5 Things People Don’t Know About Yoo Ji-tae From Money Heist Korea

Making his debut way back in 1998, Yoo Ji-Tae is a popular figure among Korean audiences and fans abroad. His role in Old Boy gained him widespread recognition and his charitable efforts outside his line of work have made him more adored by the fans. 

Now, with his upcoming role as The Professor in Netflix’s Money Heist’s Korean adaptation, he might come off as one of Korea’s best actors ever.

You wouldn’t want to miss out on these facts about a potential all-time best’s life!

Yoo’s Philanthropic Nature

Yoo Ji-Tae is a man with a golden heart. The Old Boy actor might have been seen as a villain on screen but is a real-life hero.

Back when Yoo had just started hitting the spotlight with his acting, he said in an interview in 2005 about his wish to open up welfare facilities for people in need. In the interview with Star News, he also mentioned his mother’s dream to build a hospital for the old and elderly and expressed his own desire to be financially able to open up an orphanage.

My mother, who worked as a nurse for a long time, wants to run a hospital for the elderly someday. I want to financially help her realize her dream, and then establish an orphanage.

Raised by his single mother, the actor’s dream was to fulfill his mother’s dream of helping the needy and did so by contributing to various charity events and was always actively focused on giving.

In April of 2009, Yoo himself set up a charity campaign, along with DC Inside Gallery, and donated the amount collected for building a kindergarten school in Nepal. Despite his busy schedule, he managed the campaign and helped build the Ji-Tae DAIL Kindergarten, named after him in his honor.

His Wife Is An Actress

Yoo Ji-tae is married to another well-known name in the Korean entertainment industry. He is married to Kim Hyo-jin, who has acted in several popular dramas and movies, including her role as Moon Geun Young’s rival in the comedy series Mary Stayed Out All Night. The beautiful actress is also famous for her roles in The Taste Of Money, The Legend of Evil Lake, and Jeon Woochi.

Yoo Ji-tae with wife Kim Hyo-jin ( Source: Koreaherald )

The couple first met each other way back in 2003 when they were both struggling models. They started dating publicly in 2006 and could be seen together in almost every event since. After around 5 years of their harmonious relationship, the couple tied the knot in late 2011.

We try to share whatever ideas we have.That leads to communication and my wife is my partner for life. I can trust her and she trusts me. I am happy and grateful about that.

They were graced with their first child in 2014, and five years later in 2019 welcomed their second son into the world. As of today, Hyo-jin is still active in the field of showbiz and plays the role of Kyeong Eun in the show Lost.

Money Heist Isn’t The First Korean Remake Yoo Ji-tae Is Acting In

The Korean Money Heist will not be the first remake that Yoo is acting on. He has the experience of handling the pressure of acting in a much-anticipated remake in Korea. He has already acted in the Korean adaptation of the U.S.-based show, The Good Wife.

The tv series is a critically acclaimed show in the U.S., with many awards to its name and the show boasts a star-studded cast including Emmy Award winner Julianna Marguiles. The show is adored by critics and fans because of its depiction of the influence of social media in the field of politics and law.

The Korean adaptation of the show is adored among the fans in Korea as well. Yoo Ji-Tae plays the role of Lee Tae-Jun as a power-hungry prosecutor who is willing to do just about anything- even murder- to get what he wants. 

The actor played the character f Lee Tae-Jun in The Good Wife ( Source: YouTube )

When the call for the part came, Yoo Ji-Tae said in an interview that he was hesitant at first to be playing the role of the ‘villain’. However, after several friends and family persuaded him to take the role, he did. The role required an actor with a large physique, so Yoo worked on those muscles and was just the perfect fit. Yoo later said that his character is not really a bad person but a person hell-bent on achieving his goals.

I had to think of ways to add layers to the character. Because the scripts were not 100 percent done while we were shooting the drama, I had to interpret the character in a short period of time.

He also stated that he had to interpret the character himself as the script was not fully complete, thus making the work a little difficult for him.

He Has Worked Alongside Iconic Directors

Yoo has played in some of the best movies in Korea. One of those roles was his part in the movie Old Boy, arguably the best movie made in Korea. The film was made by Park Chan-wook, whose work is notable to viewers even in the U.S. The movie Old Boy even got an unofficial Indian remake named Zinda.

Stll today, Chan-wook continues to give critically acclaimed hits like The Handmaiden and it will quite interesting to see him collaberate with Yoo yet again.

Not only that, Yoo also had a cameo in Lars Von Trier’s recent movie The House That Jack Built starring Matt Dilon and Uma Thurman.

Yoo Ji-tae with Lars Von Trier on the set of The House That Jack Built ( Source: Yahoo )

Lars is a well-known art-house director and Yoo became the first Asian to feature in one of his movies. Lars is best known for movies like Nymphomaniac, Dancer In The Dark and The Idiots.

Considering the fact that Von Trier was eager to feature Yoo in his film for few seconds, there’s no denying that he really loved his performance in Old Boy.

Yoo Ji-Tae Is A Passionate Filmmaker As Well

Yoo Ji-Tae’s forte doesn’t just limit him to acting. Yoo has much more in his repertoire and is also a passionate filmmaker. He learned his craft from Chang-Ang University’s Graduate School of Advanced Imaging Science, Multimedia & Film. With what he learned, he went on to direct two short films, How Does The Blind Dream and The Bike Boy and were well received in the film festival circuit.

His debut feature film was Mai Ratima, a cross-cultural love story between a runway immigrant and a small-town drifter. Even though his short films got some good reviews, this movie failed to live up to the expectation. 

Yoo’s movies, according to him, don’t concentrate on a particular genre, he likes to mix it up a bit and calls making a movie a “noble act”. Some movies that he appreciates and learnt from are Maborosi, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Gloria, X-Men, and Magnolia.  

With Money Heist Korea just around the corner, we could be seeing another masterful performance from the Korean superstar Yoo Ji-Tae.

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The founder, researcher & content Manager of MagzMandala trying my best to balance passion and life. I only understand movies and things hard to monetize.
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