It's no surprise that the K-drama world is full of talented and versatile actors capable of slaying any genre. More impressively, there are a handful of Korean actors who have impressed viewers by taking on dual (or even multiple) roles in a single drama. Whether it’s portraying twins, doppelgängers, clones, and alternate universe versions of themselves, these actors have succeeded in showcasing their acting skills through more than one role at once. WARNING: *major* spoilers ahead!
Here are seven must-watch actors who have played dual roles in a K-drama:
1. Kim So Hyun
Former child actress Kim So Hyun grew up before avid K-drama fans’ eyes and has displayed her acting range very early in her career. In 2015, she further solidified her status as an actress-to-watch-out-for when she portrayed twins in the teen drama Who Are You: School 2015. So Hyun starred as Go Eun Byul and Lee Eun Bi, identical twins who got separated after Eun Byul was adopted by a super wealthy family. Now a high school student, Eun Bi gets bullied at school and decides to end her life. The twin sister she never knew she had, Eun Byul, saves her but mysteriously disappears. Eun Bi develops amnesia and is mistaken as her wealthy sister Eun Byul. She starts assuming the identity of Eun Byul and gets wrapped up in a love triangle with Han Yi An (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Gong Tae Kwang (BTOB’s Yook Sungjae), all while recovering her lost memories and discovering what actually happened to the real Eun Byul.
2. Yang Se Jong
After making our hearts flutter as Dr. Do In Bum in Dr. Romantic, Yang Se Jong portrayed three characters in the 2017 sci-fi thriller Duel. This drama revolves around the lengths detective Jang Deuk Cheon (Jung Jae Young) goes through in order to find the person who kidnapped his terminally ill daughter. He teams up with Lee Sung Joon (Yang Se Jong), a man with amnesia who inexplicably has the same face and fingerprints as the creepy kidnapper Lee Sung Hoon. It turns out, that both of them are clones of the brilliant scientist Lee Yong Seob and the kidnapping had something to do with the *dangerous* world of human cloning, stem cell research, and a cure-all vaccine. Se Jong was phenomenal in all three roles so much so that you can identify who’s who in scenes where the clones appear together!
3. Song Joong Ki
Song Joong Ki starred as a set of Igutu (mixed race) twins in the 2019 historical fantasy drama Arthdal Chronicles. Set in the mythical land called Arth, the twins, Eun Seom and Saya, were born on the day a blue comet appeared in the sky. Due to the prophecy that a child born on such a day will bring calamity to Arth, the twins’ mother hides Eun Seom at Iark. There, the innocent Eun Seom was raised in the Wahan tribe and became sort of an outsider due to his Igutu strength, speed, and not to mention his purple blood. On the other hand, Saya was brought to Arthdal and was hidden away at the Fortress of Fire. He grows up to be manipulative and possessive especially after crossing paths with Tanya (Kim Ji Won) of the Wahan tribe, Eun Seom’s childhood friend and first love.
4. Yeo Jin Goo
A remake of the 2012 film Masquerade, the 2019 sageuk drama The Crowned Clown centers around the power struggle between Joseon king Yi Heon (Yeo Jin Goo) and his doppelgänger, the clown Ha Seon. After learning of assassination plans against him, the mad king puts the clown on the throne. However, the righteous Ha Seon soon earns some allies in the royal court and becomes a ~true~ ruler, threatening the position of the real king in the process.
5. Woo Do Hwan
While a majority of the actors in the 2020 fantasy romance drama The King: Eternal Monarch all played dual roles, Woo Do Hwan stood out for skilfully portraying the contrasting characters of Jo Yeong and his alternate reality version, Jo Eun Sup. Jo Yeong is the stoic captain of the royal guard of the Kingdom of Corea and the childhood BFF of its modern-day emperor, Lee Gon (Lee Min Ho). Meanwhile, Jo Eun Sup is a free-spirited public service worker for the National Police Agency of the Republic of Korea.
6. Park Eun Seok
While the storyline in The Penthouse: War In Life got more complicated (and confusing) as the seasons went on, there’s no denying that the actors brought the complex characters to life with their superb acting skills. In particular, Park Eun Seok gained recognition for portraying different roles throughout the 2020-2021 run of the teleserye-like drama. Eun Seok first appeared as Gu Ho Dong, the strict P.E. teacher at Cheong Ah Arts School where the kids of the wealthy residents of Hera Palace study. He is later revealed to be Logan Lee, a billionaire who disguised himself as a teacher in order to take revenge against those responsible for his adoptive sister’s death. At the end of season two, Logan was believed to be dead and his older brother, Alex Lee, also played by Eun Seok, enters the picture.
7. Ji Sung
Veteran actor Ji Sung is taking on the role of twin brothers in the currently airing mystery investigation drama Adamas. He is starring as the best-selling mystery writer Ha Woo Shin and prosecutor Song Soo Hyun. The brothers race against time to clear the murder charges against their biological father accused of killing their stepfather. They also team up to find the Adamas, a diamond arrow, which is crucial evidence for the murder.
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