Ultra Fan Guide to Nam Joo Hyuk

Welcome to The Water Girls’ guide to Nam Joo Hyuk (abbreviated to NJH). We have gathered a lot of fun facts, pictures, links (everything in Moon Yellow text includes a link to something more or less related to NJH), and extremely useful information for all of you just aching to find out more about this very charming actor and model. As a fun bonus, we added a little game at the end just to get you involved.

  • Name: Nam Joo Hyuk
  • Date of Birth: February 22, 1994
  • Birth Place: Busan, South Korea
  • Zodiac Sign: Pisces
  • Height: 188 cm
  • Agency: Management SOOP
  • Occupation: Model, Actor
  • Instagram Id: @skawngur
Nam Joo Hyuk is an only child who grew up in a poor family. In an episode of Radio Star he said: “It was really tough for me and my family. In 3rd grade, I only ate cup ramen for a year. We didn’t even have a bathroom in our home.” He studied in Gyeongnam Middle School, where he played in the basketball team for three years. However his dream of becoming a professional basketball player came to an end after undergoing a surgery on both legs because of an injury. 
After moving to Seoul, he won the Top Model contest sponsored by K-Plus. Soon after, he signed an exclusive contract with YGKPlus and enrolled in a model academy. He began modeling in 2013, during the Songzio Homme 2014 Spring-Summer collection and also modelled for the 2014 Seoul Fashion Week.

Sources: 1,2,3 

Nam Joo Hyuk started his acting career in the water themed drama Surplus Princess in 2014 and is probably the god of water dramas, having acted as a swimmer in both Who Are You: School 2015 and  Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo  as well as a water god in The Bride of Habaek. However, he does of course manage to stay put on land as well and has shown great skill and development in his acting in both dramas and movies. In the following segment we will write a little bit about his roles, sorted by popularity and size of role. We start off with his dramas but end the segment with his two movies. 


Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)

This drama is ranked number 4 in popularity on MDL and is probably the drama he is most known for. This drama is our ultimate comfort drama to go to whenever we need a break from reality or just need some sweet fluffy romance. 

NJH plays a swimmer who is struggling with his own issues when he reconnects with his childhood crush who spends half of the drama drooling over his brother. While many other male leads will get jealous, he is this super supportive friend who, even though he has his own struggles, does all in his power to be there for his crush no matter what the situation.

Keeps calm even when his crush chooses seagulls over him 

It is hard to put into words how charming his character is but maybe these gifs and pictures can help. We would also like to mention that there is probably not a single episode when we do not see him by the pool. His character has both sweetness and depth showing that this guy has more than some beautiful abs (but oh are they beautiful).

Cuteness overloadDeep waters, deep thoughts

Who Are You: School 2015 (2015) 

This drama was probably Nam Joo Hyuk’s big breakthrough drama and his first time as the male lead in a drama (at least judging by his credits on MDL). Here he plays a childhood friend and swimmer who has had a long time crush on the female lead, or is it on her sister? The drama is a bit tricky seeing as it is hard to know who is who and who actually loves who. NJH’s character is of course charming, caring and more observant than many may give him credit for. 

Though many people liked the second male lead more (this drama is known to cause major SLS), we found his character charming and were actually impressed by him.

Playful by the pool
Just won a gold medal! 

The Bride of Habaek (2017)

What we remember most from this drama is probably the fact that Nam Joo Hyuk spent more time shirtless than fully clothed being a big fan of baths. In this drama, NJH plays the role of Habaek the water god, who is visiting earth and falls for a human. His character is pretty arrogant and not always lovable, but he shows some pretty good character development as well as makes way for quite a few good one liners. 

We love the range of expressions he has in this drama, be it: 

“Why are there so many humans today” 
Intense (and shirtless) 
Or portrayed as a god in the land of the gods…

However, the story itself is not all fun and games, and deals with some pretty deep (water) issues, with an OST that is almost guaranteed to make you cry. To be honest, we borrowed these pictures from this video, where you can listen to the song and see for yourselves how emotional it will make you before you move on to read about his next great role. 

Start-Up (2020)

In this drama, Nam Joo Hyuk plays this adorable nerd, who is just the most considerate guy out there. Fine, he starts off the relationship with a lie and there may be some red flags… but other than that, this drama definitely fits NJH really well, showing a slightly different side to his rom-com charm. In this drama, his character is not really as confident as previous roles, he is more of a softie who’s not very charismatic, and though he is a hard worker, he starts off not really doing as well as his genius status would suggest. Some would even say that he starts off as a loser. The drama mixes great humor with the fight of the little guy and technology can make the world a better place. With time we also get to see how his character develops and gains access to his full potential, and develops into a man with both ambition and capability to try to make the world a much better place for those in need of some help from technology. 

NJH as a knitting nerd on the subway NJH intense genius at work 

 The Light in Your Eyes (2019)

The Light in Your Eyes is probably one of the most underrated dramas out there, it is versatile, it has one of dramaland’s greatest twist of all time, and it has a Nam Joo Hyuk that plays a whole bunch of different characters, in one and the same drama. How cool is that?

Be it along side Han Ji Min as a flirty potential love interest, as a fiancé or as a husband and father.


Or alongside Kim Hye Ja  as an unintentional con artist, doctor, or kind slightly lost soul from the neighborhood.


He plays each role in a  convincing and beautifully done way, impressing us over and over again. 

The School Nurse Files (2020)

In The School Nurse Files, Nam Joo Hyuk plays a teacher/headmaster in a school that is in need of somewhat some may call ghost busting. NJH´s character is a man who has been injured and walks around with a limp. The styling is not really his best and the story feels cut short as well as with seemingly odd editing. It feels like a lot of the story is missing and we get to see way too little of NJH. His acting and character here are of course lovely, so are his interactions with the main lead Jung Yu Mi, and he does have a lot of cute Jelly candy looking energy. But we would have needed more of Nam Joo Hyuk to make it feel complete.

 Cheese in the Trap (2016)

In this drama, Nam Joo Hyuk plays the very sweet and charming friend and aspiring boyfriend of the female lead’s best friend. He is the perfect boyfriend material and is a ray of sunshine among complicated characters.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)

Here, Nam Joo Hyuk plays the role of the only prince not stuck in a love star (like a love triangle but with more participants). We will admit that this was not the place where he flaunted his acting skills, but he did show quite a bit of his charm and looked very pretty in the drama. 

 Glamorous Temptation (2015)

In this Makjang, Nam Joo Hyuk seems to play the son of some rich family. A family that seems to have what seems some kind of conflict, and there is seemingly a lot of revenge. Okay we admit it, we only watched some unsubbed YouTube clips with Nam Joo Hyuk in this, and read some reviews. All because well, this is 50 episodes long. Nam Joo Hyuk does not have a very big role in it and the reviews do not make it seem very promising. However judging by the clips we have seen, he is very charming, assertive and may or may not be juggling two girlfriends or at least be involved in a love triangle. The acting we did see in the clips seemed to fit the scene and are close to water. So this may not be all bad, the important part is that he later got casted as a lead and that is enough for us fans.

YouTube clips: 123, 4

Surplus Princess (2014)

This is the earliest title listed under Nam Joo Hyuk’s name so we assume this was his first role in a drama. As a supporting role he may not have a lot of screen time, but he is most definitely the prettiest boy in this short fantasy comedy with not so very politically correct humor but a lot of awkwardness and even some slight depth (not only water depth, but that too). 

His character may not be known for his brightness, but he is charming, helpful and kind, making him probably the most lovable character of the bunch. His character  is also slightly obsessed with Suzy, the actress, making it extra fun that he was later paired with her as the leads in Start-Up


Josee (2020)

This movie is complicated, from start to finish it is impossible to know what is really happening : is NMHs character a jerk, a sweetheart or just an average Young Suk? We honestly do not know but however he plays the role really well and that is essentially all that matters, right? And even if he does may not be a swimmer here, he does get a little bit close to the water.

The Great Battle (2018)

This movie shows a very different Nam Joo Hyuk than the sweetheart we are used to see. He plays a fierce fighter, infiltrator and soldier. Yet he still has an adorable sensitive and vulnerable side to him. The movie is extremely bloody with a ratio of 80% fight 20% talk, has some interesting messages and takes on the art of war, and is a pretty decent movie to watch. 

Even if Nam Joo Hyuk pulls off both emotional and deep, badass soldier as well as cute fluffy roles, we admit that he keeps to very lovable and charming, smart and lovable characters, and though we are sure he could pull off a villain, a jerk or an icicle too, to be honest we love him the most when he is the charming boy in a swimsuit, so why not just leave it at that?

Three Meals a Day: Gochang Village

Three Meals a Day is a South Korean reality cooking show where the regular members stay in a rural village and cook meals daily with the ingredients they harvested or earned themselves. NJH along with Cha Seung Won, Yoo Hae Jin and Son Ho Jun are the regular members of Three Meals a Day: Gochang VillageHe is a shy and bright maknae of his hyungs in the show. He told in the pre-shooting interview “I don’t eat vegetables well. I’m a carnivore”. We could see him fanning the fire, running around completing the chores given by his hyungs and gobbling his meals hungrily throughout the show. 

Celebrity Bromance

Celebrity Bromance portrays the friendship between male celebrities. NJH and actor Kim Ji Soo appeared together in season 4 of the show. They go for a trip to Busan, which is their hometown, riding a train and a fancy car (we get to see his experienced driving skills including the perfect reverse parking scene). NJH jokes around a lot, plays music in the car and sings along enthusiastically in this show, which is somewhat different from his usual shy and reserved style. 

Off To School

Off to School is a South Korean variety show where celebrities will be attending a selected high school as students for 3 days. NJH was a fixed member of the show from episode 1 to 39. NJH and Kangnam become close friends in the show where they constantly have fun and bicker around. We could see his mischievous and active personality in every episode of the show. Many students of the school couldn’t hold their excitement seeing NJH walk around, play basketball and even share the same class room.

Unexpected Business

Unexpected Business is a South Korean variety show where Cha Tae Hyun and Jo In Sung operate a supermarket in the countryside. Various celebrities appear as guests to work as part-timers in the supermarket. NJH is one of the guests and goes for fishing in the sea in a boat along with Jo In Sung and Park Byung Eun. It was his first time fishing but he didn’t even get sea sickness and got excited whenever they caught a fish.  

Three Meals a Day: Mountain Village 

Three Meals a Day: Mountain Village is the only season till now which has all-female cast: Yeom Jung Ah, Yoon Se Ah, and Park So Dam. The cast said in the show that NJH has a unique sense of humor and it is charming. Since he has experience as a regular cast in Three meals a day: Gochang Village, he starts the work soon after he arrives the set. We also get to see a small jump roping challenge between NJH, Yeom Jung Ah and the crew.

Coffee Friends 

Coffee Friends follows Yoo Yeon Seok and Son Ho Jun as they run a cafe in a tangerine farm on Jeju Island, with their profits being donated to charity. NJH joined the cast as a part-timer. He was called by Son Ho Jun as they became close while shooting Three Meals a Day: Gochang VillageNJH was praised by the cast for completing his tasks including washing dishes and making orange juice quickly and being a helping hand for others. 

Omniscient Interfering View

Omniscient Interfering View is a South Korean show where the managers reveal the habits, lifestyle and details of the Celebrities. NJH appeared as a guest along with Han Ji Min and their managers. Han Ji Min said “NJH is the only actor I’ve seen who doesn’t look after his figure, but he exercises a lot”. They both do Josee movie interview together in this show.

Candy In My Ear 

Candy in My Ear is a South Korean show where celebrities communicate and bond over phone calls without revealing themselves to the other person. NJH, Shin Jae Ha, and Kim Yoo Han made a guest appearance as friends of Jisoo, who is the regular member of the show. The ‘Candy’ of Jisoo was shown to have more interest in NJH than her ear candy.  

Running Man

Running Man is a reality-variety show where the cast and guests must complete various missions to win the race. NJH along with Hong Jong Hyun, Seo Kang Joon, Choi Tae Joon, and Seo Ha Joon appeared as guests and formed a ‘Junior Team’ against the cast – ‘Senior Team’. In the show Yoo Jae Suk tricks NJH and other members of the Junior Team in revealing some details about their relationship status.

Radio Star

Radio Star is a humorous talk show, where several guests get to promote their work while answering awkward questions or performing awkward tasks. When Nam Joo Hyuk guested the show, they edited in shaking graphics making him seem like the most nervous of the bunch, he did however get over his nerves pretty quickly and got to show off both his singing, acting and catwalk skills for a very entertained audience.   

Infinite Challenge

Infinite Challenge is a variety show where regular members and guest stars are invited to take part of challenges (as the name entails), It is described on MDL with the following words:  “The challenges are often silly, absurd, or impossible to achieve, so the program takes on the aspect of a satirical comedy variety show rather than a more standard reality or contest program” . Nam Joo Hyuk guests the show to show off his basketball skills against an NBA star and well… Boy’s got some skills. 

These roles (plus his modeling) have not gone unnoticed in the entertainment industry, and have earned him a whopping 28 nominations listed on his merit list on Wikipedia.  Out of these he has won 13 awards including: rising star, best new actor, best actor, fashion icon etc. Not bad for a 27-year-old actor. 

Nam Joo Hyuk is active on Instagram where he shares pictures from both his work and his adorable dogs. Though we have not found any official account on other media accounts, a quick search with his name and you will find plenty of fun content to see on just about any platform.

Fun fact!

Nam Joo Hyuk has two adorable toy poodles, named Ga-eul and Gob-soon (okay, the adorable may not technically be a fact) that he once took with him for a photoshoot for Dior, and are frequently shown on Instagram almost as cute as their master (Metro.Style).

Name and watch a title that features Nam Joo Hyuk play the role of someone who does the things mentioned in the below picture. To get NJH you must be able to name 3 dramas in the same row either horizontally, diagonally or vertically (there is space beneath each description for this purpose). Bonus if you find them all in the same title or if you get the whole game board. No prizes, just glory and fun!

 *collage made from the  drama and movie covers that feature Nam Joo Hyuk  **If you do inform us of your answers we may offer you some emojis and a smile. 

Some last words from us, The Watergirls 

This concludes our fan guide to one of the wettest actors out there. We hope you will save this for whenever you feel like loading up on some of Nam Joo Hyuk’s charm and that you enjoyed this guide. What is your opinion about Nam Joo Hyuk? What parts do you think fit him the best? Do you have a dream pairing or dream role for him? Tell us, we would love to read your thoughts. 

Credits: We do not own any of the images used. Credits go to the respective owners. Images are from the official stills and posters, drama screenshots, MDL, and Google searches. Screenshots and gifs are made from screenshots taken from the drama scenes or have a direct link to their source in them.  Also a special thank you to the editors. 

Edited by: SumiTheCat (1st editor), devitto (2nd editor)

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