Have I seen you somewhere?

Wait… I have seen him somewhere. Honey, what other show was he in?

Such is the challenge (or perhaps advantage) of a certain type of actor. Actors that portray not the main lead, not the second lead, but the secondary character that people kind of remember. Call them character actors, call them ensemble players, I call them the guys and gals I look forward to watching but can’t really remember their names.


The more dramas that I watch the more I find myself scratching my head over where I have seen an actor before – did they play the Queen Mother in the show I watched a few months back? Maybe they were that judge? In the end I have to look up the actor (using a search like “Judge on IHYV”) to figure out where I have seen them before.

As 2013 comes to a close I decided the time is right to give a shout out to the background players that have done a phenomenal job this year, even if I can’t honestly admit to knowing their names. So here is to you, you wonderful actors that can jump from role to role to role (even if you sometimes breach that lead territory). Here is to you, for consistently appearing on the dramas I am watching. Cheers!

    Sung Dung IlSung Dong Il – 2013 Notable roles: Sung Dong Il (Answer Me 1994), Jang Hyun (Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love)

2013 was an amazing year for Sung Dong Il, from dramas to variety shows (Dad, Where Are We Going) there was no stopping him this year. Dong Il has been acting since 1987, but shot to fame only this past year through his time on DWAWG with his adorable soon Joon.

Dong Il’s return to the Answer Me series, once again as the Dad, is no less hilarious then the first time he was a rowdy Busan girl’s Appa. In Jang Ok Jung, Dong Il portrayed Ok Jung’s scheming uncle, and he did so marvelously. Color me a Sung Dong Il fan girl.

Kim mi kyung

Kim Mi Kyung – 2013 Notable Roles: Park Hee Nam (The Heirs), Joo Sung Ran (Master’s Sun), Jang Geum (Mandate of Heaven), Oh Mak Nae (Level 7 Civil Servant)

It is hard to find a show that Kim Mi Kyung did not appear in this year. From her role as Eun Sang’s mute Mother on Heirs to Master’s Aunt on Master’s Son, this woman was everywhere. A familiar face in drama land for years, I love Mi Kyung’s absolute diversity. I never see her and think of a typecast, because she is so good at switching from a rich bitch aunt to a poor mute mother to whatever role she has assumed. Love her.

Kim Kwang Kyu

Kim Kwang Kyu – 2013 Notable Roles: Judge Kim Kong Sook (I Hear Your Voice), Jung Byeong Dal (I Summon You, Gold)

This man is hilarious to me, even when shouldn’t be. I loved his turn as the judge in IHYV. Having starred in numerous films and dramas, Kwang Kyu has proven his versatility with a body of work that spans the last 15 years. And he was piss your pants funny on Running Man.

Eom Hyo Seop

Eom Hyo Seop – 2013 Notable Roles: Park Moo Sol (Gu Family Book), Han Jung Woo (Two Weeks), Choi Won Jae (Empire of Gold), Oh Chul Min (Nine)

There is something professional (he looks like a prosecutor or a teacher to me) and kind looking about this guy, even if he is not always portraying a kind role. I love Hyo Seop’s range and his sheer body of work – even if it includes the awful Gu Family Book. Hey, we can’t win them all, right? Even if Hyo Seop has a tendency to play almost main lead roles, he will forever be the guy that I recognize but I can’t name. But I mean that in a good way.

Kim Sun Kyung

Kim Sun Kyung – 2013 Notable Roles: Queen Myungsung (Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love), Choi Kyung (Monstar)

I know I have been ranting and raving about versatility and range, but Sun Kyung for me has the air of (a) a Queen or (b) a b**ch. But I still love her. From the mean Queen in Jang Ok Jung, to Se Yi’s Mommy Dearest in Monstar, I could not get enough of Sun Kyung’s acting this year.

4 thoughts on “Have I seen you somewhere?

  1. I love seeing these types of actors on show after show. Reminds me of when I watched nothing but British shows, and I swore the SAME people just keep reappearing on every single show (it’s true), and it’s almost the same with the veteran Kdrama actors. Every year now I feel that much more awesome that I can pick out these actors and even list off my favorite roles for them.

    Of the above, Eum Hyo Seop is probably my favorite – first drama I ever noticed him in though was probably School. He’ll forever be my Uhmforce teacher 🙂 And of course, who can ever forget the 1997 dad. I’ve yet to watch 1994 (and will rectify that shortly), but I look forward to seeing him again.

    • Yep- British shows have the same kind of feel when it comes to the second, second leads. I agree, year after year it becomes easier to say “Hey- that guy or gal was in ____” I love me some character actors!

  2. This is part of why I love k-drama! There is this core of incredible character actors who play such a range of roles and do it so well. And there’s that little warm feeling you get seeing someone you know on your screen. I loves it.

    Excellent choices! 😀

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