Early 2011 enlistment for Kim Hye-sung

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Early 2011 enlistment for Kim Hye-sung

While it’s commonplace for celebrities to delay their mandatory military service as long as possible, young actor Kim Hye-sung (Boy Meets Boy, Unstoppable High Kick), currently 22, is going against the grain and plans to enlist early next year. (Men are sometimes granted deferrals after receiving their first notice to serve, but must enlist by the end of the year in which they turn 28, which is 29 by the Korean system.)

Several media outlets are reporting that Kim will enter service in February, but a few others take a more tentative line, stating that the date is not confirmed. His management company, Namoo Actors, responded to initial reports by saying that Kim plans to enlist early next year and is indeed considering doing so in February, but that the date may change once he receives his official draft notice. He will be assigned to active duty.

Kim Hye-sung made the leap from citizen to celebrity first as an uljjang, and then as an actor. He debuted in the 2005 movie Jenny, Juno in which he gets his girlfriend pregnant while they’re both still in middle school. He also starred in the much-buzzed-about short film Boy Meets Boy, which portrayed the sweet, adolescent budding attraction between two young gay students. He also had a part in the recent war film Into the Fire.

But still, Kim’s biggest claim to fame is probably his role as the nerdy older brother to Jung Il-woo in the hit family sitcom Unstoppable High Kick. That show, which aired in 2006, served as a springboard for several of today’s rising stars: in addition to Jung, the show also introduced us to a boyish Kim Bum (with whom Kim Hye-sung’s character had a hilarious and adorable bromance that was often written directly into the plotlines), as well as Sungkyunkwan Scandal’s Park Min-young, who was Kim Hye-sung’s pretty bimbo of a girlfriend. (A particular highlight: Her rivalry with Kim Bum for Kim Hye-sung’s affections.)

Although it’s more common for budding stars to delay their army service as much as possible, it looks like Kim would rather get it over with. Which is a good thing, if you consider that when his colleagues start heading off to fulfill their two years of service (such as Lee Min-ho, Jung Il-woo, Jang Geun-seok, Kim Bum, and Baek Sung-hyun), he’ll still be around.

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