…And it’s time for another Pure Pretty post, you guys.
Looking back on my recent posts, I noticed a distinct pattern. It appears that every 3 reviews, I feel the need to fangirl for a bit, whether it’s a k-love post or a Pure Pretty post (or several Pure Pretty posts, heh). It’s entirely unplanned and unintentional, I promise. I’m beginning to think, though, that this is just how my brain is wired.
I can focus on relatively more serious stuff like reviews for only so long before my fangirl side rears her determined head and demands (*pounds fist on table for emphasis*) some quality fangirling time.
And so I bring you Yoo Ah In, boy-man chameleon extraordinaire. Come gaze with me, y’all.
Dear Cloud – 얼음요새 (Ice fortress)
To be honest, Yoo Ah In is one of those actors that totally crept up on me, seemingly out of nowhere.
The first time I laid eyes on him in The Man Who Can’t Get Married (2009), I thought he was all kinds of geeky little-boy cute, but nothing more. I mean, just look at him:
Those plastic-rimmed transparent glasses and his character’s dorky persona just screamed Cute Geek to me.
And then, I chanced on him again when I checked out Antique Bakery (2008) for Joo Ji Hoon and Kim Jae Wook, whom I both loved after seeing them in Goong (2006) and Coffee Prince (2007) respectively.
I thought the movie was pretty good, despite its odd mix of cuteness laced with thriller. And Yoo Ah In was, again, cute. Not geeky anymore. Just cute:
Gah. Just look at the fresh-faced little-boy winsomeness. I just wanted to squish him.
And that’s how I mentally categorized and filed him away: Cute and squishable. Not of the hawt variety.
So imagine my (very, very) happy surprise when he showed up in Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010) (review here!) with a mane of glory, a rough ‘n tough goatee, and enough sexy, broody smolder to power a small city.
Omona. He had me swooning from the very beginning to the very end of that drama, I tell ya. And can you blame me? Just look at him:
Flail. Puddle. Swoon.
THIS version of Yoo Ah In pleased me very much. So carelessly masculine and smoldery. This was definitely my favorite version of Yoo Ah In to date. I could’ve watched him be Crazy Horse for 100 episodes, and then some.
Because of Yoo Ah In, I had been mildly tempted to check out Fashion King (2011). I mean, the publicity even teased that Yoo Ah In had put in lots of effort in the gym to bulk up for the camera:
Ooh. Not bad.
But after watching just one episode, I already had a WTH?!? feeling about this show, and thankfully, stayed away.
And then Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love (2013) came along, and again, I was tempted to check it out. I’d heard that Yoo Ah In’s character had shades of Crazy Horse, and that sounded appealing indeed.
Mmm. Handsome, and quite sexy. Just look at those eyes. And those lips.
The moment I dipped my toes into the show after it’d ended its run, though, a number of friends on Twitter advised me (strongly) to flee while I could, for my own sanity.
Much as I enjoy a bit of sexy Yoo Ah In, I treasure my sanity more, and gave Jang Ok Jung a pass.
EDIT: I ended up checking out Jang Ok Jung on Selective Fast Forward and loved it! Flash Review here!
My patience has been rewarded, however. As I write this, I’m halfway through Secret Love Affair (review to come, I promise!), and I’m suitably blown away. Just look at that poster:
I’m really impressed with Yoo Ah In’s restrained, detailed, nuanced interpretation of his character Lee Sun Jae. It’s like he’s imbued Sun Jae with all the various facets that I’d seen in his very diverse characters to date. Innocent and boyish, yet with distinct shades of sensuous masculinity. Umph. Likey muchey.
Edit: I finished my review of Secret Love Affair! Check it out here.
As I did my research for this post, I finally distilled the thought: Yoo Ah In is quite the chameleon.
MULTIPLE SHADES OF YOO AH IN
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the multiple categories of Yoo Ah In that I’ve organized the photos into, shall we?
It’s not quite 50 shades of Yoo Ah In, but it’s still pretty awesome.
Boy Next Door:
Since this is how I first got to know Yoo Ah In, I thought we’d start here.
Yoo Ah In can turn on the boyish cute really well. He’s got that fresh-faced appeal that makes him appear wholesome and approachable and lovable. And just the sort of boy you’d approve your younger sister to date. That is, if you weren’t dating him yourself. Heh.
Yoo Ah In has a distinctly mischievous side, and you can totally see how much fun he’s having in these pix, complete with a naughty glint in his eyes.
Perhaps it’s because Yoo Ah In can be such a chameleon. Some of his photoshoots have a distinctively off-beat sort of feel, and he gamely hams it up for the camera. Here’s a little bit of Quirky Yoo An In for ya.
Y’all know how much I love a man in a sharp suit, and I’m pleased to report that Yoo Ah In cleans up real nice in a suit.
Mm. Very handsome indeed.
Sporty Yoo Ah In is a persona we don’t see very frequently, but he exists alright. And he looks pretty cool too.
Even though Yoo Ah In worked hard to beef up for his shirtless scenes in Fashion King, he actually doesn’t go shirtless for the camera all that often. Here’s a peek at Shirtless Yoo Ah In. I especially dig the last pic of him, coz of his lovely arms. And his fabulous goatee.
Given how smitten I was with Yoo Ah In in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, it should come as no surprise that my favorite look on him is the scruffy goatee. Uunngh. There’s just something incredibly sexy about the scruffy goatee. It’s so effortlessly, devil-may-care sexy.
It doesn’t matter what he’s doing, or whether he’s in a broody mood or a playful one. The goatee just ups the sexy.
Also. Look out for the mess-with-your-mind, sexy tummy trail in one of the pix. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. ;)
When Yoo Ah In geeks out in glasses, he manages to look alternately studious, cool and all proper and preppy. It’s that chameleon effect, I tell ya.
And those glasses with that goatee? Rawr.
When Yoo Ah In turns on the broody, all the boyish cute melts away, and more distinct shades of man peek through. And I dig that very much.
Turn the broody a few notches upwards towards intense, and you get fierce Yoo Ah In. It’s a side of him we don’t get to see very often, but when we do see it, I very much approve.
Another favorite Yoo Ah In look of mine, is the sexy smolder. Once the smolder starts burning in his eyes, it’s quite arresting, and completely melty.
One of the sexiest looks on Yoo Ah In is the knowing smirk. It’s smoldery, with a hint of naughty, plus a healthy serving of charisma. Umph.
My absolute favorite is pic #3, where he’s wearing just the shadow of a smirk, and it’s knee-meltingly sexy. Rawr.
Perhaps the most alluring facet to Yoo Ah In, is his sensuous side. Coz when he unleashes his sensuality in front of the camera, look out. You’re likely headed for puddle territory.
It’s those eyes. And those luscious lips. They make him look so tantalizingly touchable and delicious.
Egad. SLA Hawt:
When Yoo Ah In and co-star Kim Hee Ae posed for photoshoots while filming Secret Love Affair, no one quite expected the levels of lava-hawtness that would result. When I saw these photos, my jaw dropped and my eyes glazed over.
So much sensual sexual tension, just leaping off each photo to assault the senses. It blows the mind and melts the knees.
Sizzle. Has your screen melted yet?
On that unreal note, I thought it apt to now bring you Ethereal Yoo Ah In.
Sometimes, his photoshoots make him look so dreamy that he almost doesn’t seem real. It’s surreal and really quite beautiful.
Another favorite flavor of mine when it comes to Yoo Ah In, is thoughtful-pensive.
All of these pix have that quiet, reflective, subdued quality about them, which I really like. I feel like I can practically reach in there and touch him. Y’know. To comfort him while he’s being thoughtfully pensive.
Like the shape-shifter that he is in actual photoshoots, the candid shots of Yoo Ah In span a wide range of looks and feels. He’s alternately cute, playful and smoldery.
My favorite is this first pic though. How can he look so sensuous and kissable when the camera’s caught him off-guard in a candid shot??
Sweet ‘n Shy:
Battling for top place for my favorite shade of Yoo Ah In is when he’s sweet & shy.
Augh. That bashful smile is simply too adorable for words.
With so many different facets that Yoo Ah In shows to such alluring effect, it’s really hard for me to choose my favorite shade of Yoo Ah In.
It’s a tie between badass, fierce, smoldery Yoo Ah In:
..and sweet, dreamy, slightly shy Yoo Ah In:
Melt. Just look at those eyes. And that smile.
Also, didja notice how in both cases, he’s gotta have the goatee? Coz I do love that goatee. Uunngh, so sexy.
So, what’s your favorite shade of Yoo Ah In? ;)