Owing to his passion for acting, Yoon Jong Hoon went through hardship to achieve his dream goal.
Living poorly, juggling multiple jobs to achieve his acting dream
Yoon Jong Hoon, born in 1984, was raised in a middle-class family with no one working in the art-related field. During his highschool years, after watching the film “Godfather”, he started having thoughts about pursuing acting, yet to his family’s disapproval. Because of this, he had to enroll in the Department of Foreign Language and Literature, only to postpone his study in the first year of college to chase his dream. Having no family to support him, Yoon Jong Hoon decided to borrow from his friends a small amount of money to establish a career in Seoul. What he did not realize, however, was how arduous the independent life in Seoul could be, especially for some unknown name without networks nor wealth. To both take care of himself and follow his dream, Yoon Jong Hoon had to juggle all kinds of jobs, working shifts until 3 to 4 in the morning and taking time in the middle to go casting. Not to mention he had to save up money; therefore, for a long period, the actor stayed in a run-down place, getting teased for being “the roach killer”. When asked of the person he is most grateful for during this tough period, Yoon Jong Hoon always mentions his female landlord, who supported him through the difficult times, extended his rent payment time, behaved nicely and appreciated his determination.
Much as he already possessed a handsome face, considerable height and comparable acting skills to those professionally trained, Yoon Jong Hoon still could not get a role. During the early years of his career, he had to run errands on set and mostly played extra roles. It only took to be on set and gain experience for the aspiring actor to accept the job. It was this diligence that he was eyed by the producers.
Throughout the 10 years of his career, Yoon Jong Hoon diligently worked his way up from extra to supporting roles with little screen time. In 2014, Jong Hoon got his first ever lead role in romance series “Only Love” and captured attention with natural acting patterns and expressive eyes as well as outstanding height. Nonetheless, he could not make any breakthrough, continuing struggling with supporting roles.
A life-turning point while approaching 40s thanks to smash hit “Penthouse”
In 2020, at 36 years old and 11 years of acting, Yoon Jong Hoon was suddenly famous thanks to the successful hit “Penthouse” about the infighting among the riches. Initially, Oh Man Suk was first targeted to play the weak and ill-determined husband Ha Yoon Cheol. Compared to actor Yoon, Oh Man Suk was inarguably more famous, his appearance more suitable for a 40-year-old with a child in highschool. This point initially caused controversies about the choice of Yoon Jong Hoon for the role, stating he did not look the part and felt mismatched beside his elder, Kim So Yeon.
With his impressive acting, Yoon Jong Hoon step by step cleared the audiences’ suspicion of his ability. He performed well as Ha Yoon Cheol, most prominently in the third installment of the series. Thanks to this role, Yoon Jong Hoon had his major leap to higher acting tier, becoming a well-loved actor and breaking the 10-year “with age yet without fame” curse. After “Penthouse”, Yoon Jong Hoon immediately received a new script for “Sh**ting Stars” as a comeback. Unfortunately, the series was not highly regarded in terms of script and main co-stars’ acting performance. However, his appearance was still a highlight in the drama.