A Stalker's Guide to Yoo Seung Ho
Hello everybody~Here I am for my first Stalker's Guide to this amazing grown actor Yoo Seung Ho! He just left for his military service as an active duty soldier in March, so I thought we could use those two years to watch some of his best dramas and movies and get to know him better :D
Even though he is turning only 20 years old this year, Yoo Seung Ho has a rather impressive resume. He debuted as a child model in a CF in 1999 and starred in his first movie in 2002. He quickly became the Nation's Younger Brother and even got the nickname of 'Little So Ji Sub'. Besides, instead of appearing on variety shows, he guested on some music videos and participated in charity works such as Love request (in Sri Lanka and India) and I love Asia project (in support of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake).
So, how did I become his stalker ? To be honest, I had encountered his name quite a few times but never had the curiosity to search who he was or even what he looked like. Though I had understood he was acknowledged as a great actor, I thought people just liked him for his pretty face. I had never been so wrong… ! As a consequence, I discovered him pretty late, in the drama Missing You. And wow! I've never been so amazed by an actor before. It was like love at first sight. I didn't find him that good looking at first, and I was mostly impressed by his voice and his acting skills instead. Just to say how good I thought he was ^^ It was quite a shock when I discovered he was the same age as me… At only 19 years old, he played a character older than him (a very twisted one, on top of that) and he nonetheless totally stood out among his co-actors, who of course were older but not less experienced than him. When the drama ended, I felt the need to know more about him, and began to watch his previous dramas and movies.
And I must say that the more I watched them, the more I understood how much talented he was.
Sang Woo (main role) – The spoiled and ingrate cute kid
This movie was the top at the box office and became a must-watch. In this movie, Seung Ho plays Sang Woo, a kid who has to live in the country with his old grandmother.
This is both the first movie and first real acting experience of Yoo Seung Ho (if we don't take the 4 episodes drama Daddy Fish into account). It won the Best Film and Best screenplay awards at the Daejong Film Awards and was also nominated for Best Asian Film at the 22nd Hong Kong Film Awards. This was the beginning of Seung Ho's great career even though, as a 9-years-old kid, he didn't really enjoy filming it.
As he said in an interview, the drawback is that now that he's a 20-years-old grown man, people only remember him as the child in The Way Home.
Why should you watch it ? This is his first steps in the acting world! The way his character treats the grandmother (who isn't an actress at all by the way, just an ordinary grandmother) is sometimes heartbreaking, but Seung Ho was so damn cute at that time that we can forgive him. ^^ I was also very impressed to see him acting so well, at such a young age and without any acting experience or real passion for it… The director just explained him the scene and he acted that naturally. This is a must watch for anyone who would like to watch a beautiful movie which doesn't really need any talking (they really barely talk, since the grandmother is mute) to convey the feelings of the characters.
Chan Yi (main role) – The big brother who was left alone in a cruel world with a puppy
The movie is about Chan Yi and his younger sister who were left alone by their mother. One day, a puppy, Ma-eum, joins them and brings a bit of joy. I read in one of his interviews that it was one of the roles that he liked to play the most, so I was really looking forward to it and wasn't disappointed at all.
Why should you watch it ? This is a really sad but also really touching movie. I can't say much unless I want to spoil, so the synopsis may not seem that interesting but Chan Yi will have to face some tough situations and his relationship with Ma-eum is really heartbreaking. This isn't the most impressive role of his, but it's still worth watching. Just keep a box of tissue within easy reach !
Kwon Gi Seob (main role) – The rebel who tried to save a life
This is the latest movie Yoo Seung Ho did and it is quite an intense one. In this movie, a blind woman, Min Soo Ah (Kim Ha Neul), witnessed a murder but nobody believes her because of her disability. Then appears Kwon Gi Seob, who also claims to be a witness but gives a contradictory testimony. During the investigations, the killer finds their trace and tries to kill them.
Why should you watch it ? Seung Ho and Ha Neul had a good feeling and both were awesome. I really liked Seung Ho's character, who acts like a rebel but still tries to save people even if it puts his life in danger. This is a really nerve-wracking movie so I recommend watching it, not only because of Yoo Seung Ho, but also because of the intense plot.
Other roles worthy of notice:
- Don't Tell Papa (2004)
- City of Fathers (2009)
- 4th Period Murder Mystery (2009)
Hwang Baek Hyun (main role) – The grandson who wants to find his way
As one of the students of the worst high school in Seoul, Hwang Baek Hyun volunteered with 4 classmates to be part of a special class with the aim to enter Korea's best university. Yoo Seung Ho was still a high school student at that time, so I guess he fits this role well. Rather than the character in itself, I think I preferred the complicated relationship he had with his teachers and his grandmother.
Why should you watch it ? I didn't personally like the drama that much and found it pretty average, but I think it still is an important role in Yoo Seung Ho's career and the drama was pretty popular back then. And if you're still a student, it will definitely motivate you to do well in your studies!
Yeo Woon (main role) – The wild but not so cold hearted killer
This historical drama set during the Joseon Dynasty is one of my favorite dramas ever. The main theme is mostly about how to change your fate, which could not seem that bright even since birth. In this drama, Seung Ho is playing the grown version of Yeo Woon, a man who was born with a Killer Star Destiny and whose terrible fate is to become a cold-hearted killer. Despite his father doing his best to sideline him from anything to do with a sword fighting, Yeo Woon still ends up meeting with Chun (Choi Min Soo), the leader of the assassin's guild Heuksa Chorong who will become his mentor.
Why should you watch it ? The title is Warrior Baek Dong Soo, but in my eyes, it should have been 'Warrior Yeo Woon' as he totally stole the lead to Baek Dong Soo (Ji Chang Wook). Besides, the bromance between Yeo Woon and Dong Soo is just so beautiful that it overshadowed the so-called love triangle with Yoo Ji Sun (Shin Hyun Bin).
In my humble opinion, this is the role which suited him the best. Yeo Woon doesn't talk a lot (at least at the beginning) and expresses himself mostly through his facial expressions and action. Seung Ho portrayed this perfectly and succeeded in creating a really charismatic aura which makes you become attached to his character without even noticing. Despite the cold image of Yeo Woon, seeing him smile here and there is simply delectable. I already knew he was more than good, but this drama confirmed that he could play any kind of characters.
Jade Emperor (Supporting Role) – The scheming Jade Emperor
In this historical drama, Yoo Seung Ho plays a supportive but really important role: the Jade Emperor. I admit I began watching this drama because of him, but it was a really good surprise. I think that this drama is unfairly underrated. Since he only appears 3 minutes in each episode, I was totally looking forward to his scenes but still enjoyed the drama in its whole.
Why should you watch it ? This is a very good drama which you'll be able to enjoy watching, and even though Seung Ho isn't the lead, he still has a really important role with a fun personality. Plus, his interactions with the King of Underworld (Park Jun Gyu) are just priceless and I can't deny he looks absolutely gorgeous :)
Harry Borrison/Kang Hyung Joon (main role) – The one who wanted to be loved
This is the drama where I discovered him for the first time. I confess I watched it because of Park Yoochun originally, but I was still happy to finally see the one whose name I'd seen everywhere without knowing his face, and from this I imagined I would become a big fan of the latter.
This is Seung Ho's first role as an adult, and he definitely didn't choose the easiest one: a depressed guy who was abandoned by his mother and is ready for anything to keep his love next to him. Harry Borrison is without any doubt the most twisted character Yoo Seung Ho ever played, but also the one that made me fall in love with his acting.
Why should you watch it ? This drama isn't only his first time playing a 'real' adult character but also his last work before going to the army. He said himself that he had immersed so much in this character that the aftershock was quite long, and I totally understand why. Even as a viewer, I found myself being obsessed with this complex character and even though some months have already passed since I watched the last episode, I still can't get over it. The writers did a really good job creating Harry Borrison, but Seung Ho not only portrayed it amazingly but also conveyed emotions with an extreme maturity that contrast with all his previous roles. I sincerely hope this will help him to break from his 'child actor' image that he is burdened with.
Other roles worthy of notice:
- Sad Love Song (2005)
- The Legend (2007)
- Queen Seon Duk (2009)
- Flames of Ambition (2010)
- Operation Proposal (2012)
Well, I hope this guide will be useful to you and that you'll take time to get to know (better) Yoo Seung Ho while waiting for his return ! Here's some cute bonus to convince you ^^
If there is an actor or an actress that is worthy of a Stalker's Guide in your opinion, and you have watched enough dramas of his/hers to prove it, please contact Elisabetta about it.