One thing that characterized last year’s television arena was discovery of male actors who were little known and then achieved great stardom in a matter of days. Kim Woo-bin from The Heirs, Lee Jong-suk from I Can Hear Your Voice, Yoo Yeon-seok and Jungwoo from Answer Me 1994, Seo Ha-joon from Princess Aurora, and Ji Chang-wook from Empress Ki.
I met Kim Woo-bin as “Crazy Mir” who was a psycho teen with pink hair on White Christmas. Lee Jong-suk was first introduced to me when he played the lanky gay composer known as “Sun” on Secret Garden. Yoo Yeon-seok played a successful marathon runner and a conflicted youth on Running, Koo. Then I came across an online magazine interview that convinced me to keep an eye on his career. I saw Jungwoo for the first time this year but had read how creators of the show were charmed by the actor who masterfully acted out his personal story in the film Wind. Although I did not watch the alleged makjang drama called Princess Aurora, there was no shortage of news about the guy who sustained his life and charm despite the colorful narrative in which characters supposedly perished like they were gummy bears in the hands of a voracious child. I saw a little bit of Ji Chang-wook when he was on Smile, Dong-hae which was popular among older viewers.
Seeing these hard-working actors, especially those who have had longer careers, enjoy a bit of fame finally for what they have done, I thought it might be fun to guess who the men of the new year will be.
My first pick is Sung Joon. Handsome and tall. I know him from White Christmas, Swamp Ecology Report, and Can We Get Married? He portrayed his character diligently. Lived part of his youth outside of Korea, began his career on runways, and completed several projects in television and film that were well-received. He stars in the new installment of Tvn’s I Need Romance.
He first gained notice via Gold, Appear! I only know Park Seo-jun from Kind Words where he plays the impossible character of a perfect male figure who is the ultimate protector of his women. I am kind of looking forward to his discovery of the creepy connection between his girlfriend and her sister! Tall and handsome. Although Park is not the kind of handsome that Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin are, he delivers his character in a convincing manner that makes him look good.
I have not seen a lot of Go Kyung-pyo’s work but I am familiar with his role on The Pretty Boy Next Door and SNL where he’s shown people that he can play a funny guy, a dumb guy, a mean guy, a smart guy, a friendly guy, and a clumsy guy all very well. Not sure what roles he’s slated to play this year but I’m sure he will be good.
I know Lee Sang-yeop from I Live in Chungdam, which was a fabulously written sitcom. Since starting Give Love Away, Lee has been gaining more notice from a variety of viewers. Lee seems like a guy who would do well in romantic comedy mini series.
In addition, Jung Eun-woo who is currently starring in a drama with Park Han-byul, Kwon Yul who used to be known as Kwon Se-in, Choi Tae-joon, Kim Jung-san, Ahn Jae-hyun, Uhm Tae-gu, Yoon Jong-hoon, and Do Ji-han from Basketball all have potential to become better known. There are also dudes who have proven their acting sensibilities and who may be called to deliver strong supporting roles in commercial films (from left to right): Lee Si-eon, Park Jung-min, Yoon Pak, Lee jae-won, and Hong Wan-pyo.