- Official Website
- Kwon Sang-woo at the Korean Movie Database
- Kwon Sang-woo at the Internet Movie Database
Kwon Sang-woo (Korean: 권상우) (born August 5, 1976) is a South Korean actor.
Kwon Sang-woo, the most visible example of the so-called “mom-zzang” (slang for “great body”) movement, started his career as a fashion model in the late 1990s. His first acting experience was in the TV drama Delicious Proposal, and for the first few years of his entertainment career he received only minor roles on television, before debuting in Volcano High (2001). The following year he played his first lead role in the comedy Make It Big together with real-life best friend Song Seung-heon.
Kwon’s breakthrough came in the phenomenally successful comedy My Tutor Friend, as a troublesome high school boy who is tutored by a college student of the same age (played by actress Kim Ha-neul). In this year he also starred in My Good Partner, the world’s first movie made for mobile phones, and in the music video collection Project X.
However Kwon’s followup film Love, So Divine, about a priest in training who falls in love, earned poor reviews and did not get much attention from audiences.
For 2006, Kwon starred in the big-budget action noir Running Wild, about a detective, a prosecutor, and a criminal who are all equally vicious. Running Wild received satisfactory reviews but disappointing returns, and Kwon’s next film Almost Love, a romantic comedy reteaming him with Kim Ha-neul, likewise failed to replicate the success of their previous film.
Thus began Kwon’s career slump, as the films Fate and More Than Blue flopped in the box office, and his small screen projects Sad Love Story, Bad Love and Cinderella Man received low ratings.
Things took a turn for the better in 2010 with the box office success of Korean War film 71: Into the Fire which Kwon reportedly didn’t hesitate to take on.
His drama Daemul about Korea’s first female president was also very popular during its run, staying atop TV charts for 11 weeks straight and ending with viewership ratings of around 26 percent.
In the 2011 melodrama Pain, Kwon plays a man who, ever since undergoing a traumatic accident, has been grappling with guilt and analgesia, the inability to sense physical pain. He falls in love with a young woman (Jung Ryeo-won) who is the complete opposite of him – who cannot withstand any kind of infliction or wounds due to hemophilia. Based on an original story by webcomic artist Kang Full, Pain is directed by Kwak Kyung-taek in a departure from his previous macho movies. Kwak said, “The production company told me Kwon Sang-woo was contemplating the part, and I said I would do it only if Kwon does. There was nobody else.”
Looking to expand his acting career to a wider audience in Asia, in 2012 Kwon starred in movies with Chinese superstars Cecilia Cheung (romantic comedy Shadows of Love, previously known as Repeat, I Love You) and Jackie Chan (action film Chinese Zodiac). He also made his singing debut in a DVD released in Japan. Cast as the male lead in a Chinese TV series titled Feng Hua Xue Yue (“Wind Flower Snow Moon”), Kwon will play the role of an Asian-American Broadway producer who comes back to China to stage a musical production in Yunnan Province and falls in love with the leading lady of his stage musical.
Kwon is rumored to have been cast in a Hollywood film that starts filming in Malaysia in 2012.
He next stars in Yawang, adapted from the third installment of manhwa artist Park In-kwon’s 21-part saga Daemul (the 2010 SBS TV series of the same name that also starred Kwon was adapted from the comic’s second book). Soo Ae will portray an ambitious woman who dreams of escaping poverty to become the First Lady, and Kwon is the hopeless romantic who will do anything for her.