Song Seung Heon is the *original* Hallyu heartthrob, having starred with Song Hye Kyo in the heartbreaking melo-romance Autumn In My Heart back in 2000. It’s been two decades since then, and Seung Heon’s career is still going strong with a steady stream of leading man roles through the years. A veteran who has worked with the best stars in the industry, he can go from rom-com lead to action star, no problem. This month, he turns 45 in Korean age. Celebrate by binge-watching our fave Song Seung Heon dramas from classics to recent hits.
1. Autumn in My Heart (2000)
Who else is in it: Song Hye Kyo, Won Bin
If you watched local TV in the early 2000s and you don’t know who Johnny and Jenny are, you were probably living under a rock. Seung Heon and Song Hye Kyo became household names in the Philippines when the Tagalized version of Autumn In My Heart hit GMA-7. The first installment in the Endless Love drama series, it tells the story of Yoon Joon Suh (Seung Heon) and Yoon Eun Suh (Hye Kyo) who grow up as siblings but end up getting separated once the Yoon family realizes Eun Suh isn’t their biological daughter. Joon Suh and Eun Suh meet again as adults and fall in love, but the road to happiness is full of obstacles.
2. East Of Eden (2008)
Who else is in it: Yeon Jung Hoon, Lee Da Hae, Lee Yeon Hee, Park Hae Jin, Han Ji Hye
This epic action-romance was a big deal in South Korea when it first aired, and it brought home many awards for its cast and crew. Seung Heon even won the Grand Prize (Daesang) for his acting. He stars as Lee Dong Chul, the eldest son of a poor miner who died trying to defend workers’ rights. Dong Chul grows up to be a gangster as he tries to get his family out of poverty, but what he doesn’t know is that he’s actually the son of the coal mine mogul responsible for his adoptive father’s death.
3. My Princess (2011)
Who else is in it: Kim Tae Hee, Park Ye Jin, Ryu Soo Young
Seung Heon tries his hand at rom-coms for the first time ever with My Princess, a cute tale about Lee Seol (Tae Hee), a college student who discovers she’s actually the last princess of Joseon. Seung Heon plays Park Hae Young, the grandson of Daehan Group’s chairman, tasked to teach Seol manners and prepare her for life as a royal. Hae Young does his work begrudgingly as he stands to lose his inheritance because of the royals, but the more he gets to know Seol, the more he starts to fall for her.
4. Black (2017)
Who else is in it: Go Ara, Lee El, ZE:A's Kim Dong Jun
We love how Seung Heon isn’t afraid to keep shifting genres. Black is a heart-pumping fantasy thriller where he gets to play the role of a grim reaper. Han Moo Gang is a detective investigating a 20-year-old case who gets shot during a hostage-taking crisis. He gets possessed by Black, a grim reaper on the hunt for his missing partner. He gets help from Kang Ha Ram (Ara), a woman who sees shadows (aka grim reapers) clinging to humans when they’re about to die. Ha Ram’s goal is to save people, but Black has his own agenda. Can they strike a balance between their clashing wills?
5. Player (2018)
Who else is in it: Krystal Jung, Lee Si Eon, Tae Won Suk, Kim Won Hae
In this action drama, four criminals form a team to trick evildoers out of their dirty money. Seung Heon plays Kang Ha Ri, a silver-tongued conman who commands the group made up of a driver-slash-thief, a hacker, and a fighter. They eventually team up with Prosecutor Jang (Won Hae), an honest prosecutor, to help solve crimes. But as they start hitting the big leagues, they realize there’s more at stake than they originally thought.
6. The Great Show (2019)
Who else is in it: Lee Sun Bin, Choi Su Rin, Lim Ju Hwan
This surprisingly lighthearted show is a family drama mixed with politics. Seung Heon plays Wi Dae Han, an ambitious politician who loses public favor when his opponent reveals he failed to take care of his father in his last days. While struggling to make ends meet as a designated driver, a daughter he never knew he had approaches him. Dae Han agrees to take care of her and her three siblings, thinking that he can use them to revitalize his political career. But taking care of a family isn’t as easy as he thinks, and as he gets to know the kids better, his heart starts to thaw.
7. Dinner Mate (2020)
Who else is in it: Seo Ji Hye, Lee Ji Hoon, Apink's Son Na Eun
Based on the webtoon Would You Like To Have Dinner Together?, this drama tells the story of Woo Do Hee (Ji Hye), a content producer who discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her. Kim Hae Kyung (Seung Heon) is a psychiatrist who handles clients with food psychotherapy. They meet by chance and have dinner together. When they end up meeting again, they start an arrangement as dinner mates: They will keep on having dinner together without revealing personal details to each other. How long can they keep their relationship impersonal?
8. Voice 4 (2021)
This crime thriller is so successful it now has four seasons. The story centers on the Golden Time team, a special team created to resolve cases made in real-time from emergency phone calls to the police. Team leader Kang Kwon Joo (Ha Na) has a special hearing ability that makes her invaluable for voice profiling, but when a serial killer with the same ability appears, she becomes a prime suspect. To get to the bottom of the case, she joins hands with Derek Jo (Seung Heon), a seasoned detective from the LAPD who is on the hunt for the same killer.
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