No matter what role is played in a K-Drama, actors always give their 100 percent effort to bring their characters to life. Sometimes they get roles in which they play someone who has the same job as them, a celebrity. That’s right, these talented stars can spend time in their own shoes on camera as part of the plot of the drama, although the personalities they portray may not necessarily match their real-life ones.
Here is a selection of actors who have played celebrities in K-dramas.
Attention: smaller spoilers ahead!
Kim Woo Bin in “uncontrollable fund”
This melodrama plays the main role Kim Woo Bin as Shin Joon Young, a terminally ill actor, and Suzy as No Eul, a documentary filmmaker who stops at nothing to satisfy her materialistic ego. Back in the day, childhood friends were friends with history. The two main characters reunite as adults and fall in love, but a shared incident from the past prevents them from ever being together.
Kim Woo Bin’s role as the famous film actor and singer who dies of cancer is such a tear. Although initially portraying a cocky celebrity, he was perfectly able to move on to a more emotional and vulnerable person who had come to terms with his own death.
Clock “Unmanageably good“:
IU in “The Producers”
The Producers events take place on the sixth floor of a South Korean public television station, where staff keep the variety department going by holding late-night meetings and monitoring filming and editing deadlines. Some of these employees are experienced PD (Production Manager) Ra Joon Mo (Cha Tae Hyun), experienced PD Tak Ye Jin (Gong Hyo Jin), Beginner PD Baek Seung Chan (Kim Soo Hyun) and superstar Cindy (IU).
IU plays the role of Cindy, a famous celebrity whose career began at the tender age of 13. Nonchalant and self-confident, Cindy was nicknamed “Ice Princess” to keep her emotions under control. If slightly different, IU is also known for having complete control over her facial expression and general attitude, which has helped her portray this character flawlessly.
Clock “The producers“:
Sung Hoon in “I picked up a celebrity on the street”
Drunk and Vengeful, Lee Yeon Seo (Kim Ga Eun) plans against her manager, only for top Hallyu star Kang Joon Hyuk (Sung Hoon) accidentally being their victim. This first unfortunate encounter between the two leads Joon Hyuk to believe he has been kidnapped, while Yeon Seo decides to hold him hostage to prevent him from handing her over. How long will this charade last?
Sung Hoon was so charming and had no problem delivering the classic celebrity personality. His character is a bit disgusting and has psychotic tendencies, but he doesn’t refrain from showing love to his fans. Given his unfortunate situation, warming up on his kidnapper could be his toughest task yet.
Seo Hyun Jin in “Beauty Inside”
Han Se Kye (Seo Hyun Jin) is an A-list actress with a special secret that sparked rumors because of her celebrity status. Seo Do Jae (Lee Min Ki) is the executive director of an airline suffering from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces. Both lead mysterious lives, intersect and find unexpected solace in each other’s imperfections.
Although Seo Hyun Jin shares her character with other actors to highlight how her appearance changes every month for a week due to an unusual phenomenon, she has gracefully made a mischievous portrayal of Han Se Kye.
Clock “Inner beauty“:
Hong Jong Hyun in “Absolute Friend”
Da Da (Minah) is a makeup artist who has a secret relationship with popular actor Ma Wang Joon (Hong Jong Hyun), whose appointment calendar puts an end to the couple status. Da Da is single recently and not ready to mingle. He receives a package from a humanoid robot called Zero Nine (Yeo Jin Goo), which are activated when they accidentally kiss and thus become their “friend”. It’s all fun and games until an impending threat puts Wang Joon back in the picture and a dysfunctional love triangle begins.
Hong Jong Hyun plays two roles in this drama, one human and one android. As his actor personality, he is quick-tempered and careless towards Da Da, but his jealousy sets in as soon as another applicant wins him over. In parallel, his Android character is evolving into a better version of his human self in order to become his ex-girlfriend’s absolute boyfriend.
Clock “Absolute friend“:
Jun Ji Hyun in “My love from the star”
Another A-list actress character is played by this time Jun Ji Hyun when Chun Song Yi is the neighbor with an alien named Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun). As polar opposites, the couple eventually find a middle ground and develop feelings for each other when they get to know each other up close.
Jun Ji Hyun is known for her goofy and wild roles, and Chun Song Yi is no different. She was able to bring this arrogant and dull but lovable character to life while maintaining her charisma throughout the episodes.
Clock “My love from the star“:
Yoo In Na in “touch your heart”
Oh Yoon Seo (Yoo In Na) is a famous actress whose career falls if she is wrongly embroiled in a scandal. To save the remains of her acting career, she takes on a secretary in a drama by a well-known screenwriter. After previously being criticized for her poor acting, she finds a job as a secretary to get herself into character and ends up at Kwon Jung Rok’s desk (Lee Dong Wook), a perfectionist lawyer with no fault tolerance.
Yoo In Na often takes on cheerful roles, and this one is perhaps her liveliest yet. Sometimes cute and silly by others, portraying Oh Yoon Seo’s innocence and rebellion must have been as challenging as it is fun to watch!
Clock “Touch your heart“:
Highlight Yoon Doojoon on Radio Romance
Song Geu Rim (Kim So Hyun) is an assistant to the writer who dreams of becoming the lead author of a radio show. The opportunity finally arises under one condition: It must Soo Ho (Yoon Doojoon) as the DJ of the show. With a childhood dream in mind, Geu Rim is doing everything in her power to get Soo Ho on board.
Yoon Doojoon plays a first class actor with a brilliant career and a dark life. His dual portrayal of a perfect life in the spotlight and a once isolated depressed state is evidence of his growth as an actor and his dedication to bringing the many facets of his character to life.
Clock “Radio Romance“:
What is your favorite on-screen celebrity role? Let us know in the comments below!
Esmee L.. is a Moroccan avid dreamer, writer and Hallyu enthusiast.
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