Fans rejoiced when Kim Soo Hyun was discharged from the army in July 2019. 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 fueled fan anticipation for his small-screen comeback, and he recently starred in the hit series It's Okay To Not Be Okay!
Here, we put together a K-drama and movie watch list for all the Kim Soo Hyun fans out there:
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.
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.
8. It's Okay To Not Be Okay (2020)
His most recent drama features Soo Hyun as a health worker named Gang Tae who has dedicated his whole life to his brother who has autism spectrum disorder. His life changes when he meets a children's storybook writer with an antisocial personality disorder named Mun Young (Seo Ye Ji).
9. That Night (2021)
It's just been confirmed that Kim Soo Hyun will play the lead role in an upcoming K-drama That Night, a remake of the BBC show Criminal Justice. He will reportedly play the role of "a college student who was suddenly suspected as the prime offender of a murder case." The show will start airing at the second half of 2020.
Bonus: Crash Landing On You (2020)
Yup, Kim Soo Hyun *reprised* his role from Secretly Greatly in Episode 10! His character Dong Gu is still in South Korea and he ends up giving some much-needed advice to a group of North Korean soldiers. For a full list of Soo Hyun's movie and TV cameos, click here.