Yoo Ji-tae (born April 13, 1976) is a South Korean actor, film director and screenwriter. After a stint as a fashion model, Yoo launched his acting career in 1998 then rose to fame through the films Attack the Gas Station (1999) and Ditto (2000). In the succeeding years, he gained acting recognition by working with acclaimed directors such as Hur Jin-ho in One Fine Spring Day (2001), Park Chan-wook in Oldboy (2003), and Hong Sang-soo in Woman is the Future of Man (2004). Yoo began directing short films in 2003, which were well received in the film festival circuit. His feature directorial debut Mai Ratima was released in 2013.
|Born||April 13, 1976|
Seoul, South Korea
|Education||Chung-Ang University Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science, Multimedia & Film |
Catholic University of Korea Graduate School of Social Work
|Height||6' 3" (1.91 m)|
|Revised Romanization||Yu Ji-tae|
Yoo Ji-tae began his career as a fashion model, and he walked the runway for the Seoul Fashion Artist Association collections in 1995. Then in 2000, with a series of hit films and widely seen TV appearances, Yoo was more constantly in the limelight than any other actor, and in a very short time, rose to become a major actor in Korean film.
His first brush with fame came in the role of "Paint" in his second feature, the 1999 hit Attack the Gas Station. His sensitive and artistic image in this film and the warm character he displayed as a guest on TV talk shows helped to propel him to stardom. With the surprise success of his third film Ditto in spring 2000, Yoo's star status was secured. He also appeared in the successful firefighting film Libera Me. In this early part of his career, he was known particularly for the wild colors that he would dye his hair (white in Attack the Gas Station, blue in Ditto, blonde in Libera Me).
In 2001, however, he dyed his hair black and took on a more subdued, serious role in Hur Jin-ho's One Fine Spring Day. Although it wasn't a big hit with audiences, his performance in this film opened many critics' eyes and drew widespread praise, while officially launching the second stage of his career.
For the next two years, Yoo didn't appear in any new films, because Natural City took an unusually long time to progress from shooting to a commercial release. He then appeared in three works in 2003: Natural City (which bombed, despite its big budget and special effects), the horror/suspense film Into the Mirror, and Park Chan-wook's acclaimed Oldboy. Yoo's memorable role in the latter film as a wealthy eccentric fixated on revenge would make his face well known to international audiences.
As Yoo's career established itself he began to appear in many high-profile projects, such as in well-known arthouse director Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man (which, like Oldboy, screened at Cannes in 2004); Yim Pil-sung's big-budget Antarctic Journal, shot in New Zealand; and the action/noir Running Wild with Kwon Sang-woo. He also established his own production company Yoo Movie in 2005.
As soon as he finished shooting the 2007 period film Hwang Jin-yi about a Joseon-era gisaeng, Yoo chose to act in the play Come to the Ghost House. A graduate of Dankook University with a major in Theater and Film, he also established a theater to put on one play a year. Almost all the money for the theatrical productions comes from his own wallet. "I work on stage because it's there that I find the challenge and the stimulus an actor needs through continuous creative work," he said.
Yoo then returned to the melodrama genre, starring in his first TV drama Star's Lover opposite Choi Ji-woo, as well as a couple of romance-themed films, notably Secret Love which reunited him with Oldboy costar Yoon Jin-seo. Afterwards he played another villain in the real-time suspense thriller Midnight FM.
After getting his master's degree in 2008 from Chung-Ang University's Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science, Multimedia & Film, in recent years Yoo has focused more on his passion for directing. To him, "Making films is like taking drugs. Actors feel a pleasure when they deliver well but directors feel they have poured out everything they have in the sole fact that they have completed a movie. It's impossible to compare the pleasure you get from it." He has helmed a number of award-winning short films that have screened in festivals around the world. In addition to directing his fourth short film Invitation, Yoo wrote the script and plays the main character alongside leading lady Uhm Ji-won.
In 2012, Yoo directed his first feature film Mai Ratima, based on a synopsis he wrote 15 years ago in college. It portrays the unlikely love affair of a Korean man in his 30s living on the bottom rung of society and a mail-order bride from Thailand in her 20s. Shooting began in Gyeonggi Province on January 26, 2012, and it premiered at the Busan International Film Festival on October 5, 2012. Yoo said he plans to continue producing or directing movies based on strong social issues as he is interested in the plight of the less privileged. Mai Ratima won the Jury Prize at the 2013 Deauville Asian Film Festival.
For the biopic The Tenor - Lirico Spinto, Yoo practiced singing for four hours every day for more than a year, and took private English and Japanese lessons to portray Bae Jae-chul, an internationally acclaimed tenor who loses his voice to thyroid cancer. Afterwards, he starred in another TV series Healer, written by Song Ji-na.
In 2017, Yoo starred in The Swindlers along with Hyun Bin. The movie is about a prosecutor who plans to catch a con man who has swindled a large sum of money. The same year, he was cast in the Danish film The House That Jack Built by Lars Von Trier. He also had a starring role in the crime drama, Mad Dog.
In January 2018, Yoo signed with new management agency BH Entertainment.
Yoo was raised by a single parent. "My mother, who worked as a nurse for a long time, wants to run a hospital for the elderly someday. I want to financially help her realize her dream, and then establish an orphanage," said Yoo. He is friends with comedian Kim Joon-ho, having lived together as roommates during college and briefly acting together onstage.
Currently a student at the Catholic University of Korea Graduate School of Social Work, Yoo is very active in philanthropic efforts. He joins charity photo shoots and auctions, has helped set up a kindergarten in Nepal, has donated to Haiti earthquake relief, has donated funds for building schools in Myanmar, has joined a charity photo shoot to benefit victims of facial burns, has volunteered in a campaign to deliver free lunches to underprivileged people, has promoted the adoption of abandoned dogs, and has campaigned against domestic violence towards migrant wives. His advocacies are World Vision, Compassion Korea, DAIL Community, Social Welfare Society Inc., YWCA of Korea, Nanum House of Sharing and Korean Association of Cinematheques.
Yoo first met actress Kim Hyo-jin in 2003 when they were models for a clothing brand, and the two became friends after continuously meeting in photo shoots. Their romantic relationship began in 2006, and they were among the very few Korean star couples who openly admitted their dating status. They announced their engagement in August 2011, and subsequently released pre-wedding photos. Their minimalist invitation was made from environmentally friendly paper and had the number 1,825 written on it, the exact number of days the two had spent together as a couple. They were married at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on December 2, 2011. The wedding date marked the couple's fifth anniversary together and was booked by Yoo one year in advance despite landing on a Friday – an unusual day for a wedding. The ceremony was officiated by the president of World Vision Korea; Yoo and Kim are the organization's honorary ambassadors, and they donated a portion of their monetary wedding gifts to World Vision to help build a primary and middle school in Myanmar. Their first child, a son, was born on July 5, 2014. They welcomed their second son on April 15, 2019. 
|1999||Attack the Gas Station||Paint|
|2000||01412 Sect of the Magic Sword||Ma-ko|
|Libera Me||Kim Hyun-tae|
|2001||MOB 2025||K-one||Short film|
|One Fine Spring Day||Sang-woo|
|Into the Mirror||Woo Young-min|
|2004||Woman is the Future of Man||Lee Moon-ho|
|2005||Antarctic Journal||Kim Min-jae|
|Sympathy for Lady Vengeance||Won-mo (adult)||Cameo|
|2006||Running Wild||Oh Jin-woo|
|Three Fellas||Lee Chi-soo||Cameo|
|Traces of Love||Hyun-woo|
|2008||Hello, Schoolgirl||Kim Yeon-woo|
|2010||Secret Love||Jin-woo / Jin-ho|
|Midnight FM||Han Dong-su|
|Star of Hope: Ikhwezi Le Themba||Documentary|
|2013||Human Trust||Osamu Endo|
|2014||The Tenor - Lirico Spinto||Bae Jae-chul|
|The Great Actor||Cameo|
|2017||The Swindlers||Park Hee-soo|
|2018||The House That Jack Built||Cameo|
|1999||Love Story||Segment "Lost Baggage"|
|2008–2009||Star's Lover||Kim Chul-soo|
|2016||The Good Wife||Lee Tae-joon|
|2017||Mad Dog||Choi Kang-woo|
|2019||Different Dreams||Kim Won-bong|
|2020||When My Love Blooms||Han Jae-hyun|
|2003||The Bike Boy||Director||Short film|
|2005||How Does the Blind Dream?||Director||Short film|
|2008||Out of My Intention||Director, screenwriter||Short film|
|2013||Mai Ratima||Director, screenwriter|
|2017||The Man Only I Can See||Director|
- Ha-il (2004)
- Six Out of Six (2005)
- Come to the Ghost House... (2007)
- 2006 28th Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival - Jury
- 2007 9th Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia - Jury
- 2008 4th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival - Jury
- 2009 14th Busan International Film Festival - Jury
- 2009 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival - Jury
- 2011 3rd DMZ International Documentary Film Festival - Co-festival director
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1997||Model Center New Model Awards||Grand Prize||N/A||Won|
|1998||Photographers' Association||Best Model Award||N/A||Won|
|1999||20th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best New Actor||Attack the Gas Station||Nominated|
|2000||21st Blue Dragon Film Awards||Popular Star Award||Ditto||Won|
|8th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best New Actor||Won|
|1st Busan Film Critics Awards||Best New Actor||Won|
|2001||38th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actor||Nominated|
|22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actor||One Fine Spring Day||Nominated|
|2003||20th Busan Asian Short Film Festival||Audience Award||The Bike Boy||Won|
|2006||4th Korea Fashion World Awards||Best Dressed (movie actor category)||N/A||Won|
|23rd Busan Asian Short Film Festival||Fuji Film Award||How Does the Blind Dream?||Won|
|5th Korean Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Three Fellas||Nominated|
|2008||5th Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia||Special Contribution Award||Out of My Intention||Won|
|25th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards||Best Dressed (movie actor category)||N/A||Won|
|2009||6th Seoul Women's Prize||N/A||N/A||Recipient|
|1st Korea Humanitarian Awards||Special Prize||N/A||Recipient|
|2011||Asia Model Festival Awards||Asia Special Award||N/A||Won|
|1st Ministry of Health and Welfare||Minister's Award||N/A||Recipient|
|2013||Deauville Asian Film Festival||Jury Prize||Mai Ratima||Won|
|2014||19th Chunsa Film Awards||Best New Director||Nominated|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama||Healer||Nominated|
|2017||11th Cable TV Broadcasting Awards||Best Actor||The Good Wife||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor||Mad Dog||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|2019||MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Monday-Tuesday Miniseries||Different Dreams||Nominated|
- "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Yoo Ji-tae". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "LA FEMME EST L'AVENIR DE L'HOMME". Cannes Film Festival.
- "[K-FILM REVIEWS] 남극일기 (Antarctic Journal)". Screen Anarchy. August 15, 2005.
- "야수 (Running Wild) Press Screening Report". Twitch Film. 4 January 2006.
- "Expensive drama stylish but miscast". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 15, 2007.
- "Screen Star Yoo Ji-tae Finds Creative Challenge in Theater". The Chosun Ilbo. 9 April 2007.
- "YOO Ji-tae and LEE Yeon-hee in romantic film". Korean Film Biz Zone. November 6, 2008.
- "진주 새 앨범 'Pearlfect', 유지태 내레이션 참여" [Yoo Ji-tae goes kpop (kinda)]. Asia Economy (in Korean). November 19, 2008.
- Oh, Jean (December 1, 2008). "Mega drama duo signals hot winter". The Korea Herald.
- Han, Sang-hee (December 2, 2008). "Celebrity's Sweetheart Knocks on Viewers Hearts". The Korea Times.
- Sung, So-young (26 February 2010). "Korea’s forbidden lovers of film return". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- Han, Sun-hee (10 August 2010). "MIDNIGHT FM, A Speedy Real Time Thriller". Korean Cinema Today.
- "Soo Ae: ‘I Felt Relieved After Filming Scenes Heaping Insults’". KBS Global. 20 September 2010.
- Lee, Ji-hye (7 April 2010). "Yoo Ji-tae's Movie Picks". 10Asia.
- Yoo Ji Tae Collection 2010. YesAsia. 27 July 2010.
- Lee, Hae-joo (29 May 2009). "Yoo Ji-tae's Invitation gets a premiere". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- Hwang, Sung-un (June 21, 2013). "Actor-director Yoo Ji-tae's Song Picks". 10Asia. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.
- Ji, Yong-jin (October 5, 2012). "The Reality We Must Face Now: YOO Ji-tae, Director of Mai Ratima". Korean Cinema Today.
- Sunwoo, Carla (June 7, 2013). "Mai Ratima tackles the challenges of a multicultural Korea". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013.
- Ji, Yong-jin (June 19, 2013). "Director YOO Ji-tae and Actor BAE Soo-bin of MAI RATIMA: Cooperation Between Friendly Colleagues". Korean Cinema Today.
- "Oldboy Villain Yoo Ji-tae to Direct First Feature". The Chosun Ilbo. 9 November 2011.
- Kim, Jessica (30 January 2012). "Yoo Ji-tae first feature cranks in". 10Asia.
- Jeon, Chanil. "Mai Ratima". Busan International Film Festival. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
- "Yoo Ji-tae Shines Light on Mail-Order Brides at Helm of First Feature". The Chosun Ilbo. October 15, 2012.
- Park, Eun-jee (November 16, 2012). "Korean actors find satisfaction off-camera". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on February 27, 2013.
- Lee, Claire (March 10, 2013). "Yoo Ji-tae wins Jury Prize at Deauville Asian Film Fest". The Korea Herald.
- "Actor-Turned-Director Yoo Ji-tae Wins Jury Prize in Deauville". The Chosun Ilbo. March 11, 2013.
- Conran, Pierce (March 12, 2013). "MAI RATIMA Awarded Jury Prize at Deauville Asian Film Festival". Korean Film Council.
- Schmidlin, Charlie (July 12, 2013). "Vincent Gallo Joins Japanese Thriller 'Human Trust' Co-Starring Kôichi Satô & 'Oldboy' Star Yu Ji-Tae". Indiewire.
- Baek, Byung-yeul (November 30, 2014). "Singing miracle". The Korea Times.
- Jin, Eun-soo (December 26, 2014). "The Tenor puts Yoo Ji-tae under pressure". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- Kim, Hye-in (September 16, 2014). "Photos from the first script reading rehearsal for Healer unleashed". StarN News.
- "Shooting Begins for New YOO Ji-tae Film". Korean Film Biz Zone. April 7, 2016.
- "Yoo Ji-tae dangerously good as the villian [sic]: 'The Good Wife' star looks back at complex role as a hot bad guy". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 30, 2016.
- "Hyun-bin Signs Up for KKUN". Korean Film Biz Zone.
- "Hyun Bin, Yoo Ji-tae team up in 'The Swindlers'". The Korea Herald. October 11, 2017.
- "YOO Ji-tae Films Role in Latest from Lars Von Trier". Korean Film Biz Zone. May 8, 2017.
- "Yoo Ji-tae, Yoo Do-hwan and Ryu Hwa-young in KBS "Mad Dog"". Hancinema. Osen. August 24, 2017.
- "유지태, BH엔터와 전속계약..이병헌·한지민과 한솥밥(공식)". Newsen (in Korean). January 15, 2018.
- "[공식]유지태X이요원, '이몽' 출연 확정…내년 상반기 방송". Sports Chosun (in Korean). August 15, 2018.
- "'화양연화', 유지태X이보영X갓세븐 박진영X전소니 캐스팅 확정 [공식입장]". Xports News (in Korean). January 3, 2020.
- "Yoo Ji-tae: "My Dream is to Establish an Orphanage"". KBS Global. May 2, 2005.
- "Celebrities Donate Treasured Items to Charity Auction". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 January 2011.
- "Celebrities Join Together To Raise Money For Facial Burn Victims". KBS World. 9 February 2012.
- 유지태, 오는 10월 네팔에 유치원 세운다 [Yoo Ji-tae sets up a kindergarten]. Sports Seoul (in Korean). May 29, 2009. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013.
- Lee, Hyo-won (1 January 2010). "Yoo Ji-tae Couple Donate 20 Million Won to Haiti". The Korea Times.
- "Yoo Ji-tae Donates to Help Build Schools in Myanmar". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 April 2011.
- Ki Sun-min, Kang Na-hyun (August 15, 2012). "'Social-tainers' are talking about the issues". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on May 10, 2013.
- Sunwoo, Carla (September 13, 2012). "Yoo Ji-tae ambassador of the YMCA". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- 술술토크: (13) 가식없는 김효진의 매력 속으로... [Interview: Into Kim Hyo-jin's down-to-earth charm]. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). November 19, 2008. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013.
- "Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Hyo-jin to wed in Dec.". The Korea Herald. 21 August 2011.
- "Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Hyo-jin Decide to Finally Tie the Knot". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 August 2011.
- Ko, Kyoung-seok (22 August 2011). "Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Hyo-jin to wed Dec 2". 10Asia.
- Chung, Ah-young (22 August 2011). "Yoo, Kim to marry on Dec. 2". The Korea Times.
- "Yoo Ji-tae and Kim Hyo-jin set a date to walk down the aisle". Korea JoongAng Daily. 23 August 2011.
- "유지태-김효진 "내 사람이다vs심장이 먼저 반응" 예비부부 벌써 신혼" [Yoo Ji Tae & fiancée Kim Hyo Jin pose for Harper’s BAZAAR]. Sports Chosun (in Korean). October 19, 2011.
- '결혼' 유지태·김효진, '완벽비주얼' 웨딩화보 [Yoo Ji Tae and Kim Hyo Jin reveal new pre-wedding photos]. Star News (in Korean). December 1, 2011.
- 유지태-김효진 예비부부 ‘착한 청첩장’ 공개 [Yoo Ji Tae & Kim Hyo Jin, simplest of wedding invitations]. Economy Today (in Korean). November 29, 2011. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014.
- "Yoo and Kim release wedding photos" Archived April 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Korea JoongAng Daily. 1 December 2011.
- "Celebrity Couple Exchange Vows After 5-Year Romance" Archived December 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. The Chosun Ilbo. 5 December 2011.
- Choi, Eun-hwa (2 December 2011). "Yoo Ji Tae and Kim Hyo Jin Say They’ll Live Happily". enewsWorld.
- Kim, Byung-kwan (December 2, 2011). "Yoo Ji Tae & Kim Hyo Jin Tie the Knot". enewsWorld.
- "Celebrity Couple Using Fame to Support World Vision". The Chosun Ilbo. 19 October 2011
- Lee, Hye-ji (December 5, 2012). "Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Hyo-jin Celebrate 1st Wedding Anniversary in Myanmar". 10Asia.
- "Celebrity Couple Support School in Burma". The Chosun Ilbo. December 6, 2012.
- Sunwoo, Carla (December 7, 2012). "Yoo Ji-tae and wife celebrate anniversary with good deed". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012.
- Lee, Sun-min (July 7, 2014). "Celebrity couple gives birth to son". Korea JoongAng Daily.
- "MONEY to Cash In in March RYU Jun-yeol and YOO Ji-tae Lead Showbox Financial Thriller". Korean Film Biz Zone. February 1, 2019.
- Lee, Yong-sung (October 31, 2005). "Film stars attract audience to drama". The Korea Herald.
- "Actor Yoo Ji-tae Invited as Juror for "Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival"". KBS Global. January 24, 2004.
- D'Sa, Nigel (June 7, 2007). "YOO Ji-tae on Short Shorts Jury". Korean Film Council.
- "Yoo Ji-tae to Judge at Japanese Short-film Festival". KBS Global. June 24, 2007.
- "4th JIMFF - Award / Jury". Jecheon International Music & Film Festival. Archived from the original on November 24, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- "Hur Jin-ho and Yoo Ji-tae Appointed Judges for 2008 JIMFF". KBS Global. August 13, 2008.
- "14th BIFF (2009) - Juries". Busan International Film Festival. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- "Alejandro González Iňárritu and juries share their thoughts on judging films for awards. – Competition Official Press Conference". Tokyo International Film Festival. October 22, 2009.
- Nam, Gyeong-wu (June 22, 2011). "Looking Forward to this Winter's DMZ Movie Festival". GNews. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014.
- Lee, Hyo-won (September 20, 2011). "DMZ Korean International Documentary Festival Opens Sept. 22". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "DMZ Docs 2011 closes with Tiniest Place top winner". Korean Film Council. September 30, 2011.
- Han, Sang-hee (June 19, 2008). "Yoo Ji-tae Receives Japan Short Film Award". The Korea Times.
- "Yoo Ji-tae Awarded at Japan's 'Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia'". KBS Global. 23 June 2008.
- Han, Sang-hee (July 5, 2009). "Actor Yoo to Receive Seoul Womens Prize". The Korea Times.
- "Winners of 2011 Asia Model Awards". Hancinema. KBS World. January 23, 2011.
- "Obligation of the Rich to Share, Richesse Oblige". Ministry of Health and Welfare. March 8, 2011.
- "Yoo Ji-tae wins Jury Prize at Deauville Asian Film Fest". The Korea Herald. March 10, 2013.
- "'Goblin' wins big at Korea Cable TV Awards Show, but not Gong Yoo". Yahoo. March 11, 2017.