After getting hit with a potentially career-ending scandal and then surviving the backlash, South Korean actor Kim Seon-ho is ready to step back into the spotlight after eight months.
His comeback project? The Korean adaptation of the play Touching the Void. This will also be Seon-ho's first acting gig this year.
And seeing as he made his debut in theatre in 2009, this makes the 36-year-old's comeback through theatre rather poetic.
On Wednesday (June 22), Seon-ho's agency Salt Entertainment announced the news with a promotional poster featuring Seon-ho.
Set in 1985, the play follows Joe Simpson (played by Seon-ho) and Simon Yates, two British mountaineers in their grand quest to be the first to reach the summit of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. As they make their descent, they face near-death situations and have to fight for survival.
The story is based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson and its 2003 film adaptation. The play will run from July 9 to Sept 18 at Seoul's Art One Theater.
For the uninitiated, Seon-ho was previously a rising star after his appearances in Start-Up and Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.
That was until October 2021, when an anonymous woman, said to be his ex-girlfriend, accused him of mental abuse and claimed he forced her to get an abortion to save his career. She also said he was obsessed with money and changed his attitude towards her after the abortion.
Following news of the scandal, brands that Seon-ho endorsed — including Domino's Pizza Korea, Canon Korea, Miima and Nau Korea — dropped him and removed his commercials and photos from their official channels.
The 36-year-old also withdrew his participation in season four of the Korean variety show 2 Days and 1 Night.
The tide began to turn when a report from Korean paparazzi media Dispatch revealed that his ex-girlfriend was not entirely innocent either.
Allegedly, she was seeing other men and had kept images and videos of Seon-ho on her personal devices.
In a series of conversations leaked by Dispatch between the couple and their friends, it was revealed that Seon-ho had actually been a loyal and loving boyfriend. The pair's relationship had also fallen apart due to questionable circumstances and not because of Seon-ho's rise to fame.
The former couple's friends said that Seon-ho had been supportive throughout the abortion process — and even after — and that it was his ex-girlfriend who had been difficult.
It's not clear whether he had forced her to get the abortion, but nevertheless, public perception of Seon-ho quickly changed from villain to victim.
Netizens began showering Seon-ho with love and support again and brands also reinstated advertisements featuring the actor.
His Instagram following also grew exponentially and now stands at a whopping 8.1 million. And, it seems he has one more project on the horizon after Touching the Void — the South Korean noir film Sad Tropics.
Seon-ho was announced as part of the cast in November 2021 and filming wrapped earlier this year.