Song Gang-Ho Named Fans' Favorite Actor

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Song Gang-Ho Named Fans' Favorite Actor

With several domestic hit films this year, audiences were exposed to a lot of on-screen talent. With a growing list of actors gaining popularity and praise, who is the actor voted by the public as the best actor of 2000?

The winner, it seems, is rising star Song Gang-ho.

In a recent poll conducted by (, 2,301 (41.9%) net users out of a total of 5,400 voted for Mr. Song as this year's most accomplished actor.

With his charismatic turns in the blockbusters, "The Foul King" and "Joint Security Area," Mr. Song surpassed Han Seok-gyu, the nation's best known actor and Mr. Song's co-star in "Swiri," by 14.1%.

Born in 1967, Song Gang-ho made his feature film debut in 1996 in the satirical film, "The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well," directed by Hong Sang-soo. He then followed up with Song Neung-han's "No.3" in 1997, in which he played a gangster trainer.

His show-stealing performance in "No. 3" garnered him the Best New Actor award at the 35th annual Daejong Film Festival, and the Best Supporting Actor honor at the 18th annual Blue Dragon Awards, both in Seoul.

"I have seen every one of his films so far. He uses various facial expressions to precisely portray each role. Without a single word, you can feel the depth of his emotions and sense each feeling through his eyes and his face," said Park Chang-geun, a 26-year-old businessman and fan.

Mr. Song continued his rise to fame with his breakthrough role in 1999's "Swiri," in which he played a brave and intelligent South Korean agent.

This year he varied his roles, from a shy banker moonlighting as an aggressive wrestler in the dramatic comedy, "The Foul King," to a humane North Korean soldier in the war drama, "JSA."

In Park Chan-wook's "JSA," Mr. Song plays a warm-hearted North Korean soldier who establishes a friendship with a South Korean soldier, played by Lee Byung-hun.

He was nominated in the best actor category at this year's Blue Dragon Awards for his performance.

"I am a big fan of his work. He looks and seems like the man next door, but on screen, he becomes unpredictable," said Lee Eun-hee, a 34-year-old Korean woman. "I think he will catch on with audiences who want to see more characters with humanity, characters who exude love and warmth."

Acclaimed as an "actor of multiple faces," Mr. Song is on his way to becoming a nationwide hero with international appeal.

In the meantime, the best actress chosen by net users in the poll was Jeon Ji-hyun, a well-known TV actress and commercial model.

Miss Jeon made her feature film debut late this year in "Il Mare," directed by Lee Hyun-seung.

by Kim Jae-seon

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