Some of the fans eagerly awaiting the release of the film The Marvels may not be familiar with Park Seo-joon, the Korean actor who plays Carol Danvers’ husband Prince Yan. Park was reportedly cast in that film because the film’s director Nia DaCosta has long been a fan of Korean dramas and during the pandemic happened to see Itaewon Class, a k-drama starring Park.
In a clip on the MarvelKorea YouTube channel, Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers in The Marvels, said that Park was the “most famous person she’s ever worked with.” He may not yet be a household name in the U.S., but he’s quite famous internationally.
U.S. audiences may have caught a glimpse of him in the Academy Award-winning film Parasite wherein he plays the friend who initially introduces Choi Woo-sik to the family he will be a tutor for. Park is also a main character in the film Concrete Utopia, South Korea’s entry for Best International Film at the 2024 Academy Awards. In this film, his character lives in one of the few buildings that remains standing after a major disaster levels Seoul. The building’s residents try to protect what they have, but in the process lose some of their humanity. And in yet another film released this year, Dream, Park plays a bad-tempered soccer player who winds up coaching a homeless team.
And then of course, there are his k-drama roles.
Itaewon Class: In Itaewon Class, the actor plays Park Sae-ro-yi, a man whose life chances are unjustly crushed by the rich and powerful. Despite the odds he builds a business that rivals those who crushed him, along the way hiring others who might not have had a chance elsewhere. In this 2019 drama Park is an everyman hero with a single-minded vision. The drama also stars Ahn Bo-hyun, Kim Da-mi, Kim Dong-mi and Lee Joo-young.
She Was Pretty: In this 2016 rom-com Park plays Sung Joon, a man who grew up in the U.S. and, upon returning to Korea, longs to reunite with his best childhood friend, played by Hwang Jung-eum. She was very pretty when they were children and he was a chubby, unpopular kid. Only by the time he returns, the tables have turned and Hwang’s character is considered unattractive, while Sung Joon has grown into an enviable catch, the head of the fashion magazine where Hwang’s character interns.
Fight My Way: The 2017 rom-com follows his character Ko Dong-man, a former taekwondo player with a painful past. He struggles to find his success as a mixed martial arts fighter. The drama also stars Kim Ji-won.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim: In this 2018 drama Park again plays Young Joon, a rich exacting executive, who is also quite arrogant and totally clueless about what he puts his tireless secretary through. His secretary, played by Park Min-young, is the perfect woman for him, but he’s so out of touch he can’t see it. When she decides to quit, he realizes he can’t live without her.
Park can also be seen this year in the TV drama Gyeongseong Creature. The story is set in the spring of 1945, during the final days of Japanese rule over Korea. In the drama two young adults confront a strange creature born out of greed. Park plays a wealthy morally dubious character in the Studio Dragon drama, which is expected to air before the end of the year.
The Marvels opens on Nov. 1o.