Gong Yoo is considered one of the biggest Korean actors and a hallyu star.
Today, we’re here to talk about the time when Gong Yoo struggled to find success with his projects and how he overcame it.
Gong Yoo debuted as an actor in 2002 and has been in the industry for almost two decades. He’s had his fair share of careers up and downs like any other actor.
We can tell that his career slump began in 2012 after he starred in the drama “Big,” which was initially well-received and had good ratings but its ending was heavily criticized by fans all around the world. The drama was a success but nowhere near the success Gong Yoo is used to. Also, nowhere near as memorable as his other big rom-com “Coffee Prince.”
He later starred in the 2013 movie “Suspect” which was considered a box office hit. The movie cost around $10 million to make and grew around $27 million.
After 2013, the actor laid low and wasn’t heard from for almost 3 years, during that time he took a break and then resumed working on several projects that were all released in 2016. Gong Yoo re-appeared in that year to shatter records and achieve career resurgence.
His first hit project was the critically acclaimed zombie movie “Train To Busan” which has surpassed 11 million admissions in South Korea. He followed that with another movie called “The Age of Shadows” which surpassed 6 million admissions in two weeks. This made Gong Yoo a household name again with two great performing films under his belt in one year. A rare feat even for seasoned Korean actors.
He wrapped up the year with what’s now considered to be one of the biggest kdramas ever, “Goblin.”
Gong Yoo was cast in Kim Eun-sook’s fantasy-romance drama “Goblin.” The drama was a massive hit and even won him Best Actor at the Baeksang Awards for his performance.
“Goblin” became a cultural phenomenon in South Korea and as of this writing; it is considered the fourth highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history. Its final episode alone recorded an impressive 18.68% nationwide, unheard for a cable drama at the time of its release.
Many fans believe 2016 was Gong Yoo’s best year in a long time. He managed to achieve so much in one year and was able to put his name on the map again to prove he’s one of the best Korean actors of our generations with performances in movies and dramas that will be talked about for years to come.
Following his success in 2016 and early 2017, Gong Yoo took a two-year hiatus. He later opened up about the reason for his decision explaining that he felt pressure,
“It was a time where I needed to rest.
I felt a lot of pressure because it was so successful. I couldn’t fully enjoy that moment. I also felt as if I was being crushed down by it. I guess that’s just how much I can handle.”
On a guest appearance in Lee Dong Wook’s talk show, Lee Dong Wook thanked Gong Yoo for spotting his career slump, Gong Yoo then personally opened up about knowing how to spot it because he’s been through it as well,
“After going through a career slump myself, I began to watch out for and observe small details. Everyone calls for help in their own way. It’s necessary for someone to carefully watch you while being by your side.”
It’s uncommon for Korean actors to readily admit going through a career slump on interviews but Gong Yoo seemed comfortable enough to talk about the time when he went through it.
We’re glad to see that he has rested well. Gong Yoo is currently in talks to join his next projects. We can’t wait to see what he has to offer.
Did you know that Gong Yoo went through a career slump?