You've most probably seen him in one of the highest rating K-dramas 'My Love From the Star', as well as movies like 'Secretly, Greatly.' But these days, top Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun is busy acting as Moon Gang-tae in It's Okay to Not Be Okay (IOTNBO), a Netflix original series, and actually tops the list of highest paid Korean actors in 2020, reportedly bringing in a whopping 200 million Won per episode of IOTNBO, approximately 8.3 million Pesos.
What then, does this 32-year old Korean actor (who also happens to be a singer) have that allowed him to get catapulted to such phenomenal success? We'd say his looks alone are worth every penny, but it's his stellar talent for acting that sets him apart. While there are indeed plenty of superb Korean actors out there, Kim Soo-hyun is able to bring that quiet charm, as well as that unexplicably enchanting demeanour that leaves you wanting more with every single scene.
Throughout his 13 years in Korean show business, Kim has been able to make a name for himself not just in his mother land, but in other countries as well, including China, and of course, here in the Philippines as well. He's had his fair share of varying characters, each accompanied by its own set of transformations that are worth taking note of. Whether he sports the infamous 'mushroom' haircut in IOTNBO, or slicked back locks in 2017 film 'Real', one thing we can be sure of is that he pulls it all off with ease, and a disarming smile.
Scroll through the gallery below to see all the roles he's played, the iconic moments we can't miss in Kim Soo-hyun history, including all the jaw-dropping visuals he's served in each. Enjoy!
Kim Soo-Hyun Evolution
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Kimchi Cheese Smile (2007)
Kim made his debut as a wide-eyed teenage boy in this TV series, complete with wildly curly hair. Little did we know that this face would launch a multitude of fashion and lifestyle campaigns in the coming years!
He played Han Jae-ta in this drama that centers on the plight of Korean students in their mission to get into the most prestigious universities. Kim hasn't tamed his hair down just yet, but still looks adorable with that shy smile.
Kim got a taste of working alongside industry veterans in this SBS drama, as he played the violinist Kang Jae-il. The spiky hairdo makes a debut as well, as we will continue to see in succeeding characters he will play.
We see a tougher side to Kim in this drama with a theme of revenge. Set in the '70s, he plays the young version of the character Lee Sung-mo, and shows of those biceps and the shortest haircut he has gone thus far.
In what could be the breakout role of his career, Kim starred in teen musical drama Dream High and gained praise for his performance throughout. No amount of disheveled locks could stop us from appreciating those God-given good looks!
Kim plays King Leehwon in this drama that catapulted him into superstardom, as he matched the part of royalty with acting skills worthy of the crown. We love seeing our favorite Korean stars dolled up in Joseon-era garb, and this is a prime example of such!
He may not have played a lead role in this film as Zampano, but Kim brought some serious visuals as he played yet another tough guy role. A long-back haircut matched with that built is a recipe for a win!
Kim wins the Best Actor award at this prestigious event, for his role in 'Moon Embracing the Sun'. Here he is seen alongside K-drama star Gong Hyo-jin. We see him in an undercut sort of hairstyle for this black tie event.
This film that broke box office records is about a North Korean spy that heads down South, and was brought to life by Kim. Because of his outstanding performance in this film, he went on to win numerous awards thereafter. Despite the bowl haircut, we still found Soo-hyun charming, and disarming with that infectious smile.
Perhaps his most popular role to date, Kim acts alongside superstar Jun Ji-hyun in this K-drama that broke several TV ratings, which then brought a surge in popularity for Kim all over Asia. The show sparked trends left and right, including Kim's '2-block dandy haircut', one of his most memorable looks ever.
It isn't a surprise that both he and Jun Ji-hyun both bagged awards at that year's Baeksang Arts Awards. He got recognized that year for his works in 'Secretly, Greatly' and 'My Love from the Star'. Notice his slicked back hair? We did too!
In this neo-noir action film, Kim leads as Jang Tae-young. As the owner of a large casino that operates in the underworld of a dark fictional city, he plays the part, and looks it too, with gelled wavy hair, and a sexy personality.
He starred in good friend IU's 'Ending Scene' music video in 2017, where he appeared in several romantic scenes with fellow K-drama superstar. This haircut makes a comeback yet again, which we will see more and more of, both in fashion campaigns and shows to come.
His comeback role came in the form of a cameo in IU's K-drama hit 'Hotel del Luna', where he played the role of the owner of Hotel Blue Moon. Being in the military surely did not add any years to Kim, and even actually made us miss that chiseled face more!
Another cameo role that sent everyone in a tizzy was the one in 2020 K-drama phenomenon 'Crash Landing on You'. As a North Korean spy in the film 'Secretly, Greatly', he appears as Dong-gu in CLOY, in the scene where the five comrades head down south too, on a mission to retrieve Captain Ri (Hyun Bin).