Hwang Jung-min began his acting career as a musical theater actor before transitioning to TV and films. His breakthrough came in 2001 when he played a hopeless drummer in the sleeper hit Waikiki Brothers. His work in the movie won him Best New Actor at the inaugural Korean Film Awards. In 2002, he starred in the film Road Movie, which earned him numerous Best New Actor trophies. In 2005, he acted alongside Jeon Do-yeon in the melodrama film You Are My Sunshine, which sold over three million tickets nationwide. He scored numerous Best Actor awards and nominations for his performance in the movie. In 2013, he was named Best Actor at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 22nd Buil Film Awards for the crime drama film New World. In 2014, he headlined the blockbuster drama movie Ode to My Father, in which he raked in numerous Best Actor citations. In 2016, he was nominated for the Daesang at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards for his work in the films Veteran, The Himalayas, and A Violent Prosecutor.

Hwang Jung-min and musical theater actress Kim Mi-hye tied the knot in September 2004. They met through the musical Cats, which they both performed in. They have a son together.