If you’ve known me for a while, &/or taken a look at my fangirl motto on the side-bar to your right, you’d probably also know that having big k-loves — or major Woobie love, heh — doesn’t mean that I don’t have room to admire and.. appreciate (ahem) other talented k-men in dramaland.
In fact, I’ve got quite a few of those medium k-loves, at least a few of whom I plan on introducing to you guys this year.
First up: Kim Soo Hyun!
I’ve liked Kim Soo Hyun since his Dream High days in 2011, and have had my eye on him and his work ever since. Every time he’s got a new drama or movie out, I perk up and take notice. And now that I’m watching You From Another Star, my Kim Soo Hyun radar has switched itself into Mmmm.. mode all over again. Which, really, is the catalyst for this post.
Come squee with me, y’all!
Encounter 1: Dream High
To be honest, even though Kim Soo Hyun already had a nice, solid filmography before Dream High, I hadn’t seen him in anything prior. All I knew was, lotsa folks in the dramaverse were really excited — chomping at the bit, to put it mildly — to see him in this. That made me really curious to see who this boy was, who had everyone and their mothers all aflutter.
When Kim Soo Hyun finally made his appearance in episode 2, though, I really couldn’t see what the fuss was about. He was all decked out in country bumpkin gear, topped off with an unruly mop of curls.
The fangirl in me was unimpressed. What I did dig, was the dorky, buff, Song Seung Hun-esque appeal of our other male lead Taecyeon, and I lapped up the generous shirtless awesome the show served up via Taecyeon.
As I got further into the show, though, I was happily quite taken with Kim Soo Hyun’s acting chops. He made Song Sam Dong a likable, engaging and endearing character, and I enjoyed having him on my screen.
Plus, partway through the show, Song Sam Dong gets an image overhaul, and Kim Soo Hyun got to show some broody smolder too. And a bad-boy ear stud.
I liked what I saw.
I didn’t exactly walk away from Dream High with a crush on Kim Soo Hyun, but I certainly came away with a new-found admiration for him. Not only was his acting solid and nuanced, he clearly took his craft very seriously.
Perhaps the thing that blew me away the most, was the realization that he’d held his own as the only non-idol among the main cast, doing a very solid job of all the singing and dancing even though those weren’t quite his strengths. In fact, he’d trained at JYP for 3 months prior to starting to film for Dream High, living the trainee idol life, and learning to sing and dance. Respect.
I decided that Kim Soo Hyun was definitely a young man worth keeping my eye on and put him firmly on my radar.
Here’s the track that Kim Soo Hyun sang for the Dream High OST, complete with some excellent (& rather spoilery) Song Sam Dong footage:
For those who want to avoid spoilers but still want to hear Kim Soo Hyun’s singing voice, this vid is for you:
Not bad at all, eh?
Edit: You can check out my quick review of Dream High here!
Mesmerized and Swooned Out: The Moon that Embraces the Sun
In 2012, a year after Dream High, Kim Soo Hyun came back to dramaland in The Moon that Embraces the Sun. And promptly blew me away.
In Dream High, Kim Soo Hyun had struck me mostly as cute and likable. In MoonSun, though, he was regal, smoldery, and very, very sexy.
I thought the kingly robes became him:
As did the sardonic, barely-hidden sarcasm that his king Lee Hwon got to display:
Most of all, I swooned at the intense, smoldery gazes that he showed his leading ladies:
This was a whole different, very sexy side to Kim Soo Hyun, and I loved every swoony minute.
Sure, the writing was flawed, and yes, Han Ga In was completely underwhelming as his leading lady. But in my eyes, Kim Soo Hyun and his sexy king more than made up for it.
I lapped up episode after episode, eager for more mesmerizing, sexy, regal Kim Soo Hyun. And I definitely came away from MoonSun with a newly minted Kim Soo Hyun crush.
Kim Soo Hyun also lent his vocals to MoonSun’s OST. Here’s a (fairly spoilery) MV of that track, featuring some of that regal smolder:
For those who want to listen to the song but want to avoid spoilers, this one’s for you:
Post-MoonSun Interview Awesome
I haven’t checked out that many Kim Soo Hyun interviews, but I really liked this episode of tvN’s Taxi, in which he guested.
He comes across as fairly natural and quite savvy, managing to answer questions tactfully while toeing the fine line between humility and self-praise. At the same time, his answers show how much thought he puts into each and every scene, and I love a man who’s serious about his craft.
Here’s the full episode, which I genuinely enjoyed. Be warned that there are MoonSun spoilers, since this aired after the series wrapped.
Movie Moment 1: The Thieves
I don’t watch a whole lot of movies, but with Kim Soo Hyun now firmly on my radar, I couldn’t not check out The Thieves.
Much as I was disappointed with the heavy turn the movie took halfway through, and with the relatively small amount of screen-time Kim Soo Hyun had, I did like the introduction to his sinewy arms:
And his character’s crush on Jeon Ji Hyun’s character did yield some mild shirtless smolder:
And a less mild, fleeting-yet-sensuous kiss:
Overall, a fairly underwhelming movie, but it sure had some pretty tantalizing Kim Soo Hyun tid-bits.
Movie Moment 2: Secretly Greatly [aka Covertly Grandly]
Still with my eye firmly on Kim Soo Hyun, I was super excited to see trailers for Secretly Greatly. I mean, not only did this movie promise much more Kim Soo Hyun screentime, it also promised awesome stuff like Kim Soo Hyun as a spy! And Kim Soo Hyun in uniform! (rawr) And! Kim Soo Hyun’s new abs! (double rawr)
While I wasn’t too taken with the movie itself, it did deliver on those 3 things that it had promised, and I was somewhat mollified.
Not bad at all, I say. Not bad At All.
A Transition: From Boy To Man
As all of this movie stuff was going on, I also noticed something else about Kim Soo Hyun: he made the transition from boy-man:
As boy-man, Kim Soo Hyun could still get away with playing a high-schooler, but with this new look, I would place him firmly — very firmly! — in man territory.
Needless to say, I really dig the manly vibe about him:
Ahem. Moar please, is what I’m thinking.
Eeee!! Really, REALLY Liking: You From Another Star
Given that (a) I’ve decided to include one currently-airing drama on my drama plate, (b) I dig Kim Soo Hyun’s (yummy) transition from boy-man to man, and (c) I really enjoyed the sparks that he shared with Jeon Ji Hyun in The Thieves, You From Another Star was the natural choice when the new drama cycle came around.
10 episodes in, I’m pleased to report that I’m enjoying it very, very much. It’s cracky rom-com at its best. And Kim Soo Hyun does not disappoint.
Well. There are other actors and factors that also do not disappoint, but since this is a post about Kim Soo Hyun, I’ll save those other details for the review to come (Review here!).
Kim Soo Hyun awesome: let me count the ways.
First of all, Kim Soo Hyun is very, very dapper as Do Min Joon and is often shown wearing sharp suits. And you know how I love a man in a sharp suit.
Yum. I approve.
Secondly, I find it hot that his character has superpowers.
Thirdly, Kim Soo Hyun’s turn as Do Min Joon is faceted and nuanced. Even though his character is supposed to be all stiff and unemotional, Kim Soo Hyun does lend layers with the subtle shifts in his gaze.
I particularly love this scene, where you can see the almost imperceptible glimmer of a tear in Min Joon’s eye, even as he carefully keeps his expression unreadable.
Ahem. Something else that’s also very nice? Kim Soo Hyun’s shower scene:
And let’s not forget the chemistry between Kim Soo Hyun and Jeon Ji Hyun, combined with his heretofore firmly established smoldering ability:
Ooh. Yum. Yum yum yum.
I need moar, I really, really do.
Photo Treats of the Kim Soo Hyun Kind
While doing, er, research for this post, I realize that I categorize Kim Soo Hyun’s various looks thusly:
Boyish & Playful
Despite his recent more sexy turn, Kim Soo Hyun can definitely turn on the cute:
And he does warm, cozy and a little snuggly very nicely too.
Sharp & Smart
Kim Soo Hyun suits up very nicely, and here’s evidence:
Kim Soo Hyun doesn’t have a whole lotta shirtless pix out there, but I found that the ones that are out there, are sensuously appealing. Yum.
Kim Soo Hyun doesn’t do scruffy all that often, but I really do dig him when he’s a little undone. Sexy boy.
Hands-down, this is my favorite look on him. I mean, he does the sexy smolder so well. Can you blame me for going melty?
Mmm.. Quite delicious, amiright?
This is why I’m makin’ room in my fangirl heart for Kim Soo Hyun.
I’ve got my eye on you too, you sexy, smoldery boy ;)