Park Won-sang (박원상) is mainly a supporting actor who has continuously built his resume. He's been in eighteen dramas (including short ones), and over fifty movies (and he continuously does project after project). This doesn't even include all his stage credits which he constantly does, as well. Thus, if you've been watching Korean dramas and movies for a while, it's nearly impossible to not have seen him somewhere. Granted, you might not remember seeing him, but that's fine-I didn't either until recently.
Due to my newfound love for the actor, I went back and watched (in many cases, re-watched) a ton of his previous works. I thought I'd highlight a bit of his roles from his various projects and share some of the facts I learned from his interviews.
Birthdate: January 7, 1970
Waikiki Brothers (2001 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a womanizing keyboardist who gets into fights with his bandmate, the drummer played by Hwang Jung-min.
His first big role in a movie and his second project with director Im Soon-rye. Apparently, this was also the last time he had to audition. He originally planned to act the drummer role, but it was given to a more famous actor who then dropped out and then Hwang Jung-min took the role. Director Im Soon-rye advised Park Won-sang to take the role of the womanizing band member, but he pushed back at first since he thought he didn't look the part. However, she told him that was why she cast him in that role since it was unexpected. Fun fact, Park Won-sang placed silver in the 1993 MBC Campus Music Festival in a three-man trio, and he has a small singing part in the movie.
The Uninvited (2003 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays Jun Ji-hyun's husband. It's a minor role, and he's not in a lot of scenes.
Park Won-sang was very proud to play Jun's husband, but who wouldn't? This is also Park Won-sang's first film with Park Shin-yang. I couldn't get a good picture of Park Won-sang, so here's a picture of Park Shin-yang and Jun Ji-hyun instead. Park Won-sang definitely looks different here than from his role in Waikiki Brothers. He has short hair and glasses, and he sort of looks like his Big Swindle role when he's seducing women.
The Big Swindle (2004 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a con artist who swindles women, and he's a bad egg through and through. In the end, karma bites him in the butt big time.
This is one of his most iconic roles, and his second project with Park Shin-yang. I'd definitely say that if you're a fan, this should be a "must watch" movie. He's brilliant in it.
Innocent Steps (2005 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a dance manager (Ma Sang-doo) who's looking out for his own well-being and is willing to sell-out for money.
He's a bit of an antagonist, though I don't think he's outright evil. However, he does smack the main female lead played by Moon Geun-young (so there's that). He's probably only in this movie for a total of ten minutes.Sorry, no picture of Park Won-sang for this movie, either.
Hello Brother (2005 Movie)
ROLE: He plays the dad of two little boys, and calamity strikes his family when his eldest son is diagnosed with cancer.
He isn't necessarily a central figure in the movie. However, he does get screen time and delivers when its needed. Plus, it's a cute movie, and there are some moving scenes. His wife is played by Bae Jong-ok, and they're playing exes in an upcoming film. Fast fact, Park Won-sang has two sons in real life just like in the movie.
Art of Fighting (2006 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a detective. I really don't know what else to say.
It's completely possible that I missed something, but I only remember Park Won-sang in one scene at the end of the movie. He's listed in the credits as a supporting role, but I feel like it's almost a cameo. No pictures for this one either.
Bewitching Attraction (2006 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a broadcasting producer who has an affair with the lead character played by Moon So-ri.
He has a bed scene early on in the movie and few other risque scenes. In an interview, he stated that it was super awkward to film because they knew each other, and Moon So-ri said they laughed too much on set.
May 18 (2007 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a comedic role (Yong-dae) alongside Park Chul-min. He wears colorful suits and has floppy hair.
It's a sad movie since it's based on a horrific event, but it's kind of like the movie Titanic in that it's a very commercial film. While re-watching, I was surprised that one of the most prominent scenes I remembered from the movie was actually Park Won-sang's scene. He's so good that I was a fan even before I knew it, hahaha!
Park Won-sang and Park Chul-min are good friends in real life (Park Chul-min is the hyung), and Park Won-sang stated in a tv interview (Yeo Yoo Man Man: Feb. 3, 2014) that he had a really hard time with all of the ad-lib Park Chul-min did in the movie. By the way, you should watch Park Chul Min's Another Promise, and if you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the clip of his "Acceptance Speech" of his presentation award. It's brilliant, and makes me laugh every time.
Here you go:
Forever the Moment (2007 Movie)
ROLE: It's a cameo appearance, and Park Won-sang plays Moon So-ri's husband . He's an immature husband and a retired athlete who was scammed and is being chased by loan sharks. He loves his family and feels guilty toward his wife for putting her through so much hardships, but that guilt manifests itself into bad decisions.
This is another reunion for him and Director Im Soon-rye as well as another husband-wife role between him and Moon So-ri. They've played husband and wife quite a few times both on the big screen and on stage.
Fighting Chicken Mi-sook (2007 Short Drama)
ROLE: He plays a painter who moves down to the countryside for a few months, but next door is a chicken that continues to bother him and coincidentally has the same name as his wife. Cue wacky hijinks.
I would have never seen this if it weren't for Park Won-sang, but I'm so glad I did. It's ridiculous but hilarious. It's everything that I like about one-episode, comedy dramas in that it's short and sweet. Definitely my favorite Park Won-sang short. Apologies for the low-quality picture; I couldn't find a good quality video.
Here's the link to the official site where you can read the script in Korean. This is probably geo restricted, but KBS uploaded the whole episode in parts on Youtube.
Little Prince (2008 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a sound engineer and the best friend to the movie's protagonist played by Tak Jae-hoon. He's a steadfast friend who tries to help the hero get back on his feet. He also sports a dorky haircut and has a glasses neck cord. In other words, he's sort of a goof.
The movie is rather bland and typical, and Park Won-sang doesn't have a large role. I'd skip this movie and watch something else he was in.
Girl Scouts (2008 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a bad guy who steals a very large sum of money, but that money gets stolen from him. He chases after the money and gets repeatedly hit throughout the process.
Park Won-sang's role isn't that memorable. His acting is fine, but the character feels familiar. It also doesn't help that the movie fails to setup its characters and help the audience understand their motivations. His character is mostly two-dimensional, and while Park Won-sang's acting, at times, seems to elevate his character to show more depth, he can only do so much with a poorly written character.
A Man I Want to Kill (2008 TV Movie)
ROLE: He plays a high school Korean language teacher, Dae-sung, and starts a relationship with Eun-ah (Suh Yoo-jung). They're cute in the beginning of their relationship, but [spoiler?] he turns out to be quite pathetic.
Like many of the films on this list, I watched this movie solely for Park Won-sang. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed his role and his relationship with Eun-ah. Something about the way Park Won-sang portrayed the character made it impossible for me to hate him completely. He was so cowardly compared to the female, and while his infidelity made me dislike him, I think his indecisiveness ultimately made him more pitiful than hateful. It also helped that his ending was satisfactory (and sort of funny), and Park Won-sang plays Dae-sung with aplomb.
Chosun Police 2 (2008 Drama)
ROLE: He plays a member of the chosun police, Ji Dae-han, lead by Lee Jong-hyuk's character. He's also a husband and father which are both crucial to his identity. It's actually adorable how much he loves his wife and daughters, and it becomes a recurring theme on how he can't fathom parents treating their kids poorly. He almost seems too caring especially given the time period, and most of the other fathers shown are horrible misogynists.
This is his first role in a full-length drama, and it's actually quite substantial. I saw the drama recently, and maybe it's because of time, but the show came across as dated and a bit too simplistic. The mysteries weren't that suspenseful, and the plot was predictable. The directing was also a bit dull and unoriginal. However, I loved Park Won-sang's Ji Dae-han, and he's probably one of my favorite Park Won-sang's tv character.
Fast fact, Yoo Yeon-suk has a minor role in episode 11, and the two later filmed The Whistleblower though they don't share any scenes in that movie.
Secret (2009 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays Detective Choi who butts heads with the main character played by Cha Seung-won. He's hotheaded, and despite his gruff behavior, he's quite sharp.
The movie is okay, and really hinges on a twist at the end. There are a lot of familiar faces in the movie (Ryu Seung-ryong, Oh Jung-se), and comparatively, Park Won-sang's role is rather unmemorable. However, it's one of his biggest roles up to this point, so Park Won-sang has a pretty decent amount of screen time in it.
My Dear Desperado (2010 Movie)
ROLE: He has a rather tiny role as a fellow gangster alongside the lead character played by Park Joong-hoon.
I didn't realize Park Won-sang was in this until I looked at his filmography, and I saw the movie twice. He's good in it, but it's just that the gangster scenes aren't that memorable since it's more of a romantic-comedy.
Villain and Widow (2010 Movie)
CAMEO: Park Won-sang has a small cameo and is only in the first five minutes of the movie. He acts alongside Han Suk-kyu, and comes to an untimely end.
Yacha (2010 Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a gambler named Park Po who's living on a Japanese island and has a knack for languages. He first appears in episode 4 (in the latter half). He's not trustworthy and loves money, but he later becomes a reliable friend to the main character played by Jo Dong-hyuk.
Park Won-sang (as usual) does a splendid job, and his narrations are brilliantly delivered. I can't speak much about the drama because I skipped nearly everything that didn't pertain to Park Po, but it's gritty (though cheesy) and risque for tv. The show is rated 19, so be prepared to see some nudity and graphic violence.
Funny Neighbors (2010 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays Reporter Park Jong-ho who works for a local paper. He hates his job and wants to study for the bar exam instead. He's hounded by his wife to continue working, by his boss to get more advertisements, and by a dog catcher who blames him for throwing him in jail because of an article he wrote.
This is Park Won-sang's first "lead role" in a movie. He's great as always, and the movie has some memorable, funny scenes. However, the movie lacks cohesion and suffers from too many plot lines and characters. Overall, the movie under-delivers, but it did make me laugh from time to time.
Dream High (2011 Drama)
ROLE: He plays the evil CEO of a top management company, and causes trouble for the protagonists (like Taecyeon).
I've seen this show. I even made a few recaps for Uhm Ki-joon (the reason I watched in the first place), but I don't really remember Park Won-sang. The odd thing with this show is that it doesn't show up in most of Park Won-sang's dramas credits for some reason. Weird.
Warrior Baek Dong-soo (2011 Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a swordsman and teacher to the young leads. [Spoiler Alert] He only lasts until episode 5, but I guess that's a good thing for me since I don't want to watch the entire drama.
There isn't much to say except that it's really short. He's sort of cool, but he's just no match for the "main" characters which is a shame. I'd rather just watch him in Chosun Police 2 again.
Champ (2011 Movie)
ROLE: He plays a jockey manager who's a spineless jerk. He also sports light-colored sunglasses and looks like a cad. It's great (his acting, not the movie).
Yoo Oh-sung came on variety talk show Win Win to promote the movie, and Park Won-sang came out as a special guest since he and Yoo were in the same theater troupe in the 90s. This was his first variety show appearance, and I wish he were on more (though I doubt it will happen). He was also on a television program as a guest for Park Chul-min.
Clip is available on Youtube by KBS in parts (however, I believe KBS uses geo blocking):
Part A (near the end of this clip he makes his entrance)
Behind the Scenes of the Seokyung Sports Council Reform (2011 Short Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang is a retired soccer player who now works at the Seokyung Sports Council, and he dreams of being a soccer coach for a professional team.
His character is simple and kindhearted, and he's willing to sacrifice for the greater good. While this short drama isn't anything special, it's a breezy watch with a warming message. I prefer the older short drama to this one, but it's pretty enjoyable. (Sorry for the low-quality photo.)
This was also uploaded on Youtube by KBS so you know the drill (the link is to the first part).
For Her Son (2011 Short Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a police officer and partner to the main character played by Choi Soo-jong.
He's only in a few scenes, though the drama is only four episodes itself. He adds a good dose of humor to the heavy show, but I would just pass this one if you're only a Park Won-sang fan.
Unbowed (2011/2012 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a lawyer who defends (maybe "partners with" would be more apt) a discharged math professor played by Ahn Sung-ki. He's a famous attorney who had some notable cases in the past, but is currently an alcoholic who's down on his luck.
Needless to say, Park Won-sang delivers a solid performance, and the movie is enjoyable. This is definitely one of my favorite Park Won-sang's movie and one of his best performances. I would argue that this movie boosted his career, and anyone who's a fan should definitely watch this. Director Chung Ji-young originally wanted an actor of the same stature as Ahn Sung-ki, which meant that Park Won-sang was way down the list, but luckily, the script made it around to him.
Hero (2012 Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays Yang Dong-geun's (the titular character) butler.
I didn't really like this drama. I don't really remember Park Won-sang's role, but I don't really want to re-watch just for Park. Sorry, no photo for this.
My Wife's First Love (2012 Short Drama)
ROLE: He plays an apple farmer (Myung-chul) who marries a twenty year-old girl from Vietnam played by Kim Ye-won. His first love shows up, and meanwhile, his wife experiences her first love with another man (nothing sexual; just the naive, one-sided type of first love).
Park Won-sang's character is actually level-headed and considerate, but he fails at expressing his emotions well to his lonely wife. While I understand and appreciate the message of the show, I don't know if the short did a well enough job getting it across. Also, my love for Park Won-sang may bias my view of his character and give him some benefit of the doubt that other viewers might not.
National Security (2012 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays Kim Jong-tae (based on real-life activist and politician Kim Geun-tae), and the movie is based on the twenty-two days of torture recounted in Kim Geun-tae's memoir.
The film does not shy away from the dehumanizing aspect of torture, and Park Won-sang is naked for the majority of the film. It's not an easy movie to watch, but raises important questions about humanity regardless of the filmmaker's political leaning.
Park Won-sang got the offer to play the lead right after finishing Unbowed, and he's done a lot of interviews for this movie. He stated that he had a fear of water, but filming this movie helped him overcome his fear. He also frequently mentioned that he only gave two cue signs to stop filming, but for one of them, they didn't catch his sign and he thought this was going to turn into an accident.When he first filmed a torture scene, he described the experience as an unpredictable fear, and his body immediately froze despite knowing what was going to happen. Luckily, he claims that he doesn't have a very good memory, so he forgot about filming the torture scenes after going on set for another movie (Miracle in Cell No. 7).
Interesting fact, Park Won-sang is actually self-conscious of his calves and how large they are because of a comment he heard back in his college days. Thus, when he was filming, he worried that his calves were too thick given the role, but the wife of Kim Geun-tae reassured him, after watching the film, that her husband enjoyed soccer and had thick calves too.
Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013 Movie)
ROLE: He plays an inmate (Choi Choon-ho) and the right-hand man to the boss of the cell room played by Oh Dal-soo. He's serving a sentence for swindling, but he argues that he's a treasure hunter.
The movie is cheesy and forced, but the acting is great and the camaraderie between the inmates is golden. It's a splendid cast. Park Won-sang originally didn't want to do this movie because he wanted a break after filming National Security. However, Director Lee Hwan-gyung (who worked with Park in Champ) kept asking him, so he agreed. He said that filming the movie helped him recover, and he had fun on set.
Burnout Syndrome (2012)
This was a short film for a variety show about directors. It's six minutes long.
Shark (2013 Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a detective... sorry, that's all I know.
I've actually not seen this drama. I saw clips of Park Won-sang's scenes and heard he's good in it. However, I've seen less than stellar reviews of the drama, so I'll pass for as long as I can.
Medical Top Team (2013 Drama)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays an anesthesiologist who lives in the supply room of the hospital (until he moves out later).
His character appears to have perpetual bed head and is overworked. He's kind of poor (financially) and comes across as a quack, but he's actually a skilled doctor with integrity. Park has a little bromance with Kwon Sang-woo and a small love-line with Lee Hee-jin (SPOILER: their relationship doesn't go anywhere, though). Since I only watched his scenes in the drama and skipped almost everything else take the following with a grain of salt: I thought Park Won-sang was the best in the show, and his character was the most interesting and the easiest to root for throughout.
My Dear Girl, Jin-young (2013 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a director and school sunbae to the main character played by Kim Gyu-ri, and harbors feelings for her.
This was an art film (?) that Park Won-sang did after National Security. He has a relatively minor role in the film as an adorkable, antsy director. However, he's left confused by their relationship though not as confused as our heroine who's experiencing a sexual orientation crisis.
The main character is childish and some of the plot meanders, yet I liked the wackiness of the film and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Tabloid Truth (2014 Movie)
Didn't re-watch so PASS!
The Stone (2013/2014 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays a gangster and Kim Roi-ha's right-hand man. He's fiercely loyal to his boss.
The movie is about "baduk," and there's a funny reoccurring joke about how Park Won-sang's character isn't very good and is kind of a dirty player. Park Won-sang is awesome, and he has a huge fight scene at the end (I may or may have not re-watched his scenes multiple times). I definitely consider this as one of his better and memorable gangster roles.
The Whistleblower (2014 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays Team Leader Lee Sung-ho who supports Park Hae-il in his quest for truth.
This is his fourth (?) project with Director Im Soon-rye. He has a decent amount of screen time given that it's a supporting role. It's an admirable character, and Park Won-sang, as usual, does a splendid job.
Reset (2014 Drama)
ROLE: He plays a detective and helps Chun Jung-myung's character who's a prosecutor.
He has an adorable relationship with Shin Eun-jung and Kim So-hyun's characters. Definitely not a terrific drama, but Park Won-sang is terrific in it. I wish the drama was less about the main character's solo (and brash) escapade, and more about the entire team working together and defeating the bad guys. He's definitely one of the best parts of the drama and it's a shame they didn't utilize him or Shin Eun-jung more because I loved the team dynamics.
The Throne (2015 Movie)
ROLE: Park Won-sang plays the father-in-law of Yoo Ah-in's Prince Sado and father of Moon Geun-young's Lady Hyegyeong.
He has minor role, and isn't in many scenes. It's a stylistic movie that's well-acted. However, I didn't really connect with it, and felt that the movie was bloated.
Last (2015 Drama)
ROLE: Ryu Jong-gu is the number two in Seoul station's homeless kingdom. He's an ex-boxer who gives up on life until he rediscovers something worth fighting for.
He plays an interesting character, and even gets a love-line (with Park Ye-jin). This was my first time actually remembering Park Won-sang's name as an actor. I know, I'm very late to party. Overall, it's a memorable character with an interesting arc though the last part still seems a bit forced to me (not that it still wasn't meaningful). He definitely has a lot of scenes since he's credited as one of the leads, and I would recommend this drama to anyone who's a fan.
Bubblegum (2015 Drama)
ROLE: He plays Jo Dong-il, a divorced man and the director of the radio department at a broadcasting station.
He has great hair. He acts with Lee Jong-hyuk, again. I didn't bother watching the show in its entirety, but I did watch all his scenes. He's great. I don't know if the show is worth watching just for him (because he has limited screen time), but I definitely enjoyed his character.
Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho (2016 Drama)
ROLE: Bae Dae-soo is a loan shark who secretly has a heart of gold. Coincidentally, he ends up helping the main character, Jo Deul-ho.
He's in a supporting role and was awesome alongside Hwang Seok-jung and Park Shin-yang (he's been in movies and a drama with them both before this). He has awesome curly hair, and was hands-down my favorite character. I'm a sucker for the gruff exterior but actually a marshmallow inside trope.
W (2016 Drama)
One of his recent dramas. Didn't watch, so pass!
Fantastic (2016 Drama)
CAMEO: He plays a fictional version of himself and briefly teaches the main character how to act.
Link to a post with clips: http://loveparkhs.blogspot.com/2016/09/fantastic-park-won-sang-cameo.html
Weightlifting Fairy Lee Bok-joo (2016 Drama)
CAMEO: He plays the main male character's therapist for two episodes. His first appearance is in episode 2 and then again in episode 4.
That's it for now! I technically started this post back in mid-2016, and now I'm finally posting it in 2017.
Here are some extra photos of Park Won-sang from photo shoots and interviews because why not. Happy watching!