Jo Seung-woo is one of the most successful musical actors in South Korea. He has participated in many major musical productions since 2000, such as “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, “Jekyll & Hyde”, and “Werther”. The combination of strong vocals, detailed acting, and a handsome figure shot him into popularity. Aside from musical theater, he has also stared in many major films and television dramas. Recently, Jo Seung-woo was nominated as Best Actor and Grand Prize Awardee at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Jo Seung-woo: Profile and Facts
- Name: Jo Seung-woo / Cho Seung-woo (조승우)
- Profession: Actor, musical actor
- Birthdate: March 28, 1980
- Birthplace: South Korea
- Height: 173cm
- Weight: 63kg
- Star sign: Aquarius
- Blood type: B
- Education: Dankook University majoring in Theater and Film, Dankook University Graduate School of Culture, Arts and Design
- Occupation: Actor
- Years active: 2000-present
- Agent: Good Man Story Entertainment (2015–present)
Influenced by his sister, Seung-Woo also began wanting to be a performer in musicals. Jo Seung-woo grew up in a musical family: his father Jo Kyung-soo is a singer, and his older sister Jo Seo-yeon acts in musical theater. During his high school years, Seung-Woo was notorious for his disregard for education. He often carried musical CDs in his backpack rather than books. He then continued his studies at Dankook University majoring in Theater and Film.
His love for musicals quickly took a back seat to acting in films after Jo Seung-Woo auditioned for Im Kwon-Taek in “Chunhyang” and received the starring role from among a field of 1,000 actors. “Chunhyang” would screen as the first Korean film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, although domestically it failed to attract much of an audience. He also participated in some musical productions alongside his career on the big and small screen.
Jo Seung-woo’s popularity rose in early 2005 with the smash hit movie called “Marathon”, where he played an autistic young man who only finds release in running. The film sold over 5 million tickets. Jo Seung-woo won several awards for his performance, including Best Actor at the 2005 Grand Bell Awards and Best Actor in the foreign film category at China’s Hundred Flowers Awards. Nonetheless, he continued to pursue his career in musicals, with critically acclaimed appearances in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Jekyll and Hyde”. His success at pursuing both film and musicals makes him an unusual case among musical actors.
In December 2008, Jo Seung-woo enlisted in the South Korean military for his mandatory two year service. After completing his mandatory military service, he made his comeback in the 2010 production of “Jekyll and Hyde”. The musical was especially meaningful to Cho since the actor rose to stardom when the show premiered in Korea in 2004. In this stage, Jo Seung-woo reportedly got the highest salary for any musical theater actor in Korean history.
Jo Seung-woo made his small screen debut in 2012 with drama “The King’s Doctor”, a period drama based on a true story about a Joseon-era low-class veterinarian specializing in the treatment of horses who rises to become the royal physician. He won the Grand Prize award (the highest award) at the MBC Drama Awards for his performance in “The King’s Doctor”. He then returned to the stage in 2013 with “Hedwig”, one of his most memorable musical roles.
In 2017, Jo Seung-woo starred in tvN’s mystery thriller drama “Stranger”, playing a prosecutor who lacks empathetic abilities. “Stranger” (also popular with title Secret Forest) was a South Korean television series starring Jo Seung-woo and Bae Doo-na. It aired on tvN every Saturday and Sunday at 21:00 (KST) from June 10, 2017 to July 30, 2017. It aired simultaneously on Netflix, which purchased the series for $200,000 per episode.
The series was a hit with both domestic and international viewers, and gained favorable reviews for its tight plot, gripping sequences, and strong performances. It was featured on New York Times list of Best TV Shows of 2017, and won several awards including the Grand Prize for television at the 54th Baeksang Arts Awards. Jo Seung-woo won Best Actor at the same events.
Who is Jo Seung-woo’s Wife?
Until now, Jo Seung-woo hasn’t gotten married yet. He is also far from any dating scandal. His last relationship that went public was his relationship with Kang Hye-jung. They even starred in Love Phobia together, back in 2006. But then they broke up. While Jo Seung-woo remained single, Kang Hye-jung married rapper Tablo of Epik High in 2009.