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[Actor Spotlight] Jung Hae-in

Jung Hae-in is in this week’s spotlight as the star of MBC’s current Wednesday-Thursday drama One Spring Night. This is only his second time in a leading role, but anyone that saw Jung Hae-in in Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food knows that he is poised for leading man success.

Born in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, Jung first debuted as an actor with a small role in 2014’s Bride of the Century. It wasn’t his first appearance (his first role was actually in an AOA subunit music video), but it was his first drama. Each subsequent role he took, no matter how small, increased his popularity and paved the way for where he is today.

Jung Hae-in seems like one of those actors who was destined to hit it big — all he needed was a couple of good roles, and an opportunity to showcase his talent. For a new leading man and pretty hot commodity right now, I’m happy to see the quality of the projects he has chosen. Prison Playbook, Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food, and One Spring Night — these are all really thoughtful and well-produced dramas.

Here are some dramaland moments from Jung Hae-in, followed by his full filmography.

 
The Three Musketeers (2014)

tvN’s The Three Musketeers was one of my biggest drama letdowns. I had sky-high expectations with the cast (Lee Jin-wook, Seo Hyun-jin), production team (Nine and Queen In-hyun’s Man), and a childhood of idolizing Alexander Dumas stories. The odds were in the drama’s favor, but it failed to capture me. It was either too campy or too comedic, and I was looking for epic and moody, I think. Mismatched expectations aside, this was a great bit of casting for Jung Hae-in. He played the “monk-skateer” who stole hearts in the show, and in real life (hi!). Sageuk suited him, and it was a sizable role for only the second drama of his career. The role would gain him enough attention to get cast in a few more side roles — and two great cameos.

 
Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food (2018)

Love it or hate it, Pretty Noona was an important drama of 2018. I know a lot of people were left feeling pretty burnt by this drama (and I understand why), but I was able to forgive it for the crash landing because most of the drama was just so good. I don’t know if I’d ever seen a K-drama before this that had the same level of authenticity to it. It made me sad and happy at the same time; there was something about the intimate way we watched these two characters (Jung Hae-in and his noona, Sohn Ye-jin) interact and fall in love that made it incredibly beautiful. Jung Hae-in, and the rest of the cast, worked so well with this director, and the production brought out some lovely nuances in each performance.

 
One Spring Night (2019)

The best of Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food stayed with me for a long time, so I was all ears when director Ahn Pan-seok was returning with a new drama by the same writer — and lo and behold, they even attempted to cast Jung Hae-in and Sohn Ye-jin opposite each other again! This was a bit of a head scratcher, but I expected it was: a) because their chemistry was so great; and b) because the drama was going to be half apology for Pretty Noona, and half a reimagining of these characters or who they might have become if things were different. This was entirely my imagination, of course, and Sohn Ye-jin wound up declining, and instead we got Han Ji-min, hot off her success in Light Gets in Your Eyes (I guess she doesn’t need sleep). Well, the first half of this drama was hands-down lovely. It was everything that stuck to me in Pretty Noona, but with a different set of characters — and a whole new set of complications and conflicts. The drama has a lot of ground to cover still, but I’m loving the emotional depth of the performances, and especially Jung Hae-in (with a nice amount of gravitas) as the single father and pharmacist.

 
Jung Hae-in’s full filmography:

  • Bride of the Century (2014) [Drama]
    Jung Hae-in made his drama debut playing lead Lee Hong-ki’s brother in this drama.

  • The Youth (2014) [Film]
    Jung Hae-in appeared in one segment of this omnibus youth film that featured some big names.

  • The Three Musketeers (2014) [Drama]
    Heartbreaker + monk. Killer smile + fighting skills. Sorry, am I fangirling too loud? (See above)

  • Blood (2015) [Drama]
    I was actually following Jung Hae-in at this point already, but it wasn’t enough to get me to sit through this drama.

  • Salut D’Amour (2015) [Film]
    In this film, Jung Hae-in appeared as the young version of the halbae hero played by Park Geun-hyung. As a fun fact, Han Ji-min was one of the stars here — fast forward to their 2019 drama!

  • Answer Me 1988 (2015) [Drama/Cameo]
    Jung Hae-in had a splash-worthy cameo in Episode 13 of this wonderful drama — he played Deok-sun’s friend from middle school and upped the ante by showing interest in her.

  • Yeah, That’s The Way It Is (2016) [Drama]
    Jung Hae-in had a supporting role in this weekend family drama and won SBS’s New Star award.

  • Night Light (2016) [Drama]
    This UEE and Jin Gu drama utterly escaped me, but Jung Hae-played Lee Yo-won’s driver and bodyguard, and it looks quite melo (as opposed to mellow).

  • The Moon of Seoul (2016) [Short Film]
    Jung Hae-in appeared in this short film as a Dongdaemun worker.

  • Goblin (2016) [Drama/Cameo]
    Another splash-worthy cameo from Jung Hae-in, this time with a two-episode appearance in Goblin as Kim Go-eun’s first love.

  • The King’s Case Note (2017) [Film]
    Historical comedy about a king and a historical record keeper that starred Lee Sun-kyun and Ahn Jae-hong.

  • While You Were Sleeping (2017) [Drama]
    Thanks to Goblin, Jung Hae-in landed a second lead role in this Lee Jong-seok and Suzy drama, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Conspiracy: Age of Rebellion (2017) [Film]
    Also known as Age of Blood, Jung Hae-in starred in this sageuk with Kim Ji-hoon and Jo Jae-yoon as the best swordsman in Joseon, and reportedly did all his own stunts for the film. Time to watch.

  • Heung-boo: The Revolutionist (2017) [Film]
    Another sageuk film, this time based on Korean folklore.

  • Prison Playbook (2017) [Drama]
    This black comedy is on my short list for sure, after hearing so many people rave about it. Jung Hae-in got a lot of praise in his supporting role as one of the inmates.

  • Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food (2018) [Drama]
    Jung Hae-in won his first leading role — and the heart of Sohn Ye-jin — in this totally wonderful (and at times, totally frustrating) drama.

  • One Spring Night (2019) [Drama]
    Jung Hae-in stars again in director Ahn Pan-seok’s latest drama, and it’s beautifully understated thus far. And I’m obsessed.

  • Yoo Yeol’s Music Album (TBD, 2019) [Film]
    This Jung Hae-in and Kim Go-eun romance has already been filmed, and awaits a release date. It’s fun to see these two reunite on the screen, but the story of a chance encounter/romantic timing sounds an awful lot like One Spring Night. Not that I’m complaining!

  • Ignition (TBD, 2019) [Film]
    This webtoon turned film is in the works, and will star Jung Hae-in, Ma Dong-seok, and Park Jung-min.

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Dear @missvictrix , this article was posted at a perfect timing : I think he has never been as popular as he is now and he is my current crush lol
Anyway I discovered him in Pretty Noona which I watched because it reminded me of Alone In Love also starring Song Ye Jin in a very realistic love story with subtle but strong performances. I was a little bit disappointed with Pretty Noona for the reasons that we know.
And I am watching Spring Night because I discovered Jung Hae In with the same director and turns out Han Ji Min is also doing an amazing job in it, which became another reason to keep watching, apart for the improved writing.

Clearly, Jung Hae In is 100% leading man material; I am so eager to see him in other genres with more diverse characters and all kind of different energies. I'll check out his other stuff while waiting for the release of his next leading man's projects.

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@oppafangirl here is your new favorite actor 😉
Thanks for the article @missvictrix and he really is doing a great job in one spring night

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Yay! I saw JHI first in Goblin and then in while you were sleeping and then in Pretty noona and now in One spring night! I totally love his acting, he is doing a really great job in one spring night! Those eyes filled with tears to brim but never spilling always get me . Ahhh ~drowns~ when is Wednesday coming?

*Even though some here says pretty noona was tolerable, I say no! It was for me proving 0+0=0 (if you don't learn and you don't grow , then I get a drama with the most absurd female characters)
** One spring is almost the opposite of it! The communication and honesty and determination and action is all there!

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Personaly, I loved Pretty Noona, the characters were immature but it's why they looks so real for me.

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To each their own! The characters were definitely real.

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@waadmay @annnsow YES! Every episode I just love his performance more and more. He packs so much into those small moments.

^above = my oops

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Don't worry about that 💖💖💖💖
I still have to catch up but he is doing great 💜💜💜💝💝💝

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How is "One Spring Night" only his second 'official' lead role?? *scratches head at the absurdity*

He truly embodies all the roles that he's given, and really grabs you into them and the whole setting of the drama itself. He first got my attention in "While You Were Sleeping" as the earnest police officer who, not only developed a connection with the female lead (Suzy) through their visions of the future, but also as he slowly developed romantic feelings for her, yet, let her go :(

Can't wait to see what this marshmallow will do in his far and bright future as he continues to own his roles as leading man ~!!! And thankfully, for him and for us, that he's already served and done his military duties, so nothing will be able to interrupt his career as he moves along forward ~!!!!

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I was a fan of AOA Black before and I really thought Jung Hae-in was cute in that MV! Fast forward to Bride of the Century and his cameos on both Reply 1988 and Goblin, and he got on my radar for having that refreshing flower boy appeal! Jung Hae-in got my attention on While You Were Sleeping where he portrayed a kindhearted police officer who are friends with both leads.

But the role that really got me falling for him was his Captain Yoo in Prison Playbook. He did a magnificent job in portraying a wrongly accused captain who formed a friendship of a lifetime with his cellmates and his brother.

As much as Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food disappointed me, I am still looking forward to his works! I will check out One Spring Night for him for sure.

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at one point I thought he is a member of FT Island. haha.

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After While you were sleeping, I really noticed him in Prison Playbook. Of course I couldn't wait for Pretty Noona (and yes, despite the ending I liked it a lot). He really one upped himself with Spring Night. I find myself wondering what kind of bad guy he would be...

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As a person who follow FNC artists, I know him since the start. He's the first actor of FNC. He was scouted on the streets and change his cursus in unversity and went to the army before to start his career. A very smart move.

I like how he built step by step his career, he really deserves first role now.

The Three Musketeers : I liked this drama. It was so fun. It changed from serious sageuks. Jung Hae In was perfect as Aramis. The scene where he washed with "ninja" girls hidding everywhere to spy on him was so funny !

It's funny in Prison Playbook he had the most scenes with Yoo Han-Yang, they always fight, but they take care of each other too. The boyfriend of Yoo Han-Yang was played by Kim Joon-Han.

In Goblin, he was the only who made the Goblin feeling insecure because of his beauty :p

He was the only reason I watched While You Were Sleeping. His character was so most touching. The second syndrom was strong.

Pretty Noona: I always watch some clips on youtube like when he's listenning her love confession, when they are in the hospital and he helps her to put her clothes, all their moments in his appartment. They are so much beautiful scenes in this drama.

I'm waiting for Yoo Yeol’s Music Album. I think I will love this OST and the couple.

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Everyone! Watch! Prison Playbook! This is the PD of the Reply series we're talking about - the writing is phenomenal and so is the cast!

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And Jung Hae-in is phenomenal in it!! Watch!

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Pretty Noona was the first drama that I followed live (also huge thanks to a Korean friend who recommended it and Netflix). Jung Hae-in is my bias among all the Oppas I admire as actors in kdrama world. I had no problem with Pretty Noona and I am thoroughly enjoying One Spring Night, in which he is truly convincing as a man dealing with a lot in life and also coming to terms with his new found feelings for a girl.

It is hard to believe he is so few drama old but as his fan, I await his future projects. I wish him nothing but success.

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I forgot I knew him from watching The Three Musketeers in my early Kdrama days. He was cute but I don't remember him much. It's good to know he built his career slowly and steadily.

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i watched The Three Musketeers for Lee Jin Wook (after seeing him in Nine: Nine Times Travel) - and loved the drama, but left remembering Seo Hyun Jin and Jung Hae In....

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Me too! I was sad that they did no season 2 and 3 like planned.

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Seo Hyun Jin character was so funny for a sageuk :)

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Bless him for working with Ahn Pan Seok. Got in a good drama plus got popularity all at once. I think the writers of pretty Noona knows how to draw the mass audience in South Korea because this drama unexpectedly (remember, the reaction of this drama was negative before it's premiere) has creating a buzz once again. And Jung Hae In gets benefit starring in a popular drama.

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I first watched him in WYWS. And i am planning to watch prison playbook too, been late but i have read good reviews about that drama. While i only liked first half of PNWBMF, i think the writer has greatly improved in one spring night. JHI has depth that it is always mesmerizing to see him. And him working with han ji min is just so good. Watching good actors surrounded with equally good supporting actors. Can'y wait for wed!

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Dear @missvictrix I just finished rewatch of Prison Playbook and it was so worthy of a rewatch. I had sky high expectation and remember some stories or scenes from the first time. Honestly I kinda forgot Jung Hae In was in Prison Playbook. I ended up loving everything again. Just want to say, Prison Playbook is good.

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#addedtotopofmarathonlist

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Out of the 150 plus dramas I have watched, it is still in my top three.

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Except the love story of he main lead, the story was really great. The casting was perfect and so funny! It was an original drama.

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I love all his dramas. Be it lead or not. He seems so genuine with his love that when he notices you, you feel so special coz he's not the type of guy who just gives his heart away will Neely.😘😘

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