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Kim Kang-woo is an award-winning Korean actor known for his chameleon-like leading man versatility. He's had star-making turns in television dramas like Missing Noir M, wherein he played a genius detective; embroiled in the sex and politics of the Korean upper-class in erotic thriller The Taste of Money; and as a disgraced young chef attempting a comeback in the box-office hit Le Grand Chef, based on a popular manhwa.
Kim made his acting debut while still a student at Chung-Ang University, beginning his resume with an impressive credit--in edgy auteur Kim Ki-duk's The Crocodile. It was only a small appearance as a soldier--the only role he could get without any experience--but he soon graduated to larger roles playing honest good guys in TV dramas like Breathless and Three-Leafed Clover, which got him the nickname "Mr. Right."
His first leading film role was Jeon Jae-eun's The Aggressives (2005), for which him and his co-star Chun Jung-myun co-recieved the Best New Actor award at the Busan Film Critics Awards.
Kim truly demonstrated his devotion to his craft in 2007, with his role in the indie drama The Railroad, about two strangers who bond while stranded at the last railroad station before the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). He was upset to hear that the film would only be showing in 10 theaters, so he promoted the film on his own by buying tickets to the movie and interacting with theatre-goers. And although the film didn't earn much at the box office, it did nab him the Best Actor award at the 25th Torino Film Festival.
His part in Le Grand Chef (2007), in which he starred as a young chef competing against his long-time rival, was the film that finally earned him big commercial success. To prepare for the role, Kim Kang-woo attended cooking classes and spent time getting to know the cow that he would sometimes share the screen with with; he also visited a slaughterhouse to better understand the process for one pivotal scene, which he admitted was a shocking experience.
Since then, he's acted in a variety of films, from acclaimed indie comedies like Hong Sang-soo's Hahaha--which won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival--the sensual LGBT romance In the End Is My Beginning, star-studded rom-com Marriage Blue, cerebral sci-fi anthology The Doomsday Book, and the gripping political thriller Black Dawn.