Shin Hye Sun (left) and Ji Chang Wook (right)
Shin Hye Sun (left) and Ji Chang Wook (right) Image Credit: Instagram/Shin Hye Sun and Ji Chang Wook

It’s confirmed – popular K-drama actors Ji Chang-wook and Shin Hye-Sun will be starring together in a new romance drama.

This week, South Korean broadcasting network JTBC confirmed that the two actors would be playing lead roles in its upcoming drama ‘Welcome to Samdalri’ (literal title).

Helmed by director Cha Young-hoon who is known for the K-drama series ‘When the Camellia Blooms’, the new romance series is slated to premiere in the second half of 2023.

According to JTBC, the drama will be set in the scenic Jeju Island. Chang-wook will play the main male character Jo Yong-pil.

“After losing his mother, who worked as a haenyeo (female diver harvesting sea life for a living), at a young age due to an erronous weather report, Jo Yong Pil makes up his mind to become a weather forecaster and protect the elders of his hometown. However, his passion and refusal to let misinformation slide earns him a reputation at work as a stubborn troublemaker who isn’t afraid to argue with his boss,” explained a report on the Korean entertainment website,

Meanwhile, Shin Hye Sun will play Jo Sam-dal, who grew up together with Jo Yong-pil as his close childhood friend.

Unlike Jo Yong-pil, who wishes to remain in his hometown of Samdalri, Sam-dal’s mission in life is to get out of their small town and move to Seoul.

“After years of toiling away as an assistant in the fashion photography industry, Jo Sam Dal—who changes her name to Jo Eun-hye in Seoul—finally succeeds and makes it to the top. However, she is forced to return to Samdalri, when everything she’s worked so hard to build, comes crashing down.”

Who is Chang-wook?

Ji Chang Wook is a 35-year-old South Korean actor and singer.

After studying Performing Arts at Dankook University, he began his career in musical theater and officially debuted in 2008 with the independent film ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

Chang-wook gained popularity with his award-winning roles in the dramas ‘Smile, Dong Hae’ (2010), and ‘Warrior Baek Dong Soo’ (2011), his first historical drama.

His fame rose with the historical drama ‘Empress Ki’ (2013-2014). He then starred with South Korean actor Park Min Young in the action thriller drama ‘Healer’, which won him multiple awards.

The 2017 movie ‘Fabricated City’ was Chang-wook’s first main role in a movie, for which he received a nomination for ‘Best New Actor – Film’ at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards.

In August 2017, the actor took a hiatus for his military enlistment and was discharged in 2019.

The same year, he won the ‘Asia Celebrity (Actor) Award’ and the ‘Best Actor Award’, at the Asia Artist Awards.

In 2022, he was awarded the Global Star Award for his role in The Sound of Magic and was honoured this year with the ‘Next Generation Award’ at the 16th Asia Film Awards (AFA) for his work in various drama and film genres.

Who is Shin Hye-sun?

Shin Hye-sun is a 33-year-old award-winning South Korean actress who entered the acting scene after completing a Film Art program at Sejong University.

She made her acting debut in 2012, with the television drama ‘School 2013’.

Her breakthrough came in 2016 with the series ‘Five Enough’, after which she played her first lead role in the film ‘A Day’.

Soon after, she was cast in her first K-drama lead role in the series ‘My Golden Life’, which was a major hit.

Hye-sun is best known for her roles in the television dramas ‘Angel's Last Mission: Love’ (2019), ‘Still 17’ (2018), ‘Hymn of Death (2018), and ‘Mr. Queen’ (2020).

In 2020, Shin appeared in her first lead role in the film ‘Innocence’ (2020) and received a nomination in the Best New Actress category at the 41st Blue Dragon Film Awards.

She also plays the lead female role in the newly-released K-drama See You in My 19th Life.