-ho in Slam Dunk. The writers rewrote the script to respond to Bidam's popularity with the viewing audience, giving the character more screen time and emphasizing his romance with the titular Seondeok (despite the incredible historical inaccuracy), until there were two main male leads in the series. A horse-riding-related injury on set, and a brief hospitalization due to H1N1 flu, were minor negatives compared to the impact the series had on Kim's career. He won several awards for his performance, gained more local and international fans, received advertisement offers, and was flooded with film and TV scripts.
In 2010 he played an antihero lead role in Bad Guy, a dark melodrama about revenge, ambition, and fatal love. But while still in the middle of filming, Kim received his draft notice for mandatory military service. He tried to ask for deferment in order to wrap up the shoot for the series, but it was not granted. Kim shot as much as he could (his scenes were reduced, and a body double was also used) then entered the army two days later on July 15, 2010. He received four weeks of basic training at Nonsan, and served for two years as a public service worker.
In 2013 Kim starred in the revenge TV series Shark (also known as Don't Look Back), from the makers of Resurrection and The Devil. In 2017 he starred in the time-slip medical drama Live Up to Your Name. In 2019 he will headline the comedy crime drama The Fiery Priest.
Kim Nam-gil debuted on the big-screen in 2004 gangster movie Low life. In 2006, he made the bold decision to portray a homosexual character in the controversial queer indie No Regret in a role which included several gay sex scenes. The film was critically praised and traveled the film festival circuit, being shown among others in the Panorama section of the 57th Berlin Film Festival. e then was cast in 2008's Public Enemy Returns, where he could work with the actor Jung Jae-young. Kim had stated in interviews that Jung Jae-young, who attended the same high school he did, had been his role model as an actor. Upon the influence of the film's director Kang Woo-suk (but against the advice of his agent and manager), Kim stopped using the stage name Lee Han and reverted to his birth name. Later that year, Kim played his first leading role in a major commercial film, Portrait of a Beauty. Though his co-star Kim Min-sun garnered most of the attention for the erotic costume drama, Kim's strong performance did not go unnoticed.
Another side benefit of Kim's popularity resulting from the Seondeok was the theatrical release in 2010 of his indie Lovers Vanished, a relationship drama which the director described as a "Korean Leaving Las Vegas."
Following his discharge from the army in 2012, Kim produced the film Ensemble, a music mockumentary about a group of classical musicians who form a group and take to the streets to perform outside their usual concert halls, showing their youthful passion in making music accessible. It premiered at the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival. He was also one of four celebrities in 2013 who directed a short film using smartphone Samsung Galaxy S4 with the theme "Meet a Life Companion"; his short Hello, Mom depicted the love between a mother and her daughter, and evoked the warm feeling of an analog film. This was followed by the 2014 period adventure film The Pirates, which reunited him with Shark costar Son Ye-jin.
He next starred opposite award-winning actress Jeon Do-yeon in the 2015 thriller The Shameless; Kim played a detective who falls for the girlfriend of the murderer he is investigating. The Shameless had its world premiere at 2015 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. Kim was next cast as powerful nobleman Heungseon Daewongun whose concubine takes up pansori in the period film The Sound of a Flower.
In 2016 Kim starred in disaster blockbuster Pandora portraying the aftermath of an explosion in a nuclear plant. Pandora premiered internationally at the International Film Festival and Awards Macao, receiving standing ovation.
In 2012 Kim published a book titled Way Back to the Road, his memoir of the past two years, which contained photos had taken himself. It also featured New Zealand scenery captured by photographer Cho Nam-ryong, and contributions from writer Lee Yoon-chul.
|2004||Low Life||Police officer at checkpoint|
|2006||Don't Look Back||Seok-woo|||
|No Regret||Song Jae-min|
|2008||Public Enemy Returns||Park Mun-su|
|Modern Boy||Hidaka Shinsuke|||
|Portrait of a Beauty||Kang-mu|
|2010||Lovers Vanished||Kim Su-in|
|2013||Hello, Mom||N/A||Short film, Director|
|2014||The Pirates||Jang Sa-jung|
|Glory for Everyone||N/A||Documentary narrator|
|2015||The Shameless||Jung Jae-gon|
|The Sound of a Flower||Heungseon Daewongun|
|2017||Memoir of a Murderer||Tae-joo|
|2004||MBC Best Theater
"Kang Jang-soo's Love House"
|Sweet Buns||Hong Hye-jan's boyfriend|
|2005||Be Strong, Geum-soon!||Noh Seong-hwan|
|The 5th Republic||Park Ji-man|
|My Lovely Sam Soon||Kim Byung-tae|
|2006||Goodbye Solo||Yoo Ji-an||KBS2|
|2007||When Spring Comes||Kim Joon-ki||KBS2|
|Several Questions That Make Us Happy||Im Seok-joo|
|Tears of the Amazon||Documentary narrator|
|2010||Haiti, Tears of Tragedy|
|Personal Taste||Man sitting in cafe (cameo, episode 11)|
|Bad Guy||Shim Gun-wook||SBS|
|2017||Live Up to Your Name||Heo Im / Heo Bong-tak||tvN|
|2019||The Fiery Priest||Kim Hae-il||SBS|
|"Don't Forget, Don't Forget"||The Red|
|2007||"Just Ten Days"||J|
|Album information||Track listing|
|Can't I Love You?|
|You Don't Know|
|2010||Into the Wild||The Book Company||ISBN 9788991317512|
|2012||Way Back to the Road||MCK Publishing||ISBN 9788996985402|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2008||29th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best New Actor||Public Enemy Returns||Nominated|
|2009||46th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actor||Modern Boy||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|17th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards||Best New Actor (Film)||Won|||
|2nd Style Icon Awards||New TV Icon||N/A||Won|||
|MBC Drama Awards||Best Couple Award with Lee Yo-won||Queen Seondeok||Won|||
|Excellence Award, Actor||Won|
|Best New Actor||Nominated|
|2010||46th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor (TV)||Won|||
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||Bad Guy||Nominated|
|2013||KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama||Shark||Nominated|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor||Nominated|
|2014||8th Asian Film Awards Special Awards||Asian Rising Star||N/A||Won|||
|2015||24th Buil Film Awards||Best Actor||The Shameless||Nominated|
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- "'Hot-blooded Priest' reveals its cast". Korea JoongAng Daily. 27 October 2018.
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- "Kim Nam-gil to replace injured Lee Jung-jae in film "Rouge"". The Korea Herald. 15 May 2014.
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