by Yoon Na Rae, March 5, 2015

Actors Over 40 Who Never Cease to Amaze

Part 2

Kim Seung Woo


Charisma overload! This man drops charisma wherever he goes. His ordinary but handsome features, his deep voice and his warm smile! Kill me for his acting skills! Kim Seung Woo was the first actor to make me raise my ‘’oppa’’ range to include the 1960ers.

As one of my very special actors who appeared in my very first Korean work - 71: Into the Fire (he was 41), Kim Seung Woo has ever since occupied a matchless spot in my heart. In Athena: Goddess of War he appeared as the conflicted North Korean Park Chul Young, which I realised later as I watched Iris 1 was his main role! I know, don’t shoot me! The order is all messed up!  

Of course, in Iris I LOVED him. I know I should have fallen for Byung Hun or T.O.P – well, I did to a great extent - but I concluded the drama loving him and Kim So Yeon and shipping them together. He totally swept me off my feet with all his inner conflicts and upright personality. Though a total opposite role, he kept reminding me of his role in 71: Into the Fire and oh, my heart!

Now you’re really gonna shoot me but it’s ok. In Hotelier, I kept shipping him with Song Yoon Ah till the very end. Yes, Bae Yong Jun was there untouchable, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted the mysterious, kind and dedicated Han Tae Jun to win. Damn it! 

Yesterday is not included in any actor’s accomplishment – for me. He shone there, he always does, but the film was a total mess. In Break Out he acted the hilarious and desperate Heo Bok Gu who declared war on Yang Cheol Gon (Cha Seung Won) and risked his life for a lighter. I cannot think of him without remembering his train scenes in that movie. He was the best. 

Though I haven’t watched much by him – planning to - I did watch enough to give my heart away. I don’t know what he’s been up to for the last two years and I’ll lose my mind if he doesn’t come back with some groundbreaking role, but I believe that no matter what he does, he’ll outperform all.

Jung Woo Sung


Who doesn’t like this hottie? I can guarantee that there’s none.

Though it took me a while to actually fall in love with him. You know that moment when you decide to watch everything by an actor! From the first drama I watched with him - Athena: Goddess of War, I realised how talented and charming he was. I liked the pleasant surprise of finding him in a film I’ve started. But I’ve never started a film just because he was there until I watched The Divine Move. At 41, his role as the hurt and brilliant Big Move with a perfect vengeful plan totally changed his place in my heart. It was not admiration or acknowledgment anymore. I simply stared at the screen stupefied. And I knew that was the moment I fell in love with him. 

After his mind-blowing performance in Athena as the genius agent Lee Jung Woo, I watched him in Daisy as Park Yi, the assassin who suddenly finds a reason for repentance but can’t easily reach his goal, as Lee Jin Wu in Sad Movie – a film I didn’t like one bit - who basically ripped my heart to shreds and was the only reason I finished the film, and as the heartbreaking Cheol Su in A Moment to Remember - a husband holding on to the hope of saving his wife who’s diagnosed with Alzheimer. 

After The Divine Move, I added all his works to my PTW and started with Cold Eyes. Yay!! I hated his guts in the film. What a crazy performance of a 40-year-old psychopath. Totally impressive! 

JWS is still active as an actor, model and director. He’s Choi Jin Hyuk’s mentor – I know!!!

I can see him doing more and more avant-garde works, and I’ll be cheering him on forever!

Kim Myung Min


A close drama eonni said once ‘’I would listen to his voice all day, no matter what the role is.’’ People who relate, raise your hands!

My introduction to this genius was not that outstanding. I watched him first as the clumsy gangster in the comedy Bad Family. The only thing that left an impression from that drama was Kim Hee Chul’s hair. 

I didn’t even recognise him when I started my second work of his - the buoyant Beethoven Virus. What.was.that? I mean, what on Earth was that?! I needed therapy after I finished the drama. That amount of emotions was not ordinary. Genius conductor Kang Gun Woo. Arrogant and mean Kang Gun Woo. Charismatic Kang Gu Woo. Passionate Kang Gun Woo. I still tremble when I remember that drama and his role! He was perfect! 

So, of course, he stole my attention – not my heart. I was too busy loving Jang Geun Suk. Thankfully, he starred in Choi Shi Won’s drama The King of Dramas – one of the most - THE MOST - underrated Korean dramas - and to my own shock, I liked him more than I liked Shi Won – the reason I started the drama. As the self-centred Anthony Kim whose whole world falls apart but never gives up, Kim Myung Min, at 40, exceeded all my expectations. With that eyeliner, the crazy outfits and his blunt way of addressing Jung Ryeo Won, he outshone everyone else. That halo!! 

A New Leaf was a complete letdown to me, but he did great nevertheless. I liked the confused and lost Kim Seok Joo. I wanted him to win and cheered him on. He was 42, acting a lawyer in his mid-thirties, and it strangely suited him.

In Open City he broke my heart. Dedicated and law-abiding Jo Dae Young having to catch his own mother. His performance was so powerful and brilliant.

I haven’t watched The Immortal Yi Soon Shin yet - 100 episodes are no joke - but I already call him The Immortal Kim Myung Min. If you don’t like this actor as an actor, your criteria need checking!!

Han Seok Kyu


As I wrote about Choi Min Soo, I cannot and dare not claim that I can introduce this genius. But I can, at least, express some of the crazy influence he has on me.

Every time I remember the agony and torture I went through while watching A Tree with Deep Roots, I lose my mind. They should ban that drama for the sake of the watchers’ emotional stability.

Who didn’t laugh and cry like a possessed person watching that drama? Who didn’t hate the whole existence watching King Se Jong lose his beloved people and suffer hell alone? Who didn’t want to go back in time just to embrace the poor lonely king? Well, I did. 

And after that drama I would hesitate for days before I watched another work of this actor. Only he can enclose me in an incomprehensible range of emotions and leave me gaping at the screen with tears running down my cheeks, like he did in A Tree with Deep Roots (47), Secret Door (50) and My Paparotti (49).   

In Secret Door I was logically and mentally all with Prince Sa Do. I would have supported his cause heart and soul if I lived back then, but my heart was with King Yeong Jo. All alone he was fighting everyone else, society, the norms, history and the future. He was supposed to change the whole world while allowed nothing. He was expected to elevate his people while his ankles were tied down. I pitied him, sympathised with him and felt for him. Logically, I couldn’t. Emotionally, he tore my heart out.

In My Paparotti I watched him chase his lost dream in his student. I watched the tenderness and trust in his eyes. I watched hope enveloped in despair with a heavy heart. He once again killed me.

He exerted the total opposite influence on me in Eye for an Eye. Though Captain Sung Chan Baek (he was 44) had the same voice, tone, gestures, sarcastic remarks and insane laughter he has always had, in this film he stunned me with the extreme cynicism in his attitude. As I mentioned when I recommended the film, I kept laughing hysterically five minutes after it ended because of him.

He’s 50 and still landing lead roles. No way he wouldn’t. I expect a lot more, with my hand on my heart!

Jung Jae Young


I shall name this actor, thank-you-for-breaking-my-heart.

I am someone who suffered a nervous breakdown after Confession of Murder. Damn it! Is making people suffer a movie genre now?

At 42, he played the scarred Choi Hyung Goo who’s lived his entire life to catch one SOB criminal. JJY didn’t leave out any emotion but poured it in the film breaking my heart. I remember vividly every single scene and the terrible state it left me in. Though it’s been 3 years, I cannot get over this film. And because I’m a masochist, JJY was added to my favourite actors list. 

So I watched him again, and he broke my heart again in Broken at the age of 44. He played Sang Hyun, an ordinary factory worker whose one and only daughter was suddenly raped and murdered. After nobody helped him, he decided to avenge his daughter personally. What would that broken man look like? What impact would he make? Damn that film! 

He was cute as the indecisive Jae Hak in Our Sunhi (41) – I still don’t know what that film wanted to convey, as the bully in Murder, Take One and as the clumsy assassin in Guns and Talks – one of my forever favourites. 

And because he’s Mr. Thank-you-for-breaking-my-heart, I don’t watch him in just any mood. He requires a really strong state of mind! 

Stay tuned for the third part of the article ^^