by heartaem, May 6, 2019

Xiu Min first rose to fame when SM Entertainment debuted their newest boy group EXO in April 2012. He was revealed as the seventh member of the twelve-part boy group and debuted as a part of the EXO-M subunit alongside Lay, Luhan, Tao, Kris, and Chen. Despite being Korean, Xiu Min studied and learned Chinese in order to fulfill his role in EXO-M - the half of the group who produced their albums and songs in Mandarin whilst the other six members made EXO-K, producing their songs in Korean. He's an idol that the general public love, who manages to "convert" fans to listen to EXO and has more achievements and endorsements than one person can know what to do with.

So who is Xiu Min?

Who is this idol that charms people who don't even like the K-Pop genre? Why does everything he promotes sell out? Who is this small man that has recommendations and endorsements from a loved director in the K-film industry?

Personal Information
Name: Kim Min Seok (김민석)
Stage Name: Xiu Min (시우민)
Born: March 26, 1990
Birth Place: Guri, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Enlistment Date: May 7th, 2019 - active duty
Affiliates: EXO, EXO-M, EXO-CBX
Acting Credits: 3
OST Credits: 3 (one as EXO-CBX, one collaboration with Chen and Baek Hyun)
Instagram: e_xiu_o
Xiu Min, aka Kim Min Seok, was revealed as the seventh member of the twelve-person boy group EXO in 2011. He was well received as a member of EXO-M and rose to quite some popularity in China. His acting debut was made in 2013, in a music video for Jin (now a member of Lovelyz) for her song Gone - music video here.
From 2013, Min Seok focused on his career with EXO after members began to leave, eventually leaving the boy group with nine members by 2015. In 2015, Min Seok made his theatre debut in SM Entertainment's School of Oz musical where he played the role of Aquila alongside label mates Chang Min, Key, Luna, Seul Gi and fellow EXO member and leader, Su Ho.
In 2015, Min Seok debuted officially as an actor with a support role in the idol drama EXO Next Door with his fellow group mates. A few months later, he played the main male in web series Falling for Do Jeon.
Min Seok made his film acting debut in 2016 as a supporting role in Seon Dal: The Man Who Sells the River.
EXO also performed in the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics - their full performance can be found here

  1. EXO revived the physical album sales in South Korea after a twelve-year hiatus, selling over one million copies of album XOXO 
  2. EXO was previously the most awarded K-pop group and held the world record for most Daesangs until February 2019, a record they held for almost 2 years - this was finally published in the 2018 Guinness Book of World Records
  3. EXO has more than 60 music show wins to their name - a record that remains currently unbroken.
  4. EXO has received 114 awards overall and has been nominated for another 49 - including awards and wins in the west with no western promotion on SM Entertainment's part.
  5. For more of EXO's achievements, you can click here for award show nominations and wins, and here for a summary of their achievements from debut up to 2018, February.

For Min Seok himself:

  1. In 2010, he was named an honorary ambassador of the Korean Football Association alongside fellow EXO member, Kai - link.
  2. It is rumoured he holds the record for most sold out products - namely, the number of products that have sold out after he has endorsed/worn/used them. Whilst this record is currently unsubstantiated, there is no denying that fans will buy almost anything he is seen wearing or using - including the key resting on his face during a CBX promotional shoot (the key sold out within hours of the shoot being published). This, among many other cases, fueled his nickname 'Sold Out Fairy'.
  3. Alongside the nickname 'Sold Out Fairy', Min Seok is also dubbed the 'Trending Fairy' for his ability to trend worldwide for simple everyday activities, a feat that not many other idols seem to be able to pull off. This was most notable when he went viral for simply putting a straw in a friend's drink at the cinema. Here's a full (and long) list of all the times Min Seok has trended and the reasons why.

Fun Facts
  • Min Seok is good friends with Chang Min from TVXQ.
  • He is good friends with Mark Lee from NCT - they also did a collaboration song together.
  • Min Seok is the first EXO member to move out of their dorm and live alone.
  • His EXO superpower is frost.
  • Min Seok is obsessed with cleaning and cleans to destress.
  • He is scared of cats, yet owns one named Tan (photos here).


EXO Next Door follows the story of young, 23-year-old Ji Yeon Hee. She hasn't dated anyone in her life yet due to her reaction to blushing bright red and uncontrollably and becoming paralyzed around good-looking men. One day, four members of EXO move into the neighbourhood, hoping to keep a low profile in the house of Chan Yeol's grandfather. However, there's one problem - the house is right in front of Yeon Hee's house, and she ends up being their cleaner.

What will happen after EXO move in next door?

So, EXO Next Door is your pretty typical idol-based drama. Weird relationships, cute romance and a lot of strange humour. For solid K-drama fans, this might not be the thing for you. Even for some EXO-Ls, it won't be the drama for them. For me, this was only a 6.5/10, but it was still enjoyable. It took a while to get through as quite a lot is relatively cringey. However, it has its good points. The humour is funny, the situations are - somewhat - relatable to a degree. 

Min Seok plays only a support role in this alongside most of his other members, and even then, he only has limited lines in his episode appearances. With Min Seok's character, he portrays himself - or rather, his idol persona - through his character, but his acting skill doesn't end there. Whilst coming across as himself, Min Seok also manages to create a whole new character that we hadn't seen on screen. I haven't really seen this at all in idol dramas - creating yourself into a character and a character only whilst playing yourself, and I think that it's an amazing talent to have. Some of you will probably have seen idol actors like this, personally, I haven't, so Min Seok doing this is very new to me and something I adore.

I wouldn't say this is the best idol drama that has been released since the start of idol dramas, but I would say it's one of the better ones released. It's not the worst in any way but it's definitely not the best when you put everything all together. Min Seok, however, I would say if you're interested in his acting - or any of the EXO members' acting - I'd give this a shot for a beginning look into them.

Na Do Jeon is a quiet but smart student who works as a part-time Pierrot clown because he loves to make people laugh. Ban Ha Na is a college student whose dream is to own and run a food truck. When Do Jeon joins Ha Na's One Plus club - a club for the participants to try something new each week - and he ends up fighting alongside Ha Na to help prevent the club being shut down and, along the way, find romance may be closer than they think.
Falling for Do Jeon is your generic web drama series. Short and sweet, with a lot of feel-good moments and one pressing moment across their 6 episodes, this definitely doesn't stand out as something that is going to be genre breaking. It follows the same plot of many others of it's kind, but what sparks me as interesting about this is how they go about the plot.

With amazing acting from the two leads, Min Seok and Kim So Eun (Ban Ha Na) manage to create two romantic leads that have some genuine chemistry between them. Albeit, it has some weird situations where this romance blossoms, but with what they were given in the script, I think their acting did Do Jeon and Ha Na justice. The support actors as well also aid with their own roles, providing the comedy element to the drama alongside what was already scripted for the mains.

This was the first acting role I saw Min Seok in and he utterly stole my heart. Usually, I have issues from separating idol actors from their characters (normally, I would have seen Min Seok's character as simply Min Seok) but I was so swept up in his acting that I had no issues differentiating Do Jeon from Min Seok. His character is one of the most adorable I have come across in my brief web series/idol drama binges and I cannot recommend this enough. It's short and sweet, it doesn't leave open questions at the end of the drama and it closes off perfectly. Plus, the interactions with the cast are adorable, and their selcas are beautiful.

Kim Seon Dal is a genius swindler who utilizes his handsome appearance and his bold nature. With his team of Bo Won, Yoon and Gyeon, their oddly shapen family decide to steal a large amount of tobacco - currently, the most expensive product in trade. For their plan to work, they must deceive one of the most powerful men in Korea - Sung Dae Ryeon.
Seon Dal is a film that received mass praise from many cinema-goers and professionals in the industry. Even with some praise from the west with no promotion, this is a film I can't find any other word than successful to describe.

The story is harrowing; a stunning mix of family, betrayal, hurt and revenge all in a two-hour session. The acting in this was spectacular; Yoo Seung Ho (playing Seon Dal) and Go Chang Seok (playing Bo Won) truly come together to make the ultimate comical joker duo, whilst Ra Mi Ran (playing Yoon) adds a spectacular show of female badassery and care. Min Seok himself adds the perfect dash of innocent in his character, Gyeon (mutually known as Gyeonnie-ah), with a side of loyalty and ignorant bliss.

This film built me up, broke me down, broke my heart, lifted me up, wiped my tears, all in just one sitting. It ticks every box for what most people look for, other than the lack of romance. It's mostly original, the cast act perfectly and the music choice for this is wonderful.

I've watched this film three times and I'm still not tired of it; if you want a sweet but horrific tragedy, this is definitely the film for you.

You are the One - Falling for Do Jeon

Alongside acting in Falling for Do Jeon, Min Seok also did the main OST for the drama. He produced a bright and cheery, happy upbeat song for the web series which fits with the drama perfectly. The music video is a bit different, cut with both shots from the series but also footage of him recording it in the studio. In these cuts of him recording, Min Seok really shows his cute side whilst showing off his talent in singing. 

Overall, it's just a simple cute piece that really helped give the series an extra level.

You can see the music video below!

For You - Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

In 2016, before EXO-CBX was officially announced, Chen, Baek Hyun, and Xiu Min came together to produce this hauntingly stunning OST for the drama Moon Lovers, in which Baek Hyun had a support role in.  The video simply shows clips from the drama, but overall, it adds such an extra depth to this series and the scenes. Their voices truly merge together in a way that seems to fit the historic theme of the drama. This OST perfectly brings together the tragic, but the funny and romantic feeling of the drama in one three minute song.

A while after For You was released, EXO-CBX was announced as the first official EXO subunit. After releasing mini albums, fans were surprised with the upload of Someone Like You in 2018. The OST is for the funny yet jarring drama following the police force through daily life on the force and hardship - Live. Someone Like You is a lonely song, their beautiful voices mixing together to create a harrowing, sad love song that fits more than perfectly. It adds to the feeling of the drama once more and is an absolutely stunning piece.

  • Min Seok wants to be a barista in the future; he bought a coffee machine and makes things such as lattes and cappuccinos for his fellow members.
  • Min Seok featured on It's Dangerous Beyond the Blankets as one of the main idols alongside Kang Daniel. He proved to be a hit with a surge of watchers on his first episode (episode two) and was invited back as a regular member of the series, featuring on episode 6-7 of the first full season. Returning to Min Seok's nickname of the 'Sold Out Fairy', many of the beauty products he used in It's Dangerous Beyond the Blankets had fans traveling and ordering from the other side of South Korea or out of the country simply to try and get a hold of the products. 
  • In the second series of Dangerous Beyond the Blankets, Min Seok was a guest alongside actor Kim Min Seok and bronze Olympic medalist speed skater Kim Min Seok. Watch them confusing Winner's Mino hereYou can also see Mino teasing the three Minseok's here.
  • Min Seok has also done a collaboration with AOA's Shin Ji Min - Call You Bae.
  • Min Seok worked with the beat burger group to produce his solo Beyond for EXO's fourth EXO Planet tour.
That's all folks! 
So, what do you think of Xiu Min?
Do you want to watch his few acting roles?
If you've already seen them, what did you think of them?
Is there a particular acting role you'd like to see him do? (I'd love to see him in a horror film)
Do you want to hear him do more OSTs? If so - what genre? More like You Are the One or more like Someone LIke You and For You?

Let me know!

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