1962 – born in Seul, South Korea.
1982 – graduates actor at Drama and Film department of Dongguk University. Works mostly in theater.
1989 - Kuro Arirang, Park Chong-won's first film.1992-93 – stars in Park Chong-won's film Our Twisted Hero, inspired by writer Yi Munyol ´s homonym book; Our Love This Way.
1993-94 - works in tv dramas, like Moon Over Seoul with old friend actor Han Suk-kyu; and Sara Is Guilty.
1997 – Choi plays a tough-talking police investigator in Song Neung-han's No.3.
1998 – Kim Jee-woon's debut film The Quiet Family.
1999 – plays a North Korean agent in Swiri (Shiri), Kang Jae Gyu's blockbuster, co-starring Han Suk-kyu and Song Kang-ho; gets Best Actor prize at Grand Bell awards. Stars a korean theater production of Hamlet. Plays a husband who discovers his wife's infidelity in Ji Woo-chung´s Happy End (Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2000, Best Actor).
2001 – Plays a small-time gangster in Failan, a melodrama directed by Song Hae Sung, from Jiro Asada´s novel, “Love Letter “, co-starring Cecilia Cheung. Wins Best Actor Award at 2002 Deauville Asia Film Festival.
2002 – In film Chihwaseon (Drunk on Women and Poetry), directed by Im Kwon-taek (Best Director at Cannes), played the famous nineteenth-century Korean painter Jang Seung-up.
2003 – Park Chan-wook's Oldboy (based on manga by Tsuchiya Garon and Nobuaki Minegishi) is considered his best work until now, a tour de force, gave him world star status (Best Actor at Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards). Oldboy won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Fest.
Choi and the film directors: "When I'm working with a director, I don't force my own world...A movie is a work of art made by the director. An actor shouldn't try to change the director's world from outside, but rather, the actor must enter the world of the director, like a member of an orchestra would enter the world of the conductor."
2004 – A music teacher in Springtime; and a North Korean commander in Taegukgi : The Brotherhood of War; directed by Ryu Jang-ha.
2005 – Ryoo Seung-wan´s Crying Fist; Park Chan-wook ends his “revenge trilogy” with Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.The director Ryoo Seung-wan, on Choi´s personality: “I noticed that Mr. Choi is always joking, eating snacks, and generally not paying much attention to filming but when the camera light turns on and I shout 'action!', he suddenly snaps right into character and becomes a different man.”
Choi talks about Crying Fist: "This film was very hard work and the character I played didn't suit my style, but what attracted me to this role was the fact that it is about an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation. This project was meaningful and quite satisfying for me. The movie may seem rather crude at first but it is a deep penetrating look at human nature and the way a man is made or ruined under pressure. I believe that the inspirational message of this movie is needed in today's society of indifference. There's a saying that goes: 'a sliver under my fingernail hurts more than a crack in another man's skull.' This is the kind of thinking that needs to change. I recently heard stories of people committing suicide in the Kangnam area and it really pierced my heart as I was able to see the kind of pain these people go through while filming this movie."
2006 – The Year of Politics – In february, the actor returns a government decoration in protest against decision to halve the screen quota for domestic movies. Choi said the medal (the Og-Gwan Order of Cultural Merit), once a symbol of pride, was now “nothing more than a sign of disgrace, and it is with a heavy heart that I must return it." In march, Choi joins film students at a rally to protest against a cut in the screen quota reserved for Korean movies in domestic theaters, in Seoul. And more protests in may: Choi Min-Sik, Bong Joon-Ho and others, make night vigils in front of the Palais des Festivals, at the 59th Cannes Film Festival, protesting against the reduction of the South Korean screen quota system, trying to aware the people about the struggle of their cinema to keep its identity and independence, against the American hegemonic cultural policy.
New projects: Directed by Yoon Jong-chan, Hamonica and Friend is “a story of homeless people who live in the underground subway station, and even though they look miserable, each people have their own friendship, humor, hope and love.”