[Actor Spotlight] Jinyoung
Park Jinyoung, or Jinyoung as he is more commonly known, is currently starring in tvN’s Monday-Tuesday drama That Psychometric Guy. The drama is Jinyoung’s first leading role, and is soon finishing up its successful run.
Jinyoung was born in 1994 in the city of Changwon, South Korea. He trained with JYP Entertainment until he made his debut in 2011, first as an actor, in Dream High 2. But Jinyoung was also poised to debut as an idol/singer, and in 2013, formed a duo with labelmate Im Jae-beom (also known as JB). Though the duo soon evolved into the boy group Got7, Jinyoung has found a lot of career success since his debut. In addition to his idol activities, he’s also taken on several acting roles in TV dramas, film, and shorter-form web dramas.
Not every idol is meant for leading man drama stardom, but Jinyoung is one that is poised for success. He has a boyishness about him that translates really nicely on the screen, as well as a natural and easy presence — he often feels more like a neighborhood kid than a flashy idol, and that’s a big part of his appeal (and success).
Here are some dramaland moments from Jinyoung, followed by his full filmography.
When A Man Loves (2015)
What happens when a man loves? I don’t know if that’s something we can really generalize about, but in this drama, it meant a rather conflicted gangster, Song Seung-heon, after he fell in love with Shin Se-kyung. Her bookseller family was deep in debt, and the story was full of entanglements and high drama. Im Jae-beom played Shin Se-kyung’s sweet younger brother, who was also training as an idol with the hope of helping his family. His friend and fellow trainee was none other than Jinyoung (who went by JR or Junior at the time), and the drama had a few random scenes of the two endlessly training, dancing, and being cute. Yes, this was a shameless plug by JYP for the two, who were debuting as the duo JJ Project (watch their debut music video if you haven’t seen it). It’s also a funny bit of meta-reference, since their roles in this drama didn’t actually require much acting from either of them.
Beloved Eun-dong (2015)
Beloved Eun-dong is right up there in my Top 5 list of dramas that started out with a strong storyline featuring a younger version of the leading cast. So strong, in fact, that I almost didn’t want the cast (or the story) to transition. Jinyoung played the teenage incarnation of Joo Jin-mo here, and radiated this heartfelt innocence and affection that was hard to forget. As with most stories that transition to an adult cast, the leads were pulled apart as children, but were reunited later in life. Sometimes when the cast switches over I have a hard time stitching them together as the same character, but in this drama, I kept seeing shades of Jinyoung’s performance in Joo Jin-mo’s and it worked quite well.
That Psychometric Guy (2019)
This tvN drama is finishing up a successful run, and stars Jinyoung in the title role of the rascally kid with a tragic past and a supernatural gift. I’m currently marathoning the drama so I’m little behind the curve, but I’m loving his energy in the drama — he feels so young and boyish, and I appreciate that they’re keeping him as such (at least so far). Though Jinyoung has said in interviews that he was quite nervous for his first leading drama role, I think the casting was spot-on here. After all, the drama relies on you rooting for this kid to get a grip on himself, come to terms with his past, and hone his gift. That gift is what carries the entire drama of course, and it’s fun to see a classical literary trope come to life in a high school story. That trope is the idea of “compensation” — that a hero can suffer great wrongs, but receive a gift that balances out his fate. I’m excited to see how this plays out for our psychometric guy.
Jinyoung’s full filmography:
- Dream High 2 (2012) [Drama]
The second try is almost never as good as the first, but that didn’t stop a second season from getting off the ground. This one also contained Im Jae-beom and Park Seo-joon, so why I haven’t watched it through yet is a mystery to me.
- When A Man Loves (2013) [Drama]
Jinyoung basically plays himself in a parallel universe in this drama. In other words, a sweet, fresh, and hardworking trainee (see above).
- Dream Knight (2015) [Web drama]
This JYP web drama starred all the Got7 members with Song Ha-yoon as the heroine. I don’t remember much about this web drama except for the fact that I completely enjoyed all levels of the ridiculous here, from the member antics and token personalities, to the fantasy knight in shining armor moments.
- Beloved Eun-dong (2015) [Drama]
In a drama that relied heavily on the strength and emotive power of its backstory, Jinyoung really nailed his role in this romance drama.
- Legend of the Blue Sea (2016) [Drama]
Jinyoung had the enviable task of playing the younger version of Lee Min-ho in this famous mermaid drama (I wish I liked it more than I did).
- School of Magic (2017) [Web drama]
Jinyoung, Nichkun, Yoon Park, and several more JYP performers, starred in this web drama about a bunch of college students with dreams, and the magic school where they converge. This one sounds fun. And I love weird little web dramas.
- Snowflake (2017) [Film]
Jinyoung starred with Ji Woo in this independent film (sometimes marketed as A Stray Goat) about a boy who moves to a rural village.
- That Psychometric Guy (2019) [Drama]
Jinyoung channels his best boyish energy — and sees into other people’s souls — in this currently airing drama (see above).
- That Psychometric Guy: Episode 1
- Flirting over the piano in tvN’s That Psychometric Guy
- tvN’s That Psychometric Guy releases first video teaser
- New stills for fantasy romance That Psychometric Guy
- Stills and casting additions for tvN’s That Psychometric Guy
- tvN drama That Psychometric Guy rounds out cast
- Got7 Jinyoung to star in tvN’s supernatural rom-com