Korea is producing some really impressive artists these days, making their entertainment top notch quality. Here are 5 actors that I think gave exquisite performances in 2016.
5. Ji Chang Wook – Healer
This show wasn’t from 2016, but I haven’t finished The K2 yet (Ji Chang Wook’s 2016 show) so I’m sticking with Healer. JCW does an amazing job as an action hero, romantic interest, and comedic relief in Healer. Since his character has to disguise himself as multiple people, you get a really interesting view of his acting range. Not only will he make you laugh out loud as the nerdy and awkward Park Bong Soo, and make you swoon as the dashing and roguishly mysteriously “Healer”, but his quest to find answers about his past and the kind of man he wants to be might have you reaching for the tissues when he plays the vulnerable Seo Jung Hoo (his real self in the show). This show made me absolutely adore Ji Chang Wook, and I can’t wait to see more of his work.
4. Song Joong Ki – Descendants of the Sun
You’d be hard pressed to find a woman out there watching Descendants of the Sun that didn’t fall for Song Joong Ki’s Captain Yoo Si Jin in 2016. Aside from the fact that his boyish grin lights up the screen every time he looks at Kang Mo Yoen (making fangirls all over the world squeal in delight), Song Joong Ki did a beautiful job portraying a noble soldier hell bent on preserving peace, no matter the cost to his own person. Easily one of the most likable characters I’ve ever encountered in entertainment.
3. Kwak Dong-Yeon – Moonlight Drawn by Clouds
I was incredibly impressed to discover that this actor is only 19 years old. He gave a stunning performance as the still and quiet Byung Yeon in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds. Outwardly Byung Yeon may seem serene, but the audience can see the tsunami raging within him every time he comes onscreen. It was masterful work done by such a young talent, and I’m dying to see what opportunities come his way.
2. Park Bo Gum – Moonlight Drawn by Clouds
Park Bo Gum plays the endlessly likable, playful, clever Crown Prince. We got to see such a range from him in Moonlight, and it was spectacular. PBG is amazing at communicating so much without saying a word. Watching him fall in love with Ra On, learning what it means to truly be a leader, and navigating a treacherous court, all while trying to keep a sunny disposition was delightful.
BRB, gonna go re watch Moonlight Drawn by Clouds now.
1. Lee Jun Ki – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo
Ah yes, coming in at Number #1 is the ridiculously talented Lee Jun Ki from Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. His performance as the cold and calculating Wang So (4th Prince) turned tender lover and good King was stunning. The depth of this character definitely reached beyond that of the others on this list, which is why I put him in first. Wang So is seriously traumatized from his past, but to survive, he’s had to become cold and calculated, ignoring the trauma as much as he can. Jun Ki impressively shows all of this with his performance, creating a fully realized character that you both feared and loved at the same time.
So much talent and artistry in 2016! I can’t wait to see what wonders await in 2017!
Honorable Mention: Lee Jong Suk (Pinocchio and W) – I can’t leave LJS out! He’s amazing.