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14 Oppas, 14 Days: Part 1

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

For Valentine's Day, we at GwenchaNoona decided to gift our followers with 14 profiles of our favorite Hallyu leading men. Here, we compiled everything because we know they're fun to read, re-read, and swoon over again and again.


Hyun Bin

Although he is now officially spoken for by Son Ye-jin, we still can’t help but swoon at the sight of Hyun Bin. Standing majestically tall at 6’1” (185cm), with broad shoulders, impeccable bone structure, luscious hair, and killer dimples, his looks can put Greek gods to shame.

But it isn’t just his exquisitely sculptured looks that have won over legions of fans and kept him on the Hallyu A-list for 18 years and counting: his longevity may be attributed to his range as an actor—taking on roles as varied as a prickly hotelier (My Lovely Sam-soon, 2005), to a young mathematical genius (Snow Queen, 2006), to a suave gigolo in Seattle (Late Autumn, 2011), to a chaebol with a split personality disorder (Hyde, Jekyll, Me, 2015) to a devilish hostage taker (The Negotiation, 2017)—as well as his quiet and dignified mystique. His most iconic roles as an arrogant chaebol who occasionally swaps bodies with a poor stuntwoman (Secret Garden, 2010) and as an upright yet inner softie North Korean soldier (Crash Landing on You, 2019) earned him not just international adulation but two Daesang (Grand Prize) Awards.

On top of being one of South Korea's most bankable television and film actors and commercial endorsers, Hyun Bin is also a successful businessman and seasoned property investor and developer. In 2016, VAST Entertainment, the talent agency he had set up only three years prior, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kakao M, one of South Korea's largest media companies, and his family holdings corporation has several prime real estate investments around Seoul. Not one to keep his wealth to himself, he is known to give generously to charity--last year, he was one of the first celebrities to quietly donate to the country's efforts to battle the coronavirus. No wonder his girlfriend, Son Ye-jin, calls him her "good person".

Watch out for his devastating visuals in the upcoming films The Point Men with Hwang Jung-min and the sequel to Confidential Assignment, which has just started production.

Gong Yoo

One partakes of Gong Yoo like one swirls a very fine wine on the tongue: Breathe in to appreciate the details of his perpetually tousled hair, the kind eyes, and the buttery voice… and then exhale and step back to study his merits that go beyond the first impression.

We fans may love his looks, but we also sincerely appreciate his substantial body…. of work. His talent and incredible charm have been credited with luring non-k-drama fans with the massively popular Coffee Prince (2007) and Goblin: The Lonely and Great God (2016), and for bringing to screen several important stories in Asian cinema: Silenced (2011), Train to Busan (2016), The Age of Shadows (2016), and even the controversial Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982 (2019).

It must have been such a tricky thing to pull off—striking a balance between the commercial and the artistic—but Gong Yoo is the rare actor that has done this consistently and successfully for over a decade. And like fine wine, he’s just gotten gloriously better with age.

Gong Yoo will be in two sci-fi features to be released this year: the AI movie Seo-Bok (with Park Bo-gum) and the dystopian k-drama The Silent Sea which you can read about here.

Kim Soo-hyun

Had he succeeded in becoming a professional bowler back in 2016, the world would have never become aware of the absolute stunner that is Kim Soo-hyun. Thankfully, bowling’s loss has become one of Hallyu’s—and our hearts’—greatest gain.

Kim Soo-hyun most recently starred in the hit drama It’s Okay To Not Be Okay (2020) as a nurse whose baser instincts simmered beneath his remarkably restrained exterior—which could be a phrase that aptly describes this man’s mystique. Beyond the doe eyes and sharp jawline lies a sensuality that is both raw yet refined, and an appeal that often toes the line between the everyday and the ethereal.

Yet beyond the pretty, his depth and finesse as an actor are also well known, ever since he starred in the teen musical drama Dream High (2011). He then steadily rose to superstardom after his hit dramas Moon Embracing the Sun (2012) and My Love From the Star (2013), winning awards and even featuring in both soundtracks. He has also done well for himself in the movies, featuring in both box office hits and art films. It was only a matter of time before all that hard work would make him Korea’s highest paid actor in 2020. And if the accolades weren’t enough, this beautiful man with the soulful eyes also proved that he has the heart to match—Soo-hyun also recently donated 100 million won to support low income families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kim Soo-hyun is set to appear in the tvN drama That Night, an adaptation of the British series Criminal Justice, later this year.

Park Seo-joon

Dreamy yet down-to-earth. Endearingly boyish but manly at the same time. He is equally believable as a rugged, everyday man and as a snobby, conglomerate heir. Park Seo-joon is a study in contrasts, with an army of fans ready to become scholars.

Park Seo-joon has been charming audiences both at home and overseas since his first television drama Dream High 2 (2012). And it’s not hard to see why he is called the “master of romantic comedy” with his swoon-worthy good looks, dazzling smile, and believable chemistry with all of his leading ladies. (Admit it, you’ve rewound a few of those confession scenes. We won’t judge you.)

This hardworking actor spends as much time preparing for his roles as he does keeping fit. The result is hard to miss. His finely sculpted figure is the stuff of women’s dreams, and men’s fitness goals. You simply cannot fake this gold standard of palpable sexiness and raw masculinity.

Off-screen, he has built a reputation for being gallant towards co-stars, and fostering genuine friendships with his fellow celebrities. His real life shy and sometimes introspective persona is just as appealing as his dashing on-screen characters. The combination of sincerity and sexy has given him massive global appeal, and has likely launched the imaginations and creations of many a fanfic writer worldwide.

Yoo Yeon-seok

The phrase “too good to be true” comes to mind when the topic of Yoo Yeon-seuk is brought up. The six-and-some foot tall actor bagged his first role without needing to pass his resume around, as part of the impressive ensemble cast of the critically-lauded film Oldboy in 2003. After a five year hiatus, he returned to the industry with a degree in Film Arts tucked firmly under his equally-firm biceps. The next few years would keep the swoon-worthy actor busy, taking on roles both in film, and on television. He also graced the theater stages, flexing his acting chops (along with his actual muscles) in diverse roles, most notably as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Itch. (Noona tip: do a quick image search, thank us later in the comments section.)

It was in his role as the charmingly disarming second lead Chilbong in 2013's Reply 1994 that audiences truly began to take notice of his talents (and his near-perfect features). He has since worked almost non-stop, juggling movie projects, dramas, and the occasional variety guesting.

Whether he’s playing a dreamy doctor (Doctor Romantic, Hospital Playlist), a seemingly-cold bandit (Mr. Sunshine), or a powerful leader of a nation (Steel Rain 2: Summit), you can be assured that the YYS will not disappoint.

How he found the time to learn to play multiple instruments, make his own furniture, cook, and dabble in photography only further proves that truly, he is “too good to be true.”

Yoo Yeon-seok can be seen in the recently concluded Hospital Playlist S2.

Park Bo-gum