Every drama fan has at least one actress or actor they love to watch on screen, whether for their looks or talent. There are actors who look good in any role, ones who impress staff by doing their own stunts, the versatile ones, the ones who can seduce you with just one line… then there are those who can give “the look.” Not just Kim Soo Hyun staring intently, but those actors who steal the moment with their reactions and facial expressions.
Jung Il Woo smirks and you don’t know what’s going on, but you know it was gold. You’re cheering on your favorite couple and suddenly Kim Seul Gi’s panda face has you questioning who’s really the lead actress. Here is a basic list of actors who’ve basically mastered their facial expression technique. If you haven’t seen their dramas, they’re definitely worth watching, even if it’s just so you can see what expression these actors are going to make next. They make a scoff, pout, sneer, or smirk into an art form.
Many readers may know her from tvN’s “Oh My Ghostess,” in which she played a ghost suffering from memory loss and trying to solve her unfinished business. Before this role, however, she had already garnered plenty of attention for expressive acting as the dark-eyed, exhausted editor in “Flower Boy Next Door” and an internet food-star in “Surplus Princess.” There isn’t a role she’s done in recent years where she hasn’t captured each character perfectly with her impressive acting.
Watch Kim Seul Gi in “Oh My Ghostess”:
Plenty of talented actors receive love calls from directors when they’re about to leave the military, and Yoon Shi Yoon was no exception. Not only is he versatile as an actor, but he’s able to give life and attitude to any role, be it a rags-to-riches character, energetic video-game designer, or the son of a mistress serving a cursed princess like his latest role in JTBC’s “Mirror of the Witch.” Two things to definitely watch Yoon Shi Yoon for are his smirk and his melodramatic scoffing.
See Yoon Shi Yoon in “Mirror of the Witch”:
Another actress from “Oh My Ghostess,” Park Bo Young captured the hearts of viewers with her ability to seamlessly go from a shy, sleepless ghost-seeing chef to a man-eating ghost-possessed extrovert. While her acting received raves, her ability to express emotion with her facial expressions was also spot-on in the movie “A Werewolf Boy,” also starring Song Joong Ki.
Watch Park Bo Young and Song Joong Ki in “A Werewolf Boy”:
It comes as little surprise that this master of facial expressions got his start in theater before crossing over to film. Perhaps it was his stage-acting that helped him develop his talents, and his popularity is sure to grow. Despite only crossing over to film and dramas in recent years, he’s held his own against plenty of respected actors and managed not to be overshadowed in “Oh My Ghostess” by his female co-stars. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Yoon Shi Yoon isn’t the only anticipated actor released from the military this year. After his roles in “A Werewolf Boy” and “The Innocent Man,” anticipation was high for his next role. Then he surprised fans by joining the military, making us wait for two years before “Descendants of the Sun.” Was the wait worth it? Yes. It certainly was.
Watch Song Joong Ki in “Descendants of the Sun”:
Jung Il Woo is an actor whom drama lovers have been thrilled to watch grow from an awkward teenager (“Unstoppable High Kick“) to a man fighting the forces of darkness (“The Night Watchman“). He’s another actor who can easily throw some flare into a character. Fans can definitely anticipate his performance in the upcoming tvN drama “Cinderella With Four Knights.”
Watch Jung Il Woo in “The Night Watchman”:
Lee Kwang Soo may be best known for his role on “Running Man,” but he’s also an accomplished actor in numerous dramas. His friendship with Song Joong Ki has been famous since they acted together in “The Innocent Man,” but Lee Kwang Soo’s acting abilities are not to be overlooked. He’s really good at throwing a temper tantrum or portraying mock disbelief.
Watch Lee Kwang Soo in “It’s Okay, That’s Love“:
To fans of “City Hunter,” Kim Sang Ho may always be known as the “Ahjusshi” who aided Lee Min Ho in his quest for justice in the popular drama. In a drama with plenty of intrigue and tension, despite the cute love story, Kim Sang Ho had to provide comic relief while also being there to support Lee Min Ho’s anxious character. He also did an excellent portrayal of an emergency worker in JTBC’s “D-Day” and fans can enjoy him now on tvN’s “Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight.”
Watch Kim Sang Ho and Lee Min Ho in “City Hunter”:
“Another Oh Hae Young” was a refreshing surprise recently, racking up high ratings and stealing the hearts of drama viewers. Seo Hyun Jin’s excellent portrayal of the main Oh Hae Young was definitely a factor. Her flare for the dramatic made characters and viewers question her sanity plenty of times, but she was still lovable. Seo Hyun Jin has proven she’s an actress to watch in the future.
Watch Seo Hyun Jin in “Another Oh Hae Young”:
Another gem of “Another Oh Hae Young” was Kim Ji Suk, who provided plenty of comic relief and support as a womanizing lawyer who seemed to play for the wrong team. It was refreshing to not only have a conflicting character like his, but his reactions throughout the drama made every one of his scenes a little more exciting.
Watch Kim Ji Suk in “Unkind Women“:
Although “Shut Up! Flower Boy Band” wasn’t a rankings-topper like many dramas mentioned on this list, Lee Min Ki’s appearance as a thick-eyeliner-wearing, punk-loving teen may be one of the most memorable teenage roles in a Korean drama. He may have switched to the big screen afterwards, but we’re definitely anticipating his upcoming release from military service.
Watch “Shut Up! Flower Boy Band”:
Two actors, you ask? Well, it’s hard not to pair the two together. They were friends during their modeling days. They took on high school together in “School 2013” and now they’re even sharing time-slots. Kim Woo Bin may posses the ability to look into a person’s soul with his eyes and Lee Jong Suk could read minds. It’s hard to tell. Their expressions show all, but tell no secrets.
You can see Lee Jong Suk in “W” every Wednesday and Thursday on MBC. Catch the latest episode on Viki!
Also watch the latest episode of “Uncontrollably Fond” here:
Which actors have you enjoyed watching most, purely for their ability to entertain and convey the emotion of an entire scene or story-line with just a perfectly timed roll of the eyes or look of disbelief? Which actors do you not only anticipate for their amazing acting, but also their visual portrayal of a role? Let us know in the comments below.
heytoto currently teaches ELL in Seoul, South Korea, and when she isn’t waiting in line for something, can be found drinking a latte.