Double Takes: Guys Edition

Double Takes - Guys Edition



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Occasionally  in my drama travels I'll come across actors and actresses I'm just not impressed by. Maybe I didn't’t like the role, maybe I didn't find them attractive, maybe I thought their acting was bad, maybe they didn't get my attention. Sometimes people just creep me out. (cough Willam Dafoe cough) I've even avoided certain dramas or movies because it had one of these unfortunates in it.  But sometimes they star in something I can't pass up and I am shown a whole new side of them and I end up doing a double take and asking myself "Is that the same guy???"

                            

Wu Vanness:  Meteor Garden/Autumn's Concerto

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Poor Wu Vanness. Sometimes I think the only reason they put him in Meteor Garden was so he could drop random English. If it weren't for his perfect English I wouldn't have noticed him enough to initially dislike him.  He was attractive, one of the better dressed of the group, and nobody watches any version of Hana Yori Dango expecting great acting. Even on that front he was not as bad as he could have been (cough Kim Joon cough Boys Before Flowers). Still there was something about him that made me say "Ummm NO."  I gave Material Queen a few episodes and couldn't shake the dislike.  When I started Autumn's Concerto it took me a few episodes to connect Vanness to the previous role I had seen him in. His acting was much improved and he had charisma to spare. Now I'm thinking "Ummm YES." 
                                                                         

 

Lee Jun Ki:  My Girl/Arang and the Magistrate
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My Girl was my introduction Lee Jun Ki and I was not impressed. From bad styling to a poorly written and conceived character that was excruciatingly unnecessary, I thought he got dealt a crappy hand so I gave Hero a whirl mostly b/c he's so darn pretty I kinda hoped he would redeem himself. He did not. He was still pretty, but I was still underwhelmed by his acting. When I dropped Hero I figured Lee Jun Ki would never be an actor I drama-stalked. Oh how very wrong I was. He returned from the army and came out swinging with Arang and the Magistrate, now one of my favorite dramas. He is just about perfect in it. The difference was drastic. He had gone from awkward to confident, pretty to handsome. Watching his character's develop was a delight. I've since watched him in a couple of movies and dramas and I've come to realize his role in My Girl is a nasty trick played on drama fans by Lee Jun Ki's enemies to keep you from basking in his awesomeness. 



Yoo Yeon Suk: Gu Family Book/Reply 1994
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!!!!!BEHOLD THE POWER OF STYLING!!!!! He wowed me in A Werewolf Boy. In Gu Family Book, his character suffered greatly from the confusion in the writers room so Tae Seo never really went much of anywhere but where he did go he rocked it.  Despite being impressed by his acting I thought he didn’t have that K-drama leading man look. Despite his chops I figured he'd probably pull supporting roles his whole career. While watching Reply 1994 I was so charmed by the kid that played Chil Bong. He's sweet and cute and manly handsome all rolled into one, plus the kid can act! I just had to know what else he'd done. Imagine my shock. I was so surprised when I found out that adorable Chil bong from Reply 1994 was the same guy who played Tae Seo in Gu Family Book and the d-bag in A Werewolf Boy that it's actually what inspired this article.  I think it speaks to his skills as an actor that it never even crossed my mind that this could be the same guy. Reminds me of Gary Oldman.



Seo In Guk: Love Rain/Reply 1997


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In Love Rain (a drama I wasn’t wild about) Seo in Guk played Jo Won Suk, a fairly minor character that annoyed the bejeezus out of me. He had moments when he didn’t actively make me want to turn it off, but he was stupid and pretty rude if I recall correctly and sometimes outright embarrassing to watch. The stylists did him no favors either. When I was done with Love Rain I all but forgot about the spiky haired little twit. When I started watching Reply 1997, I didn’t even realize it was the same guy until someone pointed it out to me, and then I argued. It COULD NOT be the same guy. The dude from Love Rain was more built, and he had this 'duh' look on his face all the time like Kristen Stewart. The guy from 1997 was waaaaaay hotter and his acting was sooooo much better and I was in drama lurve with him. Yeah, same guy. 



Lee Soo Hyuk: Vampire Idol/Shark
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I don’t think I've watched all of any drama with LSH in it, but I've seen bits and pieces and movies and in all of it he had pretty much the same look and the same type of character. Aside from being pretty he never left an impression. But boy oh boy does he leave an impression in Shark. Like Lee Jun Ki he moved from flower boy to handsome man. He's funny and charming and mysterious. Overall I liked him as a character more than I did Kim Nam Gil. I will certainly never think of him as nothing but a pretty boy again.



Kim Jae Joong: Protect the Boss/Heaven's Postman
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It might surprise some of you that know me  to hear that Jae Joong did not immediately catch my attention and that it was not his music but rather his acting (or maybe it was just looking at him) that eventually did. While watching Protect the Boss the fan girls were fangirling all over the comments about someone they called "JJ". A quick google search revealed they were spazzing over that pasty flower boy kid who, frankly, wasn’t turning in the performance of his life. The character itself wasn’t that great either and I have to admit I giggled a little inside every time someone said "Moo Won." I stumbled across Heaven's Postman not long after and could not resist the premise, even though it had that pasty kid in it. I was blown away.  What he lacked in melanin he made up for with his quiet, damn near ethereal performance. For me it's been a downward spiral into unhealthy idol worship ever since.


Some of my double takes are probably pretty surprising. I'm curious about your double takes too, so let me know in the comments below!

Comments (103)

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  • Reply
    OanaGabriela 23 days ago

    I don't know his name, but it is the second lead from The Prime Minister and I (I disliked him a lot) who is Enrique in Flower Boy Next Door (I so loved him there).

  • Reply
    Rtee Feb 8, 2014

    lol about lee junki i think u should watch iljimae and 2 weeks !

    • Reply
      cityhunter83 Feb 10, 2014

      i only have a few eps left on 2 weeks it's awesome. i have never made it past the 1st couple of eps of iljimae.

    • Reply
      LJKillua_HxH May 25, 2014

      YES. 2 Weeks is awesome. It was the first drama I watched with Lee Jun Ki in it and I have become a complete fan of LJK since then. Ilimae is really exciting and interesting! It just takes a few episodes for the suspense and action to kick in.

  • Reply
    Sora Dec 8, 2013

    OH MY GOD I never knew Yoo Yeon Suk played those 3 roles!!! I've watched all three of those and only realized just now

  • Reply
    xKellyGirlx Dec 6, 2013

    Saaaaame! Heaven's Postman made me notice JaeJoong and transforms me into his rabid fangirl. XD

  • Reply
    KDramaQueen91 Nov 27, 2013

    The reply series has a power in making us do a 'double take' on their actors. Just like with Seo In Guk, Yoo Yeon Suk is transforming into his character so well, selling it and making us fall for him. And I hope a) he gains more popularity, just like Seo In Guk b) that he gains more opportunities to play the leading man and c) that he ends up with the girl in Reply 1994

    Great article.

  • Reply
    Yozora_Hikari Nov 27, 2013

    I'm actually in the middle of watching Lee Soo Hyuk old dramas, White Christmas, he just like the same flower emo boys, but it is suit his character though.. :D

  • Reply
    Nicu Nov 27, 2013

    wow :d about Jae Jonng.. I didn't like his role in heaven's postman but Protect the boss was masterpiece for me ;d i love how JJ look in this drama and omg everything :D

  • Reply
    fwaaaah Nov 26, 2013

    Seo In Guk: I watched "Reply 1997" first, and that drama made me a Seo In Guk-fan. So I'm not annoyed by his character in "Love Rain" at all! It's more the opposite:P But if I didn't watch "Reply 1997" first, I might have been annoyed. I don't know...

    • Reply
      cityhunter83 Nov 26, 2013

      it's hard for me to sort out how much of it was my annoyance with his character and how much of it was my annoyance with the drama in general.

  • Reply
    Bogo Nov 26, 2013

    Lee Jun Ki is looking like a girl in this pict of my girl LOL

    • Reply
      cityhunter83 Nov 26, 2013

      have you seen the king and the clown? holy androgeny bat man!

    • Reply
      Bogo Nov 27, 2013

      Not yet but I've seen pictures and omg :O

    • Reply
      cityhunter83 Nov 27, 2013

      Lee Jun Ki: making everyone of any orientation question their sexuality since 1997.

  • Reply
    rheadoo Nov 25, 2013

    Yoo Yeon Seok was also the d-bag sunbae who attempted to kiss drunken Suzy in Architecture 101. Kkk. No more bad boy image! Time to savor the limelight YYS! Team Chilbong~!

  • Reply
    Sabr Nov 25, 2013

    I had the same reaction with Yoo YeonSuk.. After I read that he was the bad guy in A Werewolf Boy, whom I hated with passion, I was soo shocked. But he is a great actor, I like your comparison with Gary Oldman. They are both incredible good actors, who get unfortunately a little spotlight..
    I really hope that this will change after Reply 1994. This drama highlights his talent.

    • Reply
      rheadoo Nov 25, 2013

      He was such an ass in A Werewolf Boy! The fact that he irked me so much just meant he was doing a great job! More power to YYS~!

  • Reply
    Bookdork1 Nov 24, 2013

    Lol, I remember doing the same double takes with Seo InGuk and Yoo YeonSuk! I searched them both on MDL to see what else they'd done and imagine my surprise when I connected them with those past characters- especially YYS, he just looks sooo much better in "Reply 1994" than he did in "Gu Family Book".

    Ji Sung is actually another one for me, I just did not find him attractive at all in "Protect the Boss" (I blame the hair) and then I saw "My PS Partner," thought the main guy was really hot and awesome and was absolutely shocked when I looked him up on MDL and realized he was the same whiny little brat from PTB. Now he's one of my absolute favorite actors! I think the lesson here is never judge a book by its (sometimes badly styled) cover :P

    • Reply
      cityhunter83 Nov 25, 2013

      Ji Sung is an odd one for me. i like him in protect the boss. he's an attractive enough guy, but for some reason i just can never bringmy self to watch any of his other stuff. i might watch secret but i havent 100% decided yet.

    • Reply
      PrettyCarEye Nov 25, 2013

      Omiii, I had the same reaction to him! I first saw him in Save the Last Dance For Me & he did NOT make a good impression. Not his character, not his acting, not his fashion (utterly dreadful ... whoever styled him in that drama must have been batshit high on crack!) ugh just ... not HIM! I was pretty sure that show had turned me off the guy for good, but alas I bit the bullet and watched him in My P.S. Partner and his stock skyrocketed to epic heights. I could NOT believe it was the same guy. He was so hot & bothersome! Aigooo...
      I went and added a number of his dramas, PTB included, but now you have me concerned. Whiny brat ...? Hmm, NOT the kind of words I like associated with my male leads. Or any lead for that matter.

    • Reply
      Bookdork1 Nov 25, 2013

      In PTB, the main guy starts out as your standard Kdrama chaebol, but his character is actually pretty quirky and grows up a lot throughout the show...I never actually finished the drama (I thought it seemed too predictable) but it was hilarious and I do plan to go back and finish it now that I'm more familiar with Ji Sung (and Jae Joon)
      He was also awesome in Secret, and I highly recommend that drama :D

  • Reply
    Archania Nov 24, 2013

    I don't agree with most of your choices but as you already mentioned yourself, this is solely based on opinion and taste and everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion/taste :)

  • Reply
    nygirl220 Nov 24, 2013

    Ahh, Jaejoong. Kim Hyun Joong started my love affair with K-pop and K-drama, but Jaejoong put the nail in the coffin.

  • Reply
    foodfortheseoul Nov 24, 2013

    Jiro Wang in Hana Kimi (Taiwan ver) and in Absolute Darling and Fabulous Boys... i didn't know they were the same guy for ages!

    • Reply
      anaprincesa Nov 24, 2013

      Yeah, he's also the 3rd wheel in 'it started with a kiss' and look at him now, he's pretty amazing!

    • Reply
      nygirl220 Nov 24, 2013

      At the mention of Jiro I had to wipe off drool...

    • Reply
      rheadoo Nov 25, 2013

      I think Jiro's cringing over his Hana Kimi days! Kkk. Boy he is so hot nowadays!

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