The Top 10 Breakout K-Drama Actors Of 2017 You Need To Know

It’s always a pleasant and unexpected surprise to watch a K-drama and get totally invested in a character who is played by an unfamiliar face. It’s fun to look them up online and find that he or she has either been in many minor roles, a couple minor roles, or that it’s one of their first times being in a drama. Whatever the case may be, there’s always that one actor or actress who leaves a strong impression and becomes an additional reason for viewers to continue watching the drama.

2017 was a great year in terms of breakout actors and actresses who really grabbed our attention in their respective roles. To celebrate these nominees, we decided to have a little fun by showcasing their unique charms through superlatives.

Take a look at them below!

Yang Se JongMost likely to fall in love at first sight

Degree of Love

In “Degree of Love,” Yang Se Jong shined as the doe-eyed and innocent chef Ohn Jung Sun. His character caught everyone off guard when he asked Hyun Soo (Seo Hyun Jin) out in just the second episode, adamantly expressing that she was the one he wanted after having spent a few hours together. Based on that, it was obvious that he had completely fallen in love with her in a matter of hours, which was very cute but also sort of random!

Catch the first episode of “Degree of Love”:

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Kim Jung HyunBest ability in pulling off being a high-school student while actually being 27 years old

 “School 2017

Kim Jung Hyun is a rookie actor with only a few other roles under his belt. Getting cast as lead Hyun Tae Woon in the newest addition to the “School” series was a huge feat for the actor considering his age. Even though it’s not completely foreign for producers to cast “older” actors and actresses to play high school students, it is a big risk. After the first episode, people quickly noticed the charming and captivating presence of Kim Jung Hyun and were able to put aside the fact that he was a bit old to be playing a high school student. He was that convincing as an actor!

Catch the first episode of “School 2017”:

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Woo Do Hwan: Most intimidatingly handsome glare

“Save Me”

“Save Me” was a K-drama that many were quickly drawn into. The unique script revolving around cults and religions proved to be a popular thriller among K-drama watchers. One of the main factors of success for this K-drama was the surprising addition of Woo Do Hwan and his portrayal as the rough and tough Seok Dong Cheol. He made a believer out of many with his bad boy exterior and his intimidating, but handsome glare made him all the more intriguing.

Jang Mi KwanMost terrifying, but handsome kidnapper

“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”

Jang Mi Kwan as the kidnapper in “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” definitely gave us the heebie-jeebies, especially wearing that freaky mask. His identity and face weren’t revealed for the first few episodes, so we really had no idea what to expect under that mask, but boy were we surprised. His soft and pretty features didn’t suit his horrific character, but it still didn’t stop us from despising him.

Catch the first episode of “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”:

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Dong HaMost annoying character that we ended up loving in the end

Chief Kim

Dong Ha as Park Myung Seok in the popular “Chief Kim” was infamous for his moments of barging into the office and screaming at the top of his lungs. He was not the warmest person in the beginning as he was greedy, selfish, and impatient. However, towards the end of the drama, he warmed up to us and we could see his genuine attributes. A complicated and difficult task to do, but Dong Ha pulled it off so effortlessly!

Catch the first episode of “Chief Kim”:

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Kim Min KyuMost likely to make you fall in love at first sight

 “Because This Is My First Life

There really was nothing to dislike about Bok Nam (Kim Min Kyu). As soon as he appeared on screen and flashed his adorable dimples, we knew there’d be no going back. In “Because This Is My First Life,” his sweet charm and puppy dog eyes really stole the scene and made it impossible not to fall into his sweetness! We could stare at him all day, couldn’t we?

Catch the first episode of “Because This Is My First Life”:

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Jung Hae InPerfect boyfriend material

 “While You Were Sleeping

Han Woo Tak (Jung Hae In) is pretty much the definition of the perfect boyfriend. In “While You Were Sleeping,” he was charming, sensible, and responsible. And just look at his adorable face. Although he wasn’t a boyfriend in the end of the drama, we all know that he’d be the sweetest, most romantic guy to his girlfriend.

Park Jin Joo: Most sassy character

 “While You Were Sleeping”

Park Jin Joo played the adorable Moon Hyang Mi in “While You Were Sleeping,” and her sassiness in the office was an added bonus to the intense case scenes. She provided a lot of the comic relief throughout the series and it was always a delight to see what she would say next. Her attraction to good-looking men and loyalty to those she’s close with made her a fun character.

Catch the first episode of “While You Were Sleeping”:

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Ahn Hyo SeopMost innocent character

 “Father Is Strange

Ahn Hyo Seop’s portrayal as Park Chul Soo in the hit series “Father Is Strange” was too endearing and charming to say the least. When Chul Soo understood that he was in love with Byun Ra Young (Ryu Hwayoung), his inability to know the right things to do and say, especially when he was confessing his love to her, made him seem so innocent and pure. That particular part where he looked online to see how he should confess to a girl was adorable!

Catch the first episode of “Father Is Strange”:

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Kyung Soo JinBest double-role

Melo Holic

Kyung Soo Jin as Han Ye Ri and Han Joo Ri in “Melo Holic” was entertaining to watch for several reasons. Her ability to act out a woman with two different personalities was seamless, especially as the characters were so opposite. Her portrayal as the smoldering and sexy Joo Ri and the adorable and innocent Ye Ri was perfect and made the drama fun to watch.

Catch the first episode of “Melo Holic”:

Watch Now

See all the nominees for Breakout Actor in the 13th Annual Soompi Awards here:


Hey Soompiers, which of these superlatives is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

binahearts is a Soompi writer who can be most often seen singing her heart out at karaoke, walking her dog, or indulging in dessert. Her ultimate biases include Song Joong Ki, BIGBANG and BTOB. Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!

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