Top 5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021 (ft. Song Joong Ki, Lee Do Hyun, and more)

Here are the 5 best Korean actors of 2021 as selected by KinoLights.

2021 has come to an end. To celebrate a successful year of Korean dramas, the most outstanding actors in the past year have been honored by many famous magazines. Recently, KinoLights revealed a list of the best actors of 2021. Let’s join us to find out which names make it into the final Top 5.

1. Koo Kyo Hwan

Even though he only took on a small supporting role next to the male lead Jung Hae In in Netflix’s D.P., Koo Kyo Hwan excellently has his name included in the list of 2021’s best actors. He impresses the public as a multi talented star and promising actor.

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

Koo Kyo Hwan has starred in many famous blockbusters such as Peninsula, Jane, Kingdom: Ashin Of The North, most recently box office hit Escape From Mogadishu. Not only showing his acting talent, Koo Kyo Hwan also challenges himself in directing, screenwriting,…

2. Song Joong Ki

Coming in second place, not surprisingly, is Song Joong Ki. In 2021, he starred in the sci-fi movie Space Sweepers directed by Jo Sung Hee. The film was released exclusively on Netflix on February 5, 2021. He also starred in one of the most successful dramas of tvN in 2021, Vincenzo, which also aired in February on the 20th. 

song joong ki

With his small screen comeback in Vincenzo, Song Joong Ki received many compliments for his top-tier acting and visuals. Before Vincenzo, Song Joong Ki drew mixed reactions for his “aging” appearance. But in 2021, Song Joong Ki proved his face card has not declined at all. Vincenzo also became the 6th highest-rated drama in tvN’s history and 9th highest-rated drama in the history of Korean cable television.

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

Vincenzo is a strong affirmation of Song Joong Ki’s solid position as one of the A-listers of Korea’s entertainment industry. 

3. Lee Je Hoon

2021 marks a remarkable small-screen progress of Lee Je Hoon when he starred in 2 meaningful, highly-appreciated series Taxi Driver and Move to Heaven. Both roles Lee Je Hoon takes on in these two dramas are emotionally challenging. 

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

In Taxi Driver, Lee Je Hoon’s character Kim Do Ki is a taxi driver who fights for justice and seeks revenge for those in need. In Move to Heaven, Lee Je Hoon plays Cho Sang Gu, the uncle who suddenly returns after being released from jail to become the guardian of his nephew as his older brother’s will. 

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

Lee Je Hoon first drew our attention to his acting talent with his first lead role in the movie Bleak Night, which helped him win Best New Actor at the 2011 Blue Dragon Film Awards. Interestingly, Lee Je Hoon had to compete with himself in this category when his role in The Front Line also received a nomination. 

Lee Je Hoon’s acting has gotten even more excellent over the years. He’s a brilliant actor who can take on any role and truly own it. Taxi Driver is the biggest proof of his versatility, as he impressively transforms into different characters during his secret missions. 

4. Lee Jung Jae

In September 2021, Lee Jung Jae starred in Netflix’s global hit Squid Game. Despite drawing mixed reviews, Squid Game’s impact and appeal are hard to deny. 

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

For many years, Lee Jung Jae has been considered one of Korea’s A-list actors thanks to his handsome appearance and great acting skills. With Squid Game, his popularity was taken to new heights, especially in the international market. 

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

In the future, Lee Jung Jae promises to deliver more quality projects not only as an actor but also as a director. Hopefully in season 2 of Squid Game and other works, we will get to see an even more excellent Lee Jung Jae. 

5. Lee Do Hyun

At the beginning of 2021, Lee Do Hyun made a memorable cameo appearance in Beyond Evil, playing the young self of Shin Ha Kyun. His most outstanding role last year is the male lead role in KBS2’s Youth Of May – a melodrama set in 1980 during the Gwangju uprising.

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

Opening up about his role in Youth Of May, Lee Do Hyun said, “I feel relieved that we were able to finish filming safely. It was an honor to work with such an amazing director, screenwriter, production crew, and cast members who helped me immerse myself in the character”.

After making a good impression with his performance in famous dramas throughout the years such as Hotel Del Luna, Sweet Home, 18 Again,… Lee Do Hyun once again proved his talent with his first male lead role in Youth of May.

5 most excellent Korean actors of 2021

Hwang Hee Tae of Youth Of May is indeed born to be played by Lee Do Hyun, as evidenced by his convincing delivery of every line and emotion of the character. In November 2021, Lee Do Hyun took on another leading role in tvN’s Melancholia with Im Soo Jung. The drama could not draw as much attention compared to Youth Of May, but Lee Do Hyun’s acting still receives plenty of praise. 

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