What’s your flavor? Chef, Banker, undercover cop, airline purser or chaebol? Many of the latest 2015 k-dramas have given us a lot of quantity and quality in terms of exciting heroes.
And if vampires are your cup of tea, you have a pick of those this year too. I’m talking leading men who’ve made every episode worthwhile and sent the feels quota off the scale!
7. Joo Jin Mo as Park Hyun Soo in My Love Eun Dong
Meet Mr. Intensity, Joo Jin-Moo
Our hero set the romantic bar way up high in this drama melo.
Joo Jin Mo plays a famous actor who’s loved the same woman all his life. As one of the more mature leading men on this list, he carried his persona impeccably. He’s protective, dominating, adoring, and intense. Maybe too intense – especially when trying to win his lost love back.
But when you’ve dedicated most of your life to reconnecting with your soul mate, it’ll be hard to think of giving up. It was riveting to watch Joo Jin Mo each week to see just how far he would go for love.
6. Kim Bum as Cha Gun Woo in Hidden Identity
Role: Cop. He’s tough as adamantine nails when he needs to be, but he has his sensitive side, as shown during that stirring bomb-disarming scene in episode 4 of Hidden Identity.
This more grown-up version of hunky Kim Bum makes me feel some kind of way…
I like how he doesn’t pretty-up for this drama. He’s showing a more grown-up side with less cheeky smiles and more of the ‘moody’ factor. He always looks like he could gut you as soon as share a drink with you, but that’s all part of his Byron-esque, brooding melancholic charm.
5. Ju Ji Hoon as Choi Min Woo in Mask
Ju Ji Hoon’s character was one of those that evolved immensely all through the drama. This actor showed us how you didn’t need too much emotionalism to give us the feels. He delivered his lines with such deadpan humor even when he wasn’t trying to be funny. How a chaebol can be cute is beyond me, but Ju Ji Hoon made it happen.
And the most huggable lovable chaebol award of 2015 goes to…
How do you know a good leading man? When you can’t imagine the drama without him. Ju Ji Hoon truly held it all together, in that he never went full-out cheesy. He’s a good example of a hero who can still be manly even though he’s hardly the physical, aggressive type throwing punches left and right. All in all, the screen loves him and yep, so do we.
4. Lee Jin Wook as Choi Won in Time We Were Not In Love
Lee Jin Wook as Won is every woman’s dream best friend – only he’s a guy! He normally has the women at his workplace going goo-goo for him, yet the one who holds his heart remains beyond his reach.
Watching his different layers is a treat. He can be goofy with Oh Ha Na his co-star, yet aloof and untouchable with any woman who tries to take Ha Na’s place. For a mature actor he plays the romantic hero very convincingly. Which tells us it’s not all about the pink-eared pop idols. We’ll always like to see more experienced actors tackle the highly sentimental and sensitive roles.
Don’t you wish your best friend was hot like me…don’tcha?
3. Kim Moo Yul as Kim Do Hyeong in My Beautiful Bride
This banker put the ‘kick’ in kick-ass. He makes Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible IV look like a bad imitation action figure. No, really. For girls who’ve ever wondered, where are the cowboys, the John Waynes…men who would be men not just in word but deed…look no further than Kim Moo Yul. Talk about fangirl motivation. I’ll be Robin to his Batman any day.
Kim Moo Yul will be a tough act to beat, as he’s made such a great impact with his no-nonsense persona. He hardly ever cracks a smile, but when he does…whoa.
Sometimes we like a leading man with more hard edges, and maybe a soft gooey center deep, deep inside where only that special one can reach. ‘Kim Do-Hyeong the banker’ trying to create a perfect world for his bride, makes us want to believe in fairy tale love and romance again.
2. Lee Joon Gi as Kim Sung Yeol in Scholar Who Walks the Night
As vampire scholars go, it’s not hard to see why Lee Joon Gi fits the role like no other. I can’t even picture anyone else as Sung Yeol, mysterious and beautiful vampire scholar. Now that the drama is well into its stride – more than 10 episodes now…I’m glad Lee Joon Gi is living his dream. Playing a vampire, in Joseon times, with lots of lip-locking scenes…what’s to hate about that?
Say what you will about the drama itself and the ratings, yet I see only positive things where the male lead is boldly taking a career risk. All just to be a part of history. Not sure when another ancient, book-loving vampire will come along, but Lee Joon Gi will always be memorable all around k-drama land for his defining portrayal of a vampire with the heart of gold.
Let him be the vampire scholar of your dreams.
Not that anyone dreams of an actual vampire but still…you get the idea.
1. Cho Jung Seok as Kang Sun Woo in Oh My Ghostess
Here’s another leading male who shows remarkable dimension when portraying a given role. As star chef in a romcom supernatural drama, he plays the right dose of hot and cold.
He is topping the top 7 because well, seriously…the infinite feels. The singing with the guitar playing scene. The whole unassuming bachelor versus cool-headed chef versus swoontastic boyfriend material that is Kang Sun Woo, as played by Cho Jung Seok. Need I say more? Okay, I will.
Me: “Hee hee hee”
Just to clarify, it’s just 12 episodes in…yet this drama has already captured minds and hearts indelibly. It’s like that surprise stunner hero you never saw coming. You just thought nyeah, how do you make a cold-hearted chef relatable? But then Cho Jung Seok knows just how to show his vulnerable side, while still being undoubtedly alpha.
It’s hard to see such a natural actor, who just has it. That X-factor that always keeps you guessing, because you’re never sure just where he’s going to take it next. That unpredictability, is what I like most about this hero. He keeps you on your toes, all in a tizzy for that next episode.
That face when you wonder when and if you’ll find such a great drama and leading actor again…
The moment you discover an actor who becomes his character so much you don’t know where he ends and Sun Woo begins, you know you’ve hit the jackpot!
Any fangirl worth her kimchi knows, there’s always room for even more drool-worthy heroes. And since 2015 is far from over, there’s plenty of potential heartthrobs to look forward to.
More possible cuteness overload from lead actor Joo Won? Yes please!
Could it be Joo Won playing first-rate surgeon in Yong Pal, or dreamy So Ji Sub chasing his fitness goals in Oh my God? I’ll certainly be on the lookout – eyes and heart open to fall yet again for that next superlative hero. Because, you know, a kdrama fangirl’s job is never done…