Who Is Park Seo-joon, a.k.a. Prince Yan from 'The Marvels'?

The K-drama star is making his Hollywood debut in the MCU's latest flick.

promo poster of park seo-joon as prince yan in the marvels 2023 movie
(Image credit: The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images)

The MCU's sequel to 2019's Captain Marvel is finally out in theaters, bringing together the titular hero played by Brie Larson and two fan-favorites from Marvel's Disney+ shows—Iman Vellani's Ms Marvel and Teyonah Parris's Monica Rambeau—in the franchise's first-ever all-female superhero team-up. In addition to the leading trio of superheroes, Korean drama fans have also been excited to see a major K-drama actor to make his U.S. film debut. As details of the film's plot emerged closer to its November 10 release, fans deduced that Park Seo-joon would play supporting character Prince Yan, who shares a connection to Carol Danvers and even appears in a musical number in the action flick.

Though American audiences may not be familiar with Park Seo-joon, the acclaimed actor is a superstar in his native South Korea, and he's already appeared in an Oscar-winning film. If The Marvels is the first time you're seeing him, read on to learn more about the actor.

He's a leading Korean actor and Chanel ambassador.

Park was born on December 16, 1988, and made his debut as an actor in 2011, appearing in Bang Yong-guk's music video "I Remember." He's gone on to star in several hit K-dramas including A Witch's Love; Kill Me, Heal Me; She Was Pretty; Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, Fight for My Way, What's Wrong with Secretary Kim?, and Itaewon Class. The Marvels is his first major Hollywood film. He's next set to star in the Netflix action drama Gyeonseong Creature, as well as the dystopian drama film Concrete Utopia—which Deadline reports has been selected as South Korea's entry for the Best International Feature Film category for the 2024 Oscars .

In addition to his acting work, Park has served as an ambassador of Chanel Beauty for the past few years, making appearances at several of the fashion house's events. He has also worked as a singer, contributing several songs to soundtracks earlier in his career.

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You may already know him from an Oscar-winning film.

Though K-drama fans have known of Park for years, U.S. movie fans likely first met him through his brief role in Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning movie Parasite. Park appeared at the beginning of the film as Min-hyuk, the rich family friend who told Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) about the tutoring job for the wealthy Park family, setting off the wild plot. Though he didn't join the Parasite cast on the U.S. awards show circuit, he did follow along on Instagram, where he shared sweet posts gushing over his co-stars.

He was cast in 'The Marvels' because of his performance in 'Itaewon Class.'

During an press conference earlier this month, The Marvels director Nia DeCosta revealed how she ended up casting Park in the film. Per The Korea Herald, she told the outlet that during the pandemic lockdowns, she rediscovered her love of K-dramas thanks to Park's 2020 drama Itaewon Class (which is available to stream on Netflix).

“I was really into Korean dramas, films and K-pop when I was younger at 17, 18, and I just fell in love with this Korean pop culture. I watched a lot of variety shows as well,“ she said. “I hadn’t watched many Korean dramas in years, but it was during the pandemic that I watched Itaewon Class. Months after watching that drama, I got this job [to direct The Marvels] and I thought Prince Yan’s character really fits him. So we reached out to see if it worked, and it did.”

She added of Park, “He is a great actor with great energy and he is very funny. Everyone fell in love with him on set...His screen time is short, but he is a very impactful character throughout the storyline.”

In a 2022 The Guardian interview, Park said of the Marvel gig, “When I first heard that the Marvel Cinematic Universe wanted to speak with me, I couldn’t believe it. I actually couldn’t believe it.” He added, “I’m not someone who has a fear of challenges, but whether I am filming in South Korea or abroad, everything is a challenge for me. So, I did feel some nerves at first. But everyone was so helpful and welcoming that I was able to find my feet really quickly.”

He's part of a famous friend squad with BTS's V.

Outside of his work in the drama world, Park is also known for his friendship with one of the members of the biggest pop group in the world. He's part of the "Wooga Squad," a famous group of besties that also includes actors Choi Woo-shik and Park Hyung-sik, and rapper and producer Peakboy. Seo-joon met V and Hyung-sik when they acted in the 2016 drama Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, and he went on to introduce the two to Choi and Peakboy, with whom he was already friends. After years of sharing Instagram posts and YouTube vlogs from their friend trips, the fivesome immortalized their squad in the Disney+ reality show In the Soop: Friendcation.

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In addition to In the Soop: Friendcation, Park Seo-joon, V, and Choi Woo-shik also appeared on another Korean variety show together. Park had been a long-running member of the show Youn's Kitchen, where a group of actors operate a Korean restaurant in a small town. He first starred in the Canary Islands-based Youn's Kitchen 2—alongside Lee Seo-jin, Jung Yu-mi, and Oscar-winner Youn Yuh-jung—and later returned for the spinoff Youn's Stay, where Choi joined the cast as they ran a traditional Korean guesthouse. This year, he, Lee, Jung, Choi, and V hosted the spin-off Jinny's Kitchen, where they opened a Korean street food restaurant in Bacalar, Mexico. (Jinny's Kitchen is currently available to stream on Prime Video.)

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.