One of Korea’s most popular members of the acting “Hallyu Wave”, Joo Won is as well known for his fabulous skin, baby face and stylish dress sense, as he is for his top quality acting.

In his new TV show The Gang Doctor (think Royal Pains and Rush with free-running and typical K-Drama romantic and family convolutions), Joo Won plays the titular character who runs around Seoul, narrowly escaping the police, to treat gangsters for money. His double life (there’s always a double life in K-Drama, right?) consists of treating the top 0.1% of Korea’s richest people in a hospital that looks more like a 6 star hotel. So far, so K-Drama.

EXCLUSIVE interview with hot Korean actor Joo Won DECOR 1Korean actor Joo Won in a scene from his new TV drama The Gang Doctor. Image: Sony ONE

We were lucky enough to get hold of this exclusive interview with Joo Won where he discusses his personal skincare and fitness regime, plus what he thinks about his equally famous (and beautiful) co-stars including the amazing Kim Tae Hee.

As an actor, you work long hours but you have very good complexion. Have you always had a skin-care regime?
No, I only started taking proper care of my skin about 3 years ago.  Before that, I was using baby lotion. (Laughs) Everyone around me was surprised when they learnt about that. I started giving skincare products a shot because my hyungs (T/N: Seniors) are using them.

What would be your biggest skin problem?
My skin gets irritated easily, especially I am stressed out.

Do you only use products before you start your day? Or do you have a specific regime at night as well?
Guys are usually lazy, but I’ve made it a habit to wash my face before bed time.  At night, instead of applying moisturizers, which can be oily and sticky, I use face mists. It keeps my skin moist the next morning.  You won’t ‘look’ tired this way.

EXCLUSIVE interview with hot Korean actor Joo Won DECOR 3Korean actor Joo Won. Image: Sony ONE

Do you have some skin-care tips to share?
I think it is important to follow proper skin-care steps. When applying skin essence, lotion, eye cream, sunblock… just use a thin layer, and gently dab it on your skin until the product is fully absorbed. Don’t rub it onto your skin, because it will stick and you may get break-outs.

How do you tackle your skin problems?
When I am filming, I sleep with my make-up on. It’s definitely bad for skin. I will use oil-absorbing sheets and moisturizing mists to remove the oil, during my free time (film breaks).  And if my skin starts to irritate, I will stick a patch onto the affected area immediately. I won’t use my hands to touch the affected area, cos it will just get worse.

What do you think you’ll look like in 10 years?
I want to age like Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s charm is timeless; he looks good back then and even better now. His acting and age matches with how he looks. When I turn 40, I would like to look my age too – no more baby face.

There’s this whole ‘juice-detox’ craze going around. Do you believe that they work?
Beauty is an inside-out process. I go on a detox and make sure I have a healthy and balanced diet. I start my morning by drinking a lot of fruit juice. I try to avoid carbohydrates as much as possible; my meals are mainly vegetables and protein. I also take a lot of Vitamin C and Lactobacillus.

What do you do to stay fit?
I like sports, and I use to play in a soccer club. Now that I am busier, I still try to gather my friends to play occasionally. I have also just started personal training some months ago, I’ve seen improvements on my thighs and I’m concentrating on my upper body now.

EXCLUSIVE interview with hot Korean actor Joo Won DECOR 2Korean actor Joo Won in a scene from his new TV drama The Gang Doctor. Image: Sony ONE

Are you excited to be part of this new TV series?
Yes, especially so when I learn that my co-star was Tae Hee noona. I was more excited than anyone else. (Laughs)

You have always worked with impressive co-stars including Moon Chae Won (Good Doctor), Choi Kang Hee (Level 7 Civil Servant) and Jin Se Yeon (Bridal Mask) and now Kim Tae Hee …
Of all of them, I would highly recommend Tae Hee noona. I think she would be great for the role. If you are a man, you would want her to be your co-star. (Laughs)

What is your first impression of Kim Tae Hee (Note: Kim Tae Hee has been dubbed Korea’s prettiest woman)?
She’s lovely; she looks like she just descended from heaven.

What has it been like working with her?
I came to like her more at the first script reading. I thought to myself, how can some with her looks have such a good personality? There is beauty and personality. The more I see Tae Hee noona, the prettier I think she looks, and I think I will have fun working with her.

EXCLUSIVE interview with hot Korean actor Joo Won DECOR 4Korean actor Joo Won and the other cast members from his new TV drama The Gang Doctor.
Image: Sony ONE

This is your second time playing a doctor (Note: He played an autistic savant surgeon in the TV show Good Doctor), is there a reason why you decide to play as a doctor again?
After filming Good Doctor, I was quite hesitant and afraid to be part of another medical drama. It’s actually pretty challenging, because there are a lot of medical jargons to learn. But when I read the script for The Gang Doctor, I changed my mind immediately. It is a very different kind of medical drama, unconventional. You would never think that think that a job like this (an underground doctor) would exist.

The Gang Doctor, starring Joo Won, Kim Tae Hee, Jo Hyun Jae & Chae Jung Ahn, is currently airing every Thursday and Friday at 8.55pm, within 24 hours from Korea on Sony’s ONE. ONE is available in Singapore on Singtel TV Ch 513, 604 and StarHub TV Ch 124, 820 and 823. ONE’s programmes are also available on demand on via Singtel TV Ch 514, 605.

Still loving the Hallyu craze? Check out our story on super cute Korean celebs and their equally cute puppies.