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[Actor Spotlight] Choi Siwon

Choi Siwon is in this week’s spotlight — he’s the star of KBS’s currently airing crime comedy My Fellow Citizens.

Born in 1987 in Seoul, South Korea, Choi Siwon was famously scouted as a teenager by SM Entertainment, and signed with the company at a young age. Though he started his career with some small drama roles, SM marked Choi’s official debut in 2005 as a part of Super Junior05. The group soon transitioned into Super Junior, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Though active for many years with the huge success that was Super Junior, Choi Siwon also has an impressive number of acting credits under his belt. As an actor, Choi Siwon definitely knows his strong points. The dramas he has chosen are the perfect evidence of the colorful and vibrant roles he’s so good at, whether he’s playing a stuck-up actor, self-absorbed pop star, or undercover chaebol. He also excels in roles around hidden identities rife with comedic subterfuge, much like his roles in She Was Pretty, Revolutionary Love, and My Fellow Citizens.

Here are some dramaland moments from Choi Siwon, followed by his full filmography.

 
Oh My Lady (2010)

Oh My Lady is a sweet, feel-good drama that starred Choi Siwon as the self-centered pop star who found out he had a young daughter when she was basically dropped on his doorstep. Chae Rim starred opposite as the recently divorced woman trying to get custody of her own daughter. She wound up working as Choi Siwon’s housekeeper, and what followed was as much rom-com and noona romance as it was the story of a new family coming together. Amongst the many noona romances of dramaland, this one is a favorite — the two really felt like they were a generation (and a world) apart. Watching an ajumma and a pop star fall in love turns about to be a whole lot of fun, and I loved how this drama was about their relationship bringing out the best in each other.

 
She Was Pretty (2015)

I wouldn’t exactly call it an easy feat to steal the spotlight from Park Seo-joon, but that’s kinda what Choi Siwon did in She Was Pretty. Second leads are a demographic all their own — especially when they are secondary heroes pursuing the heroine. Often, they see her, understand her, and relate to her better than the leading male character does. Why they rarely end up together is a dramaland riddle that I don’t think we shall ever truly unwind. However, in She Was Pretty, Choi Siwon was able to take his doomed second lead standing and make such an infectious character that the rest of the drama seemed a bit dull in comparison. Zany done well means a character that goes down in dramaland history, and that’s just what Choi’s scruffy, wackadoo man-with-a-secret did.

 
My Fellow Citizens (2019)

Choi Siwon is back in dramaland with My Fellow Citizens, which is in its final weeks on KBS. Choi Siwon plays a con artist campaigning for a political seat, Lee Yoo-young plays a police detective, and somehow the two wind up getting married. The comedy is high in this one, and literally every screenshot I have seen features Choi Siwon with some kind of hilarious, exaggerated expression on his face. I love stories that feature married couples, and this one sounds like a nice twist on the married couple that not only don’t understand each other, but don’t really know each other. I can only imagine what happens as the cover starts to drop, and these two have to come to terms with the truth!

 
Choi Siwon’s full filmography:

  • Precious Family (2004) [Drama]
    Choi Siwon’s first pre-idol debut acting role was in this weekend family drama.

  • Eighteen, Twenty-Nine (2005) [Drama]
    A housewife (Park Sun-young) has a car accident + amnesia and reverts to her 18-year-old self. Choi Siwon played the younger version of her husband (Ryu Soo-young) in his second acting gig.

  • Spring Waltz (2006) [Drama]
    The fourth in the Endless Love drama series, this drama starred Daniel Henney and Han Hyo-joo. It goes without saying that it is a romance melo.

  • A Battle of Wits (2006) [Film]
    This historical action/war drama was Choi Siwon’s first foray into the world of films from China and Hong Kong. Many would follow!

  • Legend of Hyang-dan (2007) [Drama]
    Short drama that starred Choi Siwon and Seo Ji-hye in a new take on the classic Korean story Chunhyangga.

  • Flower Boys’ Series of Terror Events (2007) [Film]
    This high school mystery/comedy film starred, yes, the members of Super Junior, and was the first film to come out of SM’s production company.

  • Stage of Youth (2009) [Drama/Cameo]
    Chinese drama that was a tribute to the 2008 Summer Olympics. Siwon and the other Super Junior-M members cameoed.

  • Oh My Lady (2010) [Drama]
    There’s something about Siwon carrying around an adorable three-year-old girl that just melted me into goo (see above).

  • Athena: Goddess of War (2010) [Drama]
    This Iris spin-off had a budget to reckon with, and an impressive cast of Jung Woo-sung, Cha Seung-won, and Soo Ae. Choi Siwon had a supporting role as a secret agent.

  • Poseidon (2011) [Drama]
    This drama told the story of the lives and loves of the Korean Coast Guard and starred Lee Shi-young and Lee Sung-jae alongside Choi Siwon.

  • Skip Beat! (2011) [Drama]
    This Taiwanese drama starred Siwon and his Super Junior bandmate Donghae (incidentally, their Mandarin lines were dubbed in).

  • The King of Dramas (2012) [Drama]
    Choi Siwon played an egomaniac actor in this satire drama/drama satire.

  • Fall In Love With You Again (2015) [Drama]
    Choi Siwon starred in this Chinese supernatural romance drama that also starred Wang Luodan.

  • Masked Prosecutor (2015) [Drama/Cameo]
    That thief in Episode 1 was none other than Choi Siwon in a cameo.

  • She Was Pretty (2015) [Drama]
    Hwang Jung-eum used to be pretty, but Choi Siwon didn’t seem to care (see above).

  • Dragon Blade (2015) [Film]
    Yes, Choi Siwon was in this Chinese/Hong Kong historical action film that starred Jackie Chan. Also present were John Cusack and Adrien Brody. Does not compute.

  • Helios (2015) [Film]
    Choi Siwon played a South Korean special agent in this Chinese/Hong Kong crime thriller with an ensemble cast.

  • To the Fore (2015) [Film]
    Another foray into the world of films from Hong Kong and China. This one was a sports drama about a cycling team.

  • Billion Dollar Heir (2015) [Drama]
    The Chinese remake of the Korean drama Heirs that made waves in Asia.

  • Dramaworld (2016) [Drama/Cameo]
    Choi Siwon cameoed as himself in Viki’s first in-house production.

  • Revolutionary Love (2017) [Drama]
    Choi Siwon starred with Kang So-ra and Gong Myung in this story of love, friendship, and social divides.

  • My Fellow Citizens (2019) [Drama]
    Con man + cop = marriage (see above).

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"Oh My Lady" remains one of my very favorite rom-coms. It is the reason why Choi Si Won is among my favorite actors. He was a great second lead in "She was Pretty"- a comedy that was so good that the Mainland Chinese did a re-make of it. That he has been a part a very successful idol group just proves how talented that he is- and how very hardworking.

Rumor is that he comes from a wealthy family- if this is true then- based upon Si-won's work ethic- I would suggest that they probably made their money by working harder and smarter than anyone else and Si-won simply absorbed that set of attitudes from his parents growing up. I bet if we asked him he might admit that his parents were no overly thrilled with his career choices, although they have to be proud of him now.

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Yes! Siwon is from a wealthy company. Tbh he doesn't have to work and he would still enjoy a nice life. That's what I like about Siwon (and Super Junior). If I was getting bashed left and right for literally breathing, I'd just retire from the industry and enjoy my money. But no, he chose to stay because he loves being with the members and act. Plus he's a down to earth guy who does a lot of charity work.

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You have put your finger on one of the reason I really like this guy: You can tell that he really loves what he is doing. He works hard at it not because he has to but because he wants to do it well.

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Oh My Lady is one of my favourites too! A delightful watch with seemingly unrelatable characters becoming relatable in the end.

And, would Chae Rim return to kdramaland?

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She signed with a new agency last November so it appears that Chae Rim is at least thinking about it. She is now 40 years old and has an 18 month old infant with her Chinese actor husband. So we will have to wait and see if she really can make a return or not- but she certainly has enough talent for it.

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Oh my god are you serious? Chae Rim signed with a new agency? FINALLY. I would love to see her back in dramaland! In the meantime, I’ll just watch Dal-ja’s Spring again~

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Waaaaaaah I've been thinking about her a lot lately (I do that every time Siwon or Lee Min-ki has a project haha)... I wish she can make a comeback.

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That would be lovely! These days there are more interesting scripts for the older actresses (eg Sky Castle, Misty, Women of Dignity). I do hope to see Chae Rim in a Kdrama again!

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Choi Ji-woo in Twenty Again would be another example. She too is a fine actress- and the only actress who may be more elegant than Audrey Hepburn in her hey-day.

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I always think of Chae Rim every time I see Kim So Yeon. All About Eve was one of the earliest dramas that I liked. I would love to see her again.

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Loved his character in She Was Pretty! All his shows and movies on my list now!

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Choi Siwon still has room to grow and I like how he seems to know his strengths. His defining work for me is the 2-ep drama special, Legend of Hyang-dan, and I'd love for him to do another saguek. I think he has the charisma and budding gravitas to carry it off.

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@tofuetoffee kx,

I totally agree! I'd give my eye teeth to see Siwon in a good sageuk. He held his own in A BATTLE OF WITS with Andy Lau, Fay Bingbing, and Yu Chenghui (Jet Li's nemesis in SHAOLIN TEMPLE) back in 2006. It would be great to see him swash a few buckles with Yoon Kyun-sang. ;-)

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Wut....? He was in “Spring Waltz” ???? Since when...???
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Never mind, I remember now— he was the brother

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When I first saw him in King of Drama, I didn’t know who he was. Despite the good looks, I never suspected he’s an idol. First because idols usually stay in idol dramas, and more importantly the character is too repulsive and image-damaging for idols. He played an idol (or actor?) who was famous for being bad at acting, looks and nepotism got him the lead in a movie where he did nothing but play stupid childish tricks to mess with his costar simply because he had an unnecessary grudge. It was all too hysterical.😂

Next I saw him in She Was Pretty and this time this cray cray managed to break his pretty looks as much as his sanity. I felt so heartbroken for him at the end... cuz that was his goodbye before enlistment.

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Thanks for your feature on Choi Siwon, @missvictrix. He first caught my eye in LEGEND OF HYANG-DAN after I'd read Javabeans's recaps of this 2-episode drama. He's hilarious as magistrate's son Lee Mong Ryong. The show itself is a little jewel, and also spoofs the folktale of Shim Chung. The music, by Infinity of Sound (the Kim triplets), is top notch.
http://www.dramabeans.com/2007/09/hyang-dan-jeon-the-story-of-hyang-dan/

HYANG-DAN was so much fun I checked out the wuxia A BATTLE OF WITS, which I enjoyed a lot. Siwon looks every inch the prince in this tale of a Mohist engineer charged with defending a dinky kingdom against an attack by a much larger army during the Warring States period. Famed martial artist Yu Chenghui (SHAOLIN TEMPLE) also stars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Battle_of_Wits_(2006_film)

Kim Shin-hyuk is one of my favorite Kdrama characters. He's the main reason I kept watching SHE WAS PRETTY.

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I remember loving Oh My Lady, although now I can only vaguely remember what the story was about. That drama and She Was Pretty were the only 2 dramas of him that I’d watch. I like him a lot as an actor and I really should continue where I left off in My Fellow Citizen. Choi Si won ( and the rest of Super Junior), has been an integral part of my drama and fandom obsession since waaaaay back then so definitely he is a very special oppa to me ❤️

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murder dog owner

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ok I m not a big kpop fan so I have heard abt superjunior but never watched their music video or anything. So I first see choi siwon in "she was pretty" n start liking him much (too much). The character was so nice n his looks was rugged which I prefer and was refreshing as most of the previous k drama I had watched most lead had clean shaven look .
With liking comes, obsessioning over him. googled him , got shocked when finding he was part of SJ. watched SJ videos to see him sing n dance while still in shock with his clean looking idol look. watched his interviews, followed Instagram and liking him more n more but unfortunately it was time of his army duty so he went and mine obsession slowly died . when heard he is back, I was excited for "revolutionary love" but bad reviews fizzled mine excitement. have not started "my fellows citizen" hope it is good so that I can get back on choi siwon obsession train hehe

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Siwon is really one of the best idol actors around. While many did not like Revolutionary Love, I quite enjoyed his acting there and found him funny and adorable. He has the best facial expressions and emotes well also. Like some here, it would be great to see him in a sageuk. Though it would be fun also to see him play an idol in a drama. (Siwon is the probably the first Kpop idol that I had a major crush on. How time flies. 😅 )

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I saw him first and loved him in Lord of Dramas, (King of Dramas?) It remains one of my favorites--even though The writer followed the common pattern of "I'm going to write a couple of episodes here near the end that are NUTZ!" But he was SO excellent in that show.

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Oh, and the fact that he doesn't take himself so seriously. He accepted a role that mocked himself (Dramaworld.)

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I knew he had been acting for a while but I had no idea his acting debut went back to 2004. His comedic character interpretation in The King of Dramas was my introduction to Choi Siwon. He was simply hilarious in that but he can also do serious moments as was evident in She Was Pretty. You really felt for him in those brief, quiet moments when he just wanted the girl to love him back.

Currently enjoying watching him in My Fellow Citizens and I look forward to watching him in the years to come.

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Oh, and how could I forget when he "auditioned" to be a cast member in Infinity Challenge? He was so endearing. (I really wanted him to be chosen, but I knew he was a ringer.)

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his Choi-ces have been a hit or miss but when it is fun, then it is fun, why I like him, he is like a cartoon on a sunday morning for kids, or a weekend spent in pajamas. Just pure enjoyment, fun and games. But Fellow Citizens brings it up a notch. It is not a shock, King of Dramas already proved Choi Siwon can act seriously.
But I like it best when it is sunday morning cartoons.

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The standout for me was King of Dramas. I remembered him from Oh My Lady! but he seemed green as an actor and so it wasn't until he played a conceited foot actor in KoD that I thought, yes, this guy's talent comes through in the right role. Then in She Was Pretty, he nailed his crazy character, even delivering on the more sober moments so well. Since then I have decided I will always give his dramas a chance.

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I didnt finish all of his dramas but one, and that one drama is one of my all time favorite: Oh My Lady. It was the time when his mimic and acting for the role feels more natural.

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