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K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk

Updated: Jun 30

At a towering 6'1" with an immensely fit physique, Choi Jin-hyuk is the very picture of dashing, old-world masculinity. Yet this Hallyu late-bloomer has always had an affecting softness to his eyes and a gentleness to his demeanor that allows him to play roles that are steely and sexy.

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk

See more of his profile.


Every day this week, we will check out a few of his notable k-dramas!

 

The Last Empress / An Empress's Dignity (2018)

Available on Kocowa, Netflix, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk in "The Last Empress" (photo of Choi Jin-hyuk and Jang Na-ra)

As far as physical transformations go, you can’t get any better than Choi Jin-hyuk’s turn as the royal bodyguard in the 2018 hit, The Last Empress. The drama is set in an alternate universe where Korea is a constitutional monarchy, and former actress Oh Sunny (Jang Na-ra) is married to the eccentric Emperor. As Sunny navigates her role in the palace, she realizes she may be the next target for assassination. Amidst treacherous court politics, she realizes she can only trust her bodyguard, Na Wong-shik (played by Choi Jin-hyuk). However, the question remains whether he can protect her from all threats, including his own growing feelings.


Tunnel (2017)

Available on Netflix, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk in "Tunnel"

Inspired by real-life serial murders in the town of Hwaseong, Tunnel is a popular 2017 time-slip crime drama where Choi Jin-hyuk portrays sergeant detective Park Gwang-ho, a no-nonsense policeman who lives and works in 1986. One night, while chasing a suspect, he enters a decrepit tunnel and mysteriously emerges in the year 2016. After overcoming the shock, he befriends his new squad and begins working on solving his now 30-year-old cold case.


The K-drama was so successful that it gained popularity in China and led to remakes in Thailand and Indonesia.


Zombie Detective (2020)

Available on Kocowa, Netflix, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk in "Zombie Detective"

Kang Min-ho (Choi Jin-hyuk) wakes up in a landfill, utterly confused and incredibly hungry. He realizes that he is now a zombie, but he has no recollection of how or why he became one. He walks aimlessly until it dawns on him that the only way to survive is to train himself to act and talk like a human. This involves obsessing over BB creams, eating raw chicken, and assuming the identity of a dead private detective named Kim Moo-young. As Kang Min-ho slowly puts pieces of his memory together, he is aided by a former investigative journalist, Gong Sun-ji (Park Ju-hyun), whose cheerful and nosy personality lands her a position as his secretary/sidekick. Together, they solve crimes, connect their pasts, and figure out their feelings for each other along the way.



Mr. Queen (2020)

Available on Netflix, Prime Video, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk in "Mr. Queen"

The hilarious gender-swapped/gender-possessed/gender-everything time travel sageuk has Choi Jin-hyuk playing the titular playboy chef Jang Bong-hwan who doesn’t only become trapped in the body of a woman, but he’s trapped in the body of a Joseon queen! Karma really flips Bong-hwan’s life upside-down, for not only does he have to live life as a woman, but he now must navigate malicious court life and escape the affections of her/his own husband.



Numbers (2023)

Available on Kocowa, Viki, Viu (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk in "Numbers"

The 12-episode action-thriller-mystery-business drama Numbers follows Jang Ho-woo, an intelligent accountant at one of the four big accounting firms in South Korea. The character of Jang Ho-woo is portrayed by INFINITE’s Kim Myung-soo (Angel's Last Mission: Love). Despite having only a high school diploma, Jang Ho-woo fights for justice in the face of absurdities at the accounting firm. Choi Jin-hyuk (Zombie Detective) also stars in the series as Han Seung-jo, the senior manager at the Taeil Accounting Firm.


Miss Night and Day (2024)

Available on Netflix (territories and periods vary)

GwenchaNoona | K-rush of the Week: Choi Jin-hyuk in "Miss Night and Day" (photo of Choi Jin-hyuk and Jung Eun-ji)

In Miss Night and Day, a hapless job seeker in her late twenties (Jung Eun-ji) undergoes a surprising transformation: she turns into an older woman (Lee Jung-eun) during the day! Despite this unexpected change, she takes on a job as a senior citizen and impresses everyone, including the difficult (but attractive) prosecutor (Choi Jin-hyuk) she now works for.

 

Which of Choi Jin-hyuk's roles is your favorite?

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