Gongjin Family: Meet The 20 Stars of “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”

“Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” is a romantic-comedy Korean drama and an outstanding remake of the 2004 film, “Mr. Hong”.

Since its premiere on August 28, 2021, the show consistently holds the highest nationwide viewership ratings in its time slot across all channels, with Episode 14 achieving the highest record so far of 11.6%, according to Nielsen Korea.

It centers around two opposite lives, Yoon Hye-jin, a perfectionist dentist from the city of Seoul and Chief Hong Dusik, a free-spirited jack-of-all-trades from the countryside. The story progresses as they cross paths and fall in love through inconveniences and adorable bickering.

But there’s more to this romantic show where the writer takes us to the daily life of residents at the seaside village of Gongjin—a place where life is calm and slow-paced but where rich and profound stories abound. And it is no doubt that the entire cast is superb in portraying their characters as nosy yet warmhearted neighbors from the main leads to the supporting roles. Each one stands out.

Here are the 20 stars who made the seaside village of Gongjin more vibrant and engaging:

1. Lee Sang-yi as Ji Seong-hyun

Lee Sang-yi is a 30-year-old singer, part of the supergroup MSG Wannabe, and a cast member of the variety show, “Hangout with Yoo” (2021).

His path to acting career began in 2017 with the series, “Manhole” followed by the following successful projects: Prison Playbook (2017), When the Camellia Blooms (2019), and Youth of May (2021). He also appeared as a cameo role in Yumi’s Cells (2021).

In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, he portrays the character of Ji Seong-hyun, a workaholic variety show director, and a secret college admirer of Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-a). Although he is part of the love triangle between Kim Seonho and Shin Mina in the drama, his role is a non-toxic kind.

While most romantic dramas with love triangles create either an annoying character or a heartbreaking “second lead syndrome”, Lee Sang-yi’s role is not a desperate take. Despite falling depressed for being broken twice, he remains positive with his friendship with Chief Hong and Hye-jin while moving on in life.

In fact, another character is set for his possible happiness—his writer, a long-time staff who cares for him that we hope love will soon develop between the two.

2. Cho Han-cheul as Oh Cheon-jae

Cho Han-cheul is a 48-year-old veteran actor who appeared in numerous films and television series including the hit series, “Vincenzo” (2021). He also worked with Shin Min-a in the series, “Tomorrow with You” in 2017.

2021 is indeed a busy year for the actor since he is also part of the upcoming series, “Jirisan” alongside Jun Ji-hyun (the Sassy Girl), Ju Ji-hoon (the Crown Prince in Kingdom), Oh Jung-se (Sang-tae in IOTNBO), and the nation’s grandmother, Kim Young-ok.

It is also confirmed that he will reunite with Song Joong-ki for another drama, “The Youngest Son of Chaebol Family”.

Known as Oh Cheon-jae or Oh Yoon in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, he plays the role of a cafe owner, widowed with one daughter, and a frustrated singer who reflects a life of broken dreams. He acts as an older brother to Chief Hong (Kim Seonho).

3. Kim Young-ok as Kim Gam-ri

Kim Young-ok is an 84-year-old actress who is also known as “The Nation’s Grandmother” for her several roles as granny in films and dramas, including the famous series “Coffee Prince” (2007), “Boys Over Flowers” (2009), “Her Private Life” (2019), “Love Alarm” (2019), “The King Eternal Monarch” (2020), and “Mouse” (2021).

Aside from her role in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha this year, she also actively participated in the hit series, “Squid Game” and will soon play a part in the upcoming drama, “Jirisan”.

She has received a number of awards including the “Grand Prize Daesang for Television” at the 15th Baeksang Arts Awards and “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 11th Korea Drama Awards.

Before the premiere of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she participated as a guest in “2 Days and 1 Night” Season 4, surprising Kim Seonho who is an active cast member of the variety show.

Known as Ms. Kim Gam-ri in the drama, she portrays the character of a grandmother who took care of the young orphan, Hong Dusik (Kim Seonho). She lives a lonely old life whose family is far away, physically and emotionally. Nevertheless, she has Chief Hong who looks after her and loves her.

4. In Gyo-jin as Chang Yeong-guk

In Gyo-jin is a 41-year-old actor who made his acting debut in 2000. He is married to an actress, So Yi-hyun, and has a younger brother who is also an actor, In Doo-jin.

His drama projects include the “Good Doctor” (2013), cameo roles in “Fight For My Way” (2017), “Welcome to Waikiki 2” (2018), and “When the Camellia Blooms” (2019).

He also appeared with his first daughter, Ha-eun as cast members in the famous variety show, “The Return of Superman” in 2016.

In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, he portrays the role of a Village Chief who is divorced and lives alone. He struggles between his first love and ex-wife.

5. Lee Bong-ryun as Yeo Hwa-jung

Lee Bong-ryun is a 40-year-old actress who began her acting career in stage plays.

In 2013, she joined the television series, “Reply 1994”, followed by other hit series, “While You Were Sleeping” (2017), “Run On” (2020), and “Sweet Home” (2020).

In 2021 Baeksang Arts Awards, she won the “Best Actress” for her role in a theatrical play, “Hamlet”.

She portrays the ex-wife of the Village Chief in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, lives with her smart boy, I-joon, and acts as the reliable leader in town. She also owns the seafood restaurant, the apartment where Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-a) lives and the building where Hye-jin sets up her dental clinic.

Her character reflects a fighting spirit amid the uncertainties of life. She knows pain but refuses to face it and moves on in life, as if undisturbed.

6. Cha Chung-hwa as Jo Nam-sook

Cha Chung-hwa is a 41-year-old actress who made her acting debut in a musical stage performance in 2005, followed by a film role in 2010.

Since then, she appeared in several outstanding films and television series, such as “Train to Busan” (2016), “Hotel Del Luna” (2019), “Crash Landing On You” (2020), “Itaewon Class” (2020), “Mr. Queen” (2021), “Beyond Evil” (2021), and “Hospital Playlist 2” (2021).

Known as Nam-sook in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she portrays the role of a lonely mother but bubbly and very nosy neighbor. Being a loud person who meddles in the life of others is her way to conceal and escape the painful void at home.

7. Kang Hyung-suk as Choi Eun-cheol

Kang Hyung-suk is a 29-year-old rookie actor who is handled by the same talent agency with Shin Min-a and Kim Woo-bin, which is the AM Entertainment.

He has participated as a guest or minor role in the following hit dramas, “Crash Landing On You” (2019) and “Itaewon Class” (2020).

In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, he gets more screen time, portraying the role of a reserved police officer and an innocent lover of a city girl, Pyo Mi-seon.

8. Gong Min-jung as Pyo Mi-seon

Gong Min-jung is a 35-year-old actress who graduated at Konkuk University with a degree on Film. She appeared in several movies since 2011 and started her television debut in 2017.

Some of her works include, “Grass” (2018) which was premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival and “Zombie Crush in Heyri” (2020), premiered in Korean Fantastic Competition of 24th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival where she had Fantastic Best Actor Special Mention award.

Known as Pyo Mi-seon in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she portrays the ever faithful bestfriend of Shin Min-a and the lover of Choi Eun-chol, the policeman.

9. Lee Yong-Lee as Lee Mat-yi

Lee Yong-Lee is a 63-year-old actress who appeared in several films and television series such as “Uncontrollably Fond” (2016) and “Chief of Staff” (2019), alongside Shin Min-a.

She is the loud one among the trio grandmothers in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.

10. Shin Shin-ae as Park Sook-ja

Shin Shin-ae is a 62-year-old singer and actress who appeared in various films and television series such as “Extreme Job” (2019) and “Lost” (2021). She is also a regular member of the tv show, “Voice Trot”.

She is the tender one among the trio grandmothers in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.

11. Kim Ju-yeon as Ham Yun-gyeong

Kim Ju-yeon is a 28-year-old singer and actress who appeared in the series “Dodosolsol Lalasol” (2020), “Move to Heaven” (2021), and “Youth of May” (2021), alongside Lee Sang-yi.

In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she portrays the role of a store owner with a youthful husband and bubbly daughter. She is also pregnant with her second child.

12. Yoon Seok-hyun as Choi Geum-cheol

Yoon Seok-hyun is a 38-year-old musical actor who appeared in the 2014 film, “Mr. Perfect”.

Known as Cheol in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, he portrays the role of a playful husband whose wife is pregnant and daughter is boyish. He is also a high school classmate of Hong Dusik (Kim Seonho) who saved him from a group of bullies.

13. Hong Ji-hee as Yu Cho-hui

Hong Ji-hee is a 33-year-old actress who appeared in the popular series, “Arthdal Chronicles” (2019) and “Hospital Playlist” (2020).

In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she portrays the role of an old friend who went back in Gongjin to start anew as a classroom teacher where she gets trapped between the ex-couple, Yeo Hwa-jung and Chang Yeong-guk.

14. Park Ye-young as Wang Ji-won

Park Ye-young is a 32-year-old actress who appeared in various films and television series. She played the main roles of the movies, “The Road Not Taken” (2016) and “Capsule Coffee” (2018).

Known as Writer Wang in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she has a hidden admiration for her long-time co-worker, Director Ji Seong-hyun (Lee Sang-yi).

15. Byun Seong Tae as June

Byun Seong Tae is a 23-year-old rookie actor who participated as a cameo role in the series, “Nevertheless” (2021). He also appeared as a contestant in a talent show, “Produce 101”.

Known as June in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, he is a member of a fictional famous boy band, DOS, who comes to Gongjin to perform in a festival and shoot for a variety show alongside Director Ji.

16. Kim Min-seo as Oh Juri

Kim Min-seo is a 12-year-old child actress who appeared in various films and television series since she was nine. She is a huge fan of the singer-actress, IU, and also a cast member of ODG, a popular YouTube channel.

Known as Juri in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, she is the loud yet beloved daughter of cafe owner, Oh Chun-jae, and a diehard fan of June.

17. Ki Eun-yoo as Chang I-jun

Ki Eun-yoo is an 8-year-old child actor who already appeared in various television series such as the “Mystic Pop-up Bar” (2020), “Do You Like Brahms?” (2020), “18 Again” (2020), and “The Devil Judge” (2021).

He is the gentle and genius son of the ex-couple, Yeo Hwa-jung and Chang Yeong-guk, in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. He also has a bestfriend named Bo-ra, the boyish daughter of the store owners, Choi Geum-cheol and Ham Yun-gyeong.

18. Ko Do-yeon as Choi Bo-ra

Ko Do-yeon is a 9-year-old child actress who appeared in the famous series, “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” (2020) and “Hospital Playlist” (2020.

She is the adorable daughter of the store owners, Choi Geum-cheol and Ham Yun-gyeong, and bestfriend of jan Yi-joon. In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’s Lighthouse Music Festival singing contest, she won first place.

19. Shin Min-a as Doctor Yoon Hye-jin

Shin Min-a, the lead female star of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, is a 37-year-old award-winning model and actress who has been in the industry for more than 20 years now. It is reported that she is one of the most in-demand and highest paid commercial endorsers in South Korea.

Aside from modelling and acting, she can also sing and has participated as a vocalist in several singles and soundtracks.

Know more about her works and awards here.

20. Kim Seonho as Chief Hong Dusik

Kim Seonho, the lead actor of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, is a 35-year-old actor who rose to fame with his character “Han Jipyeong”, a secondary role, through the drama, Start-Up, in 2020. Since then, he has received numerous commercial and project offers while his Instagram followers exceptionally increased from hundreds to millions in just a few weeks.

His love for acting started in college when he joined a theater group at Seoul Institute of the Arts. He then worked as a stage play actor for seven years (2009-2016).

He made his television debut in the drama, “Good Manager” (2017) followed by “Strongest Deliveryman” (2017), “Two Cops” (2018), “You Drive Me Crazy” (2018), “100 Days My Prince”(2018), “Welcome to Waikiki 2” (2019), “Catch the Ghost” (2019), and “Start-up” (2020).

“Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” (2021) is his first main role project as an actor. Recently, it was reported that Kim Seonho will appear for the first time on the big screen next year. Know more about his 2022 film projects and roles here.

Aside from acting, he is also an active cast member of the popular variety show, “2 Days and 1 Night” Season 4.

PHOTO COVER: TVN Drama / Hanible Photography