There was no fanfare for Yoon Shi-yoon as he reported for basic training on April 28 at a marine base in Pohang. The 28-year old actor chose to enlist quietly, stating that he didn’t want to alert the media and draw attention to himself. According to a statement via his agency, he said, “If you’re a man you go to army, and I didn’t want to cause a disruption for any of the other soldiers. I just want to quietly fulfill my duty for the nation’s defense.” He opted to join the marines, which is widely considered the toughest place to complete mandatory military service, a desire he expressed early on when talk of enlistment began.
Yoon debuted in the popular star-making sitcom franchise High Kick Through the Roof, and followed it up with a headlining role in Baker King Kim Tak-gu, which shot him to leading man status at lightning speed. He spent the following years in dramas Me Too, Flower!, Flower Boy Next Door, and Prime Minister and I, and his first movie Professional Mr. Baek had its (very) delayed theatrical premiere earlier this month.
For me it’s Flower Boy Next Door’s Enrique that will always be the first image in my mind when I think of Yoon Shi-yoon — he had this childlike ebullience that was so memorable, and thinking of him in that role always puts a smile on my face. It’s always sad to send another one to the army, and even harder to think about the fact that he’s just the first of many 1986ers to enlist (Yoo Ah-in and Choi Jin-hyuk are among his cohorts due to report for duty this year). Come swiftly, 2016!
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