Korean Actors And Actresses Who Excellently Portrayed LGBT Characters On Screen

Published on 11/11/2021

The following 7 actors once took on queer roles on the Korean screen, and they did not disappoint.

Over the years, characters belonging to the LGBT community have not appeared frequently in Korean movies and TV series. However, most of the time, queer characters make strong impression on the audience, not only because of the stories but also the great acting of the cast. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive performances of famous Korean actors when they take on queer roles.

Lee Byung Hun – Bungee Jumping of Their Own

20 years ago, Lee Byung Hun portrayed the role of a teacher named Seo In Woo who falls in love with his student in “Bungee Jumping of Their Own”. Lee Byung Hun’s moving performance through the way the character’s emotions and concerns are conveyed, successfully draws sympathy from the audience.

In the movie, after losing his girlfriend Tae Hee in a car accident, In Woo meets and falls for a male student who resembles his late girlfriend. He then gradually realizes that the student is Tae Hee reincarnated. The complex emotions and thoughts of In Woo are perfectly expressed by Lee Byung Hun from expressions, voice tone to body language. The movie’s heartbreaking ending makes Lee Byung Hun’s performance even more memorable.

Lee Jong Suk – Secret Garden

“Secret Garden” is one of Lee Jong Suk’s first dramas when he started his acting career. He played the gay character Han Tae Sun. Even without much screen time, he still managed to leave an impression on the audience thanks to the character’s outstanding red hair and sassy, cute personality.

Although Lee Jong Suk barely had any acting experience at that time, his acting in “Secret Garden” is praised for being natural. Lee Jong Suk took on major roles later in his career and became an A-lister, but Han Tae Sun still remains one of his most charming characters according to many viewers.

Jang Ki Yong & Choi Woo Sik – The Boy Next Door 

Before becoming the rising actors they are today, Jang Ki Yong and Choi Woo Sik once gave the audience a good laugh with the web drama “The Boy Next Door” that they co-starred together.  Their characters are not exactly part of the LGBT community, but the unexpected situations that keep happening make people slowly start to doubt their relationship. The two guys themselves even gradually realize the ambiguity in their actions towards each other.

“The Boy Next Door” is a purely entertaining and enjoyable drama. Thanks to this series, many viewers believe that Choi Woo Sik has the potential to star in a boylove production and Jang Ki Yong definitely has the gifted ability to spark chemistry regardless of his co-star’s gender.

Kim Min Hee & Kim Tae Ri – The Handmaiden

The critically acclaimed film by director Park Chan Wook is not only a masterpiece of Korean cinema in the 2010s, but is also one of the most iconic lesbian romances. Kim Min Hee and Kim Tae Ri together bring a thrilling, suspenseful and exciting love story from the very beginning of the film. The sizzling chemistry of the Kim-Kim duo deserves to be ranked among the best chemistry the Korean screen has ever seen. Their individual acting is impressive enough, but every time there is a scene with the two of them together, it gives viewers the chills.

Thanks to their excellent performances in “The Handmaiden”, both actresses earned many different acting awards domestically and internationally. Most notably, at the Blue Dragon Film Awards 2016, Kim Min Hee won “Best Actress” while Kim Tae Ri won “Best New Actress”.

Kim Seo Hyung – Mine

Entering the new decade, Korean TV has been more open and inclusive by boldly introducing a main character who is a lesbian. That is the character Jung Seo Hyun in the drama “Mine”, played by actress Kim Seo Hyung. Through her performance, the audience can see Jung Seo Hyun’s sufferinleeg when she has to leave her first love to get into an arranged marriage without love.

The character might be a tough woman, but every time she remembers her past love story, she becomes strangely weak. Fortunately, Jung Seo Hyun finally has the courage to stand up for her true self and reunite with her first love. According to many viewers, if it is not Kim Seo Hyung, it will be difficult for anyone else to convey what the character Jung Seo Hyun goes through. Kim Seo Hyung’s performance in “Mine” is considered the most impressive among the cast.

Recently, the movie “Bungee Jumping of Their Own” was confirmed to have a drama remake with the leads portrayed by two rookie actors, Lee Hyun Wook and NCT’s Jae Hyun. Fans are looking forward to seeing if the drama version could be as emotional as the original film.

Hopefully in the future, Korean movies and dramas will shine more light on LGBT stories, and have more LGBT characters as central roles, to both show diversity and allow actors to showcase their acting skills. Who knows, from then on, the audience will have more excellent portrayals to be added to this list.

Source: kbizoom