So many dramas, so little time. Along with all these dramas come my never-ending list of actor crushes. I would love to list them all down but that would probably take me about a week or so to write up. My love for all these actors knows no categorical limitations. I don’t care if the actor is young or old, tall or short, with a background in musicals or the catwalk – all I need is sizzling onscreen charisma and I’m yours.
So here I attempt to group my favorite Korean actors into convenient categories. Let the sorting begin…
1. The Idol Actor – A lot of people cringe at the thought of all these idol stars making their way into Korean dramas and movies, but not all idol actors are bad news. There are several handful of idols who have given acting a shot with successful results. World Star Rain, himself, is an idol who has made quite a name for himself as an actor, not just in Chungmuro but in Hollywood as well. Following in his footsteps are some of today’s hottest young stars, and my favorites have to be JYJ’s Park Yoochun (Rooftop Prince, I Miss You), Big Bang’s T.O.P (71: Into the Fire, Commitment), Beast’s Lee Gi-kwang (My Friend Is Still Alive, Me Too Flower), and Seo In-guk (Reply 1997, The Master’s Sun).
2. The Model Actor – Having models in our dramas is not a new thing. A lot of actors started out gracing catwalks and fashion spreads before hitting the screens. Stars like Cha Seung-won, Jo In-sung, Gong Yoo, and So Ji-sub first found success as models before being cast in dramas and movies. The trend of turning models into actors is far from over and the past few years has churned out quite a number of successful crossovers. And there’s no point in guessing who my favorites are. It’s quite easy. They’re all of your favorites too, you see: Kim Woo-bin (School 2013, The Heirs), Lee Jong-suk (School 2013, I Hear Your Voice), Lee Soo-hyuk (White Christmas, What’s Up), Hong Jong-hyun (Dating Agency: Cyrano, White Christmas), Sung Joon (Shut Up Flower Boy Band, I Need Romance 3), and Ahn Jae-hyun (You From Another Star).
3. The Ahjussi Actor – It doesn’t matter how old they get, a hot man is a hot man is a hot man. It doesn’t help either that most of these men have kept fit, if not fitter now than they were 10 years ago, and have quite the chocolate abs to prove it. And the wrinkles, I actually find sexy. Don’t you think? I mean, take a look as some of my favorite ahjussis: Cha Seung-won (Greatest Love), Kim Seung-woo (Miss Ripley), Lee Beom-soo (Prime Minister and I), and Jung Woo-sung (Cold Eyes). There are several actors whom I love that I’m not quite sure falls under the ahjussi category quite yet (specially since I’m not a hormonal teenager but a rational adult,psych!) but would not be considered an oppa to a majority of k-pop fans. Actors like So Ji-sub (Always, The Master’s Sun), Uhm Tae-woong (Architecture 101, Equator Man), or Choi Won-young (The Heirs) are not quite old enough for me to call ahjussi, but are not quite oppas either. But they’re all gorgeous, nonetheless.
4. The Musical Actor – Loving music and loving dramas is one thing, but I’m also a huge fan of theater and Broadway musicals, and seeing all these actors in productions of Grease or Spring Awakening is just too much for my little fangirl heart. And I don’t mean actors who eventually found their way into theater. I’m talking about actors who started out in theater but now have veritable drama and film careers, like Joo Won (Gaksital,Good Doctor), Jo Jung-suk (The King 2 Hearts, You’re The Best Lee Soon-shin), Kang Ha-neul (Monstar, The Heirs), Lee Sun-kyun (Coffee Prince, Miss Korea), and Oh Man-seok (What’s Up, The Vineyard Man).
5. The Jailbait Actor – Unfortunately, there are a handful of child actors who I love that are way too young for me to even be looking at. Even more unfortunate, for me, is that some of them really don’t look their age. Take Yeo Jin-goo (I Miss You, Potato Star 2013QR3) for example. The kid is 16 years old but looks and sounds like a man in his 20’s. There’s no doubt that kid is going places. At 16, he’s already romancing 23-year-old Ha Yeon-soo in their sitcom where he plays a 24-year-old web developer. Although, technically not jailbait anymore, these kids are still off limits: Yoo Seung-ho (Arang and the Magistrate, I Miss You), Lee Hyun-woo (To The Beautiful You), and that other Lee Min-ho (Rooftop Prince, Prime Minister and I).
I feel like I’m missing out on a bunch of other actors, but only because I couldn’t find a category to fit them into. Actors like Park Ki-woong or No Min-woo or Kim Soo-hyun are not on this list. Maybe a new category should be made just for the likes of them? The Pretty Actor? But aren’t they all?