Park Shin Hye
With seems to be never-ending Shin Hye dramas, she, sure, must be included in the list. I first saw her portrayed the teen age female lead in Stairway to Heaven. Those were the times when Korean dramas start off with high school leads. Just like Autumn in my Heart‘s Moon Geun Young, Shin Hye as the young Jung Suh/Jody was loved by many.
I then see her act with her Stairway to Heaven costar, Lee Wan (young Tae Hwa/Tristan) in Tree of Heaven. Can’t really remember anything from that drama but Shin Hye calling for Lee Wan, helplessly crying “Oppa, Oppa” a million times.
Going away from the teen age image, I then saw her starred in the gender bender drama You’re Beautiful and since then she’s making a big buzz in the dramaland.
|Stairway to Heaven (2003), Tree of Heaven (2006), Goong S (2007) and You’re Beautiful (2009)|
|Heartstrings (2011), The Heirs (2013), Pinocchio (2015) and Doctors (2016)|
Yoo Seung Ho
I first saw Yoo Seung Ho in the 2007 series, The Legend, portraying the young Crown Prince Damdeok. Two years later he came back to play another prince in The Great Queen Seon Deok.
Next thing I know, this guy whom I always refer to as Chunchu is all grown-up and has become one of the most promising actors in the dramaland whose smile swoons every fangirl out there.
|Love Letter (2003), The Legend (2007), Queen Seon Deok (2009) and Master of Study (2010)|
|Warrior Baek Dong Soo (2011), Arang and the Magistrate (2012), Missing You (2012) and Remember (2016)|
Kim So Hyun
And here comes the top three from my list, starting off with this gorgeous young lady. Omo, I feel old as I still vividly remember when I was watching this little girl in Rooftop Prince and The Moon that Embraces the Sun where she played villainous young queens-to-be. (She has this type of face that can be both angelic and devilish, making her both an effective heroine and villain.)
After TMTETS, I saw her portrayed the teen-age Lee Soo Yeon in the 2013 series Missing You, opposite her TMTETS co-star, Yeo Jin Goo. The two young actors set the bar high that I feel like their grownup counterparts (Yoon Eun Hye and Park Yoo Chun) needed to catch up on them.
Finally, last year, she had her first lead series, Who are You: School 2015. And that was one the best 2015 dramas. Shout out to Kim So Hyun! She really did a great job that I can’t think of anyone who’s more fitted to play the identical twins.
Next on my queue? Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight!
|Baker King Tak Goo (2010), The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012), Ma Boy (2012) and I Hear Your Voice (2013)|
|Reset (2014), Who are You: School 2015 (2015) and Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight (2016)|
Yeo Jin Goo
Just one place higher than Kim So Hyun, we have Yeo Jin Goo. Seriously, there was a time when I feel like all lead guys’ young counterparts, especially in period dramas, had to be played by Yeo Jin Goo.
From this chubby cheeked little boy in Iljimae to portraying a number of young crown princes to playing a role opposite to a vampire, he sure is rocking up the dramaland.
|Iljimae (2008), Warrior Baek Dong Soo (2011) and The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012)|
|Missing You (2012), Potato Star 2013QR3 (2013) and Orange Marmalade (2015)|
Do you know that I used to call him “Little Jiro” because of a strong resemblance to the Fahrenheit’s leader, Jiro Wang? Hahaha. He really does look like him, doesn’t he? Well, I know I’m not the only one. Maybe it has something to do with the lips.
Kim Yoo Jung
And now down to the first placer, Kim Yoo Jung. Yes, you guessed it right! The Yoo Jung-Jin Goo-So Hyun trio (does anyone has a shorter name to address the three?) dominated my list.
She started acting really young at the age of five. No wonder by the time she was in fifth grade, she already appeared in 13 TV series and 15 movies. She basically grew up in the dramaland. Her pure and innocent beauty plus superb acting skills landed her the role of the female lead’s young counterpart in various dramas.
When I saw her in Love Cells 2, I was like “Omo! Time flies! This little girl is now a full-grown lady!”
|Iljimae (2008), Queen Seon Deok (2009), Dong Yi (2010) and The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012)|
|Secret Door (2014), Angry Mom (2015), Love Cells 2 (2015) and Love in the Moonlight (2016)|
Currently, I’m watching her latest drama, Love in the Moonlight. So far, I find the series fun and heartwarming. Well, I guess that goes without saying. A Yoo Jung drama would never disappoint.
I made a runners-up section for these three who I felt like should be mentioned as well.
Lee Hyun Woo
Young Yu Shin topped the runners-up list. I actually just started watching Scholar who Walks the Night because of him, not knowing he’s gonna die on the very first episode. Oh, come on!
|The Legend (2007), Queen Seon Deok (2009), Master of Study (2010) and To the Beautiful You (2013)|
On a second thought, I think he deserves the Top 5 spot as he started acting way younger than Park Shin Hye. It’s just that I have yet to watch most of his dramas such as The Return of Iljimae and Moorim School.
Shim Eun Kyung
Shim Eun Kyung also started her acting career at a very young age. Though she’s not as famous as the other ladies on the list, she’ll always be my sweetest young Sujini.
|Hwang Jin Yi (2006), The Legend (2007), Bad Guy (2010) and Tomorrow Cantabile (2014)|
Moon Geun Young
Because she looked quite mature in the poster of her latest drama, The Village: Achiara’s Secret, I had to check her age. Seriously, she’s 29? Seems like I just saw her portraying the 16-year old quirky Bea from My Little Bride yesterday. I needed to remind myself that it’s been 16 long years since she played the young Jenny from Endless Love 1: Autumn in my Heart.
|Autumn in My Heart (2000), My Little Bride (2004), Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010) and
The Village: Achiara’s Secret (2015)
Now that they all grown-ups, wouldn’t it be nice to see Kim So Hyun, Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung altogether again in a series?
Also, since I’m always yearning for The Legend remake, might as well let Yoo Seung Ho and Shim Eun Kyung take the lead roles! Our new Damini, for the win!