Yim Siwan, a former member of the boy band ZE:A, made a debut as an actor in the TV series Moon Embracing the Sun (2012). His handsome and caring character impressed the audience, and his debut work proved that Yim was capable of stable and sophisticated performance as an actor.
The work that served a decisive role in starting Yim’s career as a proper actor was The Attorney (2013), which Song Kangho starred in. Yim Siwan played Jinwoo, a college student and night school teacher, portraying the image of the youth and the face of the era of oppression under the harsh military dictatorship in the 1980s. Yim showed a leap forward as an actor when his innocent face was distorted by the pain from torture. The scene where half-dead Jinwoo is dragged out of the reception room after being beaten, water torture, and electric torture is the critical point of The Attorney which made 10 million viewers cry with anger and is the best scene that shows Yim’s leap. Actor Song Kangho praised Yim’s performance, saying, “He has good qualities for an actor and a good attitude toward acting.”
Although he’s not a bulky guy, Yim Siwan’s performance is broad enough to capture the atmosphere of the era. Appearing in the series Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014) served as a good opportunity for Yim to establish himself as an actor. The tears and laughter shown by Jang Geurae, a newbie office worker who struggles in a brutal society, depict the joys and sorrows of young people and represent the faces of the youth of the era once again. However, playing Jang Geurae, which was well received by the audience, may have been just the beginning of Yim’s ability to unfold his explosive potential. Yim Siwan was in the spotlight for his powerful performance that dominated the entire plot through the character Hyunsoo in the action noir The Merciless (2017), which was invited to the Midnight Screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the film, Yim succeeded in dramatizing the inner side of Hyunsoo by adding the rough appearance of a gang member to escape from his previous image. In particular, the intense relationship between Jaeho (Sul Kyunggu) and Hyunsoo that goes beyond brotherhood shook the viewers’ hearts again. Yim refuses to put the limits on genres and roles he plays, with his delicate, explosive performance and star quality that captivates the public. The actor plays the role of a marathon runner in the upcoming Boston 1947 (2021), which depicts the first marathon since World War II, preparing for another leap to surpass the expectations. Lee Hwajung