How do you decide on which show to watch or check out? For me, there are times when i would start on a title randomly, but it is mostly down to these three factors: the story, cast, and/or rave reviews. Regardless of the factor that reels me in, it’s rare for me to be completely unaware of the main cast, even if i’ve never seen them in any other project before. The same thing cannot be said about the supporting actors, though. In that i rarely check the extended cast and am thus pleasantly surprised and excited upon spotting a familiar feature, even if i’d often go, “Ah, it’s him/her. But wait, where did i see him/her before?” Oopsie, LOL
It would definitely be easier to recall if they appeared on the show(s) i recently watched and finished, if they played a pretty significant/interesting character in those shows, or if their performance was strong enough to leave a lasting impression on me. Because who says they don’t get to shine in those bit parts?
Below are some faces — whose names i still have trouble remembering — that somehow keep popping on my screen lately, despite the differing titles:
1. Lee Joo-seung: Pinocchio, The Producers, The Time I’ve Loved You
First saw him in Pinocchio as Dal-po/In-ha’s cop friend Ahn Chan-soo. He was one of the plot points there so he got plenty screentime to bore his face and presence into our memory. While wasn’t mindblowingly good, he had enough weight and predicament to make me care for his character, mainly because he too became the fall guy of an accident similar to the one which tore Dal-po’s family apart, and we certainly didn’t want history to repeat itself.
Next he was in The Producers as Seung-chan’s ‘mentor’ who filled him in on inside info and all things PD. His character was quite random but it’s still surprising when he turned out to be the legendary FD ghost. His last reaction upon getting busted was cute though. Recently i chanced upon him in The Time I’ve Loved You, remake of Taiwanese drama In Time with You, which i originally checked out for Jae-myung Hyung (Yoon Kyun-sang). But before i managed to see him, i spotted another Pinocchio‘s alumnus instead: Song Cha-ok…
2. Jin Kyung: Nice Guy, Pinocchio, The Time I’ve Loved You, one other drama i couldn’t recall… is it Blood?
Like Lee Joo-seung, i’ve seen Jin Kyung in two other dramas post-Pinocchio, but neither roles was as strong and significant as the highly-respected-yet-equally-despised reporter Song Cha-ok. She embodied her character really well — cold, assertive, tho not necessarily principled — that i spent the series looking forward to her downfall, which she so deserved but got away from unfortunately. She’s remorseful all right, and it was nice seeing her self-address Dal-po’s questions as to why nobody believed her even when she’s telling the truth and if she was a real reporter during the elevator ride scene at the end, yet i’m still miffed recalling how she didn’t even apologize to the brothers properly.
Out of the 3~4 dramas i’ve watched her in, Song Cha-ok is definitely her meatiest role — her best, perhaps?
3. Lee Pil-mo: Pinocchio, School 2015, glimpses of Emergency Couple
The last Pinocchio‘s comrade is Lee Pil-mo, who possibly is the biggest name out of the bunch here (cmiiw). Frankly, i don’t remember seeing him in The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, maybe because i didn’t even finish it, and i only watched bits and pieces of Emergency Couple, so i technically only saw him in two full dramas so far, but i feel like i may see him a lot in future dramas as well. Plus, i read that he tends to pick similar roles — cool nice sunbae who didn’t get the girl (again, cmiiw).
I however loved his portrayals in Pinocchio and School 2015 even if his characters were under-developed and -utilized in both instances. There’s something about his screen presence and the way he acts that give me the feeling that he’s all heart. He gives off such warmth and steadfastness that you can’t help but like and trust him. Here’s Cap and Saem for you.
4. Kim Tae-hoon: Nice Guy, Bad Guys, Angry Mom, he’s in Operation Proposal too?
Next, this guy. Does he ever play a good guy? Because whenever i see him in a drama (except prolly Operation Proposal, don’t remember him there), he invariably plays this sneaky two-faced b*stard who’s utterly one-dimensional and hateful. He was somewhat layered in Bad Guys, but i didn’t find his tragic story justified his cold-blooded action. In other cases, he’s plain atrocious. The antagonist, not him. I love to hate his characters, but because i don’t find his performance that different across the roles, i’m unsure if that’s caused by the nature of the character or his acting.
5. Park Hae-joon: Doctor Stranger, Misaeng, Missing Noir M, My Beautiful Bride
If i might forever identify Jin Kyung as Song Cha-ok, i might think of Park Hae-joon as Agent Cha Jin-soo for a long time until they take on more indelible roles. Oh well, Doctor Stranger might have driven me bonkers, but i can’t shake off how chilling and expert-at-stalking Agent Cha was. He was everywhere, the actor is likewise — i’ve seen him in four dramas so far! And like Kim Tae-hoon, he seems to have a signature enigmatic expression (see picture) and pick on skewed roles which keep me second-guessing his true nature/intention, wondering if he’s a good guy, and questioning where his loyalty lies. Because most of time he’s hard to read even when he’s playing an ordinary salaryman in Misaeng.
That said, i always enjoy seeing him on my screen. Besides having a strong screen presence, he has quite a range in terms of acting skills. He is as convincing embodying a cold staunch North Korean spy as he is a loving-turned-fraught father who’ll do anything to save his child (as in Missing Noir M). It also helps that his characters are always interestingly multidimensional, and currently i love-hate his dubious double-agent role in My Beautiful Bride.
6. Jo Han-chul: Healer, The Producers, My Beautiful Bride
I also find his characters are pretty typical so far — somewhat bumbling, easily distracted yet incredibly loyal. He may be in largely for comedic relief, but he can be keen where it counts. Like when he asked Hacker Ahjumma if Healer was better off dead or alive, or when he shared his worry about Cindy’s ending up as ‘that girl’ and cooperated with Joon-mo to let her have a peaceful birthday. He takes on a minor part in super-riveting My Beautiful Bride, but even as a loan shark he isn’t without conscience. I appreciate that although i still like him best in Healer.
7. Son Seung-won: Healer, I Remember You
Another guy from Healer. He played young Moon-shik and i think he did a fairly good job. Not mindblowing but not bad either, given that Moon-shik was a complex character. I guess he is a new face in the industry as he doesn’t have many projects under his belt yet, but he is definitely promising. Therefore, i lighted up upon spotting him in I Remember You‘s investigation team although it’s far from capable — i bet it’s even less effectual than that of You’re All Surrounded when they aren’t rookies, are they? — but at least he’s the brainy one. I hope they step up their game though, ‘cuz ain’t it embarrassing to always rely on Seo In-gook’s geniusness to solve their cases?
Whoops, let’s stop here lest i’ll start rambling on I Remember You ;p
So, that’s the seven (supporting) actors/actress that unexpectedly star in the dramas i’m following in recent months. Deliberately not including the older or veteran ones otherwise the list will be endless. Because while i can choose who to and not to watch when it comes to the main leads, i don’t get the extended cast by choice. Beggars can’t be choosers?
How about you? Which actor/actress you keep stumbling upon during your drama-watching yet can’t instantly put a finger on where you’ve seen him/her before, much less their name that you need to look them up to confirm your hunch?