Here are 5 Korean rookie actors that impressed the audience: The list is according to the drama’s broadcast date.
1. Jung Ho-yeon in Squid Game (2021)
Jung Ho-yeon is Player 067 in the global hit series, Squid Game (2021). She played as Kang Sae-byeok, a defector from North Korea who joined the deadly game to win the prize money, escape poverty, and reunite her family.
Jung Ho-yeon is a full-time model who tried auditioning for the series. Favorably, she was selected for the role and Squid Game became her acting debut. Her performance impressed the audience, rapidly drawing millions of followers to her Instagram account.
In a short time, she has achieved various awards such as the Rookie Actress Award at Korea First Brand Awards 2021, U+Idol Live Popularity Award at Asia Artist Awards 2021, Best Actress at Critics’ Choice Super Awards 2022, Best Actress at Director’s Cut Awards 2022, and Outstanding Performance at Screen Actors Guild Awards 2022. She has also been nominated for Best New Actress at Baeksang Arts Awards 2022.
2. Kim Jisoo in Snowdrop (2021-2022)
Kim Jisoo is a popular member of the girl group BLACKPINK who ventured the world of TV Series by playing cameo roles in The Producers (2015), Part-Time Idols (2017), and Arthdal Chronicles (2019). She then performed her first leading role in the series, Snowdrop (2021-2022).
She played as Eun Young-ro, a college student at a Women’s University whose life gets entangled with a North Korean agent while trying to carry the burden of saving her schoolmates from the hostage-taking situation and protecting the powerful identity of her political father.
What’s remarkable about Jisoo’s portrayal for the role is the way she can simply convey emotions through her eyes. From candidness to innocence to showing bottled-up frustrations to displaying a fighting spirit to radiant smiles that beam joy and sparkling eyes that has innocently fallen in love. There were scenes when words need not be spoken for the look in her eyes could tell.
IMDb users praised her acting debut: “The sweet, naive and silly Young-ro melts my heart everytime she comes on screen. Kim Jisoo is nailing it”, “I really love her eyes. They’re so clear and big. Those eyes show her character really well”, “Actress Jisoo may not be the best actress but for a rookie actress she sure packs a punch”, “Jisoo is definitely perfect for Young-ro. I can’t imagine someone else in that place as she fits perfectly”, “As a new actress, Jisoo is really shining there”.
3. Cho Yi-hyun in All Of Us Are Dead (2022)
Cho Yi-hyun played as Nam-ra in All Of Us Are Dead (2022), the Junior class president who is quiet yet highly reflective and intelligent.
She definitely owned this role with her acting skills looking outwardly emotionless but inwardly profound and penetrating. More so, she showed more impressive performances when she got infected with the virus. The audience loved her character more as she portrayed trying her best not to be dominated by the zombie sting. But rather used her extraordinarily perceptive abilities to help her friends escape the zombie apocalypse.
Cho Yi-hyun has been nominated for Best New Actress at Baeksang Arts Awards 2022.
4. Yoo In-soo in All Of Us Are Dead (2022)
Yoo In-soo played as Gwi-nam in the teenage-zombie series, All Of Us Are Dead (2022). He may be one of the most hated characters in the show for being a heartless bully, but he is definitely one of the scene-stealing performances.
Known as a zombie that never dies after several attempts of pushing him off the building, he still managed to survive with only one goal: to kill Cheong-san. It is said that when a villain is much hated, it shows the impact of the actor’s performance and Yo In-soo achieved this.
Some comments on his Instagram are filled with affirmation and praises for his acting skills: “You did so well! Such a great actor!” “You played the role real good. I want to see you in more dramas. Fighting!”, “You slayed!”, “I hate you so much in the drama but you’re so hot dude”, “You were amazing in the show”, “Such a badass actor!”
Yoo In-soo has been nominated for Best New Actor at Baeksang Arts Awards 2022.
5. Lee Yeon in Juvenile Justice (2022)
Lee Yeon played as Baek Seong-woo in the teenage-crime series, Juvenile Justice (2022). She remarkably played a male teen character who conspired a murder case with an older friend.
Since Baek Seong-woo is considered juvenile that is unpunishable by law, he presented himself as the killer to protect the main culprit. She portrayed great micro-expressions of a troubled male teenager who took full control of the case by managing to fool the police and courthouse.
Lee Yeon has been nominated for Best New Actress at Baeksang Arts Awards 2022.