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My Top Favorite Korean Actors

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Introduction

I can vividly remember my resistance in watching anything with subtitles way back, because I thought it would be a hassle to do that. So, I wasn’t always appreciative of Korean movies, until Train to Busan came out in 2016. I’ve always been a sucker for zombie movies, even if I’m too scared to watch them, which was why I decided to give it a try after the countless of times my subordinate urged me to watch it. And when I did, I completely fell in love with it, and probably watched it 20 times! There are only two movies that I can watch over and over without getting sick of them: Warm Bodies, and Train to Busan.

Since I got so impressed with Train to Busan and had a crush on Gong Yoo, I checked out all his projects, which lead me to watching more Korean movies, as well as television series. And that was the start of my great love for anything Korean: movies, series, music (particularly BTS), food, and culture.

In this article, I’d like to share my top favorite Korean actors:

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1. Gong Yoo

Well, it’s obvious why Gong Yoo has to be my Top 1 Favorite Actor. He opened my eyes to everything Korean! Born as Gong Ji-cheol on July 10, 1979 in Busan, South Korea, he’s been an active actor since 2001. He is currently under Management SOOP Corporation.

I already mentioned that I saw him first in Train to Busan (2016), which is not only my ultimate favorite Gong Yoo movie, and not only my ultimate favorite zombie movie, but it’s also my ultimate favorite movie of all time! Other excellent movies that I watched starring Gong Yoo are Seo Bok (2021), Kim Ji-young: Born 1982 (2019), The Age of Shadows (2016), A Man and a Woman (2016), The Suspect (2013), Silenced (2011), Finding Mr. Destiny (2010), She’s on Duty (2005), and Spy Girl (2004).

As for Korean Dramas, my most favorites are Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017) and Coffee Prince (2007). His other awesome K-Dramas that I’ve watched are Big (2012) and Hello My Teacher (2005).

Gong Yoo has been acknowledged many times as a great actor through the following awards: New Star Award at the 2003 11th SBS Drama Awards for Screen, Special Award for Actor in a Miniseries at the 2006 25th MBC Drama Awards for One Fine Day, Excellence Actor Award at the 2007 26th MBC Drama Awrds for Coffee Prince, Popular Star Award at the 2011 32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards for Silenced, Best Actor at the 2014 19th Chunsa Film Art Awards for The Suspect, Daesang Grand Prize at the 2016 Korea Film Actors Association Awards for A Man and a Woman, Best TV Actor, and Actor of the Year at the 2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards for Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (also known as Goblin).

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2. Song Joong-ki

Song Joong-ki was born on September 19, 1985 in Dong District, Daejeon, South Korea, and has been active since 2008 under SidusHQ and Blossom Entertainment. My favorite Song Joong-ki movies are A Werewolf Boy (2012), and The Battleship Island (2017). I’ve also watched Space Sweepers (2021), Penny Pinchers (2011), and his supporting role in the movie, A Frozen Flower (2008).

My most favorite Song Joong-ki K-Dramas are Vincenzo (2021), Arthdal Chronicles (2019), Descendants of the Sun (2016), and The Innocent Man (2012). I’ve also watched him in Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010), as well as his episodes on the variety show, Running Man.

Song Joong-ki earned a lot of recognitions through the following awards: Best Newcomer in a Variety Show at the 2010 SBS Entertainment Awards for Running Man, Popularity Award and Best Couple Award with Yoo Ah-in at the 2010 KBS Drama Awards for Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Producer’s Award at the 2011 SBS Drama Awards for Deep Rooted Tree, Top Excellence Award Actor at the 2012 20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards, and at the 1st K-Drama Start Awards for The Innocent Man, Netizen’s Award and Best Couple Award with Moon Chae-won at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards for The Innocent Man, Favorite Actor at the 2013 6th Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards for A Werewolf Boy, Most Popular TV Actor and iQiyi Global Star Award at the 2016 Baeksang Arts Awards for Descendants of the Sun, Outstanding Korean Actor at the 2016 11th Seoul International Drama Awards for Descendants of the Sun, Daesang Grand Prize, Best Couple Award with Song Hye-kyo, and Best APAN Star Award at the 2016 5th APAN Star Awards for Descendants of the Sun, Presidential Award at the 2016 7th Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, Daesang Grand Prize at the 2016 9th Korea Drama Awards for Descendants of the Sun, Best Couple with Song Hye-kyo and Asia Best Couple with Song Hye-kyo at the 2016 30th KBS Drama Awards for Descendants of the Sun, Best Performer Award at the 2017 29th Korean Producer Awards for Descendants of the Sun, and Best Actor Film at the 2021 Brand Customer Loyalty Award.

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3. Hyun Bin

Hyun Bin was born as Kim Tae-pyung on September 25, 1982 in Songpa District, Seoul, South Korea, and has been active since 2003. His current company is VAST Entertainment. My favorite Hyun Bin movie is Rampant (2018), but I’ve also watched The Negotiation (2018), and Confidential Assignment (2017). My favorite drama series are Crash Landing on You (2019 – 2020), Memories of the Alhambra (2018 – 2019), and Secret Garden (2010 – 2011).

Hyun Bin has been acknowledged for his acting ability through the following awards: Special TV Actor Award at the 2004 MBC Entertainment Awards for Nonstop 4, Best New Actor at the 2004 MBC Drama Awards for Ireland, Top Excellence Actor Award, Popularity Award, and Best Couple Award with Kim Sun-a at the 2005 MC Drama Awards for My Name is Kim Sam-soon, Most Popular Actor at the 2006 42nd Baeksang Arts Awards for A Millionaire’s First Love, Popularity Award, Netizen Award, and Best Couple Award with Sung Yu-ri for The Snow Queen at the 2006 KBS Drama Awards, Top Excellence Award for Actor in a Drama Special, Top 10 Stars, Netizen Popularity Award, and Best Couple Award with Ha Ji-won at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards for Secret Garden, Daesang Grand Prize for TV at the 2011 47th Baeksang Arts Awards for Secret Garden, Top Star Award at the 2017 6th Korea Film Actors Association Awards for Confidential Assignment and The Swindlers, Most Popular Actor at the 2020 56th Baeksang Arts Awards for Crash Landing on You, and Daesang Grand Prize at the 2020 7th APAN Star Awards for Crash Landing on You.

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4. Song Kang

Song Kang was born on April 23, 1994 in Suwon, South Korea and has been active as an actor since 2017 under Namoo Actors. My ultimate favorite drama series is Sweet Home (2020), but I’ve also watched seasons 1 and 2 of Love Alarm (2019 – 2021), Navillera (2021), and I’m currently watching his ongoing Netflix series, Nevertheless (2021). He has been recognized as Male-actor Rising Star at the 2021 Brand Customer Loyalty Award.

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5. Park Bo-gum

Park Bo-gum was born on June 16, 1993 in Seoul, South Korea. He has been an active actor singe 2011 under Blossom Entertainment. I’ve watched him on the movies, Seo Bok (2021), Coin Locker Girl (2015), The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014), and Blind (2011). My most favorite Bo-gum drama series are Record of Youth (2020), Love in the Moonlight (2016), Reply 1988 (2015 – 2016), and Hello Monster (2015). I’ve also watched Encounter (2018 – 2019), and Naeil’s Cantabile (2014).

Park Bo-gum has been acknowledged as a great actor through the following awards: Popularity Award and Best Supporting Actor at the 2015 KBS Drama Awards, Rising Star Award at the 2016 11th Max Movie Awards for Coin Locker Girl, Best Rising Star and Best Kiss with Lee Hye-ri at the 2016 4th Annual DramaFever Awards for Reply 1988, Best New Actor at the 2016 5th APAN Star Awards for Reply 1988, Excellence Actor Awards at the 95h Korea Drama Awards for Reply 1988, Asia Star Award at the 2016 tvN10 Awards for Reply 1988, Best Actor Star Award at the 2016 1st Asia Artist Awards for Reply 1988 and Love in the Moonlight, Most Influential Korean Drama Personality at the 2016 Melodi Awards, Star of the Year at the 2016 OSEN Awards, Asia Star Actor Award at the 2016 1st Asia Artist Awards, Top Excellence, Netizen Award, and Best Couple with Kim Yoo-jung at the 2016 30th KBS Drama Awards for Love in the Moonlight, Most Popular Television Actor at the 2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards for Love in the Moonlight, and Outstanding Korean Actor at the 2017 12th Seoul International Drama Awards for Love in the Moonlight.