Veteran actor Yoo Ji Tae has always been a big presence in the Korean movie scene. He started out as an award-winning model before making waves in the 1999 movie Attack The Gas Station. But it was his role in the critically acclaimed film Oldboy (2003) that made him popular internationally. Now, he's a staple in our fave K-dramas as well, and he's even directed films of his own. We'll be seeing him soon in Korea's adaptation of the popular Spanish crime series Money Heist. Before June 24 rolls around, though, nothing's stopping you from binge-watching Ji Tae's other dramas. Check out our picks below! Let us know your fave Ji Tae drama in a comment.
1. Star's Lover (2008)
Who else is in it: Choi Ji Woo, Lee Ki Woo, Cha Ye Ryun, Choi Philip, Lee Joon Hyuk
In this classic rom-com, Ji Tae stars alongside Hallyu actress Choi Ji Woo (raise your hand if you've watched OG series Stairway To Heaven and Winter Sonata!). Ji Tae plays uni lecturer Kim Chul Soo who gets hired as a ghostwriter for celebrity Lee Ma Ri (Ji Woo). The travel-themed book he writes for her becomes a runaway hit, but Ma Ri soon becomes embroiled in controversy when the ghostwriting issue comes to light. Somewhere along the way, Chul Soo and Ma Ri start falling for each other. Is their love enough to get them through all the obstacles thrown their way, or is their romance doomed to fail?
2. Healer (2014)
Years later, Healer remains one of the K-dramas we're most fond of—and we're not just saying that because it stars Ji Chang Wook. If you haven't watched it yet, you're missing out! This romance thriller revolves around night courier Healer (Chang Wook) whose only goal is to save enough cash to live by himself on a deserted island. Life throws him a curveball when one of his clients gets him involved with earnest reporter Young Shin (Min Young) and he finds himself falling in love with her. Ji Tae plays veteran reporter Kim Mun Ho who hides a tragic past. The bonds that connect the three protagonists are deeper than they think. Will their relationships survive once the secrets unfold?
3. The Good Wife (2016)
Who else is in it: Jeon Do Yeon, Yoon Kye Sang, Nana
The Good Wife is the Korean adaptation of the US series of the same name. In it, lawyer Kim Hye Kyung (Do Yeon), who took a step back from her career when she got married, goes back to work after her prosecutor husband Lee Tae Joon (Ji Tae) lands in jail for corruption. The drama follows her journey as she rediscovers herself. Ji Tae’s turn as the charismatic Tae Joon will drive you *crazy* as you alternately root for him and hate him. He won Best Actor at the 11th Cable TV Broadcasting Awards for his amazing skills.
4. Mad Dog (2017)
Who else is in it: Woo Do Hwan, Ryu Hwa Young, Jo Jae Yoon, Kim Hye Sung, Hong Soo Hyun
Ji Tae goes all in on action with his next K-drama, Mad Dog. He plays Choi Kang Woo, leader of private insurance investigation team Mad Dog. He used to work for an insurance company, but after an airplane crash makes him lose his wife and son, he dedicates his life to uncovering the truth behind the incident. We love the family dynamic he has with his ragtag team! Bonus: If you love Woo Do Hwan, you’re sure to enjoy him as con artist-turned-team member Min Joon in this show.
5. Different Dreams (2019)
Who else is in it: Lee Yo Won, Lim Ju Hwan, Nam Gyu Ri
This period drama was released in time for the 100th year celebration of the March 1st Movement and the creation of the provisional Korean government in 2019. Set during the Japanese colonial era, it tells the story of Korean surgeon Lee Young Jin (Yo Won). She was raised by a Japanese family, but she ends up becoming a valuable spy for the provisional Korean government. Ji Tae plays the passionate Kim Won Bong who dreams of the day his country will finally be free. His character is based on the real Kim Won Bong, a Korean independent activist and statesman who led the Korean Liberation Army.
6. When My Love Blooms (2020)
Who else is in it: Lee Bo Young, Park Jinyoung, Jeon So Nee, Jang Gwang
This melodrama revolves around Han Jae Hyun (Ji Tae) and Yoon Ji Soo (Bo Young) who fell in love when they were in uni and shared a sweet romance. Fast-forward to 20 years later. Jae Hyun is now a wealthy businessman, while Ji Soo is a struggling contract worker and single mom. Jae Hyun is far from the guy he used to be, the guy who used to be in the student movement. Will they find love in each other all over again, or is it already too late? Bonus: GOT7's Park Jinyoung plays the young Jae Hyun. Be prepared to get charmed!
7. Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area (2022)
In this highly anticipated Korean adaptation-slash-spinoff of the hit Spanish series Money Heist, Ji Tae plays the Professor, a criminal leading a group of other criminals as they attempt to pull off a big heist in the Korean peninsula. In this version of Korea, the North and the South have just gotten unified, but the people's economic struggles continue. The Professor plans a hostile takeover of Korea's newly minted currency. Donning traditional hahoetal masks instead of the original series' signature Salvador Dali masks, the gang takes hostages and a game of cat-and-mouse begins with the police. The drama starts streaming on Netflix on June 24. We can't wait to watch all the action unfold. P.S. Seeing Squid Game's Park Hae Soo back on screen as Berlin is a definite plus too!
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