- In 1991, won a national television talent competition held by KBS in South Korea, which led to his acting debut on the country's television series Asphalt My Hometown.
- Was a very popular actor in South Korea who appeared in numerous films and television shows for nearly 20 years before making his Hollywood debut in GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra in 2009.
- Has modeled for the designer Karl Lagerfeld in both fashion shows and print ads.
- Was named a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.
- Attended the launch of the Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign for UNICEF in South Korea in 2006.
- Delivered a message of hope to victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011 at the request of the Japan Committee for UNICEF.
- In 2012, became one of the first two Koreans to leave his hand and foot prints outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood alongside fellow actor Ahn Sung-Ki.
- Won the award for Best Foreign Actor at the 9th Huading Awards in Hong Kong.
- Became the first Korean person to present at the Academy Awards in 2016.
- Is the founder of BHNC, a fashion line that specializes in hats, scarves and other accessories.