When actors go on long drama hiatuses, or make a lot of bad choices, it’s hard to find the perfect vehicle for a career comeback. Here are some of our suggestions for the next move.
Jang Geun Suk
Jang Geun Suk has had a string of drama doozies in recent times: “Pretty Man” (2013), “Love Rain” (2012), and “Mary Stayed Out All Night” (2010). Even his last movie, 2011’s You’re My Pet was edited to shreds. During this same time period, Jang Geun Suk released seven albums, not counting the Official Sound Tracks for his dramas. So, he is probably not giving his acting career sufficient attention.
Let me suggest that Jang Geun Suk try stepping away from playing a musician, at least in K-dramas. His penchant for acting arrogant and absurd would work perfectly for a chaebol role in a romantic comedy. The female lead can play his ex-girlfriend, who he clashes with when they meet again; he plays the ice prince, and she brings a fiery temper. It would be refreshing to see Jang Geun Suk go head-to-head with a woman who is his equal, and not a good natured candy girl, in conversation, but also in kissing.- Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다
Lee Min Ho
No one has ever accused Lee Min Ho of being a great actor, so let’s not tax his limited range by casting him in something that requires a lot of believable emoting. Instead, let’s cast him in a drama where he can be an adult, instead of an unconvincing teenager.
I enjoyed his playboy persona in “City Hunter”, so let’s cast him as a laid-back, reformed jewel thief, recruited by the police to catch another thief. He can do multiple action scenes, show off his pretty eyes, wear any number of ridiculous sweaters, and occasionally drop a good line. As a bonus, let’s throw in a cool female lead who isn’t prone to weeping or wide-eyed bumbling. Did I just recast Lee Min Ho as Cary Grant? I may have. Let’s see if he can look charming and relaxed for a change. – Only 만
Yoon Eun Hye
Yoon Eun Hye has not really had a hit drama since “First Shop of Coffee Prince” in 2007, when she played the believable tomboy, Go Eun Chan. In the meanwhile, she has played a rich brat (“My Fair Lady”), a civil servant whose lying spirals out of control (“Lie to Me”), a miserable mess (“I Miss You”), and an indecisive late bloomer (“Marry Him If You Dare”). Unfortunately, none of these characters were likeable.
How about we take the aspects that made Eun Chan such a great character? That is, her confidence, exuberance and strong principles. Then, take a cue from Yoon Eun Hye’s High Cut photo shoot with Seo Kang Joon, and cast her in a noona romance. To make this drama a contender as one of my all-time favourites, place Yoon Eun Hye in the vicinity of a lot of food. And, when Yoon Eun Hye is not eating, she should be kissing, because she is a fantastic kisser. She could be a chef faced with a young, lippy upstart in the kitchen. Or, a food blogger chasing after the mystery chef behind the hottest popup dinners. My mouth is watering at the possibilities. – Junggugeo Kaenada
A perennial favourite for any K-drama fan for his fantastic turn as Han Gyul from “Coffee Prince”, Gong Yoo has never managed to follow up that hit with an equally great drama role. “Big” cast him as a reasonably convincing teenager in the body of a man, while his movie outings ranged from the jumbled Finding Mr. Destiny to the pseudo-Bourne The Suspect.
Given his ability to play intense characters with a light touch, I’d love to see him in another great romantic comedy, paired with someone genuinely funny. Since we’ve placed Yoon Eun Hye next to a lot of food, let’s make Gong Yoo a relatively normal, if uptight, pastry chef (and skip the pointless arrogance for once, shall we?). He comes home to take over his family’s bakery, and belatedly realizes he’s in love with his oblivious, free-spirited childhood friend. He spends the drama trying to win her heart (and mine) with delicious food. – Only
Kim Woo Bin
Kim Woo Bin has not done a drama since late 2013 when he played one of our favourite K-drama characters, Choi Young Do in “The Heirs”. It appears that movies are what he will be doing for the foreseeable future.
Should he wish to make a comeback to dramaland, especially after his recent knee injury, Kim Woo Bin just needs some snappy dialogue and a character prone to obnoxiousness. For a change of pace, instead of a chaebol or a thug or a highschool student, let’s make his character a salary man. The female lead can be the new hire who just took the position that he has been working towards. An office romance will ensure much opportunity for Kim Woo Bin to model various three piece suits, shirts and slacks. Plus, if the lead couple is in their late 20s, hopefully, that will lead to more kissing. I am not sure I have ever seen Kim Woo Bin kiss. Let’s not leave it to the imagination. – Junggugeo Kaenada
Kim Jae Wook
Since we have the leads of “Coffee Prince” on this list, it seems only fitting to throw in Kim Jae Wook, otherwise known as the Waffle Man of Demonic Charm (see “Coffee Prince” and Antique for reference). He’s frequently underused in dramas; he dropped out midway through his last drama outing, “Inspiring Generation”, and was completely silent in the weepy, “Who Are You”. And, before that, he was the second lead in the disastrous “Mary Stayed Out All Night”, which also claimed Jang Geuk Suk as a victim.
I would love to take my cue from the photo above (Kim Jae Wook is on the left, in case you’re wondering), and suggest a K-drama remake of Velvet Goldmine, but that would never happen. Instead, let’s put his demonic charm to good use as the ruthless, but seductive manager for a modelling agency. Pair him with a new recruit who has the makings of a model, but the personality of a tomboy. Let him draw her into the cutthroat fashion industry, and then fall for her as she becomes a star. Will he sacrifice himself to protect her from the seamy underbelly of the fashion world? Or, will he use her and move on to the next big thing? – Only
Readers: which K-drama actor is due for a comeback?
Propose a dream comeback vehicle in Comments below.