Written by: Trixia Cabasis
Anyone can simply just give up, it’s the easiest thing to do in this world. But not on Son Hojun’s world.
Son Hojun is a South Korean actor who rose to stardom after starring in one of the installments of the famous Reply series called “Reply 1994” and is currently acting in the Netflix show “Was It Love?“.
But before reaching his success, Son had to go through a lot of struggles for years as being an actor is not a simple walk in the park.
With his naivety, perseverance, pure heart, undeniable acting skills, and wittiness on variety shows, Hojun is now one of South Korea’s leading actors in the industry.
You may remember him as Reply 1994‘s Haitai, or Go Back Couple‘s Choi Bando, or Three Meals a Day‘s “Hojunaaaah~”, but who really is Son Hojun?
Let’s simply start off with his basic information.
He was born on June 27, 1984. Year of the Rat. Blood type B. Cancer. Label, YG Entertainment. Instagram handle @sonhojun_official.
Ok, cool. Next!
Son Hojun as an idol?
Did you know that before he entered the acting industry, Hojun first started out as an idol?
He made his entertainment debut as the leader of a three-member pop boyband called Tachyon back in 2007. Tachyon only released one song called “Feel Your Breeze”. The group shortly disbanded after.
His life struggles.
After coming to Seoul alone from his hometown, he experienced struggles as he was just beginning his career and had no income. Back then, when he can barely make ends meet, he used to split one pack of ramen into four meals. ONE PACK would last him a week. Heol.
Dating was also hard for him since he doesn’t have enough money. He used to plan and budget his money before the date. He even calculated the taxi fare to see if he can take his date back to her home. He miscalculated his budget and had to walk her date home for 20 minutes and then walked back to his home for 4 to 5 hours!
During these trying times, a good friend was always there to lend him a hand. Son Hojun and TVXQ Yunho have been best friends since 2002. They were both from Gwangju and basically grew up together.
Hojun helped Yunho when he was living a difficult life. Hojun, who was still receiving an allowance from his parents, would pay for Yunho’s meals and allowance. When Yunho moved to Seoul, he succeeded in establishing his career as TVXQ and never forgot about his friend’s kindness. He offered his help and emotional support when Hojun was the one struggling. They were so close, they used to have the same last 4 digits of their phone numbers. Ugh, bromance! Yunho even did a cameo on Hojun’s 2017 drama “Go Back Couple”!
Hojun is also good friends with actor Yoo Yeonseok. Both born in 1984, their same-age friendship bloomed when they both starred in the drama “Reply 1994” as Haitai and Chilbong which was loved by the people.
YOUTH OVER FLOWERS: LAOS (2014)
Hojun and Yoonseok are really affectionate towards each other. Their closeness really showed in the variety show “Youth Over Flowers: Laos” that starred male cast from Reply 1994, Son Hojun, Yoo Yeonseok, and Baro.
The boys were not informed about their trip to Laos and only found out about it three hours before their actual flight and were only given a limited amount of money. Youth Over Flowers is a spontaneous travel-reality show. The three boys shared their energy, continuous bickering, genuine happiness, struggles, spontaneity, and their point of view in life all throughout the show.
COFFEE FRIENDS (2019) Available on Viu
Hojun and Yeonseok also started a donation project in 2018. They called it Funation (Fun+Donation) Coffee Friends where they sell coffee without a price. They gave free cups of coffee in a coffee trailer in exchange for donations of any amount. They eventually started a cooking reality show in 2019 and opened a brunch cafe called Coffee Friends, located in a tangerine orchard in Jeju Island with the same concept but with actual working hours and actual customers.
Son Hojun really flexed his barista certificate by showing his coffee-making at latte art skills in the show. Alongside Choi Jiwoo and Yang Sejong, Son Bari and Chef Yoo hired big-time celebrity part-timers to help run the cafe. Imagine your idols washing the dishes? The Baek Jongwon doing dirty dishes instead of cooking? Yes, this show made that happen. All of the proceeds were donated to a charitable cause after the show!
Some of his dramas, films and shows
Many of us discovered Son Hojun from here. Since every Reply series is a pure gem, this one’s a very precious piece. The classic husband-guessing game, the nostalgic college/boarding feels. If you’re in college or you miss the feeling of being one, this is a must!
With Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeonseok, Kim Sungkyun, Son Hojun, Baro, Min Dohee, Sung Dongil, and Lee Ilhwa as the cast, and a lot of cameos all throughout the show, you wouldn’t want to miss it!
GO BACK COUPLE (2017) Available on Viu
A 12-episode drama that lets you feel everything. A 38-year-old, miserable divorced couple with a child woke up and they’re suddenly back to their 20-year-old-university-students selves.
Why did they go back to the past and how will they go back to the present? What about their kid? Will they make the same choices again? Again, this is a drama that lets you feel everything. I loved everything about the entire masterpiece. This is definitely one of my top K-dramas of all time. Jang Nara and Son Hojun won the Best Couple Award in the 31st KBS Drama Awards. Deserved!
Son Hojun starred in this romantic-comedy/mystery drama with So Jisub, Jung Insun and Im Semi. This drama bagged the Drama of the Year award and more from 2018 MBC Drama Awards – a more than enough reason for you to start watching it.
This is a 12-episode fantasy/melodrama/slice of life drama that starred Kim Hyeja, Han Jimin, Nam Joohyuk, and of course our Hojun who had a very funny, dorky and stupid yet loveable character in the drama. This is the drama that holds one of the best plot twists in the K-drama world. A healing, poignant, heartwarming bittersweet drama that reminds us to live our lives despite the terrible struggles and hindrances every day.
I recommend this drama to the people who are in constant search for the meaning of life, for their dreams, and for their purpose. I recommend this to you who’s still trying to figure out your life at 20’s, 30’s or even 70’s. Bonus points if you’re a lola’s kid and has a soft spot for elderly people. This drama will definitely hit the spot!
THREE MEALS A DAY
Hojun became a fixed cast after guesting on the 2015 show “Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village 1″. The cast lived in a fishing village in Manjae Island and use whatever food they find there to create three meals a day. Cha Seungwon and Yoo Haejin were the original cast. They really liked Hojun that much that’s why he came back as a fixed member on the next episodes. They did 4 seasons together, “Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village 1 and 2″ on Manjae Island, then “Three Meals a Day: Gochang Village” with Nam Joohyuk and the most recent one, “Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village 5″ (2020) in Jukgul Island.
His chemistry with Sanche was also cute and irresistible! Sanche was their pet dog on the show.
The latest season was held in Jukgul Island where they’re very much isolated and disconnected from the city. 3 guests visited them throughout the show, Gong Hyojin, Lee Kwang Soo & Lee Seojin. This season is available on Viu so make sure to binge-watch so you can watch how Hojun usually starts the fire: for cooking and the fire in our hearts!
A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH/THE BIG SHOT (2019) Available on HBO Go
Actor Son really snapped in this film! This is all about a man who wants to turn his life around for his mother and make it big but ended up in prison. A film that highlighted the mother’s unconditional love for his son. Together with Kim Haesook (his mother in the movie), Hojun will make you realize that if the world has turned its back on you, your mother won’t. Prepare your heart and lots of tissues!
WAS IT LOVE? (2020) Available on Netflix
An ongoing drama with Song Jihyo, Son Hojun fights to win her love, never minding his three other male competitors. I may be a little biased of course, but obviously, I am on team Oh Daeoh!
Watch and support Was It Love? on Netflix every Wednesdays and Thursdays!
Overall, Son Hojun is a brilliant and irresistible actor we all can’t take our eyes off of. Let’s keep on supporting his current drama and future projects!
Featured image courtesy of Trixia Cabasis