My favourite trope about K-drama is the funny-as-hell actresses that drive the plot forward. While the male lead has to be some emotionless rich guy, these babes put in performances like their rent is due. And it pays off because here’s how these ten Korean actresses made us obsessed with K-drama.
Park Shin Hye
Were you even alive if you didn’t watch The Heirs that year? Almost everyone’s love for K-drama started with this series. Park Shin Hye always chooses the most complicated love stories, and one of her family members must die. OG stans know her from You are Beautiful, but if you also saw Heartstrings, Pinocchio, and Flower Boy Next Door, let’s be friends.
They don’t make K-=drama actresses like Bae Donna anymore. Think of any popular action K-drama; she was probably in it. She’s not limited to the K-world because she starred in Western movies like Jupiter Ascending, Cloud Atlas and Sense 8. She makes you feel like you can fight if you copy her moves but Egungun, be careful.
She was always the second love interest that sabotaged the main girl for the longest time, but we still loved her. Forgiving her for her past sins as the wicked babe was always easy. We can thank her roles in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Jun, Dr Romantic 2, and About Time for that. I’m convinced this woman is a shapeshifter, though, because she never quite looks the same in any two movies.
I fell in love with her after watching Playful Kiss, and I’ve never looked back. If you’re like me, you probably love her dramas because they’re always funny. She’s the babe that consistently falls in love with a guy that doesn’t like her back. She did prove that she’s more than a funny girl in Because This Is My First Life and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. If you enjoy silly antics and cheesiness, you should watch Alchemy of Souls for a good time.
Overraw best in romanzzz. In all her performances, she’ll say she doesn’t need a man and end up with the same man she claimed not to need — an indecisive queen, I stan. No one does the “getting drunk and making stupid decisions” cliché as well as she does. She even took it up several notches in her most recent movie, Forecasting Love and Weather, so watch it if you haven’t. And prepare to die of laughter because why would you date your coworker?
Maybe it’s the way she smiles, but she has a way of making you feel warm, and that’s what got me obsessed. This babe can be in love with a guy for ten years and not tell him. It’s a good thing it always somehow works for her, though. If she made you cry in It’s Alright, This is Love, don’t worry; she has The Producers and Pasta to make you laugh. She usually takes roles where she’s the funny main lead obsessed with her job—seeing her play the part of a mum in When the Camellia Blooms shocked me.
IU doesn’t have 24 hours like us mortals do because how does she manage such a big music career with acting? I heard her sing in Dream High and was instantly obsessed. While the rest of the cast was busy fighting and sabotaging each other, she was there giving me good music and an unproblematic love story. How could I not stan?
This list won’t be complete without her. She is the original girl boss, girl slay. If she’s not killing it in her historical dramas like Empress Ki and Hwang Jin Yi, she’s taking on badass roles in crime-fighting movies. Of course, she makes time for romantic dramas too, or we wouldn’t have Secret Garden and Kings Heart.
Was she annoying in every movie? Yes, but you still can’t help but love her. If you’re like me, you probably first saw her in Dream High, fell in love, and now you’ve watched every movie she’s ever been in. She did a fantastic job in Vagabond, but take me back to that Gu Family Book era that had all of us by our throats. If you also couldn’t get enough of her and had to listen to her former K-pop girl band Miss A, a show of hands?
Never in my life have I seen a more unserious actress. Every time a director needs someone to act in a movie where the female lead is a mythical creature, Jun Ji-Hyun is the one they call. I’m not even complaining because she kills it every time. She’s only been in six K-dramas, but it seems like more because all six dramas are super popular. She’s funny, a blockbuster queen — and if you think of any iconic K-drama line, she probably said it. We have to stan, please.
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