A dream come true, Cho Seung Woo
Here, there is someone who says that the place where the center of gravity that supports them is always the stage. For 20 years, the actor has never forgotten about musicals, dramas, and movies, but has never forgotten a musical among the vast selections that are held in his hand. And an actor who proves to the world why he can’t forget the stage with a louder voice than anyone else. He still prays before he goes on stage. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow will be the same stage, but always make me feel like I am standing for the first time today. Speak like prophecy and his prayers will come true. There are so many people who will pray that he will not leave this place after getting used to this stage.
When your long-cherished dream comes true.
Today, we’re going to talk about actor Cho Seungwoo’s musical life. Let’s talk about the past slowly. By the way, does Seungwoo remember the past?
Everyone will think the same. Don’t forget what you want to remember and destroy what you don’t want to remember. that’s what selective forgetting is all about.
Then what are the oldest memories related to the musical?
In 1995, there was a time when ‘Singing in the rain’ premiered, causing a boom. Nam Gyeong-eup, Nam Gyeong-ju, and Choi Jeong-won performed at the theater called Hyundai Art Hall, which is located above Hyundai Department Store in Samseong-dong. Was the ticket for “Sabita” 15,000 won at that time? I was a freshman at Gyewon Arts High School. I went to see a lot of performances with a discount on love tickets. Also, I have seen ‘Broadway 42nd Street’ a lot, and have seen ‘Empress Myeongseong’ and ‘Dracula’ several times. When I was in high school, I watched all the works of the Seoul Arts Group. Kaywon Preliminary School took care of the students so that they could see a lot of performances.
It is well known that Seungwoo went to see many performances when he was in high school. It is also famous that he dreamed of becoming a musical actor after watching the school performance ‘Don Quixote’.
‘Man of La mancha’ was my dream. A dream that must come true someday. However, when the opportunity came at twenty-six, I thought I couldn’t digest this work, so I couldn’t get on with it easily. In fact, after finishing the premiere of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’, I heard a story from OD Company CEO Shin Chun-Soo to do ‘Man of La mancha’. But even though it was a long dream, I had no choice but to refuse the offer at that time. In the play, Cervantes tells Carrasco, “Friend, I’ve been looking forward to life for fifty years.” Two years later, when I was offered a performance in 2007, I thought, ‘Let’s throw me into the work with the enthusiasm of my twenties’ and then I ran into it… I felt a lot more fear than when I first prepared Jekyll & Hyde. I want to ‘What should I do if I ruin the work I love?’ Before the first performance, I was very nervous before I stood on the stage, but after the performance, I felt the impression on the stage when I had a dream. At that time, that feeling cannot be expressed in words.
Don Quixote’s line that giving up dreams and ideals is the most unfortunate thing, shook the heart of middle school student Cho Seung-woo. Is that line still the most nerve-wracking?
(As you can imagine for a moment) There is a scene where Don Quixote gets the golden helmet and asks if he can give the lord the title of a knight? In fact, the innkeeper, Youngju, says, “Well, I’ll do it” but Don Quixote has just imagined it alone. Let’s think about how the later wise men will describe this historic night of self-criticism. Then he realizes his stupidity and prays to heaven saying he is full of vanity. He said that he would possess only his whole spirit, and that he would adore the appearance that will be not what he is now, that he will be polite to women without pursuing foolish pleasures, and that he will only look at the one woman he loves. Whenever I read this scene in the script, it is shown as a picture rather than as text. I can just imagine those images when I walk out on stage and talk. It’s one of my favorite scenes. But ‘Man of La mancha’ is not just a word, all scenes are good. So I can’t let go of this work. “My friend, I’ve always faced life for 50 years.” I want to perform until this line becomes real.
In the past, I was disappointed that Seungwoo repeatedly appeared in only a few films. From the audience’s perspective. But after seeing ‘Man of la mancha’ in 2015, I thought this. It is one of the happiness that can be enjoyed as a musical fan to see an actor deepening with good works. I changed my mind then. When you are active in the musical genre, do you have a tendency to pursue perfection or a sense of responsibility for the audience in the background of carefully choosing your cast?
Since I’ve been doing a lot of reenactments, the number of works is small compared to the time I’ve been active, right? Of course, I am thirsty for a new work. Jekyll, La mancha, Hedwig, Sweeney…I’m also curious about what other works I’ll meet besides these. Before I get older, I want to play a different role, but movies and dramas are kind of creative dramas for me, so I can endure that thirst. In my case, if I want to go around looking for a new work, I have to have something flashy in my mind with a mixture of longing and passion. Like a light bulb lit up. To be honest, I want to have a premiere. Because of the joy of showing it to the audience after collaborating with actors, creators, and staff as if they were doing a workshop. It’s because of the joy of showing it to the audience after the collaboration of actors, creators, and staff. For example, during “Zorro”, all the team members made the work together, saying, “This would be good” and “that would be good”. You can’t do all the work that way, but the premiere is likely to do that. But these days, there aren’t as many premiere works as before, and there are quite a few cases where you can’t do it because of your age.
Why? Why do you think they are not suitable for your age?
Yes, the character is too old or too young. Of course, the role of the period that I have already passed is because I have experience in life, so I can bring out that feeling. But I didn’t want to do that. In particular, the sensitivity of a certain age group of youth cannot be expressed by imitating it with acting. Imagine that I’m doing the Roger of ‘Rent’ now. Wouldn’t it be too awkward?.
It’s a different story, but when I talk about actor Seung-woo, people talk about age a lot. When you showed your best acting in the movie ‘Marathon’, you were only 25 years old. Have you ever been conscious of Seungwoo,‘How old did this person perform like this?’
How do you do that in this age group? I think these words are funny. Does it make sense that an actor acts well for his age? Come to think of it, there are so many child actors who showed good acting. It’s not that they’re young and they’re good at acting, but they’ve done well with the character they’re in charge of. I don’t think age has much to do with acting, so I don’t want to evaluate acting based on age.
A series of masterpieces throughout his life
The 2004 premiere of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ is an indispensable performance in actor Cho Seung-woo’s Musical life. Many things in life must have changed due to the success of the work, what memories come to mind first when you look back on that time?
When I went out for a curtain call after the first performance, I burst into tears when I saw the audience’s eyes. I was so overwhelmed. I remember that very strongly. There were many times when I wanted to run away because I didn’t think I could do it, but the joy of achieving something by suppressing fear and challenging it. ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ is the turning point in the life of me. It was the opportunity for me to stand up as well. Of course, I’ve been doing musicals since 2000, but I felt that I was recognized as a musical actor by the performers and audiences through ‘Jekyll and Hyde’. Yeah, a lot of things have changed.
When ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ celebrated its 10th anniversary in Korea, I received a short article from successive actors in ‘The Musical’. At that time, You answered the question ‘What is the gift this work gave to you?’ and your said, ‘Arrogance, pride and collapse’ was impressive. It seemed like a very honest answer.
Did I perform for about a month during the premiere? The performance period wasn’t that long. Of course, the actors, staff, and production companies must have been happy because they succeeded in a short period of time. So I worked hard at the end of that year to set up an encore concert. Well, it’s been 16 years. Can I tell you? In fact, I had to shoot “Maraton” before the end of the year concert, so I wasn’t able to practice for two to three months like the premiere. Even if we’re performing the same performance again in a few months, if the casting changes, it’s like a different performance. But I was conceited. I think the production company was proud. I believed in the memories of my past practice and stood on stage without enough practice, but I couldn’t make the original sound because I had a vocal cord nodule during the performance. And I lost a lot of things. In addition, Marathon was so popular that Cho Seung-woo, a human, became very strange.
Now that I think about it, wouldn’t it be even more strange if I wasn’t excited since I was young? If you stay there without being aware of the condition, the story changes. (laughs)
When I finished the premiere of “Jekyll and Hyde” I thought there was nothing I couldn’t do. But when we did encore performances, I was frustrated because I couldn’t perform as well as before, so I prayed desperately. And then I saw myself when I was young. The boy who was happy whenever he was on stage. At that time, I felt how scary it was to become numb to people’s good and highly appreciated names. Especially for the audience who pay a lot of money to come to see the performance, and if their thousands of eyes don’t feel scary, this is a problem, so I got goosebumps. To be honest, I didn’t think so. I thought it wouldn’t change even if the situation changed. And as things went well, I wanted to be perfect, so I became more sensitive. I tried to stay away from anyone who prevented me from doing what I wanted to do, and when I thought I was interrupted while I was working, I was very tough. So people around you must have had a hard time. I felt sorry for that. Fortunately, it didn’t last long and it collapsed and broke right away. (laughs)
After Jekyll and Hyde, you chose the premiere rock musical ‘Hedwig’, which surprised a lot of people at the time. Standing on the stage of a small theater like a transgender rocker when the Cho Seung-woo phenomenon was in full swing, I think it would have seemed like a very risky move.
‘Hedwig’ is a work that I really loved and cherished. There’s no musical like “Hedwig” in the world. It’s a different kind of musical that started at a small drag queen club in New York. Since the format of the performance is more like a monodrama, actors are given a lot of autonomy, and I thought that Hedwig would rent a certain space and hold a concert. It’s a concert where musicians communicate with the audience and talk about themselves. So I changed all the lines that were written in the first performance into spoken words. “Do you want to hear my song? The way this song was made is because my mom used to do this. Oh, you’re curious about Tommy, aren’t you?” Like this. I always thought a lot about how to make it more abundant. The ad-lib that I want to remember while listening to my performance recordings is. I’ll write it down in the notebook and upgrade it based on that. If you look for it, there will be a lot of “Hedwig” notes at home.
‘Hedwig’ rewrites the runtime every time you appear, and in the 10th anniversary season, you set a performance record of 3 hours and 40 minutes, right? It may be the result of many thoughts as he worked with this job for a long time, but it has been exciting to be able to lead performance with ad lib. Honestly, it looks like I’m going to be a bit ambitious. (laugh)
No, I’m very timid. When I was arrogant and conceited during “Jekyll and Hyde” I was like, “I’m this good!” I didn’t think about this much. Confidence and fear always coexist within me. When I meet a new role, I’m more afraid of whether I can do it. (Even though there are so many actors on the internet who read about actor Cho Seung-woo’s acting?) Seol Do-yoon, CEO of Seol & Company, once told me that I’m a genius. I’m grateful to hear that, but I can’t agree. There are so many things I can’t do. If you ask me, “Do you want to play Les Miserables Jean Valjean?” I’ll say, “Oh, I can’t.” I’ll say that. When asked if he could play Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” he would say, “I can’t, I can’t.” I’m not a genius with so many holes. I’m not a genius. The work that I can never do is giving up quickly. Instead, I get good inspiration when I see actors performing acts that I don’t dare.
Then, have you ever felt that you lost your credibility as an actor to the audience?
No, maybe it’s because I’m only trying to think of good things. That’s what the world is like. Even if I am applauded by many people, not everyone can like my acting. I thought hard about the character and acted without regret, but someone might say, “What? Why are you acting like that?” Everyone has different tastes and different directions. Now I’m a little detached from that reaction. If I can not be ashamed of myself, I can comfort myself by saying, “Okay, that’s enough, let’s settle for this.” Even if it’s a bit disappointing, I’ll try harder next time. When I used to have a strong perfectionist tendency, I didn’t have that kind of heart. It was unfair to hear that anyone could not act. I was wondering why I couldn’t do this. Then I can’t sleep until four or five in the morning. That’s why I was always skinny when I was young. (Laughing) I think it’s more valuable to do your best because I know you can’t be the best anymore. I’m relaxed now.
The string of fate that will one day follow.
Among the works that have appeared in the last five years, the most surprising one is ‘Werther’, which was performed in 2015. In an interview a long time ago, you wanted to try it when you were in your 30s, but to be honest, I thought I would never see Jo Seung-woo’s Werther, who missed the previous performance. It took him 13 years to return to Werther, what changed your mind at the time?
I never thought I was going to do the 15th anniversary of ‘Werther’. It was a very sudden and dramatic decision. The production company was preparing for a triple casting performance, but there was a situation with the actor that decided that he was not going to participate, so I took his place. It’s a schedule to start ‘Werther’ immediately 10 days after ending ‘Man of la mancha’, which was at the time. It was like a scene from a drama where I came across a work that I thought I could never do again. It was the first time I practiced other works while acting. Fortunately, Mi Do was in the same situation as me, so we gained strength by performing ‘Man of La mancha’ and preparing ‘Werther’ together. Music director Koo So-young was also very helpful.
How was it meeting Werther again after a long time?
I cried in the practice room and stopped practicing. It was the day I practiced music before going to the performance in the evening, and I burst into tears after hearing the introduction of the last song, “If I Can’t Get Away.” “How could you be so bright?” That’s the first line, isn’t it? But I couldn’t say “you”. As soon as Jeonju started, I was filled with emotions because I remembered all the memories of the 2002 concert. I couldn’t sing, so I looked at the music director and she was crying. What’s wrong with us? We laughed and cried again. I guess I was destined to meet Werther at this time, and that’s when I thought. I can’t forget the memory of that day.
I think the works you did as a rookie have a special side, right?
In 2002, “Verter” placed a simple chair at the convention center (currently Chamber Hall), not the Grand Theater or the Small Theater of Sejong Center. At the beginning of the show, there weren’t many audiences, but later, we had to make additional seats. I was so happy when I put up a seat with the staff and put up a paper seat. Technically speaking, I was so excited to see the audience come to see our work and cry and clap together. After finishing the concert well, CEO Shim Sang-tae, music director Koo So-young, director Ko Sun-woong, composer Jung Min-sun, and all the actors rented a pub and had a company dinner. It was also a happy memory. At the pub, the ensemble members danced and sang excitedly. They looked so happy. I cried without realizing it. I was really happy that I met good people and performed a great work that was recognized by the audience.
Of course, the performances in 2002 and 2015 are different, but what was the biggest difference Seungwoo felt on his own?
The Werther I did in 2002 was not acting. I was actually suffering from a fever of love. I tried to express my personal experiences and tried to express my emotions. I poured out everything on the stage and acted as if I meant it.How can I describe this as a function of acting? I spent all my energy on the performance during the curtain call, and I felt that the battery, which was 5 percent in the audience’s eyes and applause, was charged 100 percent at once. I thought, “I’m a musical actor. I’m glad I did a musical.” I was happy to see this work again in 2015, but I don’t think I felt like a young man suffering from a fever of love. Werther’s love should have recklessness, but the reason keeps trying to control his emotions. So I said I wouldn’t be able to do this 20th anniversary show. Yes, I need to do Dr. Zhivago to talk about love. That kind of sentiment suits my age. (laughs).
I was going to talk about Dr. Zhivago. Thank you for bringing it up first. (Laughing) I thought it was like a painful finger for Seungwoo. They say that there are no fingers that don’t hurt by biting ten fingers, but there are definitely fingers that feel more painful.
No, that work is not a painful finger. I don’t know how you used to say it, but now that I think about it, it’s not. Even if it wasn’t popular, I think it will continue to develop. Dr. Zhivago is definitely a valuable work considering its quality. If you think about the scent of music or drama, that’s right. When it premiered in 2012, I remember that it took more than three hours to perform. I think it wasn’t easy for the audience to see because we performed long dark scenes. But they say you have to try everything in three rounds. We’ve performed twice so far, so we have one more chance. I will do it again someday.
How did you remember ‘Sweeney Todd’, the newest name on your musical list? In an interview that was conducted when you were preparing for this work for the first time about 4 years ago, I asked you what it was that you feared the most and I remember that you told me that you were very impatient.
I was really out of my mind back then. It was when I was like, “This is all you can do?” There is a prejudice that Sondheim music is difficult for actors, but when I experienced it in person, I felt like I was tone-deaf and beat until I understood it. In that situation, imagine hearing that a few tickets were opened and sold. The pressure on my shoulders was so great that I wanted to run away until the opening day. 15 minutes before the premiere, we gathered together and shouted, “Let’s do it!” I was scared and scared and my hands and feet got cold and I felt like I was going to die. I sat down for a long time, and I prayed and went out to the stage. But the audience was enjoying the performance from the start. When “The Worst Pies in London” was over, I could hear people stamping their feet in the audience and laughing. That’s when I felt it. This work leads me to this work. You can just relax and leave me to the work, but it was hard trying to drag the work. I think Steven Sondheim is a great composer. The meaning of all the lyrics and notes is clear, so if you do it as it is, the character’s emotional line is expressed. Even if I don’t try to act more.
Dreaming once more
What I really wanted to ask in this interview is the audition episode for the premiere of’The Phantom of the Opera’. I know that I was filmed for the movie’Who are you?‘ because of a mistake by the production company, but I was wondering if I would have thought about it later,’What would it have been like if I went that way instead of this way?’
The audition process for “The Phantom of the Opera” was really, really long and hard. It feels like you’re being persistent in everything an actor can do? I remember applying for the role of Raul and receiving an order to read Raul’s duet song “All I Ask of You” like a play line and recite it as a poem. Besides, why do you watch auditions for so long? It’s been over 30 minutes, so I can’t get used to it and have a hard time. I came out on the way. He said he can’t do it because he has nothing more to show. I think the people who came out to catch me running away were Park and Seo Seom Seok. I was like, “What’s wrong, watch everything!” (laughing) I went to audition again after that day. If I get hit, I’ll get hit or no. They told me to wait again. I kept asking for understanding from the film company when I had to decide whether to do “Who are you?” or not. Said the audition results haven’t been announced yet. Meanwhile, the elimination card arrived in the mailbox at home incorrectly. I didn’t know that at the time, so I went there to sign a contract with Who are you?. Well, it wasn’t my destiny. If it weren’t for that happening, if I were to be Raul…Well, it’s already been performed, so I think it’s better to keep anything in my mind.
What do you think of most of your musical appearances so far? It’s like a memory that you bring out whenever you have a hard time.
A ‘Secret Reunion’ at the theater company Hakjeon. I debuted with this work in 2000, and that period is very precious to me. All my memories from my debut remain in the theater. And I think it’ll be hard to perform ‘Secret Reunion’ again. It is based on “Blood Brothers” written by a British writer William Russell, and I don’t know why, but the performance is not going up. It’s a shame that Kim Min-ki did a great job on the project to match our emotions. ‘Secret Reunion’ misses all the actors who participated in the performance.
Before becoming an actor, I wonder what works you like as an audience.
My favorite work is ‘Les Miserables’. Now that it’s been a while, I applied for the role of Javert in the audition for the premiere in Korea and failed. Wait, come to think of it, I’m out of Cameron Mackintosh’s work. The Phantom of the Opera has fallen, Les Miserables has fallen, and…It’s past time, so can I talk about this, too? I auditioned for ‘Miss Saigon’ in the UK as ‘Engineer’ and failed. I auditioned for the production performance that Hong Kwang ho participated in. It was when I was performing “Man of La mancha” at Chungmu Art Hall, and the domestic production company of “Miss Saigon” contacted me and asked me if I would audition for a British performance. Me? I’m an engineer? I was surprised. I heard that they asked me to recommend an actor for Asian production so that I wouldn’t use a Western actor for an Asian role in British production. I urgently filmed and sent an audition video in English. But I failed the final audition I saw in England. I wish I could have performed with Hong Kwang ho in London. Anyway, my favorite work is ‘Les Miserables’. When I was in high school, I learned how to sing by myself by memorizing the entire album. I still have the albums I bought for each version at home. Jean Valjean is a tenor, so I can’t digest it, and Javert wants to try it someday.
It’s a quick question, but when do you feel lonely as an actor?
People say that when they’re in their thirties, they’re going on a trip looking for me. I started to think like that when I was 40. I’ve been doing a few movies a year, and I’ve already turned 40 years old, and I suddenly didn’t know what I really looked like. Looking back on your past life, do you remember only the roles I played, and you don’t remember much about Cho Seung-woo? That’s what makes me feel empty. I’ve lived half my life, and I don’t know myself? I had a lot more thoughts last spring when I left my 15-year-old dog and went through Petros syndrome. So, I thought that I should take some time to reorganize myself after finishing one piece. Like going on a trip to a nearby place. Last year, I went to Jeju Island to see the nice scenery and eat delicious food, so I was healed. It was nice to walk around without thinking. I used to be a homebody, so I didn’t like traveling. But… I decided to go on a trip and Covid19 exploded! I told my juniors to leave whenever they finished their work, and they told me to change a lot.
The story I hear a lot in actor interviews is’I will do well with my hard work’. If you’re a writer, writing a certain amount of writing a day can be an effort, and for a dancer, it might be an effort to do physical training for a set amount of time, but it always sounded abstractly about what kind of effort actors can do. Is it Seungwoo’s basic acting policy, or is there any effort method that can help his juniors?
I’m not a style that talks about acting to juniors a lot. Different people have different roles, so how can I advise you. Instead, we talk like this. You should know the most about your role on this planet. You have to sweep inspiration from everything, but it’s good to imagine a lot to do that. For example, when I was filming the drama’The Secret Forest’, I wrote a lot of diaries. How did hwang si-mok live? If you were a person who could feel emotions, what would you feel in a situation like this? When I start to wonder ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ about all of him, a lot of question marks gather to create a character. So, whenever I think of something, I turn on my cell phone notepad. What are these feelings that I feel while looking at this scenery now, what time, what time, what are the days of months? I feel a feeling I didn’t know before in cloudy today’s weather, but what is this feeling, and a question mark. Keeping a diary with more question marks than exclamation marks in this way will help me all later.
Of course, this is your story. I’d like to ask you one last question. If you could make Cho Seungwoo’s life into a musical album, what would you put in the first and last song?
Oh, that’s a very fresh question… Oh, it’s too hard. I think the ‘Forbidden Flower’ of ‘Werther’ will suit the prelude. Because my childhood was very hard. It would be said that the sadness had subsided. When I was young, I felt a lot of loneliness. The last song is very bright music, bright but cool music. Ah! “One Day More” from “Les Miserables” is good. “One Day More (tomorrow)~” Haha. Forty-one, I think this would be good for the ending song in my life so far.
Source: The Musical
Trans/Shared by: Musical in Life
Published by xiahgirl21
Xiapwa & Musicalholic View all posts by xiahgirl21
Cho SeungWoo Profile: Role Model For Actors, From "Marathon" To "Stranger" Profile
Cho SeungWoo is a great Korean actor.
When he was a university student, he won the audition rate of 1,000:1 and made his debut after being selected to star in the movie "Chunhyang". He then captivated the movie industry by showing his youthful face in the 2002 movie "Who Are You?".
He then appeared in the films "The Classic"(2003) and "Low Life"(2004) and attracted public attention for his excellent acting skills, and the film "Low Life" entered the Venice Film Festival, attracting the attention of foreign media.
In 2004, he gave a passionate performance in the musical "Jekyll & Hyde" and created "Cho SeungWoo Syndrome", which accelerated the popularization of the Korean musical market.
In 2005, he was recognized for his outstanding acting ability by playing a marathon runner with autism in the movie "Marathon".
Subsequently, his works include the musical "Hedwig", the movie "Tazza: The High Rollers"(2006), the musical "Man of La Mancha" (2007), the movie "Perfect Game" (2011), the drama "The Peach Tree" (2012), "God's Gift: 14 Days" (2014), the movie "Inside Men" (2015), "Stranger" (2017), and the drama "Life" (2018).
He will also appear in the drama "Stranger 2" scheduled to air this year.
He is considered as an actor with the best acting of his generation, being counted as a role model for many new actors. The actors who called him role models include Kim JunSu, Kim HyungJoon, Kim DongHee, Song GunHee, Kim DoWan, and Kim WooSuk.
His performance has always been praised for being new and fresh, and many expressions say, "Cho SeungWoo is a genre."
Let's check his profile!
2000 - Chunhyang (Major Role)
2001 - Ahmijimong (Major Role)
- Wannee and Junah (Minor Role)
2002 - Who Are You? (Major Role)
- YMCA Baseball Team (Cameo Appearance)
-H (Major Role)
2003 - The Classic (Major Role)
2004 - Low Life (Major Role)
2005 - Marathon (Major Role)
2006 - Love Phobia (Major Role)
- Tazza: The High Rollers (Major Role)
2008 - Go Go 70s (Major Role)
2009 - The Sword With No Name (Major Role)
2011 - Perfect Game (Major Role)
2012 - The Peach Tree (Major Role)
2015 - Assassination (Major Role)
- Inside Men (Major Role)
2018 - FengShui (Major Role)
2012 - Hores Doctor (Major Role)
2013 - Drama Festival 2013: Lee Sang That Lee Sang (Major Role)
2014 - God's Gift: 14 Days (Major Role)
2017 - Stranger (Major Role)
2018 - Life (Major Role)
2020 - Stranger 2 (Major Role)
- Sisyphus: The Myth (Major Role)
2000 - Blood Brothers
2001 - The Last Empress
- Subway Line 1
2002 - The Sorrows of Young Werther
2003 - Carmen
2004-2006 - Jekyll & Hyde
2005 - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
2006 - Subway Line 1
2007 - Rent
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
- Man of La Mancha
- Pump Boys and Dinettes
2010 - Jekyll & Hyde
2011 - Subway Line 1
- Blood Brothers
2011-2012 - Zorro
2012 - Doctor Zhivago
2013-2014 - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
2013-2014 - Man of La Mancha
2014-2015 - Jekyll & Hyde
2015 - Man of La Mancha
2015-2016 - Werther
2016 - Hedwig: New Makeup
- Sweeney Todd
2018-2019 - Jekyll & Hyde
2019-2020 - Sweeney Todd
Boohwa - 'Another Side of Memory', 'Prayer to Overcome Sadness'
Tazza: The High Rollers
South Korean actor
In this Korean name, the family name is Cho.
Cho Seung-woo (born March 28, 1980) is a South Korean actor and singer. He is best known for his leading roles in the films The Classic (2003), Marathon (2005), Tazza: The High Rollers (2006) and Inside Men (2015) as well as in the stage musicalsJekyll & Hyde, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Man of La Mancha. He is also known for his leading roles in television dramas The King's Doctor (2012), God's Gift: 14 Days (2014), Stranger (2017, 2020), Life (2018) and Sisyphus: The Myth (2021).
2000–2004: Acting debut
Cho Seung-woo grew up in a musical family: his father Cho Kyung-soo is a singer, and his older sister Cho Seo-yeon acts in musical theatre. Cho himself also dreamed of becoming a musical actor from an early age, however in 1999 while a student at Dankook University he was persuaded to join auditions for Im Kwon-taek's film Chunhyang, and he ended up winning the part from among a field of 1,000 actors. Chunhyang would screen as the first Korean film in competition at Cannes, although domestically it failed to attract much of an audience.
Cho did go on to appear in musicals after his film debut, acting in local productions Subway Line 1 and The Last Empress. Soon he was drawn back into the film industry, however, with a key supporting role in Wanee & Junah (2001), a villainous turn in H (2002), plus a leading role in Who Are U? (2002). In 2003, Cho acted in Kwak Jae-yong's romance The Classic opposite Son Ye-jin, receiving good reviews for his sincere acting. His popularity continued to grow, and in 2004 he appeared in Im Kwon-taek's 99th film Low Life.
2005: Breakthrough with Marathon and Jekyll & Hyde
Cho's breakthrough would come in early 2005 with the smash hit Marathon, where he played an autistic young man who only finds release in running. The film sold over 5 million tickets, and at age of 26, Cho won several awards for his performance including Best Actor at the 2005 Grand Bell Awards, Best Actor at 2005 Baeksang Arts Awards in film category, as well as Best Actor in the foreign film category at China's Hundred Flowers Awards. Nonetheless, he continued to pursue his career in musicals, with critically acclaimed appearances in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Jekyll and Hyde. His success at pursuing both film and musicals make him an unusual case among contemporary actors.
2006–2009: Continued success
Cho starred in Love Phobia (2006) opposite then-girlfriend Kang Hye-jung; both were praised for their acting, but the melodrama wasn't a commercial success. He then headlined Tazza: The High Rollers with Kim Hye-soo, the 2006 film adaptation of Huh Young-man's same-titledmanhwa, which went on to become one of the biggest Korean blockbuster hits of all time. He followed that with Go Go 70s, about a rock and roll band during the height of the Park Chung-heemilitary regime; and The Sword with No Name, in which he played a fictional royal guard in love with Empress Myeongseong (Soo Ae).
After completing his mandatory military service, Cho made his comeback in the 2010 production of Jekyll and Hyde. The musical was especially meaningful to Cho since the actor rose to stardom when the show premiered in Korea in 2004. Cho's much-anticipated return to the stage was marked with controversy following reports that his salary would be the highest for any musical theatre actor in Korean history. While producers feared that demands for similarly high fees could follow (which could eventually put them out of business), others said that the fee was justified, based on the hope that Cho would help spark a renaissance in a once-vibrant but now-stagnant musical theatre industry. And true enough, when tickets went on sale, the demand was so high that the online reservation server broke down after 15 minutes, with all of the performances in which Cho was scheduled to appear already sold out.
His 2011 sports movie Perfect Game revisited one of the most exciting matches in Korean baseball history, between Choi Dong-won of the Lotte Giants and Sun Dong-yeol of the Haitai Tigers in the summer of 1987, which ended in a tie after being extended 15 innings; the rivalry between the two was further heated up by regionalism at the time with Choi representing the Gyeongsang Province and Sun, the Jeolla Province. Cho starred as Choi opposite Yang Dong-geun as Sun. That same year, Cho also took on the lead role in the musical Zorro.
After lead actor Ju Ji-hoon quit due to vocal chord problems, Cho joined the 2012 stage production of Doctor Zhivago just two weeks ahead of opening, turning the musical into a hit. He and Ryu Deok-hwan then played conjoined twins in actress Ku Hye-sun's sophomore directorial effort The Peach Tree.
Cho made his small screen debut in 2012 with The King's Doctor, a period drama based on a true story about a Joseon-era low-class veterinarian specializing in the treatment of horses who rises to become the royal physician. Cho won the highest award ("Daesang," or Grand Prize) at the MBC Drama Awards for his performance in The King's Doctor, then returned to the stage in 2013 in Hedwig, reprising one of his most memorable musical roles.
Cho continued working in television. He portrayed the poet Yi Sang in Crow's-Eye View, a single-episode anthology as part of MBC's Drama Festival. Cho then starred in the 2014 time travelthrillerGod's Gift - 14 Days, playing a private investigator who helps a mother (Lee Bo-young) save her child.
Cho reprised one of his most beloved roles in Jekyll and Hyde for the musical's 10th anniversary in late 2014, and the 18,700 tickets sold out in just 10 minutes. Because of his ticket power, he was chosen as among the top 30 most influential people in Korean popular culture in 2006, and for four consecutive years in 2010 to 2014.
Cho next plays a heroic prosecutor who uncovers bribery in the halls of power in Inside Men, a 2015 film adaptation of Yoon Tae-ho's webtoonThe Insiders.Inside Men was a box office success with more than 7 million admissions, becoming Cho's highest-grossing film.
In his interview in July 2016, Cho said that after completion of his performance for the musical Sweeney Todd, he decided to take a three-year hiatus from musical to focus on film.
In 2017, Cho starred in tvN's mystery thriller drama Stranger, playing a prosecutor who lacks empathetic abilities. The series was a hit and gained favorable reviews for its tight plot, gripping sequences and strong performances. Cho's performance in the Stranger also won him an Baeksang Arts Award for Best Actor in TV category.
In 2018, Cho starred in the period film Feng Shui, the third installment of the "divining art trilogy" by Han Jae-rim. He also starred in JTBC's medical drama Life.
Music video appearances
|2005||"Another Side of Memory"||Boohwal||YouTube|
|"Prayer to Overcome Sadness"||YouTube|
|2002||"Hyung-tae Live" |
|Who Are U?OST|
|2008||"We're Devils" |
"I've Been Loving You Too Long (to stop now)"
"U Got Me Bad"
"The Flame of Youth"
"Land Of A 1000 Dances"
"One Of A Kind"
"Mustang Sally (Twist ver)"
|Go Go 70sOST||song by Cho Seung-woo and The Devils|
|2012||"The Peach Tree"||The Peach TreeOST|
|2015||"As Flowers Bloom and Fall"||The ThroneOST|
|As featured artist|
|2004||"The Way of the Blessing" |
"Think about it"
|Come to me||Ha Kyung-hye's album|
|2005||"A Little Thing for You"||Lyrics||Boohwal's album|
|2009||"Standing on The Road"||Lee Young-mi 1st Single||Lee Young-mi's album|
|"A Wonderful Saviour Is Jesus My Lord"||I Am Melody 2||Various artists|
|Original Cast Recording|
|2002||"어쩌나 이마음" |
"우리는 (with Chu Sang-mi)"
"사랑하고 있다면 (with Choi Min-chul)"
"무례와 사랑 (with Kim Pub-lae)"
"제발 (with Chu Sang-mi)"
|The Sorrows of Young Werthercast recording|
|2004||"Lost In the Darkness" |
"Now there is no choice"
"This is the moment"
"The way back"
|Jekyll & Hydecast recording|
|2005||"Tear Me Down" |
"Wig in a Box"
"Angry Inch(with Kim Da-hyun, Oh Man-seok, Song Yong-jin)"
|Hedwig and the Angry Inchcast recording|
|2006||"Lost In the Darkness" |
"I must go on (with Lee Hye-kyung)"
"Take me as I am (with Lee Hye-kyung)"
"Now there is no choice"
"This is the moment"
"His work and nothing more (with Lee Hye-kyung, Kim Do-hyung, Kim Bong-hwan)"
"Dangerous Game (with Kim Sun-young)"
"The way back"
"Sympathy, Tenderness Rep."
"Finale (with Lee Hye-kyung)"
"Dangerous Game (with Lee Young-mi)"
|Jekyll & Hydecast recording|
|"Angry Inch(with Song Yong-jin, Kim Soo-yong, Um Ki-joon, Lee Suk-joon, Jo Jung-suk, Kim Da-hyun, Jeon Hye-seon, Ahn Yoo-jin)" |
|Hedwig and the Angry Inchcast recording|
|2007||"Man of La Mancha (with Lee Hoon-jin)" |
"Golden Helmet of Mambrino (with Lee Hoon-jin)"
"The Impossible Dream"
"Dulcinea Rep. / The Impossible Dream Rep. / Man of La Mancha Rep. (with Kim Sun-young, Lee Hoon-jin)"
|Man of La Manchacast recording|
|2013||"Tear Me Down" |
"The Origin of Love"
"Wig in a Box"
"Wicked Little Town"
"Wicked Little Town Rep."
"The Origin of Love (Acoustic ver)"
|Hedwig and the Angry Inchcast recording||with Lee Young-mi and Angry Inch Band|
|2015||"어쩌나 이마음" |
"우리는 (with Jeon Mi-do)"
"사랑을 전해요 (with Kang Seong-wook)"
"하룻밤이 천년 (with Jeon Mi-do)"
"반가운 나의 사랑 (with Jeon Mi-do, Moon Jong-won)"
"발길을 뗄 수 없으면"
"알 수가 없어 (with Moon Jong-won)"
"번갯불에 쏘인 것처럼 (with Jeon Mi-do)"
"구원과 단죄 (with Moon Jong-won)"
"다만 지나치지 않게 (with Jeon Mi-do)"
"자석산의 전설 Rep. (with Jeon Mi-do)"
"발길을 뗄 수 없으면 Rep."
|2016||"In Your Arms Tonight" |
"Tear Me Down"
"The Origin of Love"
"Scene: Hansel Meets Luther (East Berlin, 1988)"
"Wig in a Box"
"Wicked Little Town"
"Wicked Little Town Rep."
"The Origin of Love (Acoustic ver)"
|Hedwig: New Make UpLive Album||with Seomoon Tak and Angry Inch Band|
Awards and nominations
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- ^ ab"Sibling stars join up to sing for their Rent". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 6, 2006.
- ^ abc"Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Cho Seung-woo"Archived 2015-05-21 at the Wayback Machine. Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- ^"'Raging Years' portrays corruption of soul". The Korea Herald. May 20, 2004.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo shines in 'Running Boy'". The Korea Herald. January 19, 2005.
- ^"Marathon or Mal-ah-ton". The Donga Ilbo. January 26, 2005.
- ^"'Running Boy - Marathon' This Holiday's Runaway Box Office Hit". The Chosun Ilbo. February 13, 2005.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo Plays Transvestite in Musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch". KBS Global. February 21, 2005.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo syndrome sweeping musical scene". The Korea Herald. May 10, 2005.
- ^"Musical "Jekyll & Hyde" Wins High Acclaim". KBS World. January 27, 2006.
- ^"Actor Cho picks his poison". Korea JoongAng Daily. May 30, 2007. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.
- ^"Star Couple Tackles Love on Big Screen". The Korea Times via Hancinema. April 3, 2006.
- ^"Cardshark". The Donga Ilbo. September 21, 2006.
- ^"K-FILM PREVIEWS: 고고 70s (Go Go 70s)". Twitch Film. October 1, 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014.
- ^"Another side to Empress Myeongseong". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 27, 2009.
- ^"Real Army Role for Actor Cho Seung-woo". The Chosun Ilbo. December 16, 2008.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo keeps army date quiet to avoid public attention"Archived April 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- ^"Cho Seung-woo set on starring in Jekyll & Hyde since '09". 10Asia. October 26, 2010.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo to Make Post-Army Comeback in Jekyll and Hyde". The Chosun Ilbo. August 10, 2010.
- ^"Actor's record- breaking salary stokes conflict". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 11, 2010.
- ^"Leading man propelling Jekyll and Hyde to success"Archived 2012-07-11 at archive.today. Korea JoongAng Daily. December 15, 2010.
- ^"Actor Cho Seung-woo cast in a new baseball film". 10Asia. April 13, 2011.
- ^"Cho Seung Woo Says Baseball Legends Can't be Compared". enewsWorld. December 13, 2011. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013.
- ^"Cho Seung Woo: 'I Want to Break Record of Other Baseball Movies'". KBS Global. December 19, 2011.
- ^"Interview: Actor Cho Seung-woo – Part 1". 10Asia. December 26, 2011.
- ^"Interview: Actor Cho Seung-woo – Part 2". 10Asia. December 26, 2011.
- ^"Cho Seung Woo Takes on Challenge of Major Musical". KBS Global. July 12, 2011.
- ^"Actor is secret weapon in 'Zorro'". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 17, 2011.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo lands lead role in musical Doctor Zhivago". 10Asia. January 16, 2012.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo Fills Gap in Dr. Zhivago Musical". The Chosun Ilbo. January 16, 2012.
- ^"Actor steps in to save Dr. Zhivago". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 28, 2012.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo wins 3rd best actor prize". The Korea Times. June 5, 2012.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo Set to Return to the Big Screen". The Chosun Ilbo. February 24, 2011.
- ^"Koo Hye-sun presents conjoined twins tale on screen". The Korea Herald. October 25, 2012.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo to make small screen debut in Jewel in the Palace director's next series". 10Asia. May 8, 2012.
- ^"Jo Seung-woo to star in MBC historical drama". The Korea Times. June 25, 2012.
- ^"Star of screen, stage accepts drama challenge". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 4, 2012. Archived from the original on December 23, 2012.
- ^"Big Winners of 2012 Announced at Drama Awards Ceremonies of Major Broadcasters". 10Asia. January 1, 2013. Archived from the original on April 15, 2014.
- ^"Jo Seung-woo returning to musicals". Korea JoongAng Daily. April 29, 2013. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013.
- ^"Stars set forward to save short films". Hancinema. November 4, 2013.
- ^"[bnt photo] Cho Seung Woo and Lee Bo Young Cast Together in a New Series". BNT News. February 28, 2014. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- ^. Munhwa News (in Korean). September 22, 2014.
- ^"'[선데이뉴스]뮤지컬 "지킬앤하이드", 1만 8700석 10분 만에 매진'". News Sunday. October 6, 2014.
- ^"[굿바이 2014] BIG 30". Herald Corp (in Korean). December 23, 2014.
- ^"Cho steps up in Inside Men". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 20, 2015.
- ^"Box Office All Time". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
- ^"조승우 "스위니토드는 피를 말리는 작품이죠"". news.donga.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- ^"Mystery Series Marks Double TV Comeback for Two Top Stars". The Chosun Ilbo. June 3, 2017.
- ^"'Stranger' deals with corruption within justice system". The Korea Herald. May 31, 2017.
- ^"'Stranger' ends amid much fanfare". The Korea Herald. July 31, 2017.
- ^ ab"Baeksang Arts Awards recognize 'Stranger,' '1987'". The Korea Herald. May 4, 2018.
- ^"CHO Seung-woo and JI Sung Meet at GREAT SITE". Korean Film Biz Zone. July 5, 2017.
- ^"Cho Seung-woo is a man with a message: 'Fengshui' touches on the downsides of power struggles and greed". Korea JoongAng Daily. September 21, 2018.
- ^"'Antigen-antibody reaction' between Lee Dong-wook, Cho Seung-woo". Kpop Herald. July 23, 2018.
- ^"SBSi 인터넷영화 '아미지몽'26일부터 10일간 10부작 방영". Kookminilbo. 2001-03-24.
- ^"갓쓴 양반 방망이 들다". Moonhwailbo. 2002-09-26.
- ^"'암살' 조승우, 의열단 김원봉役 특별출연 어떻게 가능했나". Newsen. 2015-08-03.
- ^"조승우 단막극, 데뷔 후 첫 단막극 노개런티로… "진정한 배우야!"". MBN. 2013-10-25.
- ^"An Explosive Performance That Blows Down the Barriers of the Heart". The Donga Ilbo. July 19, 2004.
- ^"3천회 공연, 다시 달리는 '지하철 1호선'". YTN. 2006-03-28.
- ^"'Jo-dwig' sells out in 7 minutes". The Korea Herald. February 28, 2007.
- ^"Summer Big Bang for Musicals". The Donga Ilbo. July 3, 2006.
- ^"[공연]뮤지컬 '스타 카메오' 마케팅".
- ^"'학전' 20주년...다시 뭉친 '지하철 1호선'". YTN. 2011-03-11.
- ^"조승우·홍광호·류정한 뮤지컬 '맨오브라만차' 공연 연기". E Daily (in Korean). December 7, 2020.
- ^Yang Yu-jin (June 23, 2021). "'헤드윅' 조승우, 5년 만에 돌아온다…오만석→렌 황금 라인업 완성". MyDaliy (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
- ^뮤지컬 배우-팬 수다떨고 노래하는 ‘이야기쇼…’ 인기행진
- ^뮤지컬 배우 온라인에서 만난다
- ^"본사주최 '가을밤 콘서트' 성황". Seoul Shinmun. 2004-11-06.
- ^"조승우, 부활과 열정적인 록무대 펼쳐(헤드윅 콘서트)". Mydaily. 2005-07-03.
- ^컬처홀릭 '뮤지컬 이야기쇼' 100회 마감
- ^"조승우 또다시 헤드윅 변신…'10주년 공연' 무대 올라 ㆍ 남경읍 30주년 콘서트도 출연". Sports KyungHyang.
- ^"경찰대, 21일 어울림 음악회 개최". newsis.
- ^"열창하는 조승우 대원". Yonhap News. 2010-08-08.
- ^"조승우, '사도' OST 참여..메인 테마곡에 큰 감명받아 노개런티로". Korea Economy. 2015-10-07.
- ^"'천사표' 조승우, 남다른 장애우 사랑 실천". Starnews. 2004-12-18.
- ^"조승우-조pd, 부활 10집 객원가수로 참여". Starnews. 2005-06-27.
- ^"이영미 "녹음 도와준 조승우 정말 고마워"". Seagyeilbo. 2009-04-08.
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- ^"영화'말아톤'조승우 장애인 선교 방송에 성금 1000만원 기탁". Kookminilbo. 2005-03-07.
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Jo Seung Woo
Korean Movie, 2018,
Park Jae Sang(Main Role)
Park Jae Sang
Korean Movie, 2015,
Woo Jang Hoon (Main Role)
Woo Jang Hoon
Korean Movie, 2015,
Woo Jang Hoon (Main Role)
Woo Jang Hoon
Korean Movie, 2015,
Kim Won Bong(Guest Role)
Kim Won Bong
Korean Movie, 2012,
Sang Hyun(Main Role)
Korean Movie, 2011,
Choi Dong Won(Main Role)
Choi Dong Won
Korean Movie, 2009,
Moo Myung(Main Role)
Korean Movie, 2008,
Sang Gyu(Main Role)
Korean Movie, 2006,
Kim Go Ni(Main Role)
Kim Go Ni
Korean Movie, 2006,
Cha Jo Kang(Main Role)
Cha Jo Kang
Korean Movie, 2005,
Yoon Cho Won(Main Role)
Yoon Cho Won
Korean Movie, 2004,
Choi Tae Woong(Main Role)
Choi Tae Woong
Korean Movie, 2003,
Oh Joon Ha(Main Role)
Oh Joon Ha
Korean Movie, 2002,
Shin Hyun(Main Role)
Korean Movie, 2002,
[Young coachman](Guest Role)
Korean Movie, 2002,
Ji Hyung Tae [Mello](Main Role)
Ji Hyung Tae [Mello]
Korean Movie, 2001,
Young Min(Support Role)
Korean Movie, 2001,
Ahn Ji Hoon(Main Role)
Ahn Ji Hoon
Korean Movie, 2000,
Lee Mong Ryong(Main Role)
Lee Mong Ryong
Woo cho seung
Musical ‘Hedwig’ to return with Cho Seung-woo
A poster image for the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Shownote)
Cho Seung-woo is to return as the iconic rock star character Hedwig in the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
According to production company Shownote, Cho, Oh Man-seok, Lee Kyu-hyeong, Ko Eun-sung and Ren from boy band Newest will take the title role in the 13th run of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in South Korea.
The musical, written by Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell, tells the story of a genderqueer rock singer from East Germany. The singer, Hedwig, leads her own band, the Angry Inch. Hedwig develops a relationship with a younger singer named Tommy, who steals her music and becomes a rock star.
The hit rock musical premiered in 1998 and made its Broadway debut in 2014. The Korean premiere was in 2005. It has drawn 630,000 audience members to its 2,300 performances here over 12 seasons.
Cho, who deftly moves between the small screen, the silver screen and the stage, first joined the show for its 2005 Korean premiere. This season the actor, beloved for his role in the TV drama series “Stranger,” will return as Hedwig for the first time in five years. This will be the show’s seventh season with Cho in the lead role.
The cast of the upcoming run of the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Shownote)
Ko Eun-sung and Ren from boy band Newest have newly joined the cast.
Ko came under the spotlight for playing Anatole in the musical “The Great Comet” earlier this year and competed in the JTBC music audition show “Phantom Singer.” Ren began his musical career in 2020 with “Jamie.” He played Jamie New, a high school student who dreams of becoming a drag queen.
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” runs July 30 to Oct. 31 at the Chungmu Arts Center in central Seoul. Tickets open Tuesday.
By Im Eun-byel ([email protected])
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