Song Kang-ho

Song Kang-ho

One of the most prominent faces in 21st century Asian cinema, actor Song Kang-ho became instrumental in the rise of the Korean new wave thanks to his memorable performances in the likes of "Memories Of Murder" (2003), "The Host" (2006) and "Thirst" (2009). Born in the South Gyeongsang Province of South Korea, Song graduated from Busan Kyungsang College with a broadcasting degree before switching his attention to acting and joining Kee Kuk-seo's influential improvisational-based theatre company. Initially focusing on stage work, Song eventually made his first notable on-screen appearance in the crime drama "Green Fish" (1997) before stealing the show as a gangster who trains a group of young recruits in mafia thriller "No. 3" (1997). Following small parts in "Bad Movie" (1997), a quasi-documentary about the violent lives of delinquent teenagers in Seoul, and "The Quiet Family" (1998), a comedy horror about a family whose hunting lodge becomes a death trap, Song appeared as secret agent Jang-gil Lee in an homage to the '80s Hollywood blockbuster, "Swiri" (1999), and landed his first lead role as an inept bank clerk-turned-professional wrestler in "The Foul King" (2000). From then on, Song became one of the most bankable and acclaimed Korean actors of his generation, with performances as a revenge-fuelled business executive in "Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance" (2002) and a lovestruck baseball pitcher in romantic comedy "YMCA Baseball Team" (2002) showcasing his versatility. Roles as a North Korean sergeant in "J.S.A. Joint Security Area" (2000) and incompetent detective Park Doo-Man in "Memories Of Murder" (2003) attracted awards attention. After playing the titular character in "The President's Barber" (2004) and Choi Do-hyung, the leader of an expedition to the pole of inaccessibility in psychological thriller "Antarctic Journal" (2006), Song achieved international fame as the head of the dysfunctional family that's tormented by a sea monster in Bong Joon-ho's box-office smash, "The Host" (2006) and returned to the gangster genre as the retired mobster Kang In-goo in "The Show Must Go On" (2007). Song then appeared in "Secret Sunrise" (2008) as a mechanic who befriends a grieving woman in the adaptation of Lee Cheong-jun's short story The Story Of A Bug; the Sergio Leone-inspired Western, "The Good, The Bad & The Weird" (2008) as 'The Weird' thief, Yun Tae-goo; and horror "Thirst" (2009) as a catholic priest who turns into a vampire following a failed experiment. After playing an NIS agent who falls from grace in North/South Korea spy thriller "Secret Reunion" (2010) and a retired gangster who has a hit taken out on him in "Hindsight" (2011), Song mixed with the Hollywood elite for the first time as drug-addicted designer Namgoong Minsu in the dystopian sci-fi adventure "Snowpiercer" (2013). He soon returned to homegrown territory with roles as the physiognomy-studying son of a disgraced noble family in period piece "The Face Reader" (2013), human rights lawyer Song Woo-seok in courtroom drama "The Attorney" (2013), and King Yeongjo in royal biopic "Sado" (2014).