Published on December 23rd, 2014 | by porninja0
5 dramaland hotties to look out for
2014 may be a year with low drama ratings across the board, but what it successfully managed to do was introduce us to a couple of K-actors that are talented just as they are good-looking. These actors have been creating a buzz online and it probably won’t be long before some of them receive love calls from directors all over, eager to get in on the action. Here are five picks we’re keeping an eye on!
Lee Tae Hwan
Upon first look, you’d probably never guess that Lee Tae Hwan‘s actually only 19 years old. That’s because he stands at a hulking 1.88m! He’s the youngest member of actor-idol group 5urprise and had his first acting role in last year’s After School Bokbulbok, a web drama series starring Kim So Eun (Liar Game) as well as the four other members of his group. While that was a cute little drama, it relied more on eye candy good looks and silly antics than any actual acting skill, so it was still hard to tell then if he showed any promise. That’s why I’m glad we got to see him in High School King of Savvy next! He played one of two hilarious sidekicks, and even though his acting isn’t anything to write home about, he was adorably expressive and 100% dedicated to the role, reacting to the situation before him even when he didn’t have any dialogue to speak of.
I can’t quite put my finger on it but he has this boy-next-door quality that makes it really difficult to dislike him. He also seems to be making smart choices so far in his career, making the natural progression towards a more serious role, as he currently plays an investigation officer in Pride and Prejudice. Look, he even got an angsty shower scene!
Park Bo Gum
This 21-year-old cutie first caught our eye when he appeared as the charming and gifted cellist in Cantabile Tomorrow. He played the second male lead character with a warmth and likability that makes you want to root for him no matter how glaringly obvious it is that he’s nowhere near being in the running for the leading lady’s heart. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that his smile is dimpled and downright adorable. Even though his role was mostly lighthearted and pleasant, the few moments of vulnerability were played wonderfully and with just the right amount of angst, hinting at something more that we’ve yet to see from him.
With his delicate features, he looks more like a cross between Lee Hyun Woo (See? They’re totally twins!) and model-actor Hong Jong Hyun to me, but some have also commented that he resembles a younger Jo In Sung. Give him a couple more years and a few meaty roles to sink his teeth into – I have little doubt that this rising star will have the potential to follow in the veteran actor’s footsteps, career-wise. Right now, he just needs that one career-defining moment that will put him on the map and on everyone’s radar…
Yoon Kyun Sang
“Hyung, nooooo!” echoes the cries of just about everybody watching Yoon Kyun Sang’s character spiral out of control in his vengeful murder spree in the currently-airing Pinocchio. Starring Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye as newbie reporters, the drama highlights the media as a double-edged sword with the ability to both reveal and distort the truth. Kyun Sang plays Jong Suk’s character’s older brother and even though he wasn’t initially advertised as the second male lead (that would be Kim Young Kwang), he may as well be, with the amount of screentime he seems to be commanding these days. It says a lot about his acting too, when he’s able to turn a murderer into a sympathetic character, and each time the people around him get closer to finding out the truth, you kinda wish they weren’t so good at their jobs, just so we can prolong the inevitable a little bit more. He adeptly switches between the warm-hearted hyung we’ve all grown to love, and a scarily intense man on an unstoppable revenge mission. His motivations are understandable and he’s played with a charisma that makes me positively riveted each time he shows up.
Pinocchio is one of those dramas where all three male leads are super tall and towering past 1.85m, with Kyun Sang leading the pack at an impressive 1.88m. I love that he’s a little bit taller than Jong Suk because the relationship between the two brothers hurts that much more when we see Jong Suk staring up at his onscreen hyung with puppy eyes, knowing that he’ll soon be responsible for sending him to jail. It all hurts soooo good. Kyun Sang has been making a particularly good impression on audiences with this role so for an actor with only two previous acting projects, I’d say he’s on the up-and-up.
Song Jae Rim
I guess we’re cheating a little by adding Song Jae Rim to the list since he’s by far the most established actor of the lot, with 6-7 years in the industry under his belt. But these days, it’s his career-boosting turn as Kim So Eun’s chatty onscreen husband in We Got Married that has people talking. After a slew of broody roles playing a loyal bodyguard in The Moon That Embraces the Sun, the cold-blooded killer in Two Weeks, and most recently, a celebrity chef with a secret in Surplus Princess, who can blame him for wanting to show a completely different side of himself? And what better way to do that than to sign onto a loosely-scripted reality show that puts you in a contract marriage with a fellow celebrity? Let the dating shenanigans begin! I can’t even begin to describe how refreshing it is to see Jae Rim out of the usual roles he plays, instead behaving like any typical red-blooded 30-year-old Korean man eager for opportunities for skinship, with a quip or cheesy pick-up line always at the ready.
He’s landed his first leading role (finally!) and is set to romance Lee Ha Na (High School King of Savvy) in KBS’ Unkind Women. He’ll play a fencing instructor who’s not really interested in women and is prickly to most people. His character’s described as being especially cold to women with lots of aegyo who try too hard to look good in front of him. So, basically the exact opposite of what he’s like in real life.
Byun Yo Han
We all have that one colleague… You know the one – the one who makes it his life’s mission to make everyone’s problems his own, butting into everyone’s business and smooth-talking his way through it all. It’s not easy taking such an overly talkative and nosy character with a penchant for gossiping, and giving him all these layers that ultimately make him utterly likeable. Go overboard and he can come across smarmy and absolutely grating, a risk that comes with tackling a character as complex as Misaeng‘s Suk Yool. But that’s exactly what Byun Yo Han did – perfectly, too. It feels as though the 28-year-old popped out of nowhere, exploding onto the scene and making Suk Yool come to life. But Yo Han has been acting for a few years now, appearing mainly in indie movies. Misaeng, the current hit cable drama about office workers, is his television debut.
This is one of those exceptional cases where the right role seems to have found the right actor, resulting in something amazing that nobody could have anticipated. While Misaeng was probably a career breakthrough for all our main leads, Yo Han was the most unknown of the four, but has been increasingly generating buzz, thanks to his brilliant portrayal. Despite Suk Yool’s busybody tendencies, I have so much love for him because he’s the glue that holds our Newbie Foursome together, and honestly, no one else can rock a centre part as well as he does. In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, he’d stated, “I want to be an actor who is considered very important to the Korean film industry.” With the way things are going, that moment will probably arrive a lot sooner than he thinks.