2023 has brought us great movies and dramas from South Korea. With great stories, come great actors who deliver great performances. Lee Jung Ha, Ryeoun, Choi Ro Hee, Ahn Eun Jin, are some of the most popular names from the past year. Let’s take a look at some of the rising stars from South Korea which showcase a promising career in the years to come.
From Ryo Yoon Seo to Ryeoun, 12 K-drama breakout actors of 2023
1. LEE JUNG HA
Moving was one of 2023’s most applauded K-dramas. The story and the cast’s performance captivated the audience immensely. The drama featured some popular faces like Han Hyo Joo, but the ones who stole the limelight were the young actors, namely Bong Seok played by Lee Jung Ha. Lee Jung Ha has been in and around K-dramas for a while but it wasn’t until Moving that he truly came into focus.
2. AHN EUN JIN
Those familiar with Hospital Playlist, would remember that blunt yet warm third year resident Chu Min Ha. Ahn Eun Jin’s Chu Min Ha was quite a notable character for the actor until My Dearest. Starring alongside Nam Goong Min, Ahn Eun Ji found her first lead role in My Dearest. She played the role of a noble woman fallen on hard times and she played it with ease. Her character was adorable, loving, strong and resilient. Instead of being a damsel in distress, she strived hard to forge her path amidst the struggle she faced. Ahn Eun Jin played on Hospital Playlist’s success but truly launched to spotlight fame with My Dearest.
3. ROH YOON SEO
Nam Hae Yi of Crash Course in Romance was one of the most relatable young characters seen on screen in 2023. Roh Yeon Seo, who has been around for a while now, was largely seen playing minor supporting roles in dramas and movies. It was her role as Nam Hae Yi in Crash Course in Romance that won her much awaited recognition and applause for her acting skills. She also won the Best Actress award at the 59th Baeksang Awards for her role as Nam Hae Yi in Crash Course in Romance.
4. LEE CHAE MIN
We spoke of Nam Hae Yi, then how can we forget the other teen Lee Sun Jae? Lee Chae Min as Lee Sun Jae in Crash Course in Romance was one of the well written characters. Through his character, the makers showed how teenagers face unruly pressure from their parents. Lee Chae Min did a wonderful job of portraying the hard hitting emotions and maintaining a semblance when it came to delivering the dialogues.
5. HONG KYONG
Hong Kyong is one of those actors who might appear on screen for a short time but leave a memorable impression on the viewers. He has appeared in movies like Innocence and dramas like D.P., Lovers of the Red Sky, Revenant and Weak Hero Class 1. He is noted for roles which are memorable even they are in a supporting manner.
Go Yoon Hwan aka Ryeoun is one of the most promising new age actors. He has been active since 2017 but it wasn’t until 2020 that he began appearing in notable roles. He is known for dramas like 18 Again, Homemade Love Story and more recently, The Secret Romantic Guesthouse and Twinkling Watermelon. He is one of those actors who has shown a great versatality in a short span of time.
7. SHIN EUN SOO
This year, Twinkling Watermelon has given us a lot to love and cry over when it comes to a heartwarming tale. But it has also introduced us to some new talent to watch out for. One of them is Shin Eun Soo. She isn’t a new name in the industry but Twinkling Watermelon has been pivotal in cementing her reputation as an actor.
8. CHOI MOON HEE
Choi Moon Hee is a singer, rapper and an actor. Having appeared in small supporting roles after her debut in Miracle Girl, she found a great break in Duty After School. Her character Lee Na Ra was truly remarkable to see.
9. MOON SANG MIN
To those who have watched Under the Queen’s Umbrella, must be familiar with Moon Sang Min. The actor has quite a few names on his roster but it wasn’t until Under the Queen’s Umbrella and Duty After School that he truly saw popularity.
We all know BIBI as an amazing singer, but do you know she is an equally amazing actor? The ‘Hongdae R&B’ hitmaker made her drama acting debut in The Worst of Evil. This drama was one of the most highly anticipated dramas and rightfully so. Ji Chang Wook and Wi Ha Jun led the story and yet BIBI carved a space for herself to shine in the story. It is truly commendable to see BIBI try her hand at acting and give a stunning performance right from the start.
11. JEON YOO NA
Probably the youngest actor on this list, Jeon Yoo Na has shown great potential in her role as Choi Ro Hee in The Kidnapping Day. This 12-year old young talent has also made a notable appearance in Pachinko. For an actor to show such versatility at such a young age is truly commendable.
12. GI SO YOO AND PARK DA ON
Child actors Gi So Yoo and Park Da On were the scene stealers of the year. Starring in The Good Bad Mother starring Ra Mi Ran and Lee Do Hyun explored the complexities of a mother-son relationship. The two child actors were immensely loved my the audience for their performances and absolute solid screen presence.
Which of these talented actors are your favorites? Tell us in the comments below!
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