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5 South Korean Male Actors That Played Heinous Villains and Protagonists in K-Dramas

When it comes to South Korean actors, many have astounding capabilities to switch their roles from loving protagonists to malicious villains in K-dramas. Male actors like Yoo In-soo played the hated school bully in Netflix’s All of Us Are Dead before playing the lovable role of Don-gu in Alchemy of Souls. Yoo is not the only Korean male actor who has played a villain and hero in a K-drama.
Korean male actor Kim Young-kwang as the villain in ‘Somebody’ K-drama | via Netflix
Kim Young-kwang played a serial killer in Netflix’s ‘Somebody’ K-drama
Fans will recall Kim Young-kwan’s role in the heartwarming K-drama Hello, Me! He played the leading male role of Han Yoo-hyun. The character is bubbly, a bit outlandish, and a breath of fresh air. He becomes involved in the female lead’s journey of rediscovery. Ban Ha-ni’s (Choi Kang-gee) life is not going as planned until, one day, she meets the teenage version of herself.
In 2022, the male Korean actor played the exact opposite of his sweet and bubbly character in the K-drama Somebody. The Netflix drama entailed an app developer who learns a serial killer is using her app to find victims. Kim played the role of architect and murderer Seong Yun-o.
Somebody is available on Netflix.
Korean actor Ok Taecyeon played the ruthless villain in ‘Vincenzo’ K-drama
Before becoming an actor, Taecyeon gained fame as a member of one of Korea’s top K-Pop groups, 2PM. His career as an actor has been formidable, with many impressive roles. In 2021, he starred in the crime K-drama Vincenzo as Jun-woo. At first, Jun-woo is an unsuspecting, overly happy law intern. But as the K-drama progresses, fans learn he is secretly the CEO of Babel Group. Jun-woo proves to be a ruthless, maniacal, and bloodthirsty villain.
In the same year, Taecyeon starred as the protagonist in Secret Royal Inspector & Joy. His character, Ra Ian, is intelligent, unmarried, and a public service worker. His real dream is to own a dumpling shop and make delicious food. Instead, he finds himself as a royal inspector and gets caught up in a conspiracy alongside a divorcee.
Vincenzo is available on Netflix.
Go Kyungo-pyo starred as a quiet love interest and a heinous serial killer in 2022
In 2022, South Korean male actor Go Kyungo-pyo gained some fame as the male lead in the romance K-drama Love in Contract. Starring alongside Park Min-young, his character keeps to himself as a criminal judge. Choi Sang-eun (Park) is the queen of marriage and offers private services to help unmarried men impress their friends and families. One of her longtime clients is Jung Ji-ho (Go). When Sang-eun is ready to retire, she and Ji-ho begin to realize how they really feel.
Go’s character of Ji-ho somewhat parallels his villain role in Disney+’s Connect. Ha Dong-soo (Jung Hae-In) is part of a new race of immortal humans calls “connect.” He is kidnapped by human traffickers and has his eye removed. But the owner of his eye is a heinous serial killer named Oh Jin-Seob (Go). Jin-seob is an unassuming office worker with an ugly secret of turning his victims into art installations.
Connect is available on Hulu.
Lee Soo-hyuk played a grim reaper in Netflix’s ‘Tomorrow’ K-drama
Lee Soo-hyuk is infamous for his career as a fashion model, chiseled features, deep voice, and acting skills. The Korean male actor became well known for his role as the villain of the historical fantasy K-drama Scholar Who Walks the Night. He starred as an ancient vampire named Gwi who has an insatiable bloodthirst and wants to rule the human race.
In 2021 and 2022, Lee played protagonist roles in two K-dramas. For Doom at Your Service, he played the editor of the female lead, Cha Joo-ik. He begins to develop a romance with her best friend and one of their authors. In 2022, Lee played the role of Park Joong-gil in the webtoon K-drama Tomorrow.
His character is the afterlife’s top grim reaper with a complex and mysterious past with the female lead. While hostile toward the main characters, he has a caring heart.
Tomorrow is available on Netflix.
Korean male actor Lee Dong-wook played more protagonist roles than villains in K-dramas
Actor Lee Dong-wook has starred in some of fantasy K-drama’s most well-recognized works. He played the comical and loyal Grim Reaper / Wang Yeo in the Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. He is also known for his leading male protagonist role in the human and non-human fantasy romance Tale of the Nine-Tailed. Lee will reprise his role in Tale of the Nine-Tailed 1938.
While playing many protagonist roles in his career, Lee gave fans chills as the villain in the webtoon drama Hell is Other People. His character Seo Moon-jo is a dentist who lives in a sketchy dorm alongside the male lead. But his overly kind persona soon reveals that he and the tenants have a more carnivorous desire for humans.
Tale of the Nine-Tailed is available on Viki.



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