[K-Star’s Best Character] Kim Young Kwang, a Successful Case Where a Model Found His Place as an Actor

Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Kim Yoo Hyang

Credit: Merry Christmas

Kim Young Kwang was a model who had the world as his stage. He then debuted in 2008 with the role of a rookie actor Lee Jae Hwan who started blowing up, in Worlds Within. As a drama that deals with the world of broadcasters, directors, and stars, he was cast in it as the production team at the time attempted to look for a “male model who is the most talked of in the fashion industry.” Since then, he has continued to appear in a work or two each year, before his character finally began to shine around 2018.

Credit: tvN

In Room No. 9, a body-swapping fantasy drama, he played two roles: one as a family medicine specialist Ki Yu Jin, the lover of Eulji Hae Yi (played by Kim Hee Sun) and another as Gi San, an heir of a conglomerate. In the middle of the series, Ki Yu Jin recognizes the soul of his lover Eulji Hae Yi within the body of Jang Hwa Sa (played by Kim Hae Sook), a death row prisoner who is the leading villain of the show. The sobbing acting of his is picked as one of the best scenes in the entirety of the drama.

Credit: Megabox Plus M

In the film On Your Wedding Day released in the same year, he transformed as Woo Yeon who falls in love with the new student Sung Hee at first sight. He demonstrated the journey with his first love whom he repeated to meet up and break up with throughout the last year of high school to his 30s. This was his second time working with Park Bo Young after the movie Hot Young Bloods, and their height difference in the frame was what caught the audience’s attention. It was a moment where the former model Kim Young Kwang who was 187cm tall, stood out. With the mentioned movie, he won the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards as the Best New Actor for Films.

Credit: SBS

The actor also played Do Min Ik, who loses the ability to recognize faces in The Secret Life of My Secretary in 2019. Kim Young Kwang recalled that it was not easy to persuasively play the character of an adult male who suffers from such symptoms, especially when failure of facial recognition is something that about 2% of the population experience, due to either genetics or post-traumas after accidents. Hence, he focused on finding a way to combine reality with the fantasy within the drama.

After having been inactive for a while, Kim Young Kwang is revisiting the screens with new movies and dramas. The action-comedy Mission Possible, in which he depicts the head of a mercantile agency, will be released on February 17th. On the night of the same day, the fantasy rom-com series Hello, Me! In which he worked with Choi Kang Hee will be released. In the drama, he will be greeting viewers as Han Yoo Hyun, the clumsy third-gen. chaebol with a free soul. Therefore, his comeback is anticipated, as viewers wonder how different his characters will be in the two upcoming works.

Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.

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