Meet The Idol Turned Actor, Got7’s Park Jin-young
Famous as an idol who is a member of Got7, in fact, Park Jin-young originally debuted with the stage name Jr. but he later changed the spelling to Junior due to widespread confusion about the correct pronunciation of his name, and in 2016, Park Jin-young announced that he would simply go by his given name.
Even though Jin-young was a trainee of JYP Entertainment, he first appeared on TV as an actor in Dream High 2, and after that, he debuted as an idol.
Let’s find out more about Park Jin-young’s transformation from an idol into an actor!
Jin-young’s Acting Debut in Dream High 2
Dream High 2 tells the story of the struggles some student groups at the Now High School of Arts face on their way to reaching their dreams of becoming K-Pop stars. Quite similar to Dream High in the previous season, but the roles and characters in this season’s drama are different.
In this drama, Park Jin-young plays Jung Ui-bong, who is a handsome student who is considered to have class B abilities or exile. Inversely proportional to JB, a bandmate from Got7, who played Jang Woo-jae, who was a member and leader of the famous idol group at the time, and came from a superior class. In this drama, Jin-young and JB are told they don’t like each other, but in real life, they are really close and spend time together as JYP Entertainment trainees.
Debuting as an Idol with JJ Project
Two years before appearing together in the drama Dream High 2, which is 2014, Park Jin-young and JB debuted under the name JJ Project. JJ Project is a South Korean duo, consisting of JB and Jin-young. They were formed by JYP Entertainment and released their first single “Bounce” in May 2012.
On May 17th, 2012, they debuted with the single “Bounce.” The music video for the title track with the same name was released through their official YouTube account and thanks to their popularity in the drama they starred together Dream High 2, they reached over 1 million views on YouTube in just 2 days.
Five years after their debut as the JJ Project duo, in 2017, JYP Entertainment announced a comeback with an album titled Verse 2 which was released on July 31st, 2017, with a total of 8 songs on it.
Jin-young and JB’s hard work was fruitful in their first comeback as JJ Project. Their album Verse 2 topped the iTunes world album chart in 12 countries soon after it was released.
Not only that, but their title track titled “Tomorrow, Today” has also won the top position on Korean music sites, such as Mnet and Bugs.
Acting in When a Man Loves Along Bandmate JB
in 2013, Jin-young and JB starred in the same drama together, When A Man Loves. Although not as the main actors in this drama, their presence as supporting actors is very influential on the story of the drama.
Han Tae-sang (Song Seung-heon) is a successful but cold-blooded businessman who is unstoppable once he sets his mind on doing or getting something. He had once been a smart young man full of potential, but his dreams came to a halt when he was forced to work as a gangster for the same loan shark that destroyed his family. Since then, he has been able to build a successful business through his own blood, sweat, and tears, and everything he has in his life has been hard-earned.
Then, one day, what was supposed to have been a simple extortion job turns into a chance meeting with Seo Mi-do (Shin Se-kyung), the daughter of a modest bookstore owner. Mi-do is a troubled young woman who is full of drive and ambition; she is determined to better her life to forget the hardships of her poverty-stricken childhood. In Mi-do, Tae-sang sees so much of his own personality that he is drawn to her fire and passion.
As he begins to fall in love with her, he realizes that he will do anything to protect her and try to give her a better life, perhaps to redeem himself. As the plot unfolds, Mi-do meets Lee Jae-hee (Yeon Woo-jin) who falls in love with her. The story later focuses on how Han Tae-sang, Seo Mi-do, and Lee Jae-hee deal with their mutual love and relation.
Park Jin-young acts as Ddol-yi, Ddol-yi is Seo Mi-joon’s friend, who is played by JB. In this drama, finally, Park Jin-young and JB have a role as best friends, and they are exactly bandmates here. While in the drama Dream High 2 they play two people who don’t like each other and he is also a part-time employee who works for Tae-sang’s mother.
Debuting as a Member of Got7
Two years after their debut as JJ Project, they debuted as a part of Got7 in January 2014. This group consists of 7 members, JB, Mark, Jackson, Jin-young, Young-jae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. Got7 debuted in January 2014 with the release of their first EP Got It? which peaked at number two on the Gaon Album Chart and number one on Billboard’s World Albums Chart.
In late 2014, Got7 signed with Sony Music Entertainment Japan and ventured into the Japanese market to release their debut Japanese-language single “Around the World.” They returned to South Korea a month later to release their first full-length studio album Identify, topping the nation’s charts.
His Other Roles in Dramas
After his debut as a member of Got7, he became even more popular and famous making him better known as an idol rather than an actor.
Shortly after his debut with Got7, Park Jin-young took on several roles in dramas. Ranging from supporting roles to his most recent one which is a leading role. Let’s find out more about the various roles Park Jin-young has played as an actor!
This Is My Love
In 2015, Park Jin-young made his acting comeback after two years of his last drama When a Man Loves. Of course, this drama was a highly anticipated drama, especially from fans of Park Jin-young and Got7, commonly called iGot7.
Top actor Ji Eun-ho hires ghostwriter Seo Jung-eun to write his autobiography in 2015. Eun-ho is tense, irritable and difficult to work with, but Jung-eun finds her assignment fascinating because Eun-ho claims he began acting not because he wanted to become a star but because he thought being in the limelight would help him find his first love, Ji Eun-dong. Eun-ho and Eun-dong’s complicated romantic history has spanned over two decades, and he is convinced that he can never love anyone else. As Jung-eun helps him remember Eun-dong and why he lost her, Eun-ho (whose birth name is Park Hyun-soo) looks back on his memories of her, from when they met in 1995 when he was seventeen.
This drama has an interesting storyline because it tells the life story of Park Hyun-soo and Ji Eun-dong in three different eras, namely in 1995, 2005 and 2015.
Park Jin-young plays Park Hyun-soo, aka 17-year-old Ji Eun-ho in 1995, pairing up with child actress Lee Ja-in, who plays 13-year-old Ji Eun-dong, aka Seo Jung-eun.
The Legend of the Blue Sea
No need to linger, at the end of 2016 Park Jin-young returned to the small screen with the drama Legend of the Blue Sea. This drama became a drama that was very much anticipated because it was a comeback drama for Jun Ji-hyun after the success with the previous drama You Who Came From the Stars in 2013.
Moreover, Jun Ji-hyun paired up with famous actors, like Lee Min-ho, in this drama. The name Lee Min-ho itself has skyrocketed since he played in Boys Before Flower as Gu Jun-pyo. Since the drama, Lee Min-ho has always been a hit and awaited by many people.
This drama, inspired by a classic Joseon legend from Korea’s first collection of unofficial historical tales, is about a fisherman who captures and releases a mermaid. The drama tells the love story of a con-artist and a mermaid who travels across the ocean to find him.
Sometime during August 1598, newly appointed governor Dam Ryung (Lee Min-ho) stays for a night at an inn run by Mr. Yang (Sung Dong-il). During that evening, Mr. Yang shows Dam Ryung a captured mermaid named Sim Chung (Jun Ji-hyun). Later that night, Dam Ryung releases her into the ocean and, before she swims away, Sim Chung reaches out her hand to Dam Ryung which he briefly holds.
In the present day, Joon-Jae (Lee Min-ho) is a smooth-talking conman with magician like abilities. He works with Nam-Doo (Lee Hee-joon) and Tae-O (Shin Won-ho). For their next score, Joon-Jae impersonates a prosecutor and swindles a large amount of money from a wealthy suspect’s mother. Joon-Jae then travels abroad and stays at an oceanside resort. Meanwhile, Sim Chung is swept up in a tidal wave and washed ashore near the oceanside resort. She sees Joon-Jae.
In this drama, Park Jin-young acts as the teen version of Heo Joon-jae, aka Kim Dam-ryung. The town head and son of a magistrate in the Joseon era who fell in love with a mermaid as a child, and named her Se-hwa after his deceased younger sister. As he begins to experience dreams about her and Se-hwa’s tragic fate, he commissions a time capsule to warn his future self. Joon-jae, his future self, is a modern-day conman who uses his looks and wit to transform into different people and conduct scams. He meets Shim Cheong, a mermaid and ultimately falls in love with her, thus being able to read her thoughts.
School of Magic
Slightly different from the dramas Park Jin-young had previously taken part in, this drama had a short duration per episode of 15 minutes per episode and aired on every weekday at 7 AM.
Of course, this drama is also very anticipated, because it is a drama comeback for 2 PM’s Nichkun after his last Korean drama in 2011, and his last appearance as a cameo in the drama Producer in 2015.
Na-Ra (Park Jin-young) is a university student and he has never had a girlfriend in his life. He wants to become a public servant. Jay (Yoon Park) is a popular magician mired in deep sadness. Joon (Nichkhun) is an intern at a hospital. He is poor, but he has a warm heart.
These people gather at a magic school led by Master Han (Ryu Seung-soo). Master Han has a daughter, Yi-Seul (Shin Eun-soo), who wants to become a dancer and not a magician.
In mid-2017, Park Jin-young got a role in a web drama produced by JTBC but was originally made available through Naver TV Cast. Park Jin-young played as Lee Na-ra, an exemplary college student with a nonexistent dating record who obeys his dad’s wishes to become a government employee. He focuses all of his plans and dreams into this one goal until his childhood female friend Woo-ri (Park Gyu-young) opens his eyes to dating. Through this, he finds “Magic School” and the rest is his story.
Jin-young said, “Na-ra wants to do a cool event for Woo-ri. So that’s why he enters the magic school, and the life of a nerd is forever changed.” He continued, “I was able to sympathize with the growth and change of youth through the drama’s theme of magic. I think viewers will have fun watching the different situations that lead each character to the magic school.”