Background check: Who is Ahn Bo-hyun, Jisoo's new boyfriend?
Actor Ahn Bo-hyun became the center of Korean entertainment news Thursday, along with Blackpink member Jisoo, after local media reported the two were in a relationship.
Ahn may not be the biggest name yet for foreign fans of K-pop or K-dramas, but he has been building a steady career for himself, having appeared in more than 20 titles since 2014.
After playing supporting roles in hit dramas such as “Descendants of the Sun” (2016), “Dokgo Rewind” (2018) and “Her Private Life” (2019), Ahn landed his breakthrough role as the main villain Jang Geun-won in “Itaewon Class” (2020). Since then, the actor has had lead roles in Netflix’s “My Name” (2021) costarring with Han So-hee, “Yumi’s Cells” (2021-22) and “See You in My 19th Life.”
How did Ahn start his career?
Before Ahn kicked off his acting career, he was a model, having debuted in 2007 through a show in the Seoul Collection. He was a boxer during his school years, and he once told local media in an interview that having been active as an athlete helped him later in preparing for acting roles.
While walking the runway for fashion shows, Ahn became friends with fellow model-turned-actor Kim Woo-bin, and was subsequently cast in his first role in the 2014 KBS drama “Golden Cross.”
The first of Ahn’s appearances in a drama that saw mainstream success was “Descendants of the Sun,” in which he plays Kwang-nam, a first sergeant in the alpha team of the military. Although his role was small, this was the first time Ahn's name became more widely known.
What was Ahn’s breakthrough role?
Without a doubt, Ahn’s career took off after “Itaewon Class.” In the hit JTBC drama, Ahn played Jang Geun-won, the heir to the Jangga Group and the main villain of the series. Geun-won was portrayed as a former school bully who caused an accident that killed one of the main character’s father. Ahn received praise for his portrayal of a remorseless and irritating villain who causes problems for the main characters, Park Sae-ro-yi, played by Park Seo-jun, and Jo Yi-seo, played by Kim Da-mi.
After “Itaewon Class,” Ahn started acting as leads in dramas such as “Yumi’s Cells,” where he played the first boyfriend of main character Yumi Goo-woong, and “Military Prosecutor Doberman” (2022) as the titular Do Bae-man.
Ahn’s most recent role was in “See You in My 19th Life” as Moon Seo-ha, an heir to a conglomerate whose fate is intertwined with a woman who can remember all her past reincarnations. When Ahn was first cast as Seo-ha, there were some reservations from fans of the original webtoon on which “See You in My 19th Life” is based because the character is a weak-bodied pretty boy — far from the rough image of Ahn — but after the show aired, reviews on Ahn’s performance were mostly positive.
What is Ahn like outside acting?
Ahn’s best friend in the entertainment industry is known to be Kim Woo-bin, whom he met first through his modeling days. Kim was the only one who was present to say his farewells to Ahn when he left for his military service, and they speak to each other regularly on the phone, Ahn has said in interviews. He is also friends with Sehoon from boy band EXO, who once even sent a coffee truck to a filming set of one of Ahn’s dramas.
Ahn has lived by himself for the past 15 years, so he is good at cooking — more so than his own mother, he once said in a television show. He has a younger sister, who he wasn’t close to initially but with whom he now has a good relationship since they both became adults.
Ahn has also spoken before about his ideal partner — someone who knows how to take care of themselves, someone who can laugh at his jokes and someone who treats the elderly with respect. He has also said before on a television program that if he starts dating, he would like to go climbing outdoors with her.
Has Ahn dated anyone else before Jisoo?
Not much is known about Ahn’s dating history, but Jisoo is without a doubt the highest-profile celebrity he has been associated with. Jisoo’s agency YG Entertainment confirmed Thursday that the two are “in a stage where they are getting to know each other slowly with good feelings.”
Previously, fellow Blackpink member Jennie had been swept up in dating rumors with boy band BTS member V, Big Bang member G-Dragon and EXO member Kai. This is the first time for YG Entertainment to confirm a dating rumor surrounding a member of Blackpink.
BY LIM JEONG-WON [email@example.com]