Actor known for playing the main character in the 2003 film Oldboy as well as his role alongside Scarlett Johansson in 2014's Lucy. He also starred as a serial killer in I Saw the Devil.
After receiving his degree in theatre from Dongguk University, he started his career acting on stage.
In the mid-2000s, he protested South Korean policies regarding screen quotas by eschewing films for the stage for several years.
He married Kim Hwal-ran in 1999. He was previously married to Lee Hwa-yeong from 1990 to 1996.
He also appeared alongside Morgan Freeman in Lucy.