Updated: Apr 28, 2020
PARK BO GUM (박보검)
Birthday: June 16th, 1993
Blood Type: O
Agency: Blossom Entertainment
Park Bo Gum had some screen credit to his name previously but became a household name in 2015 when his role as a possible psychopath in Hello Monster and as Taek, a socially awkward but genius Go player in Reply 1988, two highly-rated shows, moved the (then) twenty-two-year-old actor, from the sidelines into the front of the camera and in people's hearts. In fact, his character in Reply 1988 became so popular, that episodes were rewritten in order to give the Bogum more screentime.
Bo Gum was born in Seoul, the youngest of three siblings, to Christian parents. Legend has it, that Bo Gum was given his name - (寶劍) which means 'precious sword'- by the pastor of their church. The name suits him, he is indeed precious, and his sweet nature and incredible acting skills cut right to the heart.
Bo Gum's talents revealed themselves early; he started learning piano when he was still in kindergarten and became a pianist and choir member at their church. His love of singing birthed dreams of someday becoming a singer-songwriter, and in his second year of high school, he did something about it. Several agencies received his self-made demo where he sang and played piano.
Sidus HQ was the only agency to make him an offer, which he readily accepted. (When Cha Tae-hyun and his manager Seung Byeong-ok left Sidus HQ to form their own agency in March 2012, Bogum went with them). It wasn't long before one of their staff members had a suggestion for him, 'why not try acting instead of singing?' It may sound like an insult but the advice was completely on point; even in his debut performance in the film Blind, (2011) Bo Gum's acting was a cut above. It has since earned him multiple awards, winning more than thirty since his first nominations for Tomorrow's Cantabile and Wonderful Days in 2014.
Beyond his obvious talent, there is something else that draws people to Park Bo Gum. His kindness and grateful heart. The Hallyu A-lister is known as one of the nicest guys in the business, with rumors of his kind acts being broadcast far and wide. Crew members, photographers, hosts, and fellow cast members all report having wonderful experiences working with the actor. They say that his up-beat presence on the set is infectious, and his kindness continues long after he has worked with them.
In this clip from Happy Together, the cast of Love in the Moonlight joke that they can't find even one flaw in Park Bo Gum. "His only flaw may be that he is too perfect."
His positive influence on pop-culture has given rise to the term, "Bo Gum Magic," with advertisers chomping at the bit to have Park Bo Gum endorse their products. The products he endorses do so well that the Korean Business Research Institute coined the phrase "The Park Bo-gum Effect."
In this advertisement for TNGT (which plays more like a mini webisode) we see a girl living out many a fangirl's dream!
Park Bo Gum is well known in Hallyu circles for his Christian faith and it seems that his prayers are powerful. In 2015 he said he prayed that he and his friends would get noticed... that people would at least know their names if they were to walk on the red carpet. This came just prior to his own mega-success as the boyishly handsome crown-prince in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, and his friend V's global success with BTS (as the Kpop group went from begging people to come to their concert earlier that year to selling out stadiums in seconds). His Blossom colleague Song Joong-Ki also had a hit show that year that earned him more acclaim than he had yet seen in his career.
His life hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows though. Bo Gum's mother tragically passed away when he was in fourth grade. The star's recently released Japanese album, "Bluebird," with his song, "Dear, My Friend," reflects on the need to make memories while you can and was a reminder of the fact that one of his big regrets is not having a formal picture with his mother. Something he spoke about when he was in Africa with the show Youth Over Flowers.
In 2016, Yonhap News Agency reported on the actor's previous financial situation, saying that Bo Gum's father had taken out a business loan in 2008, with Bo Gum as guarantor (when he was 11 years old), that the actor was then pressed to pay back the loan with interest that was now 10 times the original loan value and far above anything he could imagine earning.
Before his role in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Bo Gum had started to make a name for himself but his roles weren't earning him the larger salaries of more established actors (Korean actors depend more on endorsements than on what they earn from a drama).
However, it appears that the loan agency made the assumption that being an actor, Bo Gum should have plenty of money to pay back his father's loan with massive interest. Since he did not, he was forced to declare bankruptcy.
"Actor Park Bo-gum, who recently gained nationwide popularity through the tvN hit drama "Reply 1988," bounced back from bankruptcy last year, legal sources said Wednesday.
The 22-year-old actor was declared bankrupt in March 2015, after he filed a petition for bankruptcy and exemption from liability with the Seoul Central District Court in 2014, according to the sources.
Park has been cleared of his bankruptcy status just six months after the declaration, following the creditor's agreement to abide by the arbitration provided by the court.
The debts are known to have been incurred because the actor stood as a joint surety for his family when he was a minor, the sources said.
"We do not know the details as they are Park's personal affairs which took place when he was very young," Blossom Entertainment said. "But as far as we know, all the problems were solved last year and there is no problem at the moment." an insider said."
Thankfully people recognized his talent and cast him in roles that helped people see his charm. Even he was surprised but the reception of Moonlight Drawn By Clouds (a.k.a. Love in the Moonlight), which received record ratings. This success hit home to the actor as he was mobbed by fans in the Philippines when he accompanied the cast on their reward vacation.
He has since received many endorsements and completed numerous fan meetings around Asia. These sold-out crowds are treated to hours of time with Bogum showing recipes, doing crafts, games, and of course, singing. He takes the time to learn a local song for each country he visits and gives away some personal belongings to lucky fans (like the sweatshirt he wore in his application video above).
It may seem like he was rather quiet in the year following his massive hits but the Hallyu star was completing his university, doing fan meets, working part-time on Hyori’s Homestay, doing endorsements, and working on his music. The next drama he did, Encounter (a.k.a. Namja Chingu), partly filmed in Cuba, cast him in the role of the young boyfriend of a successful businesswoman (played by Song Hye Kyo). This role again showed off his unique ability to be both boyish and masculine at the same time.
More recently, Bo Gum has wrapped up filming the movie Seo Bok, with Gong Yoo, where he plays a clone. He also had a cameo as a chef in the final episode of Itaewon Class and is currently filming the drama Record of Youth where he plays a model.
-Bo Gum's term as Music Bank presenter with Red Velvet's Irene was one of the most popular couplings in the show's history.
-Bo Gum has kept a diary since his elementary school days. He often looks through these numerous notebooks to remind himself of all his blessings (Who else would like a peek at what is in them?)
-He graduated on time from Myongji University on February 21st, 2018 with a degree in Film and Music, not missing any assignments or semesters despite his very hectic schedule. He is not the only star to have attended this Christian University. On their Alumni list are Dong-Hae from Super Junior, Taemin, Key, and Jonghyun from SHINee, Baek-Hyun from EXO, and Yunho from TVXQ... just to name a few!
- Park Bo Gum is the first actor to top Forbes list in Korea
-He likes taking subways because it is always punctual, "it's comfortable" and he doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone. Even last month he still was taking the subway. He said, ”Everyone rides the subway with their eyes glued to their cellphones, so they never recognize me. I’ve never run into someone who knows me. If they do recognize me I would like them to acknowledge me at least with their eyes”.
- In 2015, he represented his university's cultural overseas exchange program where he traveled to cities in England, France, Italy and Switzerland.