A Stalker's Guide to Kim Rae Won

           Guide to Kim Rae Won

                                    Born: March 19, 1981

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When I was still new to dramas (especially Korean dramas), I discovered the world of Kim Rae Won through two of his dramas 'What Star Are You From?' & 'My Love Patzzi'. In both of them, he was extremely handsome, and talented. They made me a fan for life! ^^ 

I now follow his projects and watch as many of them as I can get my hands on. I love seeing his beautiful face and voice play on my screen. He's one of those actors with perfect long, lean, and very manly hands. He also has beautiful eyes, nice eyebrows, and lovely, straight, black hair. <3  Gosh, he has such a precious smile, so sweet, and genuine. ^^ He holds a big part of my heart because he was one of my introductions to this wonderful world! <3

                     Dramas:

                       Punch (2014)

Kim Rae Won's BEST work! The lines delivered in this drama were "punch-worthy". The fight between good and bad - what is really bad and what is really good; the determination to make a better world for your family before you leave. The heartbreak and tears that come with it. The loyalty and love despite knowing what you have to do. Taking the masks off fakes and revealing their true faces. Betrayal of friends. The quotes in this drama are brilliant! Our main guys "talk-arguments-threats" over jajangmyung. This drama will leave you speechless. You won't be disappointed. Kim Rae Won plays a corrupt prosecutor who does anything to win - whether that be lying, cheating or worse. He then learns that he has a malignant brain tumor and not much time left to live. This drama follows his journey to rid the world of at least one or two "bad apples" before he departs. He see's this as the least he can do to make a better world for his wife and kid. It's just so powerful that it made me cry many times. 

The best OST in this drama is definitely: Ghost In Your Mind - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmiSMTRM5R4

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                     Gourmet (2008)

I put this drama off for a long time and I wish I hadn't. *At that time, I had heard people saying it was boring or that they didn't like it.* But when I finally got the chance to watch it, I loved and enjoyed it very much. I loved Kim Rae Won's character and I liked his romance with Nam Sang Mi.

 I thought this was the kind of drama where the characters would be stuck in the kitchen, but I was dead wrong. In Gourmet, Kim Rae Won's character, Sung Chan, basically travels around and meets all kinds of different people, learning how to make different foods and become a better chef as a result.  

The main story is that Sung Chang left his family's restaurant after hearing something hurtful. With a talent for cooking, he can't escape the life of food. He enters competitions and travels with the lead girl who decides to write about his journey. In their many travels together, they naturally develop feelings for one another <3 

Kim Rae Won sings an OST for this drama that I absolutely LOVE *It's my favorite song in this drama* - New World - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOHj7LiZkFM

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         Which Star Are You From? (2006)

I think this was my first Kim Rae Won drama (though I watched 'My Love Patzzi' around the same time too...) 

I watched this drama in my early drama-watching-years and Kim Rae Won stole a big part of my heart in that time. When I saw him, I thought (this is coming from someone who WAS into Taiwanese dramas strong before I switched loyalties), "He looks very 'Korean.'

That is a compliment because I really liked how he looked and that he didn't look like he could be from China, Taiwan, or Japan.  You could tell he was from Korea lol (I like to distinguish my actors like that). Anyways, I thought he was absolutely GORGEOUS in this drama. In fact, the way he looked in this drama - hairstyle and weight wise - is my favorite look on him to date.

 It's also one of the only dramas where I like how Jung Ryeo Won looks -with black hair that's either straight or braided.  They had great chemistry and I liked how their love story developed. She caught our lead's eye because she looked exactly like his dead fiance', so he was instantly drawn to her. Soon he realizes that she is vastly different and yet she still manages to capture his heart. <3 

*I bought this on DVD years ago and am currently re-watching it* This drama fits perfectly to the song sung by Ronan Keating, "If Tomorrow Never Comes." This is the MV of the drama with that song ^_^ *Spoilers are present in the MV!*

MV: "If Tomorrow Never Comes" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqzRTlIu5Cs

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                      Attic Cat (2003)

I don't remember much about this one other than loving it. *It's overdue for a re-watch so I can refresh my memory lol* I remember that Kim Rae Won plays a law student and he ends up living in a rooftop room with the main lead girl. They fight and argue a lot but also end up falling for each other *Full house ring a bell?* If you liked Full House (Korean version), then you'll probably enjoy this one as well. I watched this one around the same time as WSAYF and MLP ;) 

MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbBeH0W0pmc

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                  My Love Patzzi (2002)

This drama would definitely be considered a 'classic' now but it was one of my very first KRW dramas. Even though my memory is very foggy on this one, I remember really loving KRW's character. This drama was an easy watch, mostly light-hearted and fun. I shipped Jang Nara's character and KRW's character together.  I don't remember the ending but I'm sure I was satisfied with it, as I don't recall any bad feelings towards it. *This was also one my first Kim Jae Won dramas and at the time I didn't know anything about him nor did I pay him any attention. I later realized he played the 2nd lead in this drama after I watched most of his other dramas* :P As you can tell KRW was my main focus as I had fallen hard for him ;) Both MV's are focused on Kim Rae Won.  He plays the lead, who feels like a second lead, because he's always the one in love with the girl, while she's crushing on someone else. He's always by her side cheering her up while his own heart is breaking.

MV1: "Gotta Get Through This" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0wnH-FT2RI

MV2: "It's Probably Love" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXXk5UWEmXw

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                   Life Is Beautiful (2001)

This is another KRW drama that I put off for a long time. Reason 1: I couldn't find it at the time. Reason 2: The cover photo was not enticing and the storyline didn't pull me in. So I ended up watching it this year and I only managed to find a very bad quality of it :'(

I ended up really liking it and I thought it flowed along nice and quickly. Nothing about the drama annoying me except for the lead girl's father. I absolutely hated that man. 

 Kim Rae Won plays the town's hoodlum or at least that's what they all say he. All I saw was a nice guy, who got into fights every now and then because he wanted his town to stay the way it was. He has a girlfriend who he just treats as his sister, but she feels more for him then he ever did for her. When Ha Ji Won's character comes into his life, he falls hard and fast for her. They do their best to protect their love.  As it's an old drama - the fighting sound effects were really laughable :P But it was a pretty good story for being so 'old.' This is another drama that can now be considered a classic. I liked the way they dressed as I felt like I was taken back in time to my tween years. The OST was beautiful to me, as I love classical music. 

MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa9DZJlK9dY

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              Love Story In Harvard (2004)

I started this several years ago but put it on hold after episode 1 because I didn't like the lead females character. When I picked it back up this year, I still didn't like her. Her acting was bad *especially during the more emotional scenes* and her character gosh - I can't tell you how angry I was at her in this drama! 

 I would have rage quit this drama because of her if it wasn't for KRW being in this - I LOVED his character SO much! But like other dramas, I liked the drama more when they were at Harvard. As soon as they fast forwarded time *a drama plot I hate* and were back in Korea - It felt like I was watching a completely different drama. A pure melodrama. I still loved KRW's character, and he's the only reason why I finished it. *He's also why I still haven't deleted this drama from my hard drive.* He made me hurt and cry for him so many times in the latter half. The lead actress was plain CRUEL to him!  I wanted to smack her silly so many times *I was glad when he did at least once - she deserved it* I wanted to strangle her for what she was constantly putting him through. I believed in his love 100% but I highly doubt she ever loved him like he loved her. She was immensely SELFISH. If you love Kim Rae Won, then this drama is still worth watching - otherwise don't torture yourself by dealing with Kim Tae Hee. I wanted to keep KRW's character for myself - at least I know I could appreciate such a beautiful gem of a man! <3

MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHzx7zwRbPg (MV mostly former half of drama, more smiles seen.)

MV2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Moje8mo_uwc (MV mostly middle part of the drama - more tears seen.)

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         A Thousand Days Promise (2011)

I was going to watch this drama when it was first airing in 2011 but when I saw the opening for the first episode, I gave up because it was too sexual (in my opinion.) A few weeks ago, I started watching it again.The first 2 - 3 episodes were still too mature for me as I really don't like that kind of stuff, but luckily that stops by the third episode. We then get to see more of the actual story. 

The drama is about a girl who gets diagnosed with Alzheimers and the man who takes "responsibility" for loving her. KRW's character in the first 8+ episodes was really pathetic and coward-like. I did not like him until around episode 11 - when he decides to take charge of his personal and love life. He leaves the woman his parents wanted him to marry and protects the love he had been giving to another woman. I actually really liked his mom, she was really nice, understanding and not evil like most of the moms we see in dramaland. I also really liked the main girl's brother ^_^ Her cousin played by Lee Sang Woo was great too. <3 

I have to admit though that this was not my favorite drama. It was boring and annoying at parts, and the only parts I enjoyed were KRW's scenes after episode 11.  Even though it wasn't my favorite drama, I did tear up a few times during certain scenes. The last episode was my favorite and probably the most sad too. I think it should have been shorter - 16 episodes would have been perfect. It would have entailed less family drama, and a faster pace for the leads, memory loss subject.

MV: "I Love You, Even Today" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGk4KaT7odE

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                      Doctors (2016)

I've been watching this one as soon as it came out and I'm enjoying it. I think it does a good job of showing the viewers the development of love - the ups and downs due to the differences in character, and what they need to do in order to compromise with each other. It does this by using the quotes in the beginning and in the end of every episode. The realization voice-overs are nicely done and make you think further into the individuals thoughts. It helps you understand the meaning behind the events in the episodes better. It's one of my favorite things about this drama. 

I like our leads and surprisingly enough, they have chemistry. *some viewers still disagree with this though.* But I, for one, like them together. I like their interactions and developing romance. 3 weeks to go and it will be ending ~ I hope it ends well. It won't get a perfect score from me, but it will get at least an 8.5 as long as they end it well. I dislike the second male lead - in my opinion, he's too much of a jerk to the second lead girl. I like the second lead girl and I hope she will end up with her buddy. Hope she realizes the precious treasure he is. *Again, I know many of you dislike the 2nd lead girl, but I really like her.) I think the 2nd male lead's Uncle (Ji Hong's friend) is really cute! This story started off when he was taking a break from being a doctor and taught at a school for a little while. That's when he met Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) for the first time, although nothing inappropriate happened between student and teacher. I mention that as some people were disgusted with the whole teacher/student based love plot. He lived in a separate room at Hye Jung's Grandmothers place - so naturally he and Hye Jung would become close. They'd hang out, he'd teach her and lend her books, I assume they'd eat together on occasion since he lived at her grandma's. But other than those things, nothing happened between them romantically until they meet again later in life. *The age difference isn't that BIG people! 11 or so years apart - hello Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were a lot farther apart then they are!* 

 Ji Soo had a small guest role in this drama in the earlier episodes & I enjoyed his scenes a lot! The patients are all interesting - some I favor more than others. I love KRW's character. He's so  sweet and smiley.

MV: "You Are the Only Exception" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kSZQquWmPA (I love this MV - it explains Hye Jung's character and journey to love perfectly. It has scenes from episode 1-8)

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                     School 2 (1999)

*Currently Watching - Only seen episode 1 so far* How I would have loved to have been in the school where KRW attended. I'd just pray he would have looked in my direction. ;) 

This drama is focused in school (that's all I know right now)...

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                          Snowman (2003)

This drama is morally wrong! I do not recommend this to anyone -  unless you skip through it and ONLY watch Kim Rae Won's scenes because HE is the ONLY GOOD thing about this drama. Seriously! I'm not exaggerating at all. The rest of the story is revolting - How can a person fall in love with their older sister's HUSBAND? Their own Brother-in-Law!!! That's just SICK -_- 

If I was the older sister, I'd come back from the afterlife and haunt her for life! To make it worse, she had this hot, gorgeous man in pursuit of her! Kim Rae Won was the only light in this awful drama. I skip-watched it myself because I couldn't bear to watch any of the other 2 characters. As soon as I finished skipping through each episode,  I'd delete the episode off my hard drive. On the bright side, I got a lot of good pictures of KRW in the drama - his scenes and the pictures from the drama are the only reason I was okay watching this.)

MV: "Saranghamnida" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpfjQ7T-__Q (Kim Rae Won focused MV of this drama). If you're curious to see what he was like, then check this out. In the drama, he was a hurting soul because of the stupid, lead girl.

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                        Movies:

                  My Little Bride (2004)

If you enjoyed the drama Sweet 18, then you'll love this movie! It has the same concept - their grandparents colluded and arranged their marriage before they were even in diapers! Their journey of falling in love while growing up in their marriage.  I absolutely loved it! It's one of my all-time favorite, most re-watchable movies. It's cute, funny, and romantic! A Rom/Com done right ;)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxhRA630Xdc

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                   Mr. Socrates (2005)

A man who is living on the wrong side of life - his conscience is slim to none. One day he is kidnapped by a gang who "trains" him in an inhumane way. He is then ordered to become a policeman in order to be this gang's spy in the force. However, he decides that since he is now a cop, he is going to live his life right and fight injustice. "A law is a law no matter how undesirable it may be." - Socrates.

This movie was old school, but brilliant. It had a great mix of action and comedy of it's own kind. Black humor and all around 'laugh-your-socks-off' moments. I also loved the bromance that develops in this film (picture in the bottom, middle picture) I love this film and highly recommend it. 

Watch Mr. Socrates (2005) Trailer                           d4vWKOW1_d5b3aa_f.jpg

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                       Sunflower (2006)

A lot of you have probably seen this one as it's very popular. I thought it was going to be an action packed film, but it's not. Instead it's a family film with some flashbacks that contain fighting.  Most of this movie shows the love that develops between this uncanny mother and son pair ^_^ It's a story that slowly takes you into their family. 

Watch Sunflower (2006) Trailer                  

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                    My Little Hero (2013)

This movie reminded me of 'My Paparotti', which I also loved . My Little Hero is about a young half-korean boy who auditions to play King Jungjo in a musical. His director (played by Kim Rae Won), throws caution to the wind and decides to listen to his heart for once, and in doing so gives this opportunity for this child to exce. Will the child reward him by giving a great performance?  Definitely a good watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

 Watch My Little Hero 2013 Trailer

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                           ..ing (2003)

*I prefer the alternate title: "The Happiest Time of My Life" as I think it fits the overall feel of the drama the best. She even even says it in the end. For me this movie was just OK, nothing special or spectacular about it. It was nice and quiet - felt like I was watching a simple friendship develop between the leads. Nothing more. That being said, I'm glad I watched it. Others might like it more than I did, but it just wasn't my 'style'. I liked all the pictures he took in this movie - they were all really pretty. KRW's character was so sweet, kind and nice. I  loved him a lot...though when do I ever not love him? :P 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSN1dAqJJPw

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                      ~Gallery ~

   He's such a handsome guy that I can't just share a couple photos! ^_^

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                                                  A little more info found here: Wikipedia

That completes my "Stalker" guide on one of my earliest Kdrama loves ^_^ I'll be waiting to hear more news of upcoming dramas of his soon! :D

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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 Aya97 about it.

Comments (22)

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    fatemeh Mar 19, 2017

    I Feel Lucky Everyday I&#8217;m With You! Young Love After 50 I was suggested this website by my cousin. I&#8217;m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my dilficufty. You are wonderful! Thanks! your article about I Feel Lucky Everyday I&#8217;m With You! Young Love After 50Best Regards Nick

  • Reply
    dayidream Mar 18, 2017 - edited

    After reading your article I watched ''Which star are you from'' and totally love it. :) I didn't expect to love it this much. Chemistry incredible nowadays we can't find it unfortunately

    Edit: I will try ''Gourmet'' next

  • Reply
    Rigby Feb 14, 2017

    I love love your article! One thingfor sure I love Kim Rae Won. He is the first korean actor at I have liked up until now. He is a great and versatile actor! I love him in Harvard and Punch!

  • Reply
    dore430 Aug 22, 2016 - edited

    You said you're presently watching "School 2 - 1999" Please Send A Link.. THANKS!

    P.S. What about the movie "Gangnam" with Lee Min Ho and Kim Rae Won??

    • Reply
      DreamingKoreanBallad Aug 22, 2016

      School 2 is on dramacool or dramanice.eu RAW only (can't find subs anywhere).
      and as for 'Gangnam' I haven't watched it "yet" b/c it says it's 'Mature' and I generally avoid that genre (but judging by a few pictures I've seen I might end up watching it yet).

  • Reply
    dore430 Aug 22, 2016

    Kim Rae Won has to be my all-time favorite. He's the first K-Actor that I began following four years ago when I first changed from way too explicit American TV to watching K-dramas... I've seen all of the ones listed above except for two I couldn't find. I'm also one who thinks Park Shin Hye and Kim Rae Won have superb chemistry!!! Love this drama. Don't want it to end ...

  • Reply
    Anemone Aug 21, 2016

    I love KRW. Having been his fan for years I admire and appreciate his growth as an actor. We all love his infectious smile BUT I must say there is something so sexual about his mouth. Oops! Yes I dared...

  • Reply
    peacewon Aug 20, 2016

    He is def a cutie pie :) love his generous and open smile, it feels like sunshine personified!!

  • Reply
    Fortuna Aug 20, 2016 - edited

    He's charming. I should watch his older dramas - look at him all handsome, young, and with short hair (i.e. Life's Beautiful & School 2)!. He's the best thing about Doctors - his presence is strong. Moreover, I love that Punch OST (and the original song it's based on) and I have that drama on my PTW.

    • Reply
      technololo Aug 22, 2016

      what's the original song Punch OST is based on ? :)

  • Reply
    Maryama Aug 20, 2016

    because of doctors, i watched ...ing and my little pride and planning to watch love story in harvard, he's so freaking handsome!! seriously, how can he live with such handsome face , how ... sooo sexy

  • Reply
    zexito Aug 20, 2016

    I only watched him in Doctors for now and I can say I really like him :D He's charming and has a beautiful smile :3

  • Reply
    irilight Aug 20, 2016

    Thank you for this article. I got into Kdrama through Gourmet; And spent the next couple of years only watching Kim Rae Won drama and movies over and over. He is one amazing actor. While many actors - we can say they act well. In his case - he just steps into a role, like stepping into a new pair of shoes, and takes it on, seemingly effortlessly.

  • Reply
    DragonAlien Aug 20, 2016

    My first Korean crush and one of the very first actors I got to know when I came into dramaland. He stayed as one of my favs. such talented, modest, gorgeous and wonderful guy. ♥♥

    Great guide. P

  • Reply
    louloudi Aug 19, 2016

    I enjoyed your article cause I love this guy also.

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