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TIMELINE: Kim Seonho’s career from genesis, international acclaim, and recent scandal

By Hannah Mallorca Published Oct 21, 2021 5:32 pm

Kim Seonho had the makings of an A-list star. With his emotive acting skills, charming looks, and eye-catching dimples, he caught the hearts of fans worldwide. He rose in popularity with the 2020 series Start-Up and gained further acclaim in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Until the events of the past few days, it seemed like there was no way for him to go, but up.

Fans were shocked after he was involved in a scandal sparked by an online blind item about an actor who reportedly forced his ex-girlfriend into having an abortion. Since then, he was removed from his upcoming projects and various endorsements.

The fate of Seonho’s career remains uncertain, even if his ex-girlfriend revealed that the embattled actor has apologized for his actions. But in the meantime, we take a look back at his career and how he got entangled in the recent scandal. 

2009 to 2016 - Seonho as a theater actor 

Seonho started his career as a theater actor in college. His first stage role was in the play New Boeing Boeing in 2009, which he reprised in 2013. 

Since then, he appeared in plays like Rooftop House Cat and Goal of Love where he found minor success. He soon gained critical recognition after appearing in True West and Kiss of the Spider Woman in 2015 and Closer in 2016. 

2016 - Seonho’s radio interview

Seonho’s 2016 interview with SBS PowerFM’s Park Seonyoung’s Cinetown resurfaced online after his rise in popularity with Start-Up. The actor revealed then that he was ghosted by his ex-girlfriend during military service. 

“When I was in the military, I had a girlfriend whom I’ve been dating for over three years. She broke up with me via text. She simply wrote, ‘Sorry, oppa,’” Seonho began. “She completely ghosted me. So, I went to her house on my day off. When she came out, I asked her if we could talk for a bit, but she said she didn't want to talk to me.”

The actor further revealed that he “went on my knees” and “begged” his ex-girlfriend to take him back. 

2017 - Seonho’s TV debut, first main role, and first acting awards

After succeeding on his first audition, Seonho made his television debut in the 2017 office K-drama Good Manager. The actor then auditioned for a supporting role in the series Strongest Deliveryman, where he was accepted as one of the lead characters. 

In the same year, Seonho gained “rising star” status after portraying the role of a sly conman in the 2017 K-drama Two Cops. He received the Best New Actor Award and Excellence Award in a Monday-Tuesday Drama in the 2017 MBC Drama Awards for his portrayal. 

2018 - Seonho appears on You Drive Me Crazy and 100 Days My Prince 

Seonho expanded his acting portfolio by appearing in the four-episode drama You Drive Me Crazy. The actor played the role of Han Eunsung, a translator who developed feelings for his best friend of eight years after they slept together.

The actor then gained attention after starring alongside EXO’s D.O., Han Sohee, and Nam Jihyun in the historical series 100 Days My Prince

September 2018 - Seonho joins Salt Entertainment 

Seonho joined Salt Entertainment in September 2018, following the expiration of his contract in his former theater company. 

2019 - Seonho lands more acting roles and joins 2 Days & 1 Night

2019 was a jampacked year for Seonho. He played the role of Cha Wooshik in the rom-com series Welcome to Waikiki 2 and Go Jiseok in the crime drama Catch the Ghost. He also appeared in the play Memory in Dream.

The actor also made his debut as a variety star in the fourth season of the survival show 2 Days & 1 Night. The show features the main cast going on trips and performing funny missions around South Korea. 

October 2020 - Seonho’s breakthrough role in Start-Up 

Seonho gained domestic and international recognition after portraying start-up investor Han Jipyeong in Start-Up. His heartfelt portrayal of the character caught the hearts of fans, earning him the nickname “Good Boy.”

Following his rise in popularity, Seonho was chosen as the face of various brands including Domino’s Pizza, La Roche Posay, Wide Angle, and Miima Mask, among others.

August 2021 - Seonho charms fans as ‘Hong Banjang’

The actor gained critical acclaim after he played the role of Hong Dusik, also known as Chief Hong or Hong Banjang, in the “healing” K-drama Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. The series ended on a high note, as it became one of the highest-rated cable dramas of all time. 

October 2021 - Seonho’s relationship scandal 

Seonho became the target of speculation when he was tagged in a controversial and anonymous online story about an alleged actor who forced his ex-girlfriend into having an abortion. The woman, who introduced herself as “A” and “Actor K’s” ex, revealed that she was urged to “make a sacrifice” because he “was a star.”

On Oct. 20, the actor apologized to his ex-girlfriend for hurting his ex-girlfriend due to his “carelessness and inconsiderate actions.” He also apologized to his fans, co-stars, and “to everyone who was hurt.”

Since Seonho’s controversial relationship, the actor has been removed from his upcoming projects. Many of his endorsements were also taken down hours after the scandal broke out. 

With reports of the actor’s contract being expired in September, Salt Entertainment has yet to release a statement.