Few Korean dramas have become as big of a hit as the 2007 romantic comedy “Coffee Prince.” Starring actress Yoon Eun Hye, the drama tells the story of a young girl who dresses as a man in order to get a job. What follows, of course, is a lot of laughter, some drama, and a whole lot of romance! Still considered one of the most popular K-dramas of all time, “Coffee Prince” is one of the greatest hits from the classic K-drama era!
Have you ever wondered what happened to the cast of the show? If so, check it out in “The Cast of Coffee Prince: Where Are They Now?”
The beautiful Yoon Eun Hye debuted back in 1998 as as member of the K-pop group Baby V.O.X. It wasn’t until 2006, however, that she landed her first lead role in the drama “Princess Hours.” She suddenly shot to fame as a respected and talented young actress. On the heels of the drama’s major success, she was offered the lead role in “Coffee Prince.” The drama turned out to be an overwhelming smash hit, with ratings as high as 32.1 percent in Seoul. Due to the massive popularity of the show, she became the highest paid actress of the year and went on to receive many awards for her performances. The role managed to firmly thrust her into the list of the best, A-list actresses in the nation. It also helped establish her as a favorite actress among the growing community of international, K-drama fans. Since then, she has given award-winning performances in numerous dramas, movies, and commercials. She is also extremely involved in charity work as a Goodwill Ambassador and is said to do a lot of behind-the-scenes charity work as well. Her latest role was in the 2015 film “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant.”
This versatile and handsome actor made his debut in a TV drama in 2001. After his first lead role in 2005, he began to catch the eye of many casting directors and audiences. When he landed the lead role in “Coffee Prince,” his performance was enough to solidify his aura as a leading man for movies and dramas. Soon after the drama ended, he entered the military in order to fulfill his required service to the country. During his service in the Korean Armed Forces, he received a book as a gift. Deeply touched by the true story of hearing-impaired children who had been sexually abused by the teachers and staff at their school, he began to push for a theatrical adaptation of the story to spread awareness. It soon became a movie, with Gong Yoo playing the lead role of an art teacher at the school. The true story stirred up such outrage about the events and the minimal punishments the teachers had received that the public soon started to lobby for a change in law concerning the statue of limitations for sex crimes against minors and disabled people. Since then, Gong Yoo has become a champion of children’s rights around the world. Following the film, he took a two year break from acting. He has since made his comeback and will star in two movies later this year, including a spy thriller.
Lee Sun Kyun played the second lead character in “Coffee Prince” as a music producer who has some feelings for the heroine, despite his lingering attraction towards his ex-girlfriend. This role led the actor to gain mainstream popularity and star in numerous roles. He has since starred in 22 films, dramas, music videos, and theatrical performances. He has won several “Best Actor” awards and has been nominated for many other awards as well. His last drama was in 2013 as one of the leads in the romantic comedy “Miss Korea.” He chooses to work primarily in movies however and is set to star in two different films this year. He has since married his long-time girlfriend and they now have two children.
It’s hard to believe that this beautiful actress is 38 years old! To me, she looks just as gorgeous as she did in “Coffee Prince,” where she played the unforgettable, first love of the coffee shop owner. Before her role in this famous drama, she was a singer as well. She released a total of three albums over the years, but left her singing career behind in order to fully pursue her career as an actress. Her roles in dramas such as “When a Man Falls in Love,” “The Prime Minister and I,” and “Queen of Reversals” have brought her great success and praise. You may also recognize her from her current role as the chairman’s wife in the hit drama “Yong Pal.”
Lee Eon played the role of a waiter at the Coffee Prince cafe, along with a couple of other handsome young men who were supposed to attract female customers. Mr. Lee is pictured above (on the right) with one of those costars. Beginning in elementary school, he began to train in the traditional, Korean sport of ssireum — a type of folk wrestling. In his freshman year of university, he was inspired to become a model instead. He lost an astonishing 30 kilograms (approximately 66 pounds) and went on to become a very successful model for many years. In 2006, he was presented with a unique opportunity to play a ssireum wrestler in a film, therefore making an acting debut. He happily accepted and was even able to help train his costar in correct wrestling technique. A year later, he went on to play his role in “Coffee Prince,” winning a “Most Popular Actor Award” and earning an additional nomination for “Best New Actor.” The next year however, tragedy struck and he was killed in a motorcycle accident. The horrible accident occurred as he was on his way home from attending a party, an event where they had celebrated the final episode of a drama he had just finished filming. The popular, handsome, and talented actor passed away at the scene of the accident on August 21, 2008. Many of his coworkers and fellow actors attended his funeral, including “Coffee Prince” costar Gong Yoo. He took leave from the military to attend the service and carry the memorial tablet in the funeral procession. Even years after the tragedy, people still remember this charming and talented young man whose life was tragically cut short at such a young age.
After making numerous appearances in short films and movies, Kim Dong Wook finally had a break when he acted as a bubbly, funny young waiter in “Coffee Prince.” This supporting role brought him to the attention of mainstream audiences, gaining him many fans. He has since gone on to act in over 20 roles in movies, TV series and even musicals. Most people agree that his finest role to date was as the tormented and complex Prince Sung Won in the 2012 historical thriller “The Concubine.” Soon after, he entered the military to fulfill his mandatory service. He was discharged in 2014 and made his acting comeback a year later with the 2015 TV series “Maids,” a Joseon period drama focused on romance and action.
For me, the main reason to watch “Coffee Prince” was because of the hot waffle chef at the Coffee Prince cafe, played by the extremely beautiful Kim Jae Wook. Raised in Japan as a child, this young actor first started out performing in a band. At the age of 17, however, he decided to pursue modeling instead. He made his acting debut with a small role as a musician in a 2002 TV drama. After the drama though, he decided to focus solely on his modeling career. After five years as a successful print and runway model, he decided to return once more to acting. He was accepted for the role of Noh Sun Ki in “Coffee Prince,” a role which also allowed him to use his Japanese language skills. Since then, he has gone on to act in numerous dramas and a few movies as well. He has also returned to his music roots, forming a rock band in 2009 where he was in charge of vocals and guitar. His most famous TV role was as a rich, music-loving, young director at a drama company in the hit series “Mary Stayed Out All Night.” In early 2015, he starred in the film “Planck Constant.” His newest TV drama is a mystery-thriller and will begin airing on October 7, 2015 on SBS.
Apart from these talented actors, have you ever wondered what happened to the famous coffee shop where they filmed this drama? The location was actually an old cafe in the Hongdae area of Seoul and was completely remodeled for filming. Once the drama was complete, the shop reopened as a true cafe once more, keeping the paintings and props used in the series. In 2011, the shop was even featured in a National Geographic Channel documentary about the spread of the Korean Wave.
Although the menu is overpriced compared to other cafes, you are really just paying for the experience of drinking coffee at the actual filming location of one of the most popular and famous K-dramas ever. If you’re a huge fan of the drama, then it will be worth it to go visit at least once. If you want to go visit the cafe, click here to get the address and directions (and even reviews).
Check out the pictures of the cafe below and see how it looks today!
Did you enjoy this update on “The Cast of Coffee Prince: Where Are They Now?” Is there another drama, actor, band or artist that you would like to see featured in a “Where Are They Now?” article? If so, let us know in the comment section below!
lee1086 is a Soompi writer who lives for music, playing the piano, and Eunsihae. Apart from her love for Super Junior, she is also a fan of 3rd Wave Music, BIGBANG, EXO, SHINEE, BTS, and more. When she is not watching the latest K-Drama or obsessing over the perfection of Lee Donghae, she is busy at church or hanging out with her family and friends.