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K-rush of the Week: Son Suk-ku

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

GwenchaNoona’s inaugural “K-rush of the Week" oppa is one of 2022's biggest breakout stars, Son Suk-ku. With a buzzed-about drama, “My Liberation Notes,” and a megahit movie, “The Roundup,” this disarmingly charming actor is clearly having a moment.

A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, majoring in visual arts and film, Son Suk-ku was the CEO of a large machine tool company before focusing on acting. Check out snippets of his filmography below!

Mother (2018)

After making his international acting debut opposite Bae Doona in season two of the Netflix series “Sense8,” Son Suk-ku's first K-drama role was as the villain in the 2018 Baeksang Best Drama winner "Mother." In this riveting suspense drama, he plays Seol-ak, a serial child abuser who preys on Hye-na (Heo Yool), the young daughter of his live-in girlfriend Shin Ja-young (Go Sung-hee).

This exploration of what makes one a mother follows the story of a teacher (Lee Bo-young) who impulsively runs with Hye-na when she realizes she is being abused. Adapted from a Japanese drama, "Mother" takes viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions as the mother-daughter pair are pursued by law enforcers Seol Ak, and Shin Ja-young. Read our full review here.

Matrimonial Chaos (2018)

In this 2018 rom-com, Son Suk-ku is reunited with his “Sense8” screen partner Bae Doona and is married to his "My Liberation Notes" co-star Lee El.

In "Matrimonial Chaos," he plays Jin Yoo-young, a design professor with fidelity issues. A remake of a Japanese series of the same title, this drama explores men's and women's attitudes toward marriage and relationships and what it takes to make them work.

Designated Survivor: 60 Days (2019)

In this Korean adaptation of the hit US political thriller “Designated Survivor,” you can watch Son Suk-ku suit up as Cha Young-jin, a senior administrator in the office of the unlikely new president: Chemistry professor and environment minister Park Moo-jin (Ji Jin-hee, “Misty”). Park is left to do the top job since he's the highest-ranking government official left alive following an explosion that kills the president, most of the cabinet, and lawmakers.

Be Melodramatic (2019)

Son Suk-ku appears as the foul-mouthed commercial director Kim Sang-soo in the latter half of this female-centric drama, but we promise you he’s worth the wait. “Be Melodramatic” is the story of three college best friends, Jeon Yeo-been (Vincenzo), Chun Woo-hee (Argon), and Han Ji-eun (Bad and Crazy), who end up living together as they turn 30. Aside from the heartwarming relationship between the three women, this witty slice-of-life/rom-com drama offers a fun and in-depth behind-the-scenes look into how k-dramas get made, from developing scripts to ensuring PPL (product placement) is on-screen! After watching it, you'll never quite see K-dramas the same way again.

D.P. (2021)

Son Suk-ku joins the cast of the controversial Netflix drama "D.P. as First Lieutenant Im Ji-sup, the new head of the unit overseeing the Deserter Pursuit (DP) team. Brash, arrogant, and narrow-minded, he often finds himself at odds with the equally stubborn but much more pragmatic Sergeant Park Beom-Gu (Kim Sung-kyun). Captain Im -- with his ability to cover his incompetence with a sheen of charisma -- is the kind of boss we all love to hate, and Son Suk-ku plays him to the hilt.

He reunites with Jung Hae-in and Koo Ky-hwan for "D.P." Read our full review of this Baeksang Best Drama Award-winner here.

My Liberation Notes (2021)

With barely any speaking lines in “My Liberation Notes,” Son Suk-ku still made a significant impact as the mysterious “Mr. Gu.” Who is this alcoholic man of few words, where has he come from, and how did he end up in the small, rural village of Sanpo?

If you haven’t seen this talked-about drama from writer Park Hae-young (“My Mister”), it’s best to go into it cold. Just expect to go on a slow, quiet, philosophical journey with siblings Yeom Gi-jeong (Lee El), Yeom Chang-hui (Lee Min-ki), and Yeom Mi-jeong (Kim Ji-won), and their enigmatic new next-door neighbor Mr. Gu, as they seek liberation from the challenges of their daily lives.

The Roundup (2022)

Son Suk-ku played supporting characters in the movies “Scarlet Innocence” (2014), “Blackstone” (2015), and “Hit and Run Squad” (2019) before landing his first leading film role in the 2021 hookup rom-com “Nothing Serious” (“Romance Without Love”) opposite Jeon Jong-seo (“Burning”).

His fifth film, “The Roundup” (also known as "Outlaws 2"), broke box office records in South Korea, the fastest movie to surpass nine million viewers since 2019’s “Parasite.” In this Ma Dong-seok-led detective flick, Son Suk-ku plays Kang Hae-sang, a ruthless supervillain in Vietnam.

In his latest role, Son Suk-ku plays an anti-narcotics detective in the Disney+ crime series "Big Bet."

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