Yeo Jin-goo

Yeo Jin-goo (Korean여진구; Hanja呂珍九, born August 13, 1997) is a South Korean actor. Yeo began his career as a child actor, debuting in the film Sad Movie (2005). Nicknamed "Nation's Little Brother",[1] he went on to play the younger characters of the lead roles in movies and television dramas such as in A Frozen Flower (2008), Giant (2010), Moon Embracing the Sun (2012), and Missing You (2012). He is known for playing the title character in the action thriller Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), for which he won Best New Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Yeo Jin-goo
191215 여진구 tvn 즐거움전 델루나.png
Yeo Jin-goo in 2019
Born (1997-08-13) August 13, 1997 (age 24)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesYeo Jin-gu
Years active2005–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationYeo Jin-gu
McCune–ReischauerYŏ Chin'gu

Since then, he has taken on lead roles in the films Shoot Me in the Heart (2015), The Long Way Home (2015), and Warriors of the Dawn (2017). He has also starred in the dramas Orange Marmalade (2015), The Royal Gambler (2016), Circle (2017), Reunited Worlds (2017), The Crowned Clown (2019), My Absolute Boyfriend (2019), Hotel del Luna (2019), and Beyond Evil[2](2021).

Early life and educationEdit

Yeo was born on August 13, 1997. He is the eldest of two siblings and has a younger brother. As a child, Yeo wanted to appear on television and therefore asked his parents to let him try acting. With the support of his parents, he took acting lessons and eventually made his debut on the big-screen with Sad Movie (2005).[3]

He graduated from Namgang High School, an all boys high school, in 2016.[4][5] He is currently studying at Chung-Ang University, majoring in the Department of Theater.[6]


2005–2011: Beginnings as a child actorEdit

In 2005, Yeo made his debut at the age of eight in the film Sad Movie. He auditioned for the role of Park Hwi-chan and was chosen among 150 candidates despite having no previous acting experience.[7] In 2006, he appeared in his first television drama I Want to Love, playing a sickly child of a single mother; followed by his first role in a sageuk drama Yeon Gaesomun as young Kim Heum-soon.

In 2008, he played the younger version of the lead roles in the series Iljimae and Tazza.[8] He won his first acting award as Best Child Actor at the SBS Drama Awards for both dramas.[9]

In 2010, he starred in the drama Giant as the younger counterpart to Lee Beom-soo's character.[10] According to Yeo, this was the first time he fully immersed himself in a role and began taking acting seriously.[11]

In 2011, he played the younger part of the title character in the historical drama Warrior Baek Dong-soo. He also made a brief appearance as teenage Ddol-bok in the drama Deep Rooted Tree. The appearance was upon the request of its lead actor Jang Hyuk, who took a liking to Yeo when the latter portrayed his younger version in the drama Tazza.[12]

2012: Rising popularityEdit

In 2012, Yeo rose to prominence when he starred in the fantasy-period drama Moon Embracing the Sun, playing the role of a young crown prince.[13][14] The drama surpassed 40% in ratings and gained "national drama" status. This was followed by a well-received turn in melodrama Missing You.[15] He won Best Young Actor at the 2012 MBC Drama Awards for his portrayal in both dramas.[16]

2013–present: Transition to lead rolesEdit

In 2013, Yeo starred as the titular character in action thriller Hwayi: A Monster Boy, for which he garnered praises and won several Best New Actor honors from annual award ceremonies such as Blue Dragon Film Awards and Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.[17] He is the youngest male actor to receive the Best New Actor award in the history of Blue Dragon Film Awards, at the age of sixteen.[18] In the same year, he was also cast in the sitcom, Potato Star 2013QR3 as an aspiring mobile application developer.[19]

In 2014, he starred in the film "Mr. Perfect" [Revised romanization: Baekpeuro, Hangul: 백프로] alongside actor Yoon Si-yoon. He played the role of Lee Byeong-joo [이병주] a young student who is also a resident on the island where Mr. Baek (Yoon Si-yoon) was invited to work as a temporary teacher.

In 2015, he starred in the film Shoot Me in the Heart, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Jeong Yu-jeong.[20][21] He had his first leading role on television with teen vampire series, Orange Marmalade, based on the webtoon of the same name.[22] In the same year, he appeared in the Korean War film, The Long Way Home. Veteran actor Sol Kyung-gu, his co-star in the film, strongly recommended Yeo for the role of Yeong-gwang, and only signed the movie contract once Yeo's casting had been finalized.[23][24]

In 2016, Yeo played the role of King Yeongjo in the SBS drama The Royal Gambler, and won an Excellence Award at the year end SBS Drama Awards.[25][26]

In 2017, Yeo starred in tvN's science fiction drama Circle, and historical movie Warriors of the Dawn, both of which premiered in May.[27][28] He was also cast for a special appearance in the star-studded film, 1987: When the Day Comes, based on the June Democratic Uprising. The movie reunited him with Director Jang Joon-hwan and actor Kim Yoon-seok of Hwayi: A Monster Boy.[29] In July, he starred in SBS's romance drama Reunited Worlds.[30][31]

In 2018, Yeo was cast in the romantic comedy My Absolute Boyfriend, based on the Japanese manga series of the same name.[32][33] It aired on SBS the following year.[34]

IU and Yeo Jin Goo, main actors for Hotel del Luna for Marie Claire

In 2019, he starred in tvN's remake of the 2012 Korean film Masquerade, titled The Crowned Clown.[35][36][37][38] The same year, he was cast in Hong sisters' fantasy mystery drama Hotel del Luna alongside IU.[39][40]

In 2020, Yeo made a special voice appearance in the drama Start Up as Jang Young Shil, the AI speaker. He also made a live action cameo in the final episode as a start-up owner named Hong Ji Seok.[41][42]

In 2021, Yeo starred in the psychological thriller drama Beyond Evil alongside Shin Ha-kyun as the main leads which premiered in February and aired on JTBC. Shin Ha-kyun and Yeo previously appeared in the film No Mercy for the Rude (2006) where Yeo played the younger version of Shin's character.[43][44] And in June 2021, Yeo was confirmed as an MC for Girls Planet 999 which aired on Mnet in August. [45]



Year Title Ref.
2010 Youth Unified Education [46]
2012 Child Protection Institution Child Abuse Prevention Day [47]
2013 Stop the School Violence [48]
2014 Vietnam Film Festival [49]
Seoul International Youth Film Festival [50]
Nanumyieum (Sharing by Connecting) [51]
2016–present Taiwan Tourism [52]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Nominee / Work Result Ref.
Baeksang Arts Awards 2012 Best New Actror – Television Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated
2014 Best New Actor – Film Hwayi: A Monster Boy Nominated
Most Popular – Actor (Film) Nominated [53]
2015 Shoot Me in the Heart Nominated [54]
2018 Most Popular Actor Warriors of the Dawn Nominated [55]
2019 Best Actor – Television The Crowned Clown Nominated [56]
V LIVE Favorite Artist (Male) Nominated [57]
Blue Dragon Film Awards 2013 Best New Actor Hwayi: A Monster Boy Won [58]
Buil Film Awards 2014 Best New Actor Nominated
Director's Cut Awards 2014 Won [59]
Grand Bell Awards 2014 Nominated
2015 Shoot Me in the Heart Nominated
Herald Donga TV Lifestyle Awards 2012 Style Icon Rookie Yeo Jin-goo Won [60]
KBS Drama Awards 2010 Best Young Actor The Reputable Family Nominated
2015 Best New Actor Orange Marmalade Won [61]
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple Award Yeo Jin-goo with Kim Seolhyun
Orange Marmalade
KOFRA Film Awards 2014 Best New Actor Hwayi: A Monster Boy Won [62]
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 2013 Won [63]
Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards 2013 The Rising Star Yeo Jin-goo Won [64]
Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards 2013 Best New Actor (Film) Hwayi: A Monster Boy Won [65]
Korea Drama Awards 2012 Best Young Actor Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated
Marie Claire Film Festival 2015 Rookie Award Shoot Me in the Heart Won [66]
MBC Drama Awards 2012 Best Young Actor Moon Embracing the Sun, Missing You Won [16]
Popularity Award Moon Embracing the Sun Nominated
Best Couple Award Yeo Jin-goo with Kim Yoo-jung
Moon Embracing the Sun
Mnet 20's Choice Awards 2012 20's Upcoming 20's Moon Embracing the Sun Won [67]
Pierson Movie Festival 2012 Best Child Actor Won [68]
2014 Trend Choice Award Yeo Jin-goo Won [69]
SBS Drama Awards 2008 Best Young Actor Iljimae, Tazza, Gourmet Won [9]
2016 Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama The Royal Gambler Won [70]
Best Couple Award Yeo Jin-goo with Jang Keun-suk
The Royal Gambler
2017 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama Reunited Worlds Nominated
2019 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama My Absolute Boyfriend Nominated [71]
Style Icon Awards 2012 Child Actor to Man Yeo Jin-goo Won [72]
tvN Movies Awards 2017 Most Promising Actor Hwayi: A Monster Boy Won [73]


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External linksEdit