South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung began his career as a fashion model and debuted on screen with the 1994 fantasy romance movie ‘The Fox with Nine Tails’. The following year, he was seen in the role of Kang Dong-suk, a young man who leaves his country to become a car racer in the United States, in the television series ‘Asphalt Man’. His performance won him critical appreciation and also won him the Best New Actor award at the ‘Baeksang Arts Awards’ and ‘SBS Drama Awards’. In 1996, he acted in a couple of movies – ‘Born to Kill’ and ‘Shanghai Grand’ – and television series – ‘Oxtail Soup’ and ‘1.5’. The following year he starred in the breakthrough role of his career – a high school dropout named Min who gets involved with gangsters – in the action crime drama movie ‘Beat’. The movie catapulted him to fame and turned him into a youth idol in the country. It also won him the best new actor award at the ‘Korean Association of Film Critics Awards’. He next acted in the drama film ‘City of the Rising Sun’ (1998) and followed it up with the action-thriller ‘Phantom: The Submarine’ and the romance drama ‘Love’ (both 1999).
In 2001, Jung Woo-sung starred in one of the highest grossing films of the year – the epic action-drama ‘Musa’ (‘The Warrior’). In the film, he was seen in the role of Yeo-sol, a hot-headed but loyal former slave who, along with other members of a Korean delegation to China, must protect the Chinese Ming princess from Mongolian troops. Jung Woo-sung then played the lead role of Cha Cheol-min in ‘Mutt Boy’ in 2003 and the next year once again starred in one of the highest grossing films of the year – the romance drama ‘A Moment to Remember’. In this Korean classic film, he played the role of a caring husband Cheol-su whose wife suffers from a rare form of Alzheimer's disease. His next few releases were the anthology melodrama ‘Sad Movie’ (2005); the romantic melodrama ‘Daisy’ (2006) and the fantasy film ‘The Restless’ (2006).
In his next movie, one of the highest grossing films of all time in South Korea, Jung Woo-sung gave one of his finest performances. The movie, ‘The Good the Bad the Weird’, had him playing the part of a bounty hunter in search of a treasure map which is also wanted by two other outlaws. For his performance in this 2008 film, he bagged the Best Supporting Actor award at the ‘Asian Film Awards’ and the Popular Star Award at the ‘Blue Dragon Film Awards’. He next acted in the 2009 romance drama ‘Season of Good Rain ‘and the 2010 action-adventure film ‘Reign of Assassins’. The year 2010 also saw him making a comeback on television with SBS espionage thriller series ‘Athena: Goddess of War’ (2010–2011) wherein he played the role of National Anti-Terror Service agent Lee Jung-woo. He followed this up with another television series – the fantasy romance ‘Padam Padam’ (2011–2012) wherein he played the part of Yang Kang Chil, a man wrongly convicted of a murder. In between these two series, he also made a brief appearance in a Japanese series titled ‘Good Life: Thank You, Papa, Goodbye’ (2011). In 2013, Jung Woo-sung took up his first negative role in the action crime thriller movie ‘Cold Eyes’ in which he played the mysterious leader of an international bank robbing syndicate. The movie won him nominations for Best Supporting Actor at the ‘Asian Film Awards’ and ‘Blue Dragon Film Awards’ and for Best Actor (Film) at the ‘Baeksang Arts Awards’.
His next few releases were ‘The Divine Move’ (2014), ‘Scarlet Innocence’ (2014), ‘Don't Forget Me’ (2016) and ‘Asura: The City of Madness’ (2016). The last film, where he was seen in the role of a corrupt cop bagged him the Popular Star award at the ‘Blue Dragon Awards’ and the Best Actor award at the ‘Busan Film Critics Awards’. In the 2017 political crime drama film ‘The King’, he played a powerful prosecutor which bagged him the best actor (film) nomination at the ‘The Seoul Awards’. ‘Asura: The City of Madness’ and ‘The King’ have a Rotten Tomato score of 83% and 86% respectively. In 2017 again, Jung Woo-sung’s performance as the North Korean agent Eom Chul-woo in the espionage thrillers ‘Steel Rain’ once again won him accolades and the best actor award at the ‘Chunsa Film Art Awards’. A few years later, in 2020, he also starred in the sequel ‘Steel Rain 2: Summit’. In between the two films, he narrated a documentary ‘Intention’ in 2018 and played the role of a defence attorney in the crime drama movie ‘Innocent Witness’ in 2019. His performance in the latter earned him appreciation and the Grand Prize (Daesang) for Film at the ‘Baeksang Arts Awards’ and ‘Golden Cinema Film Festival Awards’ as well as the best actor award at the ‘Blue Dragon Film Awards’ and the ‘Korean Film Producers Association Awards’. In 2020, he was seen in the role of Tae-young, a customs officer in debt to criminal in the crime thriller movie ‘Beasts Clawing at Straws’. The film has a Rotten Tomato score of 95%.
Jung Woo-sung other projects of the period are films ‘Illang: The Wolf Brigade’ (2018), ‘Trade Your Love’ (2019) and ‘Hunt’ (2022) as well as TV series ‘Delayed Justice’ wherein he replaced actor Bae Seong-woo to play the role of a reporter. Apart from acting, he has also worked as director for a number of music videos and shorts. His feature film debut is the upcoming ‘A Man of Reason’ in which he also stars in the leading role. He also executive produced the TV series ‘The Silent Sea’ (2021).