Fans rejoiced when Kim Soo Hyun was discharged from the army in July this year. Soo Hyun's service was so remarkable that he earned an early promotion and was ranked as a sergeant in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, where he served his mandatory military service.
His cameo in K-drama Hotel Del Luna in September fueled fan anticipation for his small-screen comeback. According to his agency, Keyeast Entertainment, the Hallyu heartthrob is considering the lead role in TVN romantic fantasy drama Psycho But It's Ok. If talks go well, he will play Moon Kang Tae, a community health worker who serves in a psychiatric ward. His character will cross paths with a storybook writer diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder. The drama, which is slated to be aired in the first half of 2020, anchors itself on a storyline where a man who doesn't believe in love falls for a woman who knows nothing about it.
We're counting the days till we see him in a K-drama, so we've put together a watch list to help you get through the long wait.
1. Dream High (2011)
Soo Hyun's popularity rose when he played the role of music prodigy Song Sam Dong in Dream High. In this teen musical drama, you'll see the shy side of Soo Hyun and marvel at his ability to play a convincing (and adorable) country bumpkin.
Soo Hyun was the only actor in the drama's cast of idol stars headlined by Bae Suzy, IU, and Ok Taec Yeon, from boy group 2PM. According to reports, Soo Hyun trained for three months at JPY Entertainment (the agency of K-pop groups like TWICE, Got7, and Stray Kids). The heartthrob's efforts materialized in two original soundtrack songs: a solo called "Dreaming" and the title track, "Dream High," which he recorded with the drama's cast.
2. Moon Embracing The Sun (2012)
This period drama, which earned the title of "Nation's Drama," further skyrocketed Soo Hyun's growing popularity. In it, he plays King Lee Hwon, an intelligent ruler who falls in love with a shaman named Yeon Woo. Set against the traditional Joseon Dynasty backdrop full of palace conspiracy and intrigue, the drama served as a great opportunity for Soo Hyun to further demonstrate his acting chops and his newfound singing prowess (he sang OST songs "Only You" (a traditional ballad) and "Another Way."
3. My Love From The Star (2013)
Fantasy romance drama My Love From The Star cemented Soo Hyun's A-list status as one of Korea's top leading men. Starring alongside veteran actress Jun Ji Hyun (The Legend of the Blue Sea), he plays the role of stranded alien, Do Min Joon, who falls for quirky actress Cheon Song Yi. The show's success resulted in a "Do Min Joon Syndrome" that took the world by storm. Even though it's been more than five years since it aired, fans still speak fondly of it and its place in the K-drama hall of fame.
4. The Producers (2015)
If you'd like to see Soo Hyun as an average Joe, check out slice of life drama The Producers. In it, he plays the role of Baek Seung Chan, a young prosecutor who joins a broadcasting company as a rookie producer-director to pursue a "secret crush." Fans or Dream High will enjoy Soo Hyun's onscreen reunion with IU, who plays the role of high-maintenance top star Cindy.
If you want to see more of Soo Hyun, you can also catch him in these movies:
5. The Thieves (2013)
In South Korea's answer to Ocean's Eleven, Soo Hyun plays Zampano, a master thief protégé, who joins a motley crew set on pulling off the perfect heist. This pre-My Love from Another Star production gave fans a taste of his onscreen chemistry with Jun Ji Hyun.
6. Secretly Greatly (2013)
If you're in the mood for an action comedy-drama, check out Secretly Greatly which features Soo Hyun as a North Korean spy who infiltrates South Korea and poses as a village idiot waiting for his secret mission. The plot hilariously thickens when he finds out that his mission turns into an order to die by suicide.
7. Real (2017)
Soo Hyun's last project before enlisting in the army was dark, neo-noir action film Real. Expect to see him in a whole new light as he plays casino owner Jang Tae Yeong and his inner battle of ridding himself of the other personalities which plague him.