Lee Min Ho, Park Min Young, Cha Eun Woo and more; 5 Korean actors who are typecast

Certain K-drama actors excel in recurring character types, highlighting their talent within specific roles but sometimes with the risk of typecasting. Here are a few notable examples.

Updated on Feb 22, 2024  |  05:58 PM IST |  271.7K
Lee Min Ho (Image Credits- SBS TV), Park Min Young, Cha Eun Woo (Image Credits-tvN)
Lee Min Ho (Image Credits- SBS TV), Park Min Young, Cha Eun Woo (Image Credits-tvN)

The Korean hallyu wave has been steadily growing for years, with numerous Korean actors reigning supreme and earning millions pursuing their passion. While some actors have found themselves typecast in similar roles, others have successfully broken free from these constraints and demonstrated their versatility. Nevertheless, many of these popular actors have portrayed their signature roles with such mastery that they've become iconic brands in their own right. Just mentioning the names of these five famous Korean actors instantly evokes memories of their iconic similar characters.

While being typecast isn't necessarily negative, these actors have indeed broken away from repetitive roles in some instances. However, many of their characters still exude similar vibes, earning them iconic titles for the recurring roles they often portray. Here are a few examples.

Lee Min Ho- The Chaebol playboy with a heart of gold

Lee Min Ho stands as one of the most renowned Korean actors of our time, often hailed as the face of South Korea. Despite his immense popularity, even Lee Min Ho faced typecasting early in his career. In 2009, he soared to Hallyu stardom with his portrayal of the iconic Gu Jun Pyo in Boys Over Flowers, a role that propelled him to household name status across the globe.

With his striking looks, sophisticated demeanor, and commanding presence, Lee Min Ho is frequently cast as the affluent male lead in dramas. From his standout performances in Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs, and The Legend of the Blue Sea, to his latest work in The King: Eternal Monarch, Lee Min Ho's characters have consistently lived lives of privilege and prosperity on-screen. Given his royal appearance, it's challenging for Lee Min Ho to portray characters from humble backgrounds.

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Park Min Young- The office lady

Park Min Young is often associated with office dramas, with many of her roles revolving around workplace settings. In What's Wrong With Secretary Kim she shines as Kim Mi So, a hardworking secretary with aspirations for greater things. Her character exudes confidence and serves as a driving force for her boss, to better himself. Similarly, in Her Private Life, Park Min Young adeptly portrays Sung Deok Mi, a sophisticated art gallery curator by day and a passionate fangirl by night.

In Forecasting Love and Weather, she portrays a beautiful and talented manager who struggles with leadership, facing challenges in work, love, and family. Even in her most recent drama, Marry My Husband, Park Min Young finds herself in an office setting. While she impeccably embodies each of these roles, there is a noticeable pattern in her characters and outfits across many dramas, which can make her roles feel somewhat repetitive.


ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo- The Webtoon guy 

Despite Cha Eun Woo's expanding repertoire in acting, he has portrayed somewhat similar characters in certain projects. In My ID is Gangnam Beauty, he portrays Do Kyung Suk, a character who was highly popular during elementary school. Kyung Suk is portrayed as someone who values inner qualities over outward appearances and deals with troubled family history. He sees beyond surface-level beauty, particularly in the protagonist Mi Rae, and endeavors to boost her confidence.

Similarly, in True Beauty, Cha Eun Woo plays Suho, the quintessential cool guy at school with deep emotional family burdens. Like Kyung Suk, Suho recognizes and appreciates the true essence of the lead character, Joo Kyung, amidst societal pressures. This pattern continues in A Good Day to Be a Dog, where his character Seo Won falls for an unconventional female lead who transforms into a dog when kissed, accepting her without judgment.

What's interesting to note is that all these dramas are based on webtoons, adding another layer of similarity to Cha Eun Woo's roles making him the Webtoon guy who falls for inner beauty.


Park Shin Hye- Damsel in Distress

Park Shin Hye has often evoked empathy from audiences with her portrayal of vulnerable and fragile female characters in various dramas, earning her the nickname "crybaby" of Korean TV. She's frequently associated with roles that embody a sense of helplessness or sadness, often featuring characters with tragic backstories or in distressing situations.

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Her characters typically hail from humble backgrounds, possess ordinary looks, and uphold values of justice and diligence, resembling the archetype of a Cinderella figure longing for a romantic hero. A notable example is her role as the poor Cha Eun Sang in The Heirs, which exemplifies this character type vividly.

Throughout her career, whether in The Heirs, Pinocchio, or her recent portrayal in Doctor Slump, Park Shin Hye has consistently depicted characters facing adversity and hardship. However, despite being typecast in such roles early on, she has showcased remarkable growth and versatility as an actress. While she may not shed the association entirely, her skillful portrayal of diverse characters demonstrates her ability to transcend the limitations of stereotypical roles.


Lee Jong Suk- Revenge seeker

Lee Jong Suk has often been cast in roles where his characters are driven by a desire for revenge, a theme that runs through his early work in High Kick Revenge of the Short Legged to more recent dramas like W: Two Worlds, Pinocchio, and Big Mouth. Throughout his career, Lee Jong Suk has garnered acclaim for portraying characters with tragic pasts, often marked by the loss of family members, and possessing extraordinary abilities. While he excels in portraying these characters, exploring roles that diverge from this narrative could offer audiences a fresh perspective on his acting talent as he did with Romance Is A Bonus Book.  


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ALSO READ: Top 10 must-watch Korean dramas on Hulu

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About The Author

Pratyusha Dash is an English Literature Graduate from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies with a deep passion for Korean

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