Netflix’s Squid Game is officially the most-watched K-drama in over 90 countries, including the US and UK. Apart from the intense survival game action, the show also boasts intriguing characters like the fan-favourite detective Hwang Jun-ho played by actor Wi Ha-joon.
Thanks to the show’s popularity, Wi’s Instagram page received a significant boost after the show’s release. At the time of writing, he has 6.9 million followers and counting, compared to only 300,000 before Squid Game screened, as reported by AllKPop.
So what do we know about Korea’s latest rising star?
He loves his family
Wi Ha-joon posing for Netflix Korea’s promotional photos for Squid Game. Photo: @netflixkr/Instagram
The star turned 30 in August and grew up in the South Jeolla Province of South Korea. During an appearance on the variety show Problem Child in the House, he said that his father runs an abalone farm.
A family-oriented guy, Wi also likes to spend quality time with his adorable niece and nephew. In several Instagram videos, we can see them playing on a swing set or his niece kissing Wi on the cheek causing him to write, “whether it’s a kiss or a headbutt, I am healed best because of you”.
He got his big break in a horror show
Wi Ha-joon. Photo: @wi__wi__wi/Instagram
He started his career in the short film Peace in Them (2012), but it took him six years to land a big break with the hit-horror Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018). He then appeared in supporting roles in K-dramas Something in the Rain (2018), Romance is a Bonus Book (2019) and 18 Again (2020).
Wi Ha-joon plays the role of Do-shik, a serial killer in the film Midnight (2021). Photo: @Mouseiiix/Twitter
Apart from Squid Game, this year also sees Wi in two films: Midnight and Shark: The Beginning. He is also set to star as “K” in TVN’s K-drama Bad and Crazy opposite Lee Dong-wook and Han Ji-eun, released this December.
He enjoys bromance with his castmates
Wi Ha-joon posted this photo with fellow Squid Game cast member Park Hae-soo. Photo: @wi__wi__wi/Instagram
In K-drama Romance is a Bonus Book (2019), Wi played a successful book designer where he caught viewers’ attention because of his bromance with fellow actor Lee Jong-suk.
Wi Ha-joon is no stranger to showing affection for fellow cast members. Photo: @wi__wi__wi/Instagram
According to Soompi, he said in an interview that his character reflected his personality in real life: “I tend to get along with men while playfully fighting. Lee Jong-suk really welcomed me and took good care of me. He also encouraged and praised me a lot, so I felt the most comfortable on set.”
He works out … a lot
Wi nearly broke the internet after posing shirtless for his first Men’s Health Korea cover shoot earlier this month. In the interview, the actor opened up about his fitness regime.
“I’ve been building muscle by doing workouts since I was in the military. I used to go to the gym five days a week to practice, but now I work out at home due to the pandemic,” he said. The Korean star is also into sports, like acrobatics and volleyball, as seen on his Instagram profile.
He really, really loves Squid Game
Wi Ha-joon posted photos from behind the scenes at Squid Game. Photo: @wi__wi__wi/Instagram
Speaking to Men’s Health Korea, Wi said that he loves the show. “I read the script in a blink of an eye and I was just blown away by how immersive it was. It was something that I’ve never seen before,” he said.
While his character doesn’t have many scenes with Squid Game lead actor Lee Jung-jae, Wi is a big fan and said that Lee’s acting “deeply inspired” him.
Wi Ha-joon recently posted this photo taken at the Squid Game display in Itaewon Station. Photo: @wi__wi__wi/Instagram
In another interview with K Bi Zoom, Wi confessed that he got nervous when playing opposite Korean veteran actor, Lee Byung-hun, as his on-screen brother … but it turned out to be a great experience. “When we filmed together, I felt it was even more amazing than I had expected. I was touched because he took care of me even in real life when we are off-screen.”Internet Explorer Channel Network