15 Up-and-coming Korean actors to watch in 2015
Each year brings us a fresh crop of faces on the K-drama scene. From side characters who steal the show to second male leads who have leading man potential, there are always some talented actors and actresses who seem to be right on the verge of stardom. Here are 15 K-drama actors and actresses who really made a big impression in 2014, and we would be thrilled to see more of them in 2015.
How many times does she need to steal the show as the hilarious best friend before casting directors wake up and realize that this woman can easily carry a show on her own? In both Surplus Mermaid and Discovery of Romance, she already demonstrated that she has the chops to pull off romance. She had the lead in the web drama Infinite Power, but let's see what she can do in a full-length drama, shall we?
This guy is the male version of Kim Seul Gi: always the best friend, never the lead. It's actually quite fitting since the romance between his character and Kim Seul Gi's was what made me keep watching Discovery of Romance to the end.
L has been acting for several years, but he started off 2014 as a secretary in Sly and Single Again, which isn't exactly a meaty role. While there's always some debate about his acting range, given how widespread second lead syndrome was for his character in My Lovable Girl, I would be surprised if we didn't see more from him soon.
If you only know Han Groo from the violent cable drama Girl K, then you haven't seen everything she has to offer. This year, she showed off her comedic chops in Marriage, Not Dating, proving that she has the range to take on a wide variety of roles. She kind of strikes me as a versatile Yoon Eun Hye-type.
If 2014 proved anything, it's that Lee Tae Hwan isn't just Seo Kang Joon's buddy who lights his farts on fire anymore. His current role in Pride and Prejudice is both sweet and heartbreaking, and it should pave the way for more opportunities.
Do Hee won several awards for her role in Answer Me 1994, and she's had parts in multiple ensemble dramas this year, including Boarding House No. 24 and Tomorrow's Cantabile. The pint-sized idol-actress might land some big roles in 2015.
8. Song Jae Rim
2015 WILL be Song Jae Rim's year! He's always a sorta-kinda-not-completely lead (see Nail Shop Paris and Surplus Princess), and he just needs to be the star already.
Watch Park Min Young and Ji Chang Wook team up in the thrilling action romance Healer:
For someone who's only 14, Kim Sae Ron already has an impressive resume. As she's demonstrating right now with High School — Love On, she's ready to transition from children's roles to leading teenage roles. Given her talent at such a young age, it's exciting to consider what role she will tackle next.
10. Kim Yoo Jung
Kim Yoo Jung and Kim Sae Ron are in similar positions. Both of them have earned rave reviews as child actors, and now that they are hitting their teenage years, you can expect them to move into bigger, but still age-appropriate, teenage roles.
Lee Joon had some big breakthrough moments in Gapdong and Mr. Baek in 2014. Given how good he is at stealing every scene, it wouldn't be surprising to see him headlining a drama soon.
12. Yang Jin Sung
Before Bride of the Century, Yang Jin Sung's biggest role was what — the other female security guard on City Hunter? But somehow she carried not one, but two characters in Bride of the Century, and that kind of talent it bound to be rewarded.
13. Choi Woo Shik
Choi Woo Shik always plays such oddball characters, from the flirtatious eunuch in Rooftop Prince to his current role as the self-centered prosecutor on Pride and Prejudice. He ha already confirmed his first leading role for 2015 with Hogu's Love opposite UEE.
14. Park Min Woo
15. Park Hae Jin
Perhaps no one is as poised for stardom as Park Hae Jin. With supporting roles in two big dramas this year (My Love from Another Star and Doctor Stranger) and closing out the year with an intriguing role as a psychopathic serial killer on the cable series Bad Guys, he's ready to bring in the new year with a bang.
So what do you think? Which actors and actresses do you expect to see exploding on the K-drama scene next year? Comment below!
Vivi is an unapologetic Korean drama addict and blogger. She blogs with her K-drama best friend Coco at Kdrama Fighting! In her free time, she likes to bring her commentary to the DramaFever crowd.
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