Who was Kim Seon-ho before the fame? How the Netflix's Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha star overcame his childhood trauma and why his dimples used to stress him out

Asia's Tech News Daily

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, starring Kim Seon-ho and Shin Min-a, has become the latest K-drama obsession. The series has met critical acclaim and only continues to gain viewers. According to Nielsen Korea, the tenth episode that aired on September 26 scored an average nationwide rating of 11.4 per cent in South Korea – the highest so far – taking first place in its time slot across all channels.

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha as Hong Du-shik. Photo: @tvndrama.official/Instagram

Given Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s popularity, all eyes are currently on Kim. The Korea Times reported that he is in talks to join the cast of Dog Days, a film about people finding happiness from raising dogs. He will also debut in two films: Sad Tropics, where he will play an aspiring boxer with a Korean father and Filipino mother, and romance flick Two O’Clock Date, where he will appear alongside Girls’ Generation Im Yoon-ah.

As Kim continues to achieve success, we take a look back at the actor’s humble beginnings and what his life looked like before the fame.

He had a traumatic past

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho shared pictures of himself as a child on Instagram. Photo: @seonho__kim/Instagram

According to Koreaboo, in a past interview, Kim shared that he suffered from childhood trauma that made him so reserved that he could not even read a book in front of his classmates.

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho in a still from Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Photo: Handout

According to SBS, he recalled that a robber once broke into his family’s house and assaulted his mum. Witnessing the incident took a toll on him – understandably – and he still feels anxious whenever someone is behind him.

He was chubby as a teenager

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho’s high school photo showing his chubby cheeks. Photo: theqoo.com

When Kim’s popularity skyrocketed last year, his high school photos ended up circulating online. Fans were surprised to learn that he used to be on the chubbier side, and his transformation became a hot discussion topic.

Today, Kim maintains his physique by lifting weights and running for 30 minutes on the treadmill, according to Kdramastars.

His was often picked on for his dimples

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

It’s hard to believe that Kim Seon-ho’s dimples would be something he had a complex over! Photo: @seonho__kim_/Instagram

In a 2019 W Korea interview, Kim said he was teased for looking like a girl because of his complexion and pretty dimples, which really stressed him out.

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho’s charming dimples. Photo: @KingSeonhos/Twitter

But it was also good prank fodder, apparently. He also recalled how, when a female classmate once asked him how he got dimples, he jokingly answered that he pressed hot peas on his cheeks to get them. His classmate fell for it, and her parents went to Kim’s house to scold him.

His ex-girlfriend dumped him while he was in the military

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho worked hard for his physique. Photo: @seonho__kim_/Instagram

It’s hard to believe that someone as good-looking as Kim could be romantically rejected, but that’s exactly what happened to him in the past. At the height of his growing popularity last year, when he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, an old radio interview he did in 2016 with SBS PowerFM’s Park Seonyoung’s Cinetown surfaced. He opened up about how his girlfriend of three years dumped him via text while he was still in the military. Ouch.

Like a scene from a K-drama, he went to the girl’s house, begged and knelt in front of her. He said he was desperate then because he was a soldier.

He kicked off his career in plays

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho’s past was traumatic, which affected his confidence as a child. Photo: @seonho__kim_/Instagram

Before his small screen debut, Kim honed his acting on stage and appeared in several plays.

the latest K-drama obsession, he played Han Ji-pyeong in Start-Up, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Kim Seon-ho rose to fame by appearing in the drama series Start-Up. Photo: @seonho__kim_/Instagram

In an interview with Forbes, he said he chose theatre to develop his skills, spending a lot of time reading scripts.

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